Always and Forever


This is the longest non-academic story I’ve written. Bear with me.

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We used to laugh…

September 2008

The leaves have started their slow descent that will usher in the winter; cold and white. I’ve never liked winter, in fact, I thoroughly despise it. You know that. But you, you seem to carry summer everywhere with you; never letting anything chill your warm spirits. It’s why I was attracted to you in the first place. The way you laughed; long and hard and so carefree like no one was watching. I used to get so embarrassed. Everyone would stare at us, and you didn’t care. You’d be rolling all over the floor, tears in your eyes, just cause you heard a good joke. In a way, I was probably jealous, because I was too self-conscious to ever laugh like that. I mean, what would the people think? It’s taken me so long but I finally get it. Why you’d say to me with that solemn look in your grey eyes, “Carpe diem, amor mei.” I want to seize the day now, baby. And I need you here to seize it with me. Just try. You always told me I could do anything as long as I tried. Well, now I need you to try. You have to try, OK? Just try.

March 2005

“… glad that we caught it early. With extensive radiation and chemotherapy, I’m sure that we can get all of it.” The doctor pauses when he sees the look on both our faces. “Listen, try and be positive. There is some new pioneering research now. We’ll do everything we can.” His words mean nothing to me. I am rocked to my core. Last week, my biggest problem was how Brad was leaving Jennifer for that Jolie woman. And now, cancer? You take my hand and squeeze tight. “Hey, I’m gonna be fine. You heard what he said. They’ll treat it and I’ll get better.” You look so sure and so strong, and you have a smile on your face. But I know you. I can see the worry and the fear in your eyes and that’s what frightens me the most. You, who is fazed by nothing. Oh God. I just lost a child. I can’t lose him too!

May 2006

It’s your birthday. We’ve decided to throw a really big party. All our friends, the neighbors, family that we haven’t seen for ages: they’re all here. Your mum doesn’t even look like she’s aged a day since we last saw her at Christmas. That’s where you get your great genes from, I always tell you. I hear you laughing in the kitchen and look up to see you playing a game of darts with some of the men and losing spectacularly. Your aim is still as crappy as the first day I met you and you spilled coffee on my crisp white shirt. What a cliché way to meet your future husband. I can’t remember how many times I’ve made you pay for that particular incident. You were so flustered, so apologetic, it was hard to stay mad at you. Before I knew it, my frown had morphed into a big, goofy smile, and I was handing you my number. Quite the charmer you were. Still are, I correct myself. We were married in 6 months and you’d tell me, “Always and forever, baby.” Gosh, you’re so cliché. I roll my eyes as I think of it. So strong and yet so meek, so confident and yet so humble. Big Ben, they called you. And it had everything to do with your heart. I smile as I carry the big birthday cake out to the yard. You’ve lost too much weight after aggressive chemo and radiation, but it’s all worth it, because the cancer’s all gone. Happy birthday to you! Happy birthday to you! Happy birthday, Big Beeeeeen!!! Happy birthday to you!!! The entire yard is ringing with applause and hoots of “You’re the man, my man!” You plant a huge kiss on my lips, and I can see all the love you have for me in your eyes.

August 2005

The vase is a beautiful green and gold one that I bought on my trip to Bali. It has sat on top of the fireplace, far away from any clumsy fingers. I watch you, my mouth open in stupefied silence as you pick it up and throw it hard against the wall. It smashes into a million tiny bits and I find my voice as a bit lodges itself in my upper arm. As soon as you see the blood, you rush towards me and hold me tight. “Oh my God, babe, I’m so sorry, I don’t know what came over me.” But I do. It’s those stupid drugs that they’re giving you. You’re tired and weak and you can’t keep any food down. Last night, when I saw tiny clumps of your hair in the garbage bin, I sat on the toilet seat and cried for hours. We don’t deserve this. You don’t deserve this. You’ve become moody and broody and not the man I married at all. As you bandage my arm, apologizing over and over, I can only look at you, tears in my eyes. Tonight, I will hold you as you huddle over the toilet and the nausea racks your already weak body. Tomorrow, I will support you while you struggle to make it to the car. But now, as I look at you, tears in my eyes, I just want you back. God, please, I just want my husband back.

