No Tears for Mike

When his dad died, mum thought taking care of him and his little sister would be a big problem and when dad’s brother adopted him, another relative took his sister away too. Mum assured him that was for the best and Mike believed her.

The uncle who took him away was well-to-do and all he needed was a ‘son’ who would eventually take over his business. His wife hadn’t succeeded in giving him the son he had always dreamed of. Every seed from his loins resulted in females – all five of them and Mike seemed to be the answer to his prayer. He was going to be trained to take over Uncle’s empire.

Mike did not have enough time to mourn his dad – the man who had been strong, his role model. Thanks to mum and the uncle who never ceased promising him heaven on earth, he will never mourn his dad.

Being separated from his sister and mum was hard to bear. Be tough, his uncle kept repeating. You are a man and must be strong. It’s only girls who cry thus, Mike tried to hide his tears for the dad he had lost and his sister and his mum. In just two weeks, he was encouraged to forget about them for they belonged to his past.

He tried to be tough, just as his uncle wanted him to be. He tried to be respectful also. He wanted to love his new sisters but all that was met with a lot of resistance. His new sisters and their mum eyed him suspiciously. To them, Mike was just a gold-digger who had been sent to take over their dad’s business. They never saw him for the 12-year old boy that he was.

After four years of living with his uncle, he no longer remembered his mum or sister. Neither did he dwell on memories of his dad. They were now tiny figments in his adolescent brains. His mum and sister never got in touch and he never attempted to look for them either. That was what Uncle said. Now, he has stopped trying hard to love his sisters because any attempt to get close was met with fierce resistance. Expressing love was a thing for girls, anyway.

No form of emotion was expected except viciousness because he was a man. He must be tough if he wanted to manage the over 300-fleet of cars owned by his uncle someday. He no longer missed anyone from his past -not his dad, nor mum nor little sister. Missing them was not permitted because that made him a girl and girls could not run businesses. He needed to be tough to own his uncle’s businesses and tough was exactly how he was going to act.

©

The Dean’s Office (Part 4)

Read Part 3 of the Dean’s Office.

“Those guys at the back. Yes – one is in a red shirt, the other is in a blue-checkered shirt and the third is in ermm – that should be black or is it a deep blue short sleeved shirt. Don’t look back. I’m talking to the three of you. What’s funny?” I asked.

“Madam, please it’s nothing,” the one in the blue-checkered shirt responded.

“Since the three of you are excited to be in my class this morning, I’m certain you have an answer to my question,” I said. “Explain the concept and features of Value-Base Management.”

After a little bit of hesitation, the one in the black short sleeves stood up.

“Madam, please, Value-Based Management (VBM) for short, is the management philosophy and approach that enables and supports maximum value creation in organisations, typically the maximum of shareholder value. VBM encompasses the processes for creating, managing and …”

“Awesome. That’s wonderful. I think this young man deserves a clap. What is your name?” I asked.

“Madam, please I am Nana,” he responded.

I could still hear some murmurings and giggles from his friends.

“I cherish students who take time to go through the course outline and read ahead of the class. Nana that is five (5) additional marks for class participation,”

“Thank you, madam,” he responded. He whispered something to his friends which drew more laughter from them.

“Some of you would never touch the course outline till it’s revision week and I am waiting to mark your exam scripts,” I said, attracting laughter from the entire class.

“You’re laughing. Don’t forget I’ve also been a student once and I’ve been lecturing for close to six years. I know what you do with my course outline and as Nana rightly described, Value-Based Management or VBM for short is a management philosophy…”

********************************

The Dean’s Office

“Do you not respond to calls or call back when you miss calls,” Francis enquired.

“Hello, Francis. What a nice way to acknowledge my presence.” I responded.

“Did your phone display my attempt at reaching you?” Francis continued.

“Who calls a married woman at 11 pm? Were you expecting me to respond? Besides, I did not save your number on my phone the other day. Let’s just assume I did not know it was you,”

“I take it that you do not answer calls from numbers you do not know. What if it’s an emergency?”

