ANGEL IN THE SHADOWS (I) SHORT STORY

Intro:
This is the beginning of a short story series that shows how faith and life in a secular world sometimes intersect and what that intersection can throw up. Enjoy and be inspired!

ANGEL IN THE SHADOWS

The last thing Hassan wanted at the moment was female attention. A young woman that lived opposite his house was hitting on him and doing a really bad job of it this evening. She had come over to his front porch and had been making inane conversation for the past five minutes. Right now she wanted to know what he did for a living. In order not to be rude, he asked her to take a guess. She abandoned that course and invited him to join her on her early morning jogs.

“Just like that! What is wrong with girls of today?” he asked himself. “You hold one conversation (correct that to a one-sided chat) with a man and you want him to accompany you somewhere by dawn.”

All he wanted was to get some fresh air. But again, he didn’t want to seem impolite, so he promised he will join her sometime in the future, reiterating he wouldn’t be disposed to do so for a month or so lest she come knocking on his door in a few days.

Hassan had recently lost his job at a big firm because he refused to do an under-the-table job for his employers. He had been asked to find out their competitor’s quotation for a job so that his firm could underbid them and get the contract. It was an oral order and although hacking had been his strong suit while in school, it was not on the scale of the type of industrial espionage the firm was requiring of him. And he had put all that behind him after graduation.

He had hoped to make a reasonable contribution by making virtual communication between the firm’s headquarters and its branches hitch-free. He had improved documentation, networking and had even started writing computer programmes to help the staff perform some tasks with less stress. He was quite proud of how he was running the IT department until the head of security approached him with the order, claiming it was from the CEO.

Hassan had asked to see the CEO or, at least, for a written brief which he hoped he could use to protect himself in the event something went wrong. He didn’t want to start telling a story like Jerome Kerviel’s against Societe General Bank when he was charged with sharp trading practices. It would be too late to cry when the head is off. When the firm saw he was balking, he was fired on a trumped-up charge of consistently pocketing his department’s imprest funds.

With no savings (he had just paid two years’ rent advance on his residence), he was feeling claustrophopic, choked with worry as he was, when he decided to step out to the porch. He would have loved to challenge his dismissal through a lawsuit, but something told him he didn’t have a fighting chance against big business.

He forced a smile when he saw the young lady before him doing so. Apparently, she had said something funny which he hadn’t caught. He pleaded that he needed to go in and do some work ’cause he didn’t know how much more of her blabbing he could take. Oblivious to his irritation, she animatedly bade him good night and strolled back to her place.

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As Hassan watched her walk away, he noticed she had a really good figure and he recalled her smile was delightful. If only he wasn’t so worried about the pits he was in, he may have found her company less irksome.
-To be continued-
Ⓒ Edith Ugochi Ohaja 2016

Was Hassan stupid to take a stand that cost him his job?
Having lost the job, was he right to give up without a fight?
How do you rate his handling of the young woman’s attention?

The next segment shows the beginning of Hassan’s life as an unemployed man. Don’t fail to read because a mystery will enter the plot, one you’ll love to know about.
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I am a university lecturer. I teach Mass Communication, mostly writing courses like Feature and Interpretative Writing, Magazine Article Writing and News Writing, and let’s just say I’ve been doing this for a long time. As you have probably guessed, I am a born-again Christian.

86 thoughts on “ANGEL IN THE SHADOWS (I) SHORT STORY

  1. No pain, no gain, right? maybe God is working out a better plan for him…remember God said all things work together for good. Am sure God is not folding his arms n just watching him go tru all this!!! Hassan is gifted. If only he would just relax n pray, maybe, just maybe he would find the motivation…a path! And the girl, oh! When a woman loves a man- that’s how they say it. I may not b an expert, but I think Hassan should just give her a break. She just wants to talk. Who knows? Maybe the inspiration he needs might just come from her…whatever she has to say…I mean, God works in mysterious ways. the person u least expect might just be the path to ur breakthrough…what more does he has to loss? in stead of kiilling himself with thoughts of how he had helped built a company that rejected him… the question now is what’s the way forward?

