Posted in The Job Experience

The Job Experience – 3

First off I want to thank every one for their constructive criticism, suggestions and encouragements. I can only get better from your words and I appreciate.

To all who have followed this story from the beginning I just want to say a big thank you. For those who have not, here is part 1 (http://wp.me/p4j2l8-g) and part 2 (http://wp.me/p4j2l8-1s) for you to catch up.

Here is the last part of this story. Hope you enjoyed reading it as much as I enjoyed writing it.

TheJobE

“Get on the floor now” shouted the tall masked man. Tunde stood confused. This could not be happening, not today thought Tunde. From one bad news to another. What did he do to deserve this? Why God? He had so many questions.

“Guy you think say we dey play abi?” The masked man said again. He used the butt of the local shotgun he was holding and hit Bolaji who was closest to him on the head. Bolaji yelled out in pain.

“BOLAJI!!!” shouted Amaka. But the second masked man had a pistol pointed at her and her second son so she dare not move. Tunde came to. Quickly he laid down.

“Please don’t hurt anyone, please. There is absolutely no need to be violent.” he pleaded. Bolaji was moaning, he was bleeding from his forehead. “Bola are you okay?” He asked.

“Shut up. WE ask the questions. If you want any of your family members to stay alive you will do as we say” said the tall masked man. Tunde nodded.

“Good. Now where is the money?” he asked. Tunde was shocked. The first thing that came to his mind was to ask ‘which money’. How could someone have know? He had only made the withdrawal today, it didn’t make any sense, why today? But there was no point denying it. It would just cause more trouble and danger for his family. The least he could do was try and protect them from more harm since it was obvious God had abandoned them.

The shorter masked man was fidgeting with something but Tunde could not see since he was face down.

“Guy get a grip” scolded the taller one, then to Tunde he said “I hope you don’t need motivation to show me where the money is?”

“No please, please don’t hurt us, please” Amaka cried out. “Baby please just do as he says. The boys, think of the boys please”.

“Mr. Banwo I think you should listen to your wife” said the tall masked man. “She has a valid point”.

“Fine, okay” Tunde said “it is in the briefcase. The case was lying beside him. “Just take the case and please don’t hurt anyone. Please, I promise not to do anything stupid”.

“Who said anything about doing anything stupid?” Said the tall masked man. He became very cautious as he looked at the briefcase.

“Guy the money dey. Let’s take it and go” the shorter masked man spoke for the first time. He sounded nervous.

“Shut up and calm down” the leader said “Open it let me be sure” he spoke to Tunde.

Tunde got on his knees, opened the briefcase and showed him the money inside. Amaka who had been on her knees all this while gasped. Giving Tunde that ‘where in God’s name did you get this from?’ look.

“Good, good, very good” said the tall masked man laughing. “Close it and toss it towards me. I really don’t trust your promise of not doing anything stupid.

Tunde closed the briefcase and pushed it towards the masked man. He was kept on praying in his mind for them to just talk the money and go. The case stopped close to Bolaji hitting the man’s left foot.

He smiled. Tunde could see the smile through the mask. As the tall masked man bent to pick the brief case the shot-gun slipped in his hands. To keep it steady he tightened his grip forgetting his fingers were on the trigger. His fingers responded to his reflexes and tightened on the trigger as well . . .

“BOOM!!!” The gun fired.

All Tunde could hear was a loud scream from his wife Amaka “NOOOOOOOO BOLAJI!!!!!”

**********~~~~~~~~~~~**********

Mrs. Banwo was restless. She hated the fact that she was all alone. She hated being alone. Her husband had always been with her and when he was on one of his business trips her baby Seun came home to stay. To keep herself busy she had cooked rice, made a fresh pot of stew, made vegetable soup (her husband’s favourite), and was debating whether to pound yam or not.

She heard a knock on the main door. Before she could leave the kitchen to go open it she heard her son’s voice.

“My one and only mummy” Seun shouted.

Mrs. Banwo opened the door and hugged her son. “It is night you this boy. Why are you shouting? Don’t disturb the neighbours now”.

“Let them park well oh” Seun replied returning the hug. The raising his voice a little louder he added “if they have any problem they should go and look for their own mother”.

His mother hit his arm playfully and they both laughed.

“Ah ahh, mummy this house is smelling take-away” Seun said. What’s cooking?” Mrs. Banwo sat on her three sitter and started crying.

