Mr. Tonye is tall dark and handsome and I met him for the first time while on a special team to Shell with my boss, Mr. Katung on the lead.
At the meeting that morning, I could feel his eyes intermittently on me and I began to wonder why, because I was so sure, we have never met.
It was a very cold, cloudy and rainy day, with the rain which started the previous night, steadily drizzling, so that morning, I had chosen to wear a black sweater, three-quarter fitted dress, with a turtleneck and longsleeves, worn with a thick black hose and a pair of black boots which were a little bit above my ankles. I had an average sized gold bangle on my right wrist, a gold pair of studs on both my ear and my fro in a bun. I felt warm but I was beginning to feel hot under this man’s recurring gaze.
I looked at his wedding finger and there was no ring there but that didn’t say anything, because a lot of married men go without wearing their wedding band.
Anyway, what is my business if the man is married or not, I was only here to make up the team for this presentation, if I am lucky, I may never get to see this rude man again, I told myself, and decided to totally ignore him.
But ignoring him was hard because my boss, was actually doing and saying everything to impress Mr.Tonye, it seemed.
Who is this man, I asked myself again, mentally kicking myself for forgetting to read all about this new project.
Truth is, I was given the file but failed to attend to it because I had so much to cover. I kept pushing it aside thinking I would go over it once I had the time, since this was not suppose to be my project because Jane was to handle it squarely. I was only suppose to have a background knowledge and give expert advise during management meetings.
But my boss had put his head round my door when he arrived the office that morning to say, I will be following him with the team in an hour to Shell for the first presentation on this job Hybrid Ventures is hoping to snag. I was shocked and I blurted, “how come, I thought Jane was suppose to be on this project?”, and he answered, “yes she is but she called in to say she is in the hospital, was taken there last night”, he shook his head in disbelief, obviously at Jane’s recklessness “so be ready because we will be leaving in an hour” he said and he closed my door.
The applause took me back to the present as my boss was pulling out his seat, done with his presentation while Mr. Boma, the Hybrid Ventures Head of Department, Community Strategist, got up to make his presentation.
Although I made it a point not to look in his direction anymore, I could still feel Tonye’s eyes, back on me, “oh God! This is becoming very embarrassing”, my mind was saying as I willed him to stop, really getting irritated because everyone one in my team might begin to notice.
Soon it was time to take a break and be back for the second phase of the presentation.
Mr. Katung came over to me as I put my laptop off, trying to pack up my things and leave this room so I can breathe. “Nadine, I hope you are having a good morning?”, he asked. “Yes sir!” I replied, forcing a smile, “Good! because you will be doing a presentation after the break, you must have read the background work that was sent to you, with the presentation so far, I’m sure you can come up with something to support the team, because we must win this job”, he said with emphasis, I looked at him and all I could do was nod.
But, the company pays and takes care of me too good for excuses.
“How much time is this break?” I asked Mr. Katung as he walked towards the door, going for the break, and he answered, holding the door open while looking at me with a deliberately expressionless face, “one hour, thirty minutes”, and with that I was left alone in the boardroom.
“Aren’t you going for the break?” I literally jumped out of the chair, and my skin. “Jesus Christ!” I said, holding my chest and trying very hard not to start cursing him out.
“Are you always this jumpy?” he asked laughing, I did not laugh, I was rather irritated, I wasn’t finding any of this funny, I hissed at him in my head.
It must have shown on my face that his sense of humour was alien to me because he stopped laughing, stretched out his hand and said, hello Jane, my name is Tonye, I don’t believe we have been introduced”, I looked at him stunned wondering why he was calling me Jane.
This Mr. Gazing, all-knowing man is hilarious DD, I was Rolling on the ground laughing in my head about this error, Mr. Tonye was certainly mistaking me for someone else.
Dear Diary wait until you hear how my presentation went, lol.