She works at a recruitment agency around South Labadi. It’s her job to visit the eight companies they service and make sure that the secretaries, cleaners and other employees they recruited on their behalf are doing satisfactory work. She’s the fluid bridge between the companies and her agency and she’s good at what she does.
If there’s anything else Maame knows to do, it’s to dress. Not the kind of dressing that commands attention because of its obscene and risqué effects, she dressed like it was a trailer to a movie you couldn’t wait to see in 2016; not too much revealed, but enough to make you press replay.
She has a full backside that doesn’t make you notice her relatively smaller boobs. If there was any flaw on her face, it vanished when she smiled. If she were a mutant, her smile would be her super power. It garnished her with an illusive innocence that was both magnetic and reverential. The first day she walked past the security desk of Amos Financial Holdings, she had that smile on.
“Good morning sir” she said to the security man smiling “Can you direct me to the reception please?” the normally haughty and indifferent security man took it upon himself to make sure that this awesomeness of a woman got the CEO on his knees if that’s what she came there for.
“Thank you so much.” She said when he’d overstepped his powers by instructing the receptionist to do whatever the lady asked.
The receptionist was shocked, not by his effrontery, but because Abu had never done that before.
Maame went upstairs to meet with the Head of HR who had requested for the meeting the previous day. He gave her the details of the four vacancies they needed suitable candidates for, but he would have added his position to the list if she wanted the job. He was as tasteless at flirting as an English man is at eating his first bowl of fufu and palm-nut soup. It was easy to handle him, he acquiesced gracefully and the meeting ended with him understanding that she was a no-go. He was just as pleasant though.
On her way out, she thanked the security man. Kingsley was still there. He had been there when she walked in half an hour before and he was still there, waiting to see her. Never mind that he was the busy IT Manager at the firm, some things mattered more than technology. Somehow she’d taken him unawares and he’d been unable to say a word when she walked in earlier, but now he was ready. He’d had over thirty minutes to fine-tune his thoughts and assemble his charm. This beautiful lady would not floor him so easily. He was ready.
“My master want see you” Abu said smiling after she’d thanked him. He pointed towards his small security post right beside the giant gates. Maame stretched her neck but couldn’t really see who he was referring to.
“he dey for the inside there, make I take you go.”
It was on her way out anyway and this was her newest client, she didn’t want to be a snob to anyone who meant anything there.
Kingsley was busily studying something on his laptop, or so it seemed. To the untrained eye, he was checking the company’s surveillance system and making sure that the camera in front of the security post was working just fine. But Maame knew better, men didn’t want to be seen waiting, they happen to be doing something productive when you appear, never mind that they asked to see you.
“Hello?” she said.
He looked up, smiled and said without batting an eyelash “I saw you through the camera when you were entering. The bloody thing won’t turn again and I’m still trying to fix it.”
She smiled. She hadn’t expected that, but she wasn’t blown away. “I owe you an apology then.”
“O you don’t owe me that.” He said walking to her with his hand stretched out. “Your number will suffice.”
“But you don’t even know my name.”
“I could call you for that, but what would I do with your name alone?” it could have been an annoying thing to hear if he wasn’t so good-looking, if he didn’t have those dimples, if he didn’t have that neat haircut.
“Maame, that’s my name. I think it’ll suffice.” She turned to leave, he grabbed her right hand then let it go when she cast him a stern glance. Abu snickered then turned like he hadn’t witnessed his boss get schooled.
“I’m sorry, but I don’t think you get it…Maame.” He said smiling “You see, I cant let you go without your number. It’s actually a security breach. Abu should have made you fill the guest login book which would have taken your details, but he was understandably forgetful. So I need your number to enter it on your behalf so he doesn’t lose his job.”
Maame hesitated, she’d been cornered and there was nothing she could do about it, she liked how it felt though, but her face didn’t show it.
She wrote her number on a sheet of paper beside the laptop. It was her official number.
He smiled, walking her to the car park. She ignored him, trying to be as civil as possible. When he became a distant reflection in her rear-view mirror, she sighed in relief. That Kinsley guy was slippery.
