ANNIE

Annie had walked to the end of the long street before finally going back home the day she had the interview. That night, sleep eluded her. She had prayed more than ever that night and had conversed with her subconscious about the worse that could happen if she didn’t get that job. She had decided that a lot of worse things will happen if she didn’t get the job or any other soon. She had to do something quickly.

Today made it a month since after the interview and still no feedback from that company. Even the other companies she applied to still haven’t called her. Most days, she felt depressed and frustrated, other days she felt completely disconnected from the world, her environment and her family. She had stopped calling home and stopped taking their calls as well. she had stopped going to church and totally blanked out from even herself. She needed that closure.

On this particular night, she decided to visit her regular online job sites to check for vacancies and to apply. The light had been fluctuating since morning and just as she was about plugging in her laptop to charge, it was lights out again. So she decided to go for her routine stroll.

……………

The stroll was therapeutic as usual. She was able to enjoy the noise and the chaos of Idewu street. The noise came in varieties; cars honking, okadas zooming past like flying bats with the riders not caring if they knocked the wind out of anyone in their way and the passengers cussing and praying under their breath to arrive their destination without breaking a leg, film rentals shop owners competing for attention as they blasted igbo, yoruba and foreign songs, barbing salons entertaining just one customer with hit songs from Wizkid and other young Nigerian artistes, little kids playing outside their compounds and waiting for their parents to return from work or their hustles and full time housewives who’s decided to trade in the evenings only, displaying their wares of sweets, oranges and roasted corn by the road side, haggling prices with customers excitedly.

It was indeed a beautiful chaotic symphony of voices and people she thought as she walked back home.

………………….

The light was back by the time she got home and she quickly plugged her laptop. She heard a knock on her door and went to check reluctantly. It was Mama David. Gosh! the woman was a pain in her neck.

“Good evening Mama David”
“Erm, Annie, how nau? Abeg give me salt there”
“Okay. I’m coming”
Annie went to her cupboard and brought out a sachet of salt and handed it over to Mama David. With her face lit up in excitement, Mama David exclaimed with gratitude.
“Hei! Thank you o! Chai, this one go last me for one month. Eya! You do well for me my dear.”
Annie rolled her eyes and quickly smiled as she replied,
“No wahala Ma. Good night”

Annie sighed with relief as she bolted her door. Her neighbors won’t be the death of her she mused. They were always coming to borrow one thing or the other from her and she was tired already cos she couldn’t find herself refusing them. Mama David was a mother of five and a full time house wife whose husband found joy in bashing her face every month like a tradition so she found herself particularly nice to the woman. The other women in the compound found her as a resource house too and sometimes, it could be really exhausting but she indulged them anyways. In this part of Lagos, no man or woman is an Island.

………………………

She was undressing for bed when her phone rang. She picked it up to check and when she saw the caller ID, she cussed under her breath as this was the last person she wanted to speak with but she picked anyways.

“Hi Terry”
“Hey babe! What’s up?”
“I’m alright, thanks.” Terry said excitedly
“Ummm, look Terry, I thought about our conversation. I’ll give it a shot but you’ll have to give me more time” Annie said
“Nada babe, I’m outside your house like right now. We have to go now. I already talked to the manager of the place about you and he’s dying to meet you in person”
“Oh no… I’m not prepared Terry” Annie replied worried
“Come on! Just wear whatever you have and I’ll handle the rest”
Annie hesitated for a bit before replying “Okay. Just give me some minutes”

Annie hung up and scratched her head. This is going to be a long night, she thought out loud. She was scared but she had to go with the flow. What she’s going for, who she’s going to meet, was something she’ll beat herself over when she returned in the morning for now, she wasn’t going to over think things.

She dressed up and went out to meet Terry.

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