April 2008

“… spread to your lungs, liver and your throat… went into remission… these things happen… combat with surgery… chemotherapy…” The words float in and out of my head. I’m finding it difficult to follow the doctor’s sentences. “I don’t understand,” I interrupt. “Didn’t you say we got it all the first time?”

“That’s what I’m trying to explain,” he says patiently, the way you would explain to a child that the tooth fairy isn’t real.

“Don’t patronize me!” I yell, jumping off my seat. “You said it was gone! Gone! It can’t come back! It can’t be back!” I’m fighting tears. You pull me gently down. “Sit down, babe. We fought it the first time. We’ll do it again.” You smile that sad smile at me, and in my despondent state, I can only believe what you say. I have nothing else to hold on to.

November 2008

The snow came early this year. It’s so beautiful I wish you could have seen it. It’s cold, so cold and the roads are so slippery. Fred from next door offered to help me salt the driveway and shovel it from time to time. The house is big and empty without you in it. I will probably see a real estate agent when I have the strength. I don’t even know if I can handle today. Everyone will come and say wonderful things about you. The priest will ask me to shovel a bit of sand on a coffin. I don’t know if I can. Damn you, Ben! I sat by your bedside for 5 full weeks, willing you to open your eyes, to wake up, smile that smile of yours and tell me, “Beat it again, baby.” But you didn’t. Instead, you let it take you. Goddamn you, Ben! Did you even stop to think about me?! Did I cross your comatose mind one bit?! I’m so tired, Ben. So so tired. I can’t stand the sympathy from others today. I need your strength. Help me, babe.

I can feel you as I walk out of the house. My brother will drive me to the funeral. They’ll put you in the ground, but you won’t be gone, baby. Not from me.

Always and forever, baby. Always and forever.

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*Sigh*


I’ve started this post in my head and on paper many times. I tried funny, philosophical, nonchalant, apologetic, etc. I have finally decided to just be straight (although I like girls too.)

I’m sorry.

I’m back.

I think I’m better.

I’m definitely bigger (I gained 10 pounds.)

I really am sorry.

I’m hoping to see y’all around here again.

I promise never to disappear like that again.

Welcome back to Thatifygirl.

(I thought that would make for a dramatic ending. Forgive me if it just sounded corny.)

This, That, and Everything In Between…


*In Wendy Williams voice* How you doing???

OK, happy new year people. I know, I know. Ify has been MIA. I would love to say I’ve been busy with life and all that… so I’m going to say just that. Might not exactly be true, but who cares? So, I haven’t posted in so long because I’ve been busy with life. (So there! I said it. Sue me.) *Shrugs*

Anyway, it’s good to be back. It’s a new year, so I thought I’d let you guys know what to expect on here this year… Well, for starters, don’t expect more frequent posts or anything like that. I’m just putting this out there. Sorry. I can’t even promise to try. Do you know how much I hate typing? I think I need a secretary. Maybe y’all can send your resumes and applications. Soooo… that’s that for that. Yeah.

Oh, I also thought it would be nice to do video posts once in a while. Awesome, yeah? I know!!! I thought of that all by myself! (Feel free to dobale at my greatness.) So, let me know what you think yeah? Even if you say no, I’ll still do it, so you might as well say yes.

Now, let me gist you what happened to me just after I had mapped out my plans for financial greatness and increase this year. Crazy shit, I swear. So, I have what I call “Love Yourself days.” These are days I just take out to treat myself nice. You know, spa, or salon, or fancy restaurant. Seeing as I don’t have a boyfriend to do all that for me. (Oh, by the way, I am now on the market. Feel free to send naked torso pictures and a 200-word essay of why you think you’d make a good boyfriend. Entries over this word limit will be discarded.)

Ehen. So, I had this love yourself day. I decided to go to a salon and get a complete mani-pedi. Everything was going well, was enjoying the massage my feet and hands were getting. Then I had them done really nice and all. Felt good, you know? I was done and it was time to pay. It was even cheap too. Exactly $62.15.  I was going to pay with cash, but I realized I had only $50 in cash with me. I decided to give them the $50 I had with me and pay the remaining $12.15 with my debit card. I brought out my card from my wallet, inserted it, punched all the numbers, and waited with a smile on my face for the machine to say “Approved” and begin to print my receipt.

