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Sad Thriller Drama

Title:      CAREER OVER EMPATHY

‘’I wouldn’t even lie; I was particularly disappointed with your dad. Chief Clifford was his best friend, yet he allowed his only son, only child die because of a mere medical report. He had all the power to save that young boy, yet he watched him die all because he was following a useless medical ethic’’ Rose pauses in her feelings, almost dropping a tear. She glanced at her daughter; Zendaya who was seemingly uninterested in her story.

‘’That young man was only a victim of an unfortunate incident, he was hit by a stray bullet when he got out of his car to purchase fuel in a fueling station. A reckless policeman who was pursuing a gang of robbers carelessly released a bullet and it hit Paschal. Someone that knew him called his father; Clifford immediately and he screamed; ‘Take him to Doren hospital now!’’ Let me call my friend that owns the hospital, I’m on my way’’. Paschal was rushed to Doren’s hospital, he was still breathing when he arrived but his face screamed helplessness, pains but hope. Do you know what your father did? He looked his friend of twenty-two years in the eye and told him his son would not be treated until a police report was provided. He looked Clifford in the eye and told him that his only child had just a few minutes to live, and he should hasten up to get a medical report proving that it was indeed a stray bullet that hit his son if he wanted the son to survive. Clifford went down on his knees and begged your father, Clifford cried like a child begging your father to save the son’s life, but your dad refused. John refused! He said it was against his medical ethics. He said ‘’ No medical report, no treatment for Paschal.’’ That was how Paschal died, your dad watched Paschal die, a cute, vibrant young man of just twenty-eight years.

Hmmm! Clifford couldn’t take it in for too long, he developed a brain stroke and passed on after nine months’’ Rose paused again, this time; uncontrollable tears dripped down her eyes. Zendaya brought out a handkerchief from her handbag and wipes Rose’s tears.

‘’It’s okay Mummy, please stop with this story already. You’ve told me this story up to a hundred times. You break down each time you talk about it, but you would never stop telling me about it. You said this happened sixteen years ago, it’s long enough to forget about it Mum and move on. Dad is late too; we should all allow him rest’’

Rose holds Zendaya’s hands and smiled admirably at her ‘’Zen, sometimes we should put away our expertise, professionalism, ethics and apply sympathy’’

‘’But Mum, sympathy is never used to run any business. Doren’s hospital wouldn’t still be functionally running today despite dad’s demise two years ago if it was running only on mere sympathy. I believe sympathy shouldn’t be allowed anywhere near our work environment. Let me hurriedly freshen up Mum, I had a very busy day at my office today. Stop harping on about the past. Love you Mum’’ Zendaya pecks the mother on the chin and leaves for her room to catch her night shower.

Zendaya just turned twenty-five years, but one could hardly guess she was that young because of how smart, calculative and enterprising she was. She got back from the United States to Nigeria after completing her education three years back. With her late dad’s help, she started up an interior decorating business which had thrived more than expected and had become one of the leading businesses in Abuja, Nigeria.

Rose couldn’t be less proud of her only child, the way she carries and comports herself, invents and pushes her business forward is applaudable. Rose can be said to be the only one in the family that isn’t career oriented as she managed to obtain just a degree in Computer sciences, got married and became a full housewife unlike her late husband and Zendaya who are both academicians and business gurus. Rose sighs heavily as she tries to dismiss from her mind the story she just recounted. She had wanted to end her marriage with John about sixteen years ago the ordeal happened, she just couldn’t bring herself to understand the kind of man she married and how he could have the heart to watch the only child of his best friend die because of something immaterial. It took the intervention of her parents and few of her friends getting her to forgive John and remain married to him. ‘’Life is how much happy you make people around you feel, the positive impact you have on people around you. where is John now despite his career prowess? He still left the world with nothing!’’ Rose thought out loud as she leaves the sitting room for her bedroom.

‘’Good morning, Ma’’ Zendaya’s secretary greets her immediately as she walks pass her for her office. Zendaya nods putting on a smile as she makes her way to her office. Her office which is magnificent in space has a white wall painting with luxurious and opulent furniture on display. Quoting Zendaya ‘’You can’t enter this kind of expensive office, sit on my costly chair and price me peanuts for my interior designing. My office alone screams wealth and affluence, and I can only work with people who are very rich.’’

The secretary knocks and enters her office carrying a brown file with some documents. ‘’Good morning, Ma’’ the secretary greets.

‘’It’s only lazy and dependent people that have luxury time to respond to greetings more than once. I also wonder why someone as busy as you are would have the luxury time to greet me unnecessarily. Please state why you are here’’ Zendaya replies huskily.

‘’I’m sorry Ma, we have a proposal from Orchid hotels, they want us to handle the interior decoration of their new hotel, the one at Golf estate. We are expected to get back to them with our own proposal and design suggestions in three days’’

‘’Orchid hotels, that’s the biggest hotel here in Abuja!’’ Zendaya exclaimed happily. ‘’This is big! You know what; call Collins for me, he needs to arrange an appointment with Orchid’s CEO, then map out the best designs and prices we will be offering them’’

‘’Ma, Collins hasn’t been to work since yesterday, he dropped a letter with us that he had an urgent need to travel. The relevant positions are aware of this’’ The secretary replied.

‘’What! Out of all the time in the world to travel, Collins chose a time as critical as this?’’ Zendaya asks in a disappointed look.

‘’Ma, he isn’t aware of this. He travelled yesterday and we got this contract today’’

‘’Shut up and get out of my office this minute!’’ Zendaya screamed at her secretary. The secretary drops the file on the desk and hurriedly leaves the office.

