columnBy Ousman Njie
Chaane and Demba became friends since nursery school days, Demba from a rich, wealthy family and Chaane an orphan struggling with a widow mother and a sibling brother Mandou. As a brilliant lasso, Chaane was respected and revered by class mates and teachers alike, she was good in Arts, Commerce as well as Science subjects. The two friends developed a strong, unbreakable bond. Where they able to sustain it in adult life? Another interesting episode! Read to find out.
Today is a happy day for the Sawyer family as their only son Alfred Demba returns from overseas.
"Waaw! The place has changed, more elaborate and sophisticated."
"Yes my son, your father here has been abundantly blessed by God and I decided to invest it here in all aspects of our life to make my family life affluent and comfortable."
"Oh yes, I can definitely see that, coming home at 29 years with 2 degrees."
"We are very proud of you son and your mom has cooked your delicacy 'super kanja' 'draw soup' with cow foot pepper soup and 'foo-foo'. Let's go in."
"Mom your tricks, you'll never stop it! I missed Gambian food for 12 good years, I can't wait, let's go." They all entered the house.
Al visited Chaane's house and found that the family has relocated. When he knocked, a stranger came out to answer him.
"Where is Chaane?"
"I am a new tenant here; the first tenants left when the land lord died and was inherited by his son who took new tenants and I being one of them. I am sorry, I cannot help you, and can I go back to my work? I was engaged before you arrived."
"Okay, you can go." He left him there wondering for a while not sure whether the man told him the truth or not. He fiddled with the red rose flower he came with.
He talked to the flower as he remembered Chaane being sad and confused.
"For 12 good years I have not seen you.
He reflected when they were young and at secondary school level; Al paid Chaane a visit. He was sad and confused, Chaane noticed his composure was not right and asked.
"What is eating you up? You are not yourself today." He did not answer.
"Am I not your friend and sister you never had? Do sister and brother keep secrets from each other? Tell me your worries, I am all ears." He gave him his passport which Chaane examined thoroughly and laughed heartily.
"This is a Gambian passport, why are you morose and sad?"
"My dad is sending me to Canada to my uncle to pursue my university education."
"Don't tell me you are refusing because of me? If so your parents will hate me for life. Five months ago you professed to love me; do you still stand by that word?"
"Yes I do even though I am very young I still stand by that vow. I am deeply convinced in my heart of hearts that I love you."
"Then don't say any word just follow me to my room and do exactly as I tell you."
In the room Chaane surprised Al by undressing and asking him to make love to her. He did and found out she was a virgin; as she bled profusely Alfred panicked.
"What are we going to do? "
"It will stop, my mother told me that's what happened during the first time but it will eventually stop. Have you ever done it before?"
"No! This is my first time. You were a virgin? Why did you ask me to make love to you?"
"It is a covenant, a parting gift to show you I'll always be here for you. This is the gift to the man I love. Do you promise?"
"Yes, I promise."
The shock and disappointment
As the young lovers passionately kissed each other, the door opened.
"What! Oh sister Chaane has killed me? What will my in-laws say that I have reared a spoilt child? Doing such a thing in my own house, under my very nose? What a cheek!"
"I don't know what is wrong with nowadays children? They are so perverse. Do they learn these acts from video films? We should not shy away from Sex Education for our children, both boys and girls if not they will experiment and waste their lives." The yelling gave the lovers a rude jerk. They became exposed and ashamed as they put on their clothes and Al ran away.
At Al's home
Al went at home and hibernated in his room. Shock and ashamed that their illicit affair has been discovered and that Chaane's mom will hate him forever. Mama Chaagel came into his room to enquire.
"My son what has happened? Chaane's mother came here highly charged; she returned the cheque for D200,000. 00 I gave her for her business and said it is from Sister Henrietta. She has warned that you never show up in her house again that if you do she will kill her daughter, then you and commit suicide. What has happened my son to make her so mad at you?"
"We made love."
"What Al Demba! You made what? Made love at your age? Your father must hear this."
"No mom, don't tell my father, both of us are not proud of what we did; she was so upset when I told her I was travelling that she over reacted and decided to make love to me as a parting gift. We decided to keep ourselves for each other."
"What! Give sex as a parting gift; why are nowadays children so pervert?"
"Mom, I want to go back and apologize but they never gave me the chance. I love her mom and want to marry her. We've assured each other to stay put until we graduate and get married."
"Forget about her as it will no longer be necessary. As I am talking to you Chaane has already being flown to Kenya with Sister Henrietta to continue her university education, they want to take her where you'll not see her again."
"What!" He fell unconscious.
"What! Al Demba! Wake up! Wake up! Somebody help." She rushed for help.
Back to the present
Al continued to speak to the rose flower.
"Chaane! Where are you? Are you in somebody's arms?"
Mama Chaagel entered unnoticed disturbed by Al's obsession.
"We promised to keep each other for ourselves and for 12 years in Canada I keep my promise."
"You did?" Mama's question startled him.
"Yes I did." He confirmed.
"Did you go and look for her?"
"Yes I did but she is nowhere to be found." Mama drew him near and empathized with her son.
Dad summoned Al for discussion in mom's presence.
"Son! We are very happy with your progress; it is impressive and at your age; your performance is very good, your organization fantastic."
"Dad! What can I say? You have been very generous to me; sent me at an early age to Canada with two business degrees at 29 years! Thank you dad! Thank you mom!"
"I summoned you back for very good reasons; I want to retire, I am tired; I want you to take the baton and continue where I stopped."
"Are you handing down everything to me just like that?"
"Is there anything wrong with that? Handing down my heritage to my only son?"
"No! No! No! Not at all; I am just being overwhelmed; even though I am a graduate with A Bachelor and Master's degrees in Business, I'll still need your guidance with your vase experience."
"I'll not totally vanish; I'll be in the background to assist you to see you through."
"Thank you dad! Thank you very much, I do appreciate."
"Next week I'll introduce you to management. Congratulations my son!" Boss stretched out his hand to his son.
"I promise not to let you down." The family took toast of success.
Dad got some feedback from management that Al's performance was excellent he summoned him again for review.
"Your performance is excellent." He said.
Al giggled and said;
"Dad! Are you spying on me?"
Dad smiled and said;
"Management is just reporting back to their boss of many years. On a more serious note; next week you will be 29 years old and as our only child your mother and I are worried that you are still unmarried. What is your plan on the issue?"
"I am still searching for her."
Surprising dad looked at mom and asked;
"Searching for who?"
To be cont.