The Performer

John was livid. How dare she?! To bash him in front of everyone like that – both juniors and seniors! This was one of the reasons he hated this job. The monthly exercises in humiliation masked as monthly performance reviews were getting to him. It was bad enough when it came from the divisional directors but to come from her – a mere senior manager! – it irked his soul.

Was is it his fault that the market was slow? Was it his fault that the old general was voted back into power and that the people wanted change? Ehn, change had come and a slow market was part of or a result of that change. He knew his figures for last month were bad, possibly his worst figures in months. He hated this feeling. He liked the feeling that came with meeting his targets so being brought down to earth like this was humiliating.

He had hoped to just bluster his way through his presentation but she had tenaciously and meticulously pointed out gaps, questioned him on every point, admonished and made him look inept. He raged inside all through her pontificating but outwardly he kept his cool. ‘Dere Coker, she was everyone’s darling, a brilliant officer who was always winning. Oh how he would like to see her lose just once, the fall from grace would be epic. Indeed quite a number of his colleagues were looking forward to that day but so far that day had not come.

He bunched his fingers into a fist as he paced up and down the room. He was worked up and he needed to let go and relax. Next month would be better, he promised himself. He and his team were positive that pending transactions would go through. He would just have to be more bullish. He had to go see Alhaji Dutse and Chief Udechukwu, they were his hope for next month and in fact the rest of the financial year. John pulled out his phone and set a couple of reminders.

As he looked through his phone a message came in. It was from her – ‘Dere Coker. He read the contents and his annoyance increased. Aaargh!! He would have to put her in her place! Forget that she was relatively new to the organization and had won the hearts of many of the bosses including the chief executive with her performance so far; forget that she boasted a masters from an Ivy League school; forget that she knew her onions and was a hard worker; forget that she was increasingly becoming influential; he would deal with her and hurt her in ways he knew how and she would always remember the name John Adeleke.

He snapped out of his thoughts as the lock turned and the door opened. He looked up as she walked – no sashayed – into  the room with her curve-hugging blouse and skirt. His eyes turned into slits as they made eye contact, he John Adeleke and ‘Dere Coker, adversaries in more ways than one. She approached him, eyeing him as he drew himself to his full height. She stopped right in front of him, tilting her head up to maintain eye contact with this proud young man.

John looked at her, taking her all in as she glared at him.

“Why do you have to be so nasty?” he asked.

“Because you like me that way,” she replied.

He clenched his jaws looking at her and tried to control himself.

“I’m going to teach you a lesson.”

She laughed. “What lesson?”

Take off your clothes.”

She smiled at him.

“Yes, papi. Mr. Performer.”