Celebrating East African Writing!
The white walls with intermediate breaks of yellows and greys worked well. A massive aquarium intruded upon the middle of one of the walls, allowing one to look into the next room through the brightly colored Neon Tetras, the gold fish and the other exotics that meandered in their twilight; short term memory world.
Their world was simple. It reminded him of Dori in “Finding Nemo”. He looked back at the consultant sitting opposite him intently looking at the report that Sammy Kaburu had brought with him from the Labs. The half moon glasses perched delicately at the tip of his nose, Sammy concentrated on them, willing them to drop off. They moved slightly forward and then magically moved back. The consultant looked up from the report finally and looked at Sammy.
“How are you feeling?”
“Not bad, apart from that little discomfort in the stomach. Its not bad but it takes away my concentration from time to time.”
The consultant, a prominent surgeon had seen many cases and this one was no different.
“There is no way to say this gently,” he stated as he removed his glasses. “You have a very aggressive and malignant form of cancer.”
Sammy’s heart missed a beat. “That seems rather permanent and final,” he replied, a slight tremor in his voice.
“Well, it really depends on how one looks at it, I would say, but its not as quick as one would think and we can do certain things to prolong life, Sammy. First, I would like you to take time and listen as I explain exactly what you have and then we can go through the various options open to you.”The Surgeon came around the table and put his hand on the young man’s shoulders.
“How else does he want me to look at it?” Sammy wondered. It was final there was no turning back around this corner.
He left the consultants office walking in a daze. One year! That was all he had been given. That was an estimate, he would check with another doctor and a third, if necessary. He walked to the car and got in. He had too many things to get done and they would have to be done quickly. Life had not been easy for Sammy. He had graduated from LSE in London and come back home. Jobs had been there but the cost of a marriage and kids had made his life a struggle. He had tried three times to start a business and each one had failed.
Hell! His life had failed. Sammy had found it hard but over the last five years he had managed to put away 200,000 dollars. That was through meager living, hardship, a patient wife and to top it all, an interfering sister.
She had her own life but the age difference always made Sammy the underdog. She had interfered with his businesses, always influencing his decisions and eventually the outcome had been for the worse. He always listened to her no matter what his wife said.
Sammy could see the frustration in Lydia’s eyes as she saw him go through failure after failure. His children; a boy and a girl were aware of their father’s predicament and every time their mother’s nature prevailed, continuing to have faith in him, trusting him and always giving him all the support they could. The 200,000 was not going to take them far and with the medical expenses escalating Sammy was on the edge. He had no life insurance or medical insurance. His desperation was almost open.
He could not lay this on the family. All this went through his mind on his way back to his office. It was practically empty. Everything was gone. All he had left was the money in the account and the little laptop computer. He had sold everything to keep things going. His sister, on the other hand, had a very successful husband, with government contracts and racking in millions she was comfortable. However she had wanted her share of their father’s small savings. Sammy had used his small share to take him through college, yet Grace, his sister had continued to demand that Sammy owed her money. He had continued to give her as much as he could, exhausting his dwindling savings. The law had been on her side, and he had obliged. Now he was facing his final battle.
The cost of living was about to go beyond his limit. He opened the computer and looked at the screen. The numbers flashed continuously. The currency prices moved up and down. In less than a year he had to clear his debts, set up a permanent base, set up the future for his children, and provide a package that would allow Lydia and the children to have a comfortable life for the rest of their lives. How in God’s name was he going to achieve that in less than a year when he had not done so in his entire life time?
The door opened and Grace stood there. “Hello, little brother!” Sammy looked up warily.
“How are the stocks doing? I told you to buy Systematics, did you buy it?”
“No, I have been busy with some other things that were rather pressing, but I will get onto it.” replied Sammy.
“The problem with you, Sammy, is that you never listen.”
Sammy’s blood pressure mounted.
“Besides you still owe me 100,000 dollars.”
In sheer desperation Sammy looked at her, it was a moment of weakness.
“What do you want me to do Grace?”
“I want you to listen to me. You have been a failure all your life. You will continue to be a failure. I will not be a part of that failure. So I am going to make you a deal. I want you to split that 200,000 dollars you have and you are going to invest my 100,000 as per my instructions. To the T. Do you understand me?”
Sammy nodded to her in defeat.
She opened her purse and took out a list.
“These are the stocks I want you to trade my share. They will be a long term investments. I believe that they will do well. A friend of mine who is the wife of a stocks broker gave me the list. She says these are the future. Follow them to the T. Do not deviate. I want this done today and I want a written confirmation from the bank. After that you and I will be even.”
She left the list lying on his empty table along with Sammy’s miseries and walked out. He folded his hands and began to cry silently. It was a bad day.
He slammed the computer top shut. As he did so he heard a noise. It was the live currency program that he had set up to trade currency futures through leverage. Something had happened, but Sam had not made a BUY or even started to trade yet.
©Jaimin Vyas 2010. This is part of a longer story. The rest will be published later.
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