First of all, welcome back!! I know some of you kept checking the website to see if there was a new story every now and then. I am sorry it took so long- you can follow the social media pages for updates. That way, you won’t miss a thing!
Secondly, I have found a way to put all the episodes of a series in one place, as you can see from the menu above👆🏾. So for those of you are now reading Know thy man and Capital High, it would be a lot easier for you. I missed you guys😍!! The blog is turning 2 on October 28th, isn’t God awesome?!
8 to 5 is finally here, amidst pressure for it to pap more than Know thy man did…lol! Don’t forget to share your thoughts with the hashtag #8to5. Feedback is always appreciated! Today’s episode is dedicated to two of my favourite Kenikodjo readers who are both turning a year older today- Nanaba and Kwame Panyin (aka Peter in #KnowThyMan), as well as baby Pochowaa😍 (Your parents are such supportive Kenikodjo readers that you almost have no choice than to read the blog when you grow up!)
Now, time for take off!
The water dispenser.
That’s where all the hot girls stood to gossip. Sometimes it seemed like they stood there to show off their legs to him. Not that he was complaining. One of the perks of working in a place like PWC was the girls took their appearance seriously- wigs, pencil skirts, those glossy lips, the shoes. Lord, those stilettos mehn! It didn’t hurt that the water dispenser was directly in his line of sight. That way, he could casually take a glance or two without looking like a perv. And for the record, he was not one. He just had a thing for beautiful things.
His boss’ raspy voice broke through his train of thought.
‘Meeting in 5 minutes. Small meeting room.’
Edem sighed inwardly. This meeting would take forever. He could not say it was already 4:45pm. They lied when they said working hours were 8 to 5. The Audit and Assurance floor was working like it was 10:30 am and they would probably be seated until 10pm. He could kiss that kenkey and domedo* goodbye. His eyes scanned through the floor to see if Nadia was still seated. Today when he winked at her, she winked back. Before he could throw in a few lines that he had gleaned from Akwesi, her girlfriends came to pull her to go and get lunch. He almost cursed inwardly but he knew Grams would not approve.
His guardian angel of a grandmother.
When his parents died in the car crash 15 years ago, Grams quit working to take care of him. He was a bewildered 10 year old boy who could not even understand how his father’s brakes had failed on that day. Daddy was always careful. He always double checked his engine oil and water levels in the morning, always ensured that his tyres were clean, always made sure he had enough fuel for the day’s journey. That was Daddy- Mr Careful. He even measured his food portions to make sure he did not overeat. Now he was gone- along with Mummy. Beautiful, graceful Mummy. He had always thought that she deserved to be First Lady of the country, but Daddy was an accountant with no interest in politics. He didn’t even listen to local news because of his disaffinity for politics. He’d rather listen to BBC. His defense was that anything that came from BBC was actually newsworthy and that he didn’t have the stomach for all the noise that came with radio in Ghana.
Grams took him under her wing and taught him how to knot a tie, lace his shoes and fry an egg. She taught him how to open doors for ladies and select good perfume. She taught him how to remember birthdays and how to write thank you notes. She was always soft spoken and yet firm. She didn’t have to raise her voice to set him straight. Her eyes did all the talking. When her smile reached her eyes, it was worth more than silver or gold. Thankfully, he had given her many reasons to smile ever since that fateful day in October 2001- getting 8 ones in JSS (Ga and Pre-Tech had always been his Achilles heel), making it to PRESEC (his father’s alma mater), topping his Business 1 Class, getting admitted to UGBS and graduating with a first class. He had done everything his father wanted him to do- and in the right order. The only things left on that list were to finish with ACCA and get married.
One of the downsides about working at PWC was you spent all your time there so your social life was almost non-existent. On top of that, you were not allowed to catch feelings for a fellow PWC worker.
‘Ah, that’s wicked. I no dey barb. So apart from micromanaging your life, they are determining who you fall in love with? Wow, nicely played! Slavery just got redefined.’
