‘Honey is it you? What’s wrong? the husband asked.
‘Nothing bad. But we have just received a cable from Lagos that one of our Chiefs will be visiting us tomorrow. And so, the senior staff will be holding a meeting after working hours to decide on the impromptu visit’s preparation….’
‘ Meaning I’ll be back anytime from 8pm.’
‘Be careful while you drive in the night’.
‘Be assured of that. With love….’ she concluded.
She had made her way okay for the day. Herself and the Chief Accountant will settle it on the sofa for as long as they wished.
The phone on her table rang.
‘Hello,? she answered. ‘This is Xol…..Xol Bank Ltd.’
‘Is that Mrs Owo?’, the masculine voice asked. Amid laughter she replied.
‘Surely. Surely…..Mr Jack…. I have nearly mistaken your voice for one of our Chiefs in
Lagos….How was your day today?
‘Why lonesomeness, isn’t your wife around or some of those acada girls you chase around?’
There was a pause from the other end. The man felt stung. He had lost his wit of recent since the the accident the previous month.
‘Where would you be heading for lunch this afternoon?, the man changed the topic cautiously.
‘At the usual….Green virgin…’
‘Do I come along?’
”Make up your mind…You complained of lonesomeness’.
‘That’s not the immediate issue….’
‘What is burning on your mind? she asked with a tinge of joke.
The man laughed from the other end.
‘ Is that the burning issue?’ she queried deeper.
Their questions were of hide-and-seek nature.
They knew what each other was up to but who was to let the cat out of the bag?
At 12.15 pm Mrs Owo stepped into Green Virgin Motel, along Bedhill side Avenue.
Mr Jack was waiting already. He was seated at the far end of the cozy motel. The lunch was a quick one. Presently, they vanished down the long passage with rooms on each side. They entered room number 8. The key turned in it’s hole….kpaam
There was a dump. A creaking noise escaped from the room.
At home. The husband and wife listened to National Network News on the tele. The woman had a fat book titled, Woman.
‘Darling’, she called, ‘we’ll be having a seminar at Lagos very soon’.
‘When in particular?’
‘Sometime in May….. The exact date is yet to get communicated to us from the HQs.’
‘What will the seminar be this time?…. I think you attended one last year. Barely nine months today?
‘Surely, so. But the recent expansion which has demanded more departments like Corporate Affairs, created calls for tutelage of a kind. There is need to know the kind and job quality of the staff to be employed or transfered from the existing departments to the new. And more often than not, the crises that had just hit our branch since last year has not been totally settled…. You remember the case of the boy who was caught while about to claim some five hundred naira after he had forged the signatures of both the Chief Accountant and that of the Branch Manager…’
‘Yes, but you employed that boy. How? How did you conduct the interview without also knowing that his credentials were also falsified in detail?’ the husband queried like a C.I.D.
‘It wasn’t my fault’.
‘Then whose? And you are in charge of staff recruitment. So, who has the fault?
‘I was working under instructions!’
‘That of a Board member who also happens to be an EXCO member of the State.’
‘ Doesn’t your man know about the falsications before instructing you?’
‘I suppose, he should’.
‘And did you mention it before the probe panel?’
‘How could I have done that, you ask’, the husband’s voice hardened with seriousness. ‘ And you preferred to have your name, my name dragged into the mud because of a worthless man.?’
‘I did that to keep my job.’
‘To keep your job. What about your reputation? Which amongst the two excels? Which matters in life? Which do you prefer?…..To keep your job not so?
The husband shook his head in utter disgust.
‘That is why, whenever I stepped into the bank, those kids on the counter look at me with disdain and scorn. Just because of you. And you are bold to say such.’To keep my job’. What nasty job?