OFF THE HOOK…

Jack stretches out his feet on the coach and places them on a stool that has on it his phone and a glass half full of juice. Under the table, folded twice in a rather awkward way is a newspaper and by the look of things the reader had not found much fascinating in it or maybe the lazy Sunday effect had taken charge, judging in the manner in which it had been carelessly shoved under the table.

He tries to concentrate on the television screen following up on a repeat match that had actually happened the previous day while he was busy in the field running errands but often than not his eyes wander about the living room as if he is unsure if it is actually his house or perhaps wondering how on earth so much had changed in the past one year. He would have fully concentrated on the match but considering that this is a repeat match and that he already knew the outcome and his team had terribly lost, he was less concerned. Worse he had lost the bet! All he could do was simply catch up trying to keep his mind preoccupied. Too bad ‘everybody’ else had disappeared from the living room, apparently ‘they’ do not like football.

All this while a part of his mind still nagging him about the conversation he had had with his father the previous week. His father had called him and informed him of his desire for him to pertake in the management of their farm where the major crop to be managed was coffee. Jack had always hated farming, especially coffee, since way back in his teens ,when he and his mother had spent hours drenching in the early morning dew during coffee harvesting season, plucking coffee beans to take to the factory for processing. Now that he is grown and with a good job in the city, he considered the coffee farming activity a rather dirty and tedious job meant for old folks like his parents. For goodness sake he was a millennial and his father of all people should understand that!

“With all my education and a well paying blue collar job why would i want to indulge in such a soiling dirty job?” He wonders and shakes his head in disapproval.

But being the only son he knows too well that convincing his father otherwise is out of the question. The old man being a strict conservative wouldn’t bulge for any reason in the world, not even for a taste of the Canaan milk and honey… For a minute Jack wishes he had more brothers, or better yet his sisters were considered his equals, at least someone else would be sharing his tribulations  since maybe his father would have preferred one of his other imaginary brothers or his sisters and chosen one of them to take over the farm leaving him the hell alone…if wishes were horses…

One of the few instances he loves coffee is when a cup of it, freshly steaming hot is placed in front of him ,especially during one of those mornings after a night out with the boys and for some reason the Johnie Walker in his head has refused to sit down! In such situations a good cup of coffee had proved useful in forcing one Mr.Johnie to sit and he undeniably  loved it for that…

He had been having a hard time coming to term with his old man’s wishes but he knows too well that sooner later he will have to comply. In the meantime he intends to buy himself as much time as he can.

Suddenly his wandering eye catches a tiny piece of paper under the table , he picks it up

“Monday 10.30 PM”

‘What the heck?!’ He wonders. Something in the handwriting haunts him. A part of his mind remembers the handwriting but refuses to place it to the owner. After his head, his brain cells must be balding too!

He has this uneasy feeling about it and although he tries so hard to shut it down, it won’t go away, it’s like all his future depends on it. He has to do something about it, fast.

It annoys him so much that he does not know whether the note was addressed to him or to his fiancé, if anything they are the only occupants of that house.

His demeanor suddenly changes from already uneasy to totally uneasy. He cannot just sit and do nothing so oblivious of the goal being scored in the television screen ,he strides to the bedroom to pick up his coat. He has to get out.Fast!

His fiancé hears as he turns the knob of the bedroom door and feigns sleep. She snores soundly so he just picks up his coat slowly not to wake her up as he does not have time for interrogation. As he is about to leave he is sure he sees her trying to open one eye and peek at him. ’These women! One can hardly understand them. She snores with her one eye open!’ he silently laments as he slams the door so loudly as if to send her some signal. She is left staring at the door with a mischievous look in her somewhat sleepy eyes. She snorts and throws off the blanket then heads to the kitchen to get herself something to eat.

After a short deliberation within herself she gets a cup of coffee and grabs some biscuits then heads to the living room ,places her eatables on the table and with a heavy sign stretches herself on the coach switching the television to ‘la mujer something’. She puts her phone on silent mode and literally throws it to the furthest end of thecoach where she won’t see it.

She nibbles her biscuits as she sips her coffee and in no time the biscuits are over and she desires more. She places one foot down off the coach about to drag herself to the kitchen to get more biscuits …but wait a minute, wasn’t she checking her weight!? Damn calories! She is about to put the other foot down when her eye catches the newspaper under the table, she picks it up and flips it randomly. On the almost last pages, near the sports section a tiny headline catches her eye , it is in small letters, a by the way kind of news.

    ’Coffee farmers debts written off’

“mmmh ,maybe that is one of the very minor advantages of this campaign season…these politicians! “ she silently signs, in her head an image of one of the roads leaving town getting an upgrade. She then flips the pages more and lands to the editorial cartoon page. It has a picture of a plump white man who looks important and wealthy,he bites on a donut as he gazes out of the window staring at a tornado forming a distance away with a funny grin on his face!

She does not get the message and she does not like thinking much on a Sunday so dismissing the cartoon on face value she folds the newspaper and reluctantly throws it back under the table. Ignoring the extreme urge for more coffee and biscuits she concentrates on the television . She somewhat  enjoys the current program but when it is done she can hold it no more.

She goes to the kitchen for more biscuits and coffee. After all not all days are Sunday, why not relax? Every other day she is expected to be diverse and resourceful. If anything she will be taking the stairs the following week… she justifies herself.

Three hours later. 7.35 P.M  she checks her phone and finds twenty missed calls, seven from Jack and the others random, but wait ,one number is quite alarming. She shakily takes a sip from an almost empty cup of coffee, savoring the bite of the drink and wanting to wash the taste of fear in her mouth.

Then the door bell rings…

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