Time. It can make or break you. But can time do anything we have not allowed? And what if we had the power to change the hands of time? Frank is at his barbershop, waiting for customers to check-in. It is his second month since he got back from Dubai. The business has been slightly slow, or maybe he is just impatient. He is yet to adjust to life back at home. Unlike Dubai, where everything is too fast-paced. You wake up in the heat of the orange sun before you blink, it’s evening and you retire to bed tired like a log.
Frank cleans his shop, then rests on one chair and looks at the man looking back at him in the mirror. He doesn’t know whether to resent that man or just accept what was and will become of him. Looking deeply into the mirror, he moves a little closer and sees a dent slightly below his left eye. It is still a little darker. As he examines the dent, his mind goes back to Dubai.
In 2014, Frank left for Dubai after one of his friends convinced him he would become a millionaire in two years if he paid him some money to secure him a job with a newly finished seven-star hotel. The deal sounded too good to be true, but Frank gave it a shot. Getting the guy the money was easy because his mother ran some businesses and would get him the money.
Three months later, Frank’s mother got him the money, and he was on his way to Dubai in November 2014. She loved her only son and would do anything for him. After she separated from her husband, Frank became her priority. She took him to the best private schools. After high school, Frank wanted to get into business with her mother and she gladly let him help run some of her business. She put him in charge of her matatu and spare part shop while she ran her salon in town. But when Frank’s friend came calling, he took a chance and see if he could be a millionaire.
When he arrived in Dubai, three of the hotel vans were at the airport waiting to pick up staff from different countries. Frank was happy to meet a few of the staff from his motherland. They were oriented upon their arrival, then later taken to their accommodation quarters not too far from the hotel.
A few months into the job, Frank met a lady. He fell in love with her. She was Muslim. Since he loved her so much, he converted and became a Muslim too, and hoped that he would marry her once he had saved up enough money for her dowry. They dated for a few months when Frank realised that the woman was betrothed to another man and would soon tie the knot. His heart sank deep within him; he felt like being punched on a wound or stabbed right through his already bruised heart.
They say that when a man loves a woman, there is no stopping him from doing anything. From changing his religion and getting a Muslim name, his girlfriend’s betrayal crushed Frank. Before he knew it, he started drinking, showing up late for work until his supervisor suspended him for two weeks. He needed to get his act together or risk being sent back home.
While on his suspension, Frank continued drinking. He couldn’t stop. He resumed work but kept drinking mostly on his off days. Alcohol had become his companion, or at least that’s what he liked to tell himself. He would later stop sending his mother his paycheck and used up all his salary on alcohol and anything that would distract his mind.
But a few months later, he met another lady through a mutual friend, and they started dating. Slowly by slowly, he seemed to come back to life again, but the bottle was never too far from his hands. Three months into the relationship, the lady ended the relationship owing to Frank’s alcoholism.
Distraught by what seemed like déjà vu, Frank thought of committing suicide. He could not imagine being ditched for a second time. Was he not good enough? Was he not making enough money to keep a woman? He questioned.
His first suicide attempt- taking a bunch of pills, was interrupted when a colleague knocked at his door one evening requesting him to go see their supervisor, who was looking for him. A cleaner who was on the rooftop cleaning some windows also interrupted his second attempt- jumping off from the rooftop of the hotel. As soon as he saw Frank, he shouted at him not to jump. Frank stepped back and wondered how unlucky he had been on his quest to end his life.
As Frank continued to toil, his drinking got worse. His supervisor again gave him another suspension, this time for one month and without pay. One night, while seated in his room, he took his phone and started looking through pornographic sites. The next day he found himself back at the sites. The first week, it still glued him. He was drinking and watching porn every minute he could lay his hands on his phone. He was slowly becoming an addict, and he didn’t know it.
Suddenly, a customer walks in and Frank snaps back to reality.
Stay tuned, the story continues.
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