Yawa.

It read “Card Declined: Insufficient funds.” Hahahhahhahh! Mo gbe! I had a mini heart attack. First of all, why did I not have ordinary $12.15 in my account? I had paid money into this particular account a few days ago. I did not have my other bank card with me. The Chinese woman was beginning to look at me the way Jackie Chan looks at the bad guys in those his movies. Her English was limited, so I used sign language to tell her that her machine was faulty. I told her I would go to the ATM and withdraw the money and come back to pay. I left my jacket with her because the ATM was just upstairs (it was in the mall.) Anyway, after reading the ATM in English, French and Punjabi, it dawned on me that there really was no money for use in my account. Apparently, my money had been put on a 5-day hold. There was no branch of that bank in the mall, but there was one like 5 minutes away. I dashed outside in the cold wearing a flimsy sweater (It was like -15 degrees.) The stupid bank was closed. At 5 o’clock. What kind of shit bank closes by 5 pm?!?!?

I began to cry. As I cried and the tears fell from my eyes and froze on my cheeks and eyelashes, I began to wonder how many times I would sweep the floor before the Chinese people would let me go. Would they ask me to wash their toilet? Would I sweep up nail clippings? I suppressed my gag reflex. Perhaps they would ask me to file people’s nails and sweep the hair they had waxed of people’s eyebrows and bikini lines and God knows where else. I walked dejectedly back to the mall, oblivious of the cold (haha! Jokes. You cannot be oblivious of Canadian cold. You wan mud ni?)

Now, a fantastic end to this story would be that I met this mad fine brother, who would see me trying to explain to the nail people, and would come and bail a sister out. Then, we’d live happily ever after, and tell our kids the story during Thanksgiving dinner. No such luck. I got back to the store with a sad face and a stupid explanation. Well, there wasn’t much they could do. Except seize my driver’s license. I don’t have a car, so I didn’t care. I was so happy they weren’t calling the cops on me, I’d have given them my 2 front teeth if they’d asked me.

Anyway long story short, I came back the following day and paid them their stupid $12.15 and got my driver’s license back. Only $12.15. These Chinese people are gangster. They couldn’t give me amnesty or something. Seized a whole driver’s license. Awon oloshi. See as $12 wan put me for trouble. God dey.

Anyway, that’s all for now. Oh, I also thought to once in a while do some amebo posts. It’ll be hard cos I never gossip about people. But we’ll see how that goes.

OK. E go be. (I used to love saying this in high school. “E go be later.” You know. Cool shit.)

E go be.

*Joker laugh*

Damaged Goods.


I still see him. His features are set and his eyes refuse to meet mine. A man determined on his course of action. It will happen, and my opinion on the matter is secondary, no, irrelevant. Because I am a woman. And so, if he wants to have his way I cannot stop him.

“Stop! Stop it!”

Please.

Rough hands tear my blouse away. His stubble grazes my nipple. I push him away harder, until I feel the sting of palm upon flesh. Desperate hands work feverishly at my jeans. My teeth find skin, and I clamp down hard. Again, palm connects with flesh. I am tired and I have no more fight left in me. Have your way.

I am only just a woman.

“Come on. I’ll even use a condom. Just this once.”

Outside, a leaf falls. It makes its way slowly to the ground, letting itself be carried on the gentleness of the wind. Even the elements care for the falling leaf. Birds are not singing. The sky is not a magical blue, and the sun is not warm and bright. There is no beauty here. Only pain, and ugliness, and hurt. There is only fear and the unmistakable odour of sweat and  the brightly coloured sheets. And there are no tears.

“Isn’t this what you wanted? Why did you come to visit me?”

Because you invited me. You’re my friend.

But my throat will not work, and my brain will not function. There is another grunt on top of me, as I am turned over and violated again and again. My eyes hurt. The paint on the wall is peeling. Someone should get that fixed. I wonder if Mummy has gotten back home. Cold, calloused hands knead my breasts like dough until they cannot feel; I cannot feel.

