Gbe body e… Gbe soul e. Oga mi, for this life, na who chop, na him be man. Gbagbe!
Promise watched as the driver and conductor exchanged pleasantries. He wondered how things got this bad for him, but this was no time for a postmortem. He needed food and to get that, he needed money. Damning any possible consequence, he approached the duo with his request.
Promise: Good afternoon sirs. How has the day been? My name is Promise. I admire your tenacity and intensity. I will like to assist you in achieving your goals of making the transport system more efficient for the populace.
Conductor: Egbami. Kini padi yin so? (What is this guy saying?) Abi eewo ni lace? Lace ko, ankara ni? (What’s this talk about lace material? I don’t care)
Promise: Sir, please you need to help me. My background is noble and my future was bright before I messed up. I need your help.
Conductor: Oga driver, e wa gbo nkan ti boda yin so, tori ko ye mi. ( Come and listen to what this brother is saying… I don’t understand)
Driver: Hello bros. How you dey?
Promise: Wow. You speak good English. I’m surprised.
D: Well, you are not the first person to be. I’m a graduate of one of the foremost tertiary institutions in this country. I graduated in 2010. After years of not getting any good job, I decided to join the transport industry. There have been down sides, but overall, it’s been a profitable venture.
P: Wow. Amazing. Please sir, I want a job. I can work as a conductor. A ticket distributor. A technician. Anything. I just need money.
D: Do you have any experience driving?
P: Ah. Yes o. I have driven the 2017 Toyota Camry. Also, I drove the 2016 Nissan Pathfinder for a few weeks before I bashed it and my Dad banned me from driving it.
D: Hehe. That’s good experience but it’s not relevant for this position you are applying for. See ehn, Kingsley…
P: Sir, my name is Promise.
D: Sorry about that. See ehn, Promise. You don’t have a place here. We don’t need your kind. You are obviously a rich kid. You can’t cope on the streets; it will eat you alive. Take this #1,000 naira. Get yourself something to eat and when you are done, you can get a decent antiseptic bathing soap. You need it.
C: Alaye, ki lo n se le?! Akoko n lo o. (Boss, what’s going on? We are wasting time.)
P: Thank you sir. I’m grateful sir.
D: Sorry ehn, I have to go now. I wish you all the best, and I hope that when next we see, it will be in better conditions.
Promise located a nearby canteen and devoured 3 wraps of pounded yam with egusi. Taking the two sachets of water made him feel like he was at home. It made him realize he needed to go home. But how?
He had messed up really bad. He remembered collecting the documents for the landed properties at Lekki & Ikeja. He could also recollect how he squandered the money he received from the sale of the properties. Clubs, cruises and carnivals had drained him of all he was worth.
Passer-by: Buy your rat poison!! Original rat poison. E dey work very well. E dey kill anything killable. Come and buy your rat poison.
Promise sighed and took a deep breath. For the first time in his life, he considered the option of suicide. It seemed like a good solution; he would no longer be a source of pain to himself and those who loved him. He had eaten his best meal in months not long ago. Maybe that was meant to be his last supper. He sighed again.
Promise: Oga, how much is the rat poison?
Seller: 3 sachets for 100 naira.
And so, Promise paid for the poison and proceeded to a place where he knew he could do the deed.
As Promise held the sachet in his hand, he had a conversation with himself.
Promise: Why don’t I just end this pain and take my life? No one would care. My Dad might feel a little bit bad but then, he would get over it. Let me just do this.
Inner Promise: Why take your life when you have an opportunity to live it to the fullest? You know what you have to do. Just do it.
P: I can’t do it. After all I’ve done. How can I face the one whose heart I broke? How will I bear the brunt of his anger? Will he even give me the opportunity to air my apology?
IP: You know the answer to these questions. You know. You know that your father will not turn away a broken and repentant heart. Do you think you’ll be better off constituting a nuisance and seeking menial jobs?
P: I think you have a point.
So, Promise got up and said out loud, “I will go back home to my father’s house, and I’ll say to him, “Father, I was wrong. I have sinned against you. I’ll never be worthy to be called your son. Please, Father, just treat me like one of your employees.”
So Promise set off for home. From a long distance away, Papa Promise saw him coming, dressed as a beggar, and great compassion swelled up in his heart for his son who was returning home. So Papa Promise raced out to meet his son. He swept him up in his arms, hugged him dearly, and kissed him over and over with tender love.
“Then Promise said, ‘Papa, I was wrong. I have sinned against you. I could never deserve to be called your son. Just let me be—’
“The father interrupted and said, ‘Son, you’re home now!’ “Turning to his servants, the father said, ‘Quick, bring me the best robe, my very own robe, and I will place it on his shoulders. Bring the ring, the seal of sonship, and I will put it on his finger. And bring out the best shoes you can find for my son.
Let’s prepare a great feast and celebrate. For this beloved son of mine was once dead, but now he’s alive again. Once he was lost, but now he is found!’ And everyone celebrated with overflowing joy.
Have you wandered away? Are you afraid of coming back to Christ? Today, He’s calling you. Come, dear child. Come home… Daddy is waiting.