Tuesday, 29 December 2015
"You are what?”, Maxwell asked with fear in his voice. He wished he had never placed the call to her in the first place and wished he had left her to suffer her fate alone. As he lay on his bed, silent on the phone, he recalled the fifteen second escapade he had had earlier with her. “How can this brief, abrupt and embarrassing moment of pleasure cause me a lifetime of responsibility and a ‘mini’ me after nine long months?”, Maxwell thought to himself. “I should have stayed at home on that day”, Maxwell thought. “Max, say something”, Alberta said, after her news had in a way caused Maxwell to become dumbfounded. “Oh, I am just surprised, that’s all”, Maxwell said, trying to wipe off the artificial sweat that had started to gather over his brow even though it was late on that chilly night. “Why are you surprised?”, Alberta asked. “It is not as if you didn’t know this was bound to happen after all that went on between us”, Alberta continued. “My mum is going to kill me” were the words that kept ringing like an alarm clock in Maxwell’s ears as Alberta spoke. At a point in time, all that Alberta was saying sounded like gibberish to Maxwell. “Can you guess who the father of the baby is?”, Alberta asked. The question brought Maxwell back to life. “What kind of stupid question is that?”. “Isn’t it obvious already?”, Maxwell thought to himself. “Me?”, Maxwell asked with one eye closed and with his left hand on his chest, feeling the throbbing beat of his heart which had taken on more speed with the minutes that passed. “I said guess”, Alberta said, with some level of firmness in her voice. It then dawned on Maxwell that the baby could possibly not be his. He repositioned himself on his bed with alacrity. He started to have some sort of courage and the artificial sweat on his forehead started to dry up. “Is the baby you are carrying not mine?”, Maxwell asked, hoping to hear a negative feedback. “Are you kidding me?”, Alberta started. “You remember the friend I told you about?”, Alberta queried. Maxwell tried to rack his brain to find a suitable answer. “The guy in whose room you watched TV when your brother was occupied with his girlfriend?”, Maxwell asked, shuddering in his speech. There was a brief moment of silence and then came the answer Maxwell dreaded, “Yes, that guy is responsible for the pregnancy”, Alberta answered. “But how could you, Albie?”, Maxwell asked. “How could I what?”, Alberta asked back in an almost angry tone of voice. “Your mum humiliated me over the phone”, Alberta started. “I wept for days and on one of those sad days, he came home and found me crying so as he tried to console me, both of us got carried away and it resulted in this”, Alberta revealed. “But I called you countless times so you should have known that I wanted us to make up after that incident”, Maxwell said in his defence. “What my mum did was wrong and I spelt it out to her plainly so I was expecting that you at least listen to me and forgive her”, Maxwell added. “You know that I love you very much and I would do anything for you”, Maxwell said in hopes of trying to salvage the situation Alberta had found herself in. “This is not the time to give speeches so spare me all that crap”, Alberta said. “I am in sort of a fix right now”, Alberta said. “What is the problem, Albie?”, Maxwell asked, sounding polite in such a manner not to get on Alberta’s bad side again. “The guy I am talking about has a girlfriend who he has been dating for years and he intends marrying her next year”, Alberta said. “This is messed up”, Maxwell started. “But did you know this before or after you guys slept together?”, Maxwell asked. “What does it change, Max?”, Alberta shot back. “The most important thing is that I am pregnant and he is responsible, that’s all”, Alberta said. “So what is he saying about the pregnancy?”, Maxwell asked, now fully confident that he had escaped the scandal by hair’s breath. “He says he is going to take the child abroad when it turns three years old”, Alberta said proudly. “Wow, that is splendid!”, Maxwell said. “You are one lucky young lady”, Maxwell added. “But does his girlfriend know about your condition?”, Maxwell asked curiously. “My dear, I don’t know and I don’t care because it is the least of my problems right now”, Alberta responded. “You need to do due diligence because for all you know, he might be up to something fishy”, Maxwell warned. “No need to worry, Max”, Alberta started. “He has been overly nice, caring and gentle ever since I told him I was carrying his baby”. “He comes home early from work to be with me and gets me anything I want on his way back”. “Sometimes I even feel that I am being over-demanding”, Alberta added. “That is all well and good but with all of this being said, you should still be careful because it is better to be safe than to be sorry”, Maxwell preached. As they chatted, Maxwell heard a masculine voice in the background and the door creaking open. “I have to go”, Alberta whispered. “I will call you some other time”, she added and hang up the call. Maxwell lay on his bed with mixed feelings. He did not know whether to be sad or happy. He was filled with a sense of satisfaction by the fact that he had been absolved from pre-mature paternal responsibilities. “At least, I have a reason to be thankful”, Maxwell said, looked at his watch and went to bed. With the weeks that passed, Maxwell tried to check up on Alberta when he had time on his hands for a little chit-chat. He did so in moderation because he did not want to create the impression that he was taking the space of the baby’s daddy. On one chilly night, Maxwell was preparing for bed when he received a text message from Alberta. His face lit up when he saw the sender of the message but fear and horror gripped him as he read the contents of the message. “Maxwell, blame the guy if anything should happen to me”, the text message read. Immediately, Maxwell tried to call Alberta to find out if everything was okay. He trembled in the process and his mind was filled with all sorts of gory images. All of a sudden, the sleep had vanished from his brain and he was wide awake once more after a very tiring day. He called Alberta severally but there was no answer. After two hours of waiting, Alberta finally called Maxwell. It sounded like she was in pain. “Thank God, you are alive”, Maxwell said, with a sense of relief as he answered Alberta’s call. “What happened?”