“What if my husband had answered the call? What would you have said it was? An emergency from a colleague at work? At 11 pm? Congratulations Dr. Smith. That was smart,” I said, beginning to lose my cool.

With that, I walked away leaving Francis on the corridor. I took the shortest route back to my office before causing a scene. Immediately I sat, I heard a knock on my door.

“Come in,” I said.

“It was not my intention to call so late but I have tried, unsuccessfully, to get thoughts of you out of my head. I find you attractive,” Francis began immediately he entered my office.

“Dr. Smith, what exactly do you want from me? ” I said with all the calmness I could gather.

“I would love to get to know you better if you would give me the chance,”

“Know me better? In what sense?”

“Is it possible for us to be fffriends? Which could lead into a relationship? Possibly?” he asked.

“Wow! Wow! That is enough. Can you leave my office?”

“We can start by getting to know each other better. I promise to behave myself till you decide whether you want to leave your husband and be with me or not,”

“This is the most ridiculous statement I’ve heard my entire life. Dr. Smith, please leave my office and I mean it this time,” I said, while I stood up to prepare to escort him out. The audacity. This man is too bold.

“I can’t seem to get you out of my mind. Just think about my proposal and give me a call when you have a response,” Dr. Smith said before leaving my office.

…….to be continued.

©

Photo Source: Pixabay

The Dean’s Office (Part 3)

Read Part 2 of the Dean’s Office

“Your phone is ringing,” I heard Jimmy from the bathroom.

“Please, who is it?” I shouted back.

“The number is not saved on your phone but Truecaller says it’s F. Smith,”

“Why would he be calling me this late?” I asked, more to myself than to Jimmy.

“Who is that?” Jimmy shouted, “Should I answer?”

I quickly dashed to the bedroom and almost snatched the phone from Jimmy’s hands. He looked up surprised.

“No, you do not need to answer that,” I said, almost out of breath.

The call went off before I could decide on whether to answer or not and when I looked up, Jimmy still had the surprised look on his face.

“Did you have to snatch the phone like that? Who was that and why was he/she calling you this late?”

“It’s nobody you know and I am not really sure of the identity of the caller. Truecaller does not always get the id right,” I answered as I regulated the temperature of the air condition, turned off the bedside lamp, went under the covers and prepared to go to sleep.

“Ok,” Jimmy said, not sounding convinced. I heard the ruffling of the sheets and felt him draw a little closer to me. He raised himself a little and kissed me gently. I felt his hand on my thigh too.

“Not tonight, dear. I feel so exhausted and I have a long day tomorrow,” I said.

“It’s been long since we got intimate,”

“I am sorry but I will make it up to you. I promise,”

I gave him a peck on the forehead and turned to face the wall.

Ha! Francis. That man is shady. Calling me at 23:00 GMT. I wonder what he wants. The last time in my office, he said he only passed by to see my pretty face and to take my phone number. How weird? Even though I acted annoyed, I felt flattered. That man has the guts and is not afraid to show it. I can still remember the smell of his perfume.

Oh, sleep! Where are you?

*************************************

The Dean’s Office

Waking up early to attend lectures as early as 7:30 am is not fun, especially when the taps are not running. We either have to carry our buckets to the ladies part of the hall to fetch water or go for the lecture without taking our baths. Boys do not complain much when they have to go through this ritual, on Tuesdays, when Dr. Osei is taking Corporate Finance.

“That woman is fine. Her! I swear,” Nana said, while we made our way from the ladies side of the hall to the bathroom.

“She pretends to be strict but I know underneath that show she puts up, she is all soft like wool,” Kojo responded

“She is so pretty and could easily pass for one of our mates in Level 200,” Percy added, when they had all started to take their baths.

“It’s her natural hair for me,” Keli commented.

“I think she is the whole package that is why I am putting in extra effort to not only pass her exam but to make it onto her honours’ list. You know she takes the two best students in her class for dinner each semester,” Nana said dreamily.

“I hear she is married with about five kids or so. Make sure you are not entertaining any thoughts,” Percy reminded Nana.

