The taxi cab parked next to a pool of muddy water. It was July in Nigeria and it had been raining cat and dog in most cities, Lagos was no different. Droplets of water trickled from the heaven, earthward. The sky in Lagos was laden with precipitation, waiting to relieve itself upon the populace. Hammed noticed the pool of muddy water and motioned for the driver to move forward. He alighted, and took a left turn across the BRT lane into a street in Julius Berger. He thought to himself, “This is it”.
Two years ago, when the idea came to him in the bathroom, he was so excited he ran out with soap in his eyes to write down the idea. God forbid he forgot the idea before he got out of bath. He worked at it whole souled for months gathering informations, drawing schematics and wholly putting a flesh to his skeleton of ideas.
When you put your heart to something, even you would make a dream live. He kept remembering the cover message of his favourite book “Screw it, just Do it”. Maybe this was his million dollar idea, he could have his own startup and maybe someone would buy the idea. The dream was palpable.
Hammed walked down the wet street in the nagging dropper soaking his Paul smith black suit, he was however careful of his oxford shoes. He had to look his best for the meeting. He checked his watch, it was still 12pm, he had two more hours till the meeting time. There was enough time to eat something before the meeting started, he wasn’t hungry. Excitement laced with fear filled his stomach.
The cloud ahead was still rheumy, the air was humid and cold. The tiny drops started gaining weight, they came in fat drops and he could hear the rain beating the roofing sheets of houses nearby, he scuttled off to a nearby shelter from the rain. It was a shop owned by an aged woman, she had a toothless smile and was kind to offer him a seat. He sat for a while and stood up again. He couldn’t seat, he was nervous and wondered if the rain would stop in time so he would go for his meeting. The fat droplets gathered momentum and Hammed watched on as the street got washed by the rain.
Hammed wanted to tell his girlfriend, Tammy about the software idea since she was supportive but a gulf had grown in between them since Tammy’s mother objected to her courting a muslim and Yoruba boy at that. The unfiltered crudeness that escaped the tongue of Tammy’s mother criticising Islam bemused her daughter, but Tammy had to listen to her mother, since she practically raised her, unaided in a divided home. Hammed was unfazed by the growing divide since he had something to occupy his mind – the million dollar ware. She never said she wanted to leave him, she just told him time will tell. Time has told a story of inevitable separation.
The rain kept on roaring, aided by a violent wind which blew the rain into the shelter Hammed and the shop owner stood. He clutched his bag against his suit and prayed silently for the rain to stop soon, it was 1.30pm already and the rain kept gathering pace instead of waning. He couldn’t keep his eyes off his watch. This meeting was so important to him. It was a defining moment in his life and he had to take the chance. The cold wind blew in his face and shiver ran through his spine. He checked his watch again. It was 1.45pm.
When he finished engineering the software he called Vitreous. A platform he designed to compress and copy files online without losing the quality. He started searching for companies set up to suppport startups in Nigeria. There were none ready to buy or support his idea. Until he got a mail from L5Lab to come for a presentation at their headquarter office in Julius Berger. He was meticulous with his preparation, and rehearsed everyday for 3 months till today. Success was within reach and he was ready to grasp it with his hand. The rain wouldn’t stop him even if it was sulphur and fire.
Hammed bent and rolled his trousers, he removed his phones from the pockets of his trousers and kept them in the inner pockets of his suit. He stuck a palm out into the rain to feel its heaviness, the look of disappointment on his face on the instant transformed into enthusiasm. He jumped into the rain and darted off to his meeting.
my mama’s daughter 1 is another short story I wrote some while back.