Short story: The beautiful sweet talker

by Tolu Oluwaseyi-Daniel

‘Maza-Maza, 2 more chance, enter with your change oo’, the conductor yelled. Atanda quickly hopped in and sat close to an old woman who was enjoying the early morning breeze.

He was still grief stricken by his encounter 3 days ago.

He left the house with no particular destination in mind. ‘What was he to do?’

He looked through the window but all he could see was the blank sky depicting the emptiness he felt inside.

A week ago, he was dreaming of getting a promotion from accountant 2 to accountant 1 since his immediate boss was moving to another country in 4 months’ time. But somehow his life had taken an unexpected turn.

His mind replayed the scene again; he had gone to the bank to make a withdrawal.

The money was needed to pay the junior staff, the cleaners, gardeners and security men. After making the withdrawal he stepped out of the bank, stretching his neck to catch the next available bike but he didn’t find one on time.

He suddenly began to feel rain drops on his skin and before long it started raining heavily. He went to stay under a shed close to the security but after 20 minutes of waiting the rain still did not stop.

As a matter of fact, it became a tad heavier than it was initially. Atanda was still thinking of what to do when a Toyota camry pulled over in front of him. He looked in and it was a beautiful young lady, good lord, she was a sight to behold.

She had an impeccably white set of teeth and her smile was almost as radiant as the morning sun.
‘Hello there’, she said with an angelic voice as she beamed with smiles.

Atanda shuddered as he walked forward his brown envelope wrapped in his jacket. She asked him if he needed a ride and with an overwhelming sense of embarrassment he replied in the affirmative.

He was vexed. ‘Chai!! Why today na, today wey I no carry official car come bank’. He thought to himself.

He was angry at the ill fate that made him meet such a beauty on a day like this, a day when the rain had turned his nicely dry cleaned shirt into a drenched piece of cotton on his back.

However, he found it gratifying to know such a beauty with a good heart still existed. He smiled as he got into the car, they chatted all the way to his office and as he alighted at the gate he thanked her for the kindness.

He requested for her number but she nicely refused saying if fate wanted they would meet again.
Atanda entered into his office, jacket in hand. The rain had stopped and the sky was beginning to brighten up again, he was about to enter the lift when the spell broke.

‘Yeepa, my envelope’ He raced outside but the beautiful thief had sped off with his brown envelope as a reward for the free lift she gave him.

Atanda was sweating profusely, he was walking from pillar to post rehearsing what to say to his boss and all the junior staff who were waiting upstairs for his return from the bank.
After several minutes, he summoned courage and went to the manager’s office. The old man chortled as Atanda narrated his ordeal. Somehow no one believed Atanda’s story.

The security said they saw him smiling with the lady and that it was impossible that they had just met that morning.

Some said it was a planned work. Atanda was fired on the spot.

‘Bros, Bros ehh….bring money na shuo!’ the conductor tapped him back to reality. ‘Wetin u dey think this early morning na.’

Atanda stretched a squeezed 50 naira note from his pocket and handed to the conductor.

He alighted at the junction, shaking his head at the cruel turn of fate that had altered the course of his life. He had been reduced to this by a simple hello from a beautiful sweet talking charlatan.

 

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