Poverty is not a good thing. Apart from subjecting its victims to need and constant despair, it can also compel well-mannered people to exchange their virtues for all forms of vices.

As an individual, I have seen some people walk up to me eager to do anything just for money. In one instance, a young man said to me, “Schandorf, right now no limits ooo … everything goes”.

Some time ago, I used to criticize such individuals but these days, I am more considerate when I encounter such people.

Indeed, not everybody who’s prostituting on the streets is a promiscuous whore. Also, not every armed robber likes the smell of bullets and the sight of blood. If for nothing at all, I have learned that sometimes people are left with no option but to do evil.

A typical example is the story I’m about to share with you. In this piece, I’ll walk you through the experience of Fiba; a fresh graduate from a university.

Fiba comes from a very poor home. She was the first of five children and the only daughter of her parents.

From her days as a teenager, she had always dreamt about working in an insurance company or a corporate work setting. Subsequently, she was posted to the headquarters of a multinational insurance company in the capital, she was full of excitement.

Her joy was not necessarily because she was about to work in her dream work environment. Far from that, she was optimistic about soothing the pains of her poverty-stricken family through her job.

Fiba’s parents are poor, and graduating from the university was actually a miracle. However, she was determined to change the narrative and deliver her family from the grips of poverty, which has been their plight since her childhood.

“You’ll be reporting to work at 8:00 am. The moment you arrive, make sure to go through all my schedules and confirm all my appointments. I trust you”, Fiba’s boss told her by way of ending the brief orientation session in his office.

Having been posted to a reputable insurance firm, she was further assigned to work with Mr. Addo, the CEO of the company, who was also supposed to be her immediate supervisor.

Mr. Addo was a typical no-nonsense Ga man. He was respected for his professionalism and his knack for honesty. Everybody in the office held him in high esteem for his diligence and the precision with which he handled his job.

Meanwhile, underneath this ‘perfect-looking’ corporate executive was a man whose emotions were in ruins. Mr. Addo had been married for 3 years. His marriage is however the immediate source of his silent grief.

“Hello! Hello !!! … Sir please can you hear me?”, Fiba asked; sitting in front of Mr. Addo, who got lost, momentarily, in other thoughts in the middle of a meeting with Fiba.

“Is everything okay?”, Fiba asked, staring at her boss who was visibly depressed and crestfallen.

“You know what, let’s continue some other time. I’ll text you when I get home okay?”, Mr. Addo said, picked up his backpack, and left the meeting suddenly.

Fiba stood perplexed. The same man who was earlier on speaking in his usual eloquent fashion was suddenly looking beaten. “What could have happened?”, Fiba thought to herself.

Driving back home, her only prayer was that she was not the source of her boss’ mood swings. You read right- ‘driving back home’. Yes. Fiba had started driving her ‘own’ car.

Immediately upon assuming duty, Mr. Addo instructed for a vehicle to be assigned to her. And so it looked like her status was about to change and that’s why she was very careful not to offend her boss.

At home, she saw a notification on her phone. It was a message from her boss. Fiba’s heart skipped a beat. Was she in trouble? …

“Hello! Fiba, how’re you? I hope you’re home now. This is to apologize for what happened earlier. It’s not about you okay? I’m a very depressed man and maybe I should tell you about it”, a message from Mr. Addo read.

Thank God! Fiba’s heart was at peace. After all, she was not the cause and that made her happy briefly. But aside from the momentary happiness, she was also alarmed by Mr. Addo’s admission that he is a depressed man.

The rest of the text continued, “Yes, I’m a married man but the truth of the matter is that I’m not happy. As I text, my wife is in Cambodia for peacekeeping duties. I’m not opposed to it but every now and then, I get reports that she’s seeing one of her male colleagues.

“Even though I don’t believe it, her attitude confirms it. She hardly picks up my calls. And whenever we’re having a conversation, she quickly exits the dialogue or finds an excuse to end it altogether. Can you believe that apart from our wedding night, we haven’t had sex again?

“It’s fine. Maybe I’m talking too much. But like I said, I’m sorry for my sudden change of behavior. See you at work on Monday. Good night”, the text ended.

After reading this, Fiba couldn’t figure out the appropriate response to give. She stood conflicted, not knowing how exactly to reply to Mr. Addo’s message.

In one breath, she felt inclined to soothe his worries. But that could amount to crossing her professional lines, she thought.

Okay. How about being straightforward and diplomatic, she thought? That too could make her come off as too insensitive. Lost in thoughts, Fiba just left her phone and entered the shower.

Her well-figured body was exhausted. She needed some water to wash away her emotionally demanding day, at least. But standing under the shower, the words of Mr. Addo kept ringing in her head.

At that point, she felt sympathy for her poor boss. But what she didn’t want was to mix their professional rapport with emotional attachments.

“Fiba your phone is ringing !!! “, her brother shouted from the hall.

“Who’s it?”, she replied.

“Ermm … ‘BA’”, Daniel, Fiba’s younger brother responded.

But who is ‘BA’? ‘BA’ stood for ‘Boss Addo’. That’s how Fiba had stored Mr. Addo’s number.

Hearing the name, she quickly rushed out of the shower and came to the hall for her phone. But by the time she arrived, the call had ended. She however saw a text from BA.

“Hello! I’m going to sit at the beach. It’s one of the things I do when I’m depressed. Maybe you could join me. Perhaps, we could talk more”, the message read.

Talk at the beach? Fiba thought to herself. She had not replied Mr. Addo’s first message and the thought of shying away from this one felt very uncomfortable.

However, going to the beach was also a hard decision for her to take; especially with her boss on a Friday night. So many thoughts ran through her mind. It was becoming a very complex day, and soon she saw droplets of sweat on her hands, despite having left the shower not too long ago.

“Okay. I’ll make it, boss. See you”, she typed reluctantly.

Now, Fiba has replied but she didn’t know what to do next. She was confused.

This is why Fiba was actually conflicted. During her days in school, she interned at a company where she ended up having an affair with her supervisor.

Thinking about Mr. Addo’s request, images of that affair started surfacing in her mind. She remembered how she and Mr. Brown, her boss then, got intimate on a lot of occasions after he had also complained about challenges at home.

In that instant, she didn’t anticipate that Mr. Brown would ever see her nakedness. However, in a very short while, what had started as a harmless rapport turned out to be a consistent intimate affair with Mr. Brown.

By her natural makeup, Fiba had a thing for elderly men and when she started sleeping with Mr. Brown back then, she loved the experience. Her weakness around elderly men is what made her skeptical about meeting BA.

To go or not to go? That was her dilemma.

To find out what she did, watch out for part two, next week.

Till then, see ya!

The author of this piece is a writer, a corporate MC, and a broadcast journalist by the name Paa Kwesi Schandorf.

You can reach him at (+233) 273141821 or derrick.ayirebi-acquah@myjoyonline.com


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