An Online Christian Fiction.
©Mogbojuri, Olufunke Hadassah (The Author of Bruised Bimbo)
Sixteen Months Earlier
It was Monday morning. She hated Mondays. Her head of department had given her some companies’ vouchers to work on. She was engrossed with her work. Her desk partner, Segun, had gone for his lunch break. Sunmi decided to stay behind to finish so, she would have ample time to relax, and pick up another file to work on. Her head was bent over the keyboard when her phone rang. She checked the caller to decide if she was going to pick the call or not. It was Chioma, her best friend and roommate during her undergraduate days. She ignored the call, hoping to call her back.
Chioma’s call came in again. “Why is this lady calling me at this time of the day nau.” She answer the call.
“Hello babe,” Sunmi adjusted her earpiece while her gaze was fixed on the excel sheet she was working on.
“How your life?” Chioma asked from the other end.
“You don’t know that someone is busy at work abi? Why are you disturbing me now.”
Chioma laughed. “Like I’m not busy at work too right. You should be happy that there’s someone calling you.”
“You called me to tell me that I should be happy that you are calling me. You well so?” Sunmi said in pidgin and laughed.
“So, I can’t call you again ni?”
“I’m not saying you can’t call me. But, I’m busy, I have a target. My boss…
“hiya. Tell your boss that I, your senior his boss called you…”
“Yeye girl. I will give you his number so, you will talk to him.” The both laughed .
“So, What’s up? What’s the gist?” Sunmi asked.
“Haba, can’t I call to greet you again?”
“Madam, I will cut this call ooo. I’m busy…”
“Ndo ooo. Madam busy busy. It’s lunch hour and you are forming busy. Cut the call and see if I will not keep disturbing you with calls till your battery is flat.”
“Arhgggg.” Sunmi rolled her eyes. “When exactly will you change. You are wasting airtime you know?”
“Come come come. Is it your airtime?” Chioma retorted.
“Honestly you can’t change.” Sunmi laughed.
“ Na you sabi. Anyway, there is this skill acquisition program that we are organizing in my church for fresh graduates. I am part of the organizing committee and the program will run for four Saturdays…”
“So, you are inviting me to come and learn a skill abi?” Sunmi laughed.
“Gerrout joor and listen. You don’t know when someone is joking and when someone is serious.”
“Oh! Madam serious. So you can be serious now. Okay oooo. I’m listening .” Sunmi teased.
“Like I was saying, the program will run for four Saturdays. We are looking at teaching skills that are uncommon. That people hardly pay attention to. The program will be divided into two sectors. There would be training on employability skills and training on entrepreneurship skills. Under the entrepreneurship skills, we have four different sectors that we will be training people on. Farming is part of it. I told my team that I have a friend who’s into snail farming and I would contact her to know if she could…
“So, I should come and teach the secret of my trade?” Sunmi cut in.
“Like you didn’t learn from somewhere.” Chioma smirked.
“How much are you willing to pay?”
“Name your price.”
“uh-huh. You guys can’t pay me” They both laughed.
“Let me think about it. I’m always working round the clock. You need to see the workload from my boss” She lowered her voice and mimicked her boss. “ Sunmi work on this file. Sunmi, finish this work fast. Sunmi you can work from home on weekends. Sunmi, we need you to go to the headquarters, Sunmi this, Sunmi that….” She hissed “Very lazy man. All he knows how to do is to womanize.” she hissed again.
Chioma could not contain her laugher.
“He has toasted you like bread before right.” She asked, still laughing.
“He knows his boundary. He doesn’t try rubbish with me. That’s why he is always looking for how to punish me with work.”
“Resign then if you don’t want to work. Lazy girl. “
“If I resign, you will feed me ehn? Which of the Saturdays did you pick for me jare.
“We are yet to fix a Saturday for you. You should choose a Saturday that is convenient for you.
“Okay. I’ll check my calendar and get back to you.
“Alright. Let me know when you’ll be coming so that we’ll forward an official invite to your mail. “
“ Eeeeee. For your mind. You are doing official things with me.” Sunmi teased and asked “How’s your husband and kids?”
“They are fine ooo, my friend.”
“Send my regards to them.”
“Dem go hear.”
Chioma dropped the call and Sunmi went back to her rounding off her work. She worked in an Audit form. .
After her mandatory National Youth Service, she could not get a job. Her friend, Chioma had gotten a job immediately after they graduated. They were still waiting for their posting when Chioma got the job and she redeployed back to Lagos from Kaduna to continue working. Enjoying the benefits of a staff and as well as a Corps member. for the company. She got married during her service year. Sunmi was worried about her inability to secure a job, even with her _two one_ . Chioma, She kept praying and hoping for job. One of her father’s friends had advised her to take professional courses. “People don’t employ ordinary degree holder’s again,” the elderly man told her with disdain as if Sunmi’s two one in financial Accounting, was a threat to him.
Having been tired of sitting at home, submitting her CVs, Sunmi decided to pick up a teaching job, while she attended weekend classes for professional courses in accounting and financial management.
She had taught in Royal High College during a long university strike in her final year and so, she went back to the school, to teach. It was also during the period she attended a workshop on snail farming.
After the seminar, she started a little snail farm. She got old motor tyres and placed them on each other. She placed an iron net to cover the tyres to ensure that the snails don’t crawl out. Her intention was to breed and eat the snails but, they birth in large numbers. She eventually built a bigger shade behind their building close to the fence. The snails breed more and grew large. Sarah SLim, her friend in the choir, posted pictures of the snails on her blog and helped her advertised. Soon, she had people placing orders and she started making money from her snail farm
After she got a job in the Audit firm, she no longer had time for the snails. She pleaded with their security guard to help her breed the snails. She showed him how to feed, water and remove their excreta. The middle aged man was happy to help. Sunmi compensated him handsomely after every sales.
Who would have thought that she would one day be invited to teach snail farming? She smiled. She had plans on expanding the business. The last time she took inventory, that was some months back, she had about three thousand big sized ones, ready for sales and more than five growing ones. She delivered to major restaurants on the island. Snail farming had taught her patience, persistence, dedication and consistency. All these she would say before her teaching, she noted mentally and smiled at herself unconsciously.
“Why is Omo Iya smiling?” Segun, her desk partner walked into the office and asked. He was in his late thirties. The day he knew that he was from the same village with Sunmi’s mother, he, he stopped calling her by her name. He addressed her as Omo Iya.
“Nothing Uncle Segun.” Sunmi flashed her white teeth at him.
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