The young man could run!
He was nimble-footed!
By the time Adobea and Kofi Gyan came out of the house, he was far at the junction up the road, and he turned left.
By the time Adobea, breathing heavily, got to the junction, she saw him at the far end of the bend near the main road, and she stopped with a gaping mouth, wondering how he could possibly be over there in such a short time!
She screamed with horror when she saw him dashing across the road without pause, and a fraction of a second later, a huge van zoomed past!
“Oh, my God!” Adobea said, clutching her heart. “Oh, goodness!”
“Jesus, he could have been knocked down!” Kofi Gyan said beside her as he panted with exertion.
“Let me try and find him, Kofi,” Adobea said, her voice frosty. “Your presence might scare him again.”
“But I want him to be used to me!” Kofi Gyan said plaintively. “I don’t want to be a kakai man to him. I’m so sorry! Come, I’ll help you find him, but I won’t approach him. You’ll talk to him, and make him comfortable around me, Adobea. Please.”
Adobea looked at him coldly for a moment, and then she sighed and nodded.
The two of them set off toward the main road at a fast walk.
The huge truck that had almost smashed into the young man honked loudly, the driver obviously scared by the reckless human being that had dashed so blindly across the road.
The people that were walking around screamed and pointed at the man, some of them gesticulating wildly. He did not appear to even hear them. He chanced a glance behind and ascertained that the kakai man was no longer following him, and then he stopped running and set off jovially down the road.
And then he saw a couple standing in front of a store purchasing some items. It was a black man and a white woman. They were chatting softly as the woman pointed to a patterned porcelain set she obviously wanted to buy. The storeowner, a stout woman, was smiling broadly as she proffered one of the jugs to the woman.
The handsome young man came to stand beside the woman and stared at her with his head to one side and a puzzled look on his face.
The man saw this rather uncivilized scrutiny and stopped talking. He turned to the young man with a scowl on his face.
“What are you looking at, huh?” the man asked, sounding cross.
The confused young man pointed to the pretty white lady who was looking at him with sudden apprehension.
“Is this a human being?” the young man asked curiously.
“Why, you piece of stupid shit!” the man exploded with fury and dashed at the young man, but the white lady, obviously scared, pushed her husband back suddenly.
“Joe, it’s okay, it’s okay,” she said hurriedly as he looked at the young man glaring at her husband.
She saw a stout, strong man whereas her husband was short and skinny. The woman was obviously scared that her husband would not be a match for this nasty young man who obviously was a racist and wanted to pick a fight with them.
The handsome young man looked at the fuming man as the woman pushed him back.
“But why are you angry?” he asked innocently. “This thing is pink, it has yellow hair and…hey, are your eyes blue? Yehowa! Kaakaamotobi!”
The man lost it totally then!
He pushed his wife aside and rushed at the young man, aiming a blow at his head. The young man shouted and stepped aside, instinctively pushing the man, who lost his footing and went falling into the gutter behind him.
Luckily for him, the gutter was surprisingly dry and clean, but his head struck the edge and a hideous swelling appeared on his forehead as he lay inside the gutter, dazed!
People were shouting and approaching the scene of the fracas, so the young man sensibly took to his heels again, running like a gazelle, and soon he had left all the confusion behind.
Now tired and confused, he looked around desperately.
He was now in the business area of the town.
There were many shops and magnificent buildings here.
One of the buildings here was the Hotel Dido, a really magnificent edifice.
It was shaped like a ship, and its beauty caught the attention of the young man. He dashed across the street again, and once again he was almost knocked down by a taxi. He went through the front gates of the hotel, crossed the courtyard toward the reception and paused in front of the state-of-the-art revolving door.
The young man saw people stepping onto the revolving plate and being revolved inside. Fascinated, he stepped on the plate and giggled when he was revolved into the hotel reception, but quite unfortunately he was not aware that he was supposed to step off the place once he was inside the reception.
He still stood on the plate, and was revolved round right to the outside again. He still could not step off, and so the revolver spun him inside again. By the time he came around outside again he saw about two people standing outside and looking at him.
He smiled and waved as he was revolved inside once again, and this time there were people inside the reception looking at him as he spun slowly around and went back outside.
