A Story Written By Aartial D
‘i really cant stop thinking about it Aunty…’ i wept in aunt Chime’s arms ‘Ralph is still alive aunt and he’s coming for me’
‘stop saying nonsense my dear..’ aunt Chime said pulling me close to herself ‘it was all a figment of your imagination. Ralph is dead..and whoever died do not come back to haunt the living, that only happens in movies. And you have to stop crying before Chief or his nosy wives sense something is amiss’
I cried harder ‘i am sure of what i saw aunty, Ralph…our eyes met and he ran away almost immediately our eyes met..do ghosts run? Dont they disappear into thin air?’
‘baby, you’re stressing yourself over nothing. Ralph can never be alive and even if he is, he’s certainly going to die a second death because i wont have him ruin your life’
‘make sure those files gets to my table before the end of today’ i said to Cherpet ‘and make sure you schedule a meeting with Mr Nana, that ghanian investor and make sure to tell Rina incase she comes that i wouldnt want visitors today, alright?’
I was about leaving when i saw someone- a boy actually mopping the floor. He was dressed in white, the company’s cleaner’s uniform. I frowned wondering why a young and handsome looking guy would want to be cleaning…didnt he go to school? He was too goodlooking for this kind of job.
I turned to Cherpet ‘who’s that guy?’
‘oh thats Rain, the new cleaner’
‘Rain? As it Rainfall?’
‘what kind of a name is that?’ she shrugged ‘when did he resume work here?’
‘uhm recently, say two weeks ago’
‘he shouldnt be doing this kind of job. You know what? Tell him to see me right now in my office’ i said and left.
I had barely sat when i heard a mild knock on the door.
‘come in’ i said and the door pushed open.
Rain peeped in before closing the door behind him ‘good morning ma’
I smiled at him. I loved the boldness in his voice, it wasnt shaky as i had expected it to be.
He had this simple but yet charming looks that drew me to him. The white overall draped over his body suited him well and he didnt look like a cleaner in it. He was dark complexioned and tall, i should be reaching him on his shoulders, he was that tall.
I was a tall person too and that was why i hadly ever wore high heels.
‘Rain right?’ i asked.
‘have a seat’ i said pointing to a chair opposite me.
I cleared my throat not knowing how to start. I really didnt know why i was having this meeting with this boy, not that i knew him from anywhere, but i felt this connection, i couldnt tell.
‘this is my first time seeing you around here…its obvious you work here, as a cleaner’ i said.
He lowered his head first before speaking up with a smile ‘i’ve seen you around so many times and yes, i’m a cleaner’
‘why do you do that? I mean, why do you work as a cleaner?’
He smiled again…that charming smile of his. He wasnt at all ashamed of his work and i admired that about him. I noticed he was a hardworking guy who would do anything to survive.
‘times are hard madam. A guy has to do menial jobs to make ends meet’
‘you speak fluently. Attended a university?’
‘oh yes, i’m a graduate, i studied Accounting in the university of Ibadan’
I raised a brow ‘wow! If you are a graduate as you claim to be, why then do you work as a cleaner? It doesnt fit you at all’
He gave a small sad smile ‘i know i shouldnt work as a cleaner but what do i do? I have a sick mother to take care of and three siblings to send to school. I have no father and i’m the breadwinner of my family. I cant continue waiting and hoping for a six figure job when it isnt forthcoming..my family would die of hunger. I’ve been searching for a job for five years now and i havent gotten one, i dont do this type of work becayse i want to but because i have no other choice, we have bills to settle and moving around the streets all day would not help’
I regarded him for a while. A hardworking young man..one i had always wanted for myself ‘i’m sorry about your father’
He looked down again ‘you dont have to. He left us alone when my mother became sick’
‘too bad. Where is he now?’
‘i dont know and i dont even care to know. That man…that man ruined our lives’
I looked at his face and i wasnt seeing that confident and bravelooking young man that came into my office with a proud smile. What i saw was a sad man, filled with so much anger, hatred and frustration. I had been in his shoes before, poverty.
I reminded myself of my promise never to return to poverty again.
I scribbled something on a paper and handed it to him ‘take this to the HR management, you are to be employed immediately’
At first, he looked at me as if i had grown two heads. He read the paper in his hands and tears fell from his eyes.