May 8, 2021 at 5:19 pm #1447018
THE LION’S DEN.
©Benson Mphandika Lungu III. All rights reserved.
He drove slowly his Corolla make car down the the street heading home after a long day at work. The road he was using was very busy with pedestrians. Some were venders selling their merchandise, others were people who were hurrying to their home as well from the town centre where they had gone back. The road was so busy that some people crossed ahead of his car a few metres from it without caring whether they would get hit by it or not.
As the road was so dilapidated and having a lot of potholes, he had to carefully drive along it making sure that he controlled the car from plunging into the muddy potholes of the untarred road.
As it he passed by the night club, he saw some people gathering there preparing for their night stay there. He remembered the day he had visited that night club and how extra ordinary the environment was were women skimply dressed would throw themselves on him.
“This world is crazy now” he thought to himself as he should his head with a weak smile on his face.
He then heard a loud angry shouting besides his window from a man who looked so plump and bogous. When he paid attention to what he was growling about, he realised that as he was deep in thoughts he plunged into a pothole which splashed the water onto the man. He then realised that he had wronged the guy and there was nothing else he could do but apologise.
“Sorry man” he shouted through the window.
“Nonsense! You are even saying sorry. Do you know how much is laundry soap? You should pack your wretched car! Useless man” the man shouted from outside.
“Buy yours and splash others” he shouted again as he drove away from the man.
He did not pay attention to the man who was still shouting. As he looked in his rear view mirror, he could see the man raising his hands and talking angrily. Though at that point he was not able to hear the words, all he was sure of was that the words were not friendly.
“The economy is really bad. All people are angry” he said to himself.
He then turned on his sound system in the car and started playing some nice slow Rhumba songs as he hummed along the songs.
He was some three hundred metres away from his home which made him feel a bit relieved knowing he was getting home a few minutes from there. With his heart so relieved, his vehicle started jerking at which this went on and it stopped. The engine went off. He looked at the dashboard trying to figure out what could be wrong with the vehicle. There was no sign of any problem with it as the fuel gauge and oil indicator were showing all was well. He then switched off through the ignition and then on again.
“Wait a minute!” he exclaimed as he looked at the fuel gauge.
He just saw the gauge pointer confidently point at ‘E’. He tried switching off and on again but the gauge was still showing that there was no fuel in his tank. He opened the opening for fuel tank and then went out of the car. He opened the lid to the fuel tank and tried shaking the vehicle. There was no sign of any fuel in it.
“This is being foolish.” He said as he walked back into the car and opened the boot.
He removed his shoes and wore some rainboots after which he disengaged the gears and started pushing the vehicle. As the road was very wet and with a lot of potholes, it was very difficult for him to get grips on the ground. He went on slipping as he tried to push.
In a few minutes, he was sweating profusely after covering a short distance of pushing the car.
“Boss, are you going far?” Asked some young gentlemen who were passing by.
“No, not really.”
“How much do you have we push for you?”
“I don’t have any coin”
“Seriously? Okay, we will sell a wheel from your car when we reach”
He did not answer the young men as he was getting provoked with them. And the idea of exchanging wrds with them proved worthless of his effort as they looked so marijuana oriented. The young guys went on as they laughed and said bad words to his car.
He continued pushing the car with full hope that he would soon reach his place. People just looked at him and walked by minding their business.
“Neighbor, is the vehicle down? Let me help you push” came a voice from behind him.
It was his neighbor who had also knocked off from the factory where he was working from. The neighbor threw his back pack into the car and joined in the pushing of the car. He did not worry about the mad as he was already wearing his rainboots.
They finally got to his house really exhausted with the pushing of the car. He was very much grateful to his neighbor who had helped him as he was almost giving up and leaving the vehicle along the road.
“See you neighbor” the neighbor said as he left
“Thank you neighbor”
He then got his phone from the car and locked the car. Before he could make a step heading into the house, his phone rung.
“Mom, how are you?”
“Am fine how are you and the family?”
“Am fine too”.
“Yes, I just called to remind you that the mealie meal here which has remained will just last us less than a week.”
“Okay, I remember, I will see what I can do”
“Thank you. And your young brother got selected to grade 8. He needs some things and school fees.”
“How much are the fees where he got selected?”
“It’s K1,200 per term but if it’s difficult, we can take him at a day school where it’s k500.”
