Drunkenly, he made his way from one table to another in the casino looking to cause some trouble. The security already knew that he was all bark and no bite so they didn’t bother to stop him. In fact, everyone at the casino seemed to like him. From the waitresses to the security guards, they all perked up when he walked in. How couldn’t they when Ben spent his last penny gambling and tipping the staff generously?
He never missed a day without going to the casino. For the past five years, it had been his second home. At times, he would sleep at the casino for several days without going back to his lavish Kilimani apartment.
“It’s lonely there.” He said when the waitress would remind him to go home.
After a brief argument, they would let him sleep at the casino and continue gambling all night. Many of the staff didn’t go home either. On some nights, the crowds were too riled up to close the casino. On other nights, they just felt like staying there and keeping each other company.
“You are the luckiest people in the world,” Ben said drunkenly.
“Why do you say that?” One of the waitresses asked.
“You get to do this for a living and get paid. For me, I have to pay you to have this much fun.” He said then pulled her to his lap.
She laughed as Ben admired the young beauty before she got up and left. He watched her swing her hips as she walked away before another patron alerted him.
“It’s your turn, boss.”
“Oh, sorry. I was a bit distracted.”
The 68-year-old wasn’t always a gambling addict. In fact, he was one of the most respected men in the banking industry and had a successful career as an accountant which made it more ironic that he, of all people, would be so careless with his money. After retirement, he had big plans of establishing a restaurant since he was also passionate about good food. His son was a professional chef and they agreed to start the business together.
However, things weren’t as easy as Ben thought. He gave his son nearly 10 million shillings to rent a space and furnish it. Trusting that his son would handle the task, he sat back and waited for the launch day.
“We’ve had a few setbacks but it’s coming together very well.” Ben’s son updated him.
Excited about the good news, Ben started bragging to his peers about how he would have the hottest restaurant in town. He even had a name for it “Maryland Restaurant” which was named after his late wife.
Everyone was quite excited about the restaurant and promised to support him when it opened. However, it never opened and after a few months of taking him in circles, his son switched off his phone and never contacted his father again.
Ben finally decided to visit the address that his son had given him hoping to find him. He had been there before when his son showed it to him and sold him the dream of opening a restaurant there. However, he hadn’t returned in months. The building was fully furnished and occupied but it wasn’t the restaurant that he and his son had been working on. Instead, it was a mini supermarket.
“Who owns this place?” He asked the security guard.
“I don’t know, sir. I was just hired to check people’s bags.”
He then went to the customer care desk to check whether his son had anything to do with the supermarket.
“Is there a man called Daniel Kisila who works here?”
“No, sir.” The customer care attendant promptly answered.
Confused and frustrated, he returned to his home and tried to make sense of what just happened. Deep down, he knew that his son had run away with the 10 million shillings but he didn’t want to accept it.
He spent the next few days trying to contact him but he never got an answer.
Daniel was the only child of Ben and his wife, Mary. They had tried hard to get another child but it didn’t work out. Nonetheless, they adored their son and doted on him. He got anything he wanted but his father still tried to instil the spirit of hard work in him.
“Why do I have to work? You’re rich. I can just ask you for money.”
“That’s my money. You have to work for yours.”
Despite his attitude, Daniel was actually a bright young man. He didn’t top his class but he was always in the top 10 and everyone knew that if he put in the effort, he would be a straight-A student. He didn’t though and after finishing high school, he refused to go to the university.
“Do you know how many people would kill to have this opportunity?”
“Educate them, then. I have other plans.”
Daniel spent a good chunk of his 20s partying and gambling with his friends. His parents hardly saw him but when he needed more money he would come back and sweet-talk them. They even rented an apartment and bought him a car just so they would know where he was.
Miraculously, he found his passion in cooking. This passion saved his life and returned him home. He also cut off his toxic friends and stopped gambling. Around the same time, they found out that his mother had cancer and she only had a few years to live. For the two years that she was with them, the family was happier than they ever were. Daniel took a short culinary course and would spoil them with sumptuous meals.
Ben also retire early from his prestigious job to take care of his wife and spend more time with her. She passed away in the hospital and Daniel lost his way again. He got back with his old friends who introduced him to drugs to numb his pain. From then, his relationship with his father remained strained.
“Your father is rich, right?” One of his friends asked even though they knew the answer.
Daniel nodded yes.
“Then why are you living like this? You should be living the high life in Dubai.” His friend said.
According to Daniel, his friend was right. He didn’t live like a rich man’s son and the small two-bedroom apartment they had bought him was nothing. This instantly sparked an idea in his mind. He decided to scam his father so he could get a lot of money from him to live in Dubai as his friend suggested.
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