Love In Times Like This (Episode 10)


Harry was in hell. He was doing his best to walk down the main road. A young boy selling sachet water walked passed him. He whistled at him, and the boy walked as fast as he could towards him. Harry removed two cold sachets of water from a bucket and handed over ten naira note to the boy. He gulp in the water in a second and breathe in and out noisily. His head cleared slowly, and he regained a little strength.

A car drove passed him, and then reversed backward, horning for his attention. Harry sniffed the air. Without raising his head, he opened his eyes.

"Harrison Bassey?" An husky voice called his name from the car. Harry's heart trembled, he didn't remember the last time someone called him by his full name. He lifted up his face slowly and his eyes caught with the man in the car.

"Abia, Abia Umosen?" Harry called out, he was looking amazed.
"It's me." Abia said and gave broken loud laughter.
He was driving a big, black, tinted jeep. Harry looked at Abia's car and his appearance and felt ashamed.


"Oboy, where have you been?" Harry asked excitedly.
"I relocated to New York. I got married now...I am trying to build a structure down the street so that my family will be coming home for holidays." Abia said.
"That's great. Congratulations." Harry shook his head, his eyes dark and cloudy.

"What are you doing here?" Abia asked.
Harry's voice cracked as he replied Abia. " I am looking for a job. My wife is pregnant. Since after service, I have been looking for a good job, but no way! My shop just got burnt down some months ago."

"Oboy! you that graduated with a first class?" Abia exclaimed.
"Work no dey naija o. We dey suffer here."
"I can help you. You can join the workers to mold blocks for my new house on this street. I will pay." Abia said.
The laughter on Harry's face faded from his eyes. His face dulled to a gunmetal grey.
He thought of his sick mom, his wife and how he was going to support them. He stared at Abia right in the eye and said, "I will do it. Thank you so much. Can you take me to the place?"


"I can't carry you in my car, one of my men just finished washing it. I will give you my contractor's number, and give you a note to give to him. He pays three thousand daily, he will sign you in when he gets the note." Abia Said in a baritone voice. He spoke with pride and confident.
Grief and pain ripped through Harry like a straight razor and his voice shook with passion and fury. "Thank you." He said.

Abia handed a note to him and he collected it shyly with both hands.
He was ashamed. Abia was one year below him in the university, Abia graduated with a third class, and yet he was right before him with an expensive car, with a good job and secured job. While Harry was in his tattered clothes, set to raise blocks and bricks for Abia's mansion.
Abia zoomed off, and Harry trekked back down the street. He was ready to do anything for his beloved mother and wife.

After he met with Abia's contractor, he resumed work immediately.

He got back home dirty and in torn clothes. His jean became sandy and dirty, his face dark and sweaty.
Atimma opened the door, and stared at him shockingly. She didn't want to look into his eyes, she didn't want to see the pain and the sadness deep in those eyes that had once sparked with laughter, but she couldn't pull her gaze away.


Credit: Vicky Bon
Love In Times Like This (Episode 10) Love In Times Like This (Episode 10) Reviewed by E.A Olatoye on June 10, 2017 Rating: 5

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