Two bulky Presidential Guards walked up to Alexander and stationed themselves behind him, rushing him to him to leave the conference room. Alexander picked up a pile of papers that managed to collect slid from his right hand and first they spilled over the table then onto the floor. He tried to get around the table to fetch them, but the Presidential Guard grabbed him left hand and sighed, “Sir, I’m afraid we shall have to leave right away. There’s much point in losing a life over a bunch of papers.”
Isa looked back at him with a worrying stare that lasted a second before nodding and heading towards the opened door.
The security guards herded them down towards the end of the long corridor in two groups. Two security guards accompanied the first group, Isa and his two consultants rushing behind him. The second group, consisting of six religious clerks and three security guards, trailed the first group at a respectful length. One of them, a nervy chap with black tattoos over his arms and neck, with a red face that looked like it came out of a hot oven, sneaked between the Imam and the Priest. He grabbed Priest’s left arm, leaned towards him and whispered softly to his ear, “Excuse me Father, I hope you don’t mind me asking what the fuck just happened-“
“Mind your language, young man!” The Priest snapped, lifting his finger, towards the camera mounted on the ceiling.
“I’m sorry, Father!” The security guard stepped back, composed himself with a deep breath, his fury diminished, whispering slowly, “What was that dickhead up to this time? The producers are going manic!”
Then the priest turned around, pointing his finger towards Isa’s back, “That lunatic over there is trying to turn us into messiahs!”
“What!” The security asked, shrugging his shoulders.
“He demanded from us to jointly write a new Holy Scripture.” The Imam replied, scratching his beard.
“And if you don’t comply?” The security guard asked nervously, tapping the priest’s shoulder.
“That bloody infidel, will propose an end to religious practices, close religious institutions and subject the entire world to communism again.”
“He must have gone mad again! If Christianity is banned, what the fuck am I supposed to with my arm?” The security guard grounted, stretched his left arm towards the priest, tapping his hairy index finger against his tattoo.
“We’ll resist the idea and try to bring some sense into that crazy mind of his.” The Priest replied and then after Isa disappeared behind the closed laminated doors, ten paces away from them, he raised his voice. “This is intolerable! Just because religion deprived him from getting laid with his sweetheart, divorced his parents, that lunatic no right to turn up and to deprive the entire world from religious services.”
The shortest security guard, walking discreetly behind them burst out laughing loudly his fat ass off. His flabby buttocks danced to the sound of his baritone laughter that echoed in the corridor. The priest, the imam and the security guard standing between turned around looking at him as he extended his palm towards them in an apologetic manner.
The priest walked towards him, and asked him, poking his index finger onto his protruding chest “The entire world who listened to that lunatic said today is currently boiling over and you find this funny?”
The security guard struggled to sustain his laughter “I’m so sorry,… , Father,… that’s not,… funny!”
The blond security guard walked up to his colleague grabbing him by his shoulders, pushing them away and closer several times, “Then why in the hell are you laughing for?”
The short security guard lifted his hands up and pushed the his colleagues hands away from his shoulder, and after composing himself, he replied, with a smirk still hanging on his face, “I mean no disrespect, but having never experienced sex with another woman, the priest isn’t necessarily the most qualified person to judge others when they can’t get laid with the woman they love! Besides, his chick was really hot, but a priest would never be able to understand that!”
The blond security guard rubbed the black curly hair of his short colleague,“Thank you for showing others what I’ve got to put with you. Priests are allowed to have sex with their wives, provided they get married before becoming a priest.”
“But, this is one,isn’t one them! He doesn’t have a ring on his wedding finger” The short security replied, pointing his hand towards the Priest,”The the closest that he ever got to a pussy was the day he was born!”
“Mind your language, boy!” The Priest objected, looking at him square in the eye with a frowning face.
“Yes, you damn motherfucker! Mind your language when you speak to a Priest!” The blond security guard stepped between the two, pushing his chest against his colleague’s flat nose.
The radio clipped to the blonde security guard’s bulletproof vest went ballistic, “This is Alfa. Zulu, where the heck are you?”
“This is Zulu. Will be down there in twenty seconds!” The blonde security guard replied instantly, and then turned to the priest, “We need to move now, but please Father, please be careful once you’re down there. After the other priest’s reaction, the producers are very angry at the way the meeting has gone today.”
Months away from his graduation, Alexander announced to his parents he intends to propose to Eva. After receiving their blessing, Alexander called Eva and asked her to meet him by the orange tree where their lips first made contact. After receiving her confirmation, Isa called Shoki to inform him that he has a big announcement to make and asked him if they could meet tomorrow.