. I asked the guy to get me a drink on his way back home”, Alberta started. “He asked that we take a shower together which we did but he left the shower earlier”. “When I got into the room, he had served me the drink and added a few biscuits to go with”. “After minutes of drinking the juice, I started feeling very funny inside so I thought it was because I had taken in too much sugar”. “All of a sudden, I felt some sort of warm ooze coming from down under so I checked and I realized that I was bleeding profusely”, Alberta said with a trembling voice. Maxwell could sense that she had been crying and was in pain. “Where is the guy now”, Maxwell asked in anger. “Immediately I started bleeding, I prompted him to help me but he just dressed up and left me here all alone”, Alberta responded in tears. “How could he be so heartless?”, Maxwell questioned. “I told you to be careful of him didn’t I?”. “I think he has managed to drug you in hopes of terminating your pregnancy”, Maxwell added. “But why would he do that in the first place because I thought you said he wanted to fly the child overseas”, Maxwell queried. “That was what he told me”, Alberta answered naively. “Apparently, his girlfriend met me here last week and when she asked I told her that I was carrying her boyfriend’s baby”. “I don’t know what happened after that but he was distant these past few days, it was only this morning that we got back to old ways and now look at what he has done to me”, Alberta said looking down at her abdomen. “Maxwell, I am scared”, Alberta confessed. “Take it easy, sweetheart”, Maxwell tried to console her. “Are you still bleeding?”, Maxwell enquired. “Yes, I am”, Alberta said trembling. “I have already used up one full pack of sanitary pads”, Alberta said sounding very alarmed. “Give me directions to your school”, Alberta asked out of the blue. “What?”, Maxwell asked. “You want to visit me now?”, Maxwell asked. “No, not now, maybe some other time”, Alberta responded. “Okay”, Maxwell responded and reluctantly gave Alberta the directions to his campus and to his hostel. Alberta quickly thanked him and Maxwell asked her to take good care of herself and to call her if she needed anything. It was past midnight when Maxwell ended the call but he was not too worried because he had no lecture to attend the whole day. Maxwell woke up in the morning feeling very tired. He looked on his phone and it was 9:48 AM. Another thing caught his eye; he had missed eight calls from Alberta and he became very alarmed fearing something awful had happened in the course of the night. As he tried calling back to find out, Alberta’s number was busy. Almost instantly, Maxwell’s phone rang and it was a call from Alberta. “Are you okay?”, Maxwell asked as he answered the call. “Yes, I am cool”, Alberta stated. “Where have you been?” “I have been calling you since 7 AM and you refused to answer”, Alberta said. “I was asleep then”, Maxwell replied. “Well, that is fine”, Alberta said. “Guess what?”. “I am in front of your hostel so come out and get me”, Alberta said. Maxwell could not believe his ears and for a moment, he thought he was dreaming. “I shouldn’t have given the directions to my school to this girl”, Maxwell thought to himself. He looked out of the window and saw Alberta standing beside a taxi and instantly he knew she was not bluffing. Maxwell quickly summoned his roommates and briefed them about the situation at hand. Ben was not in favour of the idea of keeping Alberta in their room for fear of being held responsible should anything happen to her. Maxwell managed to convince his roommates to finally agree even though Ben stated in no uncertain terms his earlier warning. Maxwell quickly rushed downstairs and met Alberta in front of his hostel. “What are you doing here, Albie?”, Maxwell queried as he tried to catch his breath after descending the flight of stairs leading to the ground floor. “I thought you said you loved me and would do anything for me if only I asked”, Alberta said. “I know I said that but it did not mean you could just turn up here uninvited and without notice”, Maxwell scolded. “I would just stay a few days because I can see you don’t want me here”, Alberta said, with tears in her eyes. “It is not like that but looking at your condition, it would be best if you stayed at home close to a clinic for emergency reasons”, Maxwell stated. “And you plan on staying a few days?”, Maxwell asked, trying hard to hide the fear in his eyes. “Yes”, Alberta responded. Maxwell took her little travelling bag from the back seat of the taxi and ushered her into his room. As the climbed the stairs, Alberta asked Maxwell to check if she was still bleeding but Maxwell blatantly refused and looked at her behind and said, “I cannot see any blood from here”. When the two of them got to Maxwell’s room, he did an introduction addressing Alberta as his girlfriend. Even though Ben was not in favour of Alberta’s stay, he instantly took a liking for her because the moment she settled in, she tidied up their dirty room and went out to the mart in Maxwell’s hostel to personally get foodstuff to prepare a sumptuous meal for all four of them including herself. That night, Maxwell created a partition with a big blanket to separate his side of the room from his roommates to in a way, give Alberta some privacy in case she wanted to change her clothes. That night, Alberta managed to get Maxwell to make love to her but this time, Maxwell was up to the task and managed to make up for the first time. Alberta bled throughout the intercourse but she encouraged Maxwell to keep going although quietly to avoid alerting his roommates. The next day, Alberta was the first to wake up and quietly sneaked out to get stuff to prepare breakfast for the boys. The boys woke up to a sumptuous breakfast and could not thank Alberta enough for giving them the special treat. Many of Maxwell’s neighbours in the hostel now wanted to spend the day in Maxwell’s room so as to make them eligible to partake in Alberta’s amazing dishes. Alberta had stayed for three days and on each of the nights, she and Maxwell made love to each other. Maxwell had now become very popular because of Alberta. She was gracious in all her doings and she was a classic example of 'a sight for sore eyes'. Maxwell could not believe why any man would want to treat such an adorable young lady with so much unfairness as exhibited by the guy who got her pregnant. On the seventh day, Alberta asked to take her leave and return to her house. During that time, she had stopped bleeding and she bought a pregnancy test kit from the hostel’s pharmacy and a urine test proved that she was no more pregnant. On the day she had to leave, the boys had all gone out for a lecture so she took the time to thoroughly clean the entire room and prepared a big bowl of stew for the boys. She had informed Maxwell earlier that she was waiting on a friend to take her back home. Finally, she was done with the cleaning and cooking and was waiting for the boys to return so she could leave… IS THIS ALL FOR SHOW OR IS THERE A HIDDEN MOTIVE BEHIND ALBERTA’S ATTITUDE? FIND OUT MORE IN THE NEXT EPISODE OF “EVEN IF I DON’T FIND PEACE. MY NAME IS EDWIN OKO LAMPTEY AND THIS IS ANOTHER MASTERPIECE FROM THE STABLES OF RANDOM AFRICAN THOUGHTS©
