At ten, Ajayi wanted to be a millionaire.
At twenty, the richest man in Africa.
Now at forty five and seriously jobless, he is about to jump down the bridge!
Everywhere, the world is dark and cold; on the deserted bridge, he perches dangerously on the rusty rail, ready to be drunk in the chilling death below. Down, way down, the water is waiting, its hidden claws, sharp and ready. Hilarious enough, the man of the moment decides to count one to ten before taking the fatal dive. He is still counting when an eerie but majestic voice booms, cutting through the dark like a faceless dagger.
‘What do you think you are doing, you moron?’
He surveys the environment. Nothing!
‘Are you deaf?’ the voice persists. ‘ I say what are you trying to do?’
‘Who are you?’ Ajayi screams, his eyes searching.
‘Where are you?’
‘What is this about? There is nothing up there!’
‘Look harder and you will see me seated on my throne. I am God!’
‘Is this a joke or something?’
‘No, son. I molded your ugly face in my palms. Constructed your foolish tongue.’
‘You… you really are God?’
‘Yes and you are a foolish son.’
It is not everyday that you get to tell God how you really feel about him. Ajayi maximizes the opportunity.
‘A foolish son is at least better than a senile old man.’
‘Blasphemy! I should turn you to a pig right now.’
‘Who cares? Tell me old man, why are you here? Tired of slumbering on your lazy throne or is it that you can’t wait for me to come to you?’
God seems to find that funny. He booms with holy laughter.
‘And who says you are coming to me? jump down that bridge and you will wake up on a bed of nails where vampire will bite your fat behind every second.’
‘Are you trying to threaten me? Sorry old man but that won’t work. Tell me, what could be more frightening than living in this land? Hunger everyday, toiling every night. As a dedicated civil servant, I served the Ministry for twenty years and at the end, they kicked me out without a dime. And what is my crime? I got a non-refundable loan from a contractor.’
‘In that case son, you should be grateful. If you are in China, you would have been hanged.’
‘Don’t embarrass me old man! I did nothing wrong. How do you expect me to feed my battalion of a family with the stipends I got paid as salary?’
‘And how many battalions do you have?’
‘Ten hungry looking children!’
‘Ten?’ God is astonished. ‘I thought they are seven.’
‘Old man, aren’t you suppose to know everything? Well… my mistress mistakenly gave birth to furious looking triplets last night.’
‘What!’ God roars. ‘Ten children, jobless father. Are you mad?’
‘Don’t blame me, it is not really my fault. This country is bad. That is why I have to kill myself. I don’t want my children to start cursing me to my face.’
‘That is already too late, fool. I curse you each time I can’t eat good food, curse you when my underwear is patched a million times. Even this morning when you borrowed fifty naira from my pocket, I curse you!’
Ajayi looks around frantically, his eyes bulging.
‘Ojo!’ he screams.
‘Is that you?’
‘No! I am God! And son, there is something you have to do before jumping.’
‘You have to pay my school fees!’