Tag Archive | Short stories

The Copycats Among Us (part 3).

Read part 1 here!

Read part 2 here!

 

Elsie was seated opposite her boss, ‘Big Dog’, in his office the next day at 10am on the dot. He had beckoned for her to sit down on one of the chairs opposite him whilst he continued a conversation on his mobile phone.

The room looked and smelled expensive, with luxurious brown leather chairs, a bookshelf with leather-bound books and a large window which overlooked Abuja’s Central Business District. Elsie resisted the urge to remove her feet from her flat shoes so that she could sink them into the grey rug.

‘Yes, sorry about that, Elsie’ Big Dog said in his jovial deep voice as he dropped his phone on his desk. ‘I had to give my driver specific instructions on how to service my car’.

‘Oh. That’s alright, Sir’. Elsie still had no idea why her boss requested for this meeting, and she tried her best not to fidget in her seat. Despite wearing a blazer over her blue floral dress, she was starting to feel the chill of the airconditioner in the office.

‘Right. I’ll get straight to the point’. Big Dog cleared his throat. ‘I am fully aware of the bullying and harrassment you have endured whilst working with Bilkisu’.

Elsie opened her mouth, and Big Dog held up his hand, so she closed it right back. She actually did not know what she would have said, anyway.

Big Dog removed his glasses and rubbed his beard. ‘Don’t worry about how I found out or who told me. You’re not in any kind of trouble, okay? In fact, I’m impressed with the maturity you’ve displayed in handling the situation’.

‘Thank you Sir’, Elsie said, not knowing what else to say.

‘Have you heard of Axis Consultants?’ Elsie nodded. They were a startup company which was in the news regularly.

‘Good, good. They’re currently in the process of overhauling their activities. I met their MD last week at a conference and she asked me if I could recommend someone to be their new PR and Social Media Manager. I told her about you and she would like to discuss the job with you. Are you interested?’

Duhhh, yessssssss!!!! Elsie thought.

However, she sat up straight, cleared her throat and said, ‘Yes, Sir. I am very interested’.

Big Dog’s face lit up. ‘Good! Good!’. Their pay is comparable to what we earn in this organization. I have asked Ms. Ashione, the Axis MD, to to expect your call this morning’. He handed Elsie a business card. ‘They are looking for someone to take the position in 2 weeks’.

Elsie examined the expensive-looking business card which had ‘Axis’ emblazoned on it in black letters over a yellow background. Big Dog continued to speak. ‘I know your capabilities, so it would be a shame to lose you, but I know you will thrive over there’.

‘Thank you so much Sir!’ Elsie was no longer able to suppress her smile.

She walked out of the office moments later, resisting the urge to dance as she did so.

 

***

‘Thank God that’s been sorted out’, Big Dog mused.

He would have preferred to get rid of Bilkisu instead of Elsie. He regretted hiring Bilkisu (she was a nuisance), but his wife had harrassed him into hiring her younger sister to the point that his sanity had almost been at stake.

Big Dog stood up, smoothed down the wrinkles on his grey trousers and adjusted the sleeves on his long-sleeved white shirt as he walked to the window. He had not told his wife that Bilkisu had made a pass at him the previous year, and that her bullying of Elsie was probably a way of trying to get his attention.

Or maybe she was simply just a mean person.

Sighing heavily, he returned to his desk, put on his glasses and pressed a button on his intercom.

‘Mrs Onuorah? Please ask the Head of Human Resources to see me immediately. Thank you’.

He needed to know what his options were if he decided to fire Bilkisu at some point in the future. He put on his glasses and picked up the sheaf of papers in front of him.

He had an organization to run, after all.

 

***

‘I heard you’re leaving soon’.

It was two days after her meeting with the MD, and Elsie looked up to find Bilkisu standing in front of her desk.

‘Yes, I am’, Elsie replied. She had met with the MD of Axis Consultants for lunch the day before, who had offered Elsie the job on the spot. She had received the email with the offer of employment letter that morning. ‘I wanted everything to be confirmed before I told you in person’.

Bilkisu said nothing for a moment, as she tapped her long nails on Elsie’s desk. ‘Please make sure that you leave a detailed handing-over note before you leave. You can start working on it now’.

Actually, I’ve been working on my handing over note for almost a year, Elsie thought. It will take me only 10 minutes to review it.

Instead, she smiled and said, ‘Alright, I will start working on it now’.

Bilkisu nodded and walked into her office, her shoes making a clicking sound on the tiles, before she closed the door behind her.

 

***

Damn it.

Shit. Shit Shit.

Bilkisu rained silent curses on her Brother-In-Law. And on Elsie.

She had discarded her orange high heeled shoes in the middle of the office and was pacing angrily like a trapped wild animal. Her perfectly arched eyebrows where screwed up as she frowned.

