Chasing shadows (1)

Woke up suddenly as though I was being chased from dream by masquerades. Sweating and panting profusely. ‘’ It must have been a terrible night-mare’’. So I thought to myself, staring up at the dirt-filled ceiling fan that has ceased rotating because there was no electricity supply.

I yawned and stretched as I reached for my time piece. ‘’what! 8:30am’’  I yelled jumping out of bed and remembering I have a job interview by 9am with a cosmetics company I had submitted my C.V. to, I quickly took a bucket filled it with water from one of the drums in the compound and hurried to the bathroom.   It was a “face-me-I-face-you” apartment, so I was lucky there was no queue at the bathroom.

In a jiffy I was through. I jolted back to the room to get dressed.  It was now 8:40. Flashes of different thoughts were coming to my head. I quickly banished all thoughts as I hurried unto the streets.

“The company is roughly a 45 minutes’ walk from here and sadly enough there is motorbike that goes that route, but there is only one short cut” I was murmuring as I soliloquized


“Hey, stop there. Come here.”  a voice boomed from my far right. It was a deep thick bass voice.    As I looked towards the direction, I suddenly became timid.    It was a tall, muscular soldier man in full military regalia holding a gun that seemed to me like an archaic musket. His uniform was well pressed; I could see the fine sharp crease on his trousers. His shoes were shiny-black, well polished that it reflected my image as I snapped my eyes through it. His face was black, round, beardless and strong as one who has just been informed of his deployment to the Sambisa forest.  When I saw the large red cloth tight on his left arm which was boldly written ”MP”, I knew I was in for it.      “Where are you coming from and where are you going ‘’ he inquired.      I ……I am coming from my house and I am going for a job interview and I am already late, please sir. I stammered.         “Is this place a thoroughfare? Can’t you see that this is a military zone, army barracks for that matter ‘’ he said.   “Please sir, I have less than ten minutes to get to where I am going to” I pleaded.     But it seemed like the more I pleaded the more the soldier got angry. “Shut up! Seems like you don’t know the offence that you have just committed, young man, you have just trespassed.”  He announced.    I already knew I was in soup without been told. I immediately went in ‘bended’ knees. “Please sir, I didn’t  mean to.  I just wanted to pass through the barracks to get to the other road”



“Officer “He shouted.  An officer quickly emanated, bashing the left foot on the dusty ground. To my amazement the officer was a female.  A young dark-skinned beautiful soldier. But there was no time to stand and stare.  “Yes sir’’ she saluted.   The senior officer yelled “give him form 1”.  “Yes sir” she responded.    Now facing towards my direction, she ordered,   ‘’get up” I quickly obliged.  “This way” pointing to the right “move faster”   after taking some few steps of what seemed like 20 metres away from where we were before unto a grassy little field,  “stop” she commanded.   ‘’now pick up that cutlass and get busy.”  I became indignant and at the same time terrified. “ma’am, please I believe you will understand me better, I have a job interview and am already running late”  “get busy” she said with her hands folded to her chest and her head slightly tilted upward.



At last, I managed to get out of the barracks in one piece. I barged into the office but I was intercepted by the receptionist “excuse me sir, how may I help you”  “yes my name is John,  John Olanbiwonninu Olaosebikan.  I hastily added panting and adjusting my rather sweat-wet shirt that lacks proper ironing. “Mr ola…..’’  Pointing her pink manicured finger at me “Olanbiwonninu Olaosebikan”  I helped her out.  “Whatever. Well, the interview has been concluded and the lucky applicant selected”.   “But I am also an applicant for the job.” I said.  “I haven’t said otherwise only said the interview has ended. As you can see am quite busy.”  She said dragging her chair closer to the desk-top computer, feigning as though she was busy.


I slumped unto one of the settees in the reception, sweating profusely despite the air-conditioners running    optimally in the spacious reception. I sat still staring at the ceiling as if there was a writing crested on it. After several minutes I picked myself up, looked at the beautiful reception and the saucy receptionist who was carried away by what she was doing on the computer, what seemed like social media. “Goodbye” I said “goodbye” she replied gesticulating with her hands without moving her head.  I left the office feeling devastated for the second time in my life after graduating from the university. It seemed as though all my efforts has been brought to naught.   As I walked back home, I kept blaming everything and everyone for my misfortune. I blamed myself for I slept too much and too often. What could be the cause I wondered. I have been a teetotaler all my life “Maybe am suffering from narcolepsy” I was thinking out loud as I trekked back to the house.



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