LIKE ANTS TO SUGAR (A short Story)
With Review by Itunuoluwa Ajayi-Albert.
Dupe Falawo looked at herself in the mirror the third time in a row. She was all set for a job interview that morning but she wanted to make sure of something: that she didn’t look too good.
With the current trend of civilization and competition for job, one would have expected a lady like her who was in desperate need of a job and needed to make a good impression on her would be bosses to do all she can to look good but for Dupe, it was unbelievably the opposite.
“Lord, please don’t let this interview end up like the ones I went for in the past.” She prayed silently before carrying her handbag and exited her flat.
As Dupe walked to the main road, she began to reflect on how life has treated her since she came of age.
She had graduated with first class honors in Business Administration and had always had the mentality that getting a job won’t be a problem for her.Truly, Job opportunities had turned up in many ways but they all wanted her to give something in return: her body.
Of a truth, Dupe was a beauty to behold.
She was a dark complexioned tall lady with slender body figure. She had pointed nose and long fingernails. Many had said to her hearing that God had indeed created her specially. However rather than being proud of her beauty, she was actually frustrated by it.
As an undergraduate student, she had a lot of issues with guys. Most of them wanted to be her friends not for her personality but for one reason: Her Beauty.
Even though she was not born again in her first and second year, she had done her best to resist the urge to belong. Most of the big girls wanted her in their clique, so they could connect her to the men they knew: she had refused.
In her third year, Dupe eventually gave her life to Christ and joined a Bible Believing Fellowship but she still felt pressured by those who were supposed to care for her spiritual growth. An incidence she would never forget was when one day in her ignorance, she had visited a brother who was an executive of the fellowship but he had tried to coerce her into a sexual relationship with him.
She had narrowly escaped and since then had learnt to deal with the fact that all men wanted the same thing from her: Her body.
As a first class product and the best student of the year in her department, she had been given an offer to join the academic staffs but the person who was in charge had called her to his office one day and told her she would have to be in a relationship with him before he did the final approval.
Dupe hissed in present as she remembered the fact that the man had been someone who was older than her own father. She had begged him that day to reconsider but when she saw he was adamant she left his office for good.
After then, she had gone for five interviews but her beauty always seems to distract the men. The females in the interview panel in their envy would make sure she didn’t get the job. At one of the interviews it had looked like she would be offered the job but the Managing Director had offered that she become his ‘side-chick’. She refused bluntly and had been shown out of the building.
“Lord this morning, let them see your glory. Henn! Let them not even see that I am beautiful. I need a job badly. Lord, I’m tired of all these.” She prayed quietly as she flagged down a cab.
“Dupe Falawo;” The secretary to the Director who was to interview her called from her work desk.
Dupe stood up from where she had been sitting for hours with her handbag in one hand and her file in the other. She sighed deeply as she walked towards the woman’s table.
“He is waiting for you.” The older woman told Dupe with an encouraging smile.
“Thank you Ma.” Dupe replied and moved towards the office.
“Lord, I’m in your hands.” She prayed silently before opening the door and walked into the room.
“Miss Dupe Falawo;” a masculine voice called from the work table area as soon as she shut the door behind her.
Dupe looked up to meet the eyes of a tall handsome young man. He was sitting on a leathered executive chair behind a desk. Dupe gauged him to be in his early thirties.
“So young to be a director.” she murmured under her breath before she remembered he had called her name.
“Yes Sir.” She said bowing her head a bit.
He looked at her from up to down; “Beautiful.”
Dupe squirmed uncomfortably.“Lord, not again.” She whispered silently.
“Be seated.” he commanded and directed her to sit in front of him.
As soon as she sat down she relaxed and she waited for him to ask her questions. God knows she was prepared for the interview but No! He kept staring at her.
Uncomfortable silence filled the room and eventually Dupe had to engage herself by taking in the beauty of the office.
She looked up to meet his sharp gaze; her eyes widened in shock. Had she heard him wrong? Was she imagining things?
She looked towards the door to see if someone else had entered the room while she was looking round the office. What is going…?
“I said marry me.” He stopped her from thinking further with his deep baritone voice.
