Shina Akanbi’s story
Shina scrubbed the car tires till they returned to their original black colour. This was his life; scrubbing tires and cleaning cars. He was not one to complain though. He was grateful for the opportunity to have a job and something to pay his bills with. His boss was nice, his colleagues – well, he didn’t really have colleagues. He didn’t have the life he dreamt of as a student of agricultural engineering but he could not complain. His brother did not agree.
Five years ago, before he got his driving job, he and his brother had started a business. His brother had a job but he didn’t. He was the one who hit the streets. He was the one who got rejected by the banks, he was the one who got rejected by the customers. It was tough, especially because he had to ask his brother for money to do anything. He had convinced himself it was all part of the process and they were going to make it soon. Unfortunately, three years later, ‘soon’ wasn’t any closer.
He met Mr. Dim Nathan on one of his searches for investors. The man got interested in him and promised to mentor him. He even promised to pay him. He had dropped their failing business immediately for a chance to work with this heaven-sent angel. But things had not turned out exactly how he expected. His job was never defined and soon he turned into a driver. It had been two years and the only thing he had learned from Mr. Dim was how to navigate the city and how to wash a car till it sparkled.
Shina’s phone rang and he knew who it was. It was his brother. He had a pitch that day and he swore this was the deal they were looking for. But Shina had thought that too so many times.
He answered the call.
“Hello?” Shina said.
“Hey, are you coming?”
“No, I’m not,” Shina said.
“You know I need you here. You ran this business for three years, and you know more about it.”
That was true but it didn’t make any difference. Those three years were the worst of his life.
“I’m sorry, I can’t take time off my job.”
“Take time off? You should resign. This business is your dream too.”
Mr. Dim walked out of the house and Shina knew it was time to go out.
“I have to go. All the best with the pitch.”
He ended the call and ran ahead of his boss to open the door for him. He didn’t love his job. He wasn’t crazy about opening doors and driving around all day but it paid money. Real money. The pay was all that mattered for now.
“Are you okay?” Mr. Dim asked as he entered the car.
“Yes sir,” Shina said. It was a lie.
Dim sat inside the car listening to the radio. This was his life whenever his boss didn’t have him driving around. It drove him crazy to just sit there doing nothing but it was part of his job. He could easily run off to meet with his brothers and no one would notice. But there was also a chance his boss would need to go out in the middle of the day and his absence would become a problem. He wished there was something he could do.
His phone rang and he looked at the screen; it was his brother again.
“We just finished the pitch,” his brother’s voice was ecstatic.
Shina was excited. “You got the funding?”
“Well, not yet.”
Shina shook his head, of course not. “So what now?”
“The investors turned us down in the room but one of them talked to us later. He is interested and asked us to come to his house for another pitch this evening.”
“He said he knows a little about our business. Do you know one Mr. Adeyemi Adegoke?”
Shina knew who it was. “Don’t bother yourself, the man isn’t going to invest in an agricultural business.”
“So you know him?”
“Yes I know him and I know he’s not going to invest.”
“Don’t say that Shina. Just come this evening and we will see what happens.”
“I can’t leave except I want to get fired,” Shina said. They didn’t get it. He was making an income and was living without borrowing money, why would he want to leave that?
“Then get fired, Shina. If we get this funding, you will have all the money you want and you can finally do something that you love.”
“If? If we get this funding?” Shina said and shook his head. “Goodbye.”
He ended the call and slipped the phone back in his pocket. Why would he leave a steady job for an ‘if’?
Shina slowed the car to a stop, they were going to be here for a while. His phone beeped and picked it up. He’d gotten a text from his brothers.
“We got the funding! We did it! Resign that job!”
Shina smiled, they did it. After all these years, they were finally going somewhere with their business.
“Shina, be careful with that man,” Shina heard Mr. Dim say.
He looked up and saw a man limp into the middle of the road. What the hell…
12 Hours Later.
Newspaper Headline: 30 DIE AND SEVERAL INJURED IN SHOCKING SUICIDE BOMBING.
Shina Akanbi was one of the 30.