‘’How am I going to handle this now?’’ Zendaya asks herself. Collins has been like a backbone and pillar to her company, she employed him immediately she set up the company and made him the designs manager because of his excellence in mapping out credible designs for their customers. She stood up and paced around in her office thinking of the best improvisation for Collins. ‘’I gat this!’’ Zendaya exclaimed.

Six days on, Zendaya paced around her office looking all worked up and angry. Her company had lost the contract with Orchid hotels as they turned down the interior designs they presented and moved forward to contact another decorating company. Collins knocked and walked into her office, Zendaya fixes him with an angry stare.

‘’Good morning, Ma’’ Collins greeted.

‘’Save your miserable greetings! How dare you, how dare you Collins? You must be thinking you are God right, to wake up anytime you want and travel for flimsy excuses’’ Zendaya yelled.

‘’Forgive me, Ma but I couldn’t help but travel. I got a message from my little niece that my mother was dying. There are no good hospitals in my village where she is staying with my little niece, so I had to go take her to a good hospital in a neighboring city. I wrote formally as well, informing the company of my impromptu travel and the reason for that’’

‘’Oh well, I hope your mother is dead because that is the only news that can make me feel better now. Do you know you made this company lose over two hundred-million-naira contract because of one deranged old woman!’’

‘’I beg your pardon, Ma’’ Collins said perplexed.

‘’Get out of my office and get out of this company. You’ve been fired. I am one person that would never tolerate the slightest form of sabotage. There are so many people living without their parents, no mother, no father, taking their jobs seriously. In your own case, you chose the life of an old dying woman to my company losing over two hundred million naira. Get out of my office’’.

Collins nodded in a feeble look and walked out of her office.

Zendaya knew how much value Collins had brought to her company. Collins was one person that took the company like his and produced the best designs for their clients. For three years he had worked with Zen’s interior decorations, none of their clients had turned down any design proposal from Collins. She knew she would be losing a valued staff by firing Collins, but she was just one person that would never go back on her decision no matter what.

Evening of that same day, Rose was sitting on one of the couches in their sitting room watching a Television program when Zendaya walked in from work looking miserable.

“Come on baby, you’re still looking this unhappy because of Orchid hotel’s contract. I have told you that a bigger contract will come, you must have to stop beating yourself up unnecessarily. Cheer up my baby’’ Rose said as she stood and gave Zendaya a long hug.

‘’I feel better now, Mum. At least I have succeeded in firing the lazy ass that made me lose such a big contract. The fact that I won’t be getting to see his face again is such a relief’’

‘’What! You fired Collins?’’ Rose asked, astounded.

‘’Yes, and I won’t fail to fire anyone else in that company that takes my company as a joke ever again. How dare he travel to take care of his sick mother at the expense of my money and my company’’

‘’Zendaya, if I am not wrong, Collins was your number one employee in that company, you’ve always preached of his competence and loyalty for the past three years. How can you fire him just because he travelled just this once to take care of his sick mother? How can you be this insensitive and wicked to someone that has helped you build that company to what it is today’’ Rose yelled.

‘’Mum, can you stop yelling at me! I own that company, I opened that company myself, I run that company with my money, and I have every right to take any decision concerning any of my staff. I fired Collins and that’s final’’

‘’You are wicked, Zendaya!’’

‘’I know’’ Zendaya replied huskily and left for her room.

‘’Jeez! John, what did you do here? How come our daughter is following your footsteps, how can she not have a single sympathy and love for people, just like yourself. how can one even place her career and job over empathy? How did I birth such a daughter? Rose asked rhetorically.

Zendaya who had been away from her company for three days to heal from the trauma she was going through losing Orchid hotel’s contract returned to notice that some of the seats of her senior staffs were not occupied. She walked into her office looking tensed and worrying on where some of her staffs went as she was sure they were not in any meeting. She quickly pressed the bell for her secretary. The secretary walked in, holding a small brown envelope containing a letter.

‘’Good morning, Ma’’ the secretary greeted.

‘’Where is everyone, why are Joshua, Patrick and the director not on their seats?’’

‘’They resigned, Ma’’

‘’What, why?’’

‘’They dropped their resignation letters two days ago. It has everything to do with you firing Mr. Collins. We are of the opinion that it was very inconsiderate and insensitive firing Mr. Collins. He is one person that everyone here can attest to his loyalty and selflessness, we all looked up to him, it was very unfair firing him despite how much he had worked and pushed this company forward’

‘’Really, so it’s now my secretary that is commanding me on what to do and what not to do. Do you know I can fire your silly ass now?

‘’There will be no need for that, Ma. I’ve resigned, only waited for you to come to work so I can present my resignation letter to you myself. Besides, if you can lay off Mr. Collins that easily, what is left of us remaining in this company? It’s better I go and secure a job elsewhere where my loyalty and dedication to work won’t be taken for granted. Have a good day, Ma’’  the thirty two years old secretary walks and drops the letter on Zendaya’s table.

‘’One last thing, it is good to be rich, wealthy, affluent but you know, one day you will die and live behind everything you’ve labored for. The only thing that would be left of you when you die is the legacy you left behind. If I were you, while making money and acquiring all the power in the world, I will also try and show empathy, love and concern to people around me. That; is worth more than all the millions in the world. Enjoy your world, Ma’’ the secretary said warmly and left the office.

Zendaya stood, dumbstruck.

September 15, 2021 20:08

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