But I can hear. I can hear the springs on the bed creaking with the rhythm. The same rhythm that my heart is beating to. I can hear the wind outside. I can hear the person on top of me. Making sounds like a woman who has gone into labour. I can see. I can see the fan whirling round. And around. And around. Someone needs to clean the blades. I can see my blue jeans tossed carelessly on the floor like a sack of potatoes gone bad. I’ll burn them when I get home. I can taste his sweat running into my mouth. I can smell the sex. It’s in the air, and the air is carrying it gently around the room, like a proud mother would show off her newborn.

But I can’t feel.

“Hey. I’ll drop you at home.”

I’ll walk.

“Come on! Don’t be acting like a kid.”

But I am.

I pick up my clothes and my purse, but I leave my dignity on the floor. Because it is broken into a million pieces and I cannot put it back together. I cannot hold my head high. My neck cannot do such a tedious job. I am broken, and violated, and he that I called friend has stolen from me. Head bowed in shame, I leave his room, but his room will never leave me.

I still see his face. You see it too. He sits across you on the train. He rides the bus with you. He takes your order at the restaurant. He helps your kid cross the street. He goes to church with you.

I am not the voice of them that refuse to speak. I am not the shining beacon of example. Do not follow my lead. Do not do what I do. I am the one cowered away in the corner, afraid of my shadow. Afraid to make a new friend. Afraid to be put in such a position of vulnerability again. So, I laugh at your jokes. And I smile at your attempts at flirting. I will even flirt back.

But I am damaged and I am broken. And there is no repairing this amount of damage, no remedy for this injury. With a friend like this, what do I need enemies for?

There is no relief for my pain.

Expensive Gifts.


11:58 pm.

She was not in a good mood. The melancholic feeling that was her constant companion, now threatened to overwhelm her. The feeling just sat heavily in the pit of her stomach, and she suddenly wanted to vomit. She rushed into the bathroom and knelt against the toilet basin, heaving. After almost 10 minutes of dry retching, she leaned her head against the cool toilet seat. Tears tolled down her cheeks, as she stood shakily and moved to the sink, and examined her face in the mirror. Her once plump, beautiful face was now lean and gaunt, with dark, shallow circles were her eyes used to be. Her hair hung limp around her face, her skin almost as white as flour. She reached up to the medicine cabinet and opened it. There they were. The pills. He’d said they’d make her feel better. And they always did. Her slim hands closed around the little white bottle and she popped 2 little white pills into her mouth, swallowing them dry.

“One should be enough,” he’d said.

Suddenly, she felt better. Her face seemed to change before her very eyes. A smile crept up her face, lifting the corners of her mouth into the smallest smile. She remembered her gift, that she so loved to share. She giggled as she banged the medicine cabinet shut.

12:47 am.

Her well-manicured fingers circled the rim of the glass, her eyes scanning the crowd. It was a full house tonight. She downed her drink in one go, wiped her mouth with the back of her hand and moved out onto the dance floor. The smell of sweat, cigarette smoke and stale perfume lingered heavy in the air. Sweaty bodies jostled for space, bumping into each other, in a drunken revelry. She moved, slowly and confidently to the middle of the floor and then stopped. And then, lifting her head slowly, letting her hair fall back, she began to move slowly in time with the music. She moved, increasing in tempo with the music, her hips gyrating as the music took over her senses. She ran her hands over her body, paying attention to her breasts and hips. Her eyes closed, her mouth slightly open, she made love to herself with the music. Before long, there was a small circle around her as everyone watched her, swaying side to side in time with the music. She opened her eyes and there he was. He was watching her over the top of his glass, his eyes running over her body ever so slowly. Yes, he was perfect.

1:27 am.

They stumbled drunkenly into the dark, cheap motel room, kissing deeply, his hand fumbling around the wall for a light switch.

“No lights,” she said, in between kisses.