What was the point of having the MD as your Brother-In-Law if he kept giving you work to do? He had reported her treatment of Elsie to his wife, her big sister, who had surprsingly taken her husband’s side.

‘Either step up your game, or you look for work elsewhere’, her sister had told her.

What rubbish.

Bilkisu conceded that she may have taken things too far with Elsie…and maybe she should not have tried to kiss Big Dog last year at the office barbeque…but surely, none of this was her fault, she reasoned. She was the last of 4 daughters of a wealthy Senator, as a result she was overindulged and carried an air of self-entitlement. She usually got away with doing the barest-minumum of work in any given situation.

But now the Elsie-Bitch was leaving, which meant that she would have to do actual work.

Shit. Shit. Shit.

Bilkisu flung off her blazer which she wore over a multi-coloured Ankara print fitted dress. The blazer missed the chair and slid down to the floor, but she did not notice.

Why was life so unfair?

Stepping over her shoes, she walked barefoot to her desk, sat down and stared at her computer’s screen without actually seeing anything.  She would go through the handing over note that the Elsie-bitch was writing…maybe that would remind her of what work she was supposed to be doing in this office.

Bilkisu reached into her top drawer, ignoring the files in front of her, and brought out a bottle of red nail polish. She began to paint her finger nails, an activity which always put her in a better mood.

Work would just have to wait.

***

Two weeks later, Elsie lay on her sofa wearing black shorts and a grey ‘Sesame Street’ T-shirt, reliving the going-away party her colleages had thrown for her that Friday. It was a simple but colourful affair, and she enjoyed it more because Bilkisu had taken the day off.

Tunji was out of the country for a conference in London, but he had called her to wish her good luck on her new job, which was nice.

As she thought about what life held in store for her, Elsie’s phone beeped. A message from a UK number.

Tunji.

‘E., I will wait for you to work for a month in your new office before I ask you out again. I hope I’m observing the right protocol. T’.

Elsie laughed, her first real laughter in weeks. She alreay knew that she would say yes when he asked, but for now, her mind was only on her new job.

 

The End.

 

©Ivie M. Eke 2017.

 

(Thanks for reading! I know a lot of people can relate to being in toxic work environments, which is why I decided to come up with this story. Best wishes).

 

 

 

 

Walking On Eggshells. 

‘Walking On Eggshells’, my short story collection is available on Amazon and Okada Books! 

 

Excerpt from ‘The Green Fridge’.

‘The Green Fridge’ is the last story in my collection, ‘Walking On Eggshells’.

 I wanted to write about a marriage where the love had fizzled out, and where the couple could no longer articulate to each other why they were unhappy. They would rather focus on mundane activities, such as buying a new fridge. 

‘Walking On Eggshells’ is available on Amazon and Okada Books.

Please get your copies and share this post with your friends.

Happy reading!

Ivie.

My Short Story Collection!


‘Walking on eggshells’ is available on Amazon and Okada Books.

Please make a purchase and share this post with your friends on social media as I work on more stories.

Have a great weekend!

Ivie.

A Little Survey Which Would Be A Big Help!

1ly1ie

 

Hey, Everyone!

 

I have been writing on this blog for almost a year and a half: amazing!

 

What started as a hobby has become a full-time passion project that I use to express myself positively.

 

I am always working to improve the quality of posts on this blog. I would appreciate it if you took this 5-minute survey about your user experience with this blog and your suggestions for improvement.

 

You can find the short questionnaire here.

 

Thank you so much for your support!

 

Ivie.

My New Book, ‘Walking On Eggshells’ Has Been Published!

walking-on-eggshells

 

Hey, Everyone!

 

I am very happy to announce that my 2nd book, ‘Walking On Eggshells’ has been published!

 

Yay!

 

The collection includes stories about love, the breakdown of relationships, feelings of resentment within a family and the human side of a state Governor. All the stories shine some light on life in Nigeria and how we are all just trying to get through life one day at a time.

 

The book is available for purchase here in Ebook format on OkadaBooks (a book-reading app available on Android and IOS). I will update you all when it is available on Amazon.

 

It would make me very happy if you could buy a copy of the book and share this post with all of your friends and followers on social media.

 

I am so grateful to everyone who stops by this blog to read the things which I write. I am living a dream which I never knew I had until recently.

 

Thanks for your anticipated support and I hope you enjoy the book.

 

Happy reading!

 

Ivie

Classically Ivy.


***Update: 4th February 2017***



‘Walking On Eggshells’ is now available in print and ebook format on Amazon! Get it here! 

 

Short Story: An Ordinary Day (Part 1).

Mildred looked up from sweeping the sitting room to watch the forced banter on yet another American Talk Show. The four women on the show’s panel were of varying ethnic backgrounds. The show’s producers were obviously pandering to all sorts of demographics, she mused.

