The Betrayal

By Baraka Damien

In the year 2020, while performing my duties as an airport taxi driver, I picked up a woman and took her to the reception where she had to wait for her relatives to come and pick her up. She realized she had left her pricey suitcase at the plane as she exited the taxi. She was quite concerned since they said the luggage contained priceless goods that she could not risk losing. She became calm after I made a promise to search and bring her the bag. When I went to look for her purse, I discovered it. She expressed her happiness for me by giving me a stock tip to invest in as a sign of her gratitude. Despite the advice, I refuted this because I lacked the funds to invest in equities. She then extended her body to me. I again objected. She emphasized that she wanted to express her gratitude to me in some way. After a little argument about how to express her gratitude, I ask her to support my business idea. I had the paperwork, but I lacked the funds to put the plans into action. I needed $15,000 to put my plan into action. We had to split ways because she neither had that money nor a person who could assist me.

Two years later, the woman I assisted in getting her bag returned called me from a new number. She knew some donors who might support my proposal. I had to pay $1,000 to enter the pitch competition and at least $3,000 to bribe two of the three judges, which I did not have at the time. I could receive up to $25,000 if funded.

The pitch would take place in Galilee, where I happened to be. My business concept was already written in draft form, and I was confident it would be chosen. I only had to take care of the payment. I called a Bethlehem-based buddy who I was confident could offer assistance. “Let’s meet in the evening at Judas’s tavern in Golgotha”, he said. I felt loved, hopeful, and full of faith.

They anticipated that I would arrive at 5 o’clock and wanted to be there before me. I was there by 4 o’clock, and exactly at 4:30 o’clock he and Delilah showed up. Just as he arrived, I greeted them and called him in a secret place to inquire about the transaction, he responded, ”Hey, let’s drink. Enterprise later.” On this day, he was the happiest man ever and was purchasing various types of booze. I attempted to go slowly, but he persuaded me to drink more by drawing comparisons between me and Delilah. He would yell at the bartender while I was drinking my alcohol, ”He needs another drink, please”.

He took the three of us to Pilate restaurant around 8 o’clock, where he had reserved a table for us to talk business. Delilah joined us because she was going to be our witness. He suggested we get the costliest meal and wine in the restaurant because he had just got promoted at work. We did as such and started talking about business. I thought this was the most fascinating time since I could see myself living in a fantasy world, and I relished every second of it. But what surprised me was how curious my friend was. Because it was a substantial sum of money, he needed to be certain that I could actually return it before he agreed to part with it. In my desperation, outlined my business plan and the connections I had built. Being accustomed with this type of pitching and negotiations, he was amazed and requested for the link to my draft concept so he could add a few points to make it more compelling. Delilah advised that since we were inebriated and discussing such crucial matters in that manner, I give him the link and continue the talk another day. This was somewhat accurate, so my friend copied the link so he could assist me in adding the points the next morning.

He had spent at least $1,500, half of what I required, when we parted ways at 11 p.m. He handed me $200 for fuel as I was leaving and said he would give me cash the next morning but insisted I had to pay him back whether my deal worked out or not.

I got out quite content. I called him several times the following day, but he never answered. I thought to myself, ”he’s busy; he’ll call back.” I waited for him to pick up after three hours, but he only said, ”I’m in a meeting, I’ll call you back.” I was reassured, but I had to wait for hours, and it was now getting late. He didn’t pick up when I called again. Then I convinced myself that he wouldn’t be of any assistance to me, and he did not call back. My pitch was set the 1 week but the payment was to be made at least 2 days before pitch day. I lost hope and decided not to participate in the pitching round because I didn’t have any money to contribute and thought I couldn’t win without it. As a cab driver at the airport, I keep up my daily grind.

I learned that he had received the award six months later while watching the week in review news on the national television. It was a miracle that a man from Capernaum had ever won such a large sum of money in a competition; it was history for the nation. He applied using my concept behind my back, paid for the deal, and got the fund.

A year later, I was awarded a $50,000 funding without having to spend anything to qualify. And few months later, he contacted me to ask for my assistance in marketing his company, it was really getting to the decline and he needed a back up to boots and attract investors. I sent him a rate card which he never replied to. I suppose he expected me to work for nothing. As for myself, I enjoy seeing the success of those around me because that is part of my social capital. A man is successful when people around him are successful and no matter how wealthy you are, if you live among impoverished neighbors, you are also poor. I have learnt in life that we need to do good and follow the right path with justice. Short cuts are short indeed and no wonder if you want to go far, you need to walk slow. Dream it possible, beyond the average and stay patient for the best is yet to come and patience is the virtue.

28 February, 2023