Numbers

Numbers

“Excuse me ma, we have a problem”
“What is it?”
“Our buyer just changed his mind”
“Take me to him”

The young woman and her secretary made their way down the staircase to the reception. The secretary pointed to an elderly man. The young woman nodded and made her way to him

“Good afternoon sir. I understand you no longer have an interest in buying the property”

He simply nodded.

“My friends said the property was worthless and I would just be wasting my time and money”

The young lady studied him. From the slouch of his back, to the way he tapped his legs nervously against the floor. She concluded he was one of those customers that could be persuaded by a good story

“Sir, if you don’t mind, I’d like to tell you a short story. I won’t take your time, I promise”

He nodded again, giving her a go ahead.
***
That stormy night, Ogechukwus mum sent her out of the house. She was wet and bleeding and crying.
“Get out of this house. I never ever want to see your face again. You’re just like your father. Gambling and calling it investment”

“Mama please. I was sincerely trying to invest in my future. I didn’t—“

Her mother gave her a dirty slap.

“Invest kwa? Oge, I insisted that you study medicine in school, only for you to go ahead to apply for business management. I forgave you for that. But this Oge. Buying a worthless property, that place where all these stupid cultist used to have their meetings, with the money I gave you to start a business? Tufia!”

She kept crying and packing her clothes from under the rain

“Mama please listen to me. That property would be worth a lot very soon, I just—“

Her mother went inside and returned with five thousand naira. She threw the notes on her face

“Business management. Let it help you survive on the street. Ungrateful child”

And with that, her mother walked out on her, leaving Oge on the street.

Just as Oge had predicted, after about a month, that uncompleted building was sought out by many business men, because of its strategic location.

It was from the sales of that worthless property, that Oge built one of the biggest real estate agencies here in Lagos.
***
“I’m guessing Oge is you”

The elderly man asked. The young lady smiled at him.

“Sir, The property we’re offering for sale now may seem worthless, but over time, it would help your new company in more ways than you can imagine.”

The man thought about it a little.

“Where is it located again?”

Oge smiled and spent the next hour going through the statistics with the man. When she was done, she made her way back to her office, knowing she had closed the deal

“Your mum is waiting for you” her secretary informed her.

She stepped into her office

“Mama, when did you get here”

“Not too long ago darling. I saw you at the reception talking to one man like that? Should I start preparing for a wedding”

“No mama it’s not like that” the young lady laughed “I was trying to convince him to buy an old house”

Her mother smiled mischievously

“You told him that fake story about Oge didn’t you.”

Nkem simply laughed and walked over to her desk

“That’s fraud you know?” Her mother said

“No Mama, it isn’t. The information I gave him about the land is all true. He’s only discouraged now because he doesn’t know it yet. My job is to study the numbers and help my clients see. That requires being a little creative. It’s not fraud mama. It’s financial intelligence”

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