TRENDS OF OUR TIME -S01E06 – Captured În Misery

We meet, only to disperse.

From sources only our faith can tell
A pilgrimage we weren’t notified of.
Suddenly from a canal we arrive
With different wits, aims and perspectives
But we must live it anyway and every way possible
Building our own realities in our dreams
A life so suitable to only our imagination
But when our real realities ensue,
The man must be strong, just to live
And make a mark.
Obed Mensah-Benyin

*************previously, on trends of our time**************
“We have done well but we could even do better. Our individual acts, every single one of them, should be towards making us great.”
“Your mother has been behaving strangely of late. I had not really wanted to involve you in this but at the moment I think you are old enough. You are man enough to be told some of these things.”

“That? And not when he lays with another lady on his connubial bed? I thought that is what most ladies don’t like.”
“I mean a guy laying with a different lady on his conjugal, matrimonial, spousal, wedded bed?”
“Yes I do. I am a staunch Red Devil.”
“Red devil? You mean you support Asante Kotoko?”

“Woow…those words again? The last time I heard them, some were qualifying Zenobia. Similar description was given to Edna and this time it’s Theo – Rita. Or is the name Rita – Theo? Rex said in a teasing manner.”

It isn’t but sometimes I really have bad headaches. And it keeps salting out. These are some of the issues with old age and growth into the last third of man’s life. We must accept them and live like that: when are you giving me a baby?
“Me, give you a baby? How? Mum, don’t forget I’m a male.”

~Rex & Alex ~
“Forget about the courtesies. I know very well that you are in the office. I am not calling you as a client. I’m calling for non-office discussions. Be less official.”

“Funny as usual: Rex said as he laughed over the phone call. OK friend. What is there for friends to giggle about?”

“I carry the latest info in town. The most recent information is with me now. You just can’t believe it. Just call me the man with the news.”

“What is it? Has Theo agreed to mount the altar with you?”

“Really? Like seriously? Was that all you could actually think about? I’ve not told her yet. But that’s so far a guess from the issue. Jason is in town.”

“What! Who? Jason? You mean Jason Dumello is on this same land of Haigen with me? When did he come? And how did you know?”

“Rex, you are asking too many questions. Don’t be too anxious. He just got to the airport. How amazing it is that he still has possession of the contact line he was using before he left. I was served a similar meal of surprise when I realized over the phone that it was him. He wants me to pick him up from the airport – something I don’t really understand. I called just to inform you, maybe you could join me to do that?”

“I don’t believe this. You and I know how priceless Jason is to his family. Why wouldn’t Mrs. Dumello rather go with Anna to pick him up? Today isn’t first April; even if it were, I am well aware of your trickeries. Mrs. Dumello and the family if nothing at all, would at least surprise their only male child with a pick up. Have you realized how well I have exposed your ignorance?”

“I don’t have much to argue about. It isn’t about you believing what I say or not. Rex! Are you coming with me or not? Alex asked with a more serious tone.”

“Sorry Alexis as he sometimes called him. I have a lot of work on my desk at the moment. And it isn’t launch time yet. Let me use the time to clear some of the detail. If Jason is really in town, as you are fabricating, then prove me wrong by making me see him by the end of the day.”

“Rex, are you going to bet on this? Alex asked to show how serious he was about the issue. Meet me at 4:00 pm at “Pentagon”. If Jason turns up or otherwise, the loser would be responsible for every single pesewa we spend over there. And you already know our deal, you will drive all of us home. Deal?”

“Deal! Rexford responded on the other end of the call. Now get off my line so I can attend to more serious business. Don’t forget what you would have to do if it turns out that you are lying. Rex said but Alex had already hanged up the call.”

~Rex, Alex and Jason~
“It was 4:02pm on the dot when Rex entered the parking lot of Pentagon restaurant. This was one of the most renowned restaurants in Haigen, noted for their twenty four – seven service of homemade dishes and classic continental meals. It was the only restaurant that had never closed its doors before. One could always at any time of the day, even the dawn, be assured of any type of food they desire. This was where Rex, Jason and Alex used to have their spells before Jason left for New Zealand.”

“Being the last car to park in the space, Rex had the privilege of looking through all the cars in the lot. This made him know that none of Mr. Dumello’s cars and even that of Alex were there. This could only mean they weren’t there yet or that he was right to think Alex was playing one of his usual shenanigans. But if that be the case, he wasn’t bothered because Alex would have lost and the bragging right would be his. He then walked confidently into the restaurant, ordered for a fruit drink and took to sitting to wait if Alex was ever going to turn up.”

“I can’t waste all of my time here. I am giving him just 3o minutes. I will get my body, mind and soul out of this place exactly when its 4:30 pm: Rex said to himself as he sat looking around for any sign of Alex’s arrival.”

“Wooow… you are looking good. I can really smell the breeze of newness around you. Rex said in shock after he had raised his head from something he was so locked up in on his phone. Standing up and running towards his old paddy who had barely entered the restaurant, they exchange pleasantries as they used to some time ago. This time, with more intensity. Good old friends had indeed missed each other.”

