POSTED 05/01/2018 14:19:13
It was 5:30 A.M, the room was very dark. The cock on the leafy plume tree behind his father’s mansion crowed as the clock tickled every passing second. At the loud shout of the cock, Max jumped off his bed, his face was covered with sweat, he was panting heavily. His chest was pumping out his heart. A drop of tears ran down his left eye through his left jaw to his chin. The tears were dropping sluggishly on his chest when he looked down between his legs and noticed something.
He got scared and angry at the same time. He was still sitting at the tail end of his bed when he heard a loud knock on the door of his room. He panicked, stood up, and was startled by another loud knock. He fell on the bed facing down, his legs hung in the air, he swung them at each knock. He quickly sent his right hand, grasped the pillow and clamped it on his ears. Silence drove the sound away.
He got down from the bed, spotted a small reading table beside the window of his room. The table was littered with folded papers, exercise books, textbooks, an Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary, a French dictionary and a book – Chant D'Espoir. He saw a magazine laying closed on an opened exercise book. He picked it up. Then he noticed a cell phone in it, bearing the mark – Itel, model: S11.
Shadows of what might have happened to him the previous day started projecting profusely in his mind. He felt belittled, heaved a heavy breath, rushed to the window, glanced through and closed it. The headline of the magazine – The Hottest took his thoughts back to Florence and he found himself next to her. He was moved by her refined guitar shape. She was often called “the hottest”.
It was a Saturday morning when she attended the catch-up class organized by the History teacher; Mr Elamo. She was very hot. Max could not stop himself from smiling. Nobody knew why he saw smiling. Christian, his bench mate hit him on his shoulder and yelled:
“T'as vu Flor aujourd'hui?”
“Elle est où?” Max asked.
“Elle est comme tu préfères. Boy, if you see her you will change your mind.”
“Why? Is she some sort of a god?” He said angrily, sighed and turned around. Florence’s eyes were fixed on him. He looked at her and smiled. She did not return the smile. She walked towards him, pushed him by the sides and walked out of the classroom. Max knew life was not going to be easy for him. People usually judge him from his looks. He needed to toe the line.
Tanda had narrated his experiences with Shona, Louisa and others whose names he couldn’t recall. Everybody respected him. No girl passed him by without smiling or calling out his name softly. He had the muscles of a real man. Max was angry at his looks. He was too feminine. As he glanced through the images in the magazine, drops of tears ran down his cheeks. Someone was banging the door this time with a sharp object. He heard his voice shout:
“Mom, I want to be alone.” But the noise did not stop.
He fell on the floor, starred starkly at the bed, eyes soaked in tears. He felt like drowning himself in the flood of tears on the floor. He hissed a sigh and murmured:
“I’m just a woman.” He brought his head downward, looked at his shorts, strummed his fingers on it, they slid along the slippery liquid. Florence's voice echoed in his mind;
He sliced his finger up the screen of the phone he was holding, Florence's image was on the hold. He remembered the bet he had with his friends. He was already seeing 10,000CFA frs of his monthly allowance going away. He felt stupid, foolish, useless, – it was a wasted night. As he brought his head up, his eyes met with those of his mother.
“What’s happening to you?” she yelled.
Max was a woman in front of Florence, he felt more like a small girl in front of the imposing features of his mother, compressed by her thunderous voice. She looked around, touched him on the neck to take his temperature, seized the magazine he was holding firmly, and took the phone away. Then she saw the hot images;
“Maxi, what's this?” she asked calmly.
“I'm sorry mom. I didn't mean to” he said apologetically.
“Did you bed-wet?”
He was quiet. He didn’t know where to start. Tears flowed profusely from his eyes.
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