September 27, 2017 at 7:20 pm #1089269
*When you play with fire, no one needs to tell you
that you will get burnt.*
7:10 am, 2nd May 2016.
I was shivering as I stood outside in the pouring
rain, waiting for a bus to arrive so I could get to
work. I’d been in the same spot for close to an
hour. This situation could have easily been
avoided but did I listen to the weather forecasts
yesterday? No. Instead, I thought I could beat the
elements. I never really believed in predictions
I took a few shaky steps to the nearest shelter I
could find. The bus stop provided me with no
cover from the rain at all. Trying as much as
possible to shield my phone, I dialled the one
person I felt could help me out. Of course I
expected an ‘I told you so’ but in this case, I
would gladly take that over looking like a drowned
“Hey Daniel, it’s me.” I said as soon as he picked
“Dami, where are you?”
“Stranded in the rain.”
“Let me guess, you didn’t listen to the forecast and
now you need a favour.” He sighed.
“What is it this time? Shall I tell Mr Hassan you’ve
come down with a cold like the last time you
didn’t have a cold?”
“That wasn’t entirely a lie, okay? Besides, the way
things were going, I really might catch a cold this
“Can you please pick me up?”
I was silent as I counted down mentally. 3…2…1
“Okay, tell me where exactly you are. I’ll come
I couldn’t help but smile. Despite his sour attitude,
I knew he would come through for me. After
describing the area, I tucked my phone away in my
pocket and waited.
The street was free from activity, only a few cars
drove by occasionally but no one else was out in
this rain. I felt the shivers grow more intense as a
strange tingling sensation drifted down my neck
and I started to worry, the weather wasn’t that cold
to make me feel this way. What on earth is wrong
The roar of a familiar engine reached my ears
about 10 minutes later and I stepped out of my
little shelter. The rider took off his helmet and
gestured for me to hurry up.
“You know you owe me, right?” Daniel grumbled as
I climbed on his bike.
If you’re thinking it’s a power bike… then you’re
absolutely wrong. It’s a Suzuki that he saved up
for a really long time to buy. Even if we pooled
resources together, neither of us would be able to
afford a power bike, let alone a car. That was how
broke we were.
“Your favours are always expensive.” I complained.
“That’s why they aren’t free.” He stated.
I rolled my eyes as I collected the spare helmet
from him and braced myself as he started the bike.
“Better don’t fall off.” He yelled over the noise of
“I know it would make your day if I did.”
He probably didn’t hear my reply because we were
already moving. Good thing too, unless he might
have dumped me back by the side of the road.
When we got to Exquisite, a popular hotel and
restaurant where we worked, I made sure to sneak
into my work station quietly. There were only 15
minutes till we officially opened for the day and I
still needed to get changed and sign in.
“Well, if it isn’t Beauty and the Beast.”
Guess I wasn’t discreet enough.
I sighed and looked up at Kayla, a co-worker. She
wasn’t even the one who came up with the
nickname for us, that was Kevin who I personally
consider to be an irritant, but the name stuck and
everyone started using it. What’s even worse is…
I’m not Beauty.
I saw Daniel hide a smirk as he walked past me
and I eyed him swiftly before focusing on signing
in for the day. I grabbed my work uniform which
was a fitted white shirt along with a red waistcoat
and matching skirt. I never understood why our
uniforms had to be so tight; we were serving food
for crying out loud.
“By the way, you’re on serving duty in Section A,
tables 1-5.” She announced before walking away.
I groaned silently. That was the section where the
most impatient customers were. It was also the
closest one to the main entrance and the section
everyone tried to avoid.
Around 10am, customers started trickling in. The
rush hour wasn’t until about 12noon till 2pm when
most people were on their lunch break so it was
“Can I get some service over here or what?” A
As you can see, not always.
“Hello, are you ready to order?” I smiled.
“What do you think I called you over here for, to
chat?” He snapped.
“I’m sorry, sir.” I said.
It took all the self-will I had to keep that smile
from melting off.
He handed me his menu which was a slate that
displayed all the dishes and drinks we served.
There were blank boxes next to each item and
customers simply ticked what they wanted with the
erasable pen the restaurant provided.
