"SECOND CHANCE" (Episode 1) story by Oyemolade E.O.
It was 6:40 am, Dolapo woke up to the sound of rain pattering against her window. She had to rush for work as she was thirty minutes late already; her alarm must have gotten tired of snoozing. The previous night, she had decided to watch a movie since she was so bored and sleep ignored her humble beckons. She went to bed around 2:00 am or thereabout.
Dolapo got out of her wide bed, went into the bathroom and came out after twenty good minutes; well, she loves taking her time in the bathroom. She went into the kitchen to make a cup of tea and toast bread. After eating, it was already 7:20 am she was super late. She had to get to work by 8:00 am and the drive to her office was exactly ‘half an hour’. She went back to her room to dress up, she noticed her bed was a mess; “I must have really enjoyed my sleep” she thought out loud. The thought of cleaning it up was damn tempting but she was not going to fall for this kind of temptation, not when she was already late. As Dolapo dressed up, her mind went back to what had happened at noon the day before.
She had stepped out for lunch adjacent her office the day before. Just as she was about entering the eatery, she saw a figure, that familiar masculine figure. Although his back was turned to her, she could still recognize it. He was six feet tall, in his late fifties and “he still kept that afro” she thought. He looked really tattered and scruffy from behind, he probably had not had his bath for days. She tried avoiding him seeing her. As she turned in a rush to head directly back to her office, luck was not on her side; she bumped into a young lady. As the lady shouted in anger, all attention were drawn to Dolapo, including the man’s. Dolapo and the man stared at each other for a while and long enough for her to notice the crusty and big bags under his eyes. She hurriedly left the front of the eatery and ran back to her office.
Back to the present day, Dolapo dismissed the whole thought as she did not want to ruin her just-beginning day. She wore a pink chiffon with black pants and took her favorite black heels from her shoe collections on the rack just beside her bed, did a little makeup, carried her bag and locked the door. Fortunately, the rain had already stopped and the traffic was not much. After her whole ‘trying to beat time’, she got to work some minutes past 8:00 am. She entered her office quietly and as she was about settling down, something rang, Oh! It was her telephone ringing harshly. “It must be Oga” she said. Her boss had earlier checked on her and was angry because this was not Dolapo’s first time of coming late to office. She picked up the telephone and he gently-angrily told her to come to his office, she knew he was annoyed but he being who he is, did not want his emotion rule him. As she got to his door, she prayed silently that she would not be scolded, at least not too much, then entered. Dolapo greeted her boss with a partially shy and I-am-sorry tone but as expected, he did not answer. “Dolapo, you are late again” he said. “I’m sorry sir, it was the traffic” she replied. ‘’It’s always the traffic every time, I don’t like this your late-coming attitude at all, don’t you cherish your job?” she wished the man would just stop talking, at least he also came late the previous day. ‘’I’m sorry sir, it won’t happen again’’ Dolapo replied. He looked at her with slight disgust, then told her to take the file on his desk, and he shook his wrist to and fro towards his door, signaling her dismissal.
Dolapo climbed the stairs down towards her office and as she entered, sat down, there was a knock on the door. It was Nancy, Dolapo’s best friend and of course, her gossip partner.
Dolapo had met Nancy in her 100-level days in the university. They were roommates; roomies as they often called themselves. Luckily for both of them, they were also course mates. What attracted Dolapo to Nancy was her beauty, she was really beautiful. Also, Nancy had gap tooth, she was ‘perfect’. If Dolapo were to be a boy or a dyke, she probably would have asked her out; Dolapo was very fond of her friend. As the duo got along, Dolapo realized Nancy was not only pretty, smart as well.
Back at the office, ‘’Babe, how una dey? You don late today again abi?” Nancy asked sarcastically. ‘’I woke up late ni jare’’ Dolapo replied. ‘’As usual, you this sleepy head’’ she said. ‘’Dolapo, I love this your top o, come give me now’’, she winked as she finished talking. ‘’no o, I can’t give you, I’ll buy another one for you’’ Dolapo replied. ‘’Okay then’’ Nancy said. She took her leave five minutes after and Dolapo continued with the day’s work; her boss in anger had bombarded her with files she had to sort out carefully and perfectly. Nevertheless, Dolapo really loved every bit of her job as it has always been her dream to become an accountant and work for a big company, she was not just an early riser.
Dolapo was so engrossed in the files that she did not notice it was time for lunch already. Nancy came to her office again, this time to call her along so they would go grab lunch together. Dolapo however was not in the mood, she had to turn Nancy’s offer down politely. She was hungry but sincerely did not want to see that man again. “Who knows, he might be lurking around, hoping to see me again” she wondered. Nancy, unlike her left not trying to force Dolapo. Dolapo was grateful that she did not. She came back almost immediately and entered Dolapo’s office without knocking. ‘’Nancy, what is wrong?” Dolapo asked with shock; expecting Nancy to give her the ‘gist’. “Girl, who is that haggard-looking man here for you?’’ Nancy asked with a worried look.