They say change is the only thing in life that’s really constant… How true is that? Do people really change?
* * * **
Jummy was shocked. Even though she had been putting up the I-don’t-give-a-fuck attitude and acting like she didn’t care about John, the feelings she had for him hadn’t faded.
John at the other end of the line smile at how Jummy reacted when he said he had chased Samuel out of his house… Truth be told, he really did.
“I said I’ve chased Samuel out of my house, he was a bad influence to me and it took nearly loosing you to realize that. Jummy I can’t really tell you how much I’m sorry, but please you’ve got to let me show you.” John said and waited for a response but got none.
Jummy kept quiet.
“How about dinner? Say tonight?” John suggested.
In Jummy’s head, she was thinking hard. Has he truly changed? Should I forgive him? What would Zainab say? Should I risk this? Were the questions she asked herself in quick successions without even attempting to answer anyone.
“Okay.” She finally blurted without even thinking.
“Great! I’ll pick you up from your place by nine.” John said and before Jummy could reply or rethink her reply, he hung up.
* * * **
Taofeek wasn’t smiling anymore. The Ginger net agent he called had told him to wait just for a few minutes for a car to come and pick him, but he had already waited for nothing less than forty-five minutes and no sign of the car yet.
If this is the way they truly operate, I don’t think I’ll want to work here anymore, he said to himself as he started trying to wave down the cab that was already coming so that he would go home.
The supposed cab stop alright but something different happened. The driver wore a blue pant trouser and white packet shirt, he certainly didn’t look like a regular taxi driver.
“Mr Taofeek?” The driver asked as Taofeek bent over to tell him where he was heading to.
“Urmm… Yeah, how did you know that?” Taofeek asked, totally forgetting about Ginger net.
“I’m the driver sent from Ginger net to take you to our main office.” The driver said. “Sorry for being late, there was a little police road block when I was coming, I’m sure they would have gone by now though, so don’t worry about the traffic anymore.”
Taofeek ‘hmmmed and haaad’ as the driver explained. “Okay, it alright. I understand.” He finally replied.
“Okay, please get into the car.” The driver said with a smile Taofeek found so warm and inviting. “I’m Bruce by the way.” He said as Taofeek opened the door for the right back seat, or ‘owner’s seat’ as commonly called.
“Nice meeting you Bruce.” Taofeek replied.
A few small talks and twenty minutes, was all it took for them to arrive at their destination.
Bruce parked the car just across the street and waited for Taofeek to step out of the car to come and join him at the other side of the road.
Before coming out of the car, Taofeek scanned the building with his eyes.
It was an unpainted one story building with a ‘tipper’ of sand at the front which signified the building was still under construction even though he could see a couple of light bulbs through some windows. The only sign that made him know he was in the right place were the two hand bill which were pasted on the gate. Both hand bills were identical and written in red Romans-new font was – WELCOME TO GINGER NET.
Taofeek felt something was wrong but before he could actually think much about it, Bruce saw his facial impression and explained.
“We are a new company and haven’t really even started operations. We don’t want to waste much time that’s why we are already employing even though we are yet to finish our building, but as you can see, very little work is left.”
The explanation made sense to Taofeek, “okay, very well, may we proceed?” He asked and followed suit as Bruce lead the way into the building.
* * * **
Boniface wasn’t surprised when instead of replying him on his offer to take her to dinner, Zainab had sent him a ‘coyly’ reply.
Women! He sighed. Why aren’t they never straight forward?
He dropped his phone and went down to business. He was making a research for a new case he had in his palm. After Zainab’s case which spread round the media like wild fire, his clients multiplied by two and more technical cases started coming in.
The particular case he was handling at the moment wasn’t as technical as it involved just land ownership so he assumed it was the best time to get in touch with the one lady he just couldn’t get why she was in his head – Zainab.
He leaped for joy as he saw the light led on his phone blink a light blue light, just as he had set his BBM messages.
He minimized the screen on his computer and grabbed his phone with high hopes.
“Sorry, but I’ve got other plans for tomorrow night.” Was the reply he saw from Zainab on BBM.
He wanted to push it and ask more questions, but he thought it would be better to let this time go and take it slow, after all he had all the time in the world, or so he thought.
“Okay, cool. So what are you doing now?” He asked, trying to change the topic.
“Nothing much. Just staring at the actors wearing funny looking costumes as the act a movie.”
“Sounds interesting. You are a director at TOP, right?” “Yes, how did you know?”
“I know a lot of things… I have my ways.”
