It was the month of June and that time of the year when it was rainy in many parts of Nigeria, but that particular day was sunny. Kemi’s eyes were peered out the window from the comfort of her small one room apartment, she could feel the heat from the sun. She drew her curtain close and instantly regretted that action. She was hit with more intense heat and grumbled to herself.
There was no win for her either way. Her stomach rumbled and she ignored the noise. These days she had little appetite for food and she only eat because it’s a daily necessity except she wanted to develop ulcer which wasn’t a part of her plan right now. She had enough issues already as it is and they were all exhausting her. She had just gotten a rejection from one of the jobs she applied for, her luck has been pretty disappointing and the job sector in Nigeria wasn’t one to write home about. Kemi studied in one of the top prestigious university in Nigeria.
Everyone had told her it wouldn’t be hard to get a job considering she graduated with a second class upper, but it’s been two years now and she was still without a job. She was a firm believer of the phrase “darkness comes before dawn” but with each dawn of a new day, she lost belief in that little by little.
She lived in the downtown part of Lagos that was bristling with opportunities that seemed to evade her. Kemi wasn’t one to keep lots of friends so she had few people she could call and vent to, but she was learning to be more social these days because the loneliness was starting to get to her. She made friends with Sandra, the sales girl in the shop down the street.
She was a high spirited, loquacious jolly soul that always had something to say each time they met. Kemi was thinking of paying her a visit today to distract herself from her thoughts. She made her way to the door before she could change her mind.
The walk down the street seemed longer than usual; many thoughts ran through her mind, what would she do now, what would she have for dinner, since she couldn’t ignore the rumbling sound coming from her stomach any longer. She was starting to run out of money and she had just paid her NEPA bill after the landlord threatened to disconnect her power if she tarried any longer.
The thought of the heat she was going to have to deal with prompted her to pay him swiftly with the little money left with her. Her new friend Sandra met her with a cheerful demeanour as usual. She always appeared like a child with little to worry about.
Kemi was just getting to know her, but she could deduce behind the cheerful demeanour, there was a girl that craved for more out of life. 3 Her boss only comes around once or twice a week so Kemi never had to worry about running into him. He trusted Sandra with the day to day running of his shop, she has proven to be a trustworthy employee in the last one year. “Why the long face?” Sandra was inquisitive as always.
Kemi contemplated narrating her ordeal to her, but she doubted Sandra would understand. “I’m fine, stepped into a puddle on the way here, you know how terrible the road is when it rains, by the way you seem extra cheerful today what’s new?” Kemi evaded her question tactfully “My dear, it’s nothing new oh, it’s end of the month I’m expecting pay today or tomorrow… that’s enough to be joyous about you know” Kemi felt a pang in her chest.
This could have been her, if she had a job. She thought of her parents and how they’ve been expecting her to share the good news of getting a job in the last two years, but life had other plans. Sandra sensed a change in her composure and tried to pry an answer out of her. “What’s wrong? You suddenly went numb” “Sorry… I just got carried away” Kemi answered “Feel free to talk to me, I barely know anything about you and I think as friends I should know more about you than just your name.
Except of course you don’t view me as your friend” Sandra said without hesitation “Of course you’re my friend, I come to see you and we talk for hours… that’s what friends do” Kemi said “Point of correction. I do most of the talking” Sandra replied bluntly. Kemi couldn’t refute that, she knew Sandra was right, her smartness was one of the reasons she made friends with her in the first place. “Are you going to let me know more about you than just the surface?” Sandra added curiously. A young boy saved her from having to answer that query immediately, his presence in the shop distracted Sandra from her for some minutes.
Kemi quickly thought of a possible reply for her-a straight forward reply that would save her from Sandra’s further prying. Sandra attended to the young boy swiftly and quickly diverted her attention back to her. She hoped Sandra would change the topic to something different, but that was a long shot. “Look Sandra, I’m a private person and I don’t appreciate others poking their noses in my affairs” That was the sharp reply that came to her head, but Kemi quickly dismissed the thought and rather settled for what was less piercing “You wouldn’t understand, even if I explained to you” Kemi answered melancholically “Would you like something to drink? Then maybe we can talk” “That would be nice, thank you” Kemi replied Sandra offered her a chilled drink with sausage roll.
Kemi was giddy with happiness because her dinner for that night was set and she was highly appreciative. She thanks God she came with her small shoulder bag. She would quickly keep the sausage roll in her bag when Sandra isn’t looking so, she wouldn’t convince her to eat it on the spot. Thankfully it was a plastic coke so she would drink half and keep the remaining half for dinner. “Can we talk now?” Sandra asked “Sure, ask away” Kemi sipped her drink happily, savouring the taste and being careful not to take long sips. She reminded herself with each sip she had dinner to save for. The rumbling in her stomach was salvaged thanks to Sandra
The Long Wait: Chapter 2
The Long Wait: Chapter 3
The Long Wait: Chapter 4
The Long Wait: Chapter 5
The Long Wait: Chapter 6
The Long Wait: Chapter 7
The Long Wait: Chapter 8
The Long Wait: Chapter 9
The Long Wait: Chapter 10
The Long Wait: Chapter 11