When the axe falls

It’s one of the saddest moments in life to be fired from your job on short notice. And no one would love such a cruel fate to befall them. But then, it happens often, and many people have faced such circumstances.

It’s one of the saddest moments in life to be fired from your job on short notice. And no one would love such a cruel fate to befall them. But then, it happens often, and many people have faced such circumstances.

For a number of people, they can seamlessly move on as if nothing has happened. They take it in their strides, triple their faith in the Lord and hit the road for the next opportunity to meet them along the way.

However, what if this job was your oxygen and blood and you never for a moment thought that the axe would fall on you since you thought you were untouchable?

It happened to one Damascene Habimana. Damascene was earning some serious perks with many allowances in the bargain in a blue chip company in Kigali. But then, since he didn’t see a future beyond his “stable” job, he led a reckless life of booze, women and of course wanton destruction of his money. His salary couldn’t last beyond the first two weeks of receiving it, for he was seriously generous to his friends and strangers alike whom he wined and dined in expensive restaurants befitting his status.

But now with his sense of invincibility shattered by his sacking, Damascene had to face a new reality. Money gone, the first people who made a disappearing act in his life were his so-called friends. They dreaded picking his calls, and when they chanced to meet in the streets, a feeble handshake and “see you later” marked that chance meeting.

Naturally, the women that used to lavish him with sweet names and sweet smiles as he checked into his pockets once more for a beer here, a lunch there and shopping in Kigali’s expensive stores went the voice call way: the woman you’re looking for is not available now; you’re not even advised to try later.

Bad news travels with fast wings in the air. His landlord didn’t wait for his customary post end month days to come for his bond. This time, he was some days earlier than usual, and the murderous look on his face showed that he had not come for a cordial visit but to demand that he pays pronto or move out, otherwise…

There were also three or four odd people he owed some small change by his former standard, and wherever he was walking, he knew that his neck was on the line since, so to speak, they were incessantly after his neck with threatening phone calls and text messages.

So in a nutshell, Damascene found himself in a hell hole: no job, no money and no friends but enemies. 

Not that he invested in serious household properties but the few he had, he found himself selling them at intervals to maintain some semblance of his past lifestyle now gone to the winds.

The next moment the landlord showed his murderous face again, it was the time to kiss his affluent Nyarutarama neighbourhood goodbye to go live with the masses in the ghettoes down at Kanombe.

His dramatic fall from grace to grass was now complete. At his new abode, he found people he couldn’t have touched even with hundred-meter pole in his former life.  These were now his newfound bosom friends, sharing with them cheap liquor, cheap women and cheap cigarettes as they struggled to forget the vicissitudes of life.

 

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