Zainab sighed, Boniface hadn’t changed much after all just like she had thought. He was still cocky and so full of himself.
“Okay oh. How about you? What are you doing?” Zainab asked.
“Nothing interesting. Just googling some people to have a basic background knowledge of them.” He replied.
Zainab was about to type a reply when Henry walked up to her. “Are you going to be pinging all day?” He wasn’t smiling.
“What na? You wanted me to come here even though you had everything under control and I obliged.” Zainab complained.
“I wanted you to come here and see what we were doing so I can get your professional opinion on the movie. This is my first movie and I don’t want to mess it up.” Henry replied.
“Oh! I see. You should have just said that na. I thought you just liked see my cute face.” Zainab said with a wink and the dropped her phone, she looked up at Henry, “are you sure you want my PROFESSIONAL advice on this movie?”
“Of course!” Henry replied.
“Okay then. For starters, why is the crown of the supposed king and ruler of the world so ugly?” Zainab asked mischievously.
Henry turned to look at the crown which was still on the head of the actor and back at Zainab. “Hmmm… You have a good point.” He said. “But if that is just for ‘starters’ I’m not sure if I’ll want to hear the other PROFESSIONAL advice.” He said, emphasising on professional.
* * * **
The inside of the building was quiet impressive in contrast to the unpainted exterior. It was tiled all through, but it was painted white as if it was a hospital and not a regular IT company.
Bruce took Taofeek to where looked like a hospital reception with the long rows of chairs at the front of a counter and he then instructed Taofeek to take a seat while he went to call his boss.
Taofeek sat and in the few minutes he was alone, he looked around and the building looked indeed more like a hospital. He could sense something was wrong but he
another part of him suggested maybe the building was formally intended to be a hospital but bought by Ginger Net or maybe it was just the work of a horrible architect.
Few minutes later. A man in jeans and polo materialized before Taofeek. He looked a few years older that Taofeek and his smile was warmer and more welcoming than Bruce’s.
He stretched his hand forward to Taofeek. “Hello… Good afternoon.” He said.
“Good afternoon.” Taofeek replied as he waited for an introduction. He had been here for quite some time and all he had seen was Bruce, a new face was welcomed.
“I’m Mr. Dapo or may just call my Mr Ginger if you wish.” His smile grew wider as he felt what he just said was smart.
“Hmmm… Nice to meet you sir.” Taofeek replied.
“Okay, enough of the talk, let’s head down to my office and get this over with.” Mr. Dapo said, and led the way.
They walked into a long corridor with nothing less than four doors at both sides and finally stopped at the third door by the left. Mr. Dapo opened the door and walked in.
The office was nothing spectacular. A table, three chairs and a desktop computer.
“Have your seat please.” Mr. Dapo said and Taofeek gracefully sat down after saying thank you.
“Just so you know, I’m the owner of this company and I want it to succeed so I interview all staffs myself so as to be sure what I want is what I get. And I like to know all I can about my staffs so kindly answer all my questions truthfully. Understood?”
Taofeek nodded in response. “So what’s your full name?” “Dauda Taofeek.”
“Where are you based?”
“I just moved into the country, but I currently stay with my sister at FESTAC.”
“Where were you based?” “Canada.”
Mr. Dapo smiled at the mention of Canada but he quickly straightened his face before Taofeek noticed.
“Why did you move back to Nigeria?”
“I’m truly Nigerian and thought it was best to come back here and help in the growth of my country rather than another’s man country.”
“What did you work as in the Canada?”
“I was the manager of the IT branch of D**** company.”
Mr. Dayo rose an eyebrow. His brain just gave him a thought. “Wait a minute,” he said doing a horrible job at disguising the surprise in his tone. “I’ve heard about the D**** company and its owned by a Mr. Dauda. And you told me your surname is Dauda too, is it just a coincidence?”
Taofeek was getting uncomfortable with this line of questioning. What has all this got to do with him working in Ginger Net? He wondered.
“No… Mr. Dauda is my father actually.” He replied.
Mr. Dayo nearly jumped out of his seat as he had just won a lottery. He had gotten more than enough information and was convinced the Taofeek was the right man for the job… The problem is, it wasn’t the kind of job Taofeek was expecting.
Mr. Dayo stood up from his seat and went over to the back of Taofeek. He brought out his handkerchief from his breast pocket and without any warning, he placed it on Taofeek’s nose and held on tight to him.
The handkerchief was drugged and in no time Taofeek became drowsy and stopped struggling. Before he passed out, he caught a glimpse of Mr. Dayo still smiling face and he heard three words.
Welcome to hell.