I’d taken a glass of warm milk and some aspirin for the headache, I felt better as I approached the Golden Magazine building. There was something happening at the office, there were a lot of cars and media people.
‘It’s really happening.’ I was now sure I was getting fired.
I guess Uneku had known it would come to this, which was why she had prepared me by taking me out last night. I began to weigh my options as I strolled into the building.
I was a freelance writer, and I could get a job online or I could publish some of my books on Amazon or Ebay and make my money from there. Finding another place like Golden Magazine was going to be difficult, but I was hopeful things would balance themselves at the end.
More people flooded into the building, a lot of faces were unfamiliar, I didn’t even think of finding Madam Jamila or Uneku now, I just wanted to know what was going on.
‘Ezra, can I have a minute?’ I called to one of the security men whom I was a bit familiar with.
‘Teni ! Finally, Madam Jamila has been looking for you, where the hell have you been?’ He asked.
‘I can’t talk about that now, but can you tell me what’s going on here?’ I asked.
I noticed brightness in his eyes, ‘We have a new boss, I think we are all going to like him.’
‘A new boss? But Madam Jamila never mentioned it, that’s strange.’ I was even more confused.
‘I don’t know much about the new boss, I think you should see Madam Jamila, she is really upset.’ Ezra returned.
‘Okay, thanks.’ I murmured and walked briskly away.
Now I had to face two people, Madam Jamila and Uneku, I could face the latter, as I’d gotten her something she really loved, but Madam Jamila? Facing Madam Jamila whenever she was upset was hell, I dreaded those moments.
I walked straight to my desk and dropped my bag, then turned towards UB and Uneku’s office, I needed to see them first before going to see Uneku, they needed to give me heads up on what was happening before leaving for Madam Jamila’s.
‘Aha! Just the person we were waiting for’ UB welcomed me with a hug. Uneku leaned on her desk with her hands across her chest. She looked happy, this made me feel guiltier.
‘How are you this morning? You got me really worried.’ Uneku asked.
‘Um, first, I am really sorry about last night, I shouldn’t have said those things to you, and you didn’t deserve those mean words. I come bearing gifts…’ I grinned and offered her three cans of Pringles, which was her favorite snack.
‘Wow, you guys had a fight? That’s sexy.’ UB chuckled.
‘None of your business UB…’ Uneku took my peace offering.
‘I was too hard on you Teni , maybe I deserved some of that tongue lashing.’ She opened her arms and invited me in for a warm hug.
‘Isn’t that cute?’ UB teased, and we all laughed.
One problem was solved, now I had to face Madam Jamila, but I needed to know what I was up against.
‘Okay, what’s going on? Have I lost my job?’ I blurted out.
My friends both laughed, I hoped their laughter meant “No.” I loved working here, I loved being around my friends and all these familiar faces.
‘We don’t know what’s going on, it seems we are about to have a new boss.’ Uneku shrugged.
‘Boyd said the same thing, um, have you guys seen this person, this new boss?’ I asked.
They shook their heads; I never saw this one coming. Madam Jamila had worked so hard for Golden Magazine. Why would she just give it up so easily?
‘I am not judging her, but I think she needs to just chill, you know, be patient. One of us can come up with a big story.’ I grinned.
‘That will be you I guess.’ UB winked.
‘I’d gladly accept the challenge, anytime, any day.’ I had taken some of what Uneku had said to me, and I was ready to take some risks, I was ready to get back my job.
‘I have to see Madam Jamila,’ I announced then walked towards the door.
‘Hey Teni …I am sorry I left you at the club alone, I came back looking for you, but the bartender said you’d left with a guy.’ It was her turn to apologize.
I laughed as I remembered the moment I’d found myself next to a naked man.
‘We’ll talk about later, for the records, I am not mad. We are good Uneku, we are all good.’ I blew her a kiss then walked out of the door with a great feeling of uncertainty.
I was uncertain of what lay ahead, was it darkness? Or was it light? Was it success or failure?
I was not used to surprises, but I was willing to be patient this time, I was ready to open this package wrap after wrap till everything was uncovered.
‘Is she in?’ I asked Madam Jamila’s secretary once I reached her office.
‘Yes, for now.’ The secretary replied.
I tapped the door softly before walking in.
‘Good morning Madam Jamila, I am so sorry that I came to work late, I have a good explanation for my behavior, I’m so sorry.’ I apologized.
I noticed how colorful Madam Jamila looked today, she seemed almost excited which was rare and for the first time, she was not wearing her horn-rimmed glasses while working on some files.
She wore a dress with a floral pattern and let down her brunette curls, she was beautiful. She dropped her pen and offered me a chair.
‘Thanks.’ I took it without questioning.
‘I don’t care about your reason for coming late, it’s not something that happens often, I knew you had a good reason for it. How do you feel now?’ She asked.
‘I am okay.’ I lied, I felt light headed, like I was a feather dancing in the wind, waiting for the dust to swallow me up.
I just needed to be strong to hear whatever she had for me.
‘I already told you guys that there will be layoffs and I wasn’t kidding when I made that statement. Golden Magazine had her glory days, but we have failed to bring back that glory in recent years and that made us bankrupt. I am not the type of boss who enjoys withholding rewards and benefits. I love hardworking people and I cherish resilience, this was the reason I made that tough decision to let people go, but things changed.’ She smiled.
Can she just get to the point already? I wished she were a movie, I’d have to fast forward her.
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‘Golden Magazine is about to witness something big, I don’t believe in miracles, but what just happened this morning, what is about to happen is a huge miracle!’ There was excitement in her voice, a heavy dose.
I couldn’t relate to what she was feeling, from what I’d learned, she was about selling the journal to some other person, was that a miracle? Surely, that was not worth celebrating, I don’t mean to be a wet blanket; I’m just saying the facts.
‘That’s nice…’ I forced a smile.
‘This morning, I received a call…’ tears welled up in her eyes, I could see that she was fighting so hard not to cry in front of me.
‘Someone offered to work with us, we promote this person and they help us build a fan base with their influence, that way, we get back the popularity that was lost. It’s a rare opportunity for a person like this to make such a great offer. I feel blessed; I feel Golden Magazine is set for greater things. I feel we’re lucky.’ She beamed with smiles.
‘Wow.’ I was wowed by the rumors of her selling and by this new offer. This was really a miracle!
But that didn’t explain why I was in her office and I was too scared to come at her directly.
‘The person requested you anchor the interviews, this is why I called you. He has been reading your articles and following your publications, he thinks you are really smart and deserve this opportunity.’ Madam Jamila said.
Now this was interesting, ‘It’s unbelievable.’ I whispered.
I knew I had over a thousand likes per post on Facebook but I never knew someone would pick me out from the hundreds of people working in Golden Magazine for something like this.
‘It’s believable Teni , you are one of the best writers that I have and this was the reason I felt really disappointed when you failed to present a big story.’ Madam Jamila replied.
Her words made me feel special; she encouraged me without deliberate effort.
So she considered me one of her best writers? Why did she demote me then and threaten me indirectly?
‘To make you sit up, I just had to do something really difficult.’ She replied, as if reading my thoughts.
‘Who is this person? I am eager to meet him.’ I asked, curiously.