Hotel Palava - Episode 15
I got home to the sweet smell of fried chicken and jollof rice. I found my aunt sitting before a plate of four fried Chicken.
"Life is good" I heard her mutter while she drank from a bottle of Coca-Cola.
"This one wey be like say Maga don pay like this" I took one of the fried chicken taking a big bite out of it. "Where you see money?"
"Na God oh" she answered.
"As I dey arrange things, naim God bless me with the money"
I immediately swallowed hard
. I hope it's not my money she was referring to.
"Aunty, abeg tell me say no be my money you use so?" I asked and she paused in thought, "You buy new purse?" She asked and I dropped the chicken back on the plate.
"That's the purse I've been using for the past six months!" I yelled almost in tears and she shrugged.
"How I for take know? Shebi I see money for inside naim I carry am" "What gave you the license to open it" "Ade no shout for me oh! Respect the fact say I be your mama sister. Na my house too" she answered and I tightened my fist as balls of tears rolled down my eyes.
"When last have you paid the rent in this house Aunty Maggie, when?" "Why you dey talk like this?" She paused and I noticed she had tears in her eyes.
I was so filled with anger. Aunty Maggie has always been reckless
. Reckless in spending and every thing she does. I've been responsible for the upkeep of the house ever since Mom died in 2015.
"No be say the money hungry me use but I just feel like say make I chop chicken and make una sef join chop. I never do any better thing make una chop before"
"Na my money con sweet to use shea?"
"No be your money we dey always use before?" She answered, "Besides, i just borrow am small."
"Borrow?" I scoffed, "Ade, no dey do like say na big deal, how much dey inside sef? No be just six thousand? Change still dey my hand. I go give you back"
"I said forget it! You won't pay, you always make the same promises every damn time and you never pay back" I snapped then I walked out of the house.
I needed to get some air.
I woke up the next day with a swollen face. I spent half the night crying. Not because of what my aunt did, but because she was getting out hands. She was becoming a nuisance each passing day.
Maybe it's our curse to bear.
I walk into the hotel lobby, then I met Oge the receptionist. "How far?" I asked and she blinked her eyes. "I'm waiting for Susan to come and take her shift. I slept at night and it still feels as though I haven't. Babe my eyes are about to bust" she answered and I laughed.
"Mummy B don show?"
"Yes, the witch don come since!" She answered and I rolled my eyes.
"That reminds me, Mr. Henry asked that you come into his office" "For what?"
"Babe, I don't know oh." She answered. While I was leaving she called me back to know what was going on between Mr. Henry and I.
"People dey talk oh"
"No be today the talk start" I replied walking away from the counter. I didn't even reach the office before I met Mr. Henry.
He had a gift bag in his hand.
"Good morning Sir"
"Good morning Adesuwa" he answered, "I heard you wanted to see me Sir"
"Yes. I had a lot I wanted to talk to you about but first" he paused stretching the gift bag at me and I wondered what was in there.
I checked and it was a phone.
"I think you should have it"
"I'm sorry I can't" I declined stretching it back at him. I didn't want any gifts from another manager. The last one was disastrous.
I started to doubt Mr. Henry's motive. What if he's just like the others. That's usually the second step after trying to be nice. Afterwards they want s*x.
It has always been the same shitty circle.
"Why don't you want it?" He asked and I shrugged.
I didn't know how to give a damn response without sounding rude. "Cause I don't want it"
"But you have need for a phone and I got you one"
"I don't want it Sir, please" I added almost busting in tears. "Please, I beg you, take it back"
"I'm sorry but when you come back asking for returns, I won't give it to you" "Returns?" He asked and then i saw him shut his eyes.
He finally understood.
"Adesuwa I'm not doing this for s*x or other benefits. I gave this out of the benevolence of my heart"
"Are you sure?" I snapped cleaning off some tears before they made way down my cheeks to his sight.
I didn't want him to see me cry.
"I am sure. Why do you have a twisted mind?"
"Cause they're all the same, you act nice, gift us with precious gifts and then you'll want sex. And when we can't give returns, you make our lives miserable" I ranted and tears came pouring.
"I'm not the type to do that. You should know already"
"I can't know for certain, men are unpredictable"
He moved over to me, brushing his hand around my hair and I pulled back. "I was just trying to clean your tears"
"I don't know the number of guys you've met in your life time, but one thing i know for sure is that I'm not one of them" he assured stretching the gift bag to me.