“Mummy now” Seun went to her side to comfort her. “What is this now? Why are you crying?”

“It is because I was trying not to think of your dad. So I was cooking. I don’t even know who will eat all the food” said Mrs. Banwo.

“Mummy your last born is here for what then?” Seun said jokingly “part of me coming here is to chop your food now. See my neck faa”.

“Seun where does your money go to” Mrs. Banwo enjoyed teasing her son about his slim stature. “I think we will reduce your pocket money since it is obviously not making any difference”.

“Mummy stop that rough play oh” laughed Seun and for once that evening his mum smiled.

“A smile” Seun exclaimed. “Now since you have cooked for daddy, we will carry the food to him at the hospital till he wakes up from hunger. What do you think?”

His mum smiled some more “I think that’s a great idea”. If her sons could be positive, she will make every effort to be positive too. She went to the kitchen and packed some rice, she also packed stew and a little vegetable. Her husband liked to eat his rice sometimes with vegetable. Seun was waiting outside.

“Mummy won’t it make sense if I drive. That way if daddy is still down, I’ll shout it out just for him to wake up and scold me” Seun joked.

“No way. I don’t want to be in the middle of two of una love-hate relationship” his mother laughed. “Sit in the passenger sit and hold the cooler”.

They drove to the hospital and arrived in 15 minutes. Mrs. Banwo went to the nurses’ station and asked for the doctor. Luckily he was free and she was told she could go see him. She asked a nurse to directed Seun to his dad’s room while she went to see the doctor.

When Seun reached his dad’s room he thanked the nurse and she went away. He quietly opened the door. It was a typical hospital ward just a bit more fancy being a private hospital. The only thing that wasn’t typical or normal about the room was his dad lying on the hospital bed unconscious. Seun could not remember ever seeing his dad this way in his life. Yes he had fallen ill before, some had affected him to the point of bed rest at home but even then he was reading a book or watching TV or something as he rested. Never unconscious nor in the hospital.

He dropped the cooler on the side-table and pulled a chair and sat beside his dad. For some reason unknown to him he had an urge to speak;

“Daddy its Seun, your last son. Wait of course you know that, it is stress not amnesia you have. I can be stupid sometimes, like when the car incident happened. And before you say anything, not like you can . . . yet; I am sorry about that but it wasn’t my fault honestly. I do listen to you dad, sometimes extremely well and I am sad when you think I don’t” he put his head in his hands and continued. “This is totally unfair. You lying down here unconscious. It is so not you. You have always been our pillar. Our father in all sense of the word. But you brought us up well because Bro. Tunde and I are holding the fort. At least till you are back on your feet to take over. Mummy needs you daddy and somehow I believe you can hear me so come back to us. We love you”.

“I love you all too but if my nose is working well I smell vegetable soup so please can I have some?” His father said, his eyes slowly opening and a smile on his face.

Seun jumped up and hugged his father. Then quickly pulled away “wait how long have you being awake?”

“Some where around you being sorry about the car” said his dad “and you should be because I was planning on taking it from your pocket money this month”

“Haba daddy I will need that money for finals week faa. Boys have plans” Seun pleaded.

“So? How else do I teach you a lesson?” His dad said. Just as Seun was about to reply he realised he and his dad were about to start arguing again. He smiled and kept quiet, now was not the time. Just then his mum came in and she ran to her husband.

Oko mi (my husband), olowo ori mi (the owner of my head) you are awake” Mrs. Banwo said as she hugged him. Her husband just smiled.

“We thank God. I am so sorry, about everything” she said. “I did not mean to bring it up and did not mean to hurt you or put you in this state. Please forgive me”.

Engr. Banwo called Seun to help him sit up then he said “God knows all, sees all and is in control of all. Let’s not be sad but be thankful”.

**********~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~**********

Tunde was hurting, he was angry he couldn’t even look. From his wife’s scream he knew and in his mind he shouted;

“JESUS, can You even see us?

I gave You all of me because I thought You could protect us, Lead us and direct us.

But you can’t even keep us safe from violence and diseases, I really wanted to believe in You,

But I need a reason to trust You after this one…

That same moment, that split second in which he cried out, it seemed as if time was paused and he could hear God speak to him clearly. And God said;

I am the Lord your God, There’s majesty and splendor round about Me.