She moved her hands down to his belt buckle and began to undo it very deftly. His hands worked feverishly to unbutton her blouse. They were naked very quickly. She pushed him unto the bed, the springs squeaking very loudly as he landed. She was all over him, touching, feeling, groping. He returned her passion with equal fervour, biting, squeezing, kneading. He took her breast in his mouth, his tongue flicked against her nipple. She threw her head back, moaning loudly. And suddenly, he was on top, his fingers, his mouth, working through her entire body. When his stubble grazed her vaginal lips, she thought she would die of pleasure. His tongue went in and out, stroking, pleasing her. She returned the pleasure, taking him in her mouth, his entire length, her head, moving up and down as she worked her magic. And then, they couldn’t wait any more. He entered her with one swift thrust, cutting out her scream with a heavy kiss. They moved, creating rhythm with their bodies, holding on to each other, slick with sweat. And finally, they came together in a wonderful eruption of body fluids and feelings. She was holding on to him as he spilled into her, his body rocking with the intensity of his release.

“Oh shit! I didn’t wear a condom.”

“That’s OK, I’m on the pill.”

“Oh, thank God.” As he drifted to sleep, he smiled and thought how this was the best sex he’d ever had. Ever.

2:06 am.

She packed her clothes and stealthily crept out of the room. Wearing only her jacket and shoes, she walked down the street, whistling a happy tune. The drug was still in effect. Perhaps, she could find some other lucky guy to share her gift with before the night ended. The drug would only last for so long, before her dark demons came to her again. Better to make good use of the time she had now.

Spreading AIDS isn’t easy business, she thought to herself.

The Good Wife


So, it’s exactly a month since I put up a post. I was going to use the “writer’s block” line, but a wise man told me and I paraphrase: “You can’t have writer’s block if you’re not having sex.” In other words, one comes at the expense of the other. Great sex or great writing. And since I have been celibate since I was born (some people prefer the term ‘virgin’,) I guess no writer’s block for me. 😦

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It is a dark and gloomy day. The sky is grey and it’s drizzling softly. I look up at the angry clouds and I’m slightly amused. As dark as they are, they have nothing on my heart. Silly clouds. Bah! As I walk into the church and down the aisle, I can feel their eyes on me, their stares. I can see the looks of pity, hear the soft whispers, “Kai! Such a beautiful woman! O ma se o!” I ignore them and press forward, my gaze is fixed on the coffin in front of the bema. I walk to my place on the first pew and sit between my mother-in-law and my father. Bami takes my hand and squeezes tightly. I turn my face to him, and smile at him to assure him that I’m fine. My mother-in-law has, as usual, refused to acknowledge my presence. I don’t care. Service is about to begin anyway.

The hall is quiet. I sit very still as the priest begins the requiem. It doesn’t take long, however, for me to tune out his monotonous drone and shift my attention to the flowers. Madonna lilies. I have never cared much for flowers, but Wale loved them. And the white lilies had been his favourite. Knowing how much of a perfectionist he had been, he wouldn’t be too pleased to know that the flowers that lie atop his casket are fake. I almost chuckle out loud at the thought. I am drawn to a time 11 years before…

I was 19. I was broke and in between jobs, a position I was quite used to finding myself in. I couldn’t afford university and frankly, I wasn’t interested. I wasn’t too brilliant and I had never liked school. But I had a pretty face and the body of a goddess. And that’s what had attracted the very suave, wealthy chief that was currently on my one bedroom apartment doorstep. He was holding flowers…. madonna lilies….

“A small token of love for the beautiful Asake.” His eyes sparkled. He was way too old for me – 52 – had been divorced twice, and knew the world in ways I could only imagine. I was smitten. Bami didn’t approve though. “Your mother would roll in her grave, Asake!”

I am brought back to present by shuffling of feet as we rise for a hymn. I smile wryly as I remember those days with Wale. My mother-in-law is looking at me with distaste. She cannot understand why I’m smiling at my husband’s funeral. She doesn’t like me very much. She says it because I’m childless. I think it’s because a poor lowly girl like me had the effrontery to snag her darling son’s heart, even if only for a while. She probably thinks I jazzed him. I ignore her. The hymn ends and we take our seats again. Chief Folawiyo is speaking now. He’s talking about Wale’s kind heart, his gentleness. Gentleness? I quickly turn my fit of giggles into a cough. Everyone is looking at me weirdly now. I should compose myself. My Wale is dead.

