He walked down the street slowly like an injured man. The sun scorching him. Many thoughts kept dancing in his head and no matter how hard he tried, he could not get rid of the voices making chattering sounds in his head. The last time he had tried to quiet them down with green bottles, he woke up with a banging headache and his father shouting at him. His old man had called him names including ‘a lazy goat’ who knows nothing than to gallivant the streets drinking to stupor. The father had gone on and on about how he was trained in school so that he could help train his younger ones yet his contributions are yet to be seen. He did not need another such experience.
Chike shook his head as if the act would disperse the storm gathering in his head. He shoved his hand into his pocket, brought out his handkerchief and wiped the sweat from his face. He crossed the road and seeing the girl selling cold sachet water, he bought one.
“This is exactly what I need now”, he told himself as he gulped down the water hurriedly like a man who just got out of hell. After drinking, he turned round to see the young girl still standing there. Chike recalled he has not paid her yet. He dug into his pocket, brought out a N10 note and gave to the girl. She thanked him and balancing her bowl of water on her head, she walked away.
Chike knew he needed some time to think and the right place too. He saw a tree few steps from where he was standing and decided it was the perfect spot. He took shade under it and sighed tiredly. What a life! He sat down on the rots of the tree and tried to analyze his life.
Five years after graduation and nothing to show for it. No job, no house, no car, not even good clothes, absolutely nothing. He loosens his tie. This was not the life he planned for himself but things didn’t go as he planned. He had high hopes that at most two years after graduation he would have gotten a high paying job. It was not like he was being greedy, far from it. He knew he deserved it.
Graduating with a first class honours from Engineering was not an easy task. It is an achievement fit for the very serious-minded students. He remembered the things he had forfeited just to get there. The parties, the girls, the clubbing, all for nothing. “Is it worth it or did I waste my time?” he soliloquized.
The other day, he had gotten home from job hunting to meet one of her mother’s friend, shouting at his mother, demanding for the N100,000 his mum borrowed from her to complete his final year school fees. It was not a happy sight. The woman even mocked him, asking the mother if this is not the son she spent so much to train.
He was hurt and walked inside without looking at his mother. He knew what he would have seen there, disappointment and pains, pains he had caused. It’s not his fault for not finding a job. It’s not like jobs are hung on trees waiting for who will come and pluck it.
His poor shoe could testify to all the places it has seen, the establishments he had taken it to, all in the name of searching for a job. Many had claimed there was no vacancy, others had promised to get back to him, all for nothing.
He recalled the insults he had received all in the name of searching for a job. He remembered one particular incident that left scares on his heart. He had entered a commercial motorcycle thinking his fare was complete. He had forgotten he had earlier in the day used ten naira to buy sachet water. As soon as he got to his house, he brought out the money and remembered. It was however too late. The ‘Okadaman’ was annoyed and rained abuses on him, all because of a ten naira shortage. ‘Every time you people go wear coat and tie like say you get money, abeg comot here’, the man had told him as he drove away.
The sound of a car coming down the road brought him out of reverie. He stared at the G-wagon and whom he saw at the owner’s side shook his soul. It was Obinna, his classmate in school who never did anything except partying and making it a point of duty to know the soundtrack of practically every girl in class. What more, he always had good grades from sorting the lecturers. The last time he heard, Obinna’s father, a popular politician in their area had gotten his son a job in the government oil company.
What a world! Chike sighed, picked his satchel and continued his journey home.