Memoirs Of An Unclad Preacher #17

The New Online Series

It was quarter past nine when Mariam came to call Dennis for the meeting. Two out of the three  club guys Alfred and Philip, the woman Ireti Babatunde and two other new faces, an older man who he later got to know as Mr. Jide Coker and a very young man who looked like he was the head of the board. Abdullah was talking with the young guy when he came in with Mariam. As soon as he came in, the young man faced the rest of the board and started the meeting.
“As you all know, this meeting was called by Mr. ‘Savage and it was just minutes ago he told me the reason for the meeting but I would let him do say what his concerns are.”
He gestured to Abdullah to take the stand.
“Thank you all for indulging me though my call wasn’t one that looked like it needed urgency.”
He stood up and continued talking. “When I started working for this company, I signed a contract that said that if there would be a new writer to be employed, he would not be given his appointment letter until I know about the appointment. I was in France for some months and came back just three days ago when I heard that there was a new employee and he was a writer. I approached Ms. Simmons concerning what I heard and she confirmed it. I told her right then that I was not okay with how that was done behind my back so I called for this meeting.’ We all know the options in the contract if it happened to be violated. And just to be clear on this, I have nothing bad to say concerning the new employee, he looks like he could be a big help to the magazine, but whatever decision you take, I will be okay with it.”
The young guy spoke now. “Thank you Abdullah and we are sorry for the decision we took.” He turned to face the remaining board members. “We all have heard what Abdullah said and we know what we must do but we have two options to pick from so it would be ideal to call for a vote but before then I would like to talk to Mr. Dennis.”
“It is not our culture to bring in employees to board meetings even if it is their life we are discussing, I decided to go past it because I heard that you have not been able to resume work until today and you don’t know how we work yet. You are a very young employee and it won’t be okay for us to just let you go without you knowing everything that was involved. So please, accept my sincere apology for the stress we’ve caused you but if you don’t mind now, you can wait outside.”
Dennis stood up and walked out of the conference room. He never even expected that he could be treated that well. He expected them to just tell him they were sorry but they just had to let him go but with the ways things were it looked like he could have a chance to continue working only if he knew what they had to do to keep him.
He stood outside for over ten minutes waiting for someone to come and call him. They had stayed too long in that room for just the vote, his hope began to dwindle. Maybe it was something very difficult so they can’t give Abdullah what he wants and maybe they still wanted him to be in the job.
Mariam came to call him after almost thirty minutes he had left them, she smiled at him for just a split second. He didn’t know what to make of that maybe they would be keeping him and she was happy for him or they would have to let him go and she was trying to make him know that she was there for him as a friend.
The tension in the room seemed to have heightened a great deal. It was the chairman that spoke as soon as he had his sit.
“There is no need to make this any more tensed. Mr. Dennis, we have decided that we would keep you so you can go back to your office and continue with your work.”
He knew that all was not okay yet, none of the board members stood up to leave which meant that they still had a lot to discuss and probably about him. He was only able to smile for a second. He now understood why Mariam was not able to smile at him for long.
“Thank you sir.” He walked out the room not feeling elated that he still had the job. That feeling that something bad was still going to happen that day hung around him.
He walked into his office feeling a little bit at home there. He could now begin to plan to bring some of his stuffs there. He was happy that he had a job at last and it was then he remembered Jane, he had not thought if her all morning. She would be very happy that he had the job. He wouldn’t call her to tell, let her keep thinking of what happened till he gets home.
He had decided that he would bring all his Dean Koontz collection to the office; he never got tired of reading every one of them. Mariam came in a little after one hour he had been dismissed; she didn’t look like she wanted to talk at all. He wondered what it was that Abdullah had them sign that was now difficult to fulfill.
“Hey friend, what is wrong? I am guessing things didn’t go well after I left.”
“Even before you arrived, things have not been well. We are all just trying to make sure that this company keeps running no matter what and it seems like it would cost us our future.”
“I don’t understand what you are saying Mariam.”
