I hope you have so far not been bored by this tale? I just want to say thank you for taking time out to read. You are well appreciated. All grammatical errors (lol) I apologize for. And no, today is not the last day. I just wanted to say THANK YOU.
Back to Izy…
First there was complete silence.
In a split second the little girl screamed, holding her mouth and jaw in her two hands as she ran towards her mother who was among the women cooking. Then one of the two women who put the pot of soup at the corner ran to where the soup was, to check the extent of damage the water had caused. She let out a scream.
“Who brought this stupid boy here? The soup is ruined.”
Izy stood up from the floor where he fell and simply said, “I am so sorry. I will leave now.”
Or what more was there to say? Or do?
What worse thing could happen again on the first day of a year? This was definitely a sign of things to come. Izy thought all sort of things as he walked out of the gate. He did not bother looking for Iya Zacchaeus to collect his money. He had been abashed enough for the day. He felt really bad and did not mean for any of those things to have happened.
His shirt was a bit wet, so he was trying to squeeze out some of the water when he heard footsteps behind him. The sound told him the person was walking fast towards him. He looked back just as Iya Zacchaeus reached him; she put something squeezed in his right hand and without a word turned to leave. He checked his hand and saw a thousand Naira note.
Same day- Two hours later
Izy was satisfied belly- wise after visiting one of the few canteens that was open for business on New Year’s Day. He felt good after all the drama at Iya Zacchaeus’ family house. It was like a dream to actually have held that amount of money in his hand, but he couldn’t have held it forever- he had to eat.
Strolling satisfactorily, he smiled at some children dressed in their Sunday best- or rather- New Year clothes, shook his head at a young couple he saw canoodling in a car and he even said hello to a teenage boy who carried a tray of food from one house to another with his little sister tagging along.
Izy did not want anything to bother him at all, so he did not think of night time and how or where he was going to sleep. He just walked on slowly, drawing in the different food aromas as he went.
Then he saw a big house, painted white, with lovely flowers planted by the fence. He moved closer to see what was written on a sign hanging by the gate.
“BEWARE OF DOGS”
Just below that sign there was another one.
“Gatekeeper URGENTLY needed”
After reading both out loud, he smiled and began to walk away. He was humming a song his guardian used sing to her children (about becoming rich in the future) as he kept on strolling. One day, he thought, he would also own a big house like that one- no, a bigger house, he would also be able to employ a lot of people. He would not only employ them, he would also help them make their life better and treat them as relatives. At least, it would keep some of them off the streets…
Izy stopped in his tracks.
Keep them off the streets. Keep him off the street.
What was he thinking? There was an opportunity for him to get off the streets.
He turned abruptly and walked back to the house, stood in front of the gate and re-read the words on the second sign.
URGENTLY. That meant quickly right? As soon as possible.
But, what if they already got someone and maybe forgot to put the sign away.
There was no harm in trying anyway. The worse that could happen is for him to be informed that he was not what they expected, or that they already had someone.
So he knocked on the gate and waited. Almost immediately a man opened the gate and asked what he wanted.
Smiling, Izy answered, “I saw the sign you put out here and I want to apply.”
“Really? We just put that up this afternoon. We were not expecting anyone to show up so soon.”
Izy was invited into the compound and told to sit on a bench beside the gate.
Thirty minutes later Izy had a job with provided accommodation, free daily feeding (twice in a day) and all he had to do was open and close the gate.
BY: DAMILOLA AWOTIDE