More at randomafricanthoughts.blogspot.com
Friday, 25 December 2015
Alberta and Maxwell had created an amazing long distance bond with the help of technology. Both of them were always on the phone chatting and sharing moments of pain and affection together. They had been talking for two weeks but to Alberta, it felt like two years. In one of their marathon nightly conversations, Alberta made a startling remark, “Where were you all this while?”. Maxwell was quiet for a while and requested for clarification, “What is that supposed to mean?”, Maxwell asked. “Ever since I started getting to know you for who you are, I laugh more, I am always in a hurry to hear your voice when I see your number on my cell phone and I sleep well at night”, Alberta confessed. “In fact, I had been meaning to tell you this way back in High School”, Alberta started, shuddering in her voice. “I think I had a crush on you way back in school but I didn’t know how I was going to tell you”. “The love I had for you was so strong that I didn’t know what to do about it and I ended up hating you because I felt you would never feel the same way about me”. “You were gentle, always neat and it seemed like you were the leader of your all-boy clique which in some way really turned me on”, Alberta added, feeling she was telling Maxwell too much of her obsession for him. “So instead of complimenting me for being such a gentleman like you claim, why did you hate me so much?”, Maxwell queried after Alberta’s shocking revelation. “If only you knew how desperate I was”, Alberta added. “You remember that girl who used to hang around you all the time way back in school?”, Alberta asked. Maxwell tried to cast his mind years back to answer Alberta’s question. “Yes I remember her very well”, Maxwell said. “I hear she got married last month to a wealthy business man”, Maxwell added. “Oh really?”, Alberta asked with a sense of relief in her voice. “Don’t tell me you were jealous of her hanging out with me”, Maxwell said. “Truth be told Max, I hated that girl so much for having what I was praying to have but it seemed you were lost in her love”, Alberta said. “I hated her with so much passion that there was even a time that I wanted her to die”, Alberta added. “You should see the relief on my face on hearing that she is married because it means that I will be having you all to myself”, Alberta said jokingly and the two of them laughed over it. “Max, I don’t know why I am telling you all this because I don’t usually trust guys so much but there is something about you that gives me so much assurance that you are different”, Alberta confessed, still shuddering in her speech. “I thought that I had gotten over you with the years that passed but having you back in my life this past few weeks has rather made me know that the feeling had not been lost but that it had only gone into hiding”, Alberta continued. “Max, are you there?”, Alberta asked after speaking for a while without a sound from Maxwell. “Sweetheart, I am here”, Maxwell responded. Maxwell listened quietly but occasionally gave Alberta verbal nods to let her know that he was paying rapt attention. “What if I told you that the feeling is mutual now?”, Maxwell asked. “Does that mean that you have some feelings for me now?”, Alberta asked. “Maxwell please don’t deceive me”, Alberta started. “Are you saying all this because of what I have just told you or is it that you have genuinely developed feelings for me?”, Alberta asked with a bit of confusion and uncertainty in her voice. “I really do, Albie”, Maxwell said. “I have thought this over several times and I think that I just might have developed a strong liking for you in a special way”, Maxwell revealed. “What kind of special way are you referring to?”, Alberta asked out of curiosity. “I think what we have here can develop into a relationship that can lead to other things”, Maxwell said. “Maxwell, are you asking me out?”, Alberta asked feeling elated. “If what I am saying is anything to go by, then, yes, I am asking you to be my girlfriend”, Maxwell answered. “Wow!”, Alberta exclaimed, “I just can’t believe that this is happening right now”, Alberta said still in a state of shock mixed with excitement. The two of them were silent over the phone for a while. Suddenly, Alberta broke the silence. “Max, do you know what today’s date is?”. Maxwell looked on his phone screen and realized that it was way past midnight and the date was 14th February. “Wow, I didn’t even realize”, Maxwell said. “You liar, I know you had this well-planned”, Alberta said. “I know you would deny it but I would give you the credit for being romantic”, Alberta said. “Happy Valentine’s Day, Baby”, Alberta added. They spoke more for a while and Alberta asked to go to bed because she had to go to school in the morning. That semester, Maxwell studied so hard during the day and dedicated his nights to talking to Alberta. Apart from attending lectures and public fora, Maxwell did not have a real social life. He was almost all the time indoors laying on his bed either watching a movie on his laptop or talking to Alberta on the phone. He seldom called any of his family members. His attitude caught the attention of his father who asked if he was in any kind of trouble but anytime his father brought the issue up on the few occasions they spoke; Maxwell always brushed the issue aside. Soon the first semester in the university had come to a close and Maxwell was so excited about the fact that he had vacated and was finally going to meet Alberta for the first time ever since he asked her to be his girlfriend. Immediately Maxwell arrived home safely, he dropped his suitcase and quickly rushed out of the house making his way to Alberta’s house. When he got to the door of Alberta’s house, he looked at his reflection in her glass window and wiped off some particles that had found their way on his chin. A young man walked out and informed him that she was in another room behind the house. Maxwell followed the directions given by the young man and knocked at the door. “Surprise!”, Maxwell screamed when Alberta opened the door. “What are you doing here?”, Alberta asked looking both surprised and shocked. “Don’t just stand there, give me a hug”, Maxwell ordered. Alberta drew close and hugged him. Both of them went into the room and had a long chat. As they talked, Maxwell’s mother called