Path Of Brimstone
The day he vowed to keep striving was the day he couldn’t afford to fill his stomach. It wasn’t like it was the first time such will happen, but the pain in his heart that night was too much of a burden for him. He would keep turning side by side on his mat, finding it very difficult to have a good sleep. His stomach keeps rumbling that he just hope the living organisms in his stomach shouldn’t feed on his intestine. His eyes were widely opened like that of a thief walking late in the night. He stood up and headed to the window, looking to the sky and shaking his head when the thought of becoming a notorious armed robber sprang up. “No! I can’t, I just have to keep working hard and wait patiently,” He said to himself. Endurance has become his companion especially when it comes to enduring hunger.
“Michael! Michael! You better come and carry this head pan and take it to Yomi, We have to leave here on time,” Mr. Igwe said. “Just look at his bald head, had it been He had paid me for the work I did the last time, I would still have something in my pocket,” Michael said as he lifted the head pan. Mr. Igwe, Who is a tall dark pot bellied bald man in his early fifties, oversees the building project of his church. He had Michael employed when Michael came to the building site on a very hot afternoon. “What is your name?” Mr. Igwe asked, “I am Michael and…” before Michael could complete his sentence, Mr. Igwe has cut in and interrupted. “I only asked for your name and nothing else. I believe you’re not the embodiment of laziness, and if you are, tell me now before I find out myself.” “I am very hardworking sir” Michael began, “And I won’t disappoint you.”
Michael who had vowed to keep striving was a graduate of University of Abuja, he had a degree in Fine art. He’s such a brilliant and a very creative one. His creative mind has earned him some money while on campus. He would always be called upon by his colleagues anytime there is a term paper to work on or essay writing, and he would be paid. The little money from this has helped him a lot during his stay on campus. It wasn’t like his parents were graduate but they had suffered earnestly just to make sure Michael had a sound education. When his father was alive, he would day to Michael “everybody is only concerned about their own problem, no one is ready to help anyone, it is my joy to see you graduate, get a good job and take us out of this misery.” But the call of death rang in the heart of his father. Michael’s mother would do anything to make sure her only son becomes a graduate. She’s such a wonderful and a caring woman. What a sweet mother. To Michael, she’s the best in the world. “Even if I have to sell my last dress for you to become a graduate, I’ll definitely sell it and remain without clothes,” His mother would say. Their inability to fend for themselves has made them to decide on just having a child. Even with this, it wasn’t easy for them. Would the money his father got from packing rubbish with his inherited wheel barrow enough to cater for them? What about the money his mother got from roasting corn by the road side? It is in this struggle that his father had died, leaving behind his mother to carry the entire burden.
“Sir” Michael began, “do you know I have a mother I must take care of? What have I done?” He was very bitter on hearing Mr. Igwe saying he wouldn’t need Michael again. Yomi was pleading on behalf of Michael, but his heart was dancing to the tune and misery of Michael’s tears. It was his handiwork. He had lied against Michael just because he had promised his friend he would get him a place to work. Humans! Evil deeds have become something we do without feeling any sign of remorse. What could he have done to deserve such? He didn’t do anything. He collected the money he had worked for and leaves the building site feeling very sad.
It is like he has found a haven, the new house, the new cars, was officially given to him by the company he now works for. Everything has turned around. He’s now able to eat the Best food. His mother is beginning to enjoy the fruit of her labour. His persistency has earned him the things he now enjoys. But it saddens him a lot anytime he thinks about his father. He remembered the words. His father had taught and showed him the ways of life. If he was asked to ask for a power, maybe he would have asked for the power to conquer death. But who is greater than death? Only the one who created death? The one who after death has conquered every living thing will then conquer death.
It wasn’t an easy task during his search for a job. “What do you have to offer?” one of the interviewers asked Michael. He had resumed his search for a job after he was fired from the building site. It wasn’t really easy for him as trekking from one company to another submitting his curriculum vitae makes him look miserable. He had even borrowed the suit and the pair of shoes he was putting on from a neighbour, and they were not suitable for him, but he had no choice than to put it on the way it is. “What can you offer to this firm?” the interviewer asked again after he had critically focused his eyes on the suit Michael was putting on. “It is my dream to work in this company and work together with everyone here to promote and combine the best of my knowledge and wisdom with others to see that this company moves and remain at the top.” Captivating! The interviewers were astonished. How can the one whom they already find fault in speaks such words? There are indeed unique people like Michael out there who placed themselves in a wrong position. Creative ones like Michael forgot they must show the world what they can do best.
Three years had passed, everything is still working fine. His mother, his wife and his six months old child are all doing great. He was given a promotion in his place of work because he had attracted customers to the firm using his creative mind. He’s personal assistant to Alhaji Garba, who is the managing director. His colleagues were filled with Jealousy and very envious of him because of his progress. Thus, he’s absolutely in the realm of hatred. It would have been better had it been it was only from his colleagues, but even his boss, Alhaji Garba, is also possessed with a sudden intense dislike towards Michael. The facts that he was the customer’s favourite have already gone a long way in poisoning the mind and heart of his boss. Those awarding contract would always seek for Michael instead of his boss. The customers would always talk about Michael as if he owns the company. And his boss, unable to hold himself began to develop hatred towards Michael. “I am the boss, I own this company, I must act very fast before this boy outshines me.” Moirai! What is really happening? Is this the work of Kismet? Did Clotho properly woove his life? Is it properly measured by Lachesis? What about Atropos who often cut the thread of life? Were these three not really aware of Michael’s path?
“Michael, you’re fired!” Alhaji Garba said without even looking at his Michael’s face. Michael’s heart beats very fast on hearing the news. He was not even given a sack letter. What had he done again? Why would our ability to think and reason get poisoned by irrelevant things? No savings, nothing for him. His car and house were taken from him. Where does he start from? Michael cursed the day he was born. Maybe this wasn’t his path. Maybe he’s destined to be a founder. Maybe his life was already designed that he just needs to walk gently on his path making use of his creativeness. But his creativeness forgot to tell him to create something from the salary he was paid, it forgot to tell him he mustn’t depends on anyone. He should have sent mails and pitch his story to different magazines. One of the editors might find his story interesting. He should have engaged himself in writing contests since he is very good in writing. His writings might be captivating and he might be the winner. He must definitely mandate perseverance and resilience this time around.
Damilola is a content curator and creator, he writes for the passion and the thrill. He has been published on Tuck Magazine, SGNT, VivaNaija and also shares some of his stories on jonathanoladeji.com. He has an eye for juicy content and loves to make brand ideas sell.