James was tired! Tired of life! Tired of everything… He had been a security man with this bank for over six years now, and had nothing to show for it. His wife was pregnant with their fifth child.
She had given him the ‘bad news’ while he was trying to have dinner last night …He had almost choked on a huge ball of eba when she said “Papa Segun, I dey pregnant o… I go clinic today na wetin doctor talk”…
He mumbled to himself…”dis small ten thousand naira wey I dey collect every month wey no dey even reash for transport and food for house, na eem person go come born anoda pikin join? Which kind gbese be dis wan sef…choi! Na poverty o! Na because I stop school for JS3 na why I dey like dis…”
He checked his watch, it was almost 6am. It was time to open the gate of the bank. As he was trying to unlock the heavy metal padlocks, he noticed a beggar still sleeping in front of the fence….
He was a popular football player, living a glamorous life of fame and riches. The ladies couldn’t get enough of him and were screaming his name as he got into his expensive convertible and drove into his twelve bedroom mansion. He climbed up the stairs to open the door. He turned the key into the lock…CLICK!
The loud click of James the security man opening the padlock of the bank’s gate woke him up from his wonderful dream. The life he wished he had…He had always wanted to be a footballer, rich and famous. But here he was a poor, wretched beggar. Without food, clothes or even a roof on his head. He knew it was time to leave his sleeping spot.
As he packed his things he looked at James unlocking the gate and couldn’t help think to himself “kai! I wish say na me get dis kind beta work, I for happy die! See as the guy na big boi just dey flex with dis fine uniform wey dem give am”. He sighed as he picked all his earthly possessions (a tattered mat and bowl), and left to resume begging at hold ups. “If to say my papa bin send me go school…I hope say beta ‘go slow’ go dey dis morning make I see correct market o” He continued his thoughts…
LATER THAT DAY…
She looked up from the computer and saw her coming towards the door, strutting elegantly in her very expensive looking lace wrapper and blouse. Her Christian Louboutin heels clicked against the polished tiles with every step she took.
As she came closer to her desk she stood up and greeted her with a slight bending of her knees. “Good afternoon ma, you’re welcome”.
“Nkechi, how are you, you look so pretty these days o”
“Thank you ma” Nkechi replied, a smile appearing on her face as a result of the compliment.
“Please I want to see my husband”…
“No problem ma, I’ll inform him that you’re around”, Nkechi said.
She picked up her intercom and dialed a number. “Sir, your wife is here to see you…”
After the woman had stepped into her husband’s office, Nkechi couldn’t concentrate anymore. The document she had been typing just didn’t matter again. She was lost in thought. “Is there something wrong with me? God! I mean, I’m tall, beautiful, and educated. I even have a nice job. Yet I’m thirty five years old without a husband, not even a fiancé. What’s wrong with me?”
Tear drops fell from her face on to the sheets of paper she was typing from. She took off her glasses and wiped her eyes…
“All she had done was endure one heart break or empty promise of marriage after another. She had been the laughing stock of the bank because twice she had printed wedding invitation cards, only to have both weddings called off by the men. She was in so much pain.
She was really envious of her M.D’s wife, who had just stepped into his office some minutes earlier. “She’s not as beautiful as I am, even her english has flaws, yet she’s happily married with kids to one of the richest and most handsome men in this town…”
8:45 PM, SAME DAY…
The bank was quiet, as most of the staff had closed and gone home. Except an occasional sound of the security men carrying out routine checks in the hall ways.
Mr. Dayo sat behind his desk, swirling around. He stared around his luxuriously furnished office. He had always loved banking. This was his life, his dream, to be a force to be reckoned with in the world of banking. Now he was the Managing Director of one of the biggest banks in Nigeria.
He had houses all over the world, drove cars he didn’t even need and had investments so large it took a whole company to help him manage them. He knew everyone worth knowing, from the president, to senators, to celebrities, you name it. He had achieved so much, and he wasn’t even forty yet, which made it all the more remarkable. He was the living the life most men could only dream about.
Yet, he wasn’t happy. He was torn apart with depression and sorrow. To the outside world, he was Mr. Dayo, the rich, handsome and ever charming business tycoon that always had a smile on his face.
But it was all a false act which he had perfected – a façade of his emotions. He had learnt how to appear happy and cheerful in public. But in his privacy, he was anything but happy.
His marriage was a ship about to do a ‘titanic’. It was one fight after the other with his wife. The fact that she now knew of his aggressive womanizing and extra mistresses hadn’t helped matters one bit. He was an emotional wreck.
She had come to his office this afternoon to officially inform him of her intentions to file for divorce and to expect to hear from her lawyers soon. She was fed up with the marriage. She had even taken their two kids to live with her mother. He couldn’t even remember when last they made love, it was all tears in their home.
He hardly knew his kids. He’d never had time for them because he was busy making money and building his empire. He could recall his daughter correcting him the other day… “daddy, I’m seven years old, not six.”
He shook his head in shame and guilt. He wished he could trade his wealth for a wonderful marriage and closeness to his children. How much of all this wealth did he need really? Was it worth sacrificing for the people who meant the world to him?
A few minutes later, Mr. Dayo was sitting in the ‘owner’s corner’ of his customized Mercedes Benz E 550. As the driver pulled out of the bank he noticed a beggar sleeping in front of the bank fence.
How he envied this beggar. He couldn’t recall the last time he’d slept without the aid of sleeping pills. He thought to himself, “I’d give anything to be this beggar, lying and sleeping peacefully, without a care in the world…” All of a sudden all he had achieved and owned didn’t matter to him.
Make the most of life and where you are. Be thankful to God and live life to the fullest. The person you wish you could be like has many issues too and is also envious of someone else, maybe even you.
Your future is bright.