him but Maxwell did not answer the call. Upon calling the third time, Alberta snatched the phone from Maxwell’s hand and answered the call, “Hello mummy, my name is Alberta”. “I know you miss your son so much but please spare me only an hour with him so that I send him back home to you”, Alberta pleaded. Maxwell’s mother responded to Alberta’s request but her answer was only heard by Alberta. Alberta stayed on the phone for a while and the last thing she said was, “Okay mummy, thank you so much”. She hang up the phone and tossed the phone unto Maxwell’s laps. “What did she say?”, Maxwell asked. “That is none of your business”, Alberta started. “The most important thing is that she has agreed that you can stay for a while”, Alberta responded. The two lovebirds chatted for some time before Maxwell left for his house. When Maxwell got home, his mother and sister were in the kitchen preparing a special supper to welcome Maxwell back home. He went into the kitchen and hugged his sister and asked if he could help out with the dinner. His mother asked him to wash the vegetables that were already in the kitchen’s sink. “Who is Alberta?”, Maxwell’s mother asked, as he was washing the vegetables. “Just a friend”, Maxwell responded abruptly. “Which Alberta is mum talking about?”, Maxwell’s sister asked curiously. “I hope it is not the Alberta both of us know”, Maxwell’s sister asked, dropping the plate she had in her hand on the kitchen counter. Maxwell was silent. “Are you kidding me, Max?”, his sister asked. “I am your sister but I would say this in the presence of mummy that if you have anything to do with Alberta, I would question your taste in women and I mean it”, Maxwell’s sister said. “What is that supposed to mean?”, both Maxwell and his mother asked simultaneously. “Mum, that girl is my friend and I know her better than Max does so believe me when I say she is not the woman for you”, Maxwell’s sister said, turning to look in Maxwell’s direction. They argued over the issue for a while and ended it when dinner was ready. Maxwell was in love and did not want to listen to what his sister was saying. He had spoken to Alberta for a while and it seemed her behaviour was the opposite of what his sister recounted. Maxwell wanted to ask Alberta if she was hiding anything from him the next time he met her. That night, when he went to bed after dinner, he thought about what his sister had said but in his mind, he was of the view that she was only jealous of the fact that he had managed to win over Alberta’s heart. The following day, Maxwell dressed up and headed for Alberta’s. Once again, when he got to her house, she was told that Alberta was in the room behind the house. Curiosity got the better of Maxwell so when he got to the room after being ushered in by Alberta, he asked, “You are always here and by looking around, I gather that this room belongs to a man, you can correct me if I am mistaken”, Maxwell said. “You are right, Max”, Alberta started. “This room belongs to a friend of mine who works in town”. “He leaves home very early so he leaves his key behind so that I can watch TV whenever my brother’s girlfriend comes around and they need some privacy”, Alberta added. “Nothing is going on between us just so you know”, Alberta said. Maxwell did not seem so convinced but he took Alberta for her word. They sat down to chat and Alberta placed her head on Maxwell’s laps. They talked and laughed at each other for hours. Maxwell decided to leave because it was getting late. As he tried leaving, Alberta held on to his shirt and started kissing him. Maxwell pushed her unto the couch and dived unto her chest and they engaged each other in bouts of passionate kisses and caresses for minutes. “Maxwell, make love to me”, Alberta moaned. Maxwell who was in seventh heaven asked, “Like here and now?”. “Yes, now but not here!”, Alberta screamed in passionate excitement. “There is a bed behind that partition”, Alberta said, pointing to the curtains that were used to separate the sleeping area from the living room in Alberta’s friend’s single room apartment. Maxwell followed Alberta like a sheep being led to the slaughterhouse and within seconds, they found themselves on the bed. Alberta started to undress and Maxwell asked, “Should I take off my trouser?”. Alberta laughed out loud and responded, “Max, do whatever makes you feel comfortable”. Maxwell pulled down his trouser and lay on top of Alberta and within a matter of seconds with a few strokes, he ejaculated. “What is wrong with you?”, Alberta asked, as she felt the hot semen inside of her. Maxwell who was so embarrassed responded, “I am fine” and got up from on top of Alberta. He quickly zipped up his trouser and headed for the door. As he made his way out of the room, Alberta run and stood in front of the entrance, locked the door and took the key out. “Where do you think you are going, young man?”, Alberta asked. “We are not done here”, she added. “It’s getting late and I have to go home”, Maxwell said, looking quite embarrassed. As they stood there arguing, Maxwell’s phone rang. Alberta put her hand into his pocket and drew the phone out. “It’s your mother”, she said but before Maxwell could say anything, she had already answered the phone. “Good evening, mummy, Maxwell is here with me”. “What is going on between you and my son?” “I want you to cut whatever ties you have with my son from today”. “I don’t think you are the type of girl he should be keeping company so please stay away from him and don’t entertain him ever again, do you understand?”, Maxwell’s mother continued. “Yes please”, Alberta responded with tears in her eyes. Immediately Alberta hang up the phone, she opened her palm and offered Maxwell the key to the door. “Please don’t come back here again”, Alberta said, with tears streaming down her cheeks. “What is the meaning of this?”, a confused Maxwell asked. “Go home and ask your mother”, Alberta responded. She unlocked the door herself and asked Maxwell to leave quietly. When Maxwell stepped out of the room, he was filled with rage and marched home in anger. When he got home, his mother was in the kitchen. “Mummy, what did you tell Alberta?”, Maxwell queried. “I told her what would make her stay away from you because of what your sister said about her yesterday”, Maxwell’s mother responded. “You people cannot decide who I can keep as a friend or not based on some non-existent preconceived idea about them”, Maxwell blurted. “Son, this is life and no matter your level of education, you would need to learn how to balance your academic knowledge with home science to be able to live a meaningful life”. “Just your knowledge about books is not enough to live life”, Maxwell’s