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Isn't life a bowl of cherries?

Dec 24, 2009, 1:30 PM | Article By: Isatou Dumbuya

I am a young man of about thirty and fit enough to marry.

Before long, I took in a wife and we went to the town far from our parents, to live and make our own family.

As the days went by, we came to get used to married life, and the shock of living in the city hit us hard like a blow.

The cost of electricity, water and food skyrocketed everyday. We were forced to resort to using the candle during night time.

To top it all, Joan and I lived in a home that was home to other fifty people with a single toilet that was on the brink of falling down. It was fenced with old corrugated iron sheets which had holes that leave nothing to the imagination of the onlooker when one is taking bath.

The other day when my wife was taking bath in the afternoon, all the corrugated sheets nearly gave away except for one which fell down and she quickly reached for her towel and wrapped it around her wet body. Some of the male onlookers cursed the rest of the iron sheets for denying them their most awaited show. They did not even have the decency to help put the fallen sheet back, but they stood by and watched her struggle with them.      

Joan and I were most unfortunate to have neighbors who worked less and spent more. Not that it disturbed me, but yes, it disturbed me since every penny they spent was mine, and they never gave me back my money.

So clever were these neighbors that they easily gained the favor of our landlord Koffi Owusu. They changed the money I was forced to give them into dollars and always paid on time. I wondered if I was the only one they did that to.

I on the other hand paid later than they did and earned Mr. Owusu's anger. Each time he demanded his rent money, I would be left with almost nothing.

They had sworn me to secrecy and threatened to kill me whenever I try to reveal their trick to the landlord or the other neighbors.

I know you must be thinking that I am a man who doesn't stand up for himself, but it isn't like that. These neighbors were thugs, armed robbers who rob people at night, and they wouldn?t think twice to get rid of me.

As a young boy, I held on to my mother's hand afraid of the dark, now as a young man I am afraid of death especially in a town where I knew no one and a young wife who was totally dependent on me.

Men's longing was like a moving ship with everything on board. They have to long and wish for it while it sailed away and forced to turn and go back home after watching and longing for a long time.

It was then I knew that I had to do with what I have in a strange and hard town. Isn't life a bowl of cherries?  

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