"The New Reality After NYSC" A Short Stort By Okekefranklin
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January 12, 2018 at 9:26 am #1160553
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You wake up today, overly jubilant that the journey you compulsorily embarked on some months back is coming to a justifiable end. You smile. It is a day you have wished for since you were lured into that quasi-prison of a camp by an act you don’t know when it was enacted. What you know, however, is that today represents a grand finale for you and your ilk and must be celebrated on a high-note without a blink.
Aboard a bus on your way to the ground where that thick-papered document will be given to you as an evidence of your struggle on the khaki for the past eleven months, you begin to romanticize the jobs you have applied for a fourth night ago; the federal job promise by one alhaji you expertly arranged female otondos for, the electric moments with Sola, the frolicking and romantic twists with Aisha and the subtle smooching with Ijeoma that night in the family house. You smile.
Your phone beeps. You draw your pattern and it lets you in. Therein lies Ifunanya’s message. Oh your camp crush. You scribble a message back. You recall giving her your ATM at POS point in the camp; the way she had withdrawn twenty thousand naira with it and helped you squander it with wild abandon on the carnival day. Vengeance surges up in your head and you scribble another message asking her for a date after the POP. She accedes. Yes. You must take from her, albeit in another form, what was taken from you.
Immediately you arrive the POP ground, energetically, you alight the bus. You see some of your platoon members and teary smiles trickle out your face. What a small world. You hug one another as though by so doing, your inability to communicate ever since you left camp would be appeased, as though the world was coming to an unforeseen expiration. Thin lines of emotion wrinkle your face as you walk about waiting for that esteemed document. Some minutes from now, demands of nature will steal you away from many friends – the ugly, bad and the good ones, you agree. There are many of them you wish to have around forever and some you wish death. Instant death. This reawakens in you, the stale memory of the fiery face of your Local Government Inspector; how he victimized you because he caught you one ugly Sunday afternoon sneaking stealthily away from Sola’s lodge, how he made you walk bare-footed on a CDS day because, just like other big NYSC outlaws, you wore your white timberland shoes to CDS. He is one of those in your death-wish list.
It gets to your turn and you gladly, with two hands, collect the much awaited document. You cast a gleeful look at it and therein is your passport and your name stylishly but correctly inscribed on it. It is yours. Your medal. The summation of your twelve months struggle. Right about now, it is to you, like the king in a draughtboard which must not be killed, but must help drive your way to success. You immediately enlist with others, in the congratulatory exchange, and you feel the tints of affectation which your actions exude. You think it’s just the final thing you owe some good-natured people around.
Now at home, you are bracing up for the high-end party. You call Ifunanya. She is not picking up the call. You try again, again and again, but to no avail. A vain attempt it is. In agony, anxiety, you pull off your khaki and slip into your stock jean and T-shirt. To the party you go, some thousands from your last allawee in your pocket. You drink and got drunk and that was it. The POP is over.
A month coasts by, life pushes you into a sudden realization of the next stage. Your bank sends you an end-of-month statement of account but non for credit alert. Then you unconsciously begin to forget Sola and her wide hips, Aisha and her meaty lips, Ijeoma and her pointedly ovoid b----t and Ifunanya, eyes of a mermaid. You now constantly refresh your inbox. You see jobberman, Ngcareers, hotjob, and their likes advertising for ghostly jobs. You are already tired of sending applications through them but with listlessness, and dying hope, you continue to apply.
Another month elapses, you haven’t heard from Alhaji who you arranged some female otondos for. Disappointingly, you dial his number. Good God, he picks but he now speaks core Hausa for you. You begin to explain and explain yourself but the line goes dead. You dial it again but he is too busy to pick it. A blow. Frustration sets in. The money in your account is already turning a red eye.
Another month glides away and you have to recourse to something for income.Yes. Soccer betting. Elated at the idea, you yank your computer open, slotted in your modem and there you are. You open an account with bet9ja, nairabet and merrybet. You are good to go. You must play your way out of this looming poverty, you tell yourself.
The fourth month is edging closer and you are still poor. Bet9ja, nairabet, and merrybet have collected their share from your dwindling coffers. Increasingly, your poverty level is becoming undeniably alarming and you can barely feed at the moment. Ouch! What a world.
As you celebrate the end of your service year today, do not allow this to be your story…
OKEKE FRANKLIN N. (unnobzava.com)January 12, 2018 at 10:40 am #1160586January 12, 2018 at 10:40 am #1160587January 12, 2018 at 10:41 am #1160588January 12, 2018 at 10:56 am #1160607January 12, 2018 at 3:04 pm #1160688January 12, 2018 at 3:22 pm #1160704January 12, 2018 at 5:01 pm #1160786