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By Sam Umukoro
16 July 2022   |   3:39 am
Pa Efe was ushered into his cousin’s office by the latter’s secretary; a dark, tall, beautiful girl with enchanting eyes. He could not take his eyes off the girl.

Pa Efe was ushered into his cousin’s office by the latter’s secretary; a dark, tall, beautiful girl with enchanting eyes. He could not take his eyes off the girl. The girl swung her hips provocatively. When Pa Efe entered her boss’s office, she closed the door behind him and went back to sit at her desk.

Pa Efe’s gaze fell on the man sitting on the big executive chair. The last time he set eyes on his cousin had been ten years ago.

“Welcome brother,” the man greeted. “How’s your family?” he asked, beaming with smiles.

“They are fine.”

“Please sit down.”

“Na wa o, long time no see, I can see you’ve really changed. You’ve grown fat and your stomach is protruding. I guess it is the evidence of good living,” Pa Efe said jokingly.

“Yes brother, it seems like ages since we last saw each other. You know how my job is, I’m always travelling, and I’ve been very busy. What can I offer you?”

“Nothing my brother,” Pa Efe said, looking at his cousin.

“He has really changed,” Pa Efe thought, remembering that twenty years ago Edafe was just a young undergraduate at the University of Lagos.

‘Look at him today; he’s already a big shot. Edafe who was very thin when he was young is now very fat; Edafe is now a big man, education is really good o, it catapults you to the top.”

“Brother, how’s Onome?” Edafe asked, breaking into Pa Efe’s thoughts.

“Oh, he is fine.”

“I guess by now he should have graduated from the university.”

“Yes, my brother, he graduated five years ago from the University of Benin, he studied business administration.”

“So, what is he doing now?”

“He is unemployed, you know jobs are difficult to find these days.”

“How is Edirin?”

“Edirin is fine, he just received his J.A.M.B. result slip. In fact, that is the main reason for my visit.”

“What did he score?”

“Two hundred and seventy.”

“Two hundred and seventy!” Edafe exclaimed. “Well, that’s a good score. What course did he choose?”

“Mechanical Engineering.”

“Wait, let me check the cut-off mark for Mechanical Engineering…” He stared at the document for about forty seconds, then looked up with a worried look on his face.

“I’m afraid we have a problem here.”

“What is the problem?” Pa Efe asked, anxiously.

“The cut-off mark for Mechanical Engineering is two hundred and seventy-one.”

“Two hundred and seventy-one!” Pa Efe exclaimed. “Well, are there ways you can squeeze Edirin in, maybe help him to get in through the second batch?”

“I’m afraid, brother, there’s nothing I can do, it’s not possible.”

“But my brother, he just fell short by one mark, his score should give him a place in the second batch…”

“Brother, you know how rigid the admission policy of this school is. And, as you already know, so many candidates applied for admission into the Engineering Faculty. The competition is stiff. Over three hundred candidates scored above two hundred and seventy-one. The university is going to take only two hundred candidates into the Engineering Faculty.”

“Can he change to another department, maybe to Physics?” Pa Efe pleaded.

“Well, I’ll see what I can do about it, the cut-off mark is two hundred and sixty-nine. So, I guess he’ll be accepted in that department.”

“That’ll be great. Thanks for your help,” Pa Efe said rising from his seat to shake hands with Edafe. They bade each other goodbye.

Immediately after Pa Efe left, a man walked into Edafe’s office. He was dressed in a white flowing gown. He exuded affluence.

“Ah Chief, welcome sir, please sit down.”

Chief Layi Thomas was a rich businessman, chairman of DAV Merchant Bank.

Excerpt from the collection of short stories: Once Upon A Monday on Amazon

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