He sat at the corner of his small room with his head buried between his folded knees to cover his wet face. He had been there for a while. It was getting dark. He didn’t want to go to bed despite the cold floor. But it wasn’t as cold as what had happened. He nonetheless pushed his feeble feet to be upstanding and thought about going to bed but changed his mind. He instead took his clothes off and laid on the frozen floor. He closed his eyes as if to shut out the horrible episode he badly wanted to erase. He started sobbing again say for this time, more desperately.
The night got darker and frosty. The chill of the night smote his body and he felt a sudden numbing engulf him. He should have kept his clothes on. But he didn’t want that suit on his body. He felt dirty. Unworthy. He slowly got up and headed to bed. He stepped on the pieces of the broken glass that were on the floor. He didn’t care if they’d cut his feet. His heart, body and soul were already cut and bruised so what more could tiny pieces of broken glass do to him? He covered his naked self under the covers of his sheets and was back to sobbing.
Men are not usually wired to cry or show emotions. But what can a man do when his very being is torn apart by another human being. He will have to fight and salvage what’s left of himself; slowly pick up the pieces and try to move on. But it is never that simple. Yet somehow, when one’s life is on the line, a man has got to do what he is not wired to do. So it is ok to shade a few tears and let the emotions show.
The morning was chilly when Sam received the call he had been waiting for. It had been about four months of waiting and he was almost giving up. As he stood on his veranda smoking, he heard his phone that was stashed in his pocket ring. He took it out and saw a number he didn’t recognize. Sam had never been the type to receive calls from unknown people. But since he was job hunting, he figured any strange number might be from a potential employer.
“Good morning. Is this Sam Nyongesa?” he heard a voice on the other end of the line.
“My name is Carol. I wish to inform you that your application with our company was successful. You have hence been shortlisted for an interview tomorrow at our offices by 9 AM.”
“Thank you so much. I’ll be there.”
Sam felt like he had won himself a jackpot. He was elated and couldn’t wait to share the news with his friend Josh. It was about time his boring routine was broken; waking up, eating, browsing the internet looking for jobs, bothering a few of his friends to help him search for a job, sleep, and eat some more. If he was successful in this opportunity, a lot could change for him including getting married. But how do you get married without a girlfriend? Well, getting one would be part of his to-do list.
He quickly put out his cigarette and went back to the house. He reached for his laptop that sat on the coffee table in the middle of his tiny living room that could only accommodate three seats and the table. He turned his laptop on and looked up the company’s profile once again. He needed this job and so passing this interview would not be left to chance. Who would want to miss out on an opportunity when you have not had any in two years?
Sam scanned through the company’s website feasting his eyes on the information. He read and re-read everything he could find. It felt like doing last minute revision for an exam. But this was a type of exam. He would be put to the test with questions being shot at him and his only way of passing was answering the questions right. But interviews don’t have to be like exams where people freak out at the thought of not getting anything right. Interviews should be more of conversations. It doesn’t help that some panellists are too intimidating when they shouldn’t be.
Later that afternoon, Sam fitted his suits and noticed that he had outgrown some. Only two out of the six fitted him. When had he put on so much weight considering he had forfeited his lunch meals? It must have been all the pressure he was under he thought. He had even grown a paunch one of the things he loathed. But there he was looking at his suits and wondered how fast time must have passed by. Next on his agenda was getting some little money. He had spent almost all his savings and was headed for a nil balance. The little he had left would only suffice to cover his rent for about three months and of course, a man had to eat.
“Hey bro, I need some money. I will pay you back once I get this job. I know I still owe you but I really need your help man”, he called up his friend Josh.
“Sure bro don’t worry. Remember how you had my back when I didn’t have a dime. So whatever you need bro let me know?”
“Thanks, man. I owe you big time.”
No sooner had he hung up than he received an M-Pesa message from Josh. He smiled then texted to thank his mate then headed to the barbershop to get a haircut. Josh had been that constant friend in his life since their college years. Sam had hosted him after he got a job shortly after they graduated. They lived together for almost three years until Josh got a job. It’s funny how tables can turn. It was now Sam’s turn to be bailed by his friend. It had been two years without a job and he double-crossed his fingers that this would mark the end of his search.
The following morning, Sam was up bright and early ready to face the ‘giant’ that seemingly awaited him. This would be his sixth interview in two years. As he closed the door, he took a long deep breath then hurriedly walked down the steps. It was about 6.30 AM when he got to the bus stop. He waited for almost half an hour with no matatu insight. He was getting anxious when suddenly a white Toyota salon car stopped by where he and few other people were standing.
“If any of you needs a ride to town, jump in”, the man on the driver’s seat said to them. After inquiring how much he would charge for the ride, Sam took his place next to the driver. Three other people sat at the back but they would later alight along the way. So it was just the driver and Sam headed to town.
The traffic was crazy but he still had about one and a half hours to get to the interview. As they waited to catch the green light, the driver started rubbing his crotch. Sam hadn’t noticed at first. But he did it for a second and a third time. Then suddenly the driver took a hold of Sam’s hand and placed it on his crotch. Sam quickly withdrew his hand in disgust. The folder he held in his hand fell. He quickly picked it up and reached for the door.
The driver locked the doors then suddenly the traffic opened up and the motorists were on the move. As they drove off, the driver took the opposite turn and missed the one that led to town. But had he really missed the turn or was it intentional?
Stay tuned. The story continues