Ben opened his eyes and
looked around, he was lying on the sofa and Amanda was bending over him in
concern.
“Ben! Are you okay?”
Amanda asked.
“What…what happened?”
He asked sounding tired.
“You fainted….” Amanda
said.
“Here drink this…”
Calista said handing over to him, a glass of water.

Ben drank the water and
closed his eyes, slowly recalling what he had heard before he passed out. Who
would have thought that he would ever be in such predicament? He thought, he
was already growing tired of the whole thing.
His phone chose that
moment to ring and Ben answered it, sparing a second thought to the caller ID.
“Hey…Kenneth…” He
greeted.
“Hey Ben….”The grim
voice said from the other side of the line.
“What’s up?”
“We were doing a
background check of the files in the company and it’s amazing that we didn’t
see yours.”
“What? You didn’t see my
file? It’s been there for the past four years…” He started.
“Well…it’s not here
now…so, since I wasn’t the Human Resources Manager that employed you, I’d
like you to come down to the office sometime this week for a quick check. We
can’t leave your file slot blank and it has its implications.”
“What does it mean? How
do you mean my file is missing? Don’t I have a backup file on the company’s
database? Print out my personal data from the system and resolve this…” Ben
said, getting upset.
“Something happened to
our systems a week ago, the system shut down and some files that weren’t backed
up went down the drain. Yours wasn’t there when we restored the system…so in
order words, we have nothing to show that you are a bonafide staff of this
company, save for your ID.”
“What? What are you
saying?” Ben asked astounded.
“You will have to come
and update your file and also answer a few questions. The honest truth is that
we handle each and every of the company’s property with utmost care hence we
are getting the police involved in this.”
“What are you talking
about? Are you implying that I got the job through false means? I’ve worked
hard for that company! I have earned my position in that company and I stand as
one of those whose input has grown that company to the level it is today…”
Ben started.
“I’m sorry Ben, but all
odds are against you in this case. Just come over to our office for clarity…”
Kenneth said and hung up.
Ben looked at his phone
in disbelief, he couldn’t believe what he had just heard.
“What happened?” Amanda
asked.
“Can you imagine that
the Human Resources manager just informed me that my files are missing? Same
with my files on the company’s system?”
“Wow! That’s not
good….” Amanda said pitifully.
Calista looked at him
and shook her head.
“She’s sent you her
first signal.” Calista said.
“Who sent what?” Ben
asked irritated.
“The marine spirit…
Princess…” Calista said, then continued when she saw he had no clue. “She’s
tearing your life apart little by little so that life can hold no meaning for
you.”
“Are you saying that the
so-called Princess is the one who took Ben’s files?” Amanda asked in fear.
“Well…the files might
still be there but she and her agents are working against Ben’s career…and
trust me when I say that, they’ll destroy it. This is just the beginning.”
“Are you a prophet of
doom? How can you say that they’ll destroy my…” Ben started then remembered his
encounter with princess in his car and the words she had spoken about his
future.  The scene flashed before his
eyes;
“Do
not fight it! Soon things would stop working well for you…you’ll lose your
job, your source of income and you’ll resort to drinks and drunken nights and
we will come to get you, our babies and I.” She had said to him.
“Me?
Lose my job? I am very important to my company, in fact, I am next to
indispensible!” he had thundered.
“Hahahahahahahahahahaha….”
She had laughed aloud and disappeared
.
As soon as the scene came
tumbling through, his eyes widened in a daze.
********
Mr. Ekanem was on his
way to work, he was already so late that he knew he’d get a query from the
small place he worked as an office assistant. He had just stepped into the gate
when the gateman shouted at him.
“Abeg go back!” The
gateman said running up to the gate.
“Ha! Haruna…which one
be go back?” Sharon’s father asked, a worried look creasing his forehead.
“Go back abeg…dem don
sack you…” The gateman said.
“What? Sack me? Why?
What have I done? I need to see the manager.”
“Manager nor dey…” The
gateman said, holding the gate close.
“Please …is it because
I am late to work? Please…I can explain…”
“See this man oo…I
tell you say manager talk say im nor want you again, you dey talk say, you wan
explain. Abeg leave dis gate…”
“What of my salary? I am
being owed for three months…” He complained.
“I nor know about that
one, wetin I know be say…dem talk say make you go…”
Sharon’s father slumped
in front of the gate cradling his head in his palms, he felt so bitter and
pained. He wanted to cry like a baby, he had no money, infact he had trekked to
work that morning and he was very hungry too. He was seated on the ground,
