KD Stories With 'Jagga' Title 'Rain Clouds'




September, the forerunner to the ember months, that heralds the beginning of the end of the rainy season, the rains would fall like the handles on the rain taps had come loose, the rain clouds would gather in the Eastern sky, moving reluctantly West, like an army of dark clouds, every now and then, the clouds would cloak the sun, providing a temporary respite from the scorching sun, but this is only a momentary lull for the rain that is brewing, building up slowly in the skies.  
To say kaduna central market is crowdy is to say the least, the market begins from 6 a.m, and by an hour time the market is a beehive of activities, large colored notice boards on rooftops, hastily erected umbrellas and shelters, varying in colors, shapes and sizes decorating the market flamboyantly, like a garland of roses 
From kano road, down to taiwo road, and upwards to cooperative, after Leventist round about, the crowd thin out towards Kawo, loud horns from commercial buses which convey the people to and from the market and their conductors shouting out their intended destinations, blaring music from shops that sells musical equipments, audio and video cd's, and hawkers calling out their wares, combine into a cacophony of sounds. 
Among the crowd on a certain Monday afternoon, Mary Udo walked with the pace of someone who has walked this market before, her stride were short and precise, her thoughts, lost in the cacophony of sounds around her, 
For some unexplained reasons her thoughts dwell on the faces of the numerous secretaries she'd meet when she was expiscating for job, they floated in her mind's eye, some unsmiling, some tired, and down right mean, sometimes the noises would metamorphose to a deafening roar, intruding her thoughts, every now and then, she adjust the grip on her handbag, clutched tightly beneath her armpit, cars screamed all around her, swerving, lurching and veering, trying to overtake each other, drivers yelling curses. 
For weeks on weeks, month on end, Mary had prayed and searched fervently for a job, she doesn't mind which type any longer, for beggars cannot be choosers, she would wake up early in the morning and take her bath like any normal worker would, eat her breakfast and go job scouring, last week she had been to Kawo, the previous week had been Kakuri, submitting copies of her CV as she goes, you never know where luck might find you, and Mary Udo was ready to go anywhere
 In a black Toyota Corolla S, with tinted glasses rolled the way up, the Ac was on and music poured softly from the car stereo, seated dejectedly, with only his thoughts for company, Hayatu adjusted his seat belt for the upteenth time, it was his first day at work, as a driver for Alhaji Tanko, and to show how dedicated he plans to be, he arrived an hour early, if pictures have a thousand memories, then the look Hajiya Mairo gave him have a thousand meaning, and he trust none of them was good, over the years he has had cause to be disappointed with himself, but this one had felt different, he felt cheap, but it was really not his fault, it's hard securing a job, and if showing up an hour earlier is a way of protecting it, then so be it, but even with the Ac turned to Max, he could still feel the persperiration wet his palms, and trickling down his armpit 'God help me'  he muttered to himself, changing the gear, he muscled the throttle all the way down... 
Mary walked briskly, her head held high, with a confidence she no longer possess, once in a while circularization with tall tale salaries caught her attention, but they did not hold it, many of such posters are everywhere in kaduna for anyone who would care to read them, in fact, one of such posters was pasted just beside her door, like someone put it there trying to mock her, but despite the posters and the improbable salary it promises, people are still looking for jobs, which proves it another scheme, in this town, you only trust what you know, and you don't know anything, except the life you own, but she did not finish that thought, in the briefest of moment, something as quick as the blink of an eye, a black Toyota Corolla S, with tinted glasses rolled all the way up, hurled Mary with an incredible force that she never knew what hit her, 
Mary Udo, applicant 202, as printed on a small card contained in the scattered contents of her handbag, was dead even before her body hit the ground, sirens wail in the distance, the rain clouds were now as black as smoke rising from hell, and in kaduna, when the rain clouds gathers, it rains
Time moves slowly while you are waiting and that was why Alhaji Tanko sat in his office browsing nonchalantly at a file, applicant 202 it read, she has all the qualifications, why didn't she showed up for the interview? The question hung unanswered in the office trapped air as he dropped the file, if he cared his face did not betray it, his demeanor was unchanged, a quick glance at his wristwatch place the time at twenty seven minutes after five, the interview had taken all day, five hundred people had applied for a job for just 3,and his new driver was late, might be the rain, he reasoned to himself, moving to the window, he opened it a bit, and the air came splashing on his wrinkled face, warm, damp, and cold, caressing him like the soft palms of a new born baby.

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