VENUE: IMMACULATE STUDIO, Lagos Island.
So there Zainab was, sitting on the sofa and wondering was was possibly going through E.A’s mind as he called her name out loud.
“Yea, any problem?” she replied as casually as she could.
“No, not really. You are doing an awesome job even though am fully aware the questions you have asked so far isn’t from the script we gave you…” E.A replied sounding kind of sarcastic.
Zainab shrugged, “Those questions were to vague na, just check this one out,” she picked up the script which was on a table close by and scanned through it in search of something, then suddenly her eyes went bright in excitement, “Enhen, look at this question, “what is your favourite colour?”, who wants to know what 3face favourite colour is on a relationship talk show? That’s why I decided to go deep.”
“Yea yea, I know and I agree with you, I’ll have a talk with my script writers after today’s shoot. But that’s by the way, and not why I came her,” E.A said.
“Oh!” She exclaimed, “so why are you here?” She asked with a raised eyebrow.
“I know this is probably the wrong time to say this but, I’ve been staring at you all day through that camera, “he turned and pointed at the camera,”and I’ve come to the conclusion that no one on this earth is more beautiful than you, Zainab, am really attracted to you and you know this, so why do you keep pushing me away?”
Zainab was speechless, she had a lot of things in her mind and adding E.A wahala to the list wasn’t part of it.
“E.A am sorry but I…”
“Don’t reply now, you might say what I don’t want to here, how about I take you out for dinner after this shoot so we can talk better, I’ll take you anywhere! Just name it,” E.A cut in.
“E.A its not like I’m pushing you away, its just that …”
“Please don’t say no,” E.A cut in again, this time with the best puppy face he could conjure.
Zainab shrugged, sighed and closed her eyes for a second. Going out with this guy can’t cause any harm na, its even a guarantee of free good food, she thought, “Okay then, but I don’t want anywhere too fancy, you don’t have to try and impress me, okay?” She replied trying to sound modest.
“Yes!” He then leaned to hug Zainab, then walked out of the stage smiling.
“Okay time up people, we roll in 5… 4…3…2…1… Action!!”
* * * * *
John wasn’t sure about how exactly he was expected to react to what Jummy had just told him, he didn’t know either he should be sad and say sorry, or be angry and actually do something about it, he took a deep breath and went for the easier option, “Jummy am so sorry,” he paused and then continued, “why were you sacked anyway?”
Jummy had already dried her eyes, if she had lost her job, at least, she still had John, or so she thought.
“I dunno, I think it has something to do with me about not being available for some days and not calling the company to let them know, or me screaming at a customer today at work, I don’t know which one warranted the sack”
John was disappointed, he couldn’t believe someone can be so evil as to fire a staff for being absent even though the staff had a reason as genuine as a serious motor accident.
“Who exactly sacked you an how did he do it? I mean, what were his words?” John asked in annoyance, he just couldn’t picture the scene and wanted to know more details, he wasn’t really bothered about Jummy loosing her job because with just one call from him, Jummy would be employed in a better company, he was that influential.
“I dunno yet, all I got was a sack letter, let me even read the content directly to you,” she quickly opened the letter and after scanning through the address and all those plenty stories at the first paragraph of letters then she read out loud over the phone, “This is to certify that you, Miss Jumoke Olukoya, for you diligent and consistent hard work have just been promoted from a low level customer care agent to the post of assistant branch manager, please see the personnel officer for further instructions! Congratulation,” Jummy was confused at first, she didn’t understand a sh1t from what she just read, with a straight face, she dropped the phone, even though John was already screaming “congratulations” over the line since he understood what just happened.
Jummy read the letter three consecutive times, thinking she had read it wrongly the former time, and the letter still remained the same, Jummy dropped the letter and jumped on her table screaming “Yes!!! Finally! Oh my gosh!” And other things, the sudden stare of the other employees made her realise she was over reacting, she murmured a sorry and sank back into her chair still excited, she picked up the phone and said, “John, I’ll call you later on, I have something I need to do now!”
John replied, “Yea, I know you do, I’ll be expecting your call, bye” he hung up.
Jummy looked around and stared at her fellow employees, busy talking to annoying customers over the phone in their tiny cubicle, she then stood up and headed to Mrs Ogbonaya office, they had some scores to settle.
* * * * *
After a rough journey, Richard finally got back to the hotel. He had to board a bike to the nearest ATM and beg the bike man to wait while he queued and after an hour, it finally got to his turn, only for the ATM machine to seize his card, with annoyance he stormed out of the line and into the bank.
