Monday, 7 September 2015
BEFORE THE WORLD ENDS… EPISODE THREE (3).
David was stunned at the news. He did not know whether to jubilate or feel sorry for himself and Erica. He stood there lost in thought and for a while, the day-dreams he had about arriving at Heathrow Airport for the first time in his life and hearing the British accent which he ‘revered’ was about going into oblivion or so it seemed. “So are you pregnant as in really pregnant or your period is just delaying a couple of days?”, David asked acting as if he had just regained consciousness from losing his memory for years. “Dave, I am pregnant and we have to act fast before it is too late”, Erica said while trembling. “Wow, just give me a quick second to think this over”. “I am confused because lots of thoughts are running through my mind right now”, David said as he paced up and down the little space between his bed and the wall of his room. David kept pacing in silence and the pace increased in tempo. Erica sat on the bed with her head in her hands. She lifted up her head after about five minutes of the silence and spoke, “Dave, this silence is deafening and the way you are pacing is making me scared”. “Please say something to me, Dave”, Erica said as she watched David pacing restlessly. “Okay, this is what we are going to do, I will tell my parents about this and we would see the way forward”, David said. “Are you sure about this, David?”, Erica asked. “Yes, I am”. “I have never hidden anything from them since childhood and I think this is so much of a serious matter to hide from them”. “Normally, I wait till they are in a very good mood before I break news of such gravity to them”. “That way, they will temper justice with mercy and help me out of the situation I find myself in”, David added. “It works all the time and I don’t think this issue will be any different”, David said confidently. He assured Erica of getting the issue resolved in the best possible manner so that everyone is happy. He accompanied Erica to the gate and promised her of ensuring that she was going to be perfectly taken care of even when he went abroad. David and Erica walked hand in hand and encouraged one another till Erica left. David, after Erica had left, stood in front of his gate and looked towards Fred’s house and saw Fred helping his mother with supper. David raised his hand to signal Fred to come. Fred and David had developed their own sign language while they were growing up and used these signs when they did not want anyone to know what exactly it was they were talking about. David had two of his fingers in the air and drew a circle in the middle of the fingers. Immediately Fred saw the sign David was making, he quickly dropped the box of charcoal he was asked to bring and began rushing towards David’s gate. Fred’s mother called out after him when he started moving toward David’s gate, “Maa, I will be right back to light the fire, just leave it for me”, Fred yelled back. He got to David’s gate and asked, “What is the problem now?” I haven’t seen you put up that sign since that ugly girl slapped you in front of the restaurant on top of Lecture Room B12”, Fred teased. “I am going to be a father, Freddie”, David said looking deeply into Fred’s eyes to get some respite. “Hold up, hold up, boy”, Fred said and David knew immediately what was going to follow. “I have not missed my period and I don’t remember the last time we made love”, Fred said jokingly. “Freddie, this is not the time to make mockery of every situation”, David said and hit Fred in the chest. Fred was rubbing his chest and said, “I was only joking so why did you hit me so hard?” “Fred, Erica is pregnant and I am responsible”, David said. Fred put both of his hands on his head and had his mouth wide open. He looked towards his house to see if his mother was looking at them and he also looked through the open gate of David’s house to see if anyone was coming. “David how could you?” “I mean how could you do such a thing?”, Fred barked at David. “Sometimes you act so stupidly so much so that I wonder if you are really sane”. “We made a promise to each other to complete this scholarship program before getting involved with women and you have allowed this girl to get into your head, into your life and into your pants and now look at what you have done”. “Dave, do you know the implications of this very stupid action of yours?” Fred asked. “I thought you were my brother, Freddie and I confided in you so that we can find a way out not for you to hang me out here to dry like you are doing now”, David said. Have you told your father about it?”, Fred asked. “No I haven’t, but I will tell him tonight”, David replied. “I just hope it doesn't jeopardize your chances of studying abroad”, Fred said, looking very remorseful. “I think I can handle this”, David said, patting Fred on the back. That night, David broke the news to his father who was very sad and disappointed at his son’s naive behavior. “I expected better from you, David”, David’s father spoke. “Your mother and I had to pull strings in high places to get you to be accepted into Lancaster University and our accounts have been depleted just because we want you guys to get the best form of education money can give”, David’s father went on. “What were you thinking, son?” “Did you not know that sleeping with a woman without protection could get her pregnant”? “And even if she didn't get pregnant, did you think of the fact that you could contract some sexually transmitted disease?” “David, I am highly disappointed in you”, David’s father added. “Now, this is what is going to happen, we have been saving money for your ticket and money for upkeep in UK”. “Since you have decided to do what men will do, I will give you the chance to continue”. “I am going to discuss with your mother and we will give you that money and I will leave you to decide whether you would pursue your education with the money or whether you would want to invest that money into your unborn child’s future”. Immediately David’s father made his point, he walked out of the hall, leaving David there to think of what he was going to do. David called Fred and they both discussed the verdict of David’s father at length. Fred said that he knew of a business man who was famed for money-doubling so he suggested to David to go and see him for advice. After two days, David’s father gave David the money and asked him to think wisely before taking his next action because it was going to have rippling effects in the future. David quickly went to see the business man that Fred was talking about. David’s intention was to double the money, give half to Erica and the baby and keep the other half for his upcoming trip. The business man told him that his business was all about taking risks. The man introduced David to sports betting. He explained, “The whole thing is like this, put your money behind a good team which you know will not lose and after ninety minutes, you have your money plus extra”. “You repeat the cycle couples of times and before you know it, you have double of what you have and sometimes more”, the business man added. David saw that it was a risk worth taking. The man advised him to start with some amount of the money. David left the place and headed straight for the forex bureau where he changed the Pounds that his father had given him. He went into the betting company the man introduced to him and placed a bet on Barcelona to win the match, “Barcelona will never lose”, David thought to himself. He placed a bet on Barcelona to win the match. “At least I can manage with this amount”, David said to himself as the potential winning amount scrolled underneath the computer’s screen. “This is what I call a risk-taker”, one of ‘betters’ said as he saw the betting amount. David took his bet slip and left the betting shop. The match was scheduled to start at 6:00pm. His heart was racing as he checked the score at 6:48pm. The score read 1:0 in favor of Barcelona. He could not wait any longer so he called Fred and told him that he had invested the money in Barcelona. “I am glad you said Barcelona not a team like Chelsea because they can’t play anything”, Fred added. They laughed off the joke and both fell asleep. Early the next morning, Fred rushed to David’s house and they began making plans on how to spend the money. David took his phone and decided to check the score. As the page began to load, Fred snatched the phone from David and said “Oh my God, David, we are in trouble”. David’s jubilant mood quickly changed and he snatched the phone back, he looked at the score for the Barcelona match and no matter the number of times he chose to reload the page, the score still read 1:1. David was in shock, he began to pace up and down the room, he took his shirt off and locked the door. “Dave, knock it off, we are going to place a bet with the rest of the money and this time, we will be more cautious”. “You don’t understand”, David replied. “I don’t understand what?”, Fred asked. “I have lost everything, Freddie, I put all the money into the game”, David said…… MORE SOON. MY NAME IS EDWIN OKO LAMPTEY AND THIS IS ANOTHER R.A.T© PIECE