“Why don’t we go out for lunch together today, I could use some listening ears you know?”  Mariam said.
Dennis replied “of course, it would be nice, been looking for someone to bore me with their story guess you’ll have to do.”
“Alright then, I would come get you when it is time. Let me get back to work now.” She stood up from the chair and walked out of his office with such lack luster that he could hardly believe it was Mariam. He was now sure that something was definitely wrong in the company and he wished he could help.
He sat by his desk and papers were brought to him to edit and passed on to the editor fir proofreading. He didn’t have much work to do so most of the time he just searched online for novels he could download so he could be reading them.
When it was two minutes past one, Mariam came back, her mood was slightly improved. Her moodiness didn’t show in her walk and her face had brightened up a bit.
“I see someone has been busy….” She said as she came round to his desk and saw the list of novels that he downloaded.
“I guess I have decided to keep myself busy when there is no much work to do.” He replied.
“I guess that would be for now because not long from now, we would have to release a new segment for you in the magazine.”
“We can always talk about that later. But I thought you said we would be having lunch together?” Dennis asked.
“Sure, I am sorry, I was almost forgetting that. I should think you have not visited any of the restaurant in the area right?”
“I guess you would be correct. So where would we be going to?” Dennis asked.
“The place I have been going to since I joined this company. When we get there you would see why anyone would love the place.”
“Then let us be on way.” Mariam led the way out of the office building; they trekked a few blocks down the street before turning right and walked about two hundred meters before taking another right turn and before him was a line of restaurant. The street was very different from the one they just left. He couldn’t believe that there could so much a crowd here when there was almost nobody walking on the streets that led to it.
“How is this possible, he asked Mariam. Where are the people coming from?”
“Maybe I hid some little information when we left the office. There is a subway just some two blocks away from the office, it only takes few minutes using to subway to get here. Three years ago when the government saw that workers around here caused a lot of traffic during the lunch hour, they built the subway so that we could use it.”
“My interest has been piqued. If just this interests me so much, I can’t imagine what that restaurant will do to me.”
“Don’t be too anxious, you are almost there.” They walked past rushing workers trying to get a seat to have their lunch so they could go back to work. They stopped in front of a small hut, the roof was thatched and the bamboo that supported it could be seen. He was almost let down at what he saw. He was not expecting something like this at all. He turned to rebuke Mariam for making him have such high hopes but she told him to be quiet. She parted the raffia that was in the doorway and they walked inside.
When he saw the hut outside, he had estimated that if they wanted overcrowding and still be able to sell, there wouldn’t be more than twenty customers in the hut at a time but what he saw left him with his mouth agape. There was no way in the world it would have been possible. The hut contained hundreds of people and there was more than enough space for everyone to move around without hitting the next person. There were empty tables that would accommodate another hundred people. This time when he faced Mariam, she was smiling and then whispered into his ears that she told him he would be surprised,
They gave them a table for two on Mariam’s request. They served them prawn soup with spaghetti on Mariam’s order also. After they have been served and left alone Dennis spoke first.
“How did they manage to do this? I don’t still see how they managed to achieve this, it is superb.”
“I don’t know. All these years coming here and I still don’t know how they can accommodate such number of people in a small hut.”
“It is really nice for you to bring me here but I know that is not just why we are here. So what is it that you want to tell me?”
“I don’t know how to start but as I said earlier in the office, we are at a risk of losing our jobs now.”
“Why would you say that? Why would the chairman want to sack you and who are the others?”
“It is not the chairman, it is Abdullah.”
“How will Abdullah sack you, are you not above him? And does he even have any right to sack you?”
“It is the deal that is the problem Dennis.”
“Then I am the cause of the problem, I can leave so that nobody has to suffer for my cause.”
“It is not you Dennis, it has started a long time ago, with his father.”
“Whose father? Abdullah?”

“No, the former chairman. Mr. Akin Robert, that was the chairman’s father.”

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Memoirs Of An Unclad Preacher #17 Memoirs Of An Unclad Preacher #17 Reviewed by olanibi raphael on 18:57:00 Rating: 5

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