Short Story: A Stroke of Luck
By Tobi Akanni
Our hiring team at Xeez Creations have taken the time to go through your resumé and we must say that we're impressed. Unfortunately, we—"
I thumbed out of the Outlook app faster than a cyclone and collapsed against the wall. My raw heart couldn't take anymore caustic words of a rejection mail.
I took in dragged breaths and patted underneath my puffy, stinging eyelids, blinking severally.
I took a moment in silence.
Hoping I'd steeled my mind well enough; I brushed creases off my apron and made my way back to the dining area.
"I—. Well, thank God you showed up on time before I go screaming your name. And before this order gets warm! Quick, off you go. Table three!" Dina, the senior matron of Le Doux Diner, whisper-shouted at me. I picked up a tray of food from the counter, plastered my face with a neutral, but inviting, look and walked to a table of four.
With smiles and small pleasantries, I served the guests of teenagers, all dressed in altë fashion.
I stepped away from them to access the hall. No pending orders; no arriving customers.
Two men in pinstripe suits stood up from table five—with one of them knocking over a used tissue to the floor—and walked out. I glowered at the back of their heads so hard it could burn a hole through and gritted my teeth as I half-walked, half-stomped to their table to clear it up.
I'm this close to losing it and being frustrated at this godforsaken job by messy customers—on a rush-hour weekend no less—could just about set it off. Oh, I am royally screwed now. This was the last response of all the job-hunting mails I sent out this week. Harmattan semester is starting in a week, and next Sunday is the fees' payment deadline.
I just don't know. What. To do. Anymore. Aside that I couldn't get a response in such short time—if I sourced for more vacancies tonight—is the fact of the inevitable rejection. It's been one after the other. I'd hope I could land a fair-paying position, work for a week or two, and be able to take an up-front on my salary.
Now my plan has gone down the drain, and I'm about to be a drop-out.
Customers trickled in like ants, and I spent the next forty-five minutes attending to them. Five minutes to my lunch break, and I'm clearing my last table when I found an initialed, designer purse on it.
Oh, my God!
It belongs to the big man in some native attire. I remember because he carried a domineering air around him and he was our "jackpot" order today. And he'd left about five minutes ago.
"Dina! Dina!" I swivelled from the table I was cleaning and ran to the general staff room. "I've got to give this back." I burst through the doors, talking, and losing my apron at the same time.
"This. It belongs to a customer. I can't imagine how much ton it costs! He wouldn't have gotten far. I can reach him if I take Seyi's bike," I garbled out, and hightailed it out.
Thankfully, our diner is part of a major mall, and it's a good distance to the main entrance. I pulled away Seyi's bike from our display window, climbed it and pedalled as fast I as could.
There he is.
"Sir! Sir. Mister!" I called out.
He was just getting to the security-manned door. His personnel saw me, and signalled to him to look behind.
He stopped and turned; his brows scrunched.
I rode the rest of the way to him, and broke, wheezing. "You—you…um. Forgot—forgot this!" I held up the wallet.
His eyes lit up, and he shook with gratitude as he grabbed the wallet to his guts. "Ah, my dear! Thank you, thank you, thank you," he gushed. He brought out a card from the slits of the wallet and handed it to me. " I must have forgotten this in a rush—and I can't thank you enough for it. I really wish I could spare some minutes to show how much I appreciate your kind gesture, but—please, do reach out to me. Make sure you do."
"Oh-oh-. Okay," I managed to get out, stunned by his whizz-y take-off.
Welp. That was the quickest seconds of my— I froze and could have sworn I soiled my underwear when I brought the card up to my face.
The CEO of Zion Technologies?!
Tobi Akanni is a sociology student at the Lagos State University.
When she is not writing, you can find her in a library
or at social events. She is also a lover of food and the arts.