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I woke up one morning with a sharp pain in my ear. The last time I had an earache was some eighteen years ago. Then it was my mother's lot to worry about it. But this morning, I am to worry because I'm grown and hardly could hear with the left ears. I felt as if some insects crept into the ear while I slept. A friend once told me roaches and spiders could be that crazy. Whatever caused the pain all I wanted to do was see a doctor. I learnt that Ear specialists are at the General Hospitals, so I decided to visit the General Hospital on Broad Street.
I arrived early at this hospital but couldn't see a doctor until after four hours of going through some tiresome routine. Finally, I got an appointment with a specialist and left.
Back on Broad Street, sea fresh air embraced me, washing away the foul smell of the hospital from around me. The breeze was so welcoming that I decided to take a short walk down the street.
It's been almost a decade I last stepped foot on Broad Street. The last time was my graduation from high school. My absence from here was not because my experiences in high school were some kind of bored moments. No, I had the best days of my present life in my high school.
I attended Methodist Boys' High School popularly known as the gentlemen of Broad Street. They call the boys gentlemen because the school was situated on that street that is not too different from Wall Street, a business district. I had wonderful moments, which some people will hesitate to throw into a waste Bin. I threw it away anyway.
But this morning, out there on that same street that I walked for six years, I revisited my past. I floated on the street like I'm dressed in white shirt, white jacket, the school multi colored tie and a pair well pressed trousers sitting on brown shoes. I chose to wear my uniform that makes me one of the gentlemen of Broad Street again.
Though I knew the school had moved to Victoria Island (another part of the city) but the old fence and gate remain on the former site. I walked to the gate, greeted the security men and asked if I can take a look in. They did let me.
I passed through the gate and all that faced me was dilapidation. Stones covered with giant grasses and shrubs, which painted a picture of a wasteland. I could not make out where my favorite classroom used to be or the chemistry laboratory where I do choose to read instead of the library. I could not make out a thing that could link me with the past years spent. I shook my head pitying this desolation that once gave me my wonder years.
But afar off, I saw something that sparked up hope in me. It was the school hall. It did survive the massive destruction caused by some petroleum company who bought this estate. I stared at it for a long time thinking it a mirage. No, it was not. It was there still standing. Standing tall.
I went close, stepped into the cobweb-clothed hall. Thick dust, thick enough to spark an asthmatic crisis rose from the ground as I walk on it like it was some continental rug. Everything is in perfect shape. (The carved wooden school crest sitting at the upper part of the front wall, the polished platform, which has aged with dust from being abandoned. Every thing seemed perfect but with age.
In the abandoned hall, right in its center, I closed my eyes and it all came back. I smelled it like it was yesterday. It was fresh as the dew on grass before the morning sun. The memories flooded back as I heard the students chorused the hymns in unison from the songs of praise pocket book, I could hear the school chaplain: preaching a motivational sermon to the boys. I heard the school song as it rose like the crashing of the waves against a ship. I opened my eyes; felt some drops sank into my cotton blue shirt, chilling my body. I dried my tears and walked out.
I had to leave the past behind me. I wasn't going to stand there like that war veteran polishing a medal of honor he received some forty years ago. I would never stand one more minute there like that man who thinks, if he were not bankrupt fifteen years ago, he would be rich now. I wasn't going to let tears down my cheeks like that lady who lost her job as a secretary because she wasn't computer literate and all she could do was complain, "I could type six million words in one minute." I have to let go of the past and move on.
I'm not just talking about me, that war veteran or that secretary (that lady rather, she lost her job.) I'm talking to you who sit there in self-pity because you just lost your coolest job. Don't sit there bemoaning your fate, explaining to your friends what went wrong. You don't have to tell your sisters or brothers how bad it is and expect someone to come to hug you and say, "sorry, everything will be alright." Come on wake up. Whatever happened seconds ago is already history. The last minute before you start reading this is history.
Pick up yourself, dry your tears like I did, raise your head and shoulders and do what? MOVE ON!
There is more in the future. Plunge into it. And you will realise that all past glory and failures are nothing but a page in your history.
Coming soon, "Haiku with love"
A.Z. Alfred is a writer and a motivational speaker whose greatest pleasure is observing the world through a window while listening to inspirational songs.
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