It was a cold evening with the weather slightly windy. The moon had been hidden by passing clouds for some minutes and made the evening seem older than it looked. The streets were a bit deserted with the streetlights not working, which was something usual. The kelewele vendors had arrived at their spot filling the air with sweet-smelling aroma and frying the favourite of many who wanted a snack for the night. In the mean time, there were busy jaws at the eatery till she walked in.
She is so beautiful that nobody needed to say it. How all jaws at the eatery dropped was enough for any observer to testify that the one who walked in was one of ‘serious attention’. But who will do this observation as all eyes were fixated on this beauty queen, perfectly body-contoured? In the background, Ed Sheeran’s “Shape of You” was on repeat. What a perfect coincidence!
As she sat by the window, rushing wind blew her hair in all directions behind her, causing her to tilt her head slightly to straighten it. As she did so, her eyes met with Jason who seemed to have frozen like a chicken in the corner of a butcher’s freezer. As their eyes met, it was the most awkward 5 seconds of his life. ‘Things started doing him’. The smile that came from her knocked him out of his consciousness. She only shook her head.
This was the first time Brenda met with Jason and he knew this was it. He better take his chance or live forever regretting it.
So he shifted in his seat, like how a driver shifts to change his gear, mustered courage, cleared his throat, and with the strength of a thousand lions got up to take the boldest step of his life.
With his eyes still fixed on Brenda, he lifted his left leg, threw it into the air and…
Back to our army of lost grown men still lingering and lost in the wilderness of love.
Kelvin Giddy is now fully recovered and the army surrounds him to listen to his testimony on how he has been victimised when inflicted with syndrome of the friend zone. They were positioned in the heart of the jungle housed in a small tent. He sat in the middle, with a hurricane lamp right in front of him which casted his shadow backwards onto the tent as if he was a giant creature. It was as if they have gathered to listen to a great tale about how their forefathers defeated the original settlers of the land. No eye blinked, breaths were steady and concentration was high. They sat on the bare floor.
He began with his voice as groggery: “The friend zone is like being cast into eternal damnation and bound by eternal chains of sorrow. It is darker than the blackness of darkness and there is severe gnashing of teeth. What makes it painful is the time planted on a field you didn’t know you will never harvest just for another to come and pluck away the fruit.”
As he said these words, there was one little boy in the midst of these lost men who had brought in a jotter to make notes. His name is Rudolf and he was very studious but currently finds himself at a place he only documents. He put up his hand to ask questions as if he was cross-examining a witness who has stolen funds belonging to the state.
Rudolf: So what were the signs and symptoms that led to your demise?
Giddy: The answer is very complicated but I failed to pay attention to all the signals that she was sending. I was blinded so much that I failed to read between the lines. For instance, she only called me to come over when she had homework. She called me boo only when I tell her I can teach her, and anytime I say I will do her work for but she can miss class, she gives me a hug and a peck. [Now beginning to sob and cry] I didn’t know all was vanity.
Bossu [interdicts to offer words of encouragement]: Don’t worry. Go on. You can do this. Continue…and what happened?
Giddy [collecting a handkerchief from Rudolf to wipe away his tears although still sobbing]: So I was there in her room when a call through. [Sobbing begins to increase and he blows his nose away]. So as the call came through, all I could hear her say was ‘yes dear…I miss you…okay hun…same place?….well I love you too…’and some other things I can’t say. But she kept rubbing her hands on my head so I couldn’t think… [Sobbing turns into uncontrollable tears]
The entire army [in unison]: Aaawww….so sorry…big boys don’t cry….and what happened?
Giddy [still continuing]: So after a while, I finished doing all the homework and was now time for me to go. She told me how she likes me and how she won’t be able to survive without me as she gave me one of the tightest hugs that could suffocate an Anglican evangelist. But then she had forgotten where she placed her phone and asked me to dial her number. I dialled the number and heard it ringing underneath her pillow. As I lifted the pillow….
Just then, a strong wind blew, putting off the hurricane lamp. Everyone shouted as if dumsor had occurred when they had gotten to the most exciting part of kumkum bagya.
Bossu [shouting orders]: Rudolf, light the match.
After a few moments of unannounced commercial break, the hurricane lamp was lighted and returned to their positions but pushing a bit closer to the story-teller.
Bossu: Yes, Giddy continue.
Giddy: So as I lifted the pillow, the name I saw on her phone was ‘Studies Teacher’.
To be continued…
A Verse by Kotey.