Unspoken Fears -

Ojo Waheed


That afternoon, as he stood on the verandah, his hands clutching the lustrous metal railings, watching the sky slowly succumbed to the command of nature, as it forms into dark fogs that promised the prospect of a heavy rainfall, he reflected on his life. Everything had happened so fast that he seemed to be suspended in a sea of infinite daze. What had changed and how much his life had revolved around the change still surprised him. There were days he half-heartedly wished life had waited for him, as though, life is a malleable metal that will always bend and twist at the mercy of the one who lives it.

It was obvious and he couldn’t shield his mind from the new mantra “everything has happened too fast.” Life had taken so much from him and given him so much in return. Yet, none of it seems to be part of the architectural blue print of his childhood dreams. His was a dream frozen away in the naivety and joyfulness of childhood, a dream in which his profession would be worn with pride like a cologne, a dream in which there was no hope of having difficulty in telling people the kind of work he does. There were times he wished he had forever remained a child, forever suspended in the innocence of childhood. For him, childhood remains a period of no worries, where almost everything comes with just a flash of the magical wand.

But now, even he, finds it absurd, the word ‘Yahoo’, or the more refined ‘G-boy’, which had come to be the signature of people who engage in online frauds. They were words he avoided as though pronouncing them will desecrate his tongue. But here he was, in one of the rare moments that affluence affords him; alone, lost in the depth of his own mind, in between a bland taste of the over-priced pizza he had ordered online from KFC, and the half-filled glass of mango juice that stood like the urine of a pleasant child on the wooden stool. He was finding it hard to lie to his own soul. He had often heard that a liar couldn’t deceive two folks of people, that even if the recipient gets carried away in the erosion of the lies, the liar would not, but he had not thought much of it. It was strange how it now feels surreal to be applicable in his situation, that even if he couldn’t confront the obvious in public, he still cannot deny himself the confrontation of who he had become.

He knew that litigation lawyers lie and do stupid things to win cases for their clients but he has never heard of one engage in cyber fraud. He felt disappointed in himself. He had failed his father who had always wanted him to grow into a fine lawyer. Personally, he had betrayed his own future.

As the rain began to fall, he thought of his parents. His father had disowned him before his death two months ago and his mother had blamed him for choosing to die miserably. But even Ola was proud of his father. To him, his father was one of the few people who could afford truth which had become a luxury item.

There he was, with one question in mind; for how long will this continue? And when the phone rang and he was brought back to life, it was his mother. She had called to remind him of his promise to pay for her Hajj pilgrimage.

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