Suru Lere, Nigeria
Renee woke up with a jolt. She glanced over at the clock on her dresser. She was late. She threw off the blanket and scurried to the bathroom. She barely had 60 minutes to catch the bus, to make it in time for her ten am interview. Her 1994 Mazda had packed up-for good this time. As much as Renee missed “Bestie” – that was the pet name she gave her car-it had served her well.
Twenty five minutes later, Renee closed her front door and turned the lock. She smiled, I’m going to make it in time. She was almost at the bus stop when she noticed her portfolio was missing. That’s just great! There was no way she could go for an interview when she didn’t have clips of her work. She was a journalist for goodness sake and needed samples. It was barely 8 am and the sun was already on full blast. She wiped off the beads of sweat that had formed on her forehead. Renee sighed as the bus speed by. With her shoulders drooped, she started the ten minute walk back to her apartment.
Renee’s jet black hair was disheveled, the after effect of wind coming in from the broken window of the taxi she had chartered. She cringed when she thought of the one thousand Naira she just shelled out for the ride. Now she was down to just a thousand to her name. She had no choice if she wanted to make it in time. Renee dashed into the restroom to check her appearance, the interview would start in twenty minutes. She used a damp handkerchief to wipe her face down, perspiration had made her dark skin even darker. She brushed her hair and applied a layer of lip gloss. Since she had the taxi to herself, her Ankra knee – length skirt and immaculate white blouse didn’t have any creases. As she exited the restroom she ran straight into a lady. Papers flew everywhere, Renee bent down immediately and began gathering the papers.
“I’m sorry. I’m sorry. I wasn’t looking.” Renee made an attempt to put the papers back in order. Renee stood to her full height of five feet six and looked at the woman. Her mouth flew open,so did the lady’s. They both squealed. They hugged each other for what seemed like eternity, rocking back and forth. Renee was the first to speak.
“Ha, good afternoon Ma.” Renee curtsied.
“Dumebi, where have you been. I’ve been looking for you,” The woman said. Renee smiled, it had been a while since anybody called her by her Igbo name. She had no other family calling her that since both her parents were the only children of her late grandparents
The woman continued,” When I came back from America, you had moved out of your house and nobody had your contact. How are you?”
Renee glanced at her watch, she had two minutes.” Aunty Pam, can I have your card? I have an interview now.I’ll call and explain everything.” The woman handed Rene her card. Renee thanked her and ran toward the elevators.
“Young lady, you are late,” her interviewer said.
“I’m sorry sir. I had a minor mishap down stairs…I’m sorry sir,” Renee said. She watched as the man looked at her portfolio. He had a disinterested look in his face. Not again, not again. Since her parents death two years ago, things had gone from bad to worse. She lost her job, got evicted from her Victoria Island apartment,she no longer had a car, even Kachi- her long time boyfriend- had broken up with her. Renee had tried in vain to get a job until this opportunity came along. Lord please help me. She let out a labored breath. Had she not run into her mother’s best friend-Dr. Mrs. Coker- Uwakwe- downstairs she would have been on time.
“Eheen, your work looks good but-“
Renee knew where he was going and cut him off. “Mr. Wale, please,look again. My work is good. I can even get you a reference from Dr. Mrs. Coker-Uwakwe.” Renee noticed Mr. Wale perked up at the mention of Aunty Pam’s name. He was suddenly interested. Hmmm, she was on to something.
“Which Dr. Coker- Uwakwe? The one of Hope Medical Center in Lekki?” he asked.
“Yes Sir.” Renee knew for sure she had his attention now. She spent the next twenty-five minutes bragging on her relationship with Aunty Pam while the man took another look at her work.
It had been five days since the interview. Renee was on her way back home from buying bread at the corner kiosk. Mama Bisi’s kiosk was the only one that allowed her to run a tab. She was miserable. Just when she thought things were looking up, the devil had started again. MTN,the local phone provider, was having problems with its lines so she hadn’t been able to speak to Aunty Pam. Renee had no idea where she lived now, since she moved from her Lekki house. The card she gave her, had only a phone number on it. Renee had managed her one thousand Naira well, but was now down to fifty. The future was looking bleak. She heard the blaring of a motorcycle horn and she stepped out of the way. She was about to turn onto her street when the cyclist stopped next to her.
“Excuse me, do you know where number 1495 Kings Lane is?” the man asked. He was an Express Mail courier.
“What’s the name on the letter?”she asked. It was her address but she wanted to be sure. The cyclist confirmed it was her house he was looking for. She signed for the letter and he left. Renee opened the letter, her eyes bugging out as she read it. She got out her phone. Maybe MTN is okay now, she thought. She dialed Aunty Pam’s number eager to share the news with someone. Her face cracked in a smile when the phone was answered on the first ring.
“Aunty Pam, good afternoon.” Renee curtsied even though she knew the lady couldn’t see her. They exchanged pleasantries and Renee quickly gave her a summarized version of what she had been through the last two years. Then Renee shared her good news, her mouth opened, she couldn’t believe the coincidence. Aunty Pam had saved Mr. Wale’s daughter life years ago. The young lady had just been involved in an accident and needed surgery. Mr. Wale was just starting out in his career and had no money to pay for the procedure. Aunty Pam had stepped in and the rest was history. The man owed Aunty Pam a favor. Which apparently, Renee cashed in on when she unknowingly dropped Aunty Pam’s name.
Renee dropped Aunty Pam’s name and received favor. Have you tried dropping the name of Jesus Christ today? Why don’t you speak to your situation and drop the name of our Lord? Tell whatever it is messing with you that you are a child of the most High.
John 14:14 “You may ask anything in my name and I will do it”
Philippians 2: 10-11 “that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue acknowledge that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father
©Unoma Nwankwor 2013
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