Light At The End Of The Tunnel

Light At The End Of The Tunnel

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"There is hope for the living, you don't need to beat yourself this hard," Mrs Patt Encouraged Jalen.

Jalen raised his head from in between his legs, his eyes looking red, "seven trials and you think I still have hope? Some of us only came to accompany others in this life," he replied softly, as though he was forced to talk.

Mrs Patt chuckled and Pat him on the shoulder, "My son, there is no rush in life. Trying and failing many times doesn't mean that you won't succeed. Do you remember the story of Thomas Edison? How many times did he fail before succeeding in his quest to come up with a light bulb?" She asked.

"1000 times," Jalen answered, "but…"

"No buts," she interrupted, "when a but comes in, it spoils everything. Just be optimistic, never quite trying as far as it's what you dream of. If a great man like Thomas failed 1000 times before succeeding, then who are you not to fail?"

"But I am 25, there is no time Mom," Jalen replied.

"Time is an illusion dear. There is always time, you can make it for yourself by building capacity as you wait," Mrs. Patt Responded.

"Fine, I surrender, you win Mom. I am just so lucky to have an amazing woman like you as my mom. You won't ever allow negativity to win," Jalen praised Mrs Patt, his Mother.

"See who is talking about negativity, take my bag inside, then get something to eat. I am sure you ate nothing since you saw that list," she replied as she lay on the couch.

Jalen stood up and took the bag from the table and said "If it's food, you know there is no problem on earth that could separate me from it. in all circumstances, eat first, they both chorused."

"You eat a lot yet you don't even grow fat. That's by the way. Your father said you should iron his dress before he comes back. I forgot to tell you in the morning before going to work," Mrs Patt responded

"Alright Mommy, I will do just that, thanks for giving me hope again," He replied, as he took the bag to the room.

Jalen's dream was to be a soldier, as soon as he clocked 18, he has been applying for the job but to date, he has not been succeeding yet he would not give up.

But his last trial discouraged him, they say "Time wait for no one," he has spent almost seven years applying for one thing to no avail.

After that conversation with his Mom, he said "I'll give it one more trial and if doesn't work, I'll change my mind."

The following year he was scrolling through posts on Facebook and he saw a random post. "Zabadian army recruitment is ongoing, don't hesitate to check it out if you haven't."

Jalen's heart skipped, he even forgot the date the army portal opened. He told his parents about it. They advised him to apply but he was reluctant.

A week before the closing of the portal, his mom asked him while they were dining. "Jalen, you didn't show us the form you applied for the job, neither did you even talk about it as usual. Is there something you are telling us?"

"That's true, boy, what happened?" his dad stopped eating and asked.

"Mom, Dad, all is well," he replied after taking one spoonful of the delicious jollof rice his mom prepared.

"Then why didn't you show us proof of application?" His Dad asked again.

"Dad, seven trials? I am tired, if you were in my shoes, I am sure you would have done the same," He replied when they continued asking questions.

"Boy, it's not easy to cope with failures, but don't give up on your dreams," His Dad responded.

Jalen kept mute and continued eating without saying a word again.

"Father and son, please table manners," Mrs Patt teased them.

After the meal, Jalen entered his room, so many thoughts and doubts running through his mind. "Well, let me give it another try," he said as he picked up his phone and registered.

The next day he went and printed the slip and brought it to his parents. "Good, that my son, God will see you through okay?" His Mother encouraged him after seeing the form.

Hmm, he sighed, "I heard you Mom, amen," He replied as he walked to his room.

Months passed, and one fateful Monday he got a call from the guy he printed the slip from the cafe. "Congratulations Jalen, you have been shortlisted for screening, it's taking place two days from now."

"Oh! Thank you, sir," Jalen replied. He was not so interested in the news because there was one more stage to pass before getting the job. Considering how corrupt his country was he never saw the chance of him passing.

He almost kept the matter to himself but his conscience didn't let him, so he broke the news to his parents. And they encouraged him.

After the screening, the next list came out and his name was still there, when he told his mom about it, she screamed "This could only be God, keep going."

At this point, his hopes started coming alive medical screening is always the toughest but he kept being positive and kept encouraging himself.

But when he went for the medical screening he was discouraged, a lot of people who looked fit for the job were disqualified. When he returned home from the screening which took place in the 177 battalions, Kalinga, his mom asked "How it went."

He replied "Fine," and walked inside looking sad, deep down he was like, "I just wasted my time, I am already disqualified." Of a truth, his height was not even up to requirements.

First, in history, Jalen took a teaching job in one of the private primary schools in his community and seemed to be happy working there.

His parents were surprised that he was not even talking about the army anymore.

On a Sunday evening his father returned home and called him, when he came he said, "Jalen, I heard the army list is out Have you checked it?"

"No sir, I haven't but I don't think I have made it. So, no need to waste my energy going to the cafe," Jalen replied.

"My dear, how many times will I tell you to always stay positive? Mommy, Jalen, your boy is becoming something else, seems you will need to lay hands on him to impact positivity into his head," the father made fun of him.

Mrs Patt looked at Jalen and just sighed.

While they were in that conversation Jalen's phone rang, and when he checked the caller it was the guy from the cafe. His heart cut, "Excuse me, Dad, let me go and answer this call," Jalen took permission and walked some distance from his parents in the sitting room.

"Hello, good afternoon sir," Jalen greeted.

"Afternoon my officer, congratulations, your name has been shortlisted, you are among those who successfully passed the medical screening. You are now a soldier sir," The cafe guy replied on the phone.

Jalen screamed, his parents rushed to confirm what was wrong when they came he told them the news, his father didn't hesitate, he took him and they went to the cafe for confirmation and it was true.

Jalen couldn't believe the whole thing, it was like magic before his eyes. Imagine, his dream came to pass when he was on the verge of giving up.

Jalen went for training and passed out, he was posted in the northern part of his country to serve.

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