Written by: Adexshowking Adeniji

Bimbo didn’t want me to take up that job initially. She said something about her heart not being comfortable with it but what was a man like me to do when I have been living on my wife’s meager income for the past four months.

So I took up the job and the morning of my resumption, dressed in a crispy blue shirt and a new pair of trouser Bimbo got for me, I worked into Jabs Consult feeling like a man for the first time in a long time. I was again going to be the provider of my home. Well, wasn’t that my responsibility in the first place?

But I noticed something as the MD introduced me to the staff as the new accountant. They all stared blankly at me. I noticed the fake smiles, the forced responses of ‘welcome’ and the cold handshake. They didn’t look so happy to see me and that disturbed me greatly. My first day at work wasn’t pleasant as expected but I remained focused. I needed the job badly. What mattered was that there would be food on the table provided by me, the leader of my home.

Three months later, the Managing Director, a woman with a beautiful face in her mid fifties, called me into her office.

” You are an intelligent man and I’m always amazed at the suggestions you give at the staff general meeting. From the day you stepped into this place, I knew there was something special about you. Weldone, Mr Kayode.”

I went back to my office feeling really excited. As I entered, two ladies were already sitting down waiting for me. Kemi, the customer care rep rolled her eyes as I walked to my seat. Her low cut black top caught my attention but I quickly took my eyes away. Instead, I focused them on Gloria, a petite lady in a fitting blue gown, whose voice was so tiny, it made me laugh.

“Hello Ladies. What can I do for you?”

They smiled. “Can’t we just come and greet you in your office.” the lady with the tiny voice said.

“I wonder o.” Kemi responded. “I don’t know why you like locking yourself up in the office. Socialize. Even Jesus socialised with sinners.’

” I have a lot of work to do.”

Gloria stood up. “On behalf of the staff members, we want to say we are sorry for the way we treated you when you first arrived.”

Kemi nodded in agreement. “We are really sorry. It’s just that the person you replaced was very much loved here and we were really sad when she was told to leave.”

I pulled my chair back and sat down. “What really happened? Why was she sacked?”

“She was accused of stealing some money and we know she didn’t. I can bet my life on it.”

“Since I started working here, more than five accountants have been sacked. Nobody knows how the money disappears.” Kemi said.

I stared at them, shocked at the news I was hearing. Then I smiled to myself. Money cannot disappear from my hands, I muttered. I do not steal neither was I careless with money.

But I was wrong when two weeks later, I counted the money made from the sales for the day.

50,000 naira.

impossible! When the sales rep came with the money, right in her presence, I counted 200,000 naira. I upturned the drawers and poured out the contents while my heart pounded in fear. But I didn’t find the 150,000 naira.

Jesus, I muttered and rushed to the Sales department.

“Ranti, how much did you bring to my office?”

Ranti was just about leaving the office when I approached her desk. She hesitated before responding.

“Please don’t tell me that money is missing.” The other sales rep stood there watching. She ran out and returned with more of the staff members.

“How much did you give to me?”

“200, 000 naira.”

“Lord Jesus.” I clapped my hands together. “I can’t find 150,000 naira.

The others gasped. Ranti fell back in her seat. “This must stop in this company! I am tired of this place. How did the money disappear? Ise yi tii su mi o.”

“Did you check your office very well?” Dayo, the verification officer asked. I showed them all that I had found in the safe box when I unlocked it.

“This is not funny at all! Something is not right in this company.” Fisayo, the receptionist shouted.

“Nobody leaves this company till we have searched every bag..” Ranti barked

“That cannot work o. Are you now suspecting us?”

“Let’s check her office again.” Dayo left with two others. Just then Kemi and Gloria entered the sales office with a look that said, ‘it has happened again?”

“Things were not like this in this office five years ago. All of a sudden, everything just changed. That same year, I got pregnant. lost the child and I have never been able to keep a child in my womb.”Ranti lamented.

“What about me? I have been writing CIPD exam for three years straight. I will read and read and yet every night before my exam, someone will hit my head with a big stick and when I wake up, I’ll not be able to understand anything again.” A lady said.

“I thought I was the only one facing problems o. Every time a man proposes to me, I see myself tied to a tree and an old woman pouring mud clay on my face and when I would say Yes to the proposal, the guy changes his mind. I’ve fasted and prayed. I don tire. After this month, I dey resign.”

How did I end up in a place like this?

Dayo and the search team returned empty. For some minutes, we stood there in silence. I hadn’t expected this kind of reaction from my colleagues and the fact that they believed I didn’t steal the money surprised me. We held hands together and prayed, asking God to intervene in the situation and fish out the culprit.

“How do you want me to believe that you didn’t steal the money?” The MD shouted. “What is wrong with these accountants. You keep stealing the company’s money and denying it.”

“I didn’t steal it!” Anger covered my face. My blood rose. No one had ever accused me of stealing any money.

“So how did the money disappear? If you don’t cough out that money before next week, You’ll have to use your salary to pay for it. Get out of my office!”

That evening I lay on the bed, weak and tired. How much was my salary. 50,000 naira. So, I was going to use my three months salary to pay for this. I had planned so much for that money and now I wouldn’t be able to even spend a dime out of it?

Despair descended on me like a thick cloud. My wife returned from the bible study to find me on my back, facing the wall.

“Sweetheart, what’s wrong?” I didn’t want her to see my swollen eyes so I faced the wall while I explained all that had happened.

I expected her to be so angry like I was but instead she stayed calm and that annoyed me more. How could she just stay unruffled when someone called her husband a thief. Did she believe I stole the money?

“There is only one thing we can do now. We pray and trust the Lord to reveal whoever is behind this.”

For no reason, I hissed. I wanted her out of my sight and a strong disgust filled me. So I raised my voice. “I don’t have the strength to pray!”

“That’s why I’m here dear. Let me be your strength. You should eat something.”

I hissed again. “Just leave me alone.”

She left the room and even though the door was closed, I could hear her voice from the other room.

She started praying in the Spirit and then I began to hear her quotes scriptures that cut through my heart.

“This is your battle Lord. Open our eyes. Show us Lord what is going on. Your word says your eyes are over the righteous and your ears are opened to their prayers. Lord, you said in your word that He who follows you will not walk in darkness but will have the light of life.

“Expose every darkness Lord. Reveal whoever is behind this in the name of Jesus!”

She switched back to tongues and back to the scriptures again. I just stayed on the bed listening, too weak to stand up.

“We wrestle not against flesh and blood but against principalities and powers in high places. In the name of Jesus, every dark places be exposed. Vindicate your son oh Lord and let your name be glorified. Show us what’s going on. Strengthen my husband. May every despair be lifted this moment in the name of Jesus.

Something strong lifted from my chest. I was surprised. Suddenly, I felt light and strengthened in a way I couldn’t explain. Bimbo was praying in tongues again. I sat up. Didn’t the bible say, two shall chase a thousand? As I stood up to join her, my phone rang.

Ranti. Why would she be calling me at this time of the night.

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