Her nystagmic eyes hovered up and down as it ran through the walls of Mr Otumba’s ultramodern office. It was indeed a site to behold. It boasted of a magnified wall TV,air conditioner, state of the art graphic designs, well cushioned seats amongst others .All these however meant little to Bimpe whose major concern was to meet Mr Otumba; the general manager of Baron ventures Ltd. It was the third time in the month of July she had made an attempt to see him, but twice she had only succeeded in meeting the secretary who had sent Bimpe back on grounds that her master was busy. On the second occasion, Bimpe almost lost her temper and would have rained abuses on the secretary but restrained herself and controlled her anger. It was unthinkable that the same secretary that had told her to wait before she could see her master and kept her in an expectant state was the same person to tell her that her master was out of the country and that she could stay only if she wanted to continue warming the seats.
“Hello, can I help you?” A chubby looking man said as he walked majestically into the outer chambers of his luxury office. It was Chief Otumba Adeyinka. He was coming from the inner chambers of his office where he watched news. Despite his tight schedule, he was always abreast with current happenings in the world of finance and sports. In fact, it was what endeared him to Late Mr Akinlolu Badmus; Bimpe’s father.
“Good afternoon sir,”Bimpe said unsteadily as she knelt down to greet Chief Otumba.
“No no no no no,” Chief Otumba said briskly urging her not to kneel down. “That wouldn’t be necessary, you may have your seat. So tell me, how may I help you?”
“Sir, I am Bimpe Akinlolu Badmus, the daughter of late Mr Akinlolu Bodmas, the daughter of late Mr Akinlolu Bodmas.”
“What!” Chief Otumba exclaimed. “Don’t tell me you are Bimpe” A jubilant surprise clearly written on his face.
“Yes sir, I am.” Bimpe said facing down as shyness and timidity enveloped her.
“Awesome! You have grown so big. I would barely recognize you if I should see you on the street. So how is Segun your brother?”
Immediately, sadness enveloped Bimpe. It was a type of sadness that could not be concealed by even the brightest of smiles. Her innocent face always had a way of revealing her true emotions. This has forced her maintain a lifestyle of strict honesty. Not that she would have been a liar anyway, but that further shapened her personality and made her more conscientious about lying. Finally she said,”Segun is fine.”
“Are you sure? You don’t seem fine yourself.”
“Sir, it is just that………………………..”Bimpe burst into tears and could hardly utter a word.
“What is it my daughter, I and your father used to be best of friends so if anything is troubling you,let me know. Don’t die in silence.” Chief Otumba said as he rose from his seat and went across to her side of the table in order to console her, he gently dropped his hands on her shoulder.
“Sir, ever since we lost our parents in that fatal accident three years ago, I and Segun have been going through a lot of hardship, my uncles took over my father’s property and since then we have been feeding from hand to mouth. I have since abandoned my tertiary education and picked up a job as a secondary school teacher just so I can help support my brother and make sure he finishes secondary school education.”
“Hmmm, this world is wicked. I could remember your father used to be a very generous man. He sponsored all your cousins to school and hardly held back anything good from his siblings. Indeed, life is a mystery–no one knows how the sun rises and how it sets. Today it’s your day, tomorrow it’s not. So tell me, what do you want me to do for you?
“Sir the major problem right now is that Segun has been terribly ill and the doctor said we would need a deposit of a hundred and twenty thousand naira in order to commence treatment on him. I earn only fifteen thousand naira monthly in the school where I teach and together with the after school lessons I take, I earn about twenty-five thousand naira per month.”
“What!” Chief exclaimed. One hundred and twenty thousand? Does the doctor think people pluck money from trees? Anyway, have you met your uncles regarding this?
“Yes, I have. They all turned deaf ears to me saying I’m only using that as a pretext to extort money from them. They wouldn’t even come to see him.”
“Ahh ahh , so what are you going to do now?”
“Sir please I don’t know if you can help me with the money. I promise to pay it back in installments. Please sir you are my only hope.” Tears rushed down Bimpe’s eyes as she seemed to lose her composure.
“You see, I would have really loved to help you. It’s just that this recession has really hit me. This season is a really tough one for me. Not to worry, all hope is not lost, you are a very beautiful girl and I know you are smart as well.”
TO BE CONTINUED.