It’s very sad, but true, that very often your faith fails you and you doubt Me.

But I’m so sovereign and above, I give you power to believe you’re all in control,

But I’m SUPER!

And I’m set to show Myself so strong in a realm of the living that leaves the whole world In a stupor.

By the way I caused the bullet shot to ricochet right back into the shooter!

It was like he had just come out of a time capsule. He quickly raised his head, the second masked man was running, heading towards the main door. It was obvious now why he was nervous all along. He turned and looked to see his son lying on the floor but so was the tall masked man. The difference was that he unlike Bolaji had his shirt soaked with blood all over and it was flowing onto the tiles. He had taken the bullets to the chest.

He rushed to his wife’s side. She was trembling. It was obvious she was confused too. Tolu was so quiet. He hugged them both.

“Tunde please check Bolaji. I can’t bring myself to go there” Amaka said.

“He is fine” Tunde said confidently in faith.

“Are you crazy can’t you see blood” Amaka retorted.

“He is fine dear. It is well” Tunde said.

Just as he spoke Bolaji gasped for air and tried to stand-up. Amaka screamed and rushed to him despite of the blood flow.

“Let’s leave this place. Go to the bed room” Tunde said “I’ll need to call the police. That is if one of the neighbours haven’t already done so after the gun shot”.

He lead his shaken but otherwise breathing family to the master bedroom. He came back to the parlour and as he picked up his phone to dial the police he went to the masked man. He wanted to see his face. Tunde bent over the dead man, hands shaking and removed the mask.

“O MY GOD”, he exclaimed. Looking up glassed eyed was the bank cashier of his branch.

**********~~~~~~~~~~~~~**********

Follow me on twitter @mfadaray

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Posted in The Job Experience

The Job Experience – 2

The response from the first part of the story was good. I am so glad you all liked it. Enjoy the second part.

TheJobE

“Mummy wait, what are you talking about?” Tunde asked trying to wrap his head around all what his mother was telling him. “Are you saying you have had cancer for over five years? And you didn’t tell anyone? But mummy why? We could have helped. And now daddy is in the hospital because of the shock of the news? Ahh and you are all alone? This is bad”

“Babatunde, omo mi (my child)” Mrs. Banwo said. She always called him that way whenever she knew she needed to calm him down and it always worked.

“Yes ma” Tunde answered trying to calm down. He needed to think.

Trust Tunde to still be worried about her even when she had obviously caused more trouble and deserved less sympathy. She felt lighter, she suddenly knew all hope wasn’t lost.

“Tunde listen to me. I am fine. I have come to accept it. I found out late & never expected to even last this long. Yes I could have tried to treat it but that meant stressing you, my family” she paused. “Is it your father that will be going to the hospital with me for treatment every time especially as he travels for contract jobs? Abi Teju that is starting her life as a doctor? Will she leave her NYSC posting in Port Harcourt? Even Seun that is in U.J still has school work. What kind of grades will he have with the distraction? Or is it YOU with a wife and two kids to take care of that will come babysit me all the way from Abuja?” She asked him sadly.

“But mummy why are we your family if we are not there to support you?” Tunde argued back.

“Yes, you are my family and I need you all to help me get your father back on his feet. Five years and I am still going. Obviously its not my time yet” his mother replied stubbornly.

He knew a lost battle when he saw one and from his mother’s tone there was no point arguing. He spoke into the mouthpiece “mummy you can’t be alone. Seun will come from his hostel to stay with you till we figure something out. I’ll call him now”.

“Don’t even think of arguing with me on this oh mummy” he quickly added before his mother could object, “we will cross this bridge don’t worry. Daddy will get well. I’m heading home, as soon as I reach, Amaka and I will think of something. Don’t call Teju either oh, if not na so so cry una go dey cry. Be strong maa mi (my mother)”.

“God bless you for me my son” Mrs. Banwo said tears in her eyes. “I knew I could count on you”.

“Amen ma. Let me call Seun now. Take care okay?” He said.

“I will” his mother replied and hung up.

As soon as the call ended Tunde started the car and headed home. “Why all this now?” He spoke to himself. Just when some good fortune was shinning his way another issue had to rear its ugly head before he could even celebrate. These trials and tribulations were becoming something else. He quietly said a prayer;

“God save us. Lord I know that you are able.

Am lifting my heart to you in prayer Lord. You are a healer and you are our Saviour.

