Tobi entered the company’s boardroom and paused, surprised. The board members were already seated. And they were not smiling.
“Good morning.” He greeted.
“We’ve been waiting for you for over half an hour.” Mr. Douglas, a middle aged man, said ignoring the greeting.
Tobi arched his brows at his hostile tone. “I don’t remember scheduling this meeting.”
“It was an emergency.”
“And no one told me about it before scheduling a meeting. I am the CEO.”
“Not for long.” A female voice rang out. Shocked the last voice he wanted to hear, he turned around to see Melinda, his late uncle’s wife and her identical twin sons, James and Jack, swagger imperiously into the room. And Anita followed them!
“What are you doing here?”
“What a stupid question. You may run this company but don’t forget we are also major shareholders.”
Tobi stared at Anita. “And you? What’s your excuse?”
“I own a lot of shares which automatically qualifies me as a board member.” She replied flatly.
“If you really ran this company the way you’re supposed to; you would have known a long time ago.”
Tobi could only stare at them, totally speechless.
“Sit down, Mr. Williams.” Mr. Douglas said in a calm tone.
In his mind, Tobi thought he should show the snotty old man his place but he was too confused to react. He simply sat down. Melinda and the other new comers followed suit.
Mr. Douglas opened a file in front of him and began. “We called this meeting after a disturbing news reached us. And we’re gathered here to tackle it before it’s exposed in public and ruin this company.”
“What news are you talking about?” Tobi asked, puzzled.
“Mr. Williams, please tell the board members why you connived with Mr. Martins and sold illegal drugs in the name of the company.”
For some long minutes, Tobi couldn’t talk. His jaw dropped wide open. “What?”
“That’s right.” Mr. Douglas confirmed. “We have an evidence backing this allegation.”
Tobi continued to gape like a moron. Anita did it. The bitch finally exposed him. He glared at her. Anita actually flinched as she saw the pure hatred in his eyes.
“Mr. Williams.” Mr. Douglas called, forcing his attention back to him. “Why did you sell illegal drugs?”
“I did no such thing!” Tobi snapped indignantly.
“The evidence says otherwise.”
“Then the evidence is false.”
Tobi forced himself to take a deep breath. He stared at them boldly to defend himself. “It’s true that Mr. Martins sold illegal drugs in the company’s name. I had nothing to do with it. And when I found out, I made him sign a non-disclosure and fired him. I erased the evidence to protect the company.”
They looked at him like he was lying his ass off. “Why didn’t you inform the board about it?” Mr. Douglas asked.
“I didn’t think it was necessary.”
“So, how are we sure that what you’re saying is true?”
“I have only my word.”
“The word of a drug dealer.” Melinda retorted.
Tobi didn’t bother to answer her. He was long used to taking her insults. Mr. Douglas sighed. “That’s the problem. We have no way of knowing what you’re saying is true. That you didn’t fire Mr. Martins to save yourself.”
Tobi’s boldness didn’t falter. “You all know me. I’ve run this company for years with no problems whatsoever. Under my leadership, we’ve prospered despite the economic situation in this country. How can you believe that I will stoop so low to sell illegal drugs? It’s ridiculous!”
“But the evidence is damning. We have to take care of this situation before it gets out of hand.”
“I agree. But I can assure you, I didn’t do this. Maybe you should ask those who brought that false evidence where they got it from.”
Melinda spoke up immediately. “It doesn’t matter. The point is my late husband’s company reputation is at stake. We have to do something about it. Starting with firing this incompetent drug addict.”
Tobi scoffed. “You can’t fire me. I own the company.”
“You mean the company you scammed my husband into giving to you? We’ll see about that.”
James spoke up in his American accent. “Ladies and gentlemen, it’s clear to every one of us that Tobi here cannot run this prestigious company. I say we vote him out and appoint someone else.”
Mr. Douglas nodded. “Let’s vote.”
Tobi was voted out and Melinda became the new CEO. The meeting ended and everyone stood up to leave. Anita left with the other board members, leaving Melinda and her twins behind. Tobi remained stuck in his seat. He was too stunned to move.
Melinda and the twins, sauntered over to him, grinning in satisfaction. “You think we’ll sit back and watch you take over my husband’s company just like that? You lie. I give you five minutes to take your filthy things and vacate my office, you stinking dog. Olodo! Ode!”
“That’s right, motherfucker.” James chipped in. “We’ve taken what belongs to us. So get your black ass out of my father’s company.”
“Yeah! Get out, you bitchass asshole!” Jake added. They laughed and walked away. When Tobi was finally able to move, he vacated the CEO’s office and drove home in a daze.
Another surprise was waiting for him.
He stormed into the house, ready to kill Anita. “You’ve finally done it. Are you happy now?”
She merely looked at him and said calmly. “Yes. I told you what would happen if you didn’t divorce your wife.”
“You gave me three months! It’s been just two weeks!”
She shrugged. “I changed my mind.”
“Fine. You’ve done your worst. Now, I want you to leave my house!”
Anita laughed. “Which house? This house? My house?”
“You must be high on cheap drugs. Leave my house before I commit murder!” He roared.
Anita looked at him for a heartbeat. “Wait, I’m coming.”
She entered inside. Tobi waited, boiling in anger and curiosity. Anita came back holding a file which she handed to him. He opened it. It was a document showing Tobi’s bold signature handing over the ownership of the house to Anita.
Tobi gasped in shock. “What’s this?”
Anita smiled. “Do you remember that night you were so drunk that you passed out in a bar and I brought you home? Yeah, you did me a huge favor by signing over the house to me. I’ve been meaning to thank you. I don’t know why I forgot.”
Tobi couldn’t breathe. No, this isn’t happening he thought. He shook his head, wildly. “I don’t believe this. I’m going to prove that I signed this under duress.”
Anita shrugged. “That’s not what it says. Your signature is bold and clear.” Then she walked up to him and stared eye to eye at him. “This is the end of the road for you, Tobi. Get out of my house!”
That was how Tobi lost his house. And the surprise did not end there.
Tobi drove out. He got a call from his accountant telling him that his accounts and assets have been frozen pending an investigation on corruption charges levelled against him.
“What!” He screamed again.
“Yes, I’m surprised myself. I’ve known you for years and I don’t believe you will do something like this.” The accountant said from the other end. “My advice? Go somewhere and lie low for a little while. I’ll let you know if anything comes up.”
Tobi hung up, slowly. So this was how Anita had succeeded to ruin his life. No wife, no certain future for his kids who were in Mike’s house. He was now homeless, no career and no money. Scratch that. He had a little cash left but that wasn’t enough to take care of himself not to talk of his family.
Suddenly, Tobi felt so tired. He drove to a cheap hotel and paid for a room. He locked himself inside and refused to come out or pick any calls. All he did was think about his pathetic life and drink until he was too senseless to think. At the end of a week, he had made a decision. He brought out his licensed gun and cocked it.
He was going to kill himself.
Watch out for a very interesting Episode 9 on Thursday. Please drop your comments and share.