This time there were about five people standing and laughing.
“Hey, get off, damn it!” someone shouted.
“Whoooheeeee!” the young screamed with obvious fun as he went round back into the reception where a group had assembled, and some of them were holding cameras and filming him.
“Can it go faster?” the young man shouted with happiness. “Whoooooheeeee!”
He was spun back outside and more people had gathered and filming him.
“Whoooooheeeee!” he screamed. “So much fun!”
He was spun back inside and he was smiling broadly now.
“Get off the damn plate, bastard!” a woman screeched at him, gesticulating.
“Whooooheeeee!” he shouted, and when he got around outside an elderly man in a batakari with a folded newspaper under his armpit was now standing in front of the crowd looking at him curiously.
“I think he doesn’t know how to get off,” the elderly man said.
The door spun the young man inside to the reception area, and he looked at them with a face that was no longer smiling.
“I’m feeling dizzy!” he shouted. “Stop it!”
“Step off!” the furious woman shouted, and some of the onlookers laughed uproariously now.
He went right outside again.
“Stop it!” he cried plaintively. “I’m feeling dizzy!”
“Whooooheeeee!” someone shouted in the crowd, and a lot of the people laughed.
When he came around again, he could no longer stand straight.
The elderly man jumped on the plate, and when they were spun into the reception area he stepped off quickly and pulled the young man off.
When they landed on the floor, the young man’s legs wobbled rather alarmingly and he landed sprawled out on the floor, quite dizzy, and burst into a series of childish giggles.
This amused the onlookers who laughed at such childish behaviour in such a mature handsome man.
As they finally moved off, the elderly man who had helped him looked down at him with a frown as he quickly became aware that this young man was not behaving right.
“Are you alright, man?” he asked gently.
The young man giggled and wagged his index finger round and round to signify dizziness.
“My stomach is going rumbu-rumbu!” the young man said, still giggling. “And my eyes are turning round-round-round! Heeerh, the room is spinning wheee-wheee-wheee like alikoto!”
“This guy fool pass!” a young porter said with a laugh as he walked past.
The elderly man slowly bent with his hands on his knees and looked at the young man with compassion.
“Hey, I’m George Williams,” he said gently. “Who are you, and who are you with?”
The young man now sat up on the floor.
“I don’t know who I am,” he said with a snicker. “Naomi called me Mr. Nobody.”
“And who’s Naomi?” Mr. Williams asked. “Your sister, your friend?”
“No, the daughter of the kakai man who slapped me, and then he was running toward me like a kaakaamotobi, you know, fancy dress kakai like huhuuuhu ghost, so I fled!”
Mr. George Williams nodded.
“Listen, I’m on my way to grab a bite,” he said gently. “Are you thirsty?”
“Oh, yeah!” the young man said excitedly. “I’m really thirsty.”
“Right, come with me,” Mr. Williams said.
He straightened and pulled up the young man.
George Williams had just come to the conclusion that this was a young man who was still, sadly, trapped in his formative years, and had decided to help him.
He held the man’s hand and they walked across the reception to the huge restaurant bar. There were many people present taking breakfast, and they walked across to an empty table and sat down.
A waiter promptly came around to take their orders.
“What will you have?” Mr. Williams asked.
“I’m thirsty, I told you!” the young man said, his eyes on a huge stand across from them where there was a giant display screen with a question of physics on it. Beside the screen was a huge whiteboard where a man was standing with a marker and trying to solve the physics question.
Above the screen were the words:
Are you a Genius? Instant Win! Solve and win Cash!
Mr. George Williams smiled and ordered coffee and toast bread for himself, and hot cocoa and chicken sandwich for the young man.
He took out his wallet and looked at the two hundred Ghana cedis inside his wallet sadly.
“You know,” Mr. George Williams said. “This is the last of my pension money for this month. I have no money left, you see.”
“Then buy some more money,” the young man said promptly.
“What?” Mr. Williams asked with shock.
“If you don’t have money just buy some more money, moron!” the young man said, and the elderly man burst into laughter so hard that he began to cough.
The young man looked at him with sudden chagrin.