Please come save us. Heal my mother, strengthen my farther. I ask in your name. Amen”

As he ended the prayer he picked his phone’s ear-piece and connecting it to the phone then called Amaka’s line. It rang out. He tried again and she still didn’t pick. As he drove he checked his watch, it was some minutes to 7.00pm. She must have started preparing dinner and as always kept her phone somewhere other than by her side. Why else did they called it a mobile device if you don’t keep it on your person he thought. Shaking his head he drove on. Twenty minutes tops and he should be home any ways, he will gist her everything. He looked at the briefcase on the passenger sit. It helped, at least there was one good news today. The traffic on the road leading to his home in Gwarinpa was a bit busy.

He then dialed his younger brother’s number. His brother would have to go home this evening. If he left the campus now he should be home in thirty minutes. He should have been home in the first place if not for the so many misunderstandings he had with their dad. So for peace to reign he moved to the hostel. Kids of now a days he thought.

Seun picked on the third ring.

**********~~~~~~~~~**********

“Oh no” Amaka exclaimed, she had forgotten to buy fish. Actually she was short on cash and forgot to use the ATM. She would have to make do with the fried meat in the fridge for the boys. They wouldn’t like that. Fish lovers like their dad. She still couldn’t understand how a human being could not like eating meat. “Asin like seriously” she said to herself then laughed.

There was some noise coming from the parlour so she turned down the heat on the stew and the boiling spaghetti and went to see what her two sons were up to this evening.

“See ba, Chelsea is going to top the league. Just watch and see” shouted Bolaji.

“You are joking. Chelsea that don’t have strikers? Haven’t you seen Man City’s form? It is even Arsenal I pity the most. They will drop” replied Frank. Frank was a friend of Bolaji’s that stayed in the neighborhood and they attended the same school.

“Me, I like Arsenal oh. Especially Carzola” Tolu interjected.

“Of course now. He is short like you. See it is not by Carzola that they will win cups shaa” said Bolaji laughing.

“What is going on here if I may ask gentlemen and Frank what are you doing here, it is almost 7.00pm?” Inquired Amaka as she entered the room. A football match was going on. From what she could see Tottenham and Manchester City were playing. She shocked herself at how well she knew football. Influence of the men in her life she thought. Tunde’s friends were always coming to watch matches and the kids had their favourite clubs.

“Good evening ma” Frank replied. “I just came to collect an assignment from Bolaji. We got distracted by the match”. He scratched his head awkwardly.

“Okay, oya young man go get the assignment. We don’t want Frank walking home in the dark” she said to her son smiling at Frank. She was never comfortable with kids moving about so late.

“See you tomorrow. Shebi you will be at the field to play ball?” Bolaji asked Frank.

“You wey know. You guys can’t play without your standing-4 now. Good night ma, Tolu baddoski see you later”.

“Bye” answered Amaka. She walked him through the corridor to the main door. “Greet your mum”.

“Ehen, where are YOUR own assignment you two?” she asked as she got back to the parlour. “Let’s go over them. Go get your books while I check the food. Your dad should be back soon”.

After checking the stew was ready, the spaghetti put down, she turned off the cooker and went to the parlour to turn off the TV, then she settled with the boys to work. She wasn’t the best student in her days but she knew she could help and where she got stuck textbooks always came in handy. After a couple of yawns from Tolu she looked at the wall clock. “Your father is taking his time oh. This is a quarter to 8pm. It seems we will eat without him” she said as she got up from the dinning table where they where.

“Oya go and keep your books. You can finish them tomorrow being weekend. I’ll set the table for dinner” she said. Tolu punched the air with his fist in a triumphant pose. He was tired and hungry. He quickly packed his books of the table and ran to drop them in the room he shared with his brother. “And wash your hands before you come back oh” Amaka shouted after them.

Just as she was putting the plates down on the table, she heard a knock on the door. Finally he was home. As she walked to the main door to open it she wondered why her husband was knocking on his own door. When she reached the door she realised why. She had locked it after Frank left. Smiling to herself she unlocked the door.

**********~~~~~~~~~~**********

“Big sis your government is sure” Seun Banwo spoke into his phone’s mouthpiece.

“Yeye boy. I have given you money now, how won’t my government be sure?” replied his sister laughing. “Just sha read your books and leave those girls”.

