Short Story: Smidgen of Hope


It was a smidgen of hope. The type that flickers with false wonder and melts away like the wax of a ferociously burning candle. Nkem thought he had seen the sign when he first met Amara. It was a meeting scripted by the sleight of hand. It was something more mysterious than love at first sight. It almost felt like he was hypnotized the first time he met Amara, the type you call sweet obsession. But even life plays pranks with our emotions and seamlessly toils with our feelings.

Amara had just walked out on him after what can only pass as a proper dress down of his life. She was not one to suffer fools gladly and after seeing the signs in his inability to keep up with paying monthly for her inexpensive hair cream, she proactively heeded to the red lights and halted the relationship. Amara had the kind of demeanor that endears. Her teasing eyes and meandering fingers will mistake her as a flirt, but she held a powerful spell in the intricacies of her soul. She had a golden heart, the type that hates to see people in pain, massive or mild. The type that will give up its last 500 naira, and rather starve all day than see a friend suffer. However, times have changed, and Amara, now conditioned by the crassness of society and the sullen economic sufferings that came with it, had now grown thick skin and fresh eyes. A rich man has now become the new objective.

As the reality of his new life settled into his heart, Nkem cursed everything his mind could conjure. He blamed the government of the day for making him economically impotent. He cursed his parents for giving him one hell of a path to follow. He blamed nature for planting him in this herculean dungeon called Nigeria. Nkem was lost in the leech of his thoughts. He was browbeaten by all that was happening around him. As he sat on the ailing tree just outside his parents’ house, he contemplated the future with Amara that was now an illusion. However, he allowed himself the euphoria to reel in this imagination. For if he could not get Amara in the real world, at least she will not deny him the pleasure of making out with her in his mind. He was on the verge of reaching climax when Emeka, his younger brother called 'Uncle Nkem, daddy is calling you.'

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