“Where is the manager of this useless bank!” He screamed to no one in particular, everybody just stared at him and was hoping the security guards would hold him before a bit someone.
Richard saw a sign board which had “Customer services” written on it, he walked towards it and slammed his hands on the table, “I want to see you bank manager now!” He yelled at the lady.
“Sir please calm down and have a sit, what is the problem?” She asked politely, but Richard was too angry.
“I didn’t say ‘where is the chair’ or ‘I want to sit down’, I said WHERE IS THE BANK MANAGER OF THIS USELESS BANK?!!!” Richard replied, laying emphasis on every single word.
“Sir, if you would just tell me your problem, maybe I’ll be able to help, the manager is in a meeting and wouldn’t want to be disturbed,” she replied calmly once again.
It became obvious to Richard that nothing he could say or do would make this lady to take him to the manager, so he calmed down a little, “my ATM card just got withheld by one of your machines,” he finally said.
“Was the card issued by Diamond bank plc?”
“Yes, it was. See, I don’t have time for all this your who wants to be a millionaire questions, I just need my card now and some money, that’s all”
“Sir, we can’t open the machine now and bring out your card, you have to come tomorrow for that, if you really need some money now, you can withdraw through the counter”
Richard looked at the counter and saw the long queue, he couldn’t bear another round,
“I can’t go there and stand for another one hour, a bike man is waiting for me outside and I need to get somewhere tonight, so if you aren’t going to do something about it now, better get me your bank manager,” Richard threatened.
“I understand sir, just fill the teller, I’ll hand it over to the cashier myself now,” the lady replied and handed Richard a blank teller and 10 minutes later, he walked out of the bank with more money than he had ever held at once, he had a feeling he might be needing to spend a lot soon, really soon.
Well, all of that was hours ago. As he walked into his room, he jumped on his bed, while lying down, he made a call,
“Hello, this is barrister Anthony” the recipient said as he picked the call.
“Hey Tony, this is Richard, I’ll be needing your services, can we see tomorrow and talk?” Richard asked.
“Yea, sure nah, just come to the office by 1pm, we would talk over lunch,” Tony replied.
“Okay then, see you later, thanks,” Richard replied and hung up, he wasn’t going down without a fight too.
* * * * *
Meanwhile, BACK IN THE STUDIO…
“Welcome back from the short commercial break, if you just joining us, then you aren’t too late, we just asked our celebrity guests some question, and now the phone lines are opened to you guys, you can call in and ask your questions.
Since the show wasn’t a Live Show, E.A had to make some of his employees who obviously had some questions to call, over the intercom of course.
“Okay, we have our first caller.” Zainab pressed a button and picked the call, putting it on loud speaker. “Hello, you on to Single and Married and I’m Zainab, what’s your name and where are you calling from?”
“Hello Zainab, my name is Maurice, and I’m calling from Oshodi,” the caller replied.
“Hi Maurice, we have two celebrity guests in the studio here with us, 3face and P-cube, do you have any questions to ask them?”
“Yes, I do”
“Okay, go ahead then, am sure they are listening.”
“Okay, thanks, err.. Hi P-cube…”
“Hey! Hello Maurice, how you doing?” Prosper replied.
“Am good, okay, this question is directed to you guy collectively. Rumours going all around is that the most cute bachelors, that is you guys, are off the market, how true is that?”
Prosper laughed, “I you are trying to ask if we are engaged then you are quite right, Philip is engaged but am not engaged yet…”
“Wow! So you mean you are still in the market?” Maurice asked mischievously.
Prosper chuckled, “Not exactly,” he replied, trying to kill two birds with one stone.
Maurice was about to push further “But.. I was wondering..” When Zainab intervened.
“Okay, thanks for calling maurice,” and she hung up. “We have a new caller, hello you on to single and married…what’s your name and where are you calling from?”
“Hello, am Eric and I’m calling from Ijegun, Lagos,” it was E.A calling.
“Okay, Eric, you know the drills right? So just go ahead,” Zainab replied.
“Okay, this question is directed to 3face… So 3face, you can have almost any Nigerian girl you want but still ain’t married, why if I may ask?”
3face forces a smile to hide his frown, he was already regretting accepting Zainab’s Invitation.
“Cut!” He suddenly yelled without even thinking, to the surprise of everyone in the studio.
TO BE CONTINUED.