“I have been telling you it is not me oh, they keep coming and I keep running oh” joked Seun “but trust your brother now. I can’t mess up”.

“You better not” said Teju “because I can’t be giving you money from this my small salary and you will be spending it on girls or ‘THE BOYS’ abi how do you call your friends sef”. She knew Seun and his generosity to his friends. “Anyway hope you will go and see your parents this weekend sha. Try and help mummy out and all”.

“So that daddy can resume from where he stopped on my case? Thanks but I’ll pass” Seun replied grudgingly. He was in no mood to talk to his dad.

“You and your father. Una love dey make me laugh” Teju teased. She knew her brother and father’s relationship. They fought and made up as frequently as PHCN took and brought light. “Shaa don’t finish my airtime for me. Oya get off my phone before you find something else to tax me with”.

“Haba sis” Seun laughed “am everly loyal. But e be like you have credit oh. You can send some to your brother oh”

“Ohhh this boy. Bye bye. Take care of you” Teju said and hung up.

Seun dropped his phone on his table smiling. His sister who was a medical doctor presently in her Service Year had just sent him N10,000. This her NYSC job must really be paying he thought. This meant he could still tax his elder brother the next week and still get his pocket money at the end of the month. See savings now. Inwardly he thanked God for his elder ones. He was so happy because this meant his final year plans with his friends would be a certainty. They (he and a few of his closest friends) had been planning this for a while. They were about to start their final exams and had planned a week of events after their papers to celebrate.

As he sat and thought about the events to come his phone rang again. It was his dad. He mentally signed. “What does the man want now?” He asked out loud. The last time he was home he had a fall-out with his dad for bashing the front fender of his dad’s car. Despite trying to explain that the accident wasn’t his fault, his dad didn’t give him a chance. He could still remember the shouting.

“How many times do I have to tell you, when you are driving you assume everyone else except yourself is insane and so therefore you drive defensively. You drive defensively at ALL TIMES. Is your head on your neck for fancy?” His father had shouted that evening. He left for campus the next morning without even as much as a good bye and they hadn’t spoken since then.

He ignored the call till it rang out. He picked his bag and got his textbook out mentally arguing with himself whether to read in his room or go look for his friends and then they go for group reading after which there must be hanging out. Still battling with the two options, his phone rang again. By impulse he looked at it but just as he was about to ignore again assuming it was still his dad calling, he saw the caller I.D was different.

“Big bros good evening” Seun greeted his elder brother.

“Guy how far now? Where you at?” Tunde’s voice came from the phone’s speaker.

“Am in school, in my room. How work and Aunty Amaka and the boys?” Asked Seun.

“They are fine. See something is up and I need you to be the big boy you have been claiming to be okay?” Tunde sounded serious.

“Ah ah, what’s wrong?” Seun didn’t like the sound of this.

“It is daddy. He is in the hospital and before you start panicking listen. This is where I need you to be a man okay?” Tunde asked.

“Yes bros I’m okay, I am listening” Seun tried to sound bold.

“Okay, mummy has breast cancer. She has had it for five years plus now. She finally told daddy about it and I guess the shock really got to him. That’s why he is in the hospital” Tunde said.

“WHAT?” shouted Seun.

“Calm down and listen” Tunde replied quietly “you will have time to ask whatever you want but I need you to be the man I believe you are. She’s all alone and daddy is in the hospital. Can you make it home? I know its late”.

“I am leaving now sef” Seun answered. He had started looking for his go-to bag. The one he used when he wanted to go home for short stays. “I’ll go be with her don’t worry. I’ll keep you posted”.

“Pele, shey you are good sha?” Tunde asked.

“I’ll be okay” Seun said but he wasn’t sure. “Bros what of big sis?”

“Don’t call Teju oh” Tunde warned his brother, “let’s not upset her. There’s nothing she can do from PH this evening. I’ll call her first thing tomorrow morning”.

“No problem. Let me be going. I’ll call you when I reach” Seun said.

“Okay then, be safe and be strong. Later” his elder brother ended the call.

Bag packed with his essentials, Seun looked round his room to see he was okay. Great, he was good to go, he needed to get home tonight.

**********~~~~~~~~~~~**********

Knowing his brother was going home made Tunde feel more relieved. His mom will have someone to distract and comfort her. Thank God for the weekend. At least Seun would be there and could even go to school from there at least for now. If he left early tomorrow morning he would reach Jos early and could spend the weekend there then leave early Monday morning.

