Short Story: When life feeds you lemons... - Welcome to NaijaCity Blog

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Short Story: When life feeds you lemons...

Short Story: When life feeds you lemons...

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“please, take your seats, and we would be right with you.

The office was cold-quiet, except for the occasional click-clacks of heels on the white tiled floors, the telephones that rang at will, and the air conditioner that gave a silent hum. 

Everyone was busy on their system, except Chika who fiddled with the computer before her.

The Great Shock  

Chika punched in her code on the system for the tenth time, and she got the same result: access denied. She used the system the day before, what might have gone wrong? She noticed that some of her colleagues eyed her indulgently from their cubicles. Her dilemma had just begun: she just noticed that she has been sacked without prior notification or even a sack letter would have seemed right or more honourable. There was no need, she picked up her  bag, threw some stuffs into it, and walked out of the banking hall; into the hot sun of C.M.S. Chika was automatically jobless in Lagos.

An Interview

The man kept her waiting for more than an hour before he asked her into his office. It would be her fifth interview –if she didn’t get the offer-- since she lost her job as an operations assistantin a bank. Obviously, all her knowledge of job interviews had grown all rusty.
He looked at her again, and then back to the resume that was in front of him. It was difficult to decipher what he actually had on his mind, but she hoped it wasn’t the obvious. She  applied as an account at a burger place on the Island; which was far lesser than her former position where her paycheque made eyes roll in their sockets.

The Candid Offer

The manager of Spice Burger Place knew that he was in a tight corner: the lady before him was desperate for a job, but it was impossible to afford her. He glanced at the long list of experience and sweated under his breath. They needed a good hand like her, but they were short of hands, and above all, the place was falling apart, and soon, may consider shuttingdown. He coughed in an uncomfortable way, frowned his face, and moved his heavy weight on the chair in order to sit out a bit, and said:
“Emmmm, I must be frank with you.”
When he said this, the look on Chika’s face made him think twice about what he actually wanted to say, but he had no choice, because he had to let it all out as it were with the restaurant. Maybe her place was actually here, but he was after all, human.
It was obvious that she was lost in thought.play
 It was obvious that she was lost in thought.
 (Shutterstock)

“Miss, I am actually sorry to tell you this, but we can’t have you.”
He saw her eyes become translucent, but he was surprised when she just said :
“Thank you very much, sir.”
She got up and left. He felt guilty that he had to let her go, but she should be left to choose her fate.
Chika could  not help but think about home. There was no need for her to stick around while she drained the little she had saved up. She didn’t take note of the people that walked past the restaurant, because she was enclosed in her own worries, neither did she see the manager who looked at her, through the window.
Read Also: You are enough.
Chika thought of what to do, and as she did, a voice crept into her thoughts:
“Miss!”
At first, she thought it was in her head, but when his heavy arm rested on her right shoulder, and asked:
“Are you still here? “
She turned to face the person that formerly interviewed her. It was obvious that she was lost in thought.
“I am sorry, but we do need you, but....”
When he tried to continue,  he was stopped by the broadest smile ever. Chika just said:
“I will take the offer.”
That day, she went home with a happy heart.

Starting all Over Again.

Chika tried to keep up with the customers’ order, but it was too hard doubling as an accountant, and a waitress. The first day she did the audit, she nearly ran mad at the bizarrefigures she walked into; the restaurant was knee deep in debt. It was obvious why the man wasn’t in too in a hurry to offer her the job, because they were obviously running on, not just credit, but on a huge loss account.
They had customers, but the money went into buying items for sale without placing aside some, to pay off their debts. Most of the burgers they served were outrageously expensive, and people didn’t order for them, and they ended up in personnel stomach. The restaurant needed remodelling, because the decoration was way too old fashioned. Chika went on and on about things that needed to be fixed, until she too saw the helpless look on the manager’s face. Their account was empty. Before she closed up that day, she checked her savings, and it brought comfort to her hopes.

Tragedy

Chika came to work one morning, and met the manager, cleaning the place. The obvious had happened: the chef and the cleaner left them. He also handed her a letter from the bank, threatening to close them up for good in few months. To her uttermost surprise, the bank in question was her former place of work. She could not afford to lose another job in such short space of time to the same bank? She was prepared to fight this time around.
Chika was reopening the restaurant, not just as a member of staff, but as a partner.play
Chika was reopening the restaurant, not just as a member of staff, but as a partner.
 (shrimpandburger.co.uk)

Chika drew out a seat, unzipped her bag, and presented a work-sheet to the manager;  she had stayed up many nights to come up with a solution to their menace. Before the man could get himself to look at her work, their first customer arrived, followed by another, and another. The manager  shook from fear, but Chika gave each one a warm smile and said:
“please, take your seats, and we would be right with you.
Immediately, she disappeared to the other end of the restaurant. But more customers troopedinto the restaurant, and the manager handed out the menu with shaky hands.

Pushing Hard

The restaurant bustled with life, once again. Forks and knives clicked on plates to make a happy chatter. Chika was reopening the restaurant, not just as a member of staff, but as a partner who fought the good fight and kept Spice Burger Place, running on its toes.
Written by Udemezue, Oluoma
Udemezue, Oluoma loves to read and write; she also enjoys movies and meeting new people. Oluoma believes that life is nothing without a little touch of romance, thriller and reality. Catch her on: udemezueoluoma@yahoo.com, Udemezue, Oluoma Judith on Facebook, Instag- oluomaudemezue, and Twit- @Udemezueoluoma.

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