“Ah no problem. I will see what I can do”
When the call came to an end, he dialed the USSD code of his bank account to check the money in his account. The response instantly came back:
‘Dear customer, your account balance is K1,450.30’
He just shook his head knowing the pressure which had just landed him. He slowly walked into the house. As he entered his two kids ran after him so happy to see him. He found his wife sitted watching ‘The General’s Daughter’ on TV with her young brother.
A little while later he went to take a bath and then sat at the table to eat his meal. It was nshima with pumpkin leaves and kapenta. He was eating it slowly and for the sake of eating not really in the mood as he had a lot on his mind.
After chatting for a little while the brother to his wife who had just come, he went to his bedroom to sleep. He tried to sleep but all was in vain as his mind was after finding ways of sourcing for the money which his mother wanted
His wife then came to the bedroom also to sleep and she was surprised to find him still sitted on the bed.
“I thought you are sleeping” she said joining him in bed.
“Oh okay. Actually, the landlord came to tell me that he has hiked the rent with a K350 starting next month.”
“I tried to reason with him but he said that we should shift if we feel he is unfair”
“And the teacher called to remind about our children’s school fees. They said the kids shouldn’t go to school tomorrow without money.”
“Okay and has your brother just visited us?”
“His college tuition fees is due and he has come to ask if he can be helped with anything. Mother is completely bankrupt.”
“The children’s school fees, your brothers tuition fees, my car is down with no fuel, my mother called asking for fees for my brother and to ask for food. Problems are just too much on me” he said.
“Edmond, i personally appreciate your effort for our family and I also understand that things are not fine for us but am positive that things will be fine. I will see what I can do too though my salaula business is not going on well too.” His wife said calmly to him.
Watch out for episode 2.+1May 8, 2021 at 5:20 pm #1447019
THE LION’S DEN
©Benson Mphandika Lungu III. All rights reserved.
Edmond felt a bit encouraged hearing those nice and caring words from his wife, Bertha. It’s really a best thing for a man to know that his wife supports him and is appreciative for the little things which he does for the family. This on its own is a driving force for the man to do even more for his family.
“Thank you. God will help us find a way of sorting out our problems.” He said.
“Indeed , He will help us find the solution to our problems.”
Early in the morning of the next day, Edmond woke up super early than usual preparing for work. He woke up this early knowing that he was going to use public transport to get to work on that day as his car had no fuel and fuel gauge had gone haywire.
Before leaving, he told his wife to convince his kids to stay home as he was going to make up a plan for them to go to school on the following day. He also told her that he will see how things would turn out on that day in order to help her brother who had also visited.
Edmont got into the shanty potholed roles heading to the main tarred road where he was to get onto a public transport bus for work. As he walked, he got his wallet to check what was there for transport. There was only K20 which he had left after buying airtime and his lunch the previous day at work. His distance to work was worthy K8 using a minibus which meant going and coming back would be K16 then remaining with a k4 for lunch. He then started making plans on how to atleast have something reasonable for lunch in his pocket after paying for transport.
“I will bargain for transport so that I atleast save something” he thought to himself as he walked near the minibus of the conductor who had called him.
“Boss mukwela” said the conductor. (Are you hoping in?)
“Yes I am”
“Bwerani mukwele” (come you hop in)
Edmond then walked near the conductor in order to bargain with him before getting into the bus. He knew that the best thing to do when you were short of fare was to talk with the conductor privately before getting into a bus to avoid embarrassment. Bus conductors don’t miss points when it comes to embarrassing some.
“My guy but I am short of….” Edmond saying but before he could finish, the bus conductors interrupted him.
“Tiyeni boss titengeko benangu pasogolo” (let’s go boss we get other people ahead)
Edmond hopped in the bus and occupied a back seat where there was space. He sat and got carried away in his thoughts of his problems as the bus went by.
“Ku backseat fakani pamodzi ndalama” shouted the conductor when the bus got full as it drove into town. Coolval stories. (Backseaters, put your dates together)
The backseaters had their fares put together and passed over to the conductor. The conductor couted the money and realised that there was shortfall of K3.
“Siinakwane ndalama” shouted the conductor. (The money is not enough)
“Boss it’s me who had a shortfall” shouted Edmond politely trying to remind the conductor.