Pulling into his compound distracted with everything on his mind, he didn’t notice the main gate was already opened nor that the guard wasn’t at the gate. He packed his car beside his wife’s car. It was about time they saved up for a new one for her he thought smiling, after all he could afford it now. He turned off the ignition, picked the briefcase and got out of the car. After locking the car he turned and headed to the front door.

These children be running around and leaving doors opened. They had left the front door he thought as he noticed the door was left ajar. He wasn’t going to get worked up he told himself, not with all these issues on his plate. He needed rest, a warm bath and food.

“You people want this house to be filled with mosquitoes abi?” He said as he closed the door and walked to the parlour. “When one of you gets malaria my hand . . . . .” Tunde stopped in his tracks. In his parlour was his wife and two sons and two masked men pointing the end of their guns at their heads.

“Good evening Mr. Banwo” said one of them “we’ve being expecting you”.

  Job Experience fight cancer

**********~~~~~~~~~~~~**********

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Posted in The Job Experience

The Job Experience – 1

I really want to thank everyone that dropped a comment yesterday. Thanks for the encouragements and advice and blunt comments. 🙂

My blog is about stories and thoughts so here is my very first story EVER. *shivers*. I got inspired to write it from a song I listened to. It is in three parts which I’ll drop at the beginning of every week. Much thanks to Dozie (@dotzyeh on twitter) for the story’s picture. I really hope you enjoy it.

Image

Amaka Chima Banwo was exhausted. This was not how she envisioned the Event Planning career field. Today like so many other days was long, stressful & her boss again was just being a mean douche. The nerve of the woman sending her a text her at 7.00am to come to Garki all the way from Gwarinpa, where she; the madam was having a meeting, then sent her to deliver a wedding proposal to a client at the Federal Secretariat and then she still had to come back to the office to do her own work and balance the firm’s account.

“Who has meetings at 7.00am ehnn? That woman needs a PA” she thought as she cleared her desk. “That’s if there’s anyone crazy enough to take the job”. Her boss was a nice enough woman, a single mother of a 18 year old girl but her temper was nothing to write home about. Rumors had it that it was the temper that probably chased off suitors. The only up-side was she could leave early each day if not she wondered how she would have coped with the boys and their school. Leaving her office, she passed the front desk. Caroline the sales representative was on sit. The poor girl had been crying again. She went to her.

“Sweetheart ndo oh, hope you didn’t take what madam said to heart?” Amaka said, “You know her, she will shout from here to the moon just to make a silly point”. The boss had been on a rampage that afternoon and as always Caroline got the bulk share of the tongue lashing.

“But ma its not fair. I didn’t do any thing wrong” replied Caroline in tears, “she was angry because Alhaji Garba couldn’t make up his mind on the final plans for his daughter’s birthday and it made her angry. Just because of that she shouted at me for not picking the phone on time”. She busted into fresh pool of tears.

“Ehn sorry now. Wipe your eyes.” Soothed Amaka.

“Ma you are always nice, so are the other senior staffs here, but madam is always mean. Imagine she was telling me that she picked me from the gutter fa! Its not fair” replied Caroline as she cleaned of tears from her eyes.

“You have to be tough dear. Don’t let her words get to you” Amaka said. She wished she could say something more to calm the poor girl but she too was in a hurry. “Just take it easy. I have to go pick my sons from school okay. Bye”

“Bye bye ma. Have a great weekend” replied Caroline.

Amaka got into her car. Turned on the ignition and revved the engine. Before driving out she paused for a short prayer of thanks for the end of the week, her life, family and job. As she drove out of the complex gate, she thought back. After 5 years in the University studying Urban and Regional Planning, all she wanted to do was make people’s events happy and look great. Being the first daughter of a retired architect, her parents did not understand this dream. Her husband Tunde, supported her dream but they both knew at the beginning that they didn’t have the leisure of following their dreams without first being financially stable (at least if not buoyant). After 10 years of ‘hustling’ (she working in the Ministry and him working his way up the bank ladder at UBT Bank) and having two lovely boys, after moving from Ibadan where they met to Abuja, her husband (not even she) pushed her to venture into her desired field and even worked some of his bank contacts just to get her this job. Now five years working at this Event planning firm in Abuja as junior partner she already had so much to tell. But she was happy. Her kids where in a good school, her husband (God bless his heart) was working his head off to make them comfortable and still trying to be present in the boys lives. Things were not just where they expected them to be. They were still paying off the loan the bank gave Tunde for the house they had just bought and were still paying of the medical bills incurred from the operation bills after her sister’s accident late last year. There was still the land in the village they wanted to work on for Tunde’s parents but God had been faithful and since He had not left them she believed in him.