When he turned up at the bistro, he lifted his head searching for his friend through shaded tables outside. Bearing a broad smile on his face, Shoki shouted his name. Isa turned around to face him, seated next to the large window bearing the cafe’s green logo. Isa rushed across the terrace paved with tiny concrete blocks and the isle, between the rows of empty seats. It was the furthest table on his right next to the outdoor movable fencing, constructed of peeling charcoal finish wooden grates and slightly obscured by the dense leaves of a lemon tree planted in wooden slatted boxes.
Once he arrived at the table adjacent to his seated friend, Isa gave him a friendly pat on his companion’s left shoulder, pinched some roast peanuts from the tiny transparent bowl next to a green beer bottle and seat on the chair, facing Shoki. “How’s it hanging, Shoki?”
“Thanks to that stunning girl sitting there,” Shoki replied, lifting his chin towards a crowded table next to the cafe’s entrance. “It’s standing up and eager to get wet!”
“That’s not what I meant!” Isa replied sharply, and after failing to trace a smile on his face that would complement his odd, but funny remark, he asked, “Then why the gloomy look? I’m not late, am I?”
“Yes, Mr Rolex!” Shoki replied and paused to look at his watch. “In fact, you’re thirty-seven seconds early, and perhaps it’s time to send you back to Switzerland to get you serviced.”
“If someone needs checking for sticking to correct time, then you are the ideal candidate! You’re always running late.”
“You rely on God to take care of your things. I’ve got to take care of things myself.”
Rather than objecting, Isa laughed with a sour expression in his face.
“Mi Amigos, every time you call me to announce something exciting and bring that ‘I am so happy face‘, I know something awful is about to happen,” Shoki expressed his concern, lit up his cig, and after inhaling two puffs he asked, with ‘pay attention to my words’ kind of tone, “So, what’s the latest fuck-up you are about to do? Give up studying law and study something that will turn you into a delusion expert… perhaps, an Imam?”
Isa laughed hysterically, and after he calmed down, he replied, “You know that would kill my Dad, who insists I should study law like he did. Although I disagree with him, he thinks that I could serve my God much more by working in a court than at a Mosque.”
“It’s good to know that at least one of your parents is sane!”
“Perhaps he might be sane, but he is also extremely miserable!” Isa replied, boasting with confidence.
“Of course he’s miserable! After all, every day he deals with humans, your God’s biggest mistake.”
While Isa kept on swinging his head, indicating his disapproval, a tall waitress propped up. Her tight black velvet dress, plain and yet reflecting the light whenever she moved, ran down to her knees. A thin black necklace sparkled between her breast and the white v-neck blouse. She carried a plain order pad on her left hand and funny looking pen with a pink fluffy bit at the end. Her dyed blond hair hung tight against her skull.
“Would you like something from the bar?” She asked, handing Isa the menu. “It’s happy hour, so Margarita, Pina Cola-”
“Stop wasting your breath on him!” Shoki intruded, “My friend is committed to waste his life away without tasting a single cocktail so that he could begin a proper life after he dies.”
After the plum lips on the waitress’ face opened wide, as if she just chewed a super spicy Jalapeno pepper, Shoki added, “Since my friend often speaks to his imaginary friend, called God, it might be illegal for you to serve him alcohol, so could you please bring the little boy a glass of milk instead and another Margarita for me!”
“I don’t want milk! I’ll have some water, please.” Isa objected. “Please don’t pay any attention to him. He’s a funny chap, but sometimes an absolute hell to talk to. When he was six, he had cardiac surgery, and it seems that the surgeons forgot to place his heart back on him.”
“Come on, mi amigos! Water is for washing stuff, not for drinking!”
The waitress unleashed an amused glance at Isa’s defiant smile before she turned back and walked away towards the bar without saying a word.
“So?” Isa asked, still the defiant smile hanging over his face.
“Don’t look at me like that! How fucked are you? Your life is about living it, and not about living for the day you’re going to die.” Shoki reasoned. “Death is the antonym of life, catch my drift?”
“I didn’t invite you over to explain to you life and afterlife.” Isa reacted abruptly, looking at his watch. “I’ll have to leave in nineteen minutes, and forty-six minutes I have to meet Eva, so let’s go back to my big announcement.”
“Of course! If you don’t meet your General Eva exactly at eight o’clock to properly coordinate the attack, it will lead to the pointless death of many of her soldiers.”
“What are you on about?” Isa asked.
The waitress returned with a margarita and a bottle of water resting on her black tray. After placing them over the oak table, she attacked Shoki with a cheeky smile and reminded him that the happy hour will end in eighteen minutes.
Immediately after the waitress migrated towards the table next to the cafe’s entrance, Isa torrented his big announcement at Shoki, “I don’t have much time, so we could discuss your issues with Eva another time! In eighteen minutes, I will be asking Eva for her hand.”