mother added. “This fact notwithstanding does not give you the right to interfere with the kind of friends I keep”, Maxwell fought back. “You are my son and I love you so I would not watch you fail and keep quiet about it”, Maxwell’s mother said. After the conversation with his mother, Maxwell went straight to his room without taking his dinner. That night, he tried calling Alberta several times but she refused to answer any of his phone calls. The next day, he left for her house but she was not at home. He waited for a while but when she was not returning, he left for his house. Maxwell did not hear from Alberta nor saw her till he left for school for the second semester of his first year in the university. Even when Maxwell went back to school, he tried calling Alberta but there was still no response. He had gone three months into the second semester when on one night, he tried calling Alberta’s number one more time to see if he would be lucky to hear her voice one more time. As the call was about to time out, Alberta answered the phone. “Hello Maxwell, what do you want?”, Alberta queried. “Alberta, I am very sorry for what happened between you and my mum”, Maxwell said. “You don’t need to be sorry Max”, Alberta said. “I am pregnant”, Alberta added. Maxwell’s heart missed several beats after Alberta’s revelation…… MY NAME IS EDWIN OKO LAMPTEY. STAY TUNED IF YOU WANT TO KNOW WHAT WILL HAPPEN NEXT IN “EVEN IF I DON’T FIND PEACE”. MORE AT randomafricanthoughts.blogspot.com. SEASON’S GREETINGS FROM ALL OF US AT RANDOM AFRICAN THOUGHTS. ENJOY THE FESTIVE SEASON WITH WARMTH.
Monday, 21 December 2015
SOME YEARS EARLIER…
Maxwell met Alberta in High School after he had moved from his previous school. Their paths crossed in somewhat bizarre circumstances. Maxwell was one class ahead of Alberta but from the first day they set sights on each other, they behaved like sworn enemies. “I just don’t know why but I just hate you”, Alberta will say whenever she met Maxwell on the stairs or in the corridor. Maxwell used to brush off her insolence whenever their paths crossed but one day, he pulled her back when she greeted him with her usual salutation when they met at lunch. Maxwell held Alberta’s wrist tightly and asked, “What have I done to you to merit so much disrespect?”. “I am a senior but you undermine that and call me all sorts of names whenever you see me”, Maxwell complained. “Are you in love with me or something?”, Maxwell asked. “In love with who?”, Alberta asked, after a hard and long hysterical laughter which drew some curious eyes to the spot in which the two of them stood. “Not even in a million years will I ever develop an iota of emotional attachment to you”, Alberta said with a disgusted look on her face. Maxwell looked at her in anger and clinched his fists but just as he was about to launch his jab, he was restrained by Raphael, “This girl is not worth your anger which could lead to you being suspended”, Raphael whispered into Maxwell’s ears as he dragged him away from the scene. “Can’t you just ignore her like everyone else does?”, Raphael queried. “I just don’t know why her words get to me so badly which makes me feel like hitting her in the face”, Maxwell added. “Shake it off and let’s go, I am already hungry”, Raphael said as they quickly rushed out to meet up with the other boys to have their lunch together. Alberta was in the same class as Maxwell’s sister so Maxwell thought it wise to report her to his sister. Alberta always claimed that Maxwell’s sister was her best friend but Maxwell’s sister always maintained that the feeling was not mutual. The next day, Maxwell’s sister confronted Alberta on her brother’s behalf, “Why are you always putting my brother on blast?”, Maxwell’s sister asked Alberta while both of them were running an errand for one of the school teachers. “Do you like him or something?”, Maxwell’s sister asked, looking at Alberta suspiciously. “I think he is stupid and it makes me dislike him”, Alberta replied, looking away from Maxwell’s sister. “If you think he is stupid, why don’t you just ignore his stupidity instead of insulting him?”, Maxwell’s sister pressed. “Come to think of it, whoever hates someone for being stupid?” Maxwell’s sister asked. “I think you like my brother”, Maxwell’s sister said, hitting Alberta on the head. “No, I don’t!”, Alberta exclaimed. “Okay, then that ends it”, Maxwell’s sister started. “So far as we have established your basis for hating him, I guess you have no point after all so just stop insulting him because the next time you do, you would not have just him to contend with but me as well”, Maxwell’s sister warned, looking at Alberta sternly. After a few steps forward, Alberta conceded defeat, “Okay, I think I like him”, Alberta said, looking quite embarrassed. “I knew it!”, Maxwell’s sister exclaimed. “But don’t tell him about it because he would never like me after all the insults I have hurled at him all this while”, Alberta begged. “There is this girl in his class that I think he likes and it puts me off whenever I see them so much as talking to each other”, Alberta revealed, looking seriously at Maxwell’s sister who was really having the time of her life while listening to Alberta shoot herself in the foot. “So why don’t you tell him that you think you are in love with him?”, Maxwell’s sister asked, eagerly waiting to hear Alberta’s answer. “He is going to kill me if I ever told him!”, Alberta replied. “Moreover, it is not in my place to tell him that I like him, it should be the other way round”, Alberta said. “Ha-ha, it serves you right”, Maxwell’s sister teased. “I like you as a friend, Alberta but honestly, I can’t imagine you as my future sister-in-law because the two of you are worlds apart and come to think of it, he hates you with so much passion”, Maxwell’s sister added. Maxwell’s sister never revealed to Maxwell the details of the conversation that ensued between Alberta and herself. Maxwell was however content with the meeting because after his sister talked to Alberta, all the insults seized so he cared less about the details. Alberta also never made her real intentions known to Maxwell till he left the school after graduating. Maxwell did not see or hear from Alberta again till after four years. Maxwell had graduated from Secondary School waiting to enter the university. He had gone to watch a football match between the boys in his neighbourhood against the boys from another neighbourhood. Those matches had everything in it and the neutrals enjoyed it to the final whistle because it was more than just twenty-two young boys trying to get the ball into the net of their opponent. Those matches were filled with passion and a