Critique Forum: AT THIS COFFEE SHOP! (episode 2) fiction by Ife Olujuyigbe

I started yawning on the first page. I knew this couldn’t be good, so I decided that instead of being rude and returning the magazine, I’d just go out with an excuse of a phone call. I decided to call my best friend, Roy. His office wasn’t too far away, and if he was less busy, he could even come and pick me up till it was time for my interview. So I told the secretary that I’d be right back and went outside the office.
Roy answered my call with that tone I hate so much.
‘Sweets, I’m in the middle of a meeting right now. I’ll call you back soon, OK?’
I didn’t bother to respond. I just terminated the call and hissed.  The day wasn’t going so good and I needed a break already. I looked on my phone, it was 9:35.  I asked the gateman for any shop I could buy snacks and he pointed me a shop down the street. I plugged my earpiece to my ears and strolled towards the shop, humming my favorite Adele track and intermittently saying the words out loud. I had never been so idle on a Monday morning. Before even hearing about this job I had been working as a mathematics and further mathematics teacher in my mum’s school. I had just finished my service and there wasn’t much going on in my life, so I volunteered to take all the seniors mathematics and the SS3 students further math for a meager sum of #50,000 per month. My mum approved our little deal and I worked in her school for almost a year before starting my job hunt which landed me here. I had never done an interview before but I just felt it wasn’t that big of a deal. I’m pretty confident and smart; nothing really looks hard to me, not even rocket science!
Before long, I was already at the shop. I asked if they served coffee and went to seat at a corner after they had answered in the affirmative. I badly needed to keep awake and alive and coffee was just the perfect antidote. As I seeped on my coffee, a man and a young woman walked in and sat on the next table. They looked like a couple, though the lady was few inches taller than the man. They were corporately dressed and ordered coffee and sandwiches. They started to discuss some things in their dialect and from their conversation; I was able to deduce their life-stories. Dabar is a junior officer in his companyand Gloria is his sister preparing for an interview in Dabar’s company. Though they didn’t get to mention the name of the company, I could deduce from their chats that Gloria wanted to do her one-year internship there. Their line of conversation was uninteresting to me, but I listened none the less, not really out of interest but out of compulsion- their table was right beside mine and their dialect was one I was very familiar with (that’s what happens when you’ve lived in nine places in twenty years!)

Time passed and they were soon done and out of the shop. I was grateful!Atleast, now I can have some time alone with myself, I thought.
How wrong I was! Not too long after the Hausa-speaking duo left my side, a bulky-looking man came in and took their seat. It wasn’t a very big shop so anyone who came in will naturally attract attention. Mr. Bulky ordered a sandwich and a drink called SNIPP. Never seen it before in my life, but I bet it was alcoholic.  Now tell me, who takes alcohol in the morning? SMH!! As he sipped on his SNIPP, he brought out a newspaper and began to read. Quite uninterested, I still managed to see a few headlines before he was done. It was already 11:15.
Thank goodness! Almost time.
For the rest of the time I just reminisced on good old times. I thought about my favorite student at my mum’s school, Dele, who had to move with his family to Italy last summer, and was never coming back. Then my phone rang at exactly 11:30.
Oh! Great timing, Roy!
I rolled my eyes and took the call.
‘Yeah?’
‘No now, don’t be like that. See, I was in a very important meeting. I’m so sorry dear. I even planned to call you later tonight so we can hang out. So how did your interview go?’
‘I haven’t done it yet. I’m on my way there now. Talk to you later, Roy.’
Roy knows me so well; he could tell that I was still angry with him.
‘T-baby, I’m sorry now! Really I am! Ok, can I come get you after your interview?’
‘Yeah. It’s fine. Gotta go now.’
It was already fifteen minutes to the time. I walked out of the coffee shop and straight to the office. At about 12:30pm, I was seated before a hefty-looking middle aged man with thick moustache and full hair. Found out his name was Mr Oni.  He was the head of fabrications and seemed like a very busy man who really didn’t have any time to waste. I could tell all of these at just a glance! He kept typing on his computer and wouldn’t even look at me. I decided that he probably wanted me to say something so I started,
‘Hello sir, my name is Ty-Anne Oti. I wrote and passed your test some months ago and was called last week to come for an interview. I’m a graduate of Material Science and Engineering from the Federal University…’
‘I haven’t asked you to start talking.’
I went blank!

{to be continued}


    Ife Olujuyigbe is a dynamic young lady who just loves to write. Her writings include short stories, poetry, songs and drama. Currently in her fourth year studying chemical engineering in the prestigious Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife , Ife is a great lover of the arts who blogs and loves to express herself through pen on paper. Check out her blog on www.ifekleva.wordpress.com or www.ifekleva.wallinside.com

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