The big clock at the end of the office read 3:01.
Everyone was running about in seemingly haphazard manners in LiveWire Corporation. Just a few hours more and they would lose out of a mega multi-million deal. The $18milliion ASUAD contract for providing a Network Monitoring and Enterprise Encryption Solution that would cater for the growing Telecommunications Giant was the deal of the decade. And for Lara Saura’s LiveWire Corporation, it was the deal of a lifetime. It was frustrating for the workers because they had initially submitted a bid 2 weeks earlier. Apparently some corporate espionage had taken place and their earlier bid was stolen by an unknown identity. That would be dealt with later. At the present time, a bid had to be re-made and re-submitted.
“Tell Wale to ensure the printer is up and running. It’s too meagre to constitute any problems. I hate these little delays. If it is not functioning properly instruct the Accounts department to palm out some cash and get a new one pronto.” Lara barked. With $18million at stake, Lara was ready to tear apart anyone who constituted a nuisance.
“Ok so we are almost home and dry. What other requirements are we yet to fulfil?” Jeremiah asked. Jeremiah Ulsop, a very strict man who did business when he meant business. He was the perfect man to work under Lara. Never buckling under pressure, his colleagues often joked that Jeremiah’s body was made out of Chinese bamboo and so could never break, emotionally or physically.
“We have basically covered all loose ends. The only exception is the Enterprise Encryption Solution. We are missing one module and our techies say we just don’t have it. Last time we liaised with DataProtect but this time because of the time crunch we can’t and besides I am feeling a little greedy. I want all that money to myself.” Lara said in one breath as she continued typing furiously. “What module?” Jeremiah replied. “Data masking” Lara said “But we can wade our way through that.” She continued “Ok. 2 hours to go Lara” “I know Jeremiah, I know.”
The big clock at the end of the office read 5.50.
Lara slumped on her seat and heaved a huge sigh of relief. The bid had been submitted. She knew they had only a 50% shot at it but she had closed and won negotiations and deals on less than that on several occasions. As Lara swung about in her seat, she looked around and wondered how she would spend the next hour. Her driver was not due till 7pm. She picked up her diary and glanced at her calendar. Seeing the line-up of meetings, events and seminars, Lara smiled. She liked being busy. It indicated that she was relevant.
“I am off” Jeremiah called out. “O, ok.” Lara said as she raised her head “You have been an absolute angel. I couldn’t have done this without you. Indeed, LiveWire couldn’t have managed without your input. Please my regards to Mrs Uslop and the children.” “Will do.” He replied as he turned to close the see-through glass door behind him. He suddenly remembered something and turned around. Lara looked at him and wondered at the look on his face. He seemed to fidget.
“Ermmm” he began stuttering “What is it, Jeremiah Uslop” Lara demanded with a hidden laughter in her voice. “Ermmm, you have a special package.” He finally spat out, taking care to stretch the word ‘special’. “A what package? How come I did not know about it sooner than this and why in the name of all that is holy do you have that bloody grin on your face?”
Jeremiah opened the door wider as Lara came out from behind her desk and walked out of her office. She gasped immediately. Although a little afar off, there stood, on a table, a most beautiful banquet of flowers. The banquet consisted simply of white and red roses and a sprinkling of purple dust around the rose petals which was only noticeable when seen from a close range. She looked around and saw Jeremiah tiptoeing away, quietly. “And where do you think you are going, young man.” “I don’t want to spoil your moment” he called out as he ran away at top speed. “Jeremiah!” Lara screamed, playfully.
Lara spun and looked at the ‘gift’. She was not a sucker for gifts but she loved romance and this spelt romance with a capital R. She walked slowly to the flowers and sniffed. Beautiful, they had been specially scented with lavender. She immediately felt relaxed. A thought rose up in her mind that caused her to rise up.
“I love romantic flowers and I love the smell of lavender. Who knows this? This is not a mere coincidence. I doubt it.” Lara thought to herself. She made to pick the banquet up and saw a note. She smiled and quickly grabbed and opened the note.
Our present relationship should not be our future relationship
Willing her mind not to think of anything, Lara picked the flowers, allowing just the faintest of smiles to play on her lips, she turned around and walked back to her office. Lara Saura already knew who sent it.
“The photos of the event have been made available.” Larry announced. “Interested?” “Not really. You know I am not photogenic” Dwayne replied. Sam hissed. “HOU NO AYAM NOT FEHOTOEJENIC” Sam said, deepening his voice as he tried mimicking Dwayne. “You poultry farmer.” At this, the whole 1st class cabin erupted with laughter.
Poultry farmer was the term they used to describe a player. The man who was accosted by the most women, called chics was known as the man who took care of the chics, hence the name poultry farmer. “I am gentle and humble.” Dwayne said amidst roaring laughter. “Nigger please. Spare us. We were with you when we were all sperms in different wombs. We even encouraged you when you were about giving up your race. We know you.” Sam said, cracking every one up.
Sam was the comic of the 3-man group. He seemed to be able to make light of anything whatsoever. Once, they had missed their flight to the UK and they were all distraught. There were some important Arabian delegates they were scheduled to meet. They had spent months in preparation only for some unforeseen, unavoidable events to turn up and put a clog to their wheels. They were all downcast. All except Sam, that is. He changed the atmosphere from gloomy to cherry when he said, “Baba, abeg make we go finish that Fifa game then.”
Larry was the muscle man of the group. He did not have a ‘specific’ function but it was safe to say that one of the reasons the fleet of companies the 3 men had built were never in debt was because of Larry and his ‘methods’.
And then there was Dwayne Abdul. He was the life and soul of the group. He was the connector, the gatherer as well as the communicator. He was the star quality. It is said that everything is average until it encounters Dwayne Abdul. Only, this time, Dwayne Abdul himself had encountered something that was not average. He had encountered Lara Saura. Twice.
They gathered together to peruse the pictures. There was much talk and laughter. Dwayne was lost in it. His mind was not in the air. It was on ground. In Nigeria. In Lagos state. He was thinking of Lara Saura.
He thought to himself “Maybe it’s time to end my constant Mexico trips. Maybe it’s time to settle down. Maybe it’s time I made my move. Lara Saura, prepare for Dwayne Abdul.”
 “Baba, abeg make we go finish that Fifa game jare” is Nigerian vernacular. The English translation is “Friend, let us go conclude the Fifa game we left uncompleted.”