THE LAST LAUGH
“ Oh My “ I exclaimed as I tried to stop my heavy anatomical figure from hitting the sandy terrain. The contents of my big beige suitcase flew as it flung open. I managed to lift myself from the ground and tried to salvage my belonging. The desert wind whistled as it carried away the light items. I stared helplessly as pieces which had been ripped from my precious book were literally flying everywhere. I stood wondering and worrying ad also cursing my fate, stubbornness. I had adamantly rejected any advice of learning the new writing skill. Maybe if I had stored y writing in a computer. I wouldn’t have been going through this.
Here you are I heard a familiar voice .Startled, I turned round and saw Abe holding crumpled paper in his hands. He had taken the risk of racing against the strong wind to collect my papers...I remembered how I had inflicted this pupil with a flexible cane got from the b ranch of a slender guava tree; for failing miserably in the contest thus denying me the opportunity of bagging THE TEACHER OF THE YEAR award.
The wind had stopped blowing. Abe helped me organize the writing systematically. I realized that ABE wasn’t a word and letters person but he could use numerals and figures not only comfortably but also competently. Teacher, kindly allow me to come to school. I apologize sincerely for running away. I nodded, fighting tears. I hugged him and watched him running until he had disappeared the beyond horizon.
I took large strides towards the station. I had a firm grip on my suitcase to ensure the nightmarish occurrence doesn’t present itself again.
There was a large crowd at the station. The singing urchins raised their voices expectantly anytime they thought that someone had arrived but had not noticed them. Perhaps their singing had nothing to do with me or my fellow travellers , but it made me uncomfortable. I tried to squeeze my body towards the interior so as to escape their pitiful gazes. A street preacher announced his arrival by singing a hymn using his already hoarse voice. The hawkers could also be heard straining their vocals as they AND n advertising their goods
I put my hand in my pocket and found an old coin and walked towards the blind duo who were now overwhelmed by the noise and stopped singing. AS I dropped the coin, all the remaining beggars raised the rusty metallic bowls as if expecting me to fill all of them at once. I Left hurriedly and boarded the minivan which was about to set off.
“CEASARS! CEASERS!” Shouted the tout while swishing the wad of notes like a ballerina’s skirt.
I sat next to a lass with screaming red painted lips and long shinny eye lashes which attracted blinking to my eyes any time my gaze roamed and wondered towards her . She was browsing. She could as well might be chatting. I didn’t care. I decided to mind my business ‘. Suddenly , I fell off to new haven.
I opened my eyes to find my beautiful neighbour had alighted and had been replaced by a dreadlocked man. He wore a long purple gown and looked as if some demon lived in him. A strong stench came from his direction. I needed fresh air, my lungs failed me. Involuntarily, I found myself throwing up. Someone joined me from behind. In a moment the bus was full of confusion. The driver had no option but to stop, park the vehicle and wash it by the river.
I was dead tired on alighting. I went straight to the hotel and straight to bed after I with the receptionist. The morning mail bore bold head line : PLAGUE IN A BUS. The government was calling upon or the travellers who had boarded the ill- fated bus to report and be quarantined. I feigned ignorance and never showed up to the venue. Instead, I headed straight to the conference
Lady Luck smiled a t me . Nobody came up to identify me even after images were posted on social media. Be it : face book, twitter, Instagram , all the photos only showed my back partially hidden. “ PHEW !” I breathed a sigh of relief
At the seminar I was able to use the book ABE had helped me stitch together. Of course I received a standing ovation after my speech. After all got the runners up award.
Meanwhile the travellers were put in quarantine under close doctors’ watch. Televisions had their identities shown everywhere. They got several loathsome titles. I was greatly relieved since I hadn’t been entwined by that ugly web . The government offered to reward whoever would bring the unidentified person. Just six hours after the announcement , a lady showed up and became my substitute. Her desire for the fat reward turned her into being the sacrificial lamb.
At the seminar things moved as I had anticipated, save for few moment s when a participant mentioned the famous bus incident which filled my stomach with butterflies. I made sure to evade such situations.
“Your presentation really impressed me,” Mr James told me
“Thank you so much “ I answered even though I WAS BURNING WITH ENVY. I managed an artificial smile . Thank goodness my face did not give my pretentious smile away.
“Tell me; How did you do to win the second prize?”
I avoided his eyes .I was getting angry. “He has come to show off !” I thought.
“ If it had not been for one very weak child, I could have been at your POSTIOON
M r James started as if to walk away but decided to face me.
“Madam, Make provisions for each individual child without despising or intimidating the ones you presume to be very weak. You may end up realizing that they also have particular strengths.”
I closed my eyes and envisioned Abraham racing in the wind arranging my papers and the out-lawed corporal punishment I administered on him after his miserable failure.
I nodded with clouded eyes. Regret replaced envy. I held Mr James’ hand with a sincere smile.
`During his presentation Mr James made the following remarks
“Dear colleagues our children are neither robots nor computers to be programmed. They are humans to be nurtured and loved. Never let your desire to win destroy them. Their destruction
EQUALS OUR TOTAL DESTRUCTION. This has been my secret to success. Thank you for listening”
There was a deafening applause.
I purchased a book: DATING AND DANCING WITH NUMBERS
As a gift to Abe.
My return journey was as uneventful as I had wished. I arrived safely to my serene and calm environment awaiting new school term.
During the morning assembly I called Abraham, apologized for ever demeaning him , thanked him for his help and finally presented the gift to him. A wide grin rep laced the once shy and frustrated face. Excitement filled the air as he received an additional basket full of fresh fruits and a packet who had been subject of ridicule and stigma after the publicized quarantine. Media houses and newspaper publishing houses had to share in the government’s bitter pill. I remembered with nostalgia how I pioneered the throwing up without benefit.
The global economic crisis hit me hard. I had loans in banks and other financial institutions. In fact I was backlisted. Despite the embarrassment, murmurs and stares I persistently tried my luck to get a loan. This is where I met this banker who offered to contract me to be a part- time tutor to his son. He paid me highly. I reciprocated by giving the child my whole.
One day after the banker’s son had excelled in the National Examinations and had been awarded a scholarship in a prestigious high school, I was invited to attend a party to celebrate the success.
“I hereby show my gratitude to one particular teacher who contributed immensely to very my success more than a decade ago. Every head (including mine) turned to unravel the
In bewilderment and confusion. Before you recognized and appreciated my worth several Calendars ago ,I had to race with the wind and vie for this trophy.” He showed me an old book which was well taken of. I read the title ; DATING AND DANCING WITH ----------
The following morning I found myself in bed at a high cost hospital. On the day of my discharge , the accounts clerk handed me a brown envelope. I opened it and found a card with
Golden writing; THANK YOU
There was a cheque of an awesome amount. The one that equals A JACKPOT LOTTERY WIN. I have never set eyes on this.
HEY READER , BE MY MANAGER AND ADVISE ME APPROPRIATELY.