“That is not my problem. I could be her side guy or even a servant in her house so I could gaze at her beauty every single day,” Nana said while rubbing his hand on his belly and licking his lips at the same time.

His friends burst out laughing.

“Isn’t she the reason you all picked your buckets, walked several kilometres to fetch water just to look fresh? If it was a male lecturer, would you all have gone to these lengths?” Nana asked.

This drew more laughter from the friends.

“Masa (Master), it’s true that the woman is fine but we all don’t have a crush on her like you. Yours is not even a crush, you have fallen for her,” Kojo said in between laughs.

“But Charlie guys! Through fair of foul means, I need to make it onto that list. I will not only make it onto that list but will go further to be her side guy. In fact, who will come make we bet?” Nana asked.

…….to be continued.

©

The Dean’s Office (Part 2)

Read part 1 of the Dean’s Office.

Our home hasn’t been the most peaceful in recent times. It started when Shirley took that senior lecturing role at the University. The money she earns is not bad but we miss her presence at home – the kids and me. It was not as if we were doing terribly -financially- before she took that role. We were comfortably living on my salary and no one complained but you know women,

“Oh Jimmy, I need to progress further in my career. I can’t live on your earnings alone. I need to support the house too,” she said.

I knew a lot of lecturers who had very flexible work schedules and spent most of their waking moments consulting for firms but not Shirley. She is always the first to leave the house and the last to return at night. Her excuses were numerous,

“Oh. You know the Accra traffic – I needed to beat it,”

“The children can be a nuisance at times and my office is the most conducive for the articles I am reviewing,”

The children. They keep asking of their mother who is extremely busy beating all the traffic in Accra. I missed those days when she had no job in any formal setting. During that period, we had no business thinking of employing any helps for the house.

Now my advice for men who are doing extremely well – don’t let the women work, especially when the kids are still young. If she pretends to be angry, let her be. She will get over it in no time. Don’t fall for the, “Oh! I need to support the house” mantra.

“Jimmy, things will get better in no time,” Shirley reassures me whenever I start complaining about the limited time she spends with the family. As to when the situation would improve, I have no idea.

You know what? Now I need a drink.

*******************

This morning, I couldn’t help but reminisce over how drastically my life has changed. From an unemployed graduate and a mother of three, who solely relied on her husband’s income while spending every waking moment writing applications, praying over them and sending them out without any response. This happened until one of my former roommates encouraged me to apply for a scholarship which I did. Jimmy, my husband, had been the only stumbling block but I managed to push him aside.

The journey has not been easy thus, when I sit in my brand new Mazda CX -30, driving around campus, I know I deserve every bit of goodness that is coming my way. I could sometimes feel the stares of not only the students but members of faculty who probably do not understand what I have been through and I am determined to rise through the ranks. Being a professor wouldn’t be enough. Professor Emerita? Possibly.

A knock on my door jostled me out of my daydream.

“Come in,” I said.

“Dr. Osei, please my name is Bernice. I am having issues with the topic I chose for my long essay. I cannot seem to find any articles to review,” she said.

“That is why I keep repeating that you students need to start the literature review before settling on a topic. What if no one has written on that subject? Are you going to spend your remaining three months in school creating something new?” I asked.

Another knock interrupted our conversation and before I could respond to it, Dr. Francis Smith, looking all manly, walks into my office without an invitation.

“Erm,” I said looking at the student.

“Bernice,” she offered.

“Yes. Bernice. Kindly write the topic you have chosen here. Add your phone number and email address and I will get in touch with some ideas, ok?”

“Thank you, Madam. Eh. Dr. Osei,” she responded and hurriedly run out of the office.

“Great. And how can I be of help to you, Dr. Smith?” I asked while finally focusing all of my attention on him. Dr. Smith looked exceptionally handsome in his neatly sewn multi-coloured African print shirt with navy-blue pants that fitted him so well. The sleeves were short enough to show his proportionately built muscles. With my desk separating the two of us, he bent over a little which gave me a glimpse of his hairy chest. I could smell his perfume too.

