Martians have been out of a job for almost three years and it seems there was no hope of getting another one any time soon.
He had submitted his CV in every organization in town and was even registered with all the job application sites online, yet nothing seems to be forthcoming.
He has been married for four years to his dear wife Alice and their first child was just turning two. Alice has been the one sustaining the home with the little income from her teaching job, although it isn't much they have been able to live on it for the past three years even with the arrival of Jason their son almost two years ago. Things haven't really been easy with them but somehow, they have been surviving.
It was during one of Martin's job hunt that he met Eric.
Martins and Eric were in the same Christian fellowship while on campus and it was such a pleasure to be reunited with each other. They had conversations ranging from their time together on campus where they both served as members of the evangelism and prayer unit, to life after campus and it was really a good time catching up.
Martins opened up on everything that has happened with him and the hard time he's been having and how difficult it has been to find a new job.
Martins graduated with a first-class and landed a bank job immediately after the one-year National youth service which came up a good pay. It was in the bank he met Alice, they both fell in love and got married after a year and a half of courtship.
Well, after their wedding, they both felt Alice didn't need the job after all since Martins was well paid plus he had two official cars and a house to go with it. He was a big boy living large in the finest area in the city of Abuja.
Martins was smart and hardworking and his performance was visibly felt in the bank and before long he became Head of operations and in few years he was fast on his way into becoming a bank manager until tragedy struck. The bank was laying off staff and unfortunately, his name was on the list. He wasn't lazy nor incompetent, I guess its one of those things you could refer to as "life happens" and just like that he lost his job and of course every form of flamboyant lifestyle that came with it.
Every attempt to get another job have proved abortive, not even with his qualifications and wealth of experience
Eric felt sorry for his friend and all he has been through, especially for his wife and son and he promised to assist in any way he could.
Eric, own a car company and was in Abuja to seal a contract deal he got with the Federal house of representative for the supply of new cars to its members. Life was treating him fairly and you could safely say his reunion with Martins was a big blessing.
They met up later that weekend again.
After a good meal and the finest wine which Martians haven't had in the last three years. He broke the silence.
"Eric my man" Martins began, "you've heard and seen everything for yourself, there's nothing to hide from you here. I'm struggling, I can not even afford a three square meal for my family. I can not secure a job, everywhere I go it is either I am overqualified or one sorry story or the other. I am a really tired man.
Hmmm! Your story is a sad one really, if anything of the sort should happen to anyone it shouldn't be you of all people. I mean you were one of the brightest back in school. I guess life isn't really fair after all.
You can say that again Martins replied.
Well thank God we met and I will do anything within my power to get you back in your feet again. I will help you in any way I can but my question is how far are you willing to go to help yourself?
Martins lit up his sorry face and adjusted himself properly on his seat, "I am ready for any business idea you give me right now. Just give me a chance to prove myself please, just a little opportunity"
By this time, Eric was almost on the floor with laughter, "Who says anything about business ideas? Ok, I will go straight to the point because you are no stranger to me. Have you ever heard of the gentlemen club?"
The gentlemen club? Martins asked, yes I have heard of it before but I do not understand how that relates to our discussion.
Martins first heard of the gentlemen's club over three years ago when management was in talks concerning his appointment as a bank manager. The regional manager had hinted it to him in one of their casual talks but he gave his stand that he is not interested in joining any secret cult. He also remembers the regional manager saying it wasn't a secret cult but rather a social gathering of young and smart guys who are making a mark in their various fields of endeavor. He also remembers it was after that conversation he lost his job and haven't been able to secure anyone since then.
It all made sense to him now. His near appointment, loss of a job, inability to secure another job, and even his meeting with Eric were all orchestrated by the gentlemen club.
"Yes, Martins", Eric answered bringing Martins back from his thoughts, "nothing happens for just happening sake. The gentlemen's club is where I belong and if you are willing to join too, then your suffering is over. The ball is in Your court now and I advise you to kick your best shot".
Martins wasn't sure what to make out of what he just heard from Eric.
What about the church and your Christian faith? He asked Eric, I mean we spoke extensively about our days in the student fellowship just two days ago when we met. Have you forgotten all that? and every...
That is exactly my point, Eric interjected you are getting it all wrong. I have told you before, it is not a cult but a social gathering of smart guys like you and I. You will be shocked when you know the people who are members of this club, some of your favorite guy in the church is there and we have branches all over the country and outside the shores of this country too. I'll give you time to think about this properly and make a decision but I won't be in town for long because once my contract with the Federal House of Representative is sealed I need to travel to go make arrangements for the cars to be imported and my brothers in the House have hinted me that it will be approved in the coming week. You see, this is just one of the privileges of being a gentleman. We have eyes and ears everywhere. The ball is all yours now Martins, play it well. That reminds me, I will be worshipping in your church tomorrow, I have some brothers to connect with over there and it will be a good thing to introduce you to them too".
"I will take my leave now" Eric concluded.
As Eric stood to take his leave, he drops two bundles of one thousand naira notes on the table which Martins's banker's eyes roughly counted to be two hundred thousand naira. "please settle the bills with these and there's a cab waiting outside to take you home whenever you are ready"
He tapped Martin's shoulder and said "cheer up bro, your struggle is over" and left afterward.
Photo credit: glassdoor.com
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© Rachel Jesuseme