“This is not good”
Remi Phillips silently said to herself, Rachel was always at work at least thirty minutes before she was due on air and yet with about five minutes left till ShowTime, there was no sign of her in or outside the office premises. As an intern serving directly under Rachel, she knew all questions that the absence of Rachel would raise were rightfully going to be directed at her and having conversations of any sort with any of the staff at Maverick FM was something she avoided in every manner; you see, Remi was a shy girl. Through the corner of her eyes she saw the Head Of programs, a veteran radio presenter Sylvester Okiro, a very short man with a visible pot belly, walking towards the main studio deep in a phone conversation, with a limp he was now known for after his involvement in a ghastly motor crash about seven years before. He was the most inquisitive man she had ever met and quite rightly the last person she wanted to speak to at that moment. She made her move when he stopped to have a brief chat with Akpos Jacobs; a sports presenter at the station, taking her first left turn and heading straight to the exit, Remi could only pray that Rachel was close. She got right outside the compound in less than a minute running, walking, side-stepping, side-walking, tip-toeing, and practically crawling along the way, turning heads in the process just to get as far away as possible from Mr Okiro and to get as close to Rachel as possible.
As the bike came to a halt right in front of Maverick FM’s main gate, Rachel saw Remi and Idris, the security man in a conversation and also saw the evident relief in the eyes of Remi when she had eye contact with her; a smile played across the lips of both ladies who had great mutual respect. Remi didn’t let Rachel get off the bike before she started throwing her questions without necessarily waiting for a reply
“Why are you late?” she started and without waiting for a reply
“What’s wrong?” still no reply
“Oh my God, your shoes… ewwwww, what happened to them?” Silence.
“Is that puke?”
Rachel’s reply was less vocal; blab blab, I can’t hear you, she sang in her head as she took her shoes off right in front of Remi and ran into the office screaming
“Help me clean them!!!” behind her.
Remi loved Rachel from the day she was assigned to her as intern, the bright warm smile that she received from the very beautiful on air personality made her feel so important that day. Rachel stood at about five feet and eleven inches with the physique of an hourglass and cute eyes that said I’m a friend, thin lips, semi pointed nose, a voice that one could kill for and most importantly, an attitude that endeared her to many. Remi was enjoying her internship days in the best possible way and with the best possible supervisor one could have.
Running into the office late and with her bare feet was an act Rachel never rehearsed and so the few seconds when the entire office turned and went silent at the sight of her contained one of the most embarrassing moments of her life, “good morning everyone” she managed to say in a tone that sounded more like a question. The myriad of questions however that hit her once she was done greeting the house were unbelievable, she had just three minutes left to begin her show and therefore had no time to answer the questions. “We’ll talk after the show” was the same reply she had for everyone who asked her a question irrespective of what the question was; as she said the same word to the last of her interrogators, she turned and walked right into Mr Sylvester who was walking from the other direction, still on the phone.
“Are you okay dear?” he asked and without waiting for any sort of response, continued his phone conversation still walking towards his initial destination which was his office. Thank goodness, she thought.
Rachel walked into the studio to see that her friend and colleague Chidi Obi also known as DJ Epiphany, had set the studio up already in anticipation of her.
“Where have you been? I’ve been calling you but you didn’t pick the call, what happened?” he asked as he ushered her to her seat and placed the headphones over her head.
“Oh crap! I forgot my phone at home” the questions from Epiphany reminded her that she left her Apple iPhone back at home in all her hurry and bad mood at the time. She sighed then said “I can’t even start explaining my dear, after the show, we’ll talk”.
Remi barged into the studio noticeably without Rachel’s shoes
“Idris is cleaning your shoes up, had to leave him to do it; there’s just a minute left”.
Rachel made a gesture with her head towards the chair beside her and Remi needing no further hints, sat beside her.
All systems on and ready to go, Rachel waited for DJ Epiphany’s thumbs up sign to begin the show, she didn’t have to wait for long before his right fist went up with a clench that involved every finger except his thumb.
“Hey everybody, it’s your girl Ray-Chee on your favorite show ‘Noon Rave With Ray-Chee’. It’s Friday and we all know what that means… ‘NAIJA TOP TEN OF THE WEEK!!!’ We’re gonna drop the ten hottest joints in Naija right now…and …and… And all we need you to do is… hold up, I’ll play ‘Aphrodisiac’ by Brandy for now and when I come back, we’re going straight to number ten!!!”
Rachel fidgeted at the end of her speech because she had noticed Mr Okiro jumping repeatedly and waving at her through the window of the studio, he obviously wanted to pass an urgent message to her. DJ Epiphany got the hint and played the song as Remi slowly shifted the knob for the ‘faders’ on the console towards the side of the DJ and away from Rachel’s microphone. Rachel rushed to the door, turned the keys on the lock and stepped aside as Mr Okiro walked in and started speaking without a second to spare.
“Stop everything for now! There is an emergency, Rachel you need to go live right now! We need to broadcast it like right now!”
TO BE CONTINUED…