“Ahem,” I cleared my throat rather loudly, “do you mind taking a seat, Dr. Smith.”

He did, rather reluctantly.

“You showed me how to get to your office but forgot to add your phone number,”

“So you came all the way here for my phone number?” I asked in disbelief.

“And to see your pretty face as well,” he added with a smile.

“Excuse me?” I replied. Not sure if I heard him correctly.

…….to be continued.

©

The Dean’s Office (Part 1)

I know movies can be dramatic and are designed to entertain us.

“This scene is unrealistic,”

“That is too much of a coincidence,”

“The world is too large for these two to keep meeting,”

These are some of the commentary my brain runs when I sit to watch movies.

I had never set my eyes on him until the dean introduced us during one of the faculty meetings. He was tall, fair and properly dressed in a coffee brown Italian, slim-fit suit, a white shirt underneath and brown shoes to match. He seemed to have good taste in fashion.

“Dr. Osei, meet Francis Smith(PhD). He is the newest addition to the Business School. He will lecture in Finance,” the dean said.

“Pleased to meet you, Dr. Smith,” I said with my hands lifted to meet his in a firm handshake.

The two of us sat across the dean to discuss the course structure. We were still going to lecture for ten weeks, conduct interim assessments, give the students one project work to be executed in a group and finally examine them at the end of semester.

“I am glad you will be working together to make this semester a successful one,” the dean said. “But Francis, keep it strictly professional. She is definitely not your type and she is married.”

The dean said while sharing a hearty laugh with Dr. Smith.

I couldn’t tell how far their friendship went but I was simply not interested in where this joke was headed.

I packed my notebook into my bag and quickly made my way to the door of the dean’s office.

“Let’s just say I haven’t grown out of my boyish desires,” I heard Dr. Smith respond with another loud laughter which rang through the office and was followed by another handshake.

This Francis guy or Dr. Smith was good looking and God knows he looked great in that suit. Many women would definitely kill to date him but who really is Dr. Francis Smith?

*******************

My sense of style cannot be described as classy or chic or trendy. I dress to feel comfortable and on regular days, I wear my African print dresses and my natural hair is always pulled up in a bun.

Today, I am dressed in a crisp white long sleeves with a navy blue body con skirt and a three-inch high heel. This is how I dress whenever I needed to represent the Business School at meetings off-campus. The dean offered me his spot at a high level meeting with some government officials and I had to look, act and speak the part. No wonder most of the participants wanted to interact with me right after the meeting.

I needed to grab some breakfast from the Senior Staff Cafeteria before heading over to the dean’s to debrief.

“There you are,”

A voice behind me made me turn and it belonged to no other than Dr. Smith. What do they say about coincidences again?

“Hi,”

“I haven’t set my eyes on you since we had that meeting at the dean’s office. We’re supposed to work together, you know,”

His eyes moved from my face, down to my little cleavage and they rested on my skirt before making their way to my eyes again.

“You could have have simply asked the dean for that information,” I said.

“You know, why don’t we sit at the table in the corner and have a little chat. The waitress could serve us,” he said.

“Second floor, Lecture Theatre 5, Room 7. You can find me there,” I said quickly while picking my meal and leaving the cafeteria.

…..to be continued

©

Afrobloggers’ The Never Ending Story

We continue Miss Kay’s story:

Ghost witches. Teleportation. Experiencing death even in death. Who would have imagined that one could die even after they were dead? If someone had predicted to her that her life-after-death experience would be this dramatic, she would have died several years ago.

“Daydreaming again eh,” Grandma Kai’s voice jostled her back to the present.

She sat on the rock and gazed at this old woman who everyone thought was ‘dead’ but is very much ‘alive’ and training her for God-knows-what. Mona had always been adventurous but that was when she was alive. All of these puzzling experiences with her grandmother were gradually wearing her out.

“Life, for our kinsmen has always been a little complicated,” Grandma started. “You live and when you think death would bring you peace and rest, it doesn’t. There is always an assignment to complete.”

