“Take it back inside to change your pin”, she said.
“What’s all this?” I murmured and collected the card from her.
I went back to the fair lady.
“I was directed to bring this card back to you”, I said.
“Not here, but to that madam receiving call”, she pointed to a fat woman. While rushing to her, I saw her standing.
“I will be back shortly, my attention is needed by the MD”,she told her colleagues and rushed out.
I looked at the time and it was 12:45pm, I felt like crying. If I had known, I wouldn’t have applied for this. I started blaming myself. The phone started vibrating again, but I didn’t even bother to check who was calling because I was moody.
After ten minutes, the woman came back to her seat and the following conversation transpired;
Madam: where is your card?
Me: this is it ma (I gave it to her)
Madam: are you a student?
Me: yes ma.
Madam: where is your school ID card?
Me: this is it ma (I gave it to her)
Madam: I can’t accept this card from you because it has expired.
Me: not yet expired ma. My school is still on session and since am still on I.T; the new I.D card could not be issued for now.
Madam: it’s not possible! Never!
Me: I am an IT student now.
Madam: Taiwo, come (she called the fair lady, and that was when I knew her name) check this card, look at the session, 2010/2011 and we are in 2012.
Taiwo: the card is valid ma. It seemed they were delayed by strike.
Madam: I still can’t accept this from him unless he proves his studentship.
Me: what else do you still need when I have told you am still exercising my I.T (I yelled at her and walked out on her to where customer’s wardrobe was, took my logbook with my and other relevant credentials, I went back to show her; she checked it very well and became sober)
Madam: enter your pin on the machine.
Me: (I entered my four digit number) what next?
Madam: your card is ready for use.
I collected the card and looked back nostalgically to where the journey started from. I packed my belongings on her table and left for the ATM stand to withdraw.
I was fortunate to see a free machine and quickly inserted my new card without any delay. I kept on looking at the screen waiting for it to be ready so as to enter my pin when I saw “please, insert your card”. I couldn’t trust my eyes with what I saw, so I wiped my face with my volar and re-checked.
“Please, insert your card” was still on the screen.
“Which card again, what about the one I’ve inserted?” I kept on asking the machine as if it was a human being.
“You shouldn’t have used the machine, it has swallowed someone’s card before now”, a lady said to me.
I checked the time and it was 1:15pm. I was so furious and went back to the first attendant.
“You are still here!” she asked in surprise.
“In fact, am even fed up with this your bank. Could you belief that, my newly collected card has been swallowed by a machine”, I lamented.
“Go to the room where the card was issued and ask of Ahmmed”, she said.
I marched in like a soldier.
“Am looking for Ahmmed?” I asked a staff standing not knowing that he was the one I was looking for.
“Any problem?” he asked.
“There is!” I took my time to explain to him. He was about to speak when a short woman like a mortar spoke for him, “you will have to come back because he just left the place now and you can’t ask him to go back there again”, she lamented.
I went crimson immediately.
“What are you telling me? What was he employed for? I couldn’t hear you, could you recap?” lamenting continued, “I’ve been parading here since yesterday and the card was just issued some minutes ago and your useless machine swallowed it, and you are still telling me to come back later”, I said, “You must be joking”, I poured angrily.
Yes! Good! I like you! Well done! The customers around hailed me and the woman started shivering like water lily.
“I will get it for you, just take it easy”, Ahmmed said in a low voice.
He was about to leave when a woman with the same problem as mine came in.
“Stay here while I check for both of you”, said Ahmmed.
We both stood at the entrance of the room like a security agent.
He came back after some minutes (sweating).
“Who is Adebiyi Kabirat Ajoke?” he asked.
“Am the one”, the woman responded.
He handed an ATM card to her.
“Uncle, which machine did you use?” He asked with tremble in his voice.
“We used the same machine”, I responded.
“Sir, I guess the system has returned your card, because I couldn’t see it. Therefore, you will need to go back outside before it is being taken”, he said.
On hearing this, my eyes bulged out like that of dragon-fly thirsty of water and I fled out of the bank to the ATM stand where I met a guy standing beside the machine that swallowed my card.
“Chairman, please, did you help me see a card?” I asked like a beggar looking for a Samaritan.
“What is your name sir?” he asked.
“Babatunde Afeez Demola”, I replied.
He handed my card to me and went to sit in a Toyota Camry car.
I tried another system with the card and it was successful
Atlast! I went to thank the guy who kept my card for me, and that was when I got to know that he was a son of Mrs. Adebiyi. No wonder he stood at the ATM!
I left for office after the appreciation.
On getting to office, I checked Mrs. Akin in her office but she wasn’t around, then, I decided to send “call me back” to her and to the rest of the numbers I’ve missed intentionally. Then, I left for my office. After some minutes, my phone started vibrating, an unknown number, then I picked it up.
“Hello, Afeez, where have you put your phone since?” (It was Mrs. Akin’s voice.)
“It was not with me ma. I’m now available ma, I’ve even checked on you in your office”, I replied.
“I’m with grandma. I’ll join you soon” she said.
She came around after some minutes.
“You almost turned me to something else when you didn’t pick the calls up. My mind was not at rest and I have even come to the bank to check on you but I couldn’t see you. I’ve been dodging Oga (boss) since morning, because I didn’t know what to tell him if he asked about you”, she said.
“I’m sorry ma, I left my phone in the bag and kept it in the wardrobe outside, so I didn’t know it was ringing until when I went to take my logbook and saw the missed calls”, I lied.
She thanked and appreciated me for the great job I have done for her and she tried to compensate me with token, but I rejected it in the first instance and later collected it from her when the frustration was too much.
I took permission at office and went back home after some minutes because I was seriously tired.
I got home around 3:00pm, ate the food prepared for me by my sister, then headed to the bathroom to take my bath and slept off soon after my bath.
I woke up around 8:15pm, picked up my phone and saw six missed calls from an unknown number. Since I had no airtime on my mobile phone, I decided to send “call me back” to the number.
After some minutes, a message entered and when I checked it, it contained the pin of a recharge card from the unknown number, I recharged the card immediately.
Wao! Who could have sent me #1000 worth recharge card!! I was flabbergasted and decided to call the number straight-away. I was about to dial the number when my phone started vibrating. It was another unknown number and picked it up without any hesitation.
“Hello o, please, who is this?” I asked inquisitively.
“It’s me nah; you can’t even recognize my voice on phone again. O ga o!” (It was a lovely voice of a lady which sounded familiar) she said silkily.
“Is this not Zainab’s voice?” I asked doubtfully.
“Yes o o o!” she replied joyfully and giggled
Me: wao! Can’t just belief this! Where did you get my number?
Zainab: don’t worry about that joor. I learnt that you are in Osogbo.
Me: yeap. Who told you? (I asked curiously)
Zainab: we shall talk when we see on Saturday joor. I’ve seriously missed you o.
Me: really? Same here too. Are you also in Osogbo?
Zainab: no, but I will fall in on Saturday.
Me: no problem. But wait o! Were you the one who sent me airtime some minutes ago?
Zainab: me ke! Rara o, or should I send you ni?
Me: don’t bother o.
Zainab: catch up with you on Saturday dear.
Me: alright. I wish you Journey mercy in advance.
Zainab: thanks dear. Byeee! (She ended the call).
I can’t just believe I could still here from Zainab ( I was overwhelmed with the memory we shared together when we were in Polytechnic) I was lost in the emotional feeling when I remembered that I have not called the number that sent me the airtime. Then, I dialed the number…
…to be continued