Presentation Day

Presentation Day (Episode 4): What is Eating Tony Barz?

9:00 am

“Sir!” Tony blurted out, almost screaming and Mr. Henry quickly shut the door “I didn’t know you have a guest” he said with a mischievous look on his face “she is my sister sir” Tony explained “oh I see. If every woman in the world was our sister then how will we have babies” he laughed then stopped laughing when Tony didn’t join him.

“She isn’t feeling well and I want her to get enough rest” Tony was looking for a way to explain why Janet was lying on the floor “she feels uncomfortable on the bed and that is why she is on the floor and…” He stopped explaining when he saw that Mr. Henry had gone back to his phone call and was half way through the door. “Time for presentation” Tony muttered

Tony was the most tense he had ever been; sitting in the back seat of the car with Mr. Henry, who made snide comments about his house. He was surprised that Tony managed to live in a nice area in town with the amount of money he earned. “I save a lot” Tony managed to answer him and Mr. Henry laughed “of course you save. Save all your money for your landlord stupid decisions”.

It was tough, all Tony wanted to do was lean back on his seat and close his eyes; everything he learned for the presentation had disappeared from his brain and he was desperate to remember something… if not everything but something but that was not possible with the devil sitting right next to him.

After fifteen minutes of agony, they finally arrived at the Abuja Private Clinic but unfortunately for Tony; they were already ready for him in the conference room, so he had no opportunity to run to the bathroom for a minute or two to practice and read through his presentation documents. “Are you ready?” Mr. Henry asked with a smirk on his face and Tony nodded “are you a lizard? When I ask you something answer with your fucking mouth” if ever Tony could slap that man, it would have been in that moment.

But he didn’t, he controlled himself and apologized as he always did and they proceeded to the conference room. They exchanged pleasantries “we are very excited to hear what you have to say today Mr. Tony” one of the hospital executives expressed and those words made Tony even more nervous. He was so nervous that he started getting images of Janet, her voice, her words, the way she walked and laughed, everything and that made his stomach squeeze into a nut.

“Ladies and gentlemen please give me a moment” he barely finished his statement when he ran out of the conference room straight to the toilet to puke. He threw up until there was nothing in his stomach and then he felt a little bit better; he thought about abandoning the presentation and going home to his dead sister to do right by her but then again “after that, what next? Am I going to be homeless? Will I move back to Kaduna?” he asked himself as he walked towards the building exit.

“Tony! Tony!” it was the voice of the devil “where the hell are you going?” Mr. Henry’s entire face was squeezed by a frown “I am sorry, I lost my way looking for the conference room” Tony replied. He didn’t have the guts to tell him that he wanted to bail. “Of course you missed your way, you fucking idiot. You better not mess up this presentation if not I will make your life a living hell” “my life is already a living hell” Tony muttered “what did you just say?” “Nothing sir. I am sorry sir”.

Under the scowling eyes of Mr. Henry, Tony went back to the conference room and gave the presentation of his life. He talked and explained things he didn’t even know that he had knowledge of and when questions were asked; he answered each one with impeccable accuracy and satisfaction. Tony got a standing ovation but what thrilled him the most was watching Mr. Henry reluctantly stand and clap for him.

“Mr. Tony, I don’t need any more wooing because you have our account” beautiful words from the mouth of the CFO “wait here so that we can draw up the papers and sign them all today” he suggested “fine by me sir” Tony replied with joy. Joy that he had not seen in the past excruciating hours.

“Well-done, you did well on the presentation” Mr. Henry said to Tony with a straight face “thank you sir” he replied also with a straight face. He didn’t want Mr. Henry to see how much his compliment meant to him.

“You did very well o, your presentation was superb and to be honest I didn’t expect you to get this account. So, how do you intend to manage such a big account?” Tony was taken aback by the question but he answered anyway “I intend to work my ass off to make sure that they are satisfied. I know what they want and…” Tony was interrupted by the way Mr. Henry shook his head.

“See enh, if I am being honest with you. I do not think that you can manage such a big account on your own… so you know what will happen?” “What?” Tony was eager to hear his next words. “I will give this account to Bala” Bala was one of the high flyers in IKY Investment Group “he has big accounts like this and he knows how to handle big accounts like this but because I am generous, I will put a request to management to give you twenty thousand naira for all your troubles”

Tony could not believe his ears; this man wanted to give his account, the biggest account of his career to someone else; a person who didn’t even need it, a person who was not even present for the presentation and to make it worse he was going to replace the one million naira commission he was entitled to on the account with a flimsy twenty thousand naira.

He stood up and paced for a few seconds “Mr. Henry, I want to understand what you just said. You want to take this account that I have killed myself for and give it to someone else. Is that what you are saying?” “That is exactly what I am saying and it is because you are incompe…” Mr. Henry could not finish his sentence because Tony had already wrapped his hands around his neck and was strangling him.

He tried to struggle out of Tony’s grip but the boy was using all his accumulated anger and frustration as a source of energy. Mr. Henry begged with his eyes but Tony’s heart was glazed with unbreakable cement; his hands clutched hard to his neck, squeezing the life out of him second by second. Mr. Henry prayed that someone would come to his rescue but there was no one in sight; Tony was going to kill him.

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