It was our 2nd year of marriage. I was a 23 year old house wife and I was enjoying it. Well, apart from the fact that Wale was not the same person anymore. He was never home, he never paid attention to me, he couldn’t even be bothered to pretend. That night, I’d made up my mind to confront him. As he walked into the room, I jumped from the bed, ready for a show down. 

Chief, what is this?! What self-respecting family man comes home at 3:00 am?!?”

I do not wish to recall the remaining details of that night. Suffice it to say that after that night, my jaw has never quite been the same. My Wale? Gentle? Yeah, right! I scoff.

One by one, they all come to make their speeches, each one more effusive than the last. They speak of his kindness, his generosity, how he gave them money to save their dying business or child. How he rescued them from the hand of the law. Yada yada yada. They didn’t know him. I did. He was my one true love. The one that made me. Got me from my one bedroom apartment to the stylishly furnished 6 bedroom town house that I have called home for 8 years. During our honeymoon, I received more jewellery than I knew existed. He showed me the world. He was also the one that destroyed me.

You see, for every nice story they have to tell about Wale, I have a dozen more heinous acts that he committed. Is it the time he locked me in the doghouse for 2 nights because I had given a male old school mate a ride? Is it the time he broke my arm because I threatened to report his shady business dealings? Is it the countless occasions I had to sleep in the guest room because his mistress had come a-calling? But I couldn’t leave. I had nowhere to go. Bami was in a nursing home and could hardly even take care of himself. I had no relations; I was the only child of my parents, who were both the only children of their parents. I didn’t have any friends. Besides, I had nothing that was in my name. Wale laughed at my threats to leave him. He knew I couldn’t. I was weak. And for every new bruise, I had a new pearl necklace, for every broken bone, a diamond watch. I was the trophy wife. Beautiful and silent.

I had tried to run away once. Perhaps, sell all my jewellery. Wale’s “boys” caught me… I walked with a cane for 7 months. I also got a new Range Rover. Wale had me right where he wanted me. And he knew it.

But now, he is dead and these…. ugly people want me to eulogize him because that is my role as a wife. Smile, Asake. Be a good hostess, Asake. A good wife never leaves her husband’s side, Asake. No good woman would speak ill of her husband, Asake. I scoff. I should tell them who Wale really was. Wouldn’t that be a shocker. Hmm…

It’s my turn. I stand slowly and walk to the altar, passing the closed coffin. I wish it was open, I would love to see his face. But Wale’s mother wanted it closed. She’s paying for the funeral, I can’t argue. I stand behind the podium and look into the faces of the 500 odd guests that have come to pay homage to Chief Adewale Babatunde Williams. My husband. There are wealthy business partners, pot-bellied corrupt politicians, family; those that have partaken of Wale’s wealth and those that still wait in hope of the remnants from his table. I can see Otunba Samuel, the dirty old pervert once tried to put his hand under my skirt. I told Wale, but he said he would deal with him after their business deal was over. I look at my mother-in-law, Mama Felicia, regal and elegant despite her years. Her back is ramrod straight and she’s looking straight ahead, stubbornly avoiding my gaze. I feel a little pity for her. She is burying her 3rd child. She is probably waiting for death. Perhaps, it will come sooner than she expects.

I take a deep breath and look at the speech written for me by some writer on  Mama Felicia’s payroll.This person does not even know Wale. He has just written what a good wife should or would say. But I am not a good wife. I’m even better. I’m a perfect wife. I smile a little as I begin:

“My husband, Adewale, was a truly, truly terrible man. Indeed one of the most dishonest, callous men to walk the planet…”

Out of the corner of my eye, I see Mama Felicia fall to the ground, hand on her chest, a look of horror on her face, eyes wide with shock. The crowd is in a chaotic state. Bami is shouting for help, holding Mama Felicia as she struggles for breath on the floor. Father Nwachukwu, the priest, is looking at me, a mixture of wonderment, disgust and fear on his face. I watch as her hand knocks over the glass of water beside her in her struggle for air. The glass of water I had poured out for her. This scene is all too familiar. Only last month, Wale had died like this, after drinking the water I gave him too.

Oh well…. I smile as I continue my speech, even though no one is listening.

