Critique Forum: AT THIS COFFEE SHOP! (episode 3) fiction by Ife Olujuyigbe

I went blank! Did he really have to cut me like that? All the confidence I thought I had vanished at that statement and all I could do was wait for the worst to happen.
There’d be other jobs afterthis…
‘ What do you do apart from Material Science?’
‘Errr…’ I wasn’t sure of what he wanted me to say, but I knew I had to say something anyways. ‘I listen to music. I read newspapers. I watch abit of football and a lot of reality TV shows…’
Mr Oni had not shifted his gaze from his computer since I started talking.  There was no way I was getting this job, I told myself. So i decided to keep talking. No, lying.After all he wasn’t going to give me the job no matter what I said. He obviously didn’t like me.
‘I like coffee; I don’t take alcohol, well, except SNIPP. I like politics…’
He smiled at my mention of SNIPP and looked at me for a while, then returned his gaze. What rubbish am I even saying, I asked myself..
‘What TV shows do you like?’
Are you kidding me right now..?
‘A lot. I’m on the latest season on Grey’s anatomy, Fringe, Vampire Diaries, Glee…’
‘Oh so you watch Glee?' He was now looking at me. His face lightened up and I could tell he was enjoying our conversation already.
‘Yes sir, I do. My favorite episode is ‘Hearts’ ‘
‘Oh really! So who’s your favorite artist?’
‘Wow! Great taste of music you have! My son says she’s boring.’
‘Well sir, some things aren’t just boring to some people. For example, people wonder why I like basketball since I’m a lady.’
‘Wow! You do?’
No I don’t.
‘Yes I do! My favorite player is Kobe Bryant.’
He gave me this wow-what-a-coincidence kind of look and I just blessed Mr. Bulky in my heart. I had seen that name on his newspaper.
‘Nice one! So tell me, what motivates you? What is your driving force?’
That question sounded familiar. It was Dabar’s first question to Gloria in preparation for her interview at the coffee shop this morning.
‘Sir, I believe in principles. They never fail. And these are what drive me.’
I paused for effect, and then I continued. ‘I’m also a very passionate person with a complete abhorrence for mediocrity. My drive for excellence shows in all I do, and that is why I was a recipient of three awards during, my convocation.’
          It felt good to blow my horn a little. It felt better to know that Engr Oni was now listening to me with rapt attention.
         The last question he asked me was how I was going to add value to the company. I smiled, pausing to stylishly process my answer.
I know the value of people. Without them; the bulky jobless man on the street in the morning, the young lady in search of security, or the poor young kid in torn uniforms on his way to school…without these people, there is no world. Without our customers, there is no us. I’m poised to adding value by reaching out to the people who patronize us, ensuring good quality so that they have reason to come back, and showing respect and team spirit among the great people who make up this great team.
I, Sir, am a great people person. My relational skills are on point, and so also is my intellect. I cannot guarantee that I know all that goes on in the materials manufacturing industry, despite finishing with a 4.25 CGPA, but I can guarantee my speed with learning and mastery, if you give me the chance.'
As I walked out of the company 3hrs later, letter in hand, I smiled to myself and wondered if I had gotten any luckier in my entire life. Mum doesn’t believe in luck though, she calls it grace and I can’t agree more. Excitedly, I dialed Roy’s number.’
‘How did it go?’
‘Great! I’ll gist you everything. Where are you?
‘I’m still at the office. I’ll meet you in fifteen minutes. Can you hang on for fifteen minutes?’
‘Yeah. I’ll just wait for you at the coffee shop down the street. You know the place?’
‘No. but I’ll find it. See ya!’
Twenty minutes later, Roy and I sat on the same table I sat in the morning. I was telling him all about the experience I had, starting from the alarm on my phone to the angry bike man up till the point when I made the phone call that brought him here. Roy was laughing non-stop.
‘You are one funny young lady, Ty. You know that?’ Roy said amidst laughs.
I giggled.
‘Well, you thought me all I know.’ I replied.
‘I just love you.’
Now, Roy and I have been best friends since 300level. We both had people we were going out with at the time so we never really saw ourselves as more than friends. But when I broke up with my boyfriend due to the long distance relationship issues we had, Roy became my only place of solace. It was due to our closeness that his girlfriend broke up with him. Despite how much he tried to convince her that there was nothing going on between us, she broke off the relationship. It’s been four years and both of us never entered into new relationships. Uloma always said that I was chasing other guys away by being so close to Roy, but the truth is, I couldn’t stop being close to Roy and I just always said that whoever was going to be with me had to deal with it.
As those words fell out of Roy’s mouth, I felt my tummy churn. Was it a joke, or did he really mean that? I decided to pretend like I didn’t hear him, hoping he’d say it again.
‘So, do we go to another place or are you fine with this little coffee shop?’
I must say I felt disappointed. Just when I was thinking we had our moment….
‘This place is fine.’ I said.
‘Ok, so let’s order. What will you have?’
‘I’ll just take a bottle of Coke.’
We both ordered coke and drank quietly. I didn’t know what to say anymore. I really had feelings for Roy and was hoping he finally saw me the way I saw him.
‘Ty, I need to tell you something.’ Roy said, cutting into my thoughts.
‘Ok?’ I responded quietly.
‘I’m in love with you!’
‘Yes. I always have. I just didn’t know if you would ever see me that way, but the truth is I can’t hide from me anymore. I’d rather come out straight than wallow in regrets for the rest of my life.’
‘So, TyOti,’ he gave his most charming smile,’what do you say?’
A part of me wanted to pretend and say I’d think about it, but then the other part was jumping for joy. I looked around. What was with this coffee shop? It was at this same coffee shop I got the answers to my interview and won Mr Oni's heart. Now I was winning my Roy's heart too. Talk about the perfect place of destiny!
‘Roy…’ I said in a low tone as I reached for his hands across the table.
‘I thought you’d never ask!’
The surprise on his face and the joy in his heart colluded into a wide smile on his face. I chuckled excitedly.
‘Come over here!’ he said lovingly, as we stood to hold each other in a warm embrace.

    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 or


  1. This is a fine write no doubt, after my heart because i like short punchy sentences that read like verses in a poem.

    Breath pause, even the choice of words are fantastic...I like this.

    However, i kinda think a job interview with the boss engrossed in a computer screen seems rather off for me [just me].

    The way Roy was introduced is not top notch for me...For someone who she seems to be in love with, I expected more....Yes, short sentences are cute, but I feel one or two lines could be condensed in that part.

    I cant put my finger on it, but the revelation of love was not dramatic enough for me.

    In all this is a good job.

  2. I'll wait until we make this into a movie-write some more.
    -Ovie Cross


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