She listened for a while as the women talked over each other on the topic of spousal cheating. She eventually got bored and put the TV on mute. Watching the women gesturing wildly with no accompanying sounds amused her immensely.

Mildred finished sweeping the living room and began to mop the floor; this was her usual Saturday morning ritual. She loved the brown floor tiles which resembled wooden boards and she whistled tunelessly as she completed her chore.

She was happy that there was power that morning, so she could put on the ceiling fan as she worked. Even then, the Abuja heat still prevailed, and before long her shorts and grey T-shirt were soaked with sweat.

Mildred suddenly heard her phone ringing from where it was plugged in the kitchen. She removed her patterned scarf from her head and used it to dab at the sweat on her forehead, before shoving it into her pocket. She then picked up the mop and bucket and got to the kitchen just as the phone stopped ringing.

The display on the phone’s screen showed ‘one missed call from Mrs. B.’

It was her Mother-in-Law.

Mildred smiled.

The phone suddenly began to ring again, startling her. She answered it on its third ring.

‘Hi, Ma. How are you today?’

There was a slight pause. To Chief Mrs. Busayo, her daughter-in-law saying ‘Hi, Ma’ instead of ‘Good Morning, Ma’ was an offense almost equivalent to murder.

‘Mildred. Where is my son? I have been trying to reach him but he is not answering his phone’.

‘Oh, really? Well, Dotun is somewhere in the house, Ma. I will ask him to call you back’.

There was a muffled sound from upstairs which Mildred ignored.

Chief Mrs. Busayo muttered something in Yoruba about poorly brought-up children and Mildred smiled but said nothing. She was Igbo but she actually understood Yoruba very well, a fact which her Mother-in-Law was oblivious to.

Suddenly losing interest in the conversation, Mildred shouted ‘Bye!’ and ended the call while her mother-in-law was still talking. The thought of the shock on the woman’s face tickled Mildred deep in her stomach, and she did a small dance to mark the moment.

When she was tired of dancing, she switched off her phone. She then cleaned the surfaces in the kitchen and decided that it was time for her breakfast. It was almost 10am now; just the right time for an indulgent meal, she thought.

Mildred decided that she wanted scrambled eggs, and proceeded to prepare the meal. She used the electric side of the cooker since the gods of electricity had blessed her that morning with some power. Gas was getting too expensive for her liking.

When she was done with her cooking, she dished the eggs onto a white plate and placed it on a green tray. She placed a fork on the tray, aligning it so that it was perfectly parallel to the plate. She then poured herself a glass of orange juice and added it to the tray.

The house was quiet, with just the hum of the refrigerator and the deep freezer piercing through her thoughts.

Satisfied that the kitchen was tidy, Mildred picked up her tray and carried it upstairs to her bedroom, balancing the tray on her waist as she opened and closed the door.

She walked to the bed, stepping over her husband who was lying face down on the floor, unconscious. She noticed the white mug on the floor beside him, now empty and lying on its side.

She was impressed that the mug had not cracked when it fell.

Mildred stared at Dotun, intrigued that even though he was well over six feet tall, he now seemed shrunken in her eyes from where she sat. He looked so small lying there in his singlet and boxer shorts.

He looked harmless.

‘Your mother said you should call her as soon as possible’, Mildred informed him, though she was not really expecting a response.

She picked up her fork and began to eat her breakfast, savouring the tastiness of her meal.

The bedroom was fragrant with the smell of scrambled eggs.

Written by

©Ivie M. Eke 2016.

Short Story: Braids Gone Wrong.

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‘Nooo, this cannot be happening! Not today!’ Bosede moaned, staring at the handful of braids which had come off along with her hair.

She was in the process of getting ready for work and had decided to oil her scalp before putting on her makeup. As she removed the rubber band which held her braids together, about five braids came off her hairline, taking her hair along with them.

For a moment she had simply stared at the micro braids in her hands, as if they would suddenly stand up and explain themselves.

‘Bosede, can you see your life?’ she grumbled to herself. This would teach her to leave her braids in for much longer than was necessary. She had meant to take them out last Saturday after about two months of wear, but she had succumbed to laziness and television and watched a marathon session of ‘NCIS’ instead.

Now, here she was on a Wednesday morning, sporting a bald patch on the right side of her head. She glanced at her watch and saw that the time was now 7am. Suddenly realizing that she had to leave the house in fifteen minutes if she did not want to be late for work, Bosede snapped out of her reverie. 

She went about strategically arranging her braids over the new bald patch so that it was mostly covered up. She then put on some makeup, opting for a ‘no-makeup’ look instead of her usual ‘full glamour’ look.
There was no time for that.

***

Bosede made it to work just before 8am, beating the worst of the Abuja morning traffic, which made her happy; she did not need another query for late-coming. She sat at her desk and enjoyed the few minutes of solitude before her three other team members arrived. Despite her colleagues living much closer than she did to their workplace, a Parastatal of the Ministry of Education, they still managed to show up to work long after the resumption time.

