A loud bang from the door jerked her up from sleep, she rose lazily from the bed, groaning.
Who had the gut to disturb her beauty sleep? She cussed.
After a small bolt, the door opened.
Standing in front of her was the manager and her friend; frowning.”Urgghhh. You guys; what again this morning?” She asked with a raised eyebrow
“Have you seen the news this morning?” Grace, her friend began.
“What news?” Priscilla asked, she was in the dark. She looked sideways to catch a glimpse of Kinsley’s facial expression for answers, but there was none.
“Let’s go in, we have a lot to discuss” Grace softly responded
“Okay…” came a dragging response from her lips. Whatever was happening, she didn’t like the look on Grace’s face, Kingsley wasn’t helping matters. If it was about the case of Mr Ogbenero, the sexually assaulted politician’s son not balancing up his fees; she had dismissed the case just before sleeping yesterday.
It was her days off, for Pete’s sake; yet the burden of her work wouldn’t let her enjoy herself. She had decided to switch off all her gadgets, have alone time in her room, watching films, and chewing some corn alongside. But, it seems her perfect plan was flawed by their presence.
They both sat down on the sofa; Grace had her hands folded on her chest. This was serious, Priscilla thought, swallowing hard. But, she was ready. After all, she had faced things difficult than whatsoever they wanted to say.
“The board wants to dismiss you; this came in with the newsletter this morning” Grace began, handing over a brown file to her.
Dismiss me? Not making sense of Grace’s word, she collected the document; and read through the content.”This makes no sense, or does it? This is my father’s company, built with sweat, and tears; how can they seat down with their bulging stomachs, and gluttonous eyes; and they speak of dismissal” Priscilla flanged the document on the glass table.
History was repeating itself.
Not again, she wouldn’t allow it.
Not when she was so close to achieving her goals. No, not at all.”Who wrote this memo?” She asked Kingsley, whose head was bowed.
“Did anyone among the directors know about me, that I was the founder’s daughter?” She asked, picking up her courage in between. Their silence answered her.
“Priscilla, I know you wanted to stay in hiding for long; but it is time you take over your father’s business; before this escalates” Grace advised.
“No, I’m not. Not until I find who is responsible for my father’s gruesome death. I won’t” her response stern.
“But-” Kingsley tried speaking, a raised hand made him stop. It was Priscilla’s.
“I will see to this myself, I always do”
“Priscilla, I know the directors well, this isn’t what you can beat by inheritance alone. Your shares in the company are the least and remember I told you about the shares of your father; since he wanted a fair company; he didn’t amass a whole lot of shares. Mr Macauly has the largest shares, and I won’t be surprised if he is behind your dismissal” Kingsley explained, concern in his gaze.
“I will handle it, Kingsley, I said, I will” she shouted back at him.
“Okay,” Grace responded, defeated.
“Whenever, you need us. Call us” Grace continued as she rose from the sofa, accompanied by Kingsley.
“I have always told you, Priscilla, you don’t need to do everything alone; we are there for you, and most importantly God is there. You have never told us everything, maybe one day; you will. We will be there to listen, no matter how you feel” Priscilla looked up at Grace, frowned a little, and then scoffed.
“I will call you when I need you”
“Okay” Kingsley replied with a shrugged shoulders.Priscilla watched them leave, picked up the brown file once again; and hissed loudly.
“What effrontery?”She would make some calls, no one was going to chase her from her dad’s company. That was the only place she ever found solace. In his office. She remembered, how she and her twin brother runs around the office with their dad making calls, while still trying to keep a stern face to scare them off disturbing him. Her brother was fond of wearing their dad’s robe; which was a little bit oversized on him. They would giggle, run around the table in the room, screaming. When they died, and she survived; a lot of things had changed in the firm, but no one renovated his office. She was glad they didn’t, her memories with them were, at least preserved.
“I won’t let them have their way” she spoke with raw determination, dashed off to the room to pick her phone.
“Grace, have you heard from Priscilla?” Kingsley said, seated across one of the pews in the church. It was Sunday, and he had made good his promise to follow Grace to church. He missed going to one, and he was glad he came for the service today. He felt like a new man, his burdens rolled away, and his hope in God renewed.
“Let’s go out” Grace offered, picking up her bag; as Kingsley followed behind. “I did call her, her response was the same. She hasn’t called me ever since I did three days ago. The board will be meeting tomorrow, and I don’t know what is on her mind”
“I placed a few calls also, but she seems to be shutting me out; just like she did three years ago”
“Three years ago? That’s new, what happened then?”
“You went on a trip when it happened, Priscilla had insisted on travelling home; though I warned her not to; but my advice meant nothing to her. When she came back, she shut me out for three weeks. I didn’t know what happened, later on; she came back to the office asking if we could talk about the company, and that was all”
“I am praying for her, and God has been reassuring me. I believe this will be a testimony”
“I would love to pray for her too; can I join you; or is it a personal thing?” Kingsley requested.
Grace looked up, surprised “You want to pray for her?”
