Heels and Valleys Chapter Seven

Favour paced around in her office.

Mismanagement of funds had been detected from the department she directed. It was surprising yet annoying. Why did it have to be?

Friday’s meeting had been more than she had expected it to be. The strange call that ended the meeting for her had been from the chairman. He had mentioned that he needed her to investigate it and return the mismanaged funds ASAP. Otherwise, he was going to investigate her alongside the rest of the members. He also threatened that all the faults could be attributed to her.

It was obvious that some information that was meant for her had been told directly to the chairman. Her problem now wasn’t that she didn’t know how to investigate the issue. She hadn’t needed to. Just a few questions early this morning and Sanmi had owned up for the fraud.
“Sanmi!” she called between clenched teeth. Who was he to let himself be swayed by a few thousands of naira? After acting all religious and praying and asking for a fellowship meeting! He should be ashamed of shaming the rest of the body of Christ.

She returned to her seat and fiddled with a pen that was on her desk. The director instinct in her told her that the culprit had to return the stolen money and shamefully asked to leave the company. But, her thoughts were going on a different lane. Despite herself and everything that could happen if the culprit was not brought to book, she didn’t think Sanmi could have done it. And worse, she knew this wasn’t her style.

She picked up the table phone on her desk so she could contact Aanu.
“Right now, I need you to tell the members of the department not to get a word of this out to anyone. Understood?”
“The fund mismanagement situation ma?” Aanu asked, wondering why her boss was using another approach from the usual.
“Yes, do it right now. I’m intending to investigate the situation secretly. I didn’t ask you to tell them that though”

Aanu, on her way to doing her boss’s bid, saw Cynthia talking with Boluwatife in heated low tones. Boluwatife on sighting her forced a smile across to her.
Aanu who had taken in everything she saw reported directly to Favour who was elated that for once, she had allowed her instincts to prevail over professionalism, and it was the right way. Aanu’s report though had contained a few exaggerated details on Cynthia and Boluwatife’s uneasy dialogue. The part of the report that was just briefly mentioned was the fact that Sanmi had looked hopeful when the message was delivered.

Favour’s doubt that Sanmi could be involved in the odd situation got strengthened day by day. Cynthia and Boluwatife who were usually bubbly and pouring all over the place for some reason had become low-key people. Of course, Aanu was her constant reporter.
In this situation, Favour would have appreciated a sort of CCTV.

Someway, somehow, Favour got a recording bug fixed in the big office that wanted to implicate her.
Christmas came. Travelling down to Abia was an impossible task. The long video call with her Dad was enough to lift her spirit for the day. The other calls she had to place were also done. Then, it was time to deal with the issue that threatened her existence as a director at For You Architecture and Homes. She might look like she had slacked on meting out the right punishment for the culprit but the chairman had promised not to go back on his word.

Checking through the recording from the bug had been as tedious as listening to a boring radio. Even Tony’s voice had only succeeded in making it lively for a few minutes. Favour found herself sleeping through listening to the recording.

“Dear God” Favour prayed when her lone effort of trying to catch the real culprit was becoming futile and she had just one more week to the annual company New Year eve party that could seal her fate.

“Dear God” Sanmi also prayed at his house. He had only been at his parent’s house to attend a very important family friend’s wedding on the day he first laid his eyes on Favour. And now, it seemed that Favour was going to take the hit for the person he was supposed to take the hit for.

It was not like he was a mini Jesus who wanted to bail Boluwatife from impending trouble. He had thought that taking the hit for Boluwatife would have ended his misery. It was true that Boluwatife had shown him her scars when he had preached Jesus to her privately. However, he didn’t take the hit for her because of brotherly love. He decided to do it so that he could end the odd feelings he had for his director.

Now, he was realizing how his selfishness had complicated matters. And for the first time, he could acknowledge that he loved Favour despite the difference in rank.
“I desperately needed the money at that time. Do you think that Jesus wouldn’t care if I couldn’t refund the money quietly before next year?” Boluwatife had asked on that day.
“I can assist you in refunding it” he had said to her with a pure motive. But, when the issue was found out before the refunding could be done, he had jumped at the opportunity to leave the company.

Boluwatife seemed to be slimmer over the waiting days. Another revelation from her had jolted Sanmi. She had confessed to having unknowingly slipped the information about the theft to Cynthia despite knowing how cunny Cynthia could be.

The whole department hoped that for Favour to ask that not a word should get out about the fraud, she had to be doing something about it. The only three people who knew the answers to the questions she sought were he, Cynthia, and Boluwatife. While Cynthia was glad about the development, whichever way it turned, he and Boluwatife were dying silently.

He, no matter how the development turned, was going to bear the brunt of his selfishness.

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