"If you try anything silly, I'll return it back to you"
"It's okay" he waved his hands smiling. "Thanks" I added.
"Can we talk in the office?" He proposed and I gave him a suspicious look.
"Geez Adesuwa! It's not to have s*x with you. I just want to talk" he clarified and I agreed.
He took the lead and I followed him into the office.
"I had a brief discussion with Mrs. Haruna and I have to say it was worth it" I said to Adesuwa the moment we walked into the office.
"What was it about?" She paused.
"If it okay to ask"
"Your idea gave me a wonderful insight on how i could better run the hotel. Such ideas comes at a cost that's worth more than the phone" I answered and she nodded.
I can guess what was running on her mind. She has probably concluded that the phone was tied to the idea she gave.
"I guess the phone was tied to whatever idea I gave"
"I had a feeling you were going to say that" I noted and she chuckled. I was studying her bits by bits. "So...what idea did I give this time?"
"Inferential research? Does it ring a bell?" I asked and she nodded.
"I prepared some questionnaire and as it , I'm hoping to get some answers to the endless question of how we could satisfy the guests and run the hotel more efficiently"
"That makes sense, so instead trying to find out how guests feel about the cooking, you're trying to find out what they feel about every services we render" she concluded and I nodded smiling.
"That's amazing" she muttered and I laughed joyfully.
"Tell me that's not worth getting you a phone? Now you can tie your phone to the idea you gave rather than the idea of me having sex with you" I added and she nodded.
"What do you think about filling in the spot of the secretary?" "Why?" She asked and I shook my head.
"Cause you obviously don't belong in the maid department" "Just because of few ideas? Anyone can do that"
"Not everyone" I corrected.
"Mrs. Haruna told me you studied business administration in school." I pointed out and she bowed her head. "You're not supposed to know"
"I'm fine where I am Sir, I don't need the job."
"Are you sure?" I asked and she nodded rising up. "The pay is better" I chipped in to entice her. "You don't belong there, you're better so I'm going to give you time to think of it"
"Sir" she interrupted, "Promise you'll think of it?"
"Have a nice day Sir" she added and Emmy walked in.
Just as she was about to leave, Emmy queried her. "Can't you greet a superior when you see one?" "Respect is given not demanded. Besides you're a secretary"
"I'm a staff supervisor," she corrected and Adesuwa glanced at me.
"Don't you have things to do?" Emmy snapped and Adesuwa walked out of the office.
"What was that for?" I asked her and she faced the wall. "Just trying to impose my authority on the workers as their supervisor" she answered and I groaned painfully.
I watched Lilian have lunch while i seriously pondered on Mr. Henry's offer. "What do you think if I apply to be Mr. Henry's secretary?" I asked and Lilian turned to me.
"That will be nice. Is the spot still open? I thought"
"Well the post is still vacant. Miss Emmy is our staff supervisor." I answered and Lilian placed her hands on her head.
"Our own don born oh"
"The same thing I thought"
"Mrs Haruna told Mr. Henry about my course of study and he offered me the job. I'm yet to give him a reply"
"Are you crazy? What do you mean by you're yet to give him a reply?"
"It will look somehow now, from being a maid to the secretary. It will look suspicious" "But wait oh" she paused, "What's Mr. Henry's gain in this?"
"That's my fear. What if he's like the rest"
"Mr. Henry doesn't look bad sha"
"I'm just so scared" I answered in fear and Lilian hugged me.
I walked up to the manager's office and I accepted his offer. He was happy about it. We discussed terms of payment then he showed me the results from the questionnaire.
"A lot of persons felt as though the May Hotel food wasn't good enough" "I told you"
"What do you suggest I do now? An idea occurred to me to employ international standards chef to help for the time being and also in turn train the chef here"
"And how much money are you going to consume doing that?" I asked and he shrugged.
"I have an estimate already" he passed a notepad to me. The figures on the note were too much to waste on an international cook that might not impact shit on anyone.
"What would happen to the traditional meals?" I asked and he smiled. "Temitayo Sanders is an international chef and also a Nigerian"
"Screw it! You'll waste so much when you can find another way out"
"Do you have one?" He asked and I nodded.