  2. Dn’t look 2 d past bcos it wil make him pasturistic. Let him look 2 d future, it wil make him futuristic!

    • Thanks a lot. Glory to God! You’re right. Dwelling on the past can limit what we do and achieve in the present. Remain blessed.

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  6. his integrity will surely speak for him..certainly…people should not dwell in their past because it will keep drawing them back..hope for the better in the future…his is a nice story..thumbs up

  7. That Hassan didn’t freak out on the girl hitting even in all the pain he was in shows his gentle character. i love the link up between Hassan discussion with the girl and also narrating his fate in the hands of his ex employers. Nice story.

    • Wow
      This story got me gripped. He did just the right thing, I mean he could get another job but if he did what they asked him to do without anything to back him up, by the time his head would come rolling they will be nowhere to be found.
      I hope he pulls through.

  8. i love Hassan’s courage, one thing is Sure, God cannot forsake him for taking such a bold step.yes he was right for not fighting,that company must surely regret sending a guy with such potentials away

  9. he took the right decision ever, its true that it will affect him but God has a way of blessing his people.nice story

  10. I believe his dignity was far more important than taking such risk for his bosses. I hope he bounces back.
    Mehn, that girl’s a flirt! How very desperate.

  11. He didn’t want to indulge in anything under the table; that was him upholding his integrity and exercising his freewill not stupidity. He lost his job but God can through it, open doors for him. He might have just passed an important test in his life. Kudos!

  12. Indeed Hassan acted a in matured way and I believe that when certain things like this happen and we still maintain our intergrity,then greater ones will be given to us by God. What a lovely touching story!!

  13. Hassan is indeed an unbroken man…in situations like this all we have to do is just believe in God no matter what. indeed a character to mimic

  14. No Hassan wasn’t stupid to have taken his stand. The situation was more like saying, take this amount of money and go against the will of God. For everything there is a reason. I think God has a better plan for him.

  15. no he wasnt stupid atall and he not wrong when he decided to let go the case because i dont think there are enough evidence at his disposal

  16. He was right to leave without a fight because when your hands are clean, God will always find a way to help you out.

  17. Hassan did the right thing. if he had involved himself if caught he would bear the consequences. Hassan would not have the ability to fight such a company. he did well not to disrespect the lady. interesting…..

  18. which is better: for your integrity to be maintained or soiled… I think our country will be better than her present situation if about 70% will be like Hassan.. he was wise in making such decision

  19. Beautiful story. Hassan did the right thing by maintaining his integrity, God will always reward an upright man. It was also good he didn’t file for a lawsuit…he may not be able to stand the company and even if he manages to win, it wouldn’t still make sense. One would not love to be in a company that is work-unfriendly environment.

    He was also a very sensitive young man, considering the way he handled the young lady. He could have easily reacted harshly to her and her inane questions.

    • Yes, he was, especially as he was burdened with anxiety at the time. Thanks a lot, Miracle! It’s always a pleasure to hear from you. Wish you a terrific hew year in Jesus’ name.

  20. Always stand on what you believe if it is Right. You can be d change we all are hoping for. Hassan I love your personality, keep it up

  21. Err.. i think he did thye right thing morally. Yes it cost him something at the moment but i believe something better will come.

  22. Looking back to the past is really not going to help matters…this story really got me and taught me something which is the future is the way forward, holding unto the past is going to draw us back and weigh us down…forward all the way

  23. no matter the situation we find ourselves, it pays to be ourselves, nice and polite to people, even strangers. You can never tell when you come across an angel

  24. Well, he had a lot going through his mind and I think that helped him handle the girls attention satisfactorily.

  25. We have Angels in the world in motions of humans, we have angels always here to helps us all. We should be careful how we treat others because we never can tell if they are our Angels.

