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Lost in a Shadow - Episode 20



Lost in a Shadow - Episode 20

Written by Chidiogor D-f Nwafor

Stella knew that Imafidon had not done what she asked her to do. She had asked her politely to assist Precious in arranging some of the clothes while she took record of the sales but Imafidon was busy munching a pack of popcorn while discussing with Ruth, her partner in crime. Ruth was laughing so loud about something Imafidon had said and Stella got the feeling that Imafidon had said something against her. Stella sighed within herself as she looked at the pack of clothes to arranged. She turned her gaze back to the two who were schmoozing like there was no work to be done.

Imafidon was a plump lady with plump neck, arms and legs. She was seen always eating something be it bread, cake or groundnut.  She was a hypocrite who did her work diligently whenever the boss was around. She insulted customers whenever she had the chance. Due to this bad behavior, she had never been promoted despite her long services at the boutique. 

Ruth on the other hand was a perpetual late comer. There was never a time she arrived early. Just like Imafidon, she had been putting effort to come early but now that the boss wasn't around, she did as she liked. 

However, Precious; the third worker in the boutique was very quiet. She hardly got angry with anyone but whenever she did, she didn't care if things got spoilt. Peace also, was just like Precious; peaceful Peace. She was kind and lovely to customers. A lady had once waited for Peace to attend to her before she bought her goods. To Stella, Peace had all it took to be the leader and she wondered why her boss had chosen her to handle such task despite her inexperience and short service in the boutique.
★ ★ ★

Stella walked gently to where Imafidon was seated. She took deep breath to calm her anger down. Eating during working hours was prohibited but Imafidon never abided. Getting to where they sat, she touched Imafidon on the shoulders.
"Ima! I believe you didn't hear me earlier so I'll repeat myself again. Precious is arranging the clothes all alone and Peace is assisting a customer so there's no one to help Precious with the huge lump of clothes. Please, go and assist her. Ruth, you can join too."

Imafidon and Ruth looked at each other and then back at her. Imafidon then looked sideways before looking back and front. They stared at her like she was a fool.
"Were you talking to me?" She asked and Ruth giggled at this. 

Stella smiled sweetly, trying to maintain her cool. "Yes. I am."
"What did you say again?" Imafidon asked with Ruth giggling again. 

Stella smiled as she repeated what she had said earlier to them only to get an 'I'm eating' response.
"Weren't you taught table manners? Or you think because you're now the leader you can order me around? Foolish girl!"
"You're the foolish one here." Stella lost her cool. "If you envy my position so much, you should strive to earn it."
"It's not fault. It's your useless parents I blame for that idiotic statement you made."

Stella felt her head increase and decrease at that split seconds. She could feel herself welling up with anger and hurt.
"How dare you insult my parents, you fat for nothing idiot?" She thundered as she slapped Imafidon hard on the cheek. Imafidon tried to retaliate but was pushed to the wall and pounced upon by Stella.

There was blood on the floor and it was impossible to  decipher whose blood it was for the two were entangled on the floor. Startled, Ruth ran out to call Peace while Precious tried to separate them but they kept fighting and cussing at each other.

Peace rushed to them and with an extra hand they were able to separate them. 
"What's the meaning of all these?" She began. "This is a boutique not a boxing ring."
"You should tell that to this 'jolly just come' you brought. " Imafidon spat.
"Why did you insult my parents? You know nothing about them so you should watch what you say. I can take any insult in this world but not when it is addressed to my parents."

Peace, in bid to settle the fight, asked the two available people__ Ruth and Precious__ to give their account of the story. Ruth gave a partial narration while Precious told the truth. Peace upon hearing that rebuked Imafidon for eating during work hours and for insulting Stella's parent. But she was cut short before she could go further by Imafidon who eyed her from head to toe.
"Who made you judge over us?" She had snapped.
"I'm not judging you. All I'm saying are things you should have known."
"Please, go and do your work. Stop fixing your mouth in a place you are not called. This is between me and her." Imafidon pointed as spoke.

Peace, already provoked by Imafidon's statement blurted out. "Alright if you say so. But before I leave, let me give you a piece of advice. Go and sit down, push your head upward so as to stop the bleeding from your nose before you start your round two. Who knows what you'd come out with this time. Maybe a wheel chair."
"Stupid girl. You're ..." Imafidon barked but Peace was already gone. Facing Stella, she raised a stern finger. "This is not over until I say it is over." With that, she stormed out with Peace following behind.

Stella sighing, moved to Precious to assist in arranging the clothes. She felt sorry for breaking into a fight. She hardly fought but  she had lost her cool. She had some bruises on her arm. Funny enough, she hadn't felt the pain while fighting. The way Ruth looked at her was like she was a roaring lion that broke loose from the zoo.  Stella laughed at the
 image. Precious broke her thought by applauding her for putting Imafidon in her place.
"I didn't mean to fight with her."
"I know but when it comes to our parents, we lose control sometimes." Precious replied and Stella nodded in agreement. 
"Imafidon nose must have lost it's shape." Precious mocked and they both laughed.
★ ★ ★

Days after the fight, Stella had made sure she kept her distance. She didn't want any more problem with Imafidon. That day, as she sat taking records, she glanced at her phone to see if Cassandra had called. Cassandra had earlier informed that she would be returning from school that day and Stella was waiting fervently for her return for she had missed her so dearly. The second semester examination had taken longer than expected and Stella was glad that Cassandra was done finally with her 200level exams. She was studying theatre art at the prestigious University of Lagos.

Stella kept calling Cassandra to track where she was. Being preoccupied with the records she was taking, she couldn't call again.

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