Reasons to live
No matter what storm you face in life, always remember that God loves you and he will never abandon you. That has been the watchword that had been motivating me since I was young. It had kept me alive at each worse moment I face. The Lord is the refuge for the oppressed, a strong hold in times of troubles. Those who know your name trust in you, for you have never forsaken those who seek you diligently.
Psalm 9: 9-10 had been my watchword. I can proudly claim that it has been God since my family had deserted me. Since they’ve been stripped from me.
Samuel and I got a petty job to engage ourselves in so as to raise money to further our education. Samuel wanted to become a surgeon while I wanted to be become a lawyer. I wanted to advocate for people and fight for their right.
Samuel worked in a cafeteria as a manservant. He was in charge of washing the dishes. He ensured that the cafeteria is neat and well-kept always. Sometimes, Samuel would work overtime and serve as a delivery man.
I on the other hand, continued to hawk soft drinks in various streets of Lagos. I always made sure that I wake up as early as 4:30am so as to get the best goods and ice to keep the drinks cool.
My selling point was mostly on the dreaded highways with the congested often-experienced traffic. At times, I would stay at a crowded market. I hawk for ten or eleven hours in a day depending on the sales made before.
Samuel and I would retire into an uncompleted building where we squat with Hausa motorcyclists. At the end of the day, I often gained a sum of three hundred naira. At times, I made up to five hundred naira. Samuel on the other hand receives a constant wages of two hundred and fifty naira daily. Aside feeding.
Things went on so well between Samuel and me. I did not expect that we would get along so well.
Day after day, week after weeks, months after months. Years scurried quickly. It passed us by. Samuel and I had saved quite a lot of money which could possibly see us through our first and second year in the university. When it was time to obtain UTME forms, Samuel began to exhibit irrationality. His behavior towards me changed drastically.
Samuel would go out for days without coming back home. He would not bother to call either. I, at that time, visited his place of work hoping to see him there but I was told he no longer comes to work and no one knew his whereabouts. All efforts to reach Samuel proved abortive until I saw him one day while hawking.
I almost couldn’t believe my eyes as I dropped the cooler. “Samuel!” I yelled. “Where did you get all these?” I said, pointing at the D&G T-shirt he wore and the Rolex oyster wristwatch he wore which would definitely cost a fortune.
“Samuel, where have you been all these while?”
“Where did you get the money to buy these expensive things on you?”
“C’mon, Timmy. Don’t create a scene right here. We are in the middle of the road.” He tried to keep his calm amidst all my incessant pull on his clothes.
“Let’s go home” I said… and headed for where we used to stay together.
* * * * * * * * * * *
“I can’t continue this way.” Samuel said, refusing to enter the uncompleted building where we once lived together.
“I found a new work which will benefit us, Timmy.” He paused and looked at me in the eye. “See, we’ve been working so hard all these years with nothing to show for it. We need to work smart.”
He paused again, and continued. “While I was away, I’ve been working as well. I met some guys who introduced me to it. And I’ve made thousands from it in just a few weeks. All you need to do is to chat with clients and do some stuffs. That’s all. No big deal.” Samuel said.
“What stuff?” It was the only clumsy word from his illustration, “what stuff, Samuel? You’re now into internet fraud and you feel it is the best thing for you is to introduce me to me as well, right?”
“Whatever you call it Timmy, but you need to join me …. Let’s make some cool cash, man.” Samuel said grinning wildly. “Look at me, man, look at me and look at yourself. Get a mirror, things are changing. Join me, bro. it’s easy.”
“No. No. No. I can’t do that!
It is illegal, and you know, bro.”
Samuel hushed me with a cunning grin. “Don’t tell me about illegality or legality. I believe I am more of a specialist than you when it comes to things like this. And all I am trying to do is to change your life for good, and that’s all.” Samuel said while walking towards a motorcycle opposite the building. He waved at a cyclist.
I could hardly believe my ears. “Samuel, what has come over you? Are you going to throw away all our dreams,
your dreams, Samuel – do you want to throw it away for nothing?”
Samuel responded “it is not for nothing Timmy, we are driving towards the same destination. Mine is just in a different way. Before I’m smarter than you are. Remember, the goal is to be rich” he added “after all, you do say that you need to work smart, not hard. It is what I am doing.”
“Yes, I said so, and this isn’t the kind of smart work I spoke to you about…. stop misquoting my words” I yelled back. He was no longer beside me.
Samuel appeared to be already irritated at my concern. “Well, no problem. If you would rather labour and work so hard for something you could get easily, that’s your choice. I only want to show you the good life because we’ve struggled together before now.”
“At least I will be satisfied that it is the reward of my labour. I am not interested in your fraudulent good life and I am warning you, Samuel be carefu….” I couldn’t complete my statement. The motorcyclist zoomed off.