Alex was not the boy who lived next door, no!
At first, he used to live across the small street that separated our households. Then, he was the boy, actually the best friend, who lived a plot away – after some years.
Alex was the one whom I played with. He was the one whom when he joined me at Zingwangwa Secondary School, a year below me, made me excited as I introduced him to the snippets of Secondary school life.
We were close the very first days in Secondary School, the time he was just getting acquainted to the environment of putting on a pair of trousers at school and not some grey shorts of Chimwankhunda Primary School.
People lied about me and Alex. They said we were brothers.
The truth, however, started emerging as we went on with our educational path that we were not brothers, not only by divine providence but also choices. As Alex polarized himself to the sciences, I found my solace in the humanities.
There, our paths diverged and we put to rest all those speculations that we were brothers even when the school chose to parade its cream we both managed to traverse on the same floor as prodded by the other creams.
The only difference was that Alex would be the finest of his entire cluster of forms while I was the third, or even fourth, best in our entire cluster of forms. Remember, I was a year ahead of him and thus my meager achievement made his look like child play anyway.
Alex was the one who, one time, called me to ask if it was true that I was going out with a certain lady. I was almost 70 kilometers away by then.
“Which lady is that?” I asked Alex, shock escorted my voice out of the throat. It actually held it by the hand.
He mentioned the name. I could not remember it. He tried all the descriptions he could of the lady under discussion but it was in vain. I never knew the lady and just how on earth do you go out with somebody whom you do not know?
Anyway, for me it is the principle of what I do not know exists not. So, that lady was non-existent.
But Alex must have been a prophet. A year, or was it two, I fell in lust with that same lady he had been talking about. The rest, as they like to indicate, is history for it is Alex I am writing about and not anybody else. Not even his prophecies.
It is the same Alex who is only months away from being a medical doctor. The boy I saw grow, the one who witnessed me maturing, becoming a medical doctor. I can hardly wait to see the miracle.
And Alex, this afternoon, sent me a message.
“Leticia…good one bro.”
End of text.
I checked the number. It was Alex. The medical doctor in the making. I searched for the words with which to respond to the text but it was not easy. After minutes, I responded back. There was a gladness in my heart. It hardly comes out of the heart, that gladness.
“Alex,” I said to myself. “The medical doctor in the making visited my blog and read the story I posted. Not only that, he appreciated it. I must be special,” I pampered myself.
I later texted back telling him that I never thought he read.
He said he read; he reads sometimes but he hates reading stories with difficult vocabulary.
He texted me saying that his belief is that a person does not have to use big words to make a story great.
Do I disagree? No! Not with Alex, my best friend for ages, my secret audience, the medical doctor to be in a short-time. Most of all, I do not disagree with him for he gave the best advice every writer needs to get from a well-meaning audience.