“Mummy, mummy, mummy SEE!!!!!!” A small chubby boy, 12 years of age was plastering his grinning face on the front door window frame with a paper which had a large +B on it. She had been so deep in thought she didn’t know she had reached her sons’ school and had parked.

“Tolulope Chidi Banwo, if you break my window ehn, you will be highly finished” Amaka replied but she couldn’t resist smiling at the child’s excitement. He had obviously done well in a test. Just then a taller boy, 15 years of age and a spitting image of his father used a book to hit his brother’s head saying “go to the back joh. Big boys sit in front”.

“Ohhhhhhhhhh, mummy you see Bolaji ba?” Tolu shouted trying to push his brother.

“Bolaji how many times have I told you to be nice to your brother?” Amaka scolded as the boys entered the car, “how many brothers do you have ehn? Oya say sorry now before I use that same book on you”.

“Haba mummy” grinned Bolaji “I was kidding now. Tolu baddoski. Oya chop knuckle” he stretched out his closed fist and bumped it against his younger brother’s own. Tolu loved ‘chopping knuckle’. Only the big boys in school like his brother did it. It made him smile and all beef was forgotten. Amaka smiled. The love between these two boys made her heart melt. From a young age they had clicked. Yes there was the sibling rivalry but it brought them closer than apart.

“So someone did well in a test today I see” said Amaka looking at Tolu in the back sit through her rear view mirror as she put the car in gear and drove off heading home.

“Yes mum” Tolu replied “it was hard maths that our maths teacher set fa. But I had been practicing and Bolaji showed me some easier methods. My friends where all asking me how I did it” he boasted.

Bolaji smiled but said nothing. “It’s not easy to have a big brother oh” teased Amaka, “well done Bolaji, you are setting a good example” she spoke to her 1st son.

“Mummy it was J.S.2 maths joh, I’m in S.S.2. You should see how I am sweating there. I think I might need a tutor in physic oh” he replied sadly, screwing his face just like her dad when he was disturbed.  “I’m not getting any better and you saw how daddy shouted at me last term when I came home wit E8”.

“We’ll see what we can do about that” said Amaka. She thought of the expenses. A tutor in Abuja wasn’t going to be cheap. As she drove home she said a short prayer for some sort of miracle for her husband:-

“God save us, Lord I know that you are able. See you servant, you know his heart. He tries so hard and he is trusting in you; we all are. Let’s see your hands father. In Jesus name. Amen”

If only she knew.

**********~~~~~~~~**********

“So that is how things stand Doc?” Mrs Banwo asked quietly.

“Am afraid so ma” Dr. Vincent replied as he escorted her out of his office.

“Thank you for everything. You were so quick to respond. So for now he will be here right?”

“Yes ma” replied the doctor, “we will watch him for a while before even thinking of discharging him.

“Okay, I’ll be in touch” she smiled at him.

“Yes ma. I am sorry but I have to return to see other patients” he said. He sounded so apologetic.

“No problem” Mrs Banwo said ” I totally understand. Take care now”.

She left his office and walked to the exit of the hospital. She needed a change of clothes and to prepare something for her husband to eat. She always love that her husband choose this private Hospital. Yes, at first she did complained about the cost of a private hospital but well it was a nice hospital and see how resourceful it was when she needed them. In all her time going to hospitals in Jos she had not seen such response. An exceptional service. But now how to handle this? She should have spoke sooner, it would have been easier for her husband to take in. How to break it to the children again, With Teju serving and Seun busy with school work at the University this was going to be hard. Tunde will know what to do, yes, he would know how to relate it to his siblings. Her son was always good at such.

As Mrs Banwo reached her car, she was close to tears. She had been strong in the doctor’s office but now all that strength had gone. She picked her phone from her bag and dialed.

**********~~~~~~~~**********

Babatunde Banwo, vibrant chap. Loves his God and loves his family and he works hard at his post at UBT bank Ltd. He had been working as an E.T (executive trainee) for so long it was like promotion was intentionally eluding him. Seven years ago he was posted to the bank’s branch in Jabbi and had been working there ever since.