quest for glory and the chance to get the full bragging rights as the best inter-neighbourhood team. It was on one of such days that Maxwell had gone to support the footballers from his neighbourhood. The referee had stopped the game in the middle of the match to separate the captains of both teams who were already engaged in a fist fight over what the boys from the other neighbourhood claimed to be a ‘dubious’ free kick which had been awarded to the boys from Maxwell’s neighbourhood. It was in the midst of the confusion that Maxwell saw Alberta in a distance. She had changed completely. Her breasts had grown bigger and had been well positioned in her school uniform. She had grown long hair and it made her look very beautiful. Her curves had developed and she had turned into a beautiful young lady. Maxwell could not believe his eyes. “It is not as if she was not pretty at first but I think this time, her beauty has multiplied”, Maxwell thought to himself. Rudolph and Raphael had also completed Secondary School. Immediately, Raphael saw Alberta, he rushed to Maxwell’s side and said, “Dude, there goes your wife”, pointing to Alberta who was walking home from school on the other side of the pitch. “She has changed totally”, Maxwell said. “I would go and talk to her if I were you”, Raphael said. “Hell no!”, Maxwell yelled. “I don’t want to be insulted or disrespected by her anymore”. “I had enough of her while we were in High school”, Maxwell added. “Just go and say hello and if she insults you, you will just come back”, Raphael insisted. “I don’t want to”, Maxwell fought back. Before Maxwell could say anything else, Raphael signalled to Alberta to come over and pointed at Maxwell. “What are you doing?”, Maxwell asked angrily. “I am getting you a girlfriend”, Raphael responded sarcastically. “Just sit back, relax and watch me do my thing”. “Maxwell had already started shaking when he saw Alberta making her way over to where they were seated. “When she gets her and asks, I will tell her that you are the one who wants to talk to her and not me”, Maxwell said in a shaky tone of voice. Alberta walked graciously across the pitch and as she inched closer to the place that Maxwell was seated, time almost stood still in Maxwell’s head. Alberta’s body movement was in sync with Maxwell’s vision and for the first time in a long while, he saw the features of a young and beautiful woman in the making. “Good Afternoon”, Alberta greeted as she finally reached her destination. “Good Afternoon”, both Maxwell and Raphael. “Hi Maxwell”, Alberta said to get Maxwell’s attention because he was looking away from her. “Hi”, Maxwell responded and turned to look at her. Immediately Maxwell responded, Raphael excused the two of them. The two of them used the time to talk about what each of them had been up to since they last saw each other. It was the first time that the two of them had had a conversation that was devoid of any form of hostility. Maxwell enjoyed the conversation and the fact that he was getting to know Alberta beyond her bitter state. Alberta enjoyed the meeting even more because she had finally engaged in a meaningful conversation with her High School crush. All that while that the two of them conversed, butterflies were causing her stomach to feel a sense of belonging. They exchanged phone numbers and parted company after the football match had long ended. In a few months’ time, Maxwell had gained admission into the university and was about leaving for school in another town. He was excited about the opportunity to finally be free from his father’s eagle-eye watch and have time for himself. Maxwell finally left for school and vowed to come back with distinction so as to set an example for his siblings. When Maxwell arrived on his university’s campus for the first time, he knew that he was about to enter a whole new different world altogether. He saw many beautiful young people who were eager to have a feel of the university’s life. Maxwell was shocked to the bone when he saw many visually-impaired people all packed in a bus heading to one of the halls of the university. He curiously asked one of the boys who was standing in the queue with him, “Are these blind people going to be our classmates?” The young man turned and looked at him from head to toe before he responded. “That is a derogatory response, young man”. “The word is ‘visually-impaired’ not ‘blind’ and yes, they are going to be our classmates”, the young man responded. Soon, Maxwell was through with his registration and was assigned a room. He quickly gathered his luggage with the assistance of the many porters that were made available on reopening day and headed straight to his room. When he got to the door, he met two other boys with their family members in front of the door. He looked at the key holder and instantly, he knew those two boys were going to be his roommates for the first year in the university. “Hello, my name is Maxwell”, Maxwell greeted the first guy with his family. “Hi”, the other guy responded. “My name is Benjamin but you can call me Ben”, the young man said. “Come and meet my parents”, Benjamin ordered. Maxwell met Ben’s parents and they entrusted Ben in his care because his father said he was a weakling due to the fact that they had to follow him all the way to his room to ensure his safety unlike Maxwell who had come to school unaccompanied. Maxwell moved on to meet his other roommate’s family. “Hello, I am Maxwell”, Maxwell said with a smile on his face when he got to the place where his roommates’ family was standing. “Hello, I am Richmond”, Maxwell’s second roommate said as he extended his hand to give Maxwell a handshake. All the people gathered exchanged pleasantries and warm wishes and soon, all the family members had to leave. Maxwell, Richmond and Ben escorted the people who had come with them to the gate and bade them farewell and headed straight for their room to unpack and know each other more. As they got to the door, Maxwell inserted his copy of the key to open the door to their room but as he turned the key, it caught something. He forced to turn the key all the way and unfortunately, the key snapped. “What have you done, Maxwell?”, Richmond exclaimed. “I don’t know what happened”, Maxwell said. Benjamin left the two of them and went to get the chief porter to address the issue. When the porter got to the scene he exclaimed, “You people have not even made it past the first day and you are already destroying school property?” “It was not intentional, sir”, Maxwell responded fearing any form of punishment. “This is what we are going to do”, the porter started. “The three of you are going to pay for the lock to be replaced for