Lola Opatayo

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Great Expectation

Short Story
men sat on cement blocks facing the road, watching vehicles and people come and
go, waiting for someone to make their day worthwhile. The market opposite them
was gradually filing with up with buyers and sellers, the festive season was
near. They had come with little or no expectation today because nothing
happened yesterday. They had sat down for hours from dawn to late afternoon in
hopes of a job. The few who came with little expectation had heard that two
trucks laden with cement would arrive at the market today. Nafisat the food
vendor approached them, a large stainless steel basin covered with polythene
nylon on her head. Most of them ignored the aroma of her delicious pepper stew;
they had eaten yesterday and had had no work to do, it made no financial sense
to eat again this morning.
tell you, Mustapha swore he saw them at Ogere” one man said
wouldn’t believe Mustapha for a moment even if my life depended on it’ said
you believe, I know those trucks are coming, I got the information from a very reliable
source” yet another man said
argument continued until eventually half of them were convinced that the trucks
were indeed coming. Three hours later, the hot sun burned their skins, the trucks
had not yet arrived and the men were still waiting. Suddenly, someone saw from
afar the two trucks, their hopes surged as they anticipated getting paid at the
end of the day. There was a holdup though, so to pass time they quickly called
on Nafisat to sell them some food.

Finally, the trucks came and pulled up in front of
the market. The men drew near to them, hunger quenched, ready to finally work. The
trucks were opened but alas, in them both were sheep! The men could not believe
their eyes, where was the cement? How would they pay Nafisat? They looked on as
the sheep were herded into the market and the clouds began to gather.    

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