The Gambler

“This time I’ll win”, Wisdom thought in his mind. He was at a betting shop and was about to place a bet on the football matches that’ll be played later that day. Wisdom collected his bet slip from the bet agent and he promptly exited the shop in high spirits. While whistling, Wisdom walked slowly on the tarred road oblivious to the things going on around him. He was about to walk past a food canteen but he decided to enter the canteen and buy his first meal of the day. Wisdom sat down at a table without greeting any of the people already sitted. After he’d ordered what he wanted to eat he brought out his mobile phone and he opened his Facebook app.

A lovely teenage girl placed a plate of fufu and egusi soup on the table before Wisdom and then she left to attend to another person. Wisdom washed his hands in the bowl of clean water that had been placed beside his food by a boy of nine and he started eating. He ate slowly like he always did but he was slower than usual because he wanted to spend a lot of time at the canteen. Although his hunger wasn’t fully sated he didn’t order for more food because he didn’t have enough money with him to pay for an extra meal.

The pretty girl came to clear the plates and to collect money from Wisdom. He felt the urge to flirt with her but he stood up from the chair he was sitting on and walked out of the canteen.

“I have to win this time”, he kept thinking in his mind while walking. Wisdom had used the last money with him to pay for the food he bought. He walked aimlessly for sometime until he got to a shop where video games was been played. He greeted his friends and sat down on one of the benches. Wisdom wanted to show his bet slip to a close friend but decided not to do that. He watched the game of soccer been played on one of the screens and wished he had some money to pay for a game also. Wisdom stayed at the game shop till it was dark and then he left and headed towards home. He was still living with his mother at a two-bedroom apartment.

Wisdom knew that his mother wouldn’t be at home; he had purposely stayed out late so that she would have gone out before he got home. His mother was a nurse at a hospital and he knew she was on night duty that day. After he had eaten the food she left for him, Wisdom sat down and watched a show on T.V. He occasionally checked the matches he’d placed bets on to see if he was winning. Wisdom ticked the ones he won till there was only one match left. He started smiling because he was sure Barcelona was going to win the match. Wisdom started planning how he was going to spend the money he was going to win. He slept off about thirty minutes before the last match started.

*****************************

The first thing Wisdom checked when he woke up around 4am was the result of the match. When he saw that the result of the match was draw his heart sank and he felt like crying. How was he going to pay his friends the money he was owing them. Wisdom hoped his mother wouldn’t notice the money he’d stolen from her purse before he left home the previous morning.

Adewuyi.

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