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The Moment- Part Two Printable Version PRINTABLE VERSION
by Dumletam, United States Sep 6, 2006
Child & Youth Rights   Short Stories
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The Moment- Part Two “It’s midnight, Esor. Wake up!” Dee-or shook her vigorously. He knew if Esor slept out tonight, hell would break loose following day. Prevention is better than cure, he cautioned himself. In his head, he rehearsed some poetic lines:

“The mountain spooked at the foot
of the river… Santa was present at
this untowardly dinner table…
Don’t bother, old lady, to think
about the morrow…for the morrow
…oh, I forgot to mention, sweetheart,
our dance was under the spooky foot,
Where the mountain spooked
and the river goofed;
Behind such timid baby babbles,
…oh, let’s dance if you know
what I mean… yes, the morrow
Will take care of itself…”

He woke with a start. His breathing was heavy and laborious. He looked around him. Pillow and beddings were drenched with sweat. Well, well, well, he thought to himself, I remember the RN Announcer signing off last night… What’s going on here? Why am I sweating this way? May be I had a bad dream…

Papa’s voice interrupted his train of thoughts: “Are you all right, son?”

“Of course, yes. May have had a bad dream, Papa.”

“A bad dream indeed! Want to talk about it in the morning?”

“Not that I care Papa. It was a bad dream, that’s all. What more is there to talk about? Psychologists say (that) dreams are a result of our junk thoughts before sleep. So…”

“So, it’s nothing. Is that not what you wanted to say, son? Well, it’s still early to wake the cockerels. Go to bed. We’ll talk things over in the morning. There is no fire without smoke.”

Papa shut his door and retired to bed. He knew that his father heard everything. There was going to be no way round the bend when explaining last night’s encounter to Papa. He was a straight-to-the-point person, especially when it came to serious issues and matters concerning his family.

Papa was a Chief. He assumed his father, Chief Nee Nkor's, stool after he passed away in the late sixties. Papa had seen enough in his days to shilly-shally on crucial issues. Dee-or knew that with the arrival of dawn comes the crow of cockerels.

His dream last night wasn’t ordinary. And given the grave concern shown by Papa, he knew something sinister was about to happen in his relationship. But how could this be? Just last evening they spoke. Although Esor never gave him her words, he trusted she would do the right thing, given time. So why this dream? Or was he becoming somewhat superstitious? Or was he plain paranoid for no just reason?

Well, he had already told Papa that his own thoughts were playing tricks on him. Let’s rest the case there, he thought. It’s not Papa’s battle; it’s mine and mine to fight. Why then should I worry…about Papa? I’ll talk with Esor late this afternoon. I’m sure we’ll sort things out our way.

But a sudden knock on the door of his room broke Dee-or’s self-reassurance. He was not expecting anybody this early in the morning, not even Esor. Who is this then that would not let him put the goats out of the pen? He swore under his breath. He was reluctant to open the door. The knock persisted.

“Who’s it? Can’t you see the sun’s still sleeping?”

“I’m not blind. Open the door for me!”

It was Esor! What was she doing here this hour of the morning? Dee-or asked himself. This is unusual. “Don’t tell me my dreams are coming true so soon,” he whispered to himself.

He spun from the bed quietly, threw a wrapper around his waist and sat there listening to Esor’s persistent knocks followed by suppressed but furious babblings. On other days he would have been amused by this drama. Not today. He feigned ignorance of Esor’s presence at the door. “I say go away…do I owe you?”

“Yes, you do. Open this door, you…you…sleepy head!” Esor let her voice a pitch higher than usual.

She knew better than anybody else that Dee-or was wide awake but pretending. She was also aware that making obscene remarks this early morning wasn’t, in the strict traditional sense, morally accommodating.

“Even the worst debtor in this village is allowed to enjoy the comfort of his own house…whoever you are, how much do I owe you?”

“Open this door, you…”

“Dee-or, are you deaf?” Papa’s voice cut through like a sharp machete. “Open the door for her!”

“Papa, good morning.” Putting her head through the now opened door Esor whispered to Dee-or, “It serves you right, mister…!”

“Good morning, my daughter,” Papa responded to her greeting. “How was your night?”

“Good-o, Papa. I slept like the baby I’m… Thank you, Papa, for asking. And thanks too for prevailing on Dee-or to open the door for me. He would have…”

Dee-or reached through the door and gently pulled Esor in. “Come in and stop babbling like an old woman without teeth.”

“Aah! Can’t you be a little gentle to an old woman without teeth, gorilla-man?” She threw her arms around him. “I was thinking of you all night…couldn’t sleep…”

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