  26. I feel is wrong for Hassan to have just left the way he did, but I wouldn’t blame him totally, some persons have got a living conscience and feels awkward doing some thing at the expense of another. He can not hide the situation surrounding his job for long, it will be better he makes friends with her to enable him move on, who knows she might be an instrument of upliftment.

  27. No he wasn’t stupid to take a stand that cost him his job, for me he did the right thing. just that its a pity he had to lose his job and he can’t even fight back. As for the lady i believe he will come around.

  28. I think he was just observing moral ethics. Too sad, this country believes in ‘if you can’t beat them, you join them’.
    Since he didn’t have much evidence and backings, he couldn’t have pursued the case. Rather than spend money fruitlessly on the case, it’s better to give up.
    As for the girl, I think he should just loosen up and make friends with her. It might not be a bad idea after all.

  29. Hassan did very well by not partaking in corrupt practices, i commend him for that. But in this country, one needs to understand the rules, ethics and morals does not lead you anywhere.Hassan took a very big risk and i hope he will be okay with it at the long run. Hassan should not have ignored the girl. Sometimes, we do not know where our help would come from. We should be open to everyone we meet.

  30. In this our country, if you dont join them you are gone. That is the case of Hassan, good thing his integrity is secured already which will surely pay back in the future. And the girl, let’s watch as the story unfolds

  31. ‘If you can’t beat them, you join them’ that’s exactly what most people would advise but they forget that all is vanity. Getting involved in underhand jobs is a sin and Hassan knew fully well that if he had done the job, it was definitely not going to stop there. Who knows what may have happened next, he may have ended up in prison or still be sacked. A very beautiful story.

  32. Hassan wasn’t stupid at all. He did the right thing by refusing to do something as underhanded as that. It would have plagued his conscience non-stop. It was also good that he left peacefully. Going against big business like he thought, is not a small endeavor. Well i can’t blame him for not paying attention to his neighbour. I mean,in his situation,that’s the last thing he should be thinking about. Now to the next part

  33. I believe he did the right thing, even though it cost him his job, if Hassan is a Christian, he sure must have considered it’s against his Christian virtues to do such undercover, he equally did the right thing not to waste his money in filing a suit, it would have been a waste of time and resources as there is no justice in our society’s judicial system, the bourgeoisie will always work things out in their favour. Finally, a lady in his life at this point is certainly not what he needs just like the thesis of the story reads. there’s a saying- “first thing first”

  34. this story is very interesting. Hassan actually did the right thing so he has no cause to regret. it wasnt much of a suprise that he was irritated by the lady who was trying to strike a conservsation with him. Icant wait to read the part 2.

  35. Poor Hassan. Hassan wasn’t wrong in declining to do his employer’s bid. For one it is unethical, for another it is unprofessional. It is so pathetic that after all his effort in improving the company’s system he got laid off in such manner. I think he has great potentials to suceed even without working for the company, there are greater things ahead.

  36. It was brave of him to stand for what is right, in everything we do our dignity cmes frist, it was good he gave up without a fight because he knows he has no chance at winning, God’s time is d best

  37. I really love the story sequence ….it was straight forward and lovely. Hassan should at least try getting another job rather than staying frustrated at home only to be transferring aggression to a lady that wants to be a company to him

  38. EVERY FIGHT IS FOR A VICTORY.
    No one goes to a battle field with a smile on their faces. Same as one who just got fired for not wanting to comply with cyber crime. It is good we stand for what we know is right that is moral good.
    Well he did not do well when he did not go to an extra mile to see if the sack letter was coming from his CEO.
    An interesting one

  39. Hassan is living by ethics. He doesn’t want to do anything that will result in the personal harm of others. Sometimes it’s better you fight another day with the right resources. He doesn’t have anything against the company so its useless fighting without ammunition. Let’s see how it unfolds.