Bosede looked around, making sure that she was alone, and brought out her mirror from her  bag. She examined her ‘braids arrangement masterpiece’ and, satisfied with her work, put the mirror back into her bag. As she pulled out her hand, out came a stray braid along with it.

‘Seriously?’ she asked herself, glaring at the offending braid.

‘Miss Bose, are you talking to me?’ asked Nene, one of her colleagues who had just walked into the office.

‘What? Oh…no, I was just…talking to myself’ Bosede replied, sheepishly.

‘Ah Bose, you know that talking to one’s self is a sign of madness-hope all is well oh!’ Nene laughed. Bosede joined in the laughter, even though she did not really know why she was laughing.

She rolled up the stray braid and put it back in her bag.

‘I must stop at the salon before I get home’ she mused to herself. Thankfully, the office closed by 4pm; she would call her usual ‘hair lady’ at her salon to see if she could schedule an emergency braids removal session.

***

Unfortunately for Bosede, that Wednesday was the day that her supervisor, Mrs. Kalu, decided to schedule an emergency brainstorming session.

The meeting was set for 3.45pm.

Bosede could feel her braids smirking at her.

The meeting, of course, ran until 4.30pm, with her supervisor doing most of the talking, and with very little being accomplished.

Bosede was the first out of the door of the meeting room once the meeting finally finished, and she walked quickly to her cubicle, shut down her computer, picked up her bag and was dialing her hair stylist as she walked to her car.

‘Aunty B!!! Long time, hope you are fine Ma. Do you want to make another hair?’ ‘No, Dorcas, I actually want to remove my braids now’ Bosede started to say this when Dorcas interrupted her. ‘Ah Aunty, we will soon close, can you manage it until Saturday morning?’

Bosede sighed, sitting down heavily in her car. ‘Ok dear, I will see you on Saturday’. With that, she ended the call and looked at her braids in the rear view mirror. Her hair arrangement was holding up, but she was more concerned for the safety of her hairline.

She had just put her key in the car’s ignition when her phone started to ring. It was Oche, her boyfriend.

‘Hey, baby! How was work today?’ he asked, sounding annoyingly cheerful for someone who had also just closed from work.

‘I’m fine darling…I’ve just had a stressful day’ and she told him all about her braids debacle.

He was silent for a while, and Bosede was sure he was trying not to laugh. ‘What if I come over to help you remove the braids? Would that help?’

She suddenly felt like crying and laughing at the same time. ‘Sure darling- that would be great. Okay, see you soon’. She chuckled as she ended the call. She would probably end up with no hair if she let him anywhere near her braids, but she appreciated his kind gesture.

With that in mind, she started her car and drove home to remove her braids.

***

The End.

© Ivie M. Eke 2016.

3 Topics Which Inspire My Writing Process.

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  1. Poetry: Everyday ocurrences. 



Let me first state that when it comes to poetry, it would have been very very very very very easy to dedicate this blog to the tortured misery of past relationships.

I could have inundated you with long, rambling and sad poems which would make you to burst into tears every day, much to the alarm of your family/friends/coworkers.

However, since I want to uplift people, rather than deflate them, I try very hard to expand on the themes of my poems. I might write some sad poems once in a while, but I also write poems about makeuppower cuts and other Nigerian frustrations, my phone, and my love for books.

 

2. Short Stories: The ghosts of past relationships. 

So far, all of the short stories which I have written have been inspired by my dating experiences and those of friends and acquaintances as well.

I have found that we humans, as jaded as we are, like a good love story. This realization has shaped the stories which I have published on this blog.

They say that you should write what you know, so I have written a lot of stories from the female character’s perspective (although in ‘The first date’  and ‘When you wake up’ series, I wrote from both the male and female characters’ perspectives).

I am however working on stories which have little to do with romance, which I will put up on the blog soon.

 

 
3. Essays/articles:  Living in Nigeria and life in general: 
I have had the opportunity to write for other platforms, where I tried to balance the target audience’s needs with my own unique perspective.

 
Before I wrote for those websites/blogs, I did some research on articles already published on those websites, and was also guided by their specific requirements (word count, structure, tone of language, and so on).

Examples of some of my articles include Covert allies: A tale of Nigeria’s secret feminists.

Household chores: Making a mess of being tidy

and 5 lessons I learned from my Secondary School days.

Ultimately, I try to write what I would want to read, and what I hope others would enjoy reading as well.

What inspires your own writing process?

 

Thanks for reading!

 

© Ivie M. Eke 2016.

Of Diamond Rings And Fuel Queues (Part 2).

 

photo: Genevieveng.com

 
Hey everyone!

The story continues-what happened after the fuel queue? Please read the next part of the story on the Genevieve Magazine website.

Happy reading!

Ivie.