“Get out Kevin.”
He shrugged and made to leave before turning
“Oh, and the manager wants to see you.” He said
before shutting the door.
He just had to have the last word. Now I felt myself
turning cold, dreading what was to come.
A few minutes later, I knocked on Mr Hassan’s
door and waited for his reply before walking in. He
was a stern man who had built his business up
from scratch to what it is today. The famous story
is that the great restaurant, Exquisite , started out
with only N10,000 and a lot of determination.
“What happened out there? I heard the commotion
all the way from my office.” His piercing eyes
stared at me, waiting for an answer.
“I had a small accident while serving a customer.”
“I trust you’ve cleared that up and apologised
“Good. This should never repeat itself, do you
I nodded and waited for him to dismiss me.
“Which section did you serve today?” He asked
He was silent for a moment and his eyes seemed
“Starting from next week, you will serve in the
Reserved Area. There’s been a shortage of staff
ever since Bukky resigned. Besides, excluding
today’s mishap, you’ve been one of my loyal
workers so far. Talk to Kayla after work today,
she’ll tell you what to do. Now, you can leave.”
As I walked out of his office, I was beyond
confused. The Reserved Area wasn’t just for
anybody. The customers who went there weren’t
your average Lagosian. They were secluded in a
private wing of the restaurant and they even had a
different menu altogether. Getting moved to a
higher section was considered a promotion
amongst the staff but what really amazed me was
that Mr Hassan promoted me after I had clearly
just made a blunder. Talk about irony.
“How did it go?” Daniel asked when I came out.
“Don’t tell me everyone knows I was called into
the manager’s office.”
“News travels fast around here Dami.”
He was practically repeating the words I’d said to
“I realise that. Anyway,” I smiled. “I’m going to be
working in the Reserved Area from next week.”
“No way. VIP?”
“Why would I lie about that?”
“Wow, that’s huge. Good luck.” He nodded with an
“Thanks, I almost can’t believe it myself.”
“Make sure you tell me what goes on in there, you
can be my informant.”
I laughed as we went back to our workstation. Not
up to 5 minutes later, another impatient customer
yelled for service. I glanced at Daniel and he
gestured for me to stay put. Neither of us wanted a
repeat of the scenario earlier. I set about arranging
the cutlery instead.
Thank God I’ll be out of here soon.
But little did I know that my unexpected promotion
came with its side effects.
When I got to my dorm room after work, I juggled
the task of finding my room keys along with
holding my phone tucked between my shoulder
and ear. I was on the phone with Toyin, my elder
sister who could talk a mile per minute when she
was excited and she had every right to be. After
all, she’ll be getting married in a couple of
”Ah Dami, I’m finished!”
I nearly dropped my phone in shock. Quickly, I
pushed the door open and dropped my keys on the
“What happened? Are you alright?”
“Can you imagine? The caterer just called a few
minutes ago to tell me that instead of the Red
Velvet cake with Chocolate Mousse filling and
Vanilla Buttercream frosting I ordered, he made a
plain Vanilla cake! Who the heck wants plain
Vanilla on their wedding day? Is he deaf or he’s
trying to jinx my wedding?”
I removed the phone from my ear, stared at it in
disbelief and held it up again.
“Pardon?” I asked.
“Oh, abi you too you’re deaf?”
“I thought you had a crisis.” I said.
“Of course this is a crisis. It’s my wedding we’re
talking about here.”
“Toyin, the wedding is just one day. What about
the actual marriage?”
“The journey of a thousand miles begins with one
step. The wedding day is the first step Dami, and it
has to start out on the right foot.”
I sighed. She had me there.
“Anyway, what do you plan on doing about this?”
“I simply said I won’t pay a dime until it’s fixed.
It’s Red Velvet cake or nothing.”
“We both know you won’t bypass a wedding cake,
“Exactly, so my cake has to be ready.”
After that, I managed to divert her attention
towards other issues that didn’t have to do with
flour and eggs. When we ended the call, I yawned
and looked around. My roommate obviously hadn’t
been in the room today. Sometimes, the girl
disappeared for days at a stretch before suddenly
showing up again. We didn’t even talk much, how
could you be friends with someone you rarely even
see and who ignores you half the time?
After getting dinner ready, I set about preparing for
the new semester which was to start in a few days.
I was one of those students who was always early
to arrive on campus. Call me overambitious, I
don’t mind. I’d just finished arranging my clothes
for each day of the week when I heard a knock on
the door. I frowned and turned in its direction. I
rarely have visitors and if it was my roommate
Chioma, she wouldn’t knock because she has her
I looked through the peephole but didn’t see
anyone. I’ve never been a paranoid person, but
something about this seemed odd. Gently, I
opened the door and searched the hallway. No one
was outside and all the other dorm rooms were
locked. I took a step forward and my foot hit an
object on the floor. I glanced down to find a plain
package wrapped in brown paper.
It was like a scene out of a horror movie, except
there was no creepy music.
I picked up the package, praying I wouldn’t turn
into a tuber of yam. After all, these are hard times
of recession and everyone wants free food. After
checking to see that all my limbs were still intact, I
went back into the room and opened the package.
My brows wrinkled in confusion when a white shirt
fell out, it was a masculine design. Was this
someone’s idea of a joke? A secret admirer who
couldn’t even pick out the right style of clothes?
That was when I saw it; the huge oil stain on the
front of the shirt and there was only one place
where I’d seen a shirt in this exact same style. My
heart raced in my chest as I hurriedly jerked the
door open to see if he was still hanging around,
but the hallway was empty and I stood alone.
It was then I realised that I had been followed.
A soiled shirt? I know I would start locking all the
windows, What would you have done if it were
you? Tell us in the comment section below.
Episode 3 to be continued