you”. Maxwell quickly agreed and begged his roommates to agree too even if he was going to be the only one footing the bill. They all agreed and within minutes, a carpenter was called in to save the day. The three boys packed their luggage into the room and selected the beds they each wanted. As they finally settled in, Richmond suggested that the three of them go out to have fun at the freshman party being held at the forecourt of their hall to welcome all the fresh students. “I think I will pass”, Maxwell said as he took off his shirt to go for a shower. “Suit yourself but I won’t stay here with you guys whilst there are beautiful girls out there waiting to be taken”, Richmond said. Richmond managed to talk Ben into going out with him so both of them freshened up and left for the party. Maxwell lay on his bed recounting the journey from home all the way to the campus. Suddenly, he began to miss his family members and friends he had left behind. He quickly picked up his phone and called his father. He informed him that he had arrived safely and had settled in pretty well. He did not mention the ‘key’ incident to him for fear of being scolded over the phone. When he ended the call, he kept scrolling through his contacts and his face lit up when he saw Alberta’s number. He decided to give her a call and have a chat with her. “Hello”, an excited Alberta said as she answered the call from Maxwell. “I thought you were never going to call me”, Alberta complained. “Come on, Alberta, you know I was preparing for school and I also didn’t want to disturb you”. “I haven’t complained, have I?”, Alberta asked. “So how are you settling in?”, Alberta inquired. “I am still trying to get a hang of all of this new life”, Maxwell replied. Maxwell recounted the key issue to Alberta who had a good laugh at his predicament. After chatting for a while, Alberta informed Maxwell that she had to go. Maxwell confessed that he never thought that the two of them could so much as have a decent conversation let alone share a joke. “Such is life, Max”, Alberta said. “You will never know what will come your way till it eventually happens”, she added. “I didn’t know you liked philosophy”, Maxwell teased. “There are a whole lot of things that I like and you will get to know them as time goes on”, Alberta said. “I just can’t wait”, Maxwell said and hang up the phone. He quickly shut the door without locking it for fear of causing another blunder and went to sleep feeling very fulfilled. MORE SOON. THE PARTNERSHIP BETWEEN MAXWELL AND ALBERTA AND WHAT WILL HAPPEN WILL BLOW YOU AWAY. STAY TUNED. MY NAME IS EDWIN OKO LAMPTEY AND THIS IS A MASTERPIECE FROM THE WRITER OF “PRICELESS DREAMS”. MORE AT randomafricanthoughts.blogspot.com
Friday, 18 December 2015
Immediately Maxwell made that daring statement, his uncle walked up to the place where he stood shaking like a dried leaf waiting to fall off from a dying tree branch. His uncle did not expect him to talk back at him considering the fact that he was seen as a weakling while growing up. "Young man, I paid your way through the university if you care to know", Maxwell's uncle said in anger. "You have no right to talk back at me no matter the discourse", his uncle added. "That does not give you the right to lord it over me!", Maxwell blurted with his eyes wide open. "You did what anyone would do for their family members because that is what family does for family", Maxwell added. "You people have sown seeds of hatred among we the children", Maxwell recounted with tears almost filling his eyes. "Uncle Donald, whether you like it or not, sooner or later, you people are all going to die and how do you expect we the younger generation of this once loving family to come together as one and build a lasting legacy befitting a family like ours?", Maxwell added. "A house that is divided against itself cannot stand and I know you know too well where that quotation comes from", Maxwell said, looking at his father. "Young man, you better know your place in this family lest I remind you”. “The mere fact that you are one of the few university graduates we have in this family should not merit you to quote the Bible to me, do you understand that?", Maxwell's uncle said. All this while, Maxwell's grandmother tried to hide her joy because finally, she had in Maxwell, someone who could stand up to her children covering up for her inadequacy. "I wonder how you sleep at night after you go about telling everyone that you educated my son", Maxwell's father said. "You have received your reward in full if you are looking out for men to praise you for your good works", Maxwell's father added. "Spare me the bullshit and ask yourself if you can confidently say that you and your family would have been able to get by if not for my immense help and support", Donald brushed it in Maxwell's father's face. "You know what Donald, you can keep your help from today for all I care but bear in mind that posterity will judge us for our deeds on earth", Maxwell's father said. "Mother, have you heard your beloved son?" "He is now cursing me for my benevolence", Donald said, looking at his mother who was sitting with arms akimbo. "I have had enough of you both!", Maxwell's grandmother yelled. "This is not how I and your beloved father brought you people up!". "Is this how you want to pay us back for all our painstaking efforts in raising four noble gentlemen in this harsh neighbourhood?", Maxwell's grandmother added. "I have been meaning to say this but I am always cowed by your manipulations". "This madness must end here and now!", Maxwell's grandmother added. "Now, both of you should leave this house this instant!". "The next time I see you here, we would be having a family meeting to put an end to this nonsense!". "You heard her", Maxwell's uncle said looking at Maxwell and his father. "I was actually referring to the two of you", Maxwell's grandmother said, pointing to Maxwell's father and uncle. "Maxwell can stay here for as long as he likes because he has proven to me that he can do the work that my own children are incapable of doing", Maxwell's grandmother added, turning and smiling at Maxwell. Eventually, the two adults left the house and the noise seized. That night, as Maxwell lay in the guestroom, many thoughts came to him. He tossed and turned and tried to figure out how he was going to save his family from their crisis, help his friends, develop his neighbourhood and more importantly, save himself from the problems he had entangled himself in. He opened his eyes, checked his phone and he realised that he had dozed off as he was brainstorming for ideas because it was already two o’clock in the morning. He turned off the bedside lamp