“Yes,” he responded, paused, and then continued his words “You know if you had never invited me for the church today, I wouldn’t know I was held bound by the Spirit of hatred. I hated Priscilla for years, she made me feel low; never regarded my words, I mean, she is always two steps ahead of me in everything. I made alcohol my friend, to drown my sorrows. I allowed her words to eat me deeply”
“Whenever she began with ‘Kingsley, you are just a figurehead, know your place’ I felt pained. The day I found out she was the founder’s hidden daughter, I accepted her words. The company was hers, to begin with”
“Hatred and Bitterness isn’t a pleasant feeling; trust me, and I am glad, I was partially delivered today”
“Yes Grace, partially. I can’t say, I still don’t hate her, but I want to practice loving her. And as the pastor said, pray for those you feel are better than you; the deliverance will come from me, making a conscious effort to be free”
“Hmmm… Thank God. Truly, when we pray for those we hate, we become less vulnerable to the enemy’s attack over our minds”
“I think we should meet for prayers by 5, here in church. Is that okay?” She asked.
“Of course, it is” Kingsley eagerly responded, smiling.
As they both walked towards their cars, they spoke on and on about the scriptures; and Kingsley never felt more alive than he did in years. The memories of his university days, serving God with all zeal, happiness came rushing in.
“I am grateful Grace, you brought me back to the Lord. I pray I won’t go back again” he said, Grace smiled at him; as she stepped into the car whispering ‘Holy Spirit’ with all joy.
“You are going to be alone, for a very long time” the voice came again, sending chills down her spine. She felt someone breathing on her neck. She couldn’t turn to look back, her hands shaking terribly.
She gasped out loud, and then came a long scream “No!!!”
“Priscilla, Priscila; are you okay?” Grace ran to her side, holding her hand. She turned to look at her face, but it was all blurry, she could only recognize her voice.
“Grace, what are you doing here? She asked confused. Before she could respond, she felt a cold hand on her shoulder, Grace was nowhere to be found again.
” You are going to be alone for a very long time”
“No, I’m not. I have… I have…”
“Miss. Priscilla here seems not to be in the right state of mind, to lead the company” a male’s voice jerked her to consciousness. She was in the meeting room with the directors. What happened to her? What were they talking about? She was in the right state of mind, this was her father’s company; so, what are they planning? She looked at their faces for answers. Had she shouted out of her bitter experience? In this room? Did they witness her stirring to shake off the cold hands on her shoulders? They couldn’t have.
“Mr Macauly, what do you have to say?” The 60-year-old man, her father’s friend adjusted his glasses.
“I have known Priscilla ever since she was a baby”
Thank you, she wanted to tell him that. Was he going to side with her? She thought within.
“But-” he began, clearing his throat.
“The evidence is clear, that the Pricilla I once know isn’t the one we saw this morning. I mean, who was she talking to? We asked her questions, she kept screaming No, No” he exclaimed, a wicked grin on his face.
“The board of directors has decided; to have Pricilla Odunle dismissed until further notice.” He said, as there came a thunderous clap from the others. Priscilla rose, surprised at the turn of events. The directors she had spent hours calling, making promises to the previous week all seem to have their backs against her.
“You can’t dismiss me from this company, I have the full right over it. This was handed over to me and her brother by my father.”
“Well, we know Priscilla, and this is just a temporary decision. We got the information, that you visit the hospital frequently. Apparently, you are not sane enough to lead this company. We have the results, you are suffering from a lot, and as parents who loved you; why don’t you just take some time off to recuperate? The company is still yours” Mr Gills spoke, while others nodded in agreement.
“I… I…” She stuttered, looked at their faces; she could feel their hot stares. They must be mocking her within. But, she wouldn’t let them have their way. No, she wouldn’t.
“Priscilla, take the time to rest; you need it. As your father’s friend, I care about you.”
“No, you don’t” the words slipped out.
“Because, if you do; you definitely know something about their death. I have worked tirelessly for this company, while you all sit at your homes counting the profit; I brought in premium clients, and because you found out about who my parents were; you have decided to continue your plans. You must be regretting I didn’t die with them, aren’t you all?” She shouted beating the wooden table with her hands.
“Priscilla” Mr Macauly rose from his seat.
She shot a glance at him, burning with anger “I am sane, and no one can take away my father’s company.”
“You aren’t, Pricilla, you aren’t. Get yourself treated” he shouted back, as he walked towards her seat.
“Bring in the security” Macauly called
“When you are in the right state of mind, the company is yours, my dear” he spoke tapping her lightly on her shoulder.
“Take her away,” he told the two security guys. Priscilla looked at their faces, and then to the board of directors. They were trying so hard to hide their smiles. Annoyed, she picked up the file on her table; and stormed out leaving the security guys to walk behind her.
She wasn’t going to give up, no, never.
Her father never did.
The look on Priscilla’s face gave Kingsley and Grace the answer they needed, as they walked silently behind her; they hoped she would turn to look at them. Priscilla walked out of the glass door, tears almost dropping down her eyes. Her father never taught her how to lose without a fight, but she was weak, so weak to fight.
“You are going to be alone, for a long time” she heard the voice again; covering her ears in fear, she screamed as she ran towards the road.
“Priscilla” Grace and Kingsley called out, in fear.
There was a loud bang, as the white car came to an abrupt stop.