  40. I wouldn’t say Hassan was stupid for taking his stand sometimes what people forget is that there is someone above us watching us what he did was good I know that God has better plans for him

    Him not taking a legal action against the firm was a good idea because going to court involves money he might end up spending the little money he has left without getting justice

  41. Hassan suffered the fate of being godly in an ungodly environment. This act alone presents him as a gentle man and a Christian who truly practise the content the Christian faith. How many Christian in this present generation would be faithful and not compromise their faith because of position.
    Thus, the Bible said in Acts 5:29b “We ought to obey God rather than men.” Hassan chose God’s word over that of man

  42. Hassan did a good job by demanding to see the CEO or a written paper just in case something happens, he will use it to cover himself but no they sacked him. He’s a gentleman and if not a Christian, he practiced simplicity. He may not be able to take the company to court because he may not win but He will do that tomorrow because nobody knows tomorrow.

  43. Our society is not something to write home about, honestly I feel for this guy. Losing your job is the worst thing that can happen to any one. I think Hassan should let go. God that gave that one will give him another one. In the meantime, Hassan should feel free with the pretty angel around, who knows she could be a helper.

  44. He did well by taking his stand. In fact, people who are real heroes are those who are able to stand for the right thing even in the midst of opposition as Hassan did. We need more people like him if the ills going on in civil service and companies today must be corrected.

  45. He shouldn’t bother himself to fighting the company. Better still there would be a better tomorrow and keep himself away from distractions.

  46. What Hassan did was not easy, and I won’t say it was stupid. The order may not have really been front the CEO.
    It was good he did not take the matter to court. It would have been like punching a big bag of salt, which could end up hurting him and as well course him to spend heavily. Besides, it could embarrass the CEO, if he is ignorant about hassan’s undeserved dismissal.
    Hassan handled the lady well enough, at least, he didn’t let her see his frustration and she didn’t notice his irritation.

  47. There is a less chance of winning the case if Hassan had tried to fight. Sometimes, the problems or challenges we face are greater opportunities in disguise. I believe that a better job awaits him. He should just be patient till it comes.

  48. Law 5 of Robbert Greene’s 48 laws of power states that we should so much depend on our reputation and guard it with our lives…. With this, I’d say that Hassan wasn’t foolish in the decision he took. It takes wisdom and bravery to stand on the right track irrespective of what one will lose at the end.

    However, If the order was truly from the CEO, why didn’t they allow him to see his the CEO himself or at least get a written note from him?

    Well, it’s also wise that he didn’t take the case to court because he might end up loosing both his finances and his time as well. I’d have advised him to seek redress only if he had a strong backup, but since he doesn’t have any body. He should just hand everything to God’s hands. And also look out for another job.

    Hmmmm, I don’t understand that woman’s motive at all. Was she sent to distract him from over thinking? Who knows? Anyone in Hassan’s shoes would want to be left alone.

    I ‘sha’liked the way he handled the young woman’s attention. This one he started admiring her physique already, is he going to fall in love with her? Lol. ‘Men are moved with what they see’

  49. Hassan is not stupid for taking his stand oooo, well God may have a better plan for him and his integrity may speak for him some day. Putting up a fight may not really be necessary and the way he handled the lady I applaud him biko, its not easy. Keeping up a conversation with someone when you ain’t even in the mood. Let me read the next episode. Thanks Ma’am for sharing.

  50. What he did requires boldness and discipline. Let us learn from him so that no one would make us conform to their low standards .

  51. Hassan did the right thing by taking the stand that cost him his job,Nigeria as a country is corrupt but not all individual is inflicted by it. He will surely be rewarded for his good deed. Again as an individual, he can’t just fight an organization,there are higher chances of him loosing out,so he took a wise decision by letting it go.

  52. I really feel for Hassan. But in my opinion, I think he should forget about the past and focus on the future. I think the future holds something beautiful for him. Also he should stop feeling irritated when that young lady comes around. I think he should give her a chance

  53. Life is too short. Hassan should try and focus in the future. He should not over stress himself on the job issue. I also think that he should give the young lady a chance and stop feeling irritated anytime she comes around.

  54. Hmm, I think he made the right decision by refusing to do something that was against his belief. That young lady Sha. She should calm down small. The guy is trying to fix his life and she’s there hitting. ok o

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