“But simunaniuzilete” (but you haven’t told me beforehand)
“I was trying to saying but you shoved me into the bus”
“Mukamba na cizungu. Selukani.” (You are even speaking English. Get out of this vehicle)
“Boi mvela” (my Friend listen)
“Kulibe va boi. Ba driver asaleko aba na k5 yao bagule nshaba bagandule uku bakazidya” (There is nothing like friend. Mr Driver, this one has to remain now with his K5 he buys groundnuts so that he can be eating while walking)
Before things could really get to making Edmond drop out of the bus, a certain kind hearted woman offered and paid the balance for him. That was how he was saved but the embarrassment was just too much.
“Bakamba na cizungu but niboshota. Mukagule yanu motoka.” Added the conductor. (He is speaking English but his fare isn’t enough).
“You have been given your money, what your problem now?” Said Edmond.
“Dad, don’t bother answer him. We all know that economy is really bad for us all. One you may be in a position to help this same conductor. Forget him” said the woman that had paid for Edmond.
The bus went on until they got in town and all passengers alighted from the bus. Edmond then appreciated the woman who had paid for him and then started walking away.
“Mwataking’a but niyoshota!” The conductor shouted to Edmond as he walked by. ( You have even tucked your shirt but your fare is enough)
Edmond didn’t even bother answering him but went on rushing to his work place. He knew very well that arguing with bus conductors is never an option no matter how talkative you may feel you are. Those people have nothing to lose other than embarrassing someone.
Fortunately, Edmond got to where he worked from a few minutes before they could start working. As he entered the gate, he met his work mate coming out looking so sat and cursing as he walked by. The workmate did not even bother talking to him but went on heading out of the gate which surprised him as he was in great terms with him.
Edmond just shook his head and walked heading inside the building. Immediately he got to the reception, the receptionist told him to go and meet the human resource officer. It’s like the receptionist had been given a list of people who were to see the human resource officer on that day.
He walked to the office as told by the receptionist. He was really worried of why the human resource officer could want to see him when he was working under the marketing department. Before entering, he felt some shivers remembering the picture of his workmate he had mate outside.
“Oh hello, you can have a seat” said the HR.
“You are one of the most reliable employees we have here and you have helped to the success of this company. Hence I need to appreciate you for that”
“Thank you sir”
“You are welcome. And as you know that things have not been going well for us as a company, we have been left with no option but to lay off some employees and unfortunately, you are one of those being laid off.”
“Am really sorry. I will be happy to write a recommendation letter to other companies though. Here is your letter and your one month full salary” the HR said giving him two envelopes.
Edmond sat there in the chair without blinking as he could not expect what had just been told to him. He had a lot of troubles and problems which required his financial muscle to sort out but being laid off was not there in his agenda of problems.
“Hello!” Said the HR seeing that Edmond was not even blinking.
Edmond got the two envelopes and walked out of the office not saying anything. As he walked out of the reception, the receptionist talked to him but he did not listen to her as nothing made any sense to him that day.
Edmond went back to the bus station and jumped on a minibus heading back home as he had no other business in town. It was one of his most devastating day of his life.
When he got home, he went directly to the bedroom and lay down on the bed. When the kids came to the bedroom, he told to spare him as he was not feeling well to keep them away.
A lot of thoughts ran in his head as there was nothing making sense in his mind at that point. Just then he heard the door of the bedroom opening up.
“Haven’t I told you not to come here?” He asked not knowing who was there as he had his face down on the bed.
There was no response that came bit he just heard someone sitting on the bed. He then turned to see who was there only to find that it’s his wife. She was looking so low and her eyes were swollen. He then woke up to ask him what was wrong.
She looked at him then tears ran down her cheeks. It was obvious that something bad and traumatic had happened .
“What is it?” He asked again.
“The market had caught fire. All the merchandise I had there had been burnt. I had just ordered them. All my capital is gone” she lamented.
She went on sobbing while he head her close to himself consoling her. This went on for sometime till she calmed a bit. She then turned to him to ask him the question he never wanted.
“Why are you back early from work today?” She asked him.
Watch out for episode 3.+2May 8, 2021 at 6:04 pm #1447026Prosper YeboahMember
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hmmmm problem everywhere nah woah0May 10, 2021 at 5:20 am #1447184
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