Sunday, October 2, 2011

Taking Chances, by Omonike Odi

 Omonike, a reader with perhaps the coolest name ever, saw an offer to post stories in one of my old blog posts and kindly offered me this jem. I hope you enjoy it!

Taking Chances

I watched the other two saunter in. Earlier when I walked into the room the last thing on my mind was my surroundings. Now perched on a black plastic chair, i observed them.

In total there were five girls attired in bright colours and bright make- up. One wore a Mohawk invention that gathered the hair around her ears in braids before toppling them in short tufts on her head. The other wore a Nigerian print Ankara dress, embellished with sequins and hesitantly stopping short of her knees. The brightest of them had just spilled into the room with an assistant in tow holding on to a bundle of clothes.

From my observatory, I noted the one in a black and gold dress topped with a black turban.

I knew who they were.

Had they seen me? I wondered, considering my choice of dress in a quick thought.

Other than my heavily beaded black and silver necklace and my silver bling ring, i was just the girl in a black suit. My hair had been pulled back from my face in a chignon to give me a corporate look.

I looked back at the lady in black and gold, the one who looked important. I knew her without the familiarity of having met her in person.

Had I seen her on the cover of a magazine? 

Then it hit me. She was Madame Ferera of House of Raah!

Wild thoughts came alive in my head without my permission and mind took over matter. This was my chance to do something I had wanted to do since coming home from the States.

Presently, she still stood there. Should I strike or walk away?

I looked beyond her to the rest of the girls. How I admired them. They where the famous Raah Models. Day or night they could do their jobs in springs fashion collection while I had to wear suits to work.                   

But didn’t i like the suit? I wondered at myself.

Did my liking the glamorous life of these models make me like my corporate job less?

Since I was little, I dreamed I would be a model. My parents never approved. They didn’t understand a career that made me show skin.

“You will go to University in America then join the family business Kautar, forget this modelling thing. My father won. But being saddled off to New York to study at NYU turned out to be a good thing. I was a student from Monday to Friday but on weekends I did what I loved – I took up modelling jobs on the side.

That was then. Now my life had changed. I  worked long, arduous hours on my small portable computer producing spread sheets, tackling PowerPoint, developing sales pitches, giving presentations and seating in at strategy sessions, only finding time to feed in between writing reports. But today these girls made me wish for my double life again.

I made up my mind and pushed myself forward.

“How much for the photos?” I asked almost too loudly.

My question was directed at the girl standing behind the reception desk.

I had been out of the game for a few years now.

I peeped at them again while the receptionist busied herself with the computer in front of her.

I remembered the catwalk, the beautiful designer clothes, the locations, the freebies, the partying and a feeling of lust for their world assailed me yet again. Transported in thought, I transfigured into my alter ego.

There was no stopping now.

Madame Ferara looked up in surprise as I approached.

“Hi, my name is Kautar,” I heard myself say weakly. “I am a business analyst but I am also a freelance model.” I handed her a PSG Consulting business card. “I would love to audition for you sometime.”

If I proved that I had a strong walk and beneath my suit was a good frame to show off her creations, she would hire me, I thought.

She had a look that said, Walk away, little girl.

I tried again.  “That’s my card, can I have yours?”

Say something! I wanted to scream at her.

I was coming back to my senses. All my alter ego’s bold powers had left me, only I remained.

She reached into her Mui mui bag,

She was either looking for a gun, a court restriction or a fly- swatter.

 “Give me a call sometime...”

I must have fainted with my body standing still.

I have no memory of my walk back to the reception to pay for my passport photographs but moments later, i stepped into the sun clutching a black and gold coloured complimentary card in one hand.

Breaths of wind russled up my skirt and I paused to adjust it. I smiled.

I was the business analyst again.


  1. Taking chances in life is what its all about. Did you do much research on ancient Rome for your novel? I've always been fascinated with Rome, even took eight years of Latin in school, not that I can remember any of it.

  2. I went to Rome for ten days. It was amazing.


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