Hey guys, about three months ago, there was a competition organised by a writing site and the judge involved was Chimamanda Adichie. She asked that competitors write a story that could be read in three minutes or less in which a joke was cracked and someone cried. I thought long and hard about what to write in less than 600 words that would make sense and still retain my characteristic feisty flavor and I thought of this. I haven't heard anything, so I'm almost certain I didn't win. I've decided to share with you, so that I might get your insights. Please tell me if this story made any sense to you and if it stirred some emotion in you(what great fiction does) or NOT( sobs!) . Whatever you do, enjoy. I love you guys. Bless!
Amuche sat sniffing; dabbing her eyes with bits of the serviette paper she was supposed to be using to wipe her mouth. But the tears won’t just stop streaming down; ruining her MAC.
“Cheer up, babe, think about it for a minute, imagine if he broke up before Valentine’s day”, I said.
She tried to smile, a watery smile; her pretty face a muddied mess.
The restaurant was crowded. It seemed a lot of people were still in the mood for love. Couples held hands across the table; staring into eyes filled with longing. I just hoped they would have better luck than Amuche. For me, I had long given up. My heart was beyond the reach of such idiots as Emeka; Amuche’s wayward beau. She finally stopped crying and we resumed eating.
“Hey, care if I join you?” a tall man in a blue sports jacket asked. His voice was like liquid timber; hitting my eardrums like a bass drum beat underwater.
It seemed it had the same effect on Amuche. She wore an instant perk.
“No! Amuche, you’ve just been through one, must you always let them get to you?", I thought.
“You’ve barely touched your food, or do your rocks crack in your teeth as mine”, he said, pointing to my plate of rice, his eyes dancing with mirth.
Pushy familiarity was just the thing I detested; you thought that meant that they were confident and smart, only for them to show you that they were as familiarly pushy with just everything else that wore a skirt.
Amuche’s eyes were instantly dry and twinkling, the dried path the tears took contained in banks of caked powder.
“My name is Emeka, and after a pause, he went on, it’s a pleasure meeting you ladies.”
A dismal look flared on Amuche’s face. It seemed she was going to cry, but she quickly brightened again; after all he wasn’t the same Emeka (I was almost certain she was thinking).
I smiled. This was getting disgusting. I got up to leave the table. As I made to leave, his hand touched mine, and I swear I felt something. Current, sparks, electrons would all sound corny. But there was definitely a ‘something’. Hard, callused hands. Broad and assured. Familiarly pushy. He slipped something into my hand. I closed my hand over it.
“I’ll see you in the car, Amuche” I mumbled.
In my beat up Corolla, I stared down at the gold embossed card in my hand which said:
Emeka Dibie, Head Builder, Specter Inc. and on the back was scribbled the words;
“I was watching you while ordering and worried that I won’t get a chance to speak to you alone. I’d like to push past those invisible walls and build new ones around me and you”.
Familiarly pushy. Familiarly clairvoyant. But it got me smiling. Maybe I’ll take a chance.