Just A Single Bullet! (1)

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SOMETIME in 1984, a young man by name Akin Ogunrinde, walked slowly out of his boss’ office. Akin had just been fired at his work place and now faced a gloomy and uncertain future. He shook his head droopily as he wobbled painfully out of the company’s premises. He had hopefully worked with Pimson Manufacturing Company for four good years. But now he had been given the sack letter due to no other reason than the economic depression plaguing the country.

Akin cursed under his breath the unfortunate fate that has befallen him. Why should he be sacked just like that after struggling day and night to perform his job efficiently and loyally? He remembered his poor family. Who will cater for his aged mother and father back home? Here in Lagos he had many dependants who looked up to him monthly for their daily bread. What would be their fate? He could visualize with agonizing reminiscence the day he bagged his M.Sc. in Management Science at the University with smiles.

He sighed at the thought of the rigours and pains he went through before finishing his education. He had frowned one day when a friend joked tauntingly that NYSC means, ‘Now Your Suffering Continues’. “Isn’t the guy’s definition very true after all?” he thought. He was wondering how he would cope, he that had once been on the executive level for four years. The company cars he was using had been withdrawn immediately the company’s axe fell on him. He had also been told to vacate the company’s three bedroom flat he occupied. Again, Akin sighed, sweat breaking out of his forehead as he gasped for air. He wiped off the sweat beads on his forehead.

The afternoon sun was burning terribly. “What would life turn out to be for me?” he thought again. His mind was heavy with terrifying melancholy. He wiped his forehead again. He was having a headache. He knew this terrible headache was the result of his present plight.

All this happened almost a year ago and things had really changed for the worse for Akin. He had been looking for any type of job since his retrenchment, but he always met with disappointments. Akin was at this very moment standing at Ojuelegba bus stop, waiting for a bus to take him to Ketu. This particular trip was one of his usual futile job-hunting journeys. The bus stop was crazily rowdy. That day, the scorching tropical sun was biting fiercely and pierced through Akin’s skin as if it was angry with him alone. Akin was a sorry sight to behold. Since he was retrenched he had sold all his personal belongings to make ends meet. His present condition was a sharp contrast to the life he had lived a year ago. His physique, clothing and everything about him had tales of woe to tell. He looked weak and gaunt. His old, worn out shoes clearly revealed a man in abject state of want and his completely faded and over-patched shirt and trousers revealed he had not only seen hard times but has lived it.

His formerly chubby and healthy, radiant face now looked thin, with eyes sunken deep into the skull and pale like the lugubrious face of a devastated vulture.

Suddenly, an over-crowded rickety Molue bus approached. Akin looked up, gasped for breath and moved towards it. Just then a sparkling white V-boot Mercedes Benz car slid smoothly and pulled up beside him. Inside the Benz car was a flashy and sophisticatedly dressed young man. The remote-controlled window screen glided downward.
To be concluded next week Saturday

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