…the trend setter.
A man struck by fate? To be destined to walk till his soles were worn
and soul weary or was it his shoes that were weary from carrying his
weight about and his soul worn from too many disappointments? It was
like he kept appointments simply to be disappointed.
He smiled at the rhyme he had made in his head then shook his head
sadly at the pathetic theme of his thoughts. continue after the slice
He quickly sobered and continued his trek. He felt exhausted to his
bones. It was as though he was trekking in the desert, with an elusive
destination; his head beaten into submission by the sun and his back
molded into a curve against the battering wind.
The children in the neighbourhood playing football ran to him to
receive the goodies he always brought them; the goodies that he had
bought today with his very last penny. He made his way to the tiny
room at the far end of the crammed compound that he rented at a paltry
sum that he couldn’t afford. Collapsing on the thin, weather-beaten
matrass on the cold floor, he drifted into deep slumber.
He didn’t want to wake up, as was usual with him but his wife kept
sprinkling the water on his face till he finally bolted upright in
anger but the mindless drinking of the previous night did not bring
him up to his feet as fast as he had wanted. He wobbled and had to
hold his head gingerly.
His wife sneered, “You call yourself the man of this house yet you
only lie here and sleep away your life when you are not drinking.”
He hated her tone and he hated her more for being a constant reminder
of what he could not do. “I am doing my best”, he replied calmly. He
was always calm and his voice gentle. Even when he drank he never
“Your best? Anyone hearing you would actually believe me to be a
heartless and ungrateful wife but we both know that is not the case. I
am the pillar supporting this family. You only lie here and dream.”
She pointed at the miserable matrass and her voice rose higher and
higher, near hysteria. “You think I don’t hear what you say in those
dreams that keep re-occurring?” She puffed up her chest and raised her
shoulders mockingly, “You dream you are some hardworking fellow, who
goes out early to seek a job but comes back disappointed yet you give
gifts to children in the compound.”
He stared in horror at the accuracy of her account. Again she laughed,
“You practically act out the whole thing like a crazed man. The first
time it happened I thought to myself, ‘perhaps in the morning he will
be inspired to try a little harder’ instead you slept so more to
wallow in what you could not achieve in reality, abi?”
“I really do try.” He said again, broken.
Her voice became softer, “I married a man with so much potential but
that is all you have become- potential. You do nothing to achieve all
you dream of. If only you put as much effort into working hard as you
do in your dream, do you think we would be living this life? I am
tired of praising you for your potential.” She said quietly and walked
Written by Angela Umoru