“You aren’t looking bad either. And glory be to God, you’ve finally gotten some hair around those cheeks and something small to call a mustache. Rex was a medium height, brown skinned gentleman but well noted amongst his friends for his extremely low facial hirsuteness. It was so surprising that though he had so much hair all over his body, his face was an exception. His friends used to make so much mockery of him in that regard.”

“Hey! You guys still do that? Jason asked as he observed Rex go round the table he was sitting by to pull out the three chairs for them to sit down.”

“Ooh yes. Tradition is the best thing that has happened to mankind. Just that these days we don’t usually meet at areas such as this; so Alex and I don’t do those that much. But tradition is one thing I’m never ready to underrate. I remember every bit of it.”

“Just then Alex entered with a smile of his face. Just saying nothing, he took his spot and both he and Rex threw into laughter. A thing that struck Jason into surprise but this was not long-lived.”

“Jason, welcome to Haigen. A welcome I didn’t imagine giving anytime soon. Are you here on a visit?”

“Well. Maybe. Maybe not. But I’m here permanently I think. I had missed home so much and you guys know very well that Europe and anywhere aside Africa is not where I would love to stay. I love Africa and especially this city. The city of Haigen. So immediately after completing my last paper, I decided to come home. At least to family.”

“Well, so two years away from this country couldn’t untie you from the bond of family? That’s good. So now…since you are the hot cake in town, I guess this whole meeting would be about getting to know what next you would want to do from here. Alex replied.”

“Well, there isn’t much for you to know from my end. Just as you already know, I left you guys to New Zealand to pursue a master’s degree. So now I’m done with that, with two Masters Degrees in Electrical engineering and Computer Science. I was lucky and that was how the programme turned out to be. That I needed adequate expertise in computer science before I could embark on the Electrical engineering. So I did that for six months and continued with the actual course.”

“Wooow…that was a good wit there. We have been around. Alex is now the hottest guy in town. He is in love and he suddenly wants to marry: Rex said teasingly.”

“Whaaattt!!! Jason shouted. This is outrageous. Who is this lady? What does she have and where is she from that she has been able to pin my boy to the wall like that? Surely there is more to life than our mortal eyes can see?”

“Alex kept mute and kept giggling to himself even as his friends made him the focus of discussion all of a sudden.”

“This brings to bare the fact that if Alex has been able to come to a decision, then Rex…errrhhmm…OK. Jason said as they all run into laughter.”

But more seriously, I have decided to move out of my family’s house. In the interim I would want to stay with one of you. I am waiting for appointment from Mazda motors then I will start work.

Ooh Ok.. That is cool Bro… you can move in with me. I guess we’ve been roommates for long and we would have to continue from here. This would come as a surprise to your family. Are you sure Mrs. Dumello can accommodate this? You and I know how valuable you are to her as the only male son. Alex commented.

Well, man was born to mature. My life has started. It isn’t as though I am Prince. Family loves me and I love them too, but I can’t keep my life all tied to them. There is reality out there for us. I am ready to embrace my own reality. I am sure with time she would get used to it. She was able to cope while I was away so I believe she forever can.
“Good plans you’ve got there. But I’ve not heard anything about the most important. Did you come down with a soul mate or you are here to find one?”
“How can I come from New Zealand with a woman? If I had married, you would have known. You know very well how I cherish the African lady. A relationship isn’t what is on my mind at the moment. That isn’t to say I won’t`, if something reasonable comes my way, I will grasp it. I have a feeling I might get married soon. I don’t know where that feeling is from though.”

“Like seriously, you too? When did this breeze blow past us that I didn’t feel it? All of a sudden my guys are thinking about marriage. Anyway, I would have to leave you guys, I have a lot of work to clear up. Catch up with you later Rex said as he took the last sip of his drink.”

“Gentleman, don’t play smart as though you’ve forgotten the deal. Go to that counter and pay off all that we used here. And after that, drop us off at home before you think of going wherever you want to go. You are so lucky I intentionally didn’t bring my car. You would have driven us home before coming for yours with a taxi or whatever. Doubting Thomas; Alex said as he stood up, patting Rex on his shoulder.”

~ Theo and Her Boss ~
“Leave those files on my table and check to see if Theo is done with her programme. Call her for me if she is done.”
“Alright boss, I will do just that.”
“Yeah…come in. Ms. Theodocea, could you please take a seat? How are you doing? And I hope work hasn’t stressed you out too much?”
“Boss, I am doing very great. I just finished the afternoon news casting and I was told you needed me in your office so I came.”
“At our last board meeting, we decided on setting up a new radio station in Haigen. That has been done and we would be going on air next month. There are people already there putting things in place.”
“That is great. You are doing great for this company Sir, I personally have to congratulate you for the successes we have been chalking under your leadership. You are indeed a true leader: Theo commended.”
“Thank you for that. The main issue is: here, have this, he hands over an envelope to her. This might come as a surprise and I was also very surprised when this got to me. Ohh…you can open it if you want to…he said as the he observed Theo looking at the envelope back and front.”
“What is this Sir? She asked out of surprise.”
“I am sorry and at the same time happy to announce that you have been made the manager of this new radio station.”
“Whaaaaatt!!! She screamed.”
“Yeah…It is tough to embrace. You’ve been one of the great personalities I have worked with. Your professionalism has identified you to the appropriate end. In there are your appointment letter, a cheque of $1500.00 for your promotion and documents on where you would be residing. You place of residence is already secured. The board has assured that very soon after you’ve assumed work, your means of transport would be catered for. So be expectant of that.”
Theo stood speechless and motionless.”
All the very best there. Brace yourself for what is ahead. You are more than capable.