and covered himself with a blanket. In the days that followed, he tried the best he could to give back to his childhood friends the faith which he felt they had lost in themselves. At one of their evening hangouts since he got back at 'Jack's Grill and Pub, he was lost in thought when Raphael asked, "What is wrong with you, Max?" "You don't look cheerful at all". "Don't tell us that you don't have enough money to pay for our drinks tonight", Raphael said. As soon as he said that, the other boys stopped drinking and started counting the number of empty bottles on their table. "It is not about the number of bottles I can or cannot afford ", Maxwell started. “I want all of you seated at this table right now to take stock of your lives and ask yourselves if you would want other people paying for your drinks for the rest of your lives". "You should be able to also pay for the drinks of others, maybe not today but soon", Maxwell added, fearing that they might think he was fed up of being the buyer in their midst. "Raphael, without an iota of doubt you are the smartest among us yet we are not benefitting from your smartness", Maxwell said. "So, I am not the one you should be asking if there is something wrong with me", Maxwell said, while drinking a cold bottle of Smirnoff Ice. "What is wrong with you is the question each one of you should be asking yourselves" Maxwell added as he called on the waitress to order another round of drinks. "Let us take Raphael for instance; we all know that Ruth is your problem". "She is a control freak and has a way of getting you to do anything she asks". "You guys are no more so I don't see why you should have sleepless nights over her", Maxwell explained. "She is gone and won't come back because the earlier you accept defeat of losing her, the better your chances of moving on ahead in life". Maxwell turned to Rudolph and said, "Dude, all of us seated here are envious of your football skills but they would count for nothing if you remain arrogant because the fact is, no one wants to feel threatened by you because of your skills". "The more you come to accept your position in the power chain, the more satisfied you would tend to be because time and chance are capable of changing a man's status in life within a split second", Maxwell added. "Prince", Maxwell started. "You and I know that you can never expect a salary of one hundred million dollars from your job so the earlier you stopped complaining, the better because even the richest people in the world first started at the point you find yourself today", Maxwell added. "Also, I think you are a womanizer so my sister is off limits!", Maxwell screamed and they all broke out in hysterical laughter of different pitches and tones. After the laughter had died out and yet another round of drinks was ordered, Maxwell continued, "I am not claiming to be self-righteous in any way because like all of you, I also have my own faults and inadequacies which I am trying to deal with". "Yeah right, tell us about it, Mr. Right", Frank chipped in sarcastically. "You may not know it yet but I am really messed up right now but let us leave it for another day", Maxwell said. "We need to focus on making our lives better than they are now; we have to think of putting smiles on the faces of our parents and loved ones”, Maxwell continued. Maxwell had thought up an idea to establish a franchise eatery in his neighbourhood. He proposed the idea to his trusted childhood friends and wanted to know if they were willing to share the idea with him. Within days of Maxwell’s ‘baptism of fire’ and suggestion, all his friends put in all the best efforts they could to bring their idea into reality. Maxwell shared the idea with Linda. “That is a splendid idea!”, She exclaimed after Maxwell had shared his business plan with her. Linda worked with a law firm as a secretary so Maxwell engaged her to do all his paper work for him. He ensured that he kept his friends especially Prince in check whenever Linda was around them so he always made her type their documents in his room. On one of the nights, Maxwell and Linda stayed in late to finish up work on the final proposal to send to the eatery requesting for the franchise. “Do you think they are going to buy the idea?”, Maxwell asked nervously. “Relax, Maxwell”, Linda started. “I have gone through the business plan and the proposal and I can say for a fact that it is top notch”, Linda added looking up at Maxwell from her laptop. “I am just nervous”, Maxwell said. “I want everything to turn out beautifully because I want my friends to get something doing in this almost-dead neighbourhood”. I owe it to myself and I owe it to them to help all of them”, Maxwell said. “I can see that you are really passionate about this”, Linda said as she walked over to the spot Maxwell was standing, placed her hands on his shoulders and started to massage them gently. “I have always felt that I have to prove myself to these people and I think this is the right time to make it up to them”, Maxwell added as he began to feel Linda’s warm arms around his neck. “Everything will be fine” Linda said. “You have a good soul and you can pass for a human angel”, Linda said and tightened her grip on Maxwell’s shoulders. Maxwell could feel Linda’s breath draw closer and closer to the back of his neck. He wanted to turn to see what she was up to but immediately he turned, their lips got locked in what seemed like a passionate kiss. Linda sat on Maxwell’s laps and continued kissing him. Without warning, Maxwell pushed Linda off and she landed on the bed with a thud. “I am so sorry, Linda”, Maxwell said. “We cannot do this”, he added. “What do you mean by that?”, Linda asked feeling embarrassed. “You won’t understand, Linda”, Maxwell said drawing close to Linda and kneeling in front of her. “Maxwell, make me understand because I think I am falling in love with you”, Linda said with tears in her eyes. “Linda, please don’t, I beg you”, Maxwell replied. “Why, Max, why?” Linda queried. “I am already involved with two women and I would not want you to be the third”, Maxwell revealed. Linda’s mouth was wide open as Maxwell revealed this secret. “But how”, a confused Linda asked. “I love one woman who does not love me anymore because of my past and another woman is carrying my baby”, Maxwell said. “How did you get yourself involved in all of this?”, Linda asked, looking awe-struck. Maxwell heaved a sigh and said, “This is my story”….. MORE SOON. WILL LINDA STILL LOVE MAXWELL AFTER THIS REVELATION? STAY TUNED. MY NAME IS EDWIN OKO LAMPTEY AND THE STORY IS JUST ABOUT TO BEGIN. MORE AT randomafricanthoughts.blogspot.com
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