It was 6:am in the morning, Frank was still sleeping. I woke up for my morning prayers. As soon as I knelt down my phone started to ring. I looked at it and it was an unknown number. I silenced the call and continued started my prayers. After some time, the call came in again and the sound of my ringing tone woke Frank up. He saw that I was praying and kindly picked the call. I paid no attention to him as I was engrossed in my prayers. After some minutes I made the sign of the cross in conclusion to my prayers and stood up. I turned and saw Frank smiling at me like he just got mad. I looked at him curiously with the hope he’d tell me why he was staring at me with much smile on his face. He was cautious not to open fully his mouth as he has not yet brushed.
“What?” I confusedly asked. The stare and the smile was getting longer than due, I had to halt it. “If you saw dollars in your dream just know that I saw it too and I am not smiling.” I told him as I picked my Bible on the bed and kept it on the table.

“Did you touch it?” he asked. I looked at him more confused. “The dollars, did you touch it?” he added.

“Of course I did. But I woke up to find out it was just a dream.” I intoned.

“It might not be just a dream, or maybe it is a dream come true.” He said as he handed me my phone. “Amada called.”

I heard that but I did hear it. My hand froze midway to collecting the phone. My head swelled up in excitement. Frank can be all things but he never makes a silly joke, moreover he just woke up, it would be improper if he just woke up to play some silly pranks on me.

“He said you should call back when you are done with your prayers.” Frank added; a statement that cleared my doubt.

“You told her I was praying?” I queried. I felt he has told her my dirtiest secret; the reason for that feeling, I couldn’t tell. “You should have said something else. Like bathing, No! Morning jogging.” I added. I felt praying would make her lose interest in me. I didn’t know for sure but I was just not comfortable with that.

Frank looked at me in awe. I knew he would never tell lies so I just sighed. He smiled again and pushed the phone into my palm. “So you see, your dream dollars just came to you.” He said neglecting my stupid utterances and walked into the bathroom.

Indeed my dream dollars just came to me. It was three weeks after the party that ushered Amanda into my life. I have waited the first week for her call and when it didn’t come; I lost hope and tried to forget her charming her face. But that seemed like the hardest thing to do, harder than talking to a girl even. The more I try to forget her face, the more I see her face each time I have my eyes closed. She was in every of my dream and because of her I dream every night. Last night was exceptional as I saw instead a wrap of dollars at my door post. As soon I picked it, my alarm went off and I woke up.

I inhaled heavily as I stared at the number she had called with. My heart beat got faster as I made to dial the number. Truth be told, I wanted to talk to her, I wanted to hear her voice and even see her, hug her and tell her how much I love her but I lack the courage to execute these acts. I slumped on the bed trying to figure out the easy and better way to talk to her. I sat and got lost in my imagination that I didn’t know when Frank came out of the bathroom, Ken and Paul also back from their morning jogging. They all stood in front of me staring at me as I stare at in the air. Suddenly I felt water on my face and my consciousness returned back.

“What did you do that for?” I asked as I saw Ken holding a cup of water.

“Look I do not know how to travel with corpse, so please do not die on us.” Paul said. “Amanda called you so what? Call her back and if you don’t like her again as usual, tell her so, you are very good at that anyway.” He walked into the bathroom to shower. He has 8:am lecture that morning so he paid no heed to me again till he left the house.

The house was a two bedroom flat. Nobody owned any special room as we have the right to sleep anywhere. A room was made sacred and out of bound only when a girl visits. I stood up amidst the staring eyes of Frank and Ken and walked into the sitting room. Turned on the television and kept myself busy with an old movie that I have watched over and over on MZone channel. Frank came and sat beside me. I took a glance at him and returned to my movie. After some time, he coughed.

“What is it?” I asked, making him understand that he was a distraction. “If it’s about Amanda, I don’t want to talk about it.” I said not looking at him.

“Yes it is about Amanda and you are going to talk about it.” His voice sounded very authoritative, like a father trying to reprimand his son. “How long do you think this will last before it stops?” I looked at him and all his eyes and attention were all on me. I turned and faced the television. “Look, if you like this girl, there is nothing to fear. Even if she doesn’t love you, at least you can be her friend. Talk to her, there is no harm in talking to a girl. She is a mere girl.”

I was taking back to what Amanda told me in the convenience of the club house about her being a mere girl. I looked at Frank; he was truly being frank with me.

“Are you scared of rejection?” he asked almost immediately. I nodded slowly. “I know.” He added. “I used to be. I used to be like you but I overcome my fears by facing them not shielding away from them. And you will not overcome yours if you don’t face them.”

“How do I do that?” I finally spoke. “I have tried so hard but it’s not coming to any good end. Every day I wish for courage such as yours so I can be able to talk and play with girls the way you all do but it seems that petition always gets lost in the cloud. I don’t know what else to do.”

“NO! Do no pray to be any of us. Pray to more of you. The you in you is makes you unique. That is what sets you aside as a special being. You do not know what each of us have to put up with everyday to what we are. So just be you.”

“And what happens when I can’t be me?” I asked.

“Do you love her?” he asked and I nodded again. “Not the kind of love you had for Cynthia that fades even before it was built. I mean real love.”

Cynthia was a crazy girl that Paul hooked me up with. We dated for two hours. My friends often joked that it was worth recording into the book of Gunnies as the shortest relationships ever. Up until now, no one knew why I broke up with Cynthia, even Cynthia herself might not know. To my friends, it was one of my crazy and myopic moves, but I know what I avoided.

“It’s not the Cynthia kind of love. I love Amada. I really do.” I assured Frank.

“Then call her, book an appointment with her and then talk to her. Tell her how much you love her and would like to have a relationship with her.”

“I should ask her out on a date?” I screamed.

“Why are you screaming? Is that new or is it a sin?” he queried.

“No. It’s none of those but I can’t do it. What if she says no?” I was already troubled from the pessimistic answer I figured I’d get.

“That is you problem. Never ready to say ‘what if’. Never ready to take risk. Have you forgotten that life itself is risky, he who doesn’t take…”

“That aphorism is old. This is 21st century problem not some stone age problem when that aphorism was coined.”

“Thony, she will not kill you. She can only say yes or no, and with what I saw in that girl’s eyes last three weeks, she loves you. So make the call.”

“I wish you know what you are saying because I…” I was halted by the sound of my phone’s ringing tone. I looked at my phone and it was the same number. I turned to Frank in terror.

“She is calling you right?” he asked. I nodded showing him the screen of my phone.

“Pick the call or I will pick it and tell her how shy you are to even talk to her.”
“You wouldn’t do that!” I shouted and I stood up, giving him some distance. He stood up and took few steps towards me. “Wait! I will answer it.

… The Story continues…..


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