I stared at the phone and at my friend Frank who was mopping at me like a lion waiting to devour its prey. He was ready to grab the phone from my hand if I do anything silly. With the knowledge of my ringing tone I knew the call was about to end. I quickly picked it but without saying a word I placed the phone on my ear. Then it came, a smooth and charming voice ; the same voice that I have been yearning to hear for the past weeks was finally here and the expected excitement was speedily turned into fear as my body was beginning to fail me. I looked at Frank and I saw him split into two. I ran my hand over my face and looked at him again; he was whole, I sighed. Amanda’s voice kept ringing in my head through my ear drums. I couldn’t afford to faint again. I have to stand up to this fear, like Frank said I have to face my fear.
“Are you there?” Amanda voice said for the umpteenth time. “Hello Thony!”
I stammered as I tried to respond to her persistent calling. I opened my mouth several times but nothing coherent came out. Frank heaved out a sigh of disappointment. He was looking at me scornfully yet with pity. I guess he was equally tired else he would have grabbed the phone from me. Paul came out dressed, he had prepared for lecture. He halted few kilometres away from me and gave me a long scornful stare. He obviously knew what was happening. He shook he head.
“What the hell is wrong with you? You can’t even talk to a girl!” he yelled at me. I startled and heard a beep from my phone. I looked at my screen and Amanda has dropped the call.
“What is wrong with you!?” I shouted back at Paul. “She might have heard what you said.”
“Exactly what I want.” Paul responded packing his books that was on the table. “She has to know that the man who she is dying for is not a man but a girl. Perhaps then she will be doing the talking instead”
Frank slumped on the chair dispirited. He could not say a word. I knew what he must be thinking, but I tried doing what he asked me to do, I just did not know what happened to me. I have a problem but what’s worst was that I didn’t know what that problem was.
“Don’t ever do that again.” I diverted my attention to Paul who was about leaving the house.
“Just look at the way you are shouting at me, but just to say hi to a girl your tongue got clinked to your jaw.” Paul said. “Please see you guys when I am back.” He shut the door and left.
I stood there baffled but more hurt. Paul said something I knew was true but was not ready to hear. I looked at Frank again, he shook his head. He has been doing that and I still did not understand if he was trying to pass a message or not. “I don’t like what Paul just said now.” I told him. “And please stop shaking your head like that, it’s making me weary.” I quickly added.
“Prove him wrong.” Frank said.
“Prove Paul wrong. Call Amanda and talk to her. Prove all of us wrong that this thing we are thinking is not true.” He said.
“Wait!” I was scared. I knew conspiracy was bound to happen in that house but I did not know it has started already. “What are you guys thinking?”
“Just call Amanda.”
“Frank! You have got to tell me. What have you guys discussed about me?” I walked close to him. He stared strongly at me and turned to go. I drew him back. “You do know I can’t just let you go unless you tell me what I am asking right?”
“Just call Amanda please.”
“Alright. I will call her, I promise. I will talk to her, ask her out on a date but just tell me what you guys discussed about me.” I guess I cared much about other people’s opinions about than I did my own. I knew I would not know peace till I find in truth what they talked about.
“Alright.” Frank said. “Let’s make a deal. Call her and I will tell you all you want to know. That’s my stand and there is no room for negotiation.”
I knew Frank, once he says something, he would never go back to it. I have only but one option; to face my fear and call Amanda. I brought out my phone and dialled her number. I could feel my heart pounding fast but since a greater situation was at risk I was determined to talk to Amanda at all cost. As the number rang, I wondered why Frank and my friend were so keen on making me talk to this girl; or any other girl. They just want me to date, something I knew I was not ready for but because I care about their opinion about my life, I kept pushing myself too hard to please them at the expense of my own policy and comfort. Maybe it was for good, maybe I was supposed at my age to be in a relationship. I started to sweat. Frank knew I was in trouble so he grabbed the phone from me and terminated the call.
“It was ringing!” I protested.
“And you were dying.” He said as he picked a note book from the table and a pen. He made me sit down. Then he tore a shit of paper and started writing.
“What is that?” I curiously asked.
“I am going to write down what you will tell her. If she picks the call you will put it on speaker so I can easily write down the response for you to READ out to her.” He said emphasizing the word ‘read’.
I looked at him with a mixed feeling. He truly wanted to help but at the same time insulting me. I nodded to the plan anyway as that was my only getaway to talking to Amanda and knowing what has been said about me. So I dialled the number again, Amanda picked quickly and I pressed the speaker button.
“Hello?” Amanda voice came once again with the rush of adrenaline down my spine. I held and comported myself.
“Hi.” I replied, looked at Frank as he showed me the paper. “Sorry about earlier, I guess network was bad.” I read what was on it.
“I thought as much.” She replied. “So what have you been up to?” I stammered a bit waiting for Frank to finish writing. Quickly he raised my speech organ and I read. “Nothing much. Have been waiting eagerly for your call.” My eyes opened widely as I marvelled at what I just said. Obviously I wasn’t the one talking.
“I am sorry I didn’t call as planned. You know what; I would make it up to you. How about we hang out today at Chicken Grills. 4 pm. Bills on me.” She said without seeking my opinion. I looked at Frank and he was nodding in affirmative signalling to me to say yes.
“Alright. 4 pm then.” I said and the call dropped. I ran my hand across my face to clean the stream of sweat rolling down my face.
“You did it.” Frank rejoiced like he was the one that just talked to the girl. I sat looking at him while trying to revive my fainting spirit. I inhaled several times, sat up and looked t him.
“Now tell me, what were you guys discussing about me?”
….the story continues…