Dare got to the office, strolled down to his cubicle and powered up his system. He grunted when his colleagues greeted him, somewhere between experiencing the miracle of Mide‘s resurrection – not that he had actually died, and his arrival back at the office, he had gotten his mojo back.
The first thing he did when his computer had fully booted was to start the application he was using to develop the software. He also started the testing application. He could see his mail icon blinking and notifying him that he had a mail from Mr Adenekan. He ignored and ran the test again.
The software ran as always, performing well till it got to a certain level and spiralled, giving off all sorts of error messages. He smiled. Finally, he could see it, what he had laboured and pored over. What he had tried debugging for three full weeks, it was right there before him, he finally had the solution.
The problem with the software hadn’t been syntactic as he had thought initially. He had written more than fifty thousand lines of codes, and debugging had been really boring. All that while, what he really needed, what the program asked of him was a change in logic. He had to be inspired to see.
He worked at his desk for more than an hour, lost completely in cyberspace. His boss had come out once to glare, seen him punching the keyboard like a maniac and watched for a while as Dare did his magic. He pursed his lips, went back to his office still simmering. The saving grace the kid could have was that he magically complete the software.
Mr Adenekan had been back at his desk for less than thirty minutes when he heard a ruckus outside his door. He became irritated. ‘When will these kids learn that this is an office, not a damned playground?’ He got up from his desk to investigate.
Dare was standing in the centre of the room, his hands raised, his eyes were partially closed and a wide smile was on his face. The others in the office were busy applauding which was the reason for the noise Mr Adenekan had heard. He spoke up.
‘So, you finally got it to work?’ The room fell silent as all the other programmers went back to peering at their computer screens.
‘Yes sir. It’s finally working.’ Dare was effusive.
‘Good,’ Mr Adenekan said unfazed. ‘You’re suspended for the remainder of the week starting immediately, pack your stuff and leave.’ He turned and started walking away, stopped and turned, ‘your saving grace is that you made that software work. I had already taken the liberty of drafting your termination of appointment letter…’
The look on his face was stern, the others who had nothing to do earlier but were staring at their computer screens suddenly found work. No one wanted to experience the boss’ wrath.
‘…I will not condone insubordination.’ He turned again and stomped into his office.
Dare stood there, deflated. He had been exultant one minute and his boss had told him in no uncertain terms that he had being close to losing his job. He sighed, his shoulders slumped, and he began shutting down his system. The man had unintentionally offered him the much desired break he needed from work. Or was it intentional?
He watched as his system shut down. He had already sent a copy of the program to his computer at home to fine tune the software. He grabbed his small bag and exited the office.
One of the programmers stood minutes after he left, went into the gents, and placed a call. ‘Jango, it is done. He has completed the software.’ It was all he had to say when the line was answered. The line clicked off again, and the man returned to his desk. He had completed his task.
It had been two days since the incident at the club. Damilola had refused to talk to or see anyone. She locked herself in her room, coming out only for food. Her mother was worried, her father thought the good for nothing boy she was dating had finally showed his true colour and jilted her.
Tolu her only sibling remaining with their parents did not notice her crisis. He seldom saw her at home even when she was there. So when their mother had continued speaking on the matter, he made a mental note to come home the following day and check. See for himself.
When he got home, he saw an array of cars in the compound as he drove in and parked his modest RAV 4. The downside of living with their parents was that they always received visitors with big cars and opulence. He nodded at the tough looking men standing guard by the cars and went in.
Senator Alvin Jite was seating with his parents discussing when he entered the living room. Tolu greeted them and bounded up the stairs.
‘Tolu,’ his father called.
He stopped, looked back, ‘sir.’
‘Please get your sister will you, the senator would like a word.’
‘She’s home?’ Tolu was surprised. Even as a medical student and through her stint in the medical field, Damilola rarely stayed at home, she was constantly on the move. A quality that helped her immensely in her present line of work. He found it unbelievable she would be holed in her room all day, moping. Over what exactly?
He got to her door, knocked lightly and called, ‘Dami, are you in there?’
‘Go away.’ She replied after a while of incessant rapping on the door.
‘Come now sis, open the door. What’s the problem?’
He waited another minute before the locks started turning. She opened the door, left it ajar and went back to sit on her bed.
He hadn’t entered her room in ages, been more preoccupied with his life and work. She had redecorated the room to give it the girlie feel she always talked about. That was where it ended he observed sadly, his elder sister was not like other girls.
‘What’s the problem?’ He asked entering the room.
‘It’s downstairs and your parents would love for me to confront it. I assume that’s why you’re here.’
‘Whoa, watch your tongue lady.’ Tolu scolded. They had had too many battles growing up, both had lost count of the stats, yet every once in a while, they tethered on the brink of feuding. Old habits.
She gave him an icy stare, rolled her eyes then recanted. ‘Whatever. Our parents would like for me to speak with Senator Jite, I do not have any desire to do so. Please tell them so.’
He could see she was okay and well, her faculties seemed sharp and if anything, she was still her irritating self. Yep, he concluded, his sister was okay. Mom need not worry herself to death. He turned to leave the room. As he turned, he was confronted by the Senator.
The man put a finger to his lips and gestured with his head for Dafe to leave them. He didn’t see anything wrong, the senator was like a godfather to all the Adelegan children, he left.
‘Damilola my dear, we have to talk.’ Senator Jite said, shutting the door behind him.
She turned to face him, horror filled her face as she recalled the vivid pictures two days earlier.
He was smiling, and didn’t miss a beat, ‘may I?’
She shrugged, he had forced his way into her sanctum, and there was no need to ignore him any longer. It was time to confront him.