"Good morning, ma'am". She greeted as soon as she flung the door open and came face to face with the lady on the seat.
"What is good about this morning?" The lady responded nonchalantly.
Mary was immediately thrown off balance and for a minute that felt like eternity, she stood transfixed, staring at the magazine on the table and trying to find the next word to say her boss's friend.
A million thoughts ran through her mind in splits of seconds.
"How could someone be so rude as to not accept something as simple as a wish in the form of a greeting?", she mumbled under her breath.
"What did you say?"
"Nothing ma". She replied mechanically snapping back to reality.
"Ehmmm... Uhmmmm... Sorry. Bad morning, ma'am". She summed up courage to reply, both to remedy the situation and to mock the lady who didn't think a simple greeting was necessary.
The lady stopped writing immediately and looked up for the first time at whoever it was that had the guts to speak to her in such a manner.
"Bia, Young lady, who are you?" She fired as though she didn't know Mary was Mrs Adams' secretary.
Before Mary could respond she fired again.
"Did my village people send you to ruin my day?.
Giggled and became very determined to get on her nerves.
"Well, actually, they did".
The lady's brow hardened. Her face squeezed into a bitter, ugly frown, her face hot with anger.
"Mrs Adams, your friend, sent me to get the needed documents for processing of the contract. She also requested for your account details as she hadn't been able to reach your phone since morning". Mary continued emphasizing the words 'friend, contract and account details'.
"Ahhh, the contract".
The lady's face loosened.
She smiled. Stood up to her cabinet to collect the needed documents and wrote down her account information. She handed the file over to Mary.
"My regards to my friend. I'll give her a call as soon as I'm done with what I'm doing".
"No problem, ma'am. She'll hear. Bad day ma'am", Mary replied smiling broadly as she turned to leave, not willing to let go of the previous conversation.
"Bia, bia, bia. Don't spoil my day with your bad Belle o. Is it everyday people ask to process contract for you? Today is a very good day, biko?"
Mary laughed out loud. She had gotten her where she wanted and now it was time for some schooling.
"So you mean you have to wait until something physically good happens before you regard a day as good?
Are you not alive, well, working?
Are all those not good?
Is that why you won't even accept a simple greeting because it doesn't look like anything good is happening at the moment, until you can see it?
No, that's not right.
You are alive, that's good. You are sound that's good. You have a good God, that's good. You are..."
No she didn't say all of that.
"Everyday is a good day, Auntie..." She said instead. "And good, 'whatever time of the day' is just a good wish which also serves as a greeting, you shouldn't turn it down". she continued still smiling.
The lady smiled back at her. Not really for what she was saying but for her guts, intelligence and outspoken nature.
She liked it. She never knew this stubborn part of her friend's secretary, but she liked it and wished her own daughter grows to own some guts herself.
She nodded, hissed playfully and went back to her writing.
Mary closed the door behind her and gave a muted scream.