Gallant
Gallant
Author: Ruth Olatunde
Gallant Gwen.

Again. 

I was sitting in front of three cold faced men waiting for them to spell out the fate of my destiny. Again. 

I was getting used to this feel. The feel of anxiety, fear and hope. I needed this job. It was a huge factor of my happiness. 

The judgement of these three interviewers would determine if my life was going to get the long awaited revival or if it was going to  continue being the black tormentous sea of misery I had lived in all my life. 

"Can you introduce yourself again?" The man at the center asked. 

I sighed. The question gave me hope, but it also increased the depths of the possible disappointment. 

"I'm Miss Malton. I'm 24 years old. I have good marketing skills which I have gotten from several trainings- the certificates are there- in my files. I have worked in various stores for four years and it has earned me much experience and good interpersonal skills, along side customer relation skills. I believe hiring me for this job is the next big step your company needs to launch herself into the world of fame" I spoke confidently, my heart thumping loudly but steadily sending seasonal chills around my body. I decided to give them my beautiful teethy smile. The atmosphere was so cold I had started to shiver. 

The interviewers stared back at me with unclear faces and I just couldn't tell what they were thinking. I hoped they were thinking how to give me this job, because I needed it more than I needed to see sunlight.

I needed it bad.

"Err... Miss Malton" The funny looking, bald man at the center began to speak. Since I had stepped  into the room, I had just developed a dislike for this man, a hunch told me he was the devil that was here to defer my breakthrough.

As he began to speak, I made up my mind that if he had nothing good to say, his face would get a taste of my fist before I leave , he had earned it. Only he needed me to introduce myself several times in the course of the interview. I almost bit my tongue in the whole tension. He had really gotten on my nerves. Really.

"As you said, you have much experience in marketing, your certificates are looking good too. But we have a policy and standard..."

Okay, my heart increased to ten beats per second at this point. I was at the mouth of the gun, ready to blow up.

"... we only employ candidates with degrees. Anything lesser goes below our standard. I'll tell you, Miss Malton. We can't offer you this job. Your qualifications aren't up to the bar"

My throat went stiff. There were clashes of loud cymbals around my head. I swallowed hard as I tried really hard to suppress the  tornado that was already rolling out of my stomach.

What? Don't tell me I lost this one too? You guys don't understand, lives depend on this job! You really have to give me a space here!

"Take your certificates else where, this company can not lower her standards" Mr Bald head continued, and I swear I wanted to pull my heels and throw it at him.

I didn't move an inch as I was trying hard to get my body together, else I would fall to the floor once I stood up. I folded my palm in a fist. I was really dejected. This was my 10th interview this month. I practically lined up interviews for myself every three-days since the beginning of the month, and this was the last on the list. A failure.

I really hated myself right there, I hated myself for not going to college, I hated myself for not being enough. I hated myself for not being able to win such a simple battle. But how could I have made things better? There wasn't money in the bank accounts, that's why I was here trying to get myself a job after 4 years of hard and stressful work at supermarkets. Should I just get a gun to steal a bank? Help me!

I really needed a change, a miracle. Couldn't God just let a bag full of hundred dollar notes fall on the roof of our house one day? The rent was long overdue, I wonder how Mr Patrick could let us stay for up to a year without paying a dime. My family was practically living on people's mercy. Hadn't we struggled enough? Wasn't it time for a divine intervention?! Did we not get to have a share of God's infinite mercy too?

"Miss Malton, why didn't you go to college? It would have saved you stress, because I doubt you can ever get a good job in any great company with those certificates. To be honest with you, they are just waste." Bald head said looking out of his ugly glasses.

I let go of my fist, I had tried holding my emotions enough, it was time to explode.

"Shut the fuck up!" I yelled. "I said shut-the-fuck-up..." I repeated, this time with a lower voice. I really did not have enough strength for a drama, but he had taken every bit of patience out of me, and I was totally ready to take out my frustration on him. I zoomed off into my valley of outbursts.

"Do you have any idea what life entails?" I asked, fire and anger in my emotions. It was a battle whether to be angry or to cry because both stood at the top of my throat, like thick clogs that would jump out any minute. The three men sitting in front of me froze like statues. I didn't have any business with the other two, the man I had named 'Bald-head' was my target.

"Do you have an idea how hard it is to make it out there? I bet you were born into a rich home, in a rich society, to rich parents. Well understand, Bald-head," and I pronounced that name with so much satisfaction "there's another side to your world where going to school is like winning lottery and you have no choice but to eat with your smartness, and your hardwork. That life is meant for the fittest, only the gallant! So when you see people like me, you respect 'em, because you don't know the shit they been through, and the shit they going through! "

There was a long minute of silence. But I wasn't done talking.

"Madam, do you-"

"-Hold it, I'm not done" I raised my hand. "Do you have the slightest idea how much I've tried to get a job. To get just one good job with a good pay so I can help my family's pocket?"

Tears had gathered on the bridge of my eye. I really couldn't believe myself, I was about to cry in front of a stranger!

"Do you know how many jobs I pull off per day? Do you know the burden that I carry on these shoulders? No! You don't know shit! You don't know nitty bitty. But what can you offer? A condemnation that I can't ever get a job? Is that really how good you are?" I paused to give him a chance to answer the question. Not that I thought he could have any response to it.

"To hell with you, sir" I said and that was the end of my speech. I blinked my eyes once and the tears went back in, it dared not fall. It just couldn't fall.

"Miss, you have walked into this office and displayed nothing but your rudeness and ability to verbally abuse a stranger. That is not some qualities we would want for our customers, or an identity we would need for our company. With this behavior, you really do not deserve a job...not just in here, but anywhere else..." Bald head said like he was trying to educate me.

Man, I needed to get out of this office before I did worse, I couldn't stand the mess anymore.

There was nothing more to say. It was a lost battle.

He pushed my files back to me, and gave me a fiery glare.

"I suggest you leave now while you have the luxury of walking out on your foot, rather than on the shoulders of the security."

I braced myself and took a mental gulp of chilled water. I sprung up from the chair with a start and the other men two shook a little in fear. Turning around, I made my way to the wide stainless door, never to step in here again. It wasn't over, I just had to look harder.

Today, I met the hot, loud, rude, and hot tempered part of me again. It's been a while since I met her, I almost forgot she was still in there, waiting for the right time to jump out. She didn't look like she was leaving anytime soon. She was a part of my whole package. 

Welcome to Greenland dear, the city where I learn the true definition of love, life and God.

My name is Gwenevere.

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