In The Nick Of Time


Hi guys, how I’ve missed you!!! I feel like a vampire that’s been without blood for days. (Sorry, I just recently started watching True Blood, so forgive my new found love for all things vampire-y or Eric-y.All my ladies in the house, can I get an Amen!) I know, I haven’t posted anything in a while, this is entirely not my fault. I resumed school and so… (you know how this story ends; I curse, you get preachy, and I curse some more.) Well, I’m cleaning up my life, and my mouth. OK. I’m done apologizing. Here’s my story, enjoy:

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Agatha was excited. She could feel it in her bones, in her soul, in every fiber of her very being. She knew this it. The One. OK. So, she sounded a bit corny saying that… the one. After all, it wasn’t as if she had found the man of her dreams. But, she had found the job of her dreams. And about time, too! She had waited so long for this. And she knew she was going to get this one. This is the one, Agatha, this is it.

She had always wanted to be a teacher. Since she was little. And finally, she was being given a chance. Tomorrow was her interview!  She thought of how much she had wanted this. Since she was five. How she had worked so hard to get this. How she had been disappointed over and over. How she’d worked odd jobs everyday because her parents couldn’t afford to send her to Teachers’ Training Institute.

Agatha was jarred from her memories by the whistling kettle on the stove. She moved to the kitchen and began fixing dinner. After she passed her exams and got a license to teach, Agatha had sent in application after application to various schools and educational institutions, but they were all total busts. It was always about not having enough experience (which was a catch 22, seeing as nobody would giver her a job if she didn’t have experience, and she couldn’t get any  experience if she didn’t get a job.) But it was all about to change. She sat down, with her toast and coffee, but she was too excited to eat. She tossed the toast, took her coffee and headed upstairs, turning out all the lights. She had prepared all that she needed for her interview tomorrow. She knew she shouldn’t get so excited for just an interview but she couldn’t help herself. As she prepared for bed, she mentally ran through her checklist. Suit, check. Resume, check. References, check. Everything else was in her bag. She looked at the time, it was 4:15 am. She’d better get to bed, since she had to be awake in the next 3 hours. She set the alarm clock on her silly phone. Immediately, she got her first paycheck, she would walk into the phone store and get that new smartphone that everyone had. She smiled as she drifted off into a deep sleep.

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She was just in time. As she walked into the hallways of St. Thomas Junior High, she looked at her watch: 8:50 am. Her interview was by 9:00 am. Thank God she’d made it in time, her house was over an hour away. She made her way to the administrative office.

“Hi,” she said, perhaps a bit too cheerfully to the receptionist sitting at the front desk. “I’m-”

“Miss Benedict. Hi, I’m Jane. They’re expecting you,” the receptionist said with a smile.

“Umm.. OK.. Thanks,” Agatha could hear her heart beating through her chest.

“Not to worry, everyone here is very nice. I’m sure you’ll do just fine,” the receptionist led the way. “Just come right this way.”

As Agatha followed her into the office, she couldn’t help but think about a sheep as it was led to a slaughter house and could do nothing to stop it. Right now, she TOTALLY empathized with the sheep.

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

Forty minutes later, Agatha’s straight face belied the emotions that were threatening to erupt from her insides. She wanted to do a jig. She had gotten the job! It was simply too good to be true. She smiled at the receptionist with a small, “See you on Monday.” She skipped out of the office quickly, before they could call her back to tell her there had been a mistake.Not only had she gotten a job, St. Thomas was one of the best schools in the county. She was so pleased. She couldn’t wait to call her mom and tell her. As soon as I get home.

Agatha was crossing the street when it happened. She heard a noise. It was that silly cell phone, ringing. She searched for it in her bag, not looking at the oncoming traffic anymore. As her fingers located the buzzing phone in her bag, she pulled it out and pressed the green button.

Nothing happened.

It kept on ringing. Agatha hit the button again and again. The car was moving so fast. She watched as it moved towards her and then went right through. She was a bit more concerned with why her phone wouldn’t stop ringing than with the fact that a car had just gone through her. She hit the green button again…

Agatha was still hitting the green button when she woke up. Her eyes snapped open as she looked at her vibrating phone in her hand. Her eyes were automatically drawn to the top right corner. 11: 25 am.

Oh shit!

Author’s note: This story is based on a recent personal experience.