Dupe cringed; He had really said that.
She dashed her eyelids furiously; “Excuse me, what?”
He grinned; “You heard me, Dupe. Stop playing ignorance.” He pushed his seat out, stood up and walked around the table to where she was sitting. Dupe just sat there like a statue as he stood beside her, bent low to her level and whispered into her right ear; “You know you are beautiful right?”
Like a robot, she nodded but her eyes were glistening with tears.
He straightened behind her and seem to deliberate with himself what to do next. Dupe closed her eyes trying to hold back the tears threatening to fall. It was then she felt his hands caressing her shoulders. She froze under his touch. Before she could think twice, she flung his hands away and stood up furiously.
With her heart hammering wildly in her chest, she said; “Would you please stop all these nonsense?”
Then he laughed: a laugh that almost made her choke.
Dupe looked up at him with eyes flashing in anger and could have sworn that she caught a soft look of compassion in his eyes for some seconds.
He cleared his throat and took a step towards her; “I’m not asking you to be my girlfriend;” he took another step; “I’m not requesting for a one night stand because I know you will call it fornication;” he took a step again: “I’m asking you to marry me legally. I want you to be mine.” Shivering, Dupe took two steps away from him in fear.
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He must have seen she was now scared of him for he also stopped at that spot. He spoke on; “You don’t even need this job. My father owns this company and in few months he will be handing over to me officially. You can even have a start up business. You can be a full house wife if you want to and I will still pay you any amount you request for every month. Just say yes, become my wife.”
“Ha! Lord.” Dupe cried out.
He wasn’t in any way moved; “What do you say?” he asked with a grin on his face.
“See question.” Dupe spat out. “What else? No!” She walked back to the chair and grabbed her handbag and files in anger.
He stared at her in shock; “Really?”
She stopped and turned to him. She lowered her voice and said; “You may keep your job. I’m not even searching for a job any longer. Wait, did I ask to be created so beautifully? Is it my fault? Ha! What is all these?” She shook her head.
“Secondary school was hell; my university days were hell. Why is it that it’s my body all the men I have ever met want? Why?” She screamed out at this point. She calmed down to catch her breath; then a tear dropped from her eyes.
Am I crying? She used her right hand to wipe her face.
She shook her head and looked up to see the man’s face. He looked crumbled; like he was regretting all he had said.
She refused to let herself be deceived; “Why are you looking at me like that?” She narrowed her eyes.
“I’m sorry. I took the test too far.” He said softly.
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“What?” She stared at him.
He switched back to a serious mode; “Miss Dupe Falawo, you have your job. Resume 7:30am next week Monday.” He said calmly and walked back to his seat with a smile on his face.
Dupe stood there dumb stricken.
“What just happened?” She asked and moved to sit back in a hurry. He just sat there looking at her with a smile.
Dupe frowned; “I thought…”
“I’m sorry I went too far.” He said softly.
“It was just a test and you passed gallantly. As a fellow brother in the kingdom, I’m proud of you.” The way he said it made her heart feel warm.
“Dupe, you better calm down;” she told herself.
He continued; “The thing is I have had issues with some ladies in this Company in time past. Some made life hell for me. I didn’t want to make the mistake of hiring a seductress.”
“Of a truth you are beautiful and when you walked in, I was caught unawares.” He laughed at that point then he spoke on; “I could tell you are a believer but I wanted to know if you would fail my test. I’m sorry but I needed to be sure.” He explained.
Dupe let the tears fall; “Thank you Jesus. Thank you Lord.”
“I’m Anthony Adetunmbi.” He put out his hand to shake hers.
She accepted it; “Dupe Falawo. I’m sure you know that already.” She laughed through her tears.
He let go of her hand; “I’m really sorry. You have really gone through a lot as a single lady trying to preserve herself. I don’t know why though I do but I’m proud of you. I really am.”
“Thank you very much for the opportunity Sir.” She stood up and bowed in gratitude.
“Thank you for not disappointing God. I will see you on Monday.” He said.
