HOPE FOR TOMORROW
Episode 1

Fred will never forget how disappointed, frustrated and unhappy he was when he was laid off from his job in a company that have been putting food on his table, he was a graduate and now without a job, he hardly had enough money to take care of him self much less a family, he was 32 years old and it’s seems all his closed friends were already married with 1 to 3 children, sometimes he wondered how his friends managed to take care of thier wives and children with the economic meltdown in the country especially Lagos.

Finding someone serious to settle down with was the absolute last thing on Fred’s mind, he was bent on pursing his dreams and that is: to make huge money, before the worst happened – he lost his job.
“I’m doomed, I’m dead, I knew how long it took me to get this job, how will I survive? How will I take care of my mother and myself, oh Lord why me? ” He thought.

Fred was only 11 years old, when his father died of heart attack and ever since then, the task of raising him then fell on his mother. At that age he resolved to work hard, he remained focused and all he yearn for was to be successful in life and to make his mother proud.
But despite how hard working he was, life has always been so hard on him.

“When will I ever make my mother proud?, this woman have done everything for me, she saw me through school, she suffered greatly because of me and ever since I graduated from the university I kept struggling for everything and now I have lost the job that I have been managing, oh Lord why me, when will my sweet mom enjoy the fruits of her labour?” He thought sobbing

Ever since he lost his job six months ago, Fred and his mother had been thrown into lack and constant financial instability, that’s why he gets irritated each time his mother mention the issue of marriage to him, all Fred wanted was to get rid of thier financial instability first.

All Fred’s efforts to get a new job in Lagos proved abortive. He had to shift his base to Abuja, he squatted with Moses, his childhood friend in his little apartment in Abuja, He wrote applications upon application letters and submitted his CV to alot of places and yet no job. This left him unsure of the future, he dabbled in various menial jobs so he could eat and send little money back home to his mother, For close to a year, nothing was forth coming.

Until One day, Fred got an email, he had applied for a job in many companies, he had wondered which company had sent the mail. The email read;
‘Hello Mr. Fred Udoka You are invited to our office on the 15th of September by 10am for an interview as You have been shortlisted for an interview with Lawal Oil, Maitama, Abuja.
Kindly come with your credentials”.

On getting to the venue of the interview on the 15th of September, he almost gave up when he found out that they needed just one person for the vacant position,
And the company had invited more than twenty people for the interview.
He was discouraged, he regretted showing up for the interview as it appeared that he was not going to get the Job.

Few hours later, Fred had already submitted all the needed credentials reluctantly, he was sighted sitting down waiting to be interviewed when a lady walked in, and sat beside him, Fred had thought she also came for the interview, she was a really attractive lady, nicely dressed, with beautiful dark skin, pretty white teeth, gorgeous body, really put together all around, She was on call but immediately she was done talking on the phone, Fred greeted her and she started a conversation with Fred, she really threw Fred off balance because all Fred heard in her voice was that she was mature but very beautiful and attractive.

Although, the conversation they had was all about the interview and Fred told her how long he had been unemployed and how disappointed he was when he found out that the oil company needed just one person for the vacant position. The beautiful strange asked Fred about his work expectations and his work experience! Fred was polite and he warmed up to the beautiful stranger, he responded to all her questions.
The beautiful stranger felt concerned when she learnt that Fred had been waiting to be interviewed for close to four hours.

60 minutes later , Fred was still sitting down but this time he was lost in his conversation with the beautiful matured lady sitting beside him, when a security personnel that work with the company greeted the beautiful lady .
“Good morning ma’am”, and she replied calmly, before the security man could speak any further, she stood up and headed to the office where the interview was being held.

Few minutes later, Fred was excited and surprised when he was called in to be interviewed, When he went in, he became nervous as he was directed to go into the CEO’s office for his interview, eventually he met the CEO, he looked closely for like few seconds,
he was shocked to see the beautiful lady that sat beside him earlier as the CEO, he was surprised but he acted cool.

“there’s no need to interview you again, I have already interviewed you, when I was sitting beside you an hour ago and I have also seen your credentials you submitted, you are hired! Congratulations” the beautiful lady said calmly chat MartinMartino on zero eight one eighty thirty fourteen twenty one to be added to his WhatsApp group

Fred’s heart was in his mouth when the lady was done talking and she told Fred to pick up his appointment letter from the company’s secretary, He was speechless and so excited that he thought he was dreaming but immediately he was able to contain his excitement, he said happily “Thank you so much MA, God bless you ma, I’m so grateful, God bless you”

“Thank God, congratulations once again Mr Fred” The beautiful CEO added
Fred was excited when he learned the name of her new boss, “Miss Sofia Lawal, the CEO of LAWAL OIL”.
Fred called his mother to break the good news to her, She was so excited and grateful to God as
She began to sing and dance rhythmically at the other end of the phone.

The pressure for Fred to settle down became very intense after Fred was gainfully employed in the oil company and when Moses his child hood friend got married . Fred’s mother kept asking him when he will settle down and bear children as he was her only child.

Fred always gave a deaf ear to his mother’s words, each time, she brought up the issue of marriage and love over the phone, “My son, when will you introduce your wife to be, you are my only child and Its high time you settle down, find a good girl, fall in love and settle down and build your life together, when you find a wife, you will find more favour from God” Fred’s mother had said constantly over the phone.
Fred always kept mute.

All these months, He was finding it hard to figure out why he had fallen in love with Miss Sofia Lawal, his boss, “Out of all the prettiest ladies in the world, how can I have fallen in love with my boss, I guess the devil is playing with my destiny, if my boss finds out that I’m in love with her, she won’t hesitate to laid me off from her company and I will become unemployed again” Fred thought

End Of Episode 1
To Be Continued
A Story by Christabel Nwoko

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