Trust Akwesi to put it bluntly. Akwesi was everybody’s friend. The natural leader anywhere he went to. He could get anyone to do pretty much anything- for free too! He knew who was selling slightly used Apple speakers for a bargain price or which mechanic to use for BMW cars. Edem had watched Akwesi worm his way out of many a corner without even flinching. He was the only guy Edem knew who did not have insecurities about the way he looked. If the party took place without Akwesi, then it wasn’t a party worth attending. The FIFA tournaments happened in his house. He was like the natural centre of gravity. He was the one who settled all the fights. He somehow always had the final say when the boys were deciding what to eat or where to go. All the girls gravitated to him, like his approval of their new hairstyle or leather skirt mattered more than others did. He could say anything and get away with it- after all, this was Akwesi.
They had become friends first week in PRESEC and had stayed friends ever since. He was the only person that Edem allowed to make Ewe jokes around him. He was the one who had travelled to Keta with Edem and Grams when he finally gathered courage to visit his parents’ graves for the first time ever since they were buried. He knew he would be his best man on his wedding day. He would be the one to call if he ever got into trouble and needed someone to clean it up so that Grams would not find out. They were homies, true brothers.
Nadia smiled when Edem walked past her. Whatever game they were playing was fun. Despite hiding the fact that she was engaged to be married, she didn’t think there was any cause for alarm. After all, what could come out of it?
Edem was one of those boys you were just attracted to. He was funny and sweet. He remembered birthdays and noticed hairstyles. He wasn’t drop dead gorgeous but his height and his smile made him an instant heartthrob. He always dressed well- one of the very few boys who knew how to combine colours well. He was easy to talk to and when he wasn’t listening attentively, he was speaking politely. Impeccable English too.
He caught her attention because he wasn’t like the other PWC boys- they were either bookish and boring or loud and rowdy. Even at the Christmas party, where most of the boys had had too much to drink, he drank water and made light conversation with the ladies on his table. Their first connection had been over banku and okro stew from Holiday Inn Annex. She was fascinated about him using a spoon to eat the food and she started mimicking. He indulged her and even made exaggerated gestures when it came to chewing the meat, just to make her laugh. They had exchanged numbers but only after Nadia had ensured that her whatsapp dp was nothing but ‘fire’.
She made sure that the conversation was light but deep at the same time. She wanted to show him her wild side but not scare him away- so she lightly mentioned the fact that she had tried shisha before and left out the fact that she had a piercing on her belly button. She even mentioned that she attended church near his house- hinting at the fact that she could spring a surprise visit on him one day. She talked about her dislike for pot bellies- indirectly complimenting his abs. All these conversations took place over lunch or after she had said good night to Paa Kwesi. After all, she could not afford to get caught.
Edem heaved a sigh of relief when the Accounts Manager of the potential client brought the meeting to a close. He was really hoping that he would not get assigned to that particular project because he already could not stand the man. Fifteen minutes into the meeting, he had taken his shoes off, unleashing an acrid smell that filled the whole room. Then he started throwing his weight about- telling them how lucky they were to have his custom because he could have gone to any of the other big 4 especially since he had friends in managerial positions in those firms.
Why didn’t you go there? Must be the smell. They knew what was coming and referred you to us. And now my supervising partner will hand you over to me. I am too young to die of suffocation. Jesus, fix this!
Fortunately, the meeting ended without Mr Amankwah handing Edem off to be crucified. He raced back to his desk to shut down and pick up his laptop bag. It had started raining so he picked up one of the umbrellas from the front desk and headed to his Hyundai Elantra car. Muting the radio, he picked up his phone to speed dial Akwesi.
‘Yo ma guy! Ridee I close oo. What’s up plus the domedo*?’
‘Ah, you no see sey e dey rain? Wey domedo again? I dey blanket under dey spy movie.’
‘Why, you be salt?’
Laughing to himself, he put the phone on speaker and reversed out of the parking lot. Turning onto the main Airport road, he accelerated and took a right turn to head towards Spintex. There was a truck right in front of him that was moving in between lanes. He moved into the outer lane to swerve the truck. His phone fell off the dashboard onto the floor. He bent over to pick it up only to find the car beside him also attempting to overtake the truck. He hit his brakes a little too hard and the force hurled his body forward. The last thing he remembered before his head hit his steering wheel was him shouting Jesus.
See you next week!
*Domedo- grilled pork