“Are you laughing at me?” he asked angrily and stood up. “I don’t think you’re such a nice man after all.”
Mr. Williams shook his head and gestured wildly, unable to stop himself.
“Sit down, sit down, my word…buy some money!” he said through giggles. “Well, ain’t that a corker! Do sit down, my friend. I do like you. You’ve made me forget my troubles for this morning! You see, my six-year old granddaughter is in the hospital. I need two thousand cedis to meet her medical bills but me and my wife don’t have that much.”
“Granddaughter?” the young man asked as he sat down again. “Like your daughter daughter?”
Mr. Williams laughed again and patted the young man on the shoulder.
“Yes, kind of, but she’s actually my son’s daughter,” he said. “Our only son, he died a couple of years ago with his wife in a car accident, so their daughter now lives with me and my old wife. I’m retired, see, with just a little monthly pension money. Not enough, not enough. Look, I’ll call you by my son’s name, okay? So, you’re Ebow Williams for now, okay?”
The young man shook his head vigorously with dislike.
“No can do!” he shouted. “I don’t like Ebow biara! Sounds like a dog’s bark…ebooooooowuuu, eboooooowuuuu, ebooooowuuuu!”
Mr. Williams laughed so hard that he ended up coughing badly, and the young man giggled, intrigued by the man’s cough, and went on shouting.
“Ebooooowuuuuu! Eboooooowuuuu! Eboooooowuuuu!”
“Stop it, stop it, kwasia, stop it!” Mr. Williams bellowed with laughter. “You’ll kill me, young man! Stop it or you’ll make me shit in my boxers!”
The young man would have continued, but the waiter brought their food then, and he was instantly delighted by the hot chocolate and chicken sandwich.
Mr. Williams finally managed to stop laughing.
The young man bit into a chicken sandwich and drank the chocolate.
“Tabayeeeew!” he shouted when the drink burnt his tongue.
“Hey, take your time, take your time,” Mr. Williams said with concern. “It is a little hot. Sip it.”
“Aight,” the young man said, his gaze fixed on the man solving the physics question.
Mr. Williams took a bite of his toast and sipped his coffee, mentioning names to the young man, but he shook his head and rejected them.
Soon, a Jewish man and his wife passed by their table, and the man clasped his hands together and smiled at Mr. Williams.
“Oh, Meeester Weeeeliams!” the Jew said. “Haypi to see yeeeeew again! Shalom!”
Mr. Williams smiled and nodded at the man.
“Shalom, Brother Nehu,” he said. “Hope the family is good.”
“Weeee eeees blissed, Meeeester Weeeeeliams!” he said. “Taaaaks yeeeew.”
As they moved on, the young man licked mayonnaise off his fingers and spoke.
“My name is Shalom,” he said quickly. “I like it. Shalom.”
“Shalom is not a name,” Mr. Williams said with a giggle. “It is a Jewish word that means Peace.”
“I like it like that,” the young man said. “Far better than ebooooooowuuuuu!”
“Oh, don’t start!” Mr. Williams said with a giggle. “Shalom it is then. You’re Shalom.”
And then the young man did an awful thing.
He jumped to his feet and shouted at the man solving the physics question.
“Wrong answer! You moron! That’s wrong!”
All eyes turned to him.
The man who had answered the physics question turned around and looked at the young man, and then he stuck his finger at him with fury.
The people in the bar laughed.
Mr. Williams stared at the young man with sudden interest.
“You can solve that question, Shalom?” he asked numbly.
The young man nodded.
“I already did, in my head,” he said. “Got a pen?”
Almost trembling, Mr. Williams took a pen from his pocket and gave it to the young man, who quickly drew the menu book toward him and wrote the answer on it.
The man who had answered the question on the white board now approached the touchscreen and pressed a green icon, and a space appeared below the question that had the inscription:
Enter Your Answer Here!!
The man typed in his answer and pressed another green icon that said:
Immediately there was a series of beeps, and then a huge red cross appeared, cancelling out the man’s answer as wrong, and below it came the correct answer, blinking in green!
Mr. George Williams’ eyes almost popped out when he compared the answer on the screen with the one the young man had written.
The boy had gotten the answer right!
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