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Sunday, August 14, 2016

The Old Flame (1)



  It was way past lunch time and Oluchi was already feeling the pangs of hunger. That morning, before leaving home, she had not taken breakfast as was her habit. She did not like eating so early in the morning and often took some mid morning snacks before lunch time.

 But she had been too busy all morning to have time for brunch. 

  Yawning, she got up and stretched her tired limbs before resuming her seat. She still had a lot of work to do on a report her boss wanted delivered before the close of work, so food would have to wait.


 Just then, Lola, her colleague came in, an excited look on her round face.

  "They are here!" she said eagerly.

  Oluchi eyed her curiously.

  "Who?"
  "The new managers from Rockwell. I saw them when I went to Angie's office," she said. She explained that Angie had told her that her boss, the Managing Director along with some other top directors of the company would be relieved of their posts.

 "She said the new owners want to take over the management and running of the company as soon as possible. They are holding a meeting right now." Lola paused then added:

 "I'm scared o!"

 "Of what?" asked Oluchi.

 "The new people! I heard they are planning to retrench workers. I don't want to lose my job! Things are already tough as it is in the country with the bad economy. Imagine not having a job! What will I do? How will I live? How will..."

 "Take it easy, Lola!" said Oluchi. "Even if they sack, what makes you think you'll be affected? Just do your job and stay hopeful."

 "I hope you are right. I just feel anxious though..." she said uncertainly.

  Though she looked calm and unconcerned, Oluchi was worried too about her fate and that of the other staff. With the arrival of the the new management of the company, things were bound to change. 'Hope the change won't cause too much pain to us,' she thought grimly.

 She shut down her computer and picked up her purse.

 "I'm off to the canteen in case anyone looks for me," she said as she headed for the door of the small office.

 "Get some doughnuts and a soft drink for me," Lola said.

 "But you just had lunch! You can't be hungry again so soon."

 Lola shrugged. "I don't know what's wrong with me. I feel hungry all the time. Maybe it's all this anxiety and stress."
 "You better watch it before you become as big as an elephant!" Oluchi said before exiting the room.

The following morning, she was on her way to the marketing department on the third floor of the office complex to cross check some sales figures when she bumped into someone at the top of the stairs. 

 Actually, she had been scrutinizing the sheets of paper in her hand and had not been looking where she was going.

 The papers fell from her hand and scattered on the ground.

 "Sorry," a voice said as she bent to pick them. 

 "It's ok. It was my fault. I wasn't looking and..."
 "My God! Oluchi! Is this really you?" the man said.

  She stiffened on hearing that voice and as she straightened up, her eyes opened wide in wonder as they beheld the face she thought she would never see again...

To be continued...



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