The topic for today is ‘Mystery Cookie’. I had such a hard time coming up with something ‘mysterious’. But I keyed into my enigma-ish part and came up with this. Even at that, I don’t think this is mysterious. But as usual..
Honestly, if someone had ever told me that I would work as a customer care rep., I would have literally put sand in their garri… or custard or oats. It was supposed to be an interim job; while (wo)man was trying to hustle her way into the news department of a telecommunications corporation to be a newscaster.
I had just gotten out of school o! Fresh Grad. Result on point. (as in 4 point 0). Correct speaking English. Good manners. Hot girl. Tall. Fine. Everything. But everywhere I went, it was like either they didn’t see that I was a television-ready face or they could not hear my correct Queen’s English. I tire.
Honestly, I was okay with searching until I found. Nobody was pursuing me. I’m a very ‘I take my time’ kind of person. This life is nothing. But every time I went for a gathering or even to church, with my parents, and someone asked, ‘So Bola, what are you doing now?’, my mother would laugh one kain fake laugh and say ‘Oh, she’s soul searching. That’s what kids these days say when there are just too many job offers and they are afraid to pick or choose. But Dare and I would soon give our little bird a push out of the nest’.
I would just roll my eyes. Who asked for story? I didn’t even care that my mother was lying on my behalf. Wetin concern me? When I did not get admission at first, her lie pass this one sef. She used to say something like, ‘Oh, health issues, really’. Ah… that was when I feared my mother. Health issues???
Anyhow, it wasn’t until my former boo (who was, in fact, a boozuru) started behaving somehow. Because he was working in an oil company now, I could not rest. One day he sent me a MAIL!, ‘ Bola, you need to get really serious with your life. You know, time doesn’t respect age. And I see my future with you. But that would just depend on whether you see a future for yourself at all. Make a list. Write down what you see yourself being in 10 years. Are your actions really showing that you’re working towards those things? You’re an intelligent girl. But even idiots know an intelligent person. You have to take it a notch up and let people really know that you’re not just intelligent but you’re smart, proactive and reliable. I’m sorry to have to say this but if you don’t get serious with life, I can’t get serious with you. I hope that’s enough incentive for you to plan your future. Because your future is only as big as your plans…’ It went on.
Omo, after he sent this to me (as an email!!), I just replied him and said ‘Thanks for this Kenneth. I’ll check in my schedule and look for a time when I might actually care about your opinion. But before then, please be informed that we’re no longer an item. (I take it that you expected this. One cannot write such a foolish mail and not expect this). Best regards. Bola.’ Yes… yes… I agree. I was a little immature. But that guy is a mumu.
But, I deviate. I had to prove to everyone that I could do something. At least, something to put food on my table. And I got it. Literally.
My second day at work, I walked in and found a chocolate chip cookie on my table. Neatly packaged. Just one. I asked for who kept it there. Nobody. I threw it away. It continued. I was just thinking, ‘all these old men that still crush. Na wa o. Be bold, because in the words of boozuru, ‘Time does not respect age’.
But it continued for so long. People started to whisper and say I had a secret admirer. If you’re a girl and you’ve experienced having a secret admirer, you’ll know that as much as you try to form that you’re irritated, there’s a certain thrill that comes with it.
Then one day, I got to work. The cookie was there alright, but everybody just looked sad. As I walked to my table, people were looking at me like I had killed someone. It wasn’t until I sat at my desk that I saw a letter. It had my name written on it, but apparently everyone had read it.
I quietly did every other thing apart from reading the letter, with hopes that people would go back to work. It won’t be long anyway till the boss realizes that no one was picking customers’ calls. But no one went back to work.
I almost sighed in relief when my boss came out. I was already about to pick a call when she barked ‘open the letter and read it!’ I didn’t even think twice.
The letter said ‘Dear Bola. I’m ending my life because of you. For every time you threw away those cookies, you threw my joy away. I love you more than words can say. And the little grains that made up those cookies signified every time I ever thought of you. But I guess not all love is to be requited. I would rather not stay alive than watch you not love me back. Goodbye.’
I was dumb founded. This was impossible, stupid and just unbelievable. The letter was not even convincing enough! How could they believe this? It was a prank. They told me it was Sanusi, my colleague who sat behind me. El-oh-el… I never spoke to that boy! My boss told me to ‘get ready for his family because they all read that letter when they found him dead’. Everybody looked at me in disgust. But I couldn’t even care about that. I just kept thinking, ‘You have got to be shitting me’.
We went for his funeral. Thankfully, his family members were graceful about it. They just told me to stand outside the cemetery. A murderer should not be given the pleasure and satisfaction of seeing her victim being buried.
But I wanted to go in. I wanted to go in there and tell Sanusi, ‘Sanusi, you evil mofo, well done. But why me? I know what you did. But why me? Why did you choose to blame me for something you did on your own volition? Why did you lie in that letter? But most importantly, how did you find out that I was the one dropping the cookies myself?’