"I know of a local food seller, Iya Bilikis Kitchen. It's well known around Rashidi Bello street. The owner is a very close friend of mine"
"What do you propose?"
"The owner pays for the shop , and always been forced to pay one unnecessary fees or the other." I swallowed hard. "He puts so much efforts for a little gain. So I proposed a kind of merger. A contract to take them away from Rashbell to this site"
"Would they do that?"
"With the right agreement and a very convincing pay, they won't think twice to accept. Think of it Sir, if you pay them half of what you wish to give to this international cook, you'll have more to gain" I explained and he smiled.
"Are they worth it?" He asked and I nodded.
"I'll call my lawyer" he added pulling back the notepad.
"This promises to be a wonderful boss and employee relationship." He gave a wide smile and I chuckled.
"I would love to see you tomorrow" he added and I turned my back to leave. "In your corporate wears" he added and I laughed.
"Yes Sir" I answered walking out if his office.
I've had the worst days with my twins. The complains continued. The house we parked into was more of a self contained.
The sitting room is kind of spacious, so also the bedroom. Taiye and Kehinde had to share the same room with me. That was the first complain they made.
Then it moved to how few their toys were. I didn't want to go to the house so I didn't bother getting them back.
Gradually they both connived to ask about where they'll go to for their holidays.
"Would you take us to America?"
"With what income?" I snapped and they both looked at me.
"See, we're no longer going there" I answered and both faces turned sour. "Why?" Taye asked, she has always been the emotional one.
"Cause, I wasn't the one who made the promise, Grandma did"
"Take us to Grandma then"
"You guys would have to get used to the new idea that you won't be going there again" "Are you fighting with Grandma?" She asked and I rolled my eyes.
"You always say that" Kehinde snapped and I glanced at her. "Next year, I'll find a school for you guys to fix yourself in so you can start afresh, get to know new people"
"Are we leaving our school too?" They both asked, this time they were both in tears.
"Sweethearts" I paused almost in tears then I heard the door bell ring. Just when I turned back to get the door, I saw mom walk in with two gist bags.
"You are so careless!" She snapped and I rolled my eyes.
"Leaving the door open when you have two kids in the house"
"Grandma!" They both shouted happily then they rushed to hug her. She pressed her body against them giving them kisses all over their faces.
"Grandma misses you both so much, I hope you miss Grandma too"
"Very much!" Kehinde answered.
. "I brought gifts" she announced and they both screamed hugging her even more.
"We were talking about you"
"Ah I see, about what?" Mom asked and I shook my head. I knew these two talkatives would talk."
"Mom said she'll change our school next year"
"I always pay for the whole session" and the session will not be over till next year September"
"It's spoiling them" I answered in defense and she scoffed. "You call giving the kids quality education spoiling them, Tosin that was the same way I spoilt you and your brother"
"This is none of your business" "Is it because you're scared that you can't handle the school fees? Tosin you know the way out"
"Mom also said we're not going to America" Kehinde complained and I shut my eyes.
"That's a lie, we'll go together without her" "That will not be happening"
"Don't listen to your mom"
"Taye and Kehinde, leave your Grandma and I alone" i demanded and they both left with their gift bags.
"Mom you can't come to my house to dictate things, should I remind you that those kids are mine?" "And they're my grand kids. Tosin I didn't come here for you. I know that when you experience that thing called life, you'll crawl back begging for forgiveness"
"I will never grovel for mercy mom, you're incapable of feeling any emotions" I snapped and she slapped me.
"Mom you're in my house!"
"And I'm still your mom so you better mind the way you speak to me. I only can here for my kids. Look at how poorly fed they are"
"I don't lack food"
"But they lack proper care. Tosin, if anything happens to them, I swear to God, I'll take them off your custody and I don't care whatever dirty means I might use to accomplish that. Come back home peacefully and accept Clement" she suggested and I walked over to the door, opening it.
"I won't go without having some time with my grand-kids."
"You've overstayed your welcome Mom, leave"
Of every single word mom uttered, I was scared of only one, her threat to get my kids from me even with dirty means.
I became so scared. I knew I had to be careful with the kids. My job sometimes keeps me preoccupied, I didn't know whether to quit the job in order to have more time for my kids.
Most importantly, I needed the cash too.
To be continued
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