“Nwa m, otutu oma”
“Good morning Mama, kedu ki mere”
“O di mma, my daughter. You are the blessed of all. How is work and life over there?”
“Work is fine, mama; stressful but I’m doing fine. How are you too, mama?”
“I’m doing well, my daughter. Praises to Jehovah, hope you do hear from your brother”
“Yes mama, we chat often. How is Chinonso? I hope he’s not giving you any problem.”
“My son is fine o and his business is thriving; thank you for providing the capital. Now, he has something to keep him busy pending his admission to the university. May the works of your hands be blessed, my daughter”
“Amen, mama. It’s good to hear that you are doing fine”
“Oh, my daughter, when will you come over to our place? There is something important we need to talk about”
“Ah, Mama, I don’t know for now; I get work throughout December”
“Maka nndi, work kwa? Have you forgotten that the prophet said we must do the five years anniversary of your father’s death? Adaeze, my Princess, abeg, you need to come so that we can make preparation of going to the East for this Christmas. It is five years already and we cannot continue to run, especially you. You remember I was in the village with Chinonso and Emeka last year Christmas, you need…’”
Ada squeezed her face as she put on her sneakers; she couldn’t deal with this at that moment. “Why can’t Mama get it? And who is that prophet with the message of doom?”— she could not deal.
“Mama, I have heard you and I know how important this Christmas trip is to you but, I have work lined up till Christmas. And you know how important my job is to us in the family, mama”
“I understand, Ada, but this trip too is important. We all need to get a closure…”
“You know what, Mama? I will find time to come over and talk things through with you. Maybe we can find a way around it but right now, I need to go; I have a meeting in less than an hour”
“Okay, my daughter, I will be expecting you. Also, think about our discussion very well. I won’t mind if you come with your man too, my Oyibo pepper, ego oyibo, nkem, bye ooo”
“Bye, Mama. My love to Chinonso; take care”
Ada dropped the call and sighed heavily; a man was the last thing on her mind. That would be another problem for her after the relationship with Mr-things-will-workout-soon, Ebuka, who was more of a charity case than a lover. Ada quickly shut out the memory of Ebuka, and swallowed it up down to the pit where it had been. It was a horrible time for her and she had chosen to totally forget it. What she did was to make up her mind to stick to her work and her family until God performs a miracle; send a man after His heart to her. Her phone rang again, and she rushed to the sitting room to pick up the file while she picked the call.
“Hello…, yes… I’m stepping out right now, thank you”
She locked her door securely and entered the Uber car waiting in the parking lot. Since her car had been taken in by the mechanic for repairs and she could not afford to be late, she opted for an Uber ride. Ada really wanted to redeem herself before Miss. Williams after the incident in the boardroom at the last meeting.
While at the backseat of the car, she picked up the file and started perusing. The project was a simple but technical one; her firm had been selected to plan a Christmas outreach to any organisation to be chosen by an NGO called Happy Life Givers, and the project was to be funded by Williams Adeleke Initiative. The project had to be carried out in the Christmas season, and the stakeholders involved were free to make any decisions subject to approvals by the Williams Conglomerate. Hence, all she had to do was to carry out the decisions of the NGO as ratified by the business mogul. She read through the file to check for other clauses and instructions; again, they are to spend any amount ratified by Williams but all the money and resources spent had to be accounted for. She was already getting to the technical parts when she arrived at meeting venue; it was an exquisite restaurant.
She made her way to the reception, gave her name and told the nice lady that she was there to meet with Miss. Williams. So, the lady made some calls, and a man dressed in a uniform came around and was asked to take her to a private poolside.
The garden and the pool are a sight to behold; “the whole setting is too much for a restaurant”, and that was when she overheard that, it is a resort, not a restaurant. Can you imagine, how beautiful this place is? If not because of the caliber of people she met on their way to the pool, she would have taken some ‘selfies’ to show her mum and brothers. Maybe she would be able to do that after the meeting, she thought when the man leading her turned and said,
“Here we are ma’am, you can seat with this lady while you wait for Miss. Williams” “Thank you”
Ada caught herself on time and sat down opposite a beautiful light-skinned lady; she was dressed in a simple lemon butterfly top on a blue jean, and tied her head with a blue turban. “She is definitely the representative of Happy Life Givers”, she thought.
“Good morning, I’m Adaeze”
“Good morning to you too, my name is Hassan Amira, but I am known as Ama. I believe you are here concerning the Christmas project meeting with Miss. Williams?”
