Mary Ann was excited; she had been shortlisted together with the four candidates out of the initial hundred applicants. The five of them who would be called for the final interview the next morning. She was really lucky. Her joy was that, she had overheard the other four candidates discussing on the fact that even if they didn’t do well in the final interview, they would still be retained in the new company.

She was 29 and was married to Ben; they had two kids. Ben was an Engineer. But Ben had travelled with Joan and Kyle on a short holiday for about a week or so. She had really wished to be part of it; she knew they would have lots of fun, but here was a job opportunity before her which she couldn’t forfeit. “They’d still be other opportunities to go and have fun” she thought.

She returned from the market that evening looking tired and exhausted. OH! She had forgotten something; she had forgotten to buy Petrol which will be used to power on the Electric plant. There had been no sign of power (electricity) for a week now; the power holding company had been trying to fix it for a while now, the power would be restored by the coming week like they promised. Her phone battery was already low, and she hadn’t charged her rechargeable lamp either.

She looked at the large wall clock in the sitting room. It was an analogue device, it ticked clumsily in a repeated pattern, it was the only one in the house; Ben had insisted there was no need getting more clocks since it already served the same purpose they needed it to. It was evening; the clock read 5:30. She sighed, she was too tired to leave the house again; but she also needed to charge her phone ahead of the next day’s journey; the company was a 3hrs drive from where they lived. She decided to let it be.

A message popped on the screen of her phone; the interview had been scheduled to hold by 7:00am the next day. The message also contained the location of the final interview venue; it was at the company’s main building just like she knew it would be. She quickly penned down the office details before her phone would trip off. She was writing the last word when it tripped off. She sighed; she didn’t just want to get frustrated. It was already dark, she switched on the rechargeable lamp; it was low, she managed it; she ate dinner, had her bath and went to sleep. She planned to wake up by 3:00am the next morning. If she was to catch up with the interview exercise, she was supposed to be leaving the house on or before 4:00am.


It was still dark when she arose; she was feeling strange that morning. She rushed to the sitting room with the lamp in her hand to check the time. The wall clock read 5:30; she had overslept, she screamed with fear; she quickly went to have her bath, she rushed her food of cereals, she jumped into the car cursing the power holding company under her breath. “If they had restored this power early enough, I would have charged my phone, and the alarm in my phone would have woken me up on time” she murmured. She drove with fear; she knew she would arrive in three hours time. That would be long after the interview would have been concluded.  To her, she would have preferred arriving late than missing out entirely. But she could neither change anything; of course she was already bound to miss the interview she increased her speed.

As she raced through the express, she noticed that no other car was plying the road except hers. Had there been any curfew? Was everyone still asleep? She thought. She was a bit worried and scared. But she told herself it didn’t matter much to her at that time. “First things first”. She braced up and continued moving. She had gone two hours already but the sun wasn’t out yet. She was beginning to get more confused and worried. She slowed down. She had forgotten to charge her phone with an available USB port in the car. She simultaneously plugged it  to charge in one of the ports close to the gearbox while she still tried to carefully drove.. Few minutes later, the device came on. It read 4:15am.

Oh gracious! She was shocked, the wall clock had deceived her; its battery must have stopped functioning. She thought. Mary Ann was happy, sad, angry, and grateful all at the same time. HAPPY that she was more than two hours so  early, SAD that she almost had a heart attack, ANGRY with Ben for not listening to her when she suggested more wall clocks at home, GRATEFUL that she wasn’t kidnapped or accosted while on her way that morning because it was too early to drive. She had no choice but to keep going. She was almost at the interview ground. It was already 5:00am. She was going to wait and wait till it was 7:00am. “Well, I have no choice” she told herself.

When it was 7:00am her phone alarm rang. She awoke from the driver’s sit. She had parked in front of the building and slept off. She quickly hurried into the manager’s office. “The CCTV camera took record of when you arrived, you came so early madam, it really shows you’re committed and punctual. It shows you’ll be of great help to this company”. The middle aged man commented. She smiled and made a gesture of appreciation. “You are the only one hired” he said. She was given some forms to fill and she set out for home.

 An hour later, while on her way back home she couldn’t stop thinking on everything that had just happened. It all looked like a film being played; starting from the wall clock which had deceived her but had turned out to be a blessing in disguise. But more was yet to unfold.

Marry Ann arrived home and met a lot of neighbors who had come to embrace her. Some of them where crying “we thought you had been killed by those robbers who attacked this morning”. One of them said. “Which robbers?” Mary asked looking confused. Then one of the neighbors explained that a group of five armed men had began operating in the early hours of the morning banging and breaking people’s doors, alongside breaking into their houses in that vicinity. The police had been called, but it would take about 45 minutes for them to arrive. The time was enough for them to kill and cart away with people’s valuable properties. They had already attacked some families and had killed many. “It was around 3:00am that I heard bangings on your door Aunty Mary. I could hear it clearly from my window” one of her younger friends said in tears clutching Mary tightly. “I thought you were home and that they would kill you or even take you with them” she said sobbing the more. “But after some minutes when they succeeded to enter, that was when the police arrived, I guess that was when they began exchanging bullets inside your house” she said. The five men had already been apprehended and bundled to the prison.

Mary Ann stood speechless, she picked up her phone to call Ben; he shouted on hearing the news. “Thank God you’re safe dear; we’ll be back tomorrow morning”. Soon everyone left. They had all heaved a sigh of relief when they found out that she was still alive It Mary all alone again. She stepped into the house. She knelt down and prayed. She opened her eyes; she looked up to the wall where the wall clock hung. It wasn’t there anymore. She looked down immediately on the floor; there it was. It had landed on the floor during the exchange of bullets some hours ago.

There was a knock; she opened the door, it was the police; they had come to gather information from her, they also promised to assist in fixing the house before the coming week. She closed the door, she fixed her gaze on the wall clock still lying on the floor it seemed to be ticking clumsily but not moving; the face seemed shattered by two different bullets that had hit it.

She was grateful; the wall clock had saved her life that morning. It had also given her a job too. She picked it up; she had long stopped being angry ever since everything unfolded. She raised it up and said “thank you”. She would not destroy it, neither would she discard it nor give it away. She would change the batteries, fix it and use it to remember this day. It had won a place in her heart. She peered into it again; it still read 5:30.


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