Mona looked up at her Grandma Kai and wondering what she was going to say next.

“Even in death, we’re not free. There is one last task and …”

The last part of her words became inaudible. Grandma Kai gazed ahead. She seemed frightened. As if she had seen a ghost. She held her tummy and fell off the rock. She began to wriggle in pain as if she had ingested poison.

“No ooo,” Mona screamed as she jumped from the rock to hold her grandmother.

“Not here, Grandma. Please do not abandon me,” Mona cried as she held her grandmother’s almost lifeless body or spirit.

“What am I going to do?” Mona kept uttering these word with tears in her eyes as she shook her Grandma Kai.

For what seemed like eternity, the old woman suddenly jumped up as if nothing had happened. She burst out laughing.

“Oh Mona. Mona. You are too emotional,” Grandma said. “Don’t you get it yet?”

“Get what?” Mona said. Almost whispering and shocked at the turn out of events.

“For the task ahead, you don’t need to get like this,” Grandma said.

“Like what?” Mona asked, wiping the remaining tears from her eyes.

“You need to be stronger than this,” Grandma responded. “This is the emotional-strengthening test and you’ve failed woefully.”

“Come. Sit down,” Grandma said, pointing to the rock once again.

Confused by all that had happened, Mona stood up and walked back to the rock. The night seemed very cold. She rubbed her arms for some warmth and looked at her Grandma Kai and awaited what was going to happen next.

It’s going to be a long night…

©

NeverEndingABC Links:
Afrobloggers
✓Tawa of gentlegiantsblog
✓Kadali.Bartlett of Kadaliblog published on Afrobloggers
✓Nicole of humanityboss published on Afrobloggers
✓uBu published on becominguBu
✓Tanaka who blogs at passionvictim ✓@rasmunroe who blogs at mystorymyownwords ✓ Miss Kay who blogs at misskayblogs ✓ ChristianBlogGh who blogs at thechristianblogghana

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Letters: To Advise or Not to Advise (III)

Dear Ama,

We have received your letter and I was given the responsibility of providing you with the appropriate response.

After reading through your reply, the girls and I have decided to offer you a grace period and whether we accept you into our circle, will depend on the answers you provide.

You raised a few issues which boggled our minds, especially, with regards to the pieces of advice provided to you and Yaw during your marriage counselling sessions.

Did your counsellors really say you should cut off your friends and all external parties? All because you’re married? Are you really happy to do that? Will you follow through with this advice? You really scared us when you said you (the woman) will be blamed if something goes wrong in this union. 🤦🏾‍♀️

You also mentioned Yaw did not have a lot of friends. During the wedding, he did not strike us as an individual who kept to himself, looking at the number of groomsmen who followed him and his dance moves during the wedding. We all had the impression he was outgoing. Or is he currently following the advice of your marriage counsellors? 🤷🏿‍♀️

Your response to this letter is very crucial. It’ll inform the girls and I on our next step of action. We look forward to hearing from you.

The leader of the pack,

Joy

©

#WBC2020 – ‘By the time he woke up, I was dying… (a creative story)

I walked to the washroom and saw Michael sitting on toilet, scrolling through his phone.

I folded my arms, waiting for him to notice me. He looked up and our eyes met.

“The test came out negative again, ” I said.

He got up, flushed the toilet, washed his hands and came over to give me a hug.

“Hey, it’s not your fault,” he said.

I don’t remember the number of times I had heard that statement. This is our eleventh year of marriage and I’ve lost count of the number of times I’ve hoped, tried and taken those stupid pregnancy tests. They always managed to come out negative.

I wanted to scream at Michael but I couldn’t. I knew what he’d say,

“Let’s keep trusting God. He’s the one who gives children,”

I don’t blame him. Society never bothers men when married couples do not bear children. It’s always the woman’s fault.

I thought this month’s attempt at conceiving was going to yield positive results. I took the medication and the doctor reiterated that Michael and I were perfectly normal and there’ll be good news this month.

“We’ll keep trying,” Michael repeated.