shaking his head in regret when he heard the horn of a car, he didn’t look up
till the horn blared again.
“Excuse me…Mr. Ekanem
right?” The man in the vehicle said, rolling down the side window.
Sharon’s father stood
up, beat the dust from his trouser with his palms and walked towards the
vehicle.
“Hello sir…” He asked,
still trying to place the face.
“Don’t you remember me?
I am the pastor your neighbour took you to see last week…” The man supplied.
“Really?” Sharon’s
father immediately recognized the pastor’s face.
“Get into the car…it
looks like you are not getting into the gate today.”
Sharon’s father opened
the car door and got in. The pastor began to drive in silence at first but
soon, he spoke up.
“Bad day at work?”
“I just got to work this
morning and the gateman said I have been fired. This is the fifteenth place I
have worked at and just like the rest, I have been fired.” Sharon’s father
supplied.
“You are in luck
then…I have an opening at the church for the role of an office clerk…can
you handle it?”
 “Anything sir…anything
will do…thank you so much sir…”
“The pay is not much but
working in the Lord’s house begets abundant blessings.” The pastor said.
“Yes…yes….thank
you…thank you…” Sharon’s father said.
“How is your wife?”
“She’s fine sir…very
well…”
“And your daughter? She came
home yesterday right?”
Sharon’s father looked at
the pastor strangely and said.
“Yes…she did…she was
home sick…she had to return to camp early this morning with the school bus.”
“Did you see her leave?”
The pastor asked.
“No…I fell asleep.”
“Could you ask around to
see if anyone had seen how she left? It would be bad to think that she might
have not seen the bus and decided to resort to other means of transportation.”
The pastor said innocently.
Sharon’s father nodded
and looked away, he was interested in the job but he had reservations as to the
way the pastor spoke about his daughter. The rest of the drive was in silence.
************
Mr. Ekanem came home
bursting with good news, he knocked at the door to his house but there was no
answer, indicating that his wife was out maybe on her part-time business of
hawking moi moi. He decided to ask any of his neighbours if his wife had kept
the keys with any of them. He had noticed the hostility of the neighbours
towards them but he wasn’t the type to hold a grudge so he walked to the back
of the house to see if anyone was with the key to their house. He saw Peppeh
running about with his ball, alone at the back of the house.
“Peppeh…is your mother
at home?” He called out.
The boy shook his head.
“Your daddy nko?”
The boy shook his head
again.
“Do you know if Sharon’s
mommy kept the keys with your mom?”
The boy shook his head.
Sharon’s father looked
at Peppeh, he was the vibrant kid who loved to run around Sharon and ask for
sweets but today, he was very quiet.
“Peppeh bobo…is
everything alright?”
The boy looked at him,
turned away and continued kicking his ball. Sharon’s father was upset, he felt
that the compound gossip about his family being behind the fire incident that
engulfed Mama Chinedu’s apartment was getting to the young boy so he walked up
to him.
“Peppeh…do you want
sweets?” He asked.
“No!” The boy said
forcefully.
“Why? So you don’t want
me to give you sweets but if it’s your sister Sharon, you’ll be quick to
collect huh?” He asked playfully.
“I don’t want sweets
from anybody…even sister Sharon.” The boy said.
“What is wrong? Are you
two quarrelling?”
“No!” The boy said.
“Why are you talking like
this?”
“Because….” The boy
turned to him and looked into his eyes. “Because…sister Sharon is not just a
human being…she’s a big black bird like the one in my poem book.” He
announced.
Sharon’s father’s eyes
widened as he almost lost his balance in shock.
“Peppeh do not let me
spank you! What do you mean by that?”
“I saw her…when I was
on my potty…this morning…I saw her come out of the house and when I wanted
to call her, she …turned into a big…black…bird…and she flew away.” The
boy burst into tears.
Sharon’s father was
astounded, what kept resounding in his head were the pastor’s words;
“Could
you ask around to see if anyone had seen how she left? It would be bad to think
that she might have not seen the bus and decided to take another means of
transportation.”
Could it be that there
was a truth to what the pastor had told him and his wife on the day mama
Chinedu had taken them to the church? How could his daughter suddenly take the
form of a bird?

To be
continued on Thursday….
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8 COMMENTS

  1. Chai……Sharon your time is almost up. Good.
    Wait Ada……this one short o. Lol. Don't mind me I always want you to go on and on. Keep it up hun

  2. Poor Ben… i hope deliverance comes faster else his fainting spell is just starting.
    Papa sharon, pray oooo
    Q.O.S…well done oooo, i find myself refreshing my browser for more
    maybe i am getting Oliver twisty…

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