Eniola was in dream land, planning her wedding. Her engagement ring shone brilliantly against the bright lights of her office.. She could not wait to be married to Femi, and move out of the flat she shared with Wale. Each time she thought of the fact that her wedding was only 7 months away, she smiled inwardly. The beep in her head set shook her out of her reverie. Rolling her eyes; she answered the 400th call that day. ‘Guud afternoon thank you for calling CallaCab, my name is Eni, how may I help?; she asked for the 400th time. She hated everything about her job, especially her team leader FRANK, the arrogant Nigerian immigrant who took his job as if the Queen of England willed it to him.
What upset Eniola most was the fact that FRANK always wore a suit to work, complete with tie and waist coat, and never took it off, regardless of the weather! The job was a crappy job that paid lowly, and she did not understand why FRANK wore a suit like he worked in the City for a reputable Law firm or something.
Eniola almost puked at the sound of his Ibo laced British accent bellowing over the head set. She wished she could swap seats and get a new team leader, but FRANK had personally ensured that was stuck with him for as long as it took.
‘I need a taxi NOW’ the customer at the other end of the line screamed.
‘Where are you?’ Eniola asked in a dreary tone.
‘Don’t you dare ask me where I am; can’t you see it on your cheap computer screen?’ the woman screeched back.
Eniola did not need this today. The last 399 calls had been hysterical men and women needing cabs due to the irate London weather. This woman was going to be the last.
‘ heeeeeelooooo? I need a f’king car right this f’king minute- if I don’t get a car now, I will …- ‘
Eniola did not wait to hear one more whimper from the woman. She hung up and flung her headset on her desk before walking into the bathroom to splash water on her angry face. This was the last straw. She needed a new job.. She hated call centres. She was a Law student in her final year for goodness sakes. She deserved more than this. She suddenly started to cry as she remembered how she had soo wanted to come to England to study. She had begged her parents who had to bend their backs to afford sending her to England for her law degree. And now, after all, she was here, listening to one woman, who undoubtedly had no education, insult her… the thought made her cry harder.
‘Eni, you bera come out here this very minis’ growled FRANK from the other side of the door.
Eni wiped her face dry and opened the bathroom door, to stare into the bulging eyes from a very compressed bald head.
‘Nna, Eni, this ya behafior is feri irresponsible o, you know I am a British born, with an Emu- Bee-A (MBA), and you are a Nigerian born, if I sack you now, you will be without job o and that bobo, Femi will not marry o, u bera behav yasef’ FRANK said, this time around forgoing his horrible fake British accent and coming down to the Nigerian flow with her- this was better, the FRANKs British accent was agonizing.
Despite her frustration Eniola smiled at the fact that FRANK talked about his British citizenship as if it was gold.
‘FRANK’, sighed Eniola wearily, ‘don’t worry about sacking me, I am handing you my verbal resignation, I will stop work with effect from today- please send my p45 to my house’
FRANK looked shocked for a moment, and then almost immediately replaced it with a look of anger. He turned away from her and walked away without a reply, while Eni retreated to her desk, emptied her drawer and walked out of the office at 12 noon; vowing never to return.
The journey to Femi’s place was quicker than normal. Eni was particularly grateful for that as she’d had a shitty day so far and the last thing she needed was a delayed journey. She knew she should call Femi, her boyfriend of 3 years, and fiancée of 2 months, but she wanted to be able to walk into his arms and feel the comfort of a loving man without pre-warning him. She knew Femi would be home today as it was his day off, and anyway, he was expecting her later today, so a few hours earlier would not make a big difference.
Wiping her tears off her face; Eni jumped off the bus and walked to Femi’s place, eager to slide into his bed and weep her eyes out. The fear of job hunting again coupled with the mounting bills caused by Wales’s incessant use of electricity made situations worse. She really couldn’t wait to get married. She clutched her bag full of wedding ideas and magazines and increased her pace.
Reaching for the rusty brass knob on the door and knocking loudly, Eni smiled for the first time that day; as she heard Femi reaching for his slippers and rush downstairs. His was always so noisy when doing things. Eni knew him like the back of her hand.
‘Coming dear’ Femi shouted from the hallway. Eni wondered for half a second how he knew it was her... Must be telepathy; she mused to herself and massaged her diamond ring.
Opening the door widely, Femi let her in with a sexy half smile, but not before Eni saw the look of shock cross over his futures. He almost seemed to have been surprised it was her. Eni dismissed the seed of evil thought quickly.
Walking into Femi’s usually untidy sitting room, Eni was surprised to find it wiped clean and smelling fresh.
‘sweetie.. c’mere’ said Femi, holding out both arms for a hug. Eniola melted easily into his arms and began to cry softly.
‘I- I left- resigned from Callacab today’ she wept softly, hiccupping mid sentence.
‘Shsss… don’t you worry about it, you will be ok’ said Femi, slowing planting a kiss on her forehead.
Eni nodded and enjoyed the comfort he gave her. Suddenly, the door bell rang, followed by the rusty door knocker.
‘ go upstairs now , I’m coming to meet you- It must be the bailiffs’ Femi said with a slight urgency as he loosened his grip on her and walked towards the door, stopping only for a second to ensure Eniola went upstairs.
Eni walked into Femi’s room and gasped at the neatness of it too. ‘This man must be changing for the better, thank God’ whispered Eniola as she sunk her self into the bed, closing her very tired eyelids in sleep.
Gboa! The sound tore right through her brain and translated in very intense pain. No, it was not a brain haemorrhage; it was actually a hot slap-Followed by screams of ‘ gb’oko gb’oko, husband snatcher, u better get off from that bed before I twist your hair’. Eni opened her eyes slowly due to the hurting left side of her face where the slap had landed. She was looking into the eyes of a very fat, multi coloured woman. The woman must have had about 4 different colours on her skin, comprising blue, red, green and the African yellow bleached colour. She also smelt of decaying bleaching cream.
‘Yuewck, who are you?’ asked Eniola, now sitting up in bed and rubbing her bruised cheek. ‘Femi?’ she called out.
‘Femi oshi wo?, who ees your Femi?’ the woman screamed out in a deep Yoruba accent.
‘Taw, calm down now, you are disgracing us’ Eniola heard Femi respond, almost whispering..
Taw ke? This MUST be his mum, she was wrinkly, bleached but worst of all, hugely illiterate. Femi was polished, educated and smooth, their match was impossible. …but why would she call me husband snatcher? Eniola sprung out of bed and knelt down automatically.
‘I’m sorry ma, Good afternoon ma, Femi did not tell me you were coming ma’ gushed Eniola, the pain in her cheek still livid.
‘Tani?? WHO? FEK you, beeeeelsh, FEK u Fekin beelnch. who ees your murther?, I heard about you since last year o, but I say otio, lai lai, not my Femi..mind you, I am Femi’s common law wife of 4 years, so u better get out of my husbaind’s house before I slap you eestra slap that will gif you eyes that can see- blind asahawo’ she screamed while violently dragging Eniola off the floor and flinging her into the hallway.
Eniola missed hitting her head on the door post as she was being thrown. Her glasses had broken in the ruffle. ‘What’s this Femi?’ cried Eniola struggling to block out the torrent of insults falling out of the strange woman’s lips. The woman was cursing and spitting venom.
Femi did not respond, did not say one word. He only moved towards her, wrapped her in a jacket and pushed her outside the door- before shutting the door quietly behind him, and retreating back into the cone of the strange woman’s screams and tears.