I nodded just to please him. I walked to the room to call Sandra, my best friend.

“The test came out negative. Again.”

“Let’s meet at my place,” she offered.

I quickly dressed up and told Michael I needed to clear my head.

He walked over to me, gave me another hug and said,

“Take all the time you need,”

“I will,” I said with a smile.

I drove straight to Sandra’s and parked my car. The door flew opened and with wide arms, Sandra welcomed me.

I started narrating my ordeal. This isn’t the first time Sandra is hearing my trying-to-conceive story. She knew about it but her facial expression showed she wasn’t tired of hearing it.

“I have an idea,” Sandra interjected. “Do you remember Denise? She had been trying for 15 years too and she has twins now. She showed me something that worked for her,”

Sandra walked to her room and came back with a bottle.

“This is her magic potion. She testifies it had helped several women like her. Go ahead. Try it,”

I took the bottle with some level of doubt. What do I have to lose anyway? I knew Denise’s story. Who doesn’t? She keeps flaunting the twins on her Instagram page.

“Denise tells me you may feel a little drowsy an hour later after you take it. You may want to drink it while you’re at home,”

Thinking of Michael, who’ll definitely not approve of this, I drank the concoction and picked my car keys.

“I should be at home before I feel the effects of that. Thank you for everything, Sandra,” I gave my childhood best friend a quick hug and rushed to my car.

The journey was smooth till about 400 metres to my home. I started feeling the discomfort. It was in my tummy and I was sweating profusely. I stepped on the accelerator and made the journey in less than a minute.

As I turned the ignition off, I felt the most excruciating pain in my stomach. I tried to make it to the door but that was impossible. I laid on the ground and tried to shout for Michael. He was probably taking a nap. I clenched my teeth and held my stomach tightly as if that was going to make the situation better but, nothing happened. It was as if my breath was being taken out of me. My life flashed before my eyes.

This is the worst feeling I’ve ever felt. I said a prayer and my world was whirling so fast that I had to keep my eyes shut. Michael wouldn’t know the real story. By the time he woke up, I was dying…

***This is 18/22 of the #WinterABC2020. The prompt is “By the time he woke up, I was dying…Share a creative story with this line.***

©

Never Ending Afrobloggers Chain Story

A never-ending chain story by the Afrobloggers community

It was a time for the planting season to begin and you’d expect everyone to be elated but for the rains. They had come too early… …and far too much. The earth became a soggy porridge, a fertile breeding ground for a very unexpected harvest. [Tawa of Gentlegiantblog & Beaton of BecomingTheMuse]

The year was 2025. 5 years after the fatal and brutal COVID19 had ravaged the world and left it empty. Almost. You see the world as we all knew it prior to 2020 was now a memory. A distant memory that no one wanted to talk about. [Sophie of akitcheninuganda.com]

The few of us who had survived the fatal virus now lived in groups we called tribes. Trying to live everyday. Fearful and distrustful of strangers. Never venturing out of the zones we had set for ourselves. [Mable of Mablesrants.wordpress.com]

Mona was the outlier of her tribe. She was 23 and had survived the pandemic. She felt life had to be lived in faith and without fear. Unfortunately for her, her newfound love for life was also the newly discovered fear for her parents who felt safer living within their zones. [OMT of www.omtsdigest.com]

So Mona’s faith couldn’t push her through. Fear still covered her like another pandemic was yet to come. In her zone, her girlfriends constructed a mansion where they all lived like it was a little country. Some farmers, others tailors, others saloonists others chefs, they grew their food and partied there own bar just like in the same compound. [Kadali.Bartlett of Kadaliblog.wordpress.com]

Life was not as Mona and her friends had known it, but through the stories of pain and survival they managed to get through the days. Each time she saw her parents and how her mom seemed safe in her father’s arms her heart ached as she remembered her love [ScotchRoyalty ofscotchroyalty.wordpress.com]

Locked in her fear, Mona decided to ask God for strength and restore her faith. Deep down she knew that nothing comes easy but she believed that God will make things right and erase the fear that clouded her and her parents and live a life filled with happiness. [Nikki_zw ofhumanityboss.blogspot.com]

