Chapter 6

‘’That was really a hard-luck stuff,’’ Kunle Adeife said in a hoarse voice. He coolly studied Kenneth, in the worn, grey short-sleeved shirt he put on, and saw dolour in his eyes and shook his head out of compassion.                                                                                             ‘’What do you want me to do for you?’’ he asked tapping his desk gently with the tip of his stubby forefinger.                                                                                                                  Kenneth shifted excitedly in the black cushy armed chair, in which he sat, just opposite the heavily-built man whom he was just meeting since the nasty events at the premises of City College of Technology. It was the first time an important person in the city would be listening attentively to all the misfortunes he had suffered, and then ask him to state his heart desires. And as his eyes scoured the face of the husky-voiced man and its shaggy brows, a medley of requests began to stream into his mind concurrently, and could have gone ahead to pour out his heart but knew it would be thoughtless to do so, he resolved to mention only the salient things. Earlier in the morning, twelve hours after arriving in Bolarinwa’s house, he had called the number on the white complimentary card and had greatly been mirthful to have ended up speaking to Kunle Adeife and had had to render a lengthy description of himself and the associated events before the husky voice at the end of the line stated he remembered him and asked him to show up in his office this morning at nine. He had arrived thirty minutes ahead of the appointed time and when he was eventually led into the air-conditioned office, he quickly perceived the aura of eminence all around it and its occupant. A large desk carrying heaps of papers files and flags stood in the centre of the room, a chest drawer stood in a corner of the room, about two yards away from the desk. Directly opposite the desk were two black heavily-padded chairs one of which he was seated with a black large couch sitting backing an auburn wall on which a couple of pictures gracefully hung.                                                                                                                            Kenneth lipped his lips, cleared his throat and said, ‘’Sir, thank you for your interest in my case and for asking me to name my requests. There are two things: first, I’m stranded at the moment. I have nowhere to live nor do I have anyone to turn to, as I told you earlier, my house has just been demolished and my uncle on whom I depended is also stranded, he’s holing up with a friend as I’m speaking with you. The second thing which is just as important as the first is that I’m dying for a job. I’ve been unemployed since I came to this city and would be more than glad if you could help me find any job, I have an HND in Accounting sir.’’                                                                                                                                                Kunle regarded him thoughtfully for long, then he adjusted the brown jacket he wore on a cream shirt over which a yellow tie hung and lifted his shaggy brows as he said in a low-pitch tone, ’’I know life could be hard sometimes, I was once like you, exactly twenty years ago I came into this city at the invitation of a friend, and I went through a lot of difficulties before I could also get a footing . . .’’                                                                                             A knock sounded on the door, Kunle hesitated then directed the visitor inside. A young lady with an armful of files entered who bowed courteously to Kenneth and then told Kunle a meeting was due in ten minutes time, and thereafter left.                                                   ‘’Dear brother,’’ Kunle said rather hurriedly to Kenneth, ‘’I have heard your requests, I promise to consider them as quickly as I can. Come back and see me at two tomorrow.’’                              Kenneth literarily limped out of Kunle’s office with joy and as he stepped out, he headed for a small restaurant with joy, there, he dreamily sat at a lone table and ordered for a meat pie and a bottle of malt-his first meal of the day- which he hate with gusto. He stared vacuously at the opposite bar and its bartender as mirthful thoughts and questions besieged his mind: Was he approaching a turning point? Was he about to make headway in this city? Would Kunle really assist him or was it going to be another big disappointment just like the others he had suffered in the past? Would tomorrow offer him a fresh start after all? He wished time would roll by quickly. He could not wait for tomorrow to come. He remained in the café till nightfall, and then left for Atitebi.

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