The Last Office by Chinedu Adaora



This is how to eat your cake and have it:


Wear your father’s old coat to a job interview on a monday morning, in a pair of a brown shiny

texudo shoe.

“You better have an explanation for your dressing, Mr, Scumbags, are not welcome here.”


Tell him today made the 10th year he passed, survived by your sickler mother whose future is

as bleak as yours, or black, Suit you. And that you remember his last words to you:,“ Son, eat

humble cakes while chasing dreams.’

He frowns, and ask how that was relating to the interview.


Tell him how everything in his office brought back memories of your father. From the look on his

face; confidence with which he spake, the empathy hanging across his face, and the love his

soul exudes. Tell him your meeting is divine, and that he smiles like your father who now

secretly wears a lone smile in his grave and blushes his face with red clay.

He adjusts his glasses, clears throat, and ask how you had faired without him.


Heave a sigh, let grieve sit on your nose like the pair of the sunglass you wore on his burial,

allow sadness flood your face–enough to give you a red cheek. Then, tell him how the manager

at your last chance of getting a job lost his mother a night after he denied you an appointment.

He sits up, fixes his gaze at you as if asking for more.


Now, tell him his demeanor is critical to your fathers’; the same reason you nicked him, Oliver

Twist. Still, pick up tiny smiles between your teeth. Grin. Not wide enough. Feel your sadness

dispel into the ambiance in the room. Float in it.

He says nothing for awhile. When he looks up, and obliged you to come back a week later when

you must have mourned the tenth time.


Cup your face in your palm and tell him that you are afraid that, history may repeat itself before
He finds no word yet, but repeats, “come back next week.”
Get up, dust your clear paper bag, and make to the exit.
He says, “wait, you got the job!, but don’t come here looking like an old baggy Jean.”
Now, break into tears. Cry. Weep. Joy.
you just paid your father a last respect.
I mean, you just got him into his last office.
He’d shed a tear, rub your shoulders with a familiar hand, and smile back at you.
This was your first & last gift to him.

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Pencilmarks and Scribbles Magazine was founded in 2017 by Clara Jack to be a home for African writers, asking them to come as they are and giving them room for growth. The publication aims to give back to the Nigerian Literary scene for the things it has given us.