One night, when the clock hit midnight she felt an energy in the room. She heard a woman’s voice say, ‘I am here to lift you up and remove all fear.’ She opened her eyes and saw nothing but still felt this woman’s presence. ‘Who are you?’ she asked. ‘I am the ghost witch.’[BecominguBu of becomingubu.com]

Mona knew the witch’s visit was the beginning of the adventure she had been waiting for all along. Just as the ghost witch had said, her fear was erased by her longing desire for something different. Something new awaited her.
The witch only had one question for her, “Are you ready?”. [Tanaka of Passion Victim Blog]

She held in her hands, a book of which she said “contained all the places in the work beyond the Aksum zone she could visit.”

It was at that moment her spirit fully awakened as the raging soul storms calmed, “Lead the way”, she said. The ghost witch took form. [rasmunroe of My Story, My Own Words]

A breeze filled the room and Mona saw the fairest creature in front of her. The sight of the Ghost Witch was overwhelming. The Ghost Witch stretched her hands towards Mona as the breeze grew stronger forming a whirlwind. Mona took the hands, held on tightly and closed her eyes. [Miss_Kayzi of Chipo_kayzi]

Mona couldn’t help but imagine the beautiful world that awaited her and as the speed of wind increased, she could no longer feel her body. It could have been an hour of spinning in the whirlwind but when Mona opened her eyes, she was lying on a pile of snow.

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What if…? (If He was a man)

What if…? is that mysterious man with the superhuman strength that everyone in the community revers seems to be afraid of. Tales are told of how he has disfigured the faces of the strongest men, made folly of the proud women and even disarmed soldiers who attempted to get close. As for the little children, the fables they’ve heard are enough to keep them away.

What if…? lives on the peak of highest mountain overlooking the town, where nobody abides. His house may seem haunted, his bed, as we are told, is made of steel. His kitchen has the biggest hearth with the biggest fire you can ever imagine. That is where he puts the cauldron used to boil disobedient children. His dam is what has cut water supply to the rest of the town.

“Do you want to loose your teeth or your limbs?” the older folks always ask when they sense someone is seeking to challenge What if…?

The large tract of land that surrounds his house is fallow yet nobody in the town has attempted to conduct any activity there.

“Are you building close to …?” they stammer, pointing to the mountaintop but unable to mention his name.

What if..? could have easily vied for the topmost leadership position in the community, as some say, because he is the wisest, strongest and the most knowledgeable. No town will conquer ours, in times of war, if he is made the leader. Why he is still not among the leadership is still a mystery.

We have heard so many stories that are enough to put fear into us but as I narrate the story of What if…? I haven’t had any personal encounter with him yet. I am not the only one who hasn’t. None of my friends have had any either.

These stories I tell are what I’ve heard from my father. I confronted him the other day to know if indeed What if..? is as strong as the town makes us believe. That was when he confessed he has never set his eyes on What if..?? He directed me to Grandpa. When I posed the question to him, he also responded he has never met What if…?

Perhaps the town’s sage may have encountered him. The sage is the oldest man in the town. He is known to have fought in World War I and has answers to some of the most absurd questions. I was confident when I walked up to him and posed the puzzling question.

“I know he lives on the mountaintop but nobody has ever set their eyes on him,” the town sage responded

“So you haven’t seen him too,” I whispered, too shocked to speak.

“My dear, I haven’t,” he admitted.

It was then that it struck me. Is it minutely possible that What if..? may not exist at all? Would I be right to believe that the tale of this strong man may be in the imagination of the towns folks? I am not sure but I may find out one day. That will be the day that I will gather courage to climb the highest mountain of the town and take a peep into What if’s..? house. If I come back alive, I will have the answer to my question.

Until then, “What if…? is the wisest, strongest and the most knowledgeable in this town.” Please don’t tell anyone that I haven’t met him yet.

This is Day 6 of the 21-day lock down blogging challenge and the writing prompt is ‘What if?

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