TIMISIRE ; The Golden Girl ( Part 1 & 2 ) – OPEYEMI AKINTUNDE

Opeyemi Akintunde.

“Joy, where on earth are you? Another ‘money bag’ is here ooo” Isreal, the hotel manager said over the phone.

Joy couldn’t help but smile, as the imagined picture of her co-workers hovering over her Manager’s shoulder, while trying to listen to their conversation would have been a beautiful sight to behold .

She knew they were anticipating her arrival like their lives depended on it.

She was their ATM card; She was the one who withdrew money from unfortunate men who lodged at their hotel.

She was a PRO and she was exceptionally good.

Whoever was still recommending their hotel to people ought to have been hanged to death, but the truth was, no one was doing the recommendation. The hotel was still riding on the old horse called ‘Good Name”. There was a time in the past when the hotel basked in the glory of being the most booked hotel in the state.

Joy was just a mere cleaner back then, a cleaner that was not even noticed. She was a rat in the midst of elephants; Terrorising Elephants like Loveth the receptionist. However, things had changed…The Elephants were looking up to the rat for their next meal.

She was in charge !

How did the cleaner girl become the hope of the Hotel? The journey was not as straight one…

A death had put the hotel to death.

A man had killed his mistress because she came to the hotel with another man. The scenario played back in Joy’s mind like it was yesterday. She was fifteen years old and she had been cleaning the corridor when she noticed blood flowing from underneath the door of one of the rooms. Joy remembered screaming and bolting off.

She had never seen blood so real and thick in her fifteen years on earth.

Her scream had alerted everyone, with people hurriedly rushing out of their rooms.

Joy remembered how the scream had multiplied. She heard several screams following hers as it was an undeniably terrible situation.

Business went downhill, people stopped booking their hotel, the news had spread like wildfire.

A hotel synonymous to a fully occupied busy city suddenly had become a desert. The change was swift. There was no announcement for the change, it just changed. A business that was recording income in millions, could not boast of One hundred thousand in a month…

It was like a dream for her C.E.O, her beautiful heart could not handle it. She went from the bubbly personality every one knew and loved to a sad blank looking woman.

In no time, all fingers started pointing at Joy. People were of the opinion that if She had not screamed, the hotel would have managed the situation without other guests knowing about it. They would have told the story of the incident differently. The story that was going round was that the hotel lacked good security and hence was not a good recommendation for a hotel.

Joy remembered how the other staff members had called her to a meeting and lambasted her, telling her it was all her fault…

” It’s your fault this hotel has been destroyed”

” It’s your fault we no longer have our source of income”

” It’s your fault we all are going to find some criminal work to start doing”

” I AM SORRY…I HAVE SAID I AM SORRY A MILLION TIMES, WHAT ELSE DO YOU WANT FROM ME?” Joy remembered how she had screamed very frustrated.

Everyone had been quiet , as no one knew She had it in her to scream, but trust Loveth, the big- mouthed Receptionist to speak…

” This one is a witch ooo, no remorse at all. Hey listen Witch girl, the same Witchcraft you used in pulling down this hotel, use it to build it up… Nonsense and let me warn you, Witchcraft does not work on me. My mother is a witch and she has not been able to kill me, so don’t try it with me. Use your witchcraft to build this hotel back.”

Joy remembered how those words had felt like a pressure on her. There was the sudden pressure to correct her error. She felt she had to do
anything she could do to salvage the situation.

She needed to find a way for the hotel…

Joy remembered how the opportunity to save the day came…

They had a guest!

Opeyemi Akintunde

“The lily is said to be the most sacred and beautiful flower of all flowers in Egypt. They bloom in mud and shine in the darkness like a gift from God to remind you that no matter how bad something is, it will get better. That no matter how dark the night, the light will come for you” Joy remembered reading that from a book of quotes that afternoon before the guest came in. She pondered on her life and hoped someday her story would be like that of a lily.

Joy was a reader, her escape place from the harsh world was her books.

She was reading the book of quotes and she was at this point in the book when the receptionist’s phone rang…

That ring was always the most anticipated thing ever. It was Ahmed the security man calling to alert Loveth that there was a guest. Since their hotel had become a desert, they were left idle lazing around, therefore Ahmed had to inform them whenever a new guest drove it.

Joy heard everyone running to their duty posts. She, as the cleaner rushed to the reception to be sure the reception was still in good order.

Thankfully, it was.

Ayo, the door man stood gallantly by the door…

” Omo! this is not an ordinary guest ooo…Mad ooo, Latest model” Ayo said in absolute admiration of the vehicle the guest drove.