Minutes later, the food was arranged on my
serving tray and I headed over to deliver it to the
table. Suddenly, that strange tingling sensation
from earlier crept up the back of my neck again,
distracting me and almost turning my body numb.
I couldn’t even feel my limbs.
I wasn’t sure who yelled the warning but the next
thing I knew, the serving tray was airborne and
food went flying in different directions. As I stood
there in the midst of the mess, with several eyes
locked on me, all I could think was…
Oh God, I am so fired.
The man’s eyes were blazing. I now had first-hand
understanding of the saying, ‘If looks could kill.’
A throat cleared to my left and I turned to find
another pair of accusing eyes. His eyes weren’t the
only thing that stood out though, what really
caught my attention was the large oil stain that
now adorned the front of his white shirt. This guy
must hate me by now. Everyone knows how tough
it is to get oil stains out of white fabric.
He raised a single questioning eyebrow, waiting for
me to finish. He seemed calm, almost too calm.
Acting on impulse, I grabbed a napkin from a
nearby table and started dabbing frantically at his
“I’m so sorry sir. I’m really so-”
He held up a palm and I stopped. He gingerly took
my hand off the front of his shirt, like it was
contaminated or something and took the napkin
out of my grip, setting it back on the table. It was
only then I realised I was helping to spread the
stain instead. He didn’t say a word as he walked
past me and out of the restaurant, stained shirt and
I fumbled with gathering the scattered dishes,
trying to clean up the mess but my hands were
failing me. I’d never felt this clumsy in my life. A
gentle nudge pushed me to the side as Daniel
picked up the dishes. Kayla showed up seconds
later trying to appease the irritated customer. She
tossed me a look to make myself scarce so I
immediately apologised and headed towards the
employees’ room at the back.
Once I shut the door behind me, I collapsed into a
seat and rubbed my palms together. Some sense
of feeling was coming back into them now. What
happened back there, I had no idea. The door
swung open but I didn’t look up, expecting it to be
Daniel or Kayla.
“That was a very graceful display back there.”
My heart sank. It was Kevin.
“News travels fast.” I said.
“No one had to report that Dami, the whole
restaurant probably saw it.”2+September 27, 2017 at 7:24 pm #1089272
“Get out Kevin.”
He shrugged and made to leave before turning
“Oh, and the manager wants to see you.” He said
before shutting the door.
He just had to have the last word. Now I felt myself
turning cold, dreading what was to come.
A few minutes later, I knocked on Mr Hassan’s
door and waited for his reply before walking in. He
was a stern man who had built his business up
from scratch to what it is today. The famous story
is that the great restaurant, Exquisite , started out
with only N10,000 and a lot of determination.
“What happened out there? I heard the commotion
all the way from my office.” His piercing eyes
stared at me, waiting for an answer.
“I had a small accident while serving a customer.”
“I trust you’ve cleared that up and apologised
“Good. This should never repeat itself, do you
I nodded and waited for him to dismiss me.
“Which section did you serve today?” He asked
He was silent for a moment and his eyes seemed
“Starting from next week, you will serve in the
Reserved Area. There’s been a shortage of staff
ever since Bukky resigned. Besides, excluding
today’s mishap, you’ve been one of my loyal
workers so far. Talk to Kayla after work today,
she’ll tell you what to do. Now, you can leave.”
As I walked out of his office, I was beyond
confused. The Reserved Area wasn’t just for
anybody. The customers who went there weren’t
your average Lagosian. They were secluded in a
private wing of the restaurant and they even had a
different menu altogether. Getting moved to a
higher section was considered a promotion
amongst the staff but what really amazed me was
that Mr Hassan promoted me after I had clearly
just made a blunder. Talk about irony.
“How did it go?” Daniel asked when I came out.
“Don’t tell me everyone knows I was called into
the manager’s office.”
“News travels fast around here Dami.”
He was practically repeating the words I’d said to
“I realise that. Anyway,” I smiled. “I’m going to be
working in the Reserved Area from next week.”
“No way. VIP?”
“Why would I lie about that?”
“Wow, that’s huge. Good luck.” He nodded with an
“Thanks, I almost can’t believe it myself.”
“Make sure you tell me what goes on in there, you
can be my informant.”
