Continuation of Chapter 4 of IFY - A Romantic Thriller...

It was such a very long story. And I didn’t just want to get into the gory details of my life in the past four years. It pained me that there was nothing much to tell. Besides, as far as I am concerned, we were already on a date and one of the easiest ways to spoil a first date is by delving into such matters. Again, three, they say, is a crowd and certain stories are better told, and falsified, in front of only one interested audience. Not in this bus where there are bound to be a lot of judgmental and uninvited eavesdroppers.

There would always be a next time, I told myself. Such boring details are only for those who are qualified to hear it. Right now, as far as I am concerned, she is just, like the rest of them, a stranger who might qualify.

But the truth is that I have been living from hand to mouth for most of those years. I did a lot of odd jobs to survive. I’ve done house wiring and painting. I have taught at a driving school and I have worked as a part-time administrator in a cybercaf√© owned by a neighbor’s wife’s sister.

Once in a while, I travelled to the northern part of the country to purchase some food items like beans, maize and yams that were cheaper there and then supply them to some sellers in the Eastern part of the country who were my customers. While travelling to the North, I will also take along with me foodstuffs like palm oil and certain vegetables that were seriously lacking in the North to supply to my customers there.

While I kept on applying for the advertised job vacancies, I also organized some extramural classes for students who were preparing for one exam or another. Sometimes, those students who were impressed with the way I teach and how I made certain complex topics become so easy to them will tell me that they love my teaching style while some of the lazy and dull ones from very rich homes will try to get their parents to persuade me to come and impersonate for them in their various exams. It was illegal but man must survive.

“I'm a survivor,” I simply told her.

She must have guessed I didn’t want to divulge that information and she let it go. I was glad she did. Success stories are fun and much easier to tell and I didn’t classify any of those things I did to survive as a success story.

When I was in the university, I always pictured myself on how I was going to become well established in life when I finally graduate with that two-one and nail that lucrative job with a multinational construction company immediately I graduate.

I loved visualizing myself as the leader of a team of men on a big project, carrying out surveys and feasibility studies, planning important projects, signing away big checks and paying my workers well, giving directives with expertise to a group of able bodied and dedicated men who will be working for me after I have been awarded a very big mouthwatering and lucrative contract by the government or private individuals as well as monitoring them to see that the job always gets completed in record time.

I will also imagine the comfort of the very expensive chauffeur driven E-Class Mercedes Benz with well padded interior and sophisticated gadgets that will be assigned to me and I could swear I always perceived that distinctive new car smell any time I did this.

I always imagined myself relaxing in my exquisite and well furnished expansive office equipped with the latest electronic gadgets and laptops, plus a very cute personal assistant with firm pointed breas ts, cu.rvy hips and a heavy backside in a very tight mini skirt to go with it. Life is a Just look at where I am today.

“So, do you think you will finally nail this job?” She broke into my thoughts.

The months after I graduated from the university, if you ask me that type of question, my answer will be an emphatic ‘yes’ but as the years went by, I knew better. Getting the job depends on a lot of factors which, most times, might just be beyond your control.

“Maybe—why not?” I said. Obviously, I was seeking for the safest position. I didn’t want her to see me as a pessimistic person even though that was exactly how I was already feeling about this job.

“So what position are you applying for?” Ifeoma is a persistent one.

I wanted nothing more than to change the topic now but I knew that if I did that, it might be the first step to losing her. Besides, I have said it before, when a girl who might be interested in your affairs starts asking questions about your life, you better watch it. Women could be funny sometimes. They love mystery, to stay within the loop and keep them interested quite alright, but too much mystery will drive them away so fast!

But her last question stunned me and brought to my awareness that I didn’t even know what position I was applying for. I didn’t ask my uncle and he didn’t even mention it. He just said start coming for an interview and I started coming – like a zombie. Well, you wouldn’t blame me though. I never applied, in the actual sense…

I was lost for words but from experience, I knew what vacancies that were mostly advertised so I said, “Graduate trainees.”

“Okay. Good.” She paused for awhile and I used the opportunity to change the topic. I looked outside the window and saw some cows being herded by some Fulani herdsmen.


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