I smelt him before I saw him. His cologne naseated me; undertones of musk,mint, masculinity and power. I disliked this man I didn’t know.
Hon Sam appeared, surrounded by a retinue of staff. He gave me a warm smile, a firm handshake and a thump on the back, the ill feelings and the nausea began to wane.
“Young man what is your name?”
“How old are you?”
He flicked his wrist and a tall dark lady appeared.
“Suto, go over his credentials and complete the rest of his paperwork.” Hon Sam said.
“Yes sir.” She said.
“Young man welcome to my empire. I am Honorable Samuel Matthew Elebeniada, but you can call me Chief. I hope you will enjoy working with us. Suto will complete your documentation. Any questions?”
I couldn’t think of anything to say.
“Good. See you tomorrow.”
Chief left and Suto turned to me.
I followed her to a large office in an adjoining duplex. As soon as we walked in, she flung off her heels and removed her jacket. The sleeveless blue mini gown she wore hugged her ample curves and flattered her long legs. I looked away. If this was meant to be a pre-employment test, I wasn’t failing.
“Take off your jacket.”
I froze. Alex told me I was going to be a driver. I was desperate for a job, any job, but this wasn’t what I had in mind.
Suto walked over to the window and surveyed the grounds. I couldn’t tell what she was looking for. Was she gauging how safe this was? Or just waiting for me to undress?
Underneath my desperation I bristled with anger and wounded pride. Who was this woman and why did she think she could command me?
My landlord’s face flickered past my mind and my mom’s aging form and the cockroach ridden shelves in my kitchen. My fingers found the top button of my jacket but I paused.
“What are you waiting for?” She asked. There was a steely edge in her voice. I knew she wouldn’t ask again. I took off the jacket and unconsciously began to grind my teeth.
“What is that sound?”
“Good. Turn around.”
Bile filled my mouth as I obeyed. I had aborted a hanging but this wasn’t my idea of life.
“Give me 20.”
This time I couldn’t help myself. I laughed; long and loud.
Suto walked up to me till she was just inches away. I stopped and looked away. She grabbed my chin and forced me to face her.
“I think we started out on the wrong foot here. I am Chief’s administrator, his mistress and his personal advisor. I run this entire place, all his companies and all his financial dealings. I decide if you get employed. I decide if you make it out of here in one piece. I decide if you will enjoy working here or find yourself in hell on earth. When I give you an order you obey. Now get down and don’t stop till I tell you to.”
I wanted to turn around and stormed out of the office. I wanted to slap her powdered cheeks and make tears run through her fake lashes. Instead I got down and did the pushups, while I travelled in my mind.
I was faraway on an sunny island. Breeze kissed my face,birds sang over head, two beautiful women were embracing me. One massaged my back while the other fed me dates. I was loving it all but then darkness washed over everything as I blacked out.