THORNS IN MY BOOT 27

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27

I later took a commercial motor cycle to the barracks to spend some time with Ayo the Barber, it was a Saturday and he did not go for lectures. I sat there and listened to the barracks gossips as customers came in and left. I was flipping the pages of a newspaper but my mind was somewhere else. I have waited for over a year without a head way to my being recalled into the Army. How much longer do I have to wait? What would I be doing while waiting? I thought of going back to Abakaliki but I know Amaka would not like the idea so instantly I made up my mind on what to do as I wait to hear from the Army.

On Monday morning I went to withdraw twenty thousand naira from my account and I went straight to Nnewi market in Anambra state to buy a fairly used Motor cycle. I bought a Yamaha 125 series with a very sound engine and good frame. I got it serviced there and rode it all the way to Enugu.

The next day I chartered a Pick up Van and went to my Unit to see the quarter master and together we went to the store to collect my property. The R.S.M came around as we were loading the van with my Luggage, I did not greet him, he went around the Van looking it over and inspecting the goods we were putting inside, he used his swagger stick to hit severally at the van making as unpleasant noise, he then came behind me as I bent to lift a Chair into the Van and he poked my butt with his swagger stick. I stood up and turned to face him.
Criminal! He snarled

I gave him a cold and hard stare and he turned and left saying Get out! Get out of here with your stolen property!
I continued with lifting my luggage into the van.

On Wednesday I sorted out my documents and went to the institute of management and technology (I.M.T) Enugu and purchased a form into the preliminary department to study business administration. (PREBAM) I submitted the form and the next day I started lectures with the students while I wait for the admission list to be published before I could pay my school fees and do my registration, however the first semester exam was in a month’s time.

I also went to the office of the West Africa examination council W.A.E.C and purchased the General certificate of education form (G.C.E) the examination would be written in November through December.

My age had been reduced by two as evident in my sworn affidavit so by the time I would graduate in 2002 or 2003 as the case may be, I will still be eligible to go for the compulsory national youth service Corp as I will still be officially below thirty years of age.

After one month of buying the Bike and running around for School activities, I was short of cash, I needed money to fuel my Bike, I needed money to buy hand outs and text books at school, and I needed to buy books in preparation for the G.C.E examination. I also needed to feed and buy school clothes. With all of these expenses before me, I had no choice than to start using my Bike for commercial purpose, commercial Cyclist are called Okada Riders in Enugu, so I became an Okada man at weekends and after School hours on week days, I was lucky I bought a good Bike so I was not having problems with the engine like some other Okada men. It was fun conveying People to their destinations for money, my knowledge of the geography of the state broadened and I was my own boss.
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On a Saturday in September I drove tom Abakaliki to visit mama and her new baby. She delivered a baby girl in July, a carbon copy of mama but with long limbs and hands like the father, they say she will be a tall girl when she grows, she was named Abosede because she was born on a Sunday, she was named Ekundayo which means from sorrow to joy and her father’s name was Michael kayode Ayeni.

My Folks have fully settled down in Abakaliki and they have lots of friends and well wishers both at work and at church. Baba Miko had bought a lot of tools and equipment for his Carpentry and furniture works, he has paid the part payment for a Shop but the present tenant was yet to vacate the place since he still has three months to the rent expiry. Baba Miko was a seasoned Brick layer as well as carpenter back in the Village though he was poor and I marveled at the transformation in the life of the two, it is true that if two people are meant for each other, everything they do together always flourish because all their elements will work together in harmony and whatever they venture into will prosper.

I told them what I have passed through since our last meeting till date. They encouraged me with words and mama said she feels my case needs spiritual intervention, she said we should take the R.S.M up in prayers and fast for three days waking up at every 12.00PM to pray and commit my case to God to fight my battle for me. We all agreed to start the fasting and prayers on Monday but I did not do it, I forgot about it the moment I climbed my Bike en-route Enugu on Monday Morning.

I came back to Enugu to face a very tight schedule, Examination was around the corner, I had outstanding quizzes and assignments to tidy up and submit. I had to read for my Prelim examinations as well as my G.C.E. I still hustled with my Okada at night and on weekends, but I was not deterred, I was used to hard life, a man has got to be a man!

To Be Continued

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