“Why? Is your right hand sick and tired of masturbating you?”
“Unlike you, who enslaves your hands to ejaculate your sperm, because you can’t get laid, I’m not allowed to masturbate.”
“Who told you this? Your imaginary friend?”
“Of course not! The Imam told me this.” Isa replied firmly.
“Yeah, right! Imams are allowed to get married and get laid. Have you ever tried asking a Priest who can’t get married or get laid? I’m pretty sure that masturbation is the closest they can get to God.”
“Can we start talking about my marriage, instead of my mastubation?” Isa asked, before gulping down his water.
“As you said earlier, I’m no expert in marriages, so could we go back into talking about something I’m very good at – masturbtion!”
Briefly, they Isa began his monologue, informing his friend of his intentions, then placed the payment on the table and left the cafe. He stopped at the supermarket to fetch a baguette, packaged blue cheese, white cheese, red apples, white grapes, strawberries, green olives, chilled champagne and a set of four champagne glasses. After waiting impatiently at the till, he placed the goods inside his plain cotton bag and dashed off outside, heading towards his rendezvous place.
Since his early childhood years, Isa did become a miracle – a miracle of an outstanding stupidity and stupendous parenting gone horribly wrong. Most toddlers have occasional tantrums, but Isa was an exceptionally talented drama queen, a spoiled brat whose frequent defiance against his parent’s wishes were well worth an Oscar. Isa’s mother, Nona and father, Ati struggled with their resilient child. Throughout the first three months of his attendance in the nursery, Isa’s face was moisturised by beads of tears flowing out of his brown eyes. Every morning he pleaded with his mother not to leave him at the nursery. Then, one morning, as Nona handed a tiny grey rucksack to Isa’s teacher standing on the other side of the nursery’s entrance door, Isa firmly clenched her feet. Nona tried to explain to Isa that every child hates their kindergarten in the first days, but later will hate leaving it. “You are in the good hands of Miss Mesuese. The two of you will get on fine.”
“But, we won’t!” Alexander complained. “She’s constantly telling me what to do as if I’m one of her toys.”
“That is a cruel observation, Isa!” Nona replied firmly.“ You should apologise, right now!”
“You see! That’s exactly what she does to me, all the time.” Alexander confessed. “She constantly tells me what to do, as if she is my mother.”
Miss Mesuese was looking at him with a compassionate smile, clinching on his grey bag with her right hand. Nona stood up, and as she was about to leave, she apologised to the teacher. Nona held out her hands and bent over to forcefully engulf Isa’s tiny body into her arms. Alexander resisted and pushed her with his small grubby hands, looking down. Miss Mesuese tapped Nona’s left shoulder. After straightening her body, Nona left the entrance lobby and walked towards Ati, her husband waiting for her in his car. Nona stepped inside the car and closed the passenger door without saying a word.
After noticing Nona’s frowning face, Ati tried to reason with her. “Don’t you stress yourself over this, Nona!”
“But, I do not want to see him traumatised,” Nona confessed.
“Unless you are contemplating Isa’s premature death, there’s no escape from seeing him traumatised,” Ati concluded, and then laughed. “After all, he will eventually get married one day!”
A week later, Isa immersed himself into massacring strawberries at his nursery. Isa’s face was smeared with red juice as if he didn’t realise that fruits are for eating and not for face painting. Isa grabbed the empty plastic bowl and walked towards his teacher. Once he got within arms’ reach for her teacher, he pulled her red leather skirt.
The teacher turned around and asked. “What’s the matter, Alex?”
“Could I have some more?” Alexander asked, lifting up his yellow bowl.
“What’s the magic word?”
“Abracadabra!” Alexander replied.
What a fucking loser! I’m not making this shit up. He really said it.
The teacher laughed embarrassingly, covering her mouth with her long-slim fingers and tipped her head to the right. After she calmed down, she bowed towards Alexander. She stretched out her left index finger, holding it upwards and swinging it like a metronome pendulum.
“Did I say something wrong?” Alexander asked, glancing up at his teacher and seeking some guidance.
“No!” the teacher replied instantly, and after a brief hesitation, she added. “Your reply is ludicrously flawless, but that’s not the magic word I was looking for!”
“Hocus Pocus?” Alexander took another wild guess.
The teacher laughed again before replying. “Wrong again! It’s more like Hocus Pleasus!”
Global education platform, my arse! This kid doesn’t even know the difference between the magic word for tricking others and for attaining something. Yet, miraculously, the future of mankind depends on him. Oddly enough, the nursery was called Bright Kids Nursery.