Submitted into Contest #125 in response to: Write a story including the phrase “Better late than never”.... view prompt


Fiction Contemporary Happy

     I woke up to the beam morning light, blissful breeze find it way in through the half opened window, still lying on my bed sprawly, and receiving the pleasure of the beautiful morning with my fluffy pillow, it's day break again. Very difficult to get up, I get this fever every morning and I could not help it. It would have been so fantastic to continue the sleep but work would not permit, not work this time but a drilling session with the Regional Supervisor, to come up at the back of our office. 

I gaped as my eyes took a quick trip to the partly patched and carefully fitted wall clock, 5:20am. Still enough time to get prepared and be at the venue before 6:00am, lateness is not my thing today, the time is friendly today, the frequency timer is always accurate but the clock has always been bad luck, the reason I smashed it the other day, but today's case is different. 

    I find myself on my feet, dashing to the door, thunderstorm was tormenting what was supposed to have been a beautiful Saturday morning, our paramilitary drilling day. I came out of my room. Behold, the breeze outside was cool and gentle, suddenly it gushed from the north and moved to the west ferociously, the sky turned gloom.

    I rushed back into the room, I hasted to the bathroom with a bucket of water with moderate temperature in my right hand, I rushed to be at the venue before the rain would start to pour. Lateness has been my culture for the past couple of weeks in the office, it has fetched me several unprinted names, my latest lateness was cause by a fatal accident, that blocked the major road, I had to alight from my cab and do the walk, thereby it got me ten minutes behind time, my Incessant reason for lateness is no more welcomed as our drilling must take place promptly, as a security outfit, the drilling commence 6:00am. The regional Supervisor was the one to take us on the drilling session and I must not showcase my lateness if I don't want to get fired. 

    How would I sail through if the rain starts? what would be the consequence if I arrive late in the presence of our Regional Supervisor? Would I be relevant to the management with this my culture of lateness? These questions continued revolving around my head like solar system. 

    About thirty minutes to be at my office, twenty minutes walk away from home, often day's, during working days, I use ten to fifteen minutes washing myself up from dirts of previous day's work but now I had three more minutes to make it eight in the bathroom.

    I jumped out of the bathroom, I was too in a rush to perceive the incessant smell emanating from the unwashed bathroom walls and drainage used by the tenants in the building. It smells like rotten fruits. Infact, it is an opened grave to me. There was no option left for me when I was searching for apartment as the room, bathroom and kitchen was exactly the size of my pocket. 

    Dressing myself up was like cutting a cake. At a drop of a hat, rain began, it sounded like hundreds of pebbles were been thrown on the roof. No. No.. No... not today not this morning. It started with heavy down pour. 

    A childish rhythm came into my mouth even at my advanced age, couple of months to my 25th birthday, gone are the days that we say these words while we run in the rain unclad. I tried to push the deprecating word off my mouth but it kept coming and I let it flow freely.

     Rain  Rain  Rain

     You  are  assigned  to  your


     Stop  your  devine  assignment.

     Let  adamic  being  define  his


     To  have  devine 


     Not  to  labour in  vain. 

     A  munificent Angel  don't 

     Stop the other.

     Let  meet  later  days

     Many  reservoir  to  fill,

     We  Labour to  gain

   I sat on the bed, I repeated the rhythm twice hoping the rain would stop, but it drops was now thin, hitting the roof faster repeatedly, it rained cats and dogs. I dozed off in my deprecating and slack words but got the hold of myself at the sound of thunderclap.

   I picked up my cell phone, about to place a call through to our branch Supervisor, to tell him that am very sick, that I would not be able to come for the Saturday drilling. If I could do just that, it will evade me the embarrassment of coming late again, thereby the Regional Supervisor would not kick me out of the system. He is a cruel man, about couple of months earlier, He sacked a guard for sitting down while on duty, the guard was supposed to be standing when the regional Supervisor arrived. With just that the guard got fired. I dropped the phone, I could not make the call. 

     Go... Better be late than never, my heart said that to me. I followed my heart, at same time getting ready to be sacked. Whatever the outcome of my lateness this time, am ready for it.

     The rain subsided and started a light showers at about 6:40am, fourty minutes gone past the normal time I was supposed to get to the drilling venue, I took the bull by the horn in self pity and tiptoed myself into the street. I was the only soul on the empty rainy street, everyone at the neighbourhood was standing at their doorsteps and verandas waiting for the rain to cease, purposely to go hawking, some to their work places and some to their shops. They stared at me, their eyes were hot nails and it pears deep into my skin but later it occurred to me that their staring came out from their pity heart. 

    I was not budged, getting to office was what occupied my mind as I am a later comer, I was already late. The unwelcomed rain continued to wrecked it havoc with the light showers, the lovely) weather for dusk has pushed me into a jam and I could not help it. The rain whistle from every house I passed by, like there was ghost standing at every corner of each building but that did not deter me from getting to office. I got to office with partly drenched clothes. 

    "Morning sir" I saluted my branch supervisor immediately I sighted him.

     "Ataa... This 7:10am, put on your uniforms quickly." he commanded me. 

     I was a plane to the dressing room, I dressed up. I entered the courtyard, situated at back of our office, one of the leading city bank. I was late as usual, even as the the drilling did not start as scheduled, due to the heavy rainfall, it actually started fifteen minutes before my arrival, in the middle of the light shower. Some of the guards were drenched and some partly drenched. 

     "hey...!  Who are you? Are you one of us?" the Regional Supervisor shouted with his masculine voice immediately he saw me coming, my heart started jumping, I tried to calmed myself but my efforts ended in futility. I took a step forward to close the gap between me and my fellow guards.

     "yes, sir!" I responded

     "that doesn't answer my question.. Who are you....? Are you one of us...? He yelled at me the second time. I shivered a little but I managed to be still and I delayed my response so that I can give accurate answers to his questions to avoid embarrassment.

   "I am Ataa Kwame, I am one of the guards in this branch." I picked my words carefully.

   "you are late..... Thank your creator that you eventually came, had it been you are not here today, your service is over.... Tell those that are not hear, another person will take up their duty starting from monday" he finalized.

    The rush hour was over but my heart wouldn't stop trying to jump from inside my chest, as if it currently playing game of skipping ropes. I would have lost my job if I had placed that call to the branch Supervisor earlier, that I won't make it to the drilling venue. I made It, I secured my job to be sacked another day.

December 19, 2021 07:14

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Graham Kinross
06:09 Jan 10, 2022

Powerful words. Well done.


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15:21 Dec 24, 2021

As a North American Canadian reading your work, my immediate reaction is -- so much formal language! So overblown! And yet, I have read other African writers and have worked to make space in my repertoire of reading to appreciate the way others use English. Your imagery is powerful. "thunderstorm tormenting what was supposed to be a Saturday morning" is a glorious phrase. And "their staring came out from their pity heart" is not a phrase anyone I know personally could or would write and yet it speaks deeply to me. While I personally can't r...


17:48 Dec 24, 2021

Charlene Boyce, I so much appreciate you for taking time to give me your advise, it shows I have a long way to go. This why I need good editor. Thank you so much.


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09:37 Dec 19, 2021

The Lord is your strength.. keep up the good work. Nice one


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