How My College Girlfriend Turned My Life Around With Just One Phone Call

  • A businesswoman checking messages on a smart phone
    A businesswoman checking messages on a smart phone
  • Life is mysterious. In high school, I was considered by the discipline teachers as a miscreant, and by my coach as a star. It was like I lived inside two universes. I doubled up as the captain for our high school rugby team and the Dining Hall captain. These roles were the expression of my duality, which up to now, had quadrupled. To say I lived a double life would be an understatement, since the paths I chose always branched along the way.

    My fellow students saw me as a force to be reckoned with, and I did not hesitate to impose that fact. I was feared and respected in equal measure, but I carried vulnerabilities that threatened to tear my hardcore apart. I was in form two when my facade began fading after I was caught in possession of contrabands. I was stripped off my title as a DH captain, and that revealed that I was not perfect after all. However, I knew I would rise as long as my weaknesses were safe in my heart.

    In retrospect, I am the last born in a family of three. My elder brother was an engineer who made it in life, while my sister held fast on her fading childhood. Things changed when my elder brother died. His death caused my sister to express her sorrows in unconventional ways which sadly eroded her integrity and sanity. In addition, our parents had passed years prior, therefore this meant that I was now responsible for the direction our family legacy took. It was at that moment that I took over the role of a firstborn.

    In form two, I was in charge of my family's assets with the help of my aunt, and despite my age, I worked during holidays to get money for my school fees. This might sound absurd, but at form two, I weighed 80 kilograms, and my physical endowment made it easier for people to assume I was an adult capable of making choices, but little did they know about the wars I fought to keep my head up.

    The challenges I faced due to wanting a forged resilient spirit. It was normal for me to lack shopping when I reported to school, and to be among those who had no visitors during visiting days. I worked for my pocket money, and made sure I updated my worn school uniform. These habits took me off the comfort zone of waiting to be served, to a position of service to others. And that's why it became my purpose to always serve people.

    Among my repertoire of skills, one close to my heart was culinary skills which I honed on campus where I pursued a course in logistics. It was there that I met Sophie whom we shared classes with, and months later she became my roommate. She was an accounting student, and always keen to help manage my personal accounts. Her prowess with numbers made me entrust her with most of my fiscal decisions. She proved to be productive, and after months of close contact, we decided we would be each other's better half.

    After graduation, I was fortunate to work as a clerk for a leading parastatal in a different county. This meant I left my fiancée behind, hundreds of kilometres away, since she had a job at a local bank back in our hometown. We agreed that distance never broke love bonds, and that we should take the time away to make our personal dreams true. However, I still consulted her in matters of finances and she called on me when she needed rejuvenation.

    As a clerk, I learnt that I was still below the hierarchy in my workplace. I was sure that to climb the ladder of success, it took more than a professional degree. I worked with men and women twice my age who treated me as their equal, and this boosted my confidence. They shared tasks out to me, and this reinforced my role as the clerk, as well as a learner in the hands of seasoned government officials. On the other hand, my fiancée now worked as an accountant for Co-operative Bank, and the number of business ideas she presented to me every week, turned me into a critical thinker.

    After six months working for the lender, I had saved enough to start a business that would go hand in hand with my culinary dream. I consulted Sophie, and she drafted a business plan for me which she sent via email. The content of the plan captured all the amenities needed to launch a fast food joint that also offered delivery services. I had planned to include my professional chefs in the mix, but the joint was still in its inception stages, and only time would tell.

    Every evening, Sophie called me to follow up on the progress I made on the project, and after a week, I had already found a spot to rent, and had commenced with the stocking of equipment and shopping. Eventually, I exhausted the money set aside for the business, which meant I wasn't able to stock furniture and cutlery for customers. In addition, It was not possible to hire any employee yet. Therefore, I called Sophie to discuss how we would navigate around this iceberg of predicaments.

    "Hello dear, there's an issue I have come across," I started.

    "What issue is that?"

    "I need a staff and furniture that I can't hire or acquire at the moment. It really bothers me."

    "That's not a big deal, if you can, start as an exclusive fast food joint, then that will leverage your finances."

    "Of course, that sounds feasible but can you elaborate the details of what we should do"

    "Since you will promote your goods and services on the online space, you can get more customers by accepting online card payments via Co-op Bank eCommerce solution."

    "Alright, and how do we go about this ecommerce solution?" I asked, already impressed by her mental agility and resourcefulness.

    "It works if you will have a website set up for the business, and if not, you can still receive online card payments without owning a website in simple steps. In short, it's a secure and efficient mode of receiving payment."

    "I'll definitely consider this option, and speaking of options, I have opted to try and hire one cook, but I'll join him to cook on weekends,” I added.

    She laughed and said: "Hold that thought, I'd want to join you in cooking. It will help us save on the cost."

    "Are you serious?" I was surprised.

    "Yes, next month I am taking a one-month leave. I'll visit and help you start up, so yes, I'm serious I'll join you in the kitchen," she added coyly.

    "Wow, that is wonderful, and do me a favor and sign us up with the Co-op Bank eCommerce solution while you are there."

    "Of course I'm on it, bye for now," she concluded.

    I hung up the phone, and thought of all the turns my life had taken so far up to this point, and couldn't fathom what to expect next. To say I lived a double life would be an understatement, since the roads I took always diverged along the course, but when I took the one with the Co-op eCommerce solution, that changed everything.