“Alright Sir.” She replied and moved to go out of his office. She was about opening the door when he cleared his throat to get her attention; “By the way Dupe;’
She stopped and looked at him; “Yes.”
“When I said I needed a wife, I really need a Godly Woman in my life.”
Dupe smiled; ‘God will bring her your way Sir.”
His face turned serious for a minute and as if in thought he said; “That is if he hasn’t brought her my way already.” Then he smiled: a warm smile that curled around her heart.
Dupe swallowed; “Well, we’ll see.” She said and without waiting for his remark opened the door and stepped out. Her heart was bustling with Joy.
“Hmm! Working with Mr Anthony is going to be interesting.” She said to herself as she walked away from the room.
Dupe boarded a Cab just outside the Company’s gate and as the driver drove her home she couldn’t help but thank God she hadn’t accepted all the offers to defile her self. She cried as she remembered all that she had gone through in the hands of the ungodly men she had met. She hadn’t disappointed God and he had now rewarded her with a good job in a comfortable environment and a principled young man who was also a believer as her boss. She couldn’t have asked for more.
She smiled as she remembered all Anthony had said to her.
“What is it about him that makes me so excited?” She thought with a smile on her face.
“Aunty…” The driver called and she looked up to see him watching her through the front mirror.
The driver smiled; “You are blushing.”
She covered her face before bursting into laughter.
Metres away, Anthony Adetunmbi still seated in his executive chair thanked God for making the woman that he had been preparing for him walk right into his office.
For months he had waited for the day he would meet his future wife. From the moment she walked into his office, he knew one thing: He had found his Missing Rib.
By the time she gave him a blunt ‘no’ and recounted all her experiences, it confirmed the things God had told him about his woman.
He knew he was not in any way going to let her slip away from him.
All Rights Reserved.
(Originally Published in Singles Digest: A MONTHLY ONLINE PUBLICATION OF PRESERVED SINGLES: God|Faith|Purity|Purpose|Waiting; Volume 1, Issue 2, October 2020 as ‘BECAUSE THEY WANT ME by Mercy Oluwafunmito Adebisi’)
REVIEW BY ITUNUOLUWA AJAJI-ALBERT (CEO, LIFE SUPPORT NETWORK)
Even though this is a fiction, this story is real and relatable.
There are prospective employees that get tested during job recruitment process. There are some Companies that at the point of employment, after realizing that you are a good fit for their company and you possess the potential and skills they are looking for, will want to test your values and know what you stand for.
You may be called into an office and they will tell you they are about signing a contract and you can serve as their witness.
They will make discussions in front of you and bring the idea of adding a couple of zeros to make it a million when the value should be about a hundred thousand and they will be observing you to know how you are going to react.
They might even ask you if you would mind adding your signature so you would get your cut out of the money.
There are instances where it might even be the employees in the company that will play this game with you and not the employers and the very moment it looks like you are complying, they would conclude that ‘this person can’t work with them’.
Hence, it is very possible for what is written in the story to happen.
Looking at this illustration from the spiritual perspective, it is very important that you stick with your spiritual values, beliefs and convictions so as not to create problem for yourself.
There are some people that they would compromise at the point of job hunting. Perhaps they paid or bribed to get a job and by the time they get the job they have to keep compromising to keep that job because in an instance where the HR is not supposed to give them a job and perhaps the HR is a man and the lady had to offer her body to get the job knowing fully well that she is not qualified or perhaps she is even qualified, the person already has something that they can use against the individual and it will only turn into a blackmail.
The man may say, “if you don’t do this, you are going to lose your job”.
“If you don’t do this, this is going to happen”.
At the end, the person will have to keep on compromising.
As a Christian, always let your stand and your conviction be known to everybody so that at first contact they will know what to expect from you. They know that you are not the kind of person they can suggest some certain things to and when you get the job they already know that there are some plans or coup that you cannot partake in. Therefore, making your stand known at the first step of the recruitment process for job seekers is very important because that will save you a lot of problems.
“Behold, I send you forth as sheep in the midst of wolves: be ye therefore wise as serpents, and harmless as doves.” Matthew 10:16 KJV
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God bless you.🤗