For Ten thousand dollars$; Consequences of an Unintended Office Romance Part 1

Episode 1

It was an unusual Monday morning at  Lancast Media. Everyone and everything was at the right place discharging their duties. Lancast media regardless of its achievement in the Nigerian Media Industry  is still one of the most fun place anyone in Lagos could ever work. They had in-house parties every Friday, lunch delivered to the office everyday, background music all day for improved creativity for the ever lounging staff, girls of all sizes dressed as hot as ever for the different show times. For these girls, it was an avenue to do what they knew how to do best and do more for more money in their accounts of course.

This monday however was different. Everyone was manning their desk and stations. Silence was the latest background music. A pin falling to the ground will definitely make a sound. Show time didnt have so much drama. For the first time, corporate outfits was the new dress code. You want to know why things changed so swiftly? The new CEO was coming in. I’ll also tell you the reason why things were the way they were.

Lanre Castle, the Chairman of Lancast Media wasn’t as vibrant as he used to be  anymore. Old age was setting in. He was an interesting rich man to everyone especially the girls. Everyone was a decision maker as long as it brought money to the company’s account. There was little or no supervision from anyone.

Deji Castle, the son of the chairman had recently moved back to Nigeria after his undergraduate, triple masters degree and doctorate in the United States. He was coming to change everything and set new rules at Lancast Media.

Like expected, everyone was still like an angel was passing. Indeed it was an angel but more like a human. Deji Castle just arrived. All eyes went in the direction of the very huge transparent glass door. The escort came down from the car to open the door for him. Just like we see in the movies, where the shoes go on display before the actual human steps out. It wasn’t any different. The shoes reflected the sun, very well patterned and polished. The look on everyone’s face said a million words. Can he just come down already was definitely the thought on everyone’s mind especially the girls who were all ready for a catch.

Walking towards the office was a very tall man 6ft 5 just guessingneatly carved beards with no strand of hair on his head. His skin shone like dark chocolate. His  suit didn’t have to have a label on it that screamed designer. It was quite obvious but then again one would wonder if it was sewn on him. The fit was perfect.

In few seconds, he was in the office. All eyes on him. He took off his glasses and smiled at everyone. His dentition was also very perfect with a sparkling set of white teeth. Everyone smiled back at him eagerly waiting for him to say his first words and alas he did and it wasn’t quite what they were expecting.

Hey guys its good to be here. I hope you feel the same way after the first few months. If i were you, ill concentrate on my work and try to still retain my job after the next one month.

Only the best of the best stays.

Thank you he said as he walked into his office.

Everyone felt like a rain of ice water just fell on them. The silence continued. No one moved an inch out of their desks except for Ranti. Ranti was the hottest girl in Lancast media and she was very much aware of that fact and that made her attitude even worse. More than 70% of advert placements came in through her. She could say amongst every other person she was a backbone of the company.

Where was she going? everyone thought to themselves. Wasnt she in this room few minutes ago? She was heading straight to Deji’s office. Okay this is very interesting everyone thought to themselves as they all looked in her direction.

In less than 5 seconds, she was out of the office. Everyone wondered what went wrong. Her hot body and beautiful face always worked for her but the look on her face wasn’t pleasant at all and you could tell her visit didn’t go as planned.  People hid their faces in their work stations to laugh at her except Cleo who let her emotions get the best of her. She laughed out really hard and stopped as soon as she noticed she was the only one laughing.

‘Cleo are you stupid or something’? Ranti asked her as she moved to her station angrily

‘Who gave you the right to be in my business’?. ‘You must think highly of yourself. You good for nothing geek’.

Ranti how dare you speak to me like that I asked very angry.

And what can you do?

Everyone was watching the both of them ready for a show.

‘Cleo all you know how to do is just write, write and write and that is why you are still on the same level I met you 7 years ago’. Ranti said

Ranti I screamed. How would you even say that to me.?

I know you cant deal with the fact that I’m the brain behind the online success of Lancast Media.

‘Oh dear. I’m touched’ she replied in a sarcastic way.

‘I bring in the money that pay your salary you twat’.

A geek is what you are and will always be Cleo!

I hear your mum is hospitalized and you need close to 3 million naira for her surgery. Maybe if you were more than a geek, you may have been able to sort the bills

Now, I had tears all up in my eyes ready to pour.

