I stumbled, drunk to stupor from my earlier get together with my friends. It had become daily routine; sleep through the day, party all night. I had nothing to worry about, I was handsome enough to draw the girls, witty enough to keep the conversation going and had enough money to make them stay. I blast through millions of naira in weeks without a care ‘there’s more where that came from’ I always said with a grin. Everything was provided for me, my whole life and the life of my children unborn was settled.
Due to my father’s busy schedule I was given birth to when my parents were past their prime. My father already sprouted white hairs before I clocked one. My mother died during child birth, I was a lonely child. My only companion was money.
My father would always summon me once a week to spend ‘quality time’ as he called it. It consisted of long talks about his life history, how he didn’t wear shoes to school, how he had only a shirt and a trouser in his university days. But he always ended with this analogy.
‘Ade, life isn’t ice cream. Life is like eating hot yam, you must not slack or else you will get burnt. You must be wise as a serpent. It’s only those who are smart that can eat yam straight from boiling oil.’
A year later my dad died and I was running the company. Another year after that I was on the streets and in the garage, betrayed by my best and trusted friend who embezzled funds while convincing the board of directors that I was incompetent and unfit to head the company. Due to my reputation of lavish spending, the missing funds were pinned on me and because of my inexperience in business management all these happened under my nose with me being none the wiser.
My father’s words ring through my ear now as I swing blows in the garage. ‘You must be wise as a serpent’ I took his words with levity and my inheritance was swept from underneath me. I am living proof that life isn’t ice cream.