Damilare sat at his reading table studying the business proposal Kaima gave to him last week. This was the third time he was reading the proposal, everything the proposal said, looked like a fairytale.
This can’t happen, it can’t work, he said to himself. He brushed the proposal aside, his thoughts began to brew. He tried to make sense of everything the proposal was saying, the benefits in the document was saying everything he wanted in life, but he also knew that the saying: nothing good comes easy was true. He felt that the proposal had failed to mention the amount of time and energy he was going to expend to make the business plan work.
Can I pull this off? No was the first answer that came to mind, after much thought, he decided that he would give Kaima an answer after he consulted with God.
On Sunday, he pulled himself out of bed and forced himself to the house of God. He hadn’t been to the house of God for a very long time. He wondered if God would listen to his prayers, he encouraged himself.
‘It’s been two weeks now, I haven’t heard from Damilare, I wonder why he hasn’t called’, Kaima told Cynthia, a close friend.
‘Who is this Damilare that you haven’t told me about?’, Cynthia asked.
‘Oh! That’s his real name’, replied Kaima
‘Ehn’, Cynthia pressed
‘Chef 26’, she replied
‘Really! How did you meet him?’, Cynthia asked, picking up the DVD remote and pausing the movie they were both seeing.
‘I dropped by the Magic Menu restaurant some weeks ago to see him’
‘Why?’, Cynthia asked, she was turning on her detective mode
‘Is this an interrogation?’, Kaima retorted
‘Not at all, Cynthia replied, do you feel you’re being interrogated?’, Cynthia asked making a funny face that sent Kaima crashing to the couch, reeling with laughter.
‘Remember that thing I was working on the other day, the thing I told you was personal’
‘Yes I remember’, Cynthia replied
‘It was a business proposal for Chef 26’
‘For Damilare you mean’, Cynthia said with a wink and a smile
Kaima gave her the full details of the contents of the proposal, she powered on her laptop showing her a copy of the business proposal.
‘Wow! Kay you wrote all this? I didn’t know my best friend was good at doing stuffs like this, we could be business partners you know’
‘Damilare would be a fool if he didn’t take this deal; it offers him a chance to make extra income on the side while doing what he loves doing’
‘I think it does. But is it good enough?’, Kaima asked.
‘Ofcourse it is’
On Wednesday evening Kaima got a call,
‘Hello, who am I speaking with’ she asked
‘It’s Damilare’, came the reply from the caller
‘I’ve been expecting your call, the lunch you made today was wonderful’, she said unable to hide how she felt.
‘Thank you, just doing my job. I’m calling to give you my reply about the business proposal you gave to me at the restaurant’
‘You’ve made up your mind’, she replied, smiling as she sunk into her office chair.
‘Yes I have’, he replied
‘My answer is no.’
‘What?’, Kaima almost screamed as she adjusted her sitting posture. Her mood changed.
‘May I ask why?’
‘The business plan is just too good to be true, besides it states a lot of great benefits, but it doesn’t state the time, energy, and sacrifice I’d have to commit to make it work, am just not sure footed about it.’
Kaima was silent for a while.
‘Hello are you there?’, he asked
‘I am’, she said not hiding her disappointment which was evident in the tone of her voice.
‘Damilare I would like you to reconsider this offer’
‘I have Kaima, my final answer is no. Goodbye Kaima.’
The line went dead. Kaima was devastated. Worried lines began to appear on her beautiful face. She picked up her cell phone again, and dialled Cynthia’s number.
Damilare stared into space as he pondered if he had made the right decision in not accepting Kaima’s proposal. Ikenna stood in front of him, but his stare was still the same.
‘Dre’, Ikenna called out, he did not respond.
‘Dre,’ Ikenna called out again, still he did not respond.
‘DRE!’, Everyone in the kitchen called out
Damilare was startled, ‘Yes!’ He responded almost falling over from the stool he was sitting on.
‘You look like you lost a million Naira; what is wrong with you?’, Ikenna asked.
‘I may have lost a million Naira’, Damilare replied.
‘Really!’, Ikenna exclaimed. ‘How?’
‘I don’t want to talk about it’, Damilare replied with an agitated tone.
‘I was just trying to help. You need to drown whatever is bothering you and get back to work, an order just arrived for you’, Ikenna said as he journeyed back to his own corner of the kitchen.
Damilare eased away from the stool and traced his way back to his work space. Dark clouds hung in his mind like a portrait; all of a sudden he wasn’t sure he had made the right decision. He turned the knob of the gas cooker in his kitchen space and turned his attention to the meal order that just came in.
……..to be continued