He had worked hard and had being trusting God. His prayers for a promotion only intensified when 3 months ago the sit of Branch manager became vacant. People had been sent in by headquarters to fill in but they where not permanent. Everyone at the office had been waiting to hear news of the person to fill the position from headquarters. He needed this boost, his family needed a lift. Amaka had been so good, so supportive. She was his backbone. If only he could just get the raise, take her on a special trip. She deserved it. She deserved more. And the kids, they were barely having fun with the accident toys and games they had. He needed to spoil his family. Sometimes he would think “is God listening to me?”, and then his mom’s words “trust in the Lord” would always come up.

It was almost 4.00pm. The day was coming to an end again. One more account to check on and he will call it a day. He would take the rest home and finish them there “use the opportunity to sharpen Bolaji’s accounting skills” he thought. His office phone rang.

“Hello” he spoke into the mouthpiece.

“Hey Tunde, this is Steven from headquarters” spoke a male voice.

“Stevo” Tunde quickly recognized his friend’s voice. “How far now? Why you dey act formal now?”.

“Errrmm, I am on speaker with the managing director Tunde” steven said, obviously serious.

“Good afternoon Mr. Banwo” spoke the M.D, everyone knew him but very few got to speak to him, at least not so personal as this. Tunde sat up “oh, sorry sir. Errm good afternoon sir” he replied.

“I’ll be quick because I have a meeting now and am late. We have sent out memos and an official letter has been sent to you. You should have gotten it by now actually” the M.D said. Tunde quickly dived to his ‘incoming’ tray. He mentally kicked himself for forgetting to check his mail. But heck it was Friday now. He sees a letter addressed with the bank’s logo and what was obviously the headquarters address.

“Any ways” continued the M.D “this is just officially informing you that you are the new Branch Manager of the bank at Jabbi. I wish you success and from what I hear for Seven I expect great performance” he ended.

“Aaaahh sir thank you sir, I will do my best sir” replied Tunde as officially as possible.

“Yes, yes, and you should check you account, call it an incentive. Have a great weekend Mr. Banwo” said the MD and the line went dead. The speed at which Tunde rushed to his keyboard was impressive. He logged in his account details and clicked enter.

“JESUS!!!!!!” He shouted. He couldn’t think, he couldn’t breath. Oh Lord is this what the say you feel like when you hit an unexpected fortune? Is this what a Branch Manager’s bonus looks like???? He had to go out, had to get fresh air. He rushed to the door of his office and as he stepped out he was bombarded with a loud “CONGRATULATIONS!!!!!!!!” From all the staff both those on his floor and others who where running to join in.

“We heard since 2.00pm but you where cooked up in that your office so we said let’s wait and surprise you” said a colleague.

“Nice one Tunde, its about time” another relied.

All he could do was keep saying “thanks, thank you, thanks very much” in-between handshakes and one-shoulder hugs and pats on the back. “God does listen” he thought. After all the congratulations he went first to the teller and asked for a withdrawal.

“This is for my wife” he grinned at the teller. After picking the money he rushed back to his office. He might be excited and eager to go home but he had to finish work. As he rounded up, all he could do was give God praise.

“Father you did it, your ever faithful. Thank you lord”

At 4.50pm he was done, picked his brief case full of money and smiled his way out of the banking premises wishing everyone who was in his vicinity a wonderful weekend. As he reaches his car his brain went wild with ideas. Where to take Amaka to? The kids can always go to Jos and stay with his parent, or they could even come along. He always wanted to go to South Africa and Amaka and her noise about Dubai, and he hadn’t taken his yearly leave so it would pan out. Christmas in Calaba this year. . . . yes that’s a must. They would be doing something great this weekend that was for sure. As he was planning he reversed out of the parking lot and headed to the exit. His phone rang.

“My sweet mummy, good evening ma. How you dey now?” Tunde happily spoke into his phone’s mouthpiece as he parked his car on the side of the road to receive the call eager to give his mom gist.

“Tunde” cried his mother into the phone “Tunde, I have bad news”. “Mummy what’s going on” Tunde started getting worried.

“Your dad is in the hospital and  is my fault” his mom said. “Tunde I have cancer”.

**********~~~~~~~~**********

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