Saturday, 17 September 2016

Nkechi glanced at her watch quickly before turning her attention back to the huge stack of photocopies she had to complete before the end of the work day. She had basically been at her desk since 8am with nothing to do. There had been no electricity and the heat in her corner of the cramped office had been unbearable. She had fanned herself incessantly with an old magazine she had found on the bus, heading to work that morning. It was a foreign magazine which was a few years old, but she didn't mind. She let herself get lost in the magic of the glossy pages and in her minds eye, she could see herself on the pages. It had made her smile and even while the other passengers had shrieked at the driver's sudden braking, she remained oblivious.

She cursed under her breath, as she adjusted the fan to directly face her. NEPA couldn't have brought back power at a worse time. That fan was so old it creaked and squeaked as the blades moved. It blew a gust of hot, dusty air directly into her face. She sneezed and cursed her boss, Mr Kayode. He had an excellent AC in his office and a rechargeable standing fan, so it was okay for him to stay in there and do what ever it was he did. She had heard from the office gossip mill that the AC in the general office had not worked in years, although funds had been released for a replacement. The mill had further claimed that the money had been used to pay Mr Kayode's tailor for 15 new outfits, to accommodate his rapidly growing waistline.

It was a shame that NEPA could not even provide steady power in a government office, she thought as she shook her head. She had gone into her boss's office to tell him she was leaving at exactly 4:55pm, when the power had been restored. He had ordered her, with a smirk way to do the massive stack of photocopies before NEPA struck again. She decided it would be a waste to argue, as Mr Kayode seemed like he had been at the bottle again. She perceived the harsh smell of the brandy and spotted the bottle at the edge of the desk. She nodded in affirmation and left the office.

She sighed softly to herself. The work day was over, yet she was stuck here for at least another hour. She sighed again. These photocopies could have waited till the next day. Now she would miss her regular bus, with the grumpy driver who seemed to always be angry at the world. With bloodshot eyes, He would always shout and curse other drivers, pedestrians, passengers and and even his young conductor. The conductor was the total opposite of the driver. He seemed to be in good spirits all the time and had a permanent smile on his face, exposing his crooked yellow teeth. He wore the same camouflage T-shirt everyday she had taken the bus, since she resumed work in the city just three months ago. Even when he got teased or insulted by the driver or passengers, he would laugh as if he were being told a joke by an old friend.she wondered why the conductor wore those plastic beads around his waste all the time, clearly visible as he never wore a belt.....
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PS: This is an excerpt from a book I'm currently writing. I'll keep putting up more parts of it from time to time. I hope you enjoy it. Feedback is always appreciated.

ZIBBY

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