This drew everyone’s attention and thankfully the windows of the hotel was created in a way the staff could see guests from inside while they couldn’t. Loveth and two other staff rushed to the window. Joy also took a few steps stretching her neck like a giraffe to catch a glimpse of the subject of Ayo’s admiration…

Ayo’s exclamation was on point. The vehicle was a statement, likewise , the man who drove it was a bigger statement.

We were introduced to him by his Shoe…The moment his shoe stepped on the soil of our hotel, there was an earthquake…..Ayo screamed again….

” Ha! God punish poverty..See footwear”
Truly Ayo had every right to curse poverty, because Ayo knew everything about being classy. It was usually a common joke that he probably was a rich man in his previous life.

“I can bet on my life that he is wearing a handmade dress shoe made in Italy with waterproof leather sole. Oh my Gosh, check out the tonal lizard skin upper and the stylish monk strap…This one is dripping money” Ayo said like he was running a commentary.

The next thing we saw was his trousers and as usual Ayo supplied us the commentary we needed…

“Check out the cool trouser, Lightweight, water-repelling, I can tell you the fabric is not from this world”

“And his skin; that’s the definition of a moist skin, smoothness overload” Jessica, the Bar attendant said.

Joy couldn’t help but see how tall he was and how handsome.

“Everyone back to your post ooo” Loveth said. It was obvious she couldn’t wait to attend to the man.

Joy turned to leave, but Loveth like always would not let her be…

” Hey bad luck, get something and pretend to be cleaning this place.” Loveth said

Joy walked to the store to get the duster.

Upon returning, she saw the way Loveth was behaving like someone whose brain was having a glitch… She was trying to hard to speak like someone who had traveled the world.

Typical of Joy, She couldn’t control the outburst of her emotions. She let out a short laughter. She quickly covered her mouth when she realized what she had done.

Denrele turned and he undoubtedly saw the most innocently beautiful
girl he had ever seen in his life. She look beautiful. Was it possible he drove miles to this hotel to meet her. It happened in a flash and he liked her.

” I am sorry about that, she is quite a child, she is just one of the girls in the vicinity our boss helps” Lovette said trying to cover up

” She works here?” Denrele asked

” Kind of… she cleans. It’s just a way for the hotel to help her’

“Ok” He replied briefly

He knew her type; haters.

” I have transferred some money for 10 nights” Denrele said.

Lovette couldn’t believe her ears, she couldn’t believe a guest was paying for 10 days.

“Ok sir. Thank you sir. Do have a fantastic stay . Bello will take you to your suite.” Loveth said with so much energy.

Joy was about to run for safety. She knew what was coming for her.

” Cleaner Joy, can you hold on. I need to have a discussion with you” Lovette said smiling.

Joy knew she was in soup…

The moment the guest disappeared,Loveth served it to her hot…

” This girl , you have serious problem and they need to take you for prayers. What kind of bad head is on top of this your neck? What was that laughter about? Joy or bitterness, listen to me well and good, if I see you near that guest, I will cut off your thumb. If you make him angry, I will show you mad anger. Nonsense, spoilt brat, I still don’t understand why Madam keeps you here, Idiot” Loveth walked away from her ranting …

Two days passed and Denrele had not seen Cleaner Joy. He had picked her name when the receptionist had called her. He had been expecting to see her the next morning, but It was a young man that had been cleaning up his suit.

” Is Cleaner Joy on the night shift?” He asked thinking she worked overnight.

” No, she runs day shift like me” Paul answered

” Oh! Hope she is not serving a punishment for her laughter”

” What laughter sir?”

” When I walked into the reception, I was speaking with the receptionist and apparently Joy found the way your receptionist was trying so hard to speak British English, very amusing. The look on the receptionist’s face showed Cleaner Joy was going to be in trouble. So tell me…” Denrele asked

” I don’t know much about this event you are speaking about, but if you would prefer Joy to clean up your room, kindly make a request to that effect” Paul answered

” Oh really?”

” And even if you want her to do more than clean, I believe it won’t be a problem. In fact, We have better girls than Joy. Lovette the receptionist is always game and there is Irene from the Kitchen. Those ones are hot soups.” Paul talked on like the parrot and pimp that he was. When the hotel was in its full glory, Paul’s pay from pimping was one hundred times his salary. His work as a cleaner gave him access to talk to male guests who may be in need of clean prostitutes.

” Wow, isn’t Joy not too young for that kind of life?”

” Yes she is, but life doesn’t care about one’s age, if you fight hard with life and win, poverty will
run off, but if one can not fight hard, then Poverty will forever stay close… Sir, just say it and I am on it…I have to feed my family, and I know you have what it takes to feed my family in your pocket…Just say what you want sir!”

” I want Joy!”

” And Joy you will have.”