I laughed as we went back to our workstation. Not
up to 5 minutes later, another impatient customer
yelled for service. I glanced at Daniel and he
gestured for me to stay put. Neither of us wanted a
repeat of the scenario earlier. I set about arranging
the cutlery instead.
Thank God I’ll be out of here soon.
But little did I know that my unexpected promotion
came with its side effects.
When I got to my dorm room after work, I juggled
the task of finding my room keys along with
holding my phone tucked between my shoulder
and ear. I was on the phone with Toyin, my elder
sister who could talk a mile per minute when she
was excited and she had every right to be. After
all, she’ll be getting married in a couple of
”Ah Dami, I’m finished!”
I nearly dropped my phone in shock. Quickly, I
pushed the door open and dropped my keys on the
“What happened? Are you alright?”
“Can you imagine? The caterer just called a few
minutes ago to tell me that instead of the Red
Velvet cake with Chocolate Mousse filling and
Vanilla Buttercream frosting I ordered, he made a
plain Vanilla cake! Who the heck wants plain
Vanilla on their wedding day? Is he deaf or he’s
trying to jinx my wedding?”
I removed the phone from my ear, stared at it in
disbelief and held it up again.
“Pardon?” I asked.
“Oh, abi you too you’re deaf?”
“I thought you had a crisis.” I said.
“Of course this is a crisis. It’s my wedding we’re
talking about here.”
“Toyin, the wedding is just one day. What about
the actual marriage?”
“The journey of a thousand miles begins with one
step. The wedding day is the first step Dami, and it
has to start out on the right foot.”
I sighed. She had me there.
“Anyway, what do you plan on doing about this?”
“I simply said I won’t pay a dime until it’s fixed.
It’s Red Velvet cake or nothing.”
“We both know you won’t bypass a wedding cake,
“Exactly, so my cake has to be ready.”
After that, I managed to divert her attention
towards other issues that didn’t have to do with
flour and eggs. When we ended the call, I yawned
and looked around. My roommate obviously hadn’t
been in the room today. Sometimes, the girl
disappeared for days at a stretch before suddenly
showing up again. We didn’t even talk much, how
could you be friends with someone you rarely even
see and who ignores you half the time?
After getting dinner ready, I set about preparing for
the new semester which was to start in a few days.
I was one of those students who was always early
to arrive on campus. Call me overambitious, I
don’t mind. I’d just finished arranging my clothes
for each day of the week when I heard a knock on
the door. I frowned and turned in its direction. I
rarely have visitors and if it was my roommate
Chioma, she wouldn’t knock because she has her
I looked through the peephole but didn’t see
anyone. I’ve never been a paranoid person, but
something about this seemed odd. Gently, I
opened the door and searched the hallway. No one
was outside and all the other dorm rooms were
locked. I took a step forward and my foot hit an
object on the floor. I glanced down to find a plain
package wrapped in brown paper.
It was like a scene out of a horror movie, except
there was no creepy music.
I picked up the package, praying I wouldn’t turn
into a tuber of yam. After all, these are hard times
of recession and everyone wants free food. After
checking to see that all my limbs were still intact, I
went back into the room and opened the package.
My brows wrinkled in confusion when a white shirt
fell out, it was a masculine design. Was this
someone’s idea of a joke? A secret admirer who
couldn’t even pick out the right style of clothes?
That was when I saw it; the huge oil stain on the
front of the shirt and there was only one place
where I’d seen a shirt in this exact same style. My
heart raced in my chest as I hurriedly jerked the
door open to see if he was still hanging around,
but the hallway was empty and I stood alone.
It was then I realised that I had been followed.
A soiled shirt? I know I would start locking all the
windows, What would you have done if it were
you? Tell us in the comment section below.0September 27, 2017 at 7:30 pm #1089275BeloveMember
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Nxt0September 27, 2017 at 7:38 pm #1089285Donnie DiamondMember
September 27, 2017 at 7:45 pm #1089290ⓞⓝⓔⓐⓛ32Member
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looks like d story is already on this site1+September 27, 2017 at 7:50 pm #1089294
ya but couldn’t find the thread so I opened another one0September 27, 2017 at 7:53 pm #1089298
next episode loading0September 27, 2017 at 7:53 pm #1089299FreshgirlMember
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