* * *
It was Tuesday morning, she expected that he’d call soon after, but he didn’t. Then she expected his call by nighttime, it didn’t come. Then on Wednesday she wondered if he’d call at all. Immediately she sensed it was getting to the point where she could get disappointed if he didn’t call, she mentally cut him off –just like that.
The next morning, she received a strange call.
“Yes, Maame here, may I know who I’m talking to please?” it was her official line, she could be talking to any of her clients.
“I’m looking to get a suitable candidate to fill a vacancy in my company. A friend recommended your agency and I hear you’re the woman to talk to.”
“That’s good to hear Sir. What position is this and what company are you representing? Also, please let me know who I’m speaking with.”
He smirked, but said nothing, the line was quiet for some seconds.
“Hello? Sir? Are you there?”
“I am, I’m just wondering if you have the capacity to serve my interest.”
“I can assure you sir that I do. I have a tall list of references you can check with. Even if what you’re looking for is a group board chairman, I can find you one in record time.”
“Then this should be easy. I have a candidate, I’d just like you to screen the person and make recommendations.”
It sounded weird, this was a first “One?”
“Yes, the vacancy is for a lunch date with me, and I think you’re right for the position.”
There was a smile in his voice “Maame, it’s Kingsley from Amos Holdings. Sorry for the prank, but you gave me an official number, so I thought I’d be official, briefly.”
She was quiet, giving the impression that she was upset, she wasn’t at all. In fact she was smiling.
“Hello? Maame? Please don’t be upset, I didn’t mean to piss you off, it’s just, ummn, o drat. I wasn’t sure, I thought –“
“Your notice is too short. Make it tomorrow, I’ll meet you at Alisa. I have to go back to real work now. Confirm in the morning, bye.”
Geez this woman iiisss hhhoootttt! He thought, it had never been handed to him like that.
* * *
“Ei, who was that?” Sammy asked when Maame got off the phone –they shared an office. She told him the full story and he was in stiches.
“But you’ve been single for a while, he could be the one.”
“O puhlease, he’s a child, playing pranks.”
“But wo p3 no kakraa. If you didn’t like him a little, you wouldn’t have agreed to a date.”
“It’s not a date and I don’t like him. He’s just persistent, interesting and smart. Most of the guys I meet are good-looking so he’s not extraordinary in that regard, but he’s just amusing, that’s all.”
“Wo boa! So now that you’ve turned down lunch, what’re we eating today?”
“Let’s focus on this roasted plantain jorr.” They dissolved into laughter.
* * *
Maame’s face was her biggest asset, not because it was gorgeous, but because it was misleadingly innocent. Presently she was the choir director at church and worship leader for the midweek services, but she’s had a past Sharon Stone would gawk at. One time, she’d cheated on a married man, with another married man. She’d been so bad, weed and sex had been as commonplace as tea and breakfast. She’d been with wealthy men who had just as much resources in the bank as they did in their trousers, and she took them like morning after pills.
But she’d given that life up. After a while, it got boring. She got shocked that she still didn’t have an STD and then she wondered if it was God giving her a second chance.
She took that second chance. It’d been hard to cut off all those sugar daddies, but she’d been determined. Looking at her, you’d never imagine a history like that. That’s why she smiled when most men hit on her; they were treating a tiger like a kitten. They were the joke. But Kingsley, he seemed cool. She knew when it was time to settle it would have to be with a regular young guy with strong Christian values. She too wanted a saint on the street but a freak in bed with great potential to do something significant with his life.
She could never be completely honest with him about her past, but she’d give him the loving of a veteran lover. She knew she was hard to impress, but she was getting too old to be too picky, 30 was now just a couple of years away. Still, she wasn’t desperate, Kingsley could easily be another boring and overzealous boy, but it wouldn’t hurt to lunch with him and see.
* * *
“Sorry I’m late.” She said, sitting down. She didn’t explain further, she didn’t need to.
“It’s…it’s fine” he stuttered. The waiter came with his plastic smile one, Kingsley beckoned him to give them a minute.
“I have a confession to make Maame. Please don’t judge me.”
[To Be Continued]
PS: Don’t keep! Share…& then subscribe
Photo Credit: Getty Images