I met this wonderful gentle Pastor in cyberspace. Brilliant, soft spoken, cool, calm and collected, he is the S.I unit of gentlemanliness. He gave me the honour of partnering with him to do this collabo. Did I mention, he speaks some mandarin/chinese too?
The first 4 parts were aired on our timelines but he felt the last bits of our offerings should be posted on our blogsites. Pastor Chidi is a good man if I have ever seen one…Thank you Sir! Check out his oeuvre on this blogsite, http://john-chidi.blogspot.com/.
Please, your comments are so highly soughted. Thank you!
….The net convulsed from the venomous force of the ball that struck it. Cries of “goooall” rent the air. The stripling who had converted the free kick ran towards the dugout of his team beating his chest and screaming in euphoria. A fever of celebration spread through the stands and everyone took up a chant, ‘Red! Red! Red!’ Once again, the young man had snatched victory for his team out of nowhere. He was a conjurer who converted straw to gold.
At the end of the game, Jake watched as Red came out of the locker room, resplendent in track suit, the bling around his neck scattering shards of golden light. He emitted some kind of magnetic field that drew humans, especially females, to him like iron filings.
However, it was when Judy ran past him that resentment churned and foamed within Jake. Judy was the goddess of his dreams, the lass that caused rainbows to streak across his grey skies. He fawned over her pictures, followed her like a love-sick pup on social media, and liked all her posts, even the most inane ones. Yet, he did not exist in her world. She had eyes only for the footballer! Amongst the bevy of beautiful flowers surrounding Red, she quickly found her place, on the left arm of the young athlete.
Scattering jokes like an Asian rice farmer, bumping knuckles and slapping high fives, Red made his way to the parking lot, a train of admirers thronging him. Young ladies filled the car immediately he opened it. Jake barely managed to squeeze into the back. His brother did not glance his way, even when he slapped him on the back congratulating him. Red had just helped KNAN United win the Intercollegiate Championship for the third time running.
The car was noisy as everyone tried to gain Red’s attention. Rap music bellowed from the speakers and the car lurched and braked to the beats. Jake brought out his headset and began listening to a classical piece—lullaby to his peevish state. He pulled out a textbook on quantum physics and lost himself in the world of photons and electrons. Thing is he was used to all these. It had been like that since the day they emerged crying into an unfamiliar world.
They had been born twins but were as divergent as chalk and cheese. They were so dissimilar that people called them wine and water. Red was wine, and he was water. His flaming red hair (the genesis of his name), six pack and rippling muscles frame and athleticism made him the toast of the town; his impulsive nature made him the life of any party. His love for the outdoors was one that was visible even to bats. Red was extraordinary and gifted while he was quite run of the mill. He was so unremarkable that even the hair that formed matted bushes all over his twin refused to grow on his body. When most of their mates were already in the beard gang, Jake could not even boast of a strand of hair on the chin. He struck most as effeminate!
Jake grew up hearing words like, sissy, ninny, wuss, and mom’s boy thrown at him. While Red cavorted with his boisterous friends on the courts outside the house or went hunting with their dad, he was often in the kitchen with his mom, learning new recipes, or buried in the pages of a book. It was natural, therefore, that he was their mother’s favourite; their father dotted on Red.
It was his mother who helped him. Jake felt the deck of destiny was stacked against him. He saw himself as of inferior stock whilst Red had it all together, held all the aces… She said to him, time and again, “You are not disadvantaged.” “Everyone has got something special, something unique!” “Look for the plus in your seeming disadvantage and use it to create your future!” “Learn to even the odds in your favour!” Jake eventually began to believe…
Hence, he was ready the day Red trudged in from the field, tired and famished by the day’s exertions. Jake was cooking up a storm. Red asked for a bowl of the rich tomato beef casserole sputtering on the oven.
“Wait a minute…” Jake responded.
He cleaned his hands on his apron, went out of the kitchen and returned brandishing a sheaf of papers.
“If you want my meal, you gotta sign these.”
“What are those,” Red asked.
“Just you surrendering your trust fund to me,” Jake replied.
“Oh?” inquired Red laughing.
“It’s simple, if you want the food.”
“Trust funds never helped dead men, man. Give me some food before I pass out.”
Jake gave him the papers and a pen and showed him where to append his signature. And without batting an eyelid Red signed. Jake broke out in a rash of smiles as he packed the contract and began to set the table for his brother.
Know your opponent was another statement Jake’s mom always made. He’d imbibed that too. He came to understand that despite his prodigious gifts, Red was not disciplined. It was the champion’s Achilles heel. Coupled with a weakness for beer and good food, it was the perfect recipe for a slip. While Jake waited for a chance, he met the family attorney and had him draw up a contract. The man thought the whole thing a joke.
Red polished off the food and washed it down with a chilled can of beer. He got up from the dining table, dusted imaginary dust off the seat of his pants and whistling, sauntered away.
“Jake. Jake! Wake up. We gotta go.”
Uncle L’s voice snapped the reel of past events that was playing in his sleep……