Chapter 7

The afternoon sun was torrid and there were brisk movements of humans and vehicles along the busy streets that surrounded the high rise plaza that was just beside Kunle Adeife’s office and Kenneth was obliged to sty under a shed erected in the façade of the vast plaza as he waited for Kunle’s arrival. Now he checked his wristwatch, it was ten minutes to five pm.                            ‘’This is it,’’ he muttered ruefully, ‘’another big disappointment.’’                           He had remained under the canopy since nine in the morning, ten minutes after he had checked on Kunle in his office and found the husky-voiced man was away. And after trying his line and found it was unreachable he had stepped outside and settled down under the large canopy at the entrance of the plaza as he feverishly awaited Kunle’s arrival.                                                                             He exhaled as he checked his watch again and grabbed his phone which lay on the table before him and tried Kunle’s line one more time – but it was still a luckless exercise. His mind drifted to the temporary accommodation he had and tears filled his eyes. A while later, the glass-paned doors of the plaza came open and he watched as workers trooped out of them with their bags and exchanging greetings as they closed for the day, he checked his watch again it was now six, ‘’it was a hopeless situation,’’ he thought, as he dolefully got up, carried his folder and walked out of the shed, he clearly would have to think again.                                                                                                                                                     But just as he was walking out of the shed, he suddenly heard Kunle’s husky voice calling out:  ‘’Kenneth! Kenneth!!’’ and he swiftly turned around and was greatly astonished to find him leaning out of a window in a navy blue Mercedes, which was parked just opposite the plaza, for a second his eyes glinted in amazement at the man in the blue car, it was as though he had hit a jackpot. In high spirits he ran across the street to meet him.                   ‘’I was out of town since yesterday; I had no idea I would be away when I fixed our meeting. ’’ Kunle said as he drove through the streets with Kenneth who sat dreamily in the passenger seat, eyeing Kunle appreciatively from the corner of his eyes.                                          ‘’I vividly remember your two requests, we’ll sort them out one after the other and there might be a need for you to check on me again tomorrow in my office, let’s say around six,’’ Kunle said, ‘’but first there is someone I will like you to meet.’’                                      Kunle drove from the centre of the city into a serene and lonely district where there were fewer cars and human movements, and after a few minutes, Kenneth suddenly began to fidget in his seat, glancing at the driver repeatedly, giving him a suspicious side look.                         Kunle caught him and smiled, ‘’Relax brother, I’m not out to kidnap you or harm you,’’ he said.                                                                                                                                      Kunle’s calmative words made Kenneth exhale a deep breath, he sat back and keenly began to observe the streets, he found they were a lot cleaner than what they were in the Gully, the houses- mostly bungalows and semidetached duplexes were sublimely strewn along the road, and each house stood magnificently in its fence, with shrubs and flowers in its façade. At the end of the street was a glitzy restaurant fenced off with a barbed wire. Kunle steered the car through the gate into the big restaurant and pulled up in the parking lot. He then directed Kenneth to come down and the two men walked into the big hall through its giant glass doors. The big, air-conditioned hall was filled with cane chairs and glass tables. Kenneth quickly observed there were scanty guests inside. They settled at one of the tables just beside one of the cream walls. Kunle beckoned a waiter, who took their orders and brought two plates of hot fried rice, chicken laps, fried plantains and two bottles of ice water. Kenneth barely waited for the waiter to arrange the plates on the table before guzzling down his own plate of food which he ate heartedly. He thankfully eyed Kunle who sat right opposite him and who was gently consuming his own food. In a little while, he finished the food and waiter came to clear the table. Kunle handed him some wads of notes. ’’I’m a recruitment consultant, ‘’Kunle said,’’ and I have a number of agencies as my clients, one of which is International Flour mills, it’s the reason why you saw me there the other day. It was unfortunate that things went awry at the venue. I believe the company will conduct another recruitment exercise in the nearest future.’’                                                                            Kenneth nodded.                                                                                                                    ‘’One of the major clients, which my firm did a major recruitment exercise for was Xenon Leisure Centre. Have you ever heard of them before? They are located around Surulere.’’                                                                                                                               ‘’Yes I have,’’ Kenneth said.   ’’They are pretty popular in the city.’’                                   ‘’Good,’’ Kunle said, ’’I presented your case to their manager yesterday after you left, and he told me to meet him here this evening but I must tell you this: I, as a recruitment consultant, as a matter of principle and conscience, don’t like bringing in applicants to my clients through the backdoor. It’s one of the rules of the game which I have always kept to; but I’m going to stretch a point and do it for you because of your plights and the assault you suffered the other day.’’                                                                                                                                                       Just then, the door of the restaurant came open and a tall man in a green, chintz shirt and black trousers came inside, he glanced round the hall and saw Kunle, the latter excitedly waved at him. The man in green shirt then crossed the room and walked up to Kunle’s table and sat down. Kenneth watched the two men exchanged warmly greetings, shaking each other’s hands affectionately.                                                                                                   ‘’Dele,’’ Kunle said, ‘’meet Kenneth the job applicant I spoke of.’’ Kunle then turned to Kenneth, ‘’Kenneth meet Dele Delani, Xenon Leisure Centre’s manager. He’s promised to assist you with a job.’’

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *