Category Archives: Ellipsis

03Jul/18

Ellipsis: Adeola Jimoh’s Story

Ellipsis 3
Adeola Jimoh’s Story
This was one of the most important days of his life. After six years of applying for jobs and getting rejected, he was finally resuming at a job. Adeola sat in the reception waiting for the office to officially open. He had suffered in those six years, he could not imagine anything worse. He had lived on the streets for a couple of months before somebody agreed to allow him to sleep in their abandoned guard’s chalet. It had been six years of horror.
Nobody had admitted this, but he had a feeling he had lost some jobs because the employers felt he was too skinny. Good food was a necessity but it was a luxury for him, something he only dreamt of. And because his parents had taught him well, he could not steal. There were times he thought he would die but he could not bring himself to steal. All that pain was about to end now.
At exactly 9 o’clock, a man he did not recognize walked to him.
“Are you Mr. Adeola Jimoh?” The man asked.
“Yes sir, I am,” Adeola said.
“Please follow me.”
Adeola stood and followed the man. He could not help the smile that spread on his face, his life was about to change forever. He only wished his parents were here to be a part of it.
***
It was night and he sat in front of the bus, on his way back to his dump of a house. But not even the thought of his house could stop him from smiling. His first day had been fantastic. His new boss must have noticed he was broke because he gave him half of his first-month salary in advance. It was more money than he had ever held in his hands. It was probably time to reactivate his bank account. Today was a great day.
“Hi, sir?”
Adeola turned to see the guy sitting next to him.
“Hello?” Adeola said.
“I don’t mean to bother you but you seem very happy,” the guy said.
Adeola frowned. That was a strange statement but he was too happy to bother.
“Oh yeah, I am happy,” Adeola said. “I just got a job today, after six years of waiting.”
The guy smiled, “Oh wow, congratulations sir.”
“Thank you,” Adeola said.
“This must be one a very happy day for you.”
“It is my happiest day since I lost my parents,” Adeola said. “The only thing that can make today better is if my parents could somehow come back to life and I could do one thing for them.”
The guy nodded. He paused for a little while and Adeola assumed he was done.
“Sir?” The guy called and Adeola looked at him. “Can I tell you about the happiest day of my life?”
“Yeah, sure.”
The guy smiled and said, “It was the day I found out that the God of the whole universe knew about me and loved me.”
Oh no, he was in the bus with a preacher. Now he wished he had not engaged the guy.
“Have you ever been in love sir?” The guy asked. Adeola smiled but didn’t answer. “Okay, I have. Love makes us do silly things. I once traveled from Lagos to Maiduguri to see my fiancée. I almost died in a car accident. Two months later, I made that trip again. Stupid, isn’t it?”
Adeola did not answer but if he did he would have told the guy he was stupid.
“I know you’re trying to be polite but yeah, I was stupid. Stupid in love,” The guy said and smiled at his own stupidity. “What if I told you God’s love is seemingly more stupid than mine?”
Adeola did not want to engage this guy but, “You’re saying God is stupid?”
“No, not at all,” the guy replied. “I’m saying his kind of love sounds a little too much, you’d be forgiven to call it stupid.”
“How so?”
“First of all, he made man then man disobeyed and rejected him. Then he sent his only son – his innocent only son to go and die for man. There was no guarantee that man would accept that sacrifice. His son could have suffered for nothing.”
Adeola nodded and looked away, he really didn’t want to have this conversation.
“So man committed the offense,” the guy continued, “God paid the price for it and still many people reject his simple way of reconciliation.”
Adeola had to round this up, he had more on his mind than this man’s preaching.
“Thank you very much, I get your message,” Adeola said.
“You do? Awesome,” the guy said. “You know you can make today happier by accepting the love of God? You can get a new job and a new father all on the same day.”
Adeola really did not want to pay attention but something about what the guy said kept pulling at him.
“Do you want to know how?”
“Sure,” Adeola said before he could stop himself.
“If you declare with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord, and you believe in your heart God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.”
“That’s simple enough,” Adeola said.
“I’m almost at my bus-stop so I don’t have time to explain a lot more to you. But would you like to get reconciled to God right now?”
Adeola thought about it. He had gone to church a few times so he was no stranger to some of this. He’d always prayed to God and he was not sure if any of his prayers ever got answered. But he had a job now, so maybe his prayer was answered. Although God took his time. He was in a public bus though, he could not do this here.
Adeola turned to the guy, “Thank you so much, I know what to do now and I will pray when I get home.”
“Are you sure? We could do it now, it won’t take a minute.”
“Thank you but don’t worry. I will pray when I get home.”
The guy sighed. “Do you have a bible?”
Adeola nodded, “Sure.”
“Please read Romans Chapter 10 Verse 9 and Second Corinthians Chapter 5 Verse 21 when you get home.”
“I will.”
“Congratulations again on the new job.”
A few minutes later the guy alighted at his bus-stop and Adeola sighed. The guy had filled his mind with thoughts about God he’d almost forgotten the money in his bag and the food he was going to eat that night. As soon as he got home, he would go out and eat some good food for the first time in years. When he was done, he would check out those bible verses the guy recommended. Maybe, just maybe, it was time to do this thing with God.
The bus was not moving much. He closed his eyes and tried to keep his mind on the good life ahead of him.
If his eyes were open he would have seen a man limp into the middle of the road and…

12 Hours Later.
Newspaper Headline: 30 DIE AND SEVERAL INJURED IN SHOCKING SUICIDE BOMBING.
Adeola Jimoh was one of the 30.

02Jul/18

Ellipsis: Dim Nathan’s Story

Ellipsis 2
Dim Nathan’s Story
He woke up two hours later than usual that morning. It was exactly 7 o’clock and he could not believe he had slept through his four alarm rings. He was old fashioned and the only alarm he trusted was his bedside alarm clock. But even that had failed him today. For the first time in a decade. For ten straight years after his wife died, he had woken up by 5 and immediately started working. It was the way he coped with the loss of his wife, it was the only way he knew.
Dim climbed out of the bed knowing exactly why he had woken up late. He had slept for only three hours every day for a whole week, his body and his mind were at their breaking point. He still had work to do though. He picked up his laptop, opened the lid and the screen came to life. It was a good thing the laptop was not human because it had not been off in two months. He checked his emails; he had none. How come he had no emails? Did his employees sleep late too?
He placed the laptop on his bedside table, next to the disappointing alarm clock and stepped off the bed. He was about to enter the bathroom when his bedroom door burst open. He turned around to face the door in time for his twins to run into him. He almost fell over from the impact of his very big ten-year-old boys.
“Fellas, what did I tell you about tackling Daddy?”
“Daddy, we want Ice-cream,” Daniel, the spokesman for the twins said.
Dim shook his head, “On a Monday morning?”
“You promised,” Daniel replied.
“I promised I would take you on Saturday.”
“But you didn’t.”
“Daddy had to travel to Ghana.”
There was a second of silence and Dim thought it was over.
“Don’t they sell ice-cream in Ghana?” David, the gentler twin, asked.
Dim nodded, of course, they did. He could actually have taken the twins on the trip but it did not occur to him. He understood their need to be with him. They were on holidays now after been away in a boarding school for months but he had things to do.
“Okay boys, Daddy needs to go to work. I will tell Aunty Halima to buy ice-cream for you, is that okay?”
They didn’t answer but he could tell it was not okay. It wasn’t the ice-cream they were after.
Was he doing this wrong? He was working hard to provide for them. Their mother was from a wealthy family and if she were alive, their financial futures would have been guaranteed. Now, it was all on him. He wanted his boys to study at Harvard and Harvard wasn’t cheap. They had the brains for it and he was so close to having the money for it. He wanted to spend time with them too and he would. But not today.
“I need to take my bath now, okay? Wait for me and we’ll have breakfast together.”
They dragged their feet and walked out of the room. He loved these boys, he wished they knew how much.
He took his bath and dressed up. He had trained himself not to spend more than ten minutes on this part of his day and he didn’t. He picked up his bag as he headed for the door. He got to the door and stopped and looked back at the room. He had done well for himself, he could see that from his room. He looked at the picture of his wife hanging on the wall directly opposite the bed.
“I hope you are proud of me, darling.”
He was not sure what happened at that moment but it felt like she said “no”. He shook his head, he could not let his imagination mess up his mind. As he stepped out of the room, his phone rang. It was his assistant. One of them.
“Hello?”
“Good morning sir,” she said then went straight to the point as he had taught them. “We got a call from Ghana sir, they need to ask us some questions.”
Dim walked into the dining room where his children were waiting.
“Are you saying I have to go to Ghana again?”
“They did not specifically request for you, so Mr. Obada could go.”
“Obada?”
“Yes, sir. They also sounded urgent on the phone so it would be best if he could get on a plane immediately.”
“No, I will go. This deal is too important.”
“Sir, I thought David and Daniel were back from school and you would want to spend today with them. Everything is fine here at the office and Mr. Obada can handle the Ghana trip.”
Dim paused for a few seconds then, “Book a flight for me, I will see you ASAP.”
He ended the call and looked at his sons, he was going to have to disappoint them again. But it was all for a purpose, and it would soon end.
“Hi boys, I’m sorry but…”
“Bye Daddy,” Daniel said.
They both came off their chairs and walked out of the room. Dim wanted to run after them and give them a hug but he didn’t, he would when he returned from his trip.
***
Dim closed his laptop and placed it on the seat beside him. Experience had taught him that shinning screens in slow traffic attracted unscrupulous individuals to your car. He would resume work as soon as they were in free-flowing traffic again. Or maybe he wouldn’t.
Today had been good, he had closed the Ghana deal. To celebrate he had moved money from all his different accounts into his children’s Harvard trust fund. Now, Harvard was locked down, all they had to do was get accepted.
Life was good and he could not wait to get home to hug his children. He hoped they would not be asleep.
He looked up and saw a man limp into the middle of the road.
“Shina, be careful with that man,” he said to his driver.
Maybe this was one the unscrupulous fellows he’d thought about before. He had to hide his laptop. He picked it up and…

12 Hours Later.
Newspaper Headline: 30 DIE AND SEVERAL INJURED IN SHOCKING SUICIDE BOMBING.
Dim Nathan was one of the 30.

01Jul/18

Ellipsis; Officer Dewale’s Story.

He stood on top of the bridge watching the cars move below him. Nobody paid attention to him, they were all in a hurry. They never paid attention; that was their biggest problem. It was the biggest problem of the whole country. The people did not pay attention to the signs and consistently voted in bad leaders. The leaders did not pay attention to a supposed small terrorist group until it overtook the whole northern region. Now, these men in the south were not paying attention to the war because it was not happening close to them. That was going to change tonight.
He walked down the bridge, crossed the road and joined other pedestrians on the sidewalk. A few meters from where he stood, he saw a newspaper stand and several people gathered. He walked over to them and ran his eyes over the newspaper headlines. None of them said anything about the war going on in the North. It was almost as if it was over. He listened to the men argue about football and politics. He stood for a few minutes, wondering if any of them would mention the war and the many soldiers that had lost their lives to it. They didn’t.
“Did you hear about the soldiers that died last night in Borno state?” he asked, hoping to hear their thoughts.
Most of them just looked at him and continued their conversation.
One man turned to him and said, “That is not news anymore.”
Another one said, “Anybody who joins the army knows his days are numbered already.”
The third and last person who paid him any attention said, “The government is trying. Why do you think they have not been able to get to Lagos?”
He stepped away from them without a word and walked down the road. He was right. All those years he spent in the North fighting, he’d always known nobody cared about him. His wife had left him for another man. All his friends in the army were dead. His pants covered the deep, infected wound in his leg but it did not hide the limp. The people he had lost everything to protect did not care.
They would tonight.
***
He stood on the same spot he had stood several hours before. The road was still busy; this time people were returning from whatever they spent their day doing. He spotted a couple of prostitutes standing by the road. His soldier friends had frequented prostitutes but he never did. It was tough but he always believed his body belonged to his wife alone. She believed her body belonged to whoever was available. He looked away from the prostitutes to the cars moving slowly below the bridge. Some of these people would not be getting home that night. He felt some pity for them but they were just collateral damage. He had to send a message to the people living in the south and he needed to send a message to the government.
He adjusted the bag he carried on his back and started down the bridge. The years he had spent detecting and defusing bombs had taught him a lot about making them. He had a natural talent for things like this; a talent the army used but did not appreciate. They would appreciate it now.
He got to the bottom of the bridge and walked towards the spot he had picked for maximum impact. The heavy traffic on this road meant that cars would be stuck on the spot. The ones who did not die from the explosion of the bomb would die from the explosion of cars around them. He could imagine the carnage he was about to cause. It would not be worse than the ones he had seen during this war but this would shake the country. This was not a small Northern village, this was in Nigeria’s biggest metropolitan city.
He pulled out the switch that would signal the end of this life. He was a soldier and he had sworn to protect his nation with his life. And he would. He would gladly die if it was what was required to awaken the country to a war it was ignoring.
He stepped into the middle of the road and…

12 Hours Later.
Newspaper Headline: 30 DIE AND SEVERAL INJURED IN SHOCKING SUICIDE BOMBING.
Ellipsis is the Story of the 30.