Moyo wa shujaa: 1

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8 of Erik Kijani With the FBA on strike, Erik is faced with his first struggle as an adult: money. Without signing his contract, Erik needs to find a way to get money fast or he will just be moving backwards.


September 7 2015: Money changes things

It was 7:36 at night. Nabulungi was making some dinner as usual and Dembe was looking through some papers he brought home from his office.

"Honey?" Called out Nabulungi. Dembe didn't answer. He just kept mumbling as he continued to look through the papers.

"Dembe?!" She shouted. Dembe jumped up in shock.

"Eh?! What is it?!" He answered.

"Honey, you have been looking through those papers for hours now. You act like there gonna tell you your fortune or something."

"Oh...they just might, Nabu."

"What do you mean by..."

Suddenly, Erik walked through the front door, looking exhausted and worn out.

"Qujumba." He said.

His parents just waved at him. Erik looked at both of them as they kept looking through the papers. He decided to not concern himself with it and just keep walking to his room. It seemed like something serious, but he didn't want to trouble them even more with his problems. He ran through them all in his head as he put his bag down on the ground.

"So, I get drafted, but I don't have any money, I don't have a job, I don't have an apartment,..." He thought. "This....is just great. And now, I have to explain this to my parents."

Once dinner was set, everyone sat together and ate in peace, but also in silence. Erik seemed puzzled. The first moment he got back, his parents could be happier and never stopped asking questions, but now, they didn't even look at Erik. They just kept their gaze on their plates. Erik decided to break the silence with a question.

"So, how's work going for you two?" He asked. Both of his parents stopped sting and looked at each other.

"It's....fine Erik." Said Dembe. "How is the FBA?...Still on the strike?"

Erik took in a deep breath and said.

"Well, it's still going. Some business-y people want more money and all that...I don't really know."

"So, you are still on the team?" Asked Nabulungi.

"Yes." Erik answered.

"But you can't play?" Asked Dembe.

"...No. They say that I can't play or do anything that is related to the FBA."

Dembe just looked down and sighed. Erik then became nervous. He knew what he had to tell them, but he knew that it wasn't going to be a pleasant conversation. Still, he began to speak.

"There's another thing too." He said. "Since there is a strike...I can't sign the contract and I can't get paid."

Dembe nearly choked on his food. It shocked everyone. Luckily, he swallowed just in time.

"What?!" He yelled. "All this work we did and now you don't get paid?! Wale watt kishetani!"

Erik was a bit startled, but he kept the conversation going.

"Baba...I need to tell you something." He began.

Dembe then looked at Erik. Anger was still in his eyes.

"Baba...I need some money to help me pay for an apartment and some other things."

Dembe sank his head in his hands and sighed. Nabulungi couldn't even look at the two of them. Dembe then looked back up but he couldn't look at Erik. Finally he spoke.

"I'm sorry Erik, but the answer is no."

"What?" Erik said. "Baba, I know it's been a lot of money, but I swear this is the last time I ask."

"No Erik."

"But Baba, I swear, I will pay you back. I promise!"

"Erik!"

"Baba, I swear to you. You will get your money back!"

"Erik! We are in debt!"

The room was silent. Erik sat back in his seat. He felt so clueless. Dembe continued talking.

"We still haven't paid off your school, we still need to pay for this...this shit house...we still need to pay back Shandra!...do you know how much she costs Erik?!....and to make it worse my company is going broke."

Erik couldn't even look at his father. He just seemed so broken. Dembe took another deep breath.

"We will...we will continue to pay for Shandra...but everything else...you're on your own." He said.

Dembe then reached over the table and held Erik's hand.

"I believe that you will be able to get through this. I know that I raised you to take care of yourself...I believe in you son."

Erik let go of his father's hand and said.

"Even when I make the FBA, we're still broke. This world is a shit hole."

"Erik! Watch your tongue!" Said Nabulungi.

"Sorry mama." Erik answered as he stood up from the table. He then walked out of the kitchen and went to his room. Once he went to his room, he slammed the door and fell down on his bed. He was feeling a mixture of sadness, anger, pain, and confusion. He then sat up and looked at the posters of furries he had on his wall. Tazel Tawner, Klaus Korber, Hildegard Tetreault, and Healey Davis.

"I wonder...was it this hard for all of you?" Asked Erik.

Suddenly, his phone started ringing. He quickly answered picked up and looked at the screen. It was Shandra.

"Hey, how fast can ya get ta Orlando?" She asked.

"Uh...I can go there tomorrow. Why?"

"I found ya a way ta make some cash."