A hot afternoon. No light.
The school opposite the house was noisy as usual. Children busy getting on the nerves of their teachers. “Amaka, if I come downstairs, you will cry! I repeat; You will cry!!!”
He sat on a chair in the sitting room. Disoriented. Clueless. Frustrated.
“What how will I make it in this life?”
He was among the five hundred workers sacked a week ago, due to the bad economy of the nation. He was closing in on thirty and he had nothing to show for his vast experience so far.
He had worked menial jobs to make ends meet. He went corporate also. But even though things were not the same as before, he felt directionless. He felt as though life itself was a big scam. A classic Ponzi scheme where everything seemed too good to be true, only for it to be true to the phrase – not true at all.
Suicidal? He was suicidal. The only thing which stopped him from committing suicide was his Nationality. It just wasn’t in the blood of a Nigerian to commit suicide. Even if they felt like it, they hardly came to terms with it.
Here he was, confused and in doubt of his own existence. Contemplating the easy way out.
A rap on the door startled him out of his reverie. He scrambled towards the door, opening it without asking who was behind it.
Bright light and stars were all he could see for a few seconds as he fell hitting his head against the arm of a chair close to the door.
“Where is the money?!” The intruder yelled, pointing a locally made pistol at him. He kicked at him. “Where is the money you withdrew today!?”
“Please don’t kill me. Please.” The suicidal man replied. “I don’t know what you are talking about.”
He felt blood trickle to the side of his forehead. A sting of pain followed as his vision became clear.
He could see the person who hit the door against his temple. An unfamiliar face. An armed robber.
“Mr. Komolafe, if you do not bring the money out now, I will shoot you and nobody will hear.”
The robber looked desperate which made the suicidal man think about what to say next.
Mr. Komolafe was his neighbor who lived on the second floor of the one-story building. He wanted to tell the robber he was talking to the wrong ‘customer’, but couldn’t find the right words. He couldn’t find any words. He was literally dumb.
The robber reached for his combat pocket and revealed a rusty jagged knife to the dismay of the suicidal man.
“You won’t talk abi?”
“N-n-no..” the suicidal man stammered. “I-I…”
“You what?!!” Bellowed the robber.
“I am not Mr. Komolafe.”
“Ehn?!” The robber looked quizzed. “So you think I’m a fool abi? Ode, I’m a graduate and you obviously want to die.” With this, he focused his aim at the chest of his victim and pulled the trigger.
“Aaaaaaaaaaaargh!!!!” Mr. Suicidal screamed in fear.
He looked around. There was no one.
All he could hear was the noise of the school children opposite his home.
He had dozed off a few minutes earlier.
“So even in my sleep, this Komolafe man won’t let me rest.” He grumbled.
“Yesterday, it was NEPA bill. Today it was Lawma bill. What is wrong with this —”
A rap on the door interrupted his creative madness…
By Bola Freeman