“No, no thank you! I’ll give you a call, and then we can get this thing started.” I hung up the phone and smiled to myself, my voice soon becoming nothing but a mumble. “If only you were still here mama, I bet you’d be so proud.”
I leaned back in the chair, and let my gaze drift towards the office ceiling. I was the head of my very own restaurant, Ndoto Yangu- Swahili for “my dream”; and this restaurant truly was my dream. I have everything I could ever hope and wish for because of this restaurant, but the only thing this restaurant did not give me, was my family’s approval.
Most of my family thinks I’m a disgrace. Even my own mother took some time to warm up to my life decisions. I closed my eyes and thought back to the day I told her. It was a few hours after I graduated from high school………………..
“Mom, I figured it out!” I said excitedly.
She turned from wiping the stove to flash her million dollar smile. “About time you figured something out. Now you can start moving up out of my house.”
I rolled my eyes which made her let out a high pitched laugh. “I’m just joking baby girl. Now sit here and tell me what is it you figured out.” She continued, pulling a chair from the breakfast table.
“I decided that I will start my own restaurant.” I grinned feeling proud of myself, but that smile faded when I looked at her face. She shook her head in clear disapproval.
“You’re outta yo’ mind Yemi.” She said bitterly. I was slightly taken aback by her tone.
But she held up her hand, interrupting me. “This isn’t a discussion Yemi. I gave you my thoughts. Now if you still want to continue with this hopeless desire, go right ahead. Just know that you won’t get any support from me.” With that said, she turned around and continued to wipe at the sauce stains on the stove. I stood up and placed the chair back at the table before storming up to my room. “I’ll never understand that woman!” I yelled out, startling my younger sister who laid in my bed.
“What’s wrong Yemi?” She looked at me with nothing but concern in her soft, brown eyes.
I sighed and shook my head. “It’s just….mom always talks about us making it out of this hell hole called Detroit, but everytime I present her with ideas-”
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“She shoots them down.” Samaria said, finishing my sentence. I nodded. “She does that to me too, then you have uncle Abaeze telling us to keep the “business” in the family” She whined, rolling her eyes. I plopped down on the bed next to her and let out a frustrated sigh..“Never in my life will I follow in that man’s footsteps.” I spat.
She nodded and held onto my arm, “Try telling that to our big head brother. Last I heard, he was already initiated.” I let out yet another sigh. My baby brother isn’t the only one who jumped on that death train. So did my best friend.
“Miss Olatunde?” A voice called, snapping me out of my thoughts. It was my assistant Kimberly. She had a nervous look on her face, like she was about to speak publicly or something. “Sorry to bother you ma’am but there is someone here to see you. He says it’s urgent.” I nodded and cleared my throat. “Of course, um let him in.” I smiled at her as she scurried out. While I waited, I shuffled through some papers. Soon, I heard my office door open and shut once again. “Hi how may I help you?” I said not looking up from my papers.
“Yemi?” A voice not familiar questioned.
My head shot up. As soon as I looked, my heart dropped. I couldn’t believe my eyes. “W-Why are you here?” My voice wavered.