Thats enough Ranti. Im sorry I laughed at you. Leave my station please I pleaded.

‘I can help you with the Money’.

I paused for a while, wiped my face and sat up in her chair.

What did you say? I asked

‘I said I can help you with the money’.

Are you serious I asked suprised.

‘Yes I am but this is not a gift’.

Ranti but you know i can’t pay back anytime soon.

‘Oh shut up. Of course you can’t. Its not a loan as well’.

Then what is it I asked curiously

Its a bet.

A bet? she asked in shock.

Yes a bet. Get the CEO in 3 weeks and ill give you 10,000 dollars for your mothers surgery.

How do you mean get the CEO? I asked

Get him to fall for you.

Ranti! I  shouted. How am I suppose to do that?

I dont know. Try anything, everything. You have 3 weeks. If I were you, Ill start now.

Why are you doing this Ranti?

I love competition. We are in this together. You have to prove to me you are more than a geek.

Wait a minute!  Ranti you mean I’m in this bet with you. You know ill never win. This is mean and how am I suppose to give you 10,000$ when i eventually lose.

Never mind geek. I know you cant afford it in your wildest dreams. Its a one sided bet. Ill be the one to give the money.

Im sorry I cant Ranti. I’ll get the money elsewhere. Thank you.

‘Ok then’ she said laughing as she swung her hips away from Cleo’s station to hers.

While I was still trying to understand what just happened, the CEO’s office door was pushed open and Deji was soon in the workspace.

‘So, ill like to know the head of the copy department’ he said

A tiny voice from the extreme end of the work station answered; I am the head of the copy department sir. My name is Cleopatra Obi.

‘Hmm Cleo I see. You are the famous Cleo’.

I smiled and dint say anything.

‘Ok good’ he said as he walked towards me, scanning my body for about 5 seconds.

‘So, who’s the head of the Media department’? he asked

‘I’ Mr Deji she said as she stood up standing in a provocative manner with one hand resting comfortably on her hips with a smile.

‘and your name is’? he asked

Ranti Adeyemi.

Ok good. That will be all for today. Cleo meet me in my office now. I’ll meet the rest of you as time goes on he said as he turned swiftly and walked into his office.

Cleo quickly stood up and rushed after him.

He entered and banged the door in her face. Confused she turned and stared at everyone.

Knock they all advised

Ok she replied and knocked.

‘Come in’ he said.

She came in and stood by the door.

Have a seat Cleo.

I always scanned through the documents and website even while i was away. I’m quite impressed and I’m very sure you can do better.

Mind you, i’m very difficult to please. You have to work very hard.

I will sir. I promised.

You may be having a fully funded scholarship for an advanced course in copywriting in Netherlands if you keep your promise.

Her eyes immediately shone brighter. Thank you so much sir.

Don’t thank me yet. Its not certain yet. That will depend on how much you impress me. Ok good. You can leave now.

As I held the door Knob, he called

Cleo you are pretty!

Shocked at his compliment my mouth was wide open.

Close your mouth and my door Cleo.

Yea sure I replied as i ran out of the office.

While I stood in front of the office, I couldn’t stop thinking about what had just happened. She never thought of herself as pretty. I never used makeup or made anything nice with hair except for neat cornrows. Long flowing skirts or big jeans and polo shirts were my most comfortable outfits.

Did I hear him correctly? I was obviously still in shock.

While I walked to her station with a long face, Ranti jumped in front of her. What is the problem? Nothing she said trying to adjust her look.

Hmm you wish. I hope you are not loosing your job as quickly as you may loss your mum.

Immediately, my eyes shone brighter and I moved very close to Ranti like I was going to walk into her body.

On the contrary Ranti, I am never losing my job and I’m in for the bet.

You said what? Ranti asked in shock and burst out laughing loud.

Ok let the game begin

You are in for the shock of your life, Cleo replied as she stretched out her hand for a handshake.

Sure. Cant wait, Ranti replied giving her a handshake.

Do you think Cleo’s mother’s sugery is enough reason for her to consider Ranti’s offer? Drop your answer in the comment section below

Continues in the next episode here


About Stephanie Nyong 55 Articles
Stephanie Nyong is a women's health educator and content development expert. She is very passionate about improved health for women and that of the girl child. She runs different projects and programs for improved health literacy and better health outcomes. You can connect with her across her social media handles @stephanie_nyong

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