“Yes, I am. I’m the event planner in charge of the project; I work with…”
“Diamond Consulting Firm, I did my background check immediately my boss handed over the file to me. We don’t like getting involved in shady deals in our organization. Moreover, your firm came highly recommended” Ada could not reply because a lady, well dressed in a suit, came to them asking for what they preferred to take pending the arrival of Miss. Williams. Ada asked for a bottle of water while Miss. Background-Check asked for orange juice.
“Do you know how big this project is, and that this resort is owned and run by Miss. Williams herself? Like, her father is the next big thing in this country, and that is why we need to put our best to this project?”
Ada wanted to tell her that they offer their best in her furm but since she already made her research, she must have known that already.
“I hope you can handle this project like it is the biggest thing you will ever plan. I’m like…”
She paused at the arrival of a bar attendant who came with the juice and water.
“Wow, so tasty, I love this place and I’m happy I’m involved in this project. This Christmas just got brighter,” Ama said opening her arms wide, smiling beautifully to reveal her perfect set of white teeth.
“Good morning ladies,” Miss. Williams said taking her seat on the third chair in the roundtable, she removed her sunglasses and gave it to the lady who took the orders.
“Good morning Miss. Williams,” Ada said.
“Good morning Miss. Williams,” Ama said, still smiling sheepishly.
“The name is Adeyemi, Ade for short. I don’t delight in sarcastic formality and respect; so, just call me Ade. I believe it won’t be difficult to get you to spend my father’s money wisely,” she said without taking her eyes off the lady in a suit, who most likely was her personal assistant.
“Meg, please get a bottle of water for me” “Alright ma’am”
“So, I take it that you came here prepared, Miss. Ada and Miss…what’s that your name again?”
“Amira but you can call me Ama”
“Okay! So, can I have what you have worked on so far, Ada?”
Ada was shocked at the informal way Miss Williams addressed her because she believed that was a business meeting and things had to be done officially. “Okay Miss. Williams, I…”
Ade raised her brows and said,
“Ada, I understand that this is supposed to be a formal meeting but I believe using our first names will take away unnecessary pseudo respect and put our heads f irmly in the game. Do you understand me?’
“Yes, I do Ade”
“Great, carry on”
“Okay, I have read through the file given to me, and I realize the only thing I got was the name of the proposed project, the partners involved and the time frame for the execution of the project. I was hoping I could get more details from the two of you. Then, I can work on a solid plan” “That’s good. I won’t mind if we can just have an outreach to an orphanage in the city, just something to show love to those kids and fulfil my father’s dream of giving back to the society,” Ade said waving her well-manicured fingers in the air.
“Yes, I agree with that. We have so many orphanages we work with at Happy Life Givers”
“Ada, you don’t seem to agree”
“Hmmn, I don’t think so. From what I can see in the purpose of this project and the concept behind it, I think we can do more than a visit or outreach to the society. I don’t know but I believe we are a group of young, intelligent ladies who can pull off a Christmas project that will outlive us”
“Yes, I agree with that too”
Ade turned stiffly on her chair and looked squarely at Ama.
“Do you have anything else in that your big mouth except agreement?”
Silence filled the small space where they were seated, and the only sound that could be heard was that of the gentle breeze. “Hmmn, so what suggestion do you have for us, Ada?” “Actually, I’m not supposed to suggest or give the project because my role as stated in this file is just to carry out the decisions of the sponsors and the outfit for the project. But since you have asked, I suggest an outreach to less privileged youths and children where they can showcase their talents, and we select some of them for scholarship or sponsorship offers. Then, we could also have a Christmas party for all the orphanages and people living with disabilities in the state as you suggested”
“Hmmn, I think I love that; it is a very good way to give back to society. I’m sure my father will like it”
“And Happy Life Giver would be excited to be part of something this great”
“Okay, if we are settled on that, I will draw up a formal Project Management Schedule stating the roles of each of us, and all that needs to be done, making everything detailed”
“Wow, that’s good, just let me know if you need any help”
“Okay, so, do you have any specific date in mind, Ade?”
“Nope, I don’t; you can work around it too. I have somewhere to be in a few minutes. Can we reconvene on Monday to take a look at the schedule and the next steps?”
“Yeah, it’s cool by me.”
“Alright then, I will see you on Monday, ladies.”
Adeyemi Williams said and left the table along with the lady in a suit.
“What do you think about her? I mean, she is the rich girl but don’t you think…?”
“Ama, I will advise you to keep your focus on the project and just be yourself. By the way, I need a list of the orphanages and societies for people living with disability so that we can send them letters. I have your number in the file; I will chat you up on WhatsApp. So, kindly send them to me there”
“Okay, but don’t you think we should wait till Monday and know what Miss… I mean, Ade, would have to say?”
“Ama, send me the list. I will see you on Monday”