~Rex and Gloria ~
“It baffles me so much how this issue has aggravated over the period into such a menace. I don’t know what happened in the past but I’m very sure there is a cat it a certain cubbyhole somewhere. And unless that cat is let out and the life in it smashed into shatters, there is no way Mum and Dad are going to reconcile: Gloria lamented.”

“Oooh Gloria, You can’t be this pessimistic in your judgment. This issue between Mum and Dad is getting a bit extended but I think we should leave everything to time. Time has her own way of dealing with issues. I really do trust that. It has worked for me on several occasions.”
“Rex: This isn’t the type of issue that is resolved own its own when left to time. You haven’t been at home for most of the period. Many people have tried to bring the issue to a resolution. But it none has proved fruitful.”
“Sister, all of such has happened and I don’t know?”
“Yeah…While you were in the university, Dad did not want to worry you with family issues: knowing very well how important your studies were to you. Whenever the heat mounted up, it was on those of us around that it finally downed on. So there are so many things that happened that I’m pretty sure you aren’t aware of.”
“But Gloria, why weren’t those who tried addressing the issue able to do so? Did they not use the right approach or were they not dignified enough? Tell me more…this is so new to me and I really want to know. I am man enough to be enlightened on some of these. Tell me please.”

“Actually, anytime some elders from the church and the community came to resolve the issue, each of them would drag it so much and talk about things that happened several years back. It seemed so much that either of them had hidden so much in them that they cannot easily let go. As one side talks about something that happened, it triggers anger in the other, leading to swelling up of the sitting. Finally, whens some peace is established, it’s just for a brief period then something happens again. I can’t even discern who is at fault any longer. She explained.”
“That was all Rex could voice out. As he was so saddened by the enormity of the issue at hand.”
“So Gloria, what do we do about the current situation? It is even very hard to get them both to sit in a discussion, let alone try to bring them to a compromise.”

“I surely can’t tell brother. The little I know in life is that, in such cases, for a compromise to be reached and a resolution attained, one side should be ready to swallow the burning coal and tolerate the other. Initially Dad seemed like he would, but at the moment, every single utterance of his shows he isn’t ready for that. He says he is fed up. He can’t be the one always seeking reconciliation. He even insists Mum has never said sorry in any case and so long as she doesn’t show any remorse, things will continue the way they are now.”

“Hmmm… I think we should try and talk to them individually. Then find time to get them together. I am pretty sure something good will turn up. And let’s put it to prayer too. I trust so much in prayer. God is able. Rex said with some assurance.”

“Not that I am doubting, I believe so much in prayer and what it can do. But the way these people are psyched up, it’s very difficult. So difficult to have faith in the Lord I have served and believed in these many years. Anyway, I will do whatever I can.”

~ Jason, Alex & Rex~
“You’ve really done well by making this decision. I personally would have found it very difficult to do. The last time when used you’ve decided on moving away from your family, I was taken aback. I considered if I could easily pull the trigger for such a missile.
“Alex, I knew it wasn’t going to be any easy for my family accept. But they had to anyway. My family is special and well known in Haigen how well we stick to one another. My Mum especially, as though it was a strict tradition would do whatever she can to protect what she believes in.”

“Yes. Exactly. That’s what I’m talking about. The ever expanding Dumello family. Even men who had wanted to marry women from the family had to make do with a settlement in the Dumello residence. How much more the only son of a Dumello family leave the house for his own residence and life? And by my own standards, why would I forfeit a place where I wouldn’t have to bother about footing utility, health, and food and clothing bills for somewhere I would have to be using my own hard earned money for such things? Considering all these things you’ve really done well…Really well.”

“I took all those things into consideration. But I realized that life isn’t what I truly want. I want to make it on my own and in my own way. Someone had to break the code. That certainly had to be a man and it had to be me.”

“Just then, Rex enters into the room, looking so distraught, and with a faint greeting throws himself into the sofa and starts talking. They try to respond but realize it isn’t directed to either of them so each of them holds back.”

“It is so confusing how life is. They all say dream. And that even when you dream, dream big. I did dream and that dream was so wonderful. That life I had was the best I could have ever lived. To the best of my ability, I am trying to make all ends meet. But here I am, the least expected is what is happening. How can two people stay together for thirty two years and when everyone expects that their toils will be crowned with glory, then separation sets in. here I am that in no time, I could be called a child of a broken home. On top of that, I am expected to get married. Mum is putting pressure on me to get into something she is pulling out from. I just don’t understand. And the little relationship I’m trying out isn’t working out. Why is my life messing up at this stage, Why???”

*********** story continues in episode 7 ************

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