The Blocking Board

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Our Highland Friend

Posted by Dorish on October 24, 2013

He would randomly come around to the house and we would accept him into the house with welcoming smiles. Every time he came to visit, he would light up the entire house with his hilarious sense of humour. The house would be very noisy. He did not belong to our family, our clan or tribe, but he was a great friend and the whole family fell in love with him. After every stressful day, we would invite him over for some laugh and humour. And the kids especially loved to hear him speak English in a strong Highlands’s accent.
The last time we saw Ben was about a year ago. Until five weeks ago, I received an unregistered call on my cell. It was a new number so I totally ignored the call at first. On the third ring, I cautiously answered the phone. Before I could I say hello, he bit me quickly identifying himself. His voice was unmistakeable all too familiar. I automatically put him on loud-speaker so the whole family would hear his voice. Upon hearing his voice, every one screams with delight. He spoke in Pidgin. My soon to be eight year old son abruptly interrupted him and asked him to speak in his famous Highlands accent but in English.
The whole house came alive, it was our long lost English speaking Highlands’s friend. We had a nice hilarious lengthy conversation that night. I put him on speaker so we all would listen to his accent which we dearly and terribly missed. Everyone in the house took turns speaking with him.
He sounded his usual self but for some reason I knew something was bothering him. When he probably realized that everyone was quite, he told us that he was sick. You will be alright once you get some medical treatment I assured him. “No, you don’t understand, I am sick”, he said almost inaudible. What’s wrong? Is there anything I can do to help you? We have moved into a bigger house now so you can come down to POM. We will go swimming and fishing too I joked. But on the other line was total silence. It was unlike him. I paused realizing it was probably something very serious.
“I have moved back to my village as I am currently on treatment. A special treatment he continued. The Medical Doctors have advised me to eat healthily and cut down on my smoking and alcohol drinking habits. I am spiritually preparing my life too. I have realized that if I am too stay longer on this earth, I must do the right things here onwards. Am fine, I know I will be fine. I just have to look after myself” and my phone went dead.
And that was the last time we all spoke to our dear friend, Ben. I called Ben the next morning but I was told he (Ben) had borrowed that phone from a local buai-seller.

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