From the Author of Sibona, Emmnauel Peni- A short story from his collection of Short Stories.
Tami: lol multi tasking with my namba wan: #cooking, #chatting #Texting #Instagramming #Liking #happy Faceting #chatting.
Ana: Shared a page on Climate Change. Sceptics of climate change also include God fearing Christians. So much for depending on religion to save the day.
Tami was in a good mood, singing and dancing, headphones on, checking his mobile phone and helping his partner, who was cooking for the couple’s evening meal. Ana was in a good mood too, humming a song, which was on repeat and dancing. Both continued to check on their mobile phones, send messages, update statuses and chat to each other as they cooked.
Then they each set aside their phones and sat down to eat at the table. Their phones were visibly active with vibrations and flashing blue lights to confirm delivery of messages or notifications on Facebook. The phones were placed just beside their plates. They checked the phones now and again as they ate in silence.
So what did you think of my last post? Ana asked as she picked up Tami’s empty plate and set it on top of hers. What should I think of what post? Answered Tami. Oh you know, the post I tagged you on, on Facebook not long ago, Ana said as she looked searchingly for some important and deeper conversations.
You mean the rape and murder of that young boy in Lae, he asked with indifference. Are you sure if it’s a boy? He chuckled and then returned to his phone. You find that funny, do you? Asked Ana with much agitation. I am sorry; I have so much on my mind! He said and looked seriously at her but for a fraction of a second and then quickly departed the place as he stared into his phone. She gently placed her phone on the table, pushed the chair as loudly as she could, stood up from the chair and placed her hands on her hips. Her glare was as fierce as a lion who is just about to catch its prey. Is that right, and your page is full of selfies of yourselves, your friends and all other lame posts on Facebook, friends talking about what they ate, the status of their relationships and where they were travelling to. You call all that “so much on my mind?” Let’s see then, two minutes ago, you posted photos of your trip to Wewak. The photos were of the hotel, food and beer. That’s too much on your mind? cried Ana.
Tami looked at her with concern; the smirk that was there on his face was replaced with resignation and guilt. He placed his phone on the table and stared at it. His shoulders dropped as low as ever but not as low as his ego. Ana could smell the guilt. She stopped and waited for him to say something. The silence between them was constantly broken by Ana’s vibrating phone. Ana ignored it. Tami had his phone on silent and the blue light was beeping and flashing with intense craving for attention and urgency.
After a while he looked up pleadingly at Ana. Can I please check my phone again for that post dear, please? he begged, still unsure if he should reach out and pick up his phone. His yearning and craving to check his phone were unbearable; he was fidgeting, almost choking. She looked at him, then to the phone, rolled her eyes and stood up, a sad smile broke as she shuffled to the kitchen sink. Would you like a glass of water? she asked as she reached the kitchen.
He reached out swiftly and grabbed the phone, held it with both hands and started checking all his messages and posts and notifications. “Would you, …………” she stopped at the start of her question as she turned and realised that Tami was staring at his phone. She looked at him sitting there with the phone in both hands, his eyes glued to the phone screen. A feeling of despair overcame her. It encapsulated her like a grey cloud that appears suddenly and threatens rain. She held both hands on the edge of the sink in the kitchen and took deep breaths for support as she fought back tears. She took another huge breath; he looked across and jumped up from his chair. “Found it,” he said as he danced toward her, he lied as he had just started to scroll down the page looking for that particular post.
“It is a boy! A boy?” he exclaimed and stopped to take some time to accept that fact. Oh my God, this was done by someone completely out of it. This guy had been on the binge for 3 straight days. He had marijuana and additional homemade steam.
“There you go, darling see, I was angry, I put an angry face and had the hash tags. Here look,” and he brought the phone over to her. #rape, #drugs #alcohol #violence. “ Yiha! yes! You did indeed!” she exclaimed. He felt the raw sarcasm and it cut through him like a blade.
“Great, then what?” she asked. “Then what, what else do you want me to say?” he asked exhaustingly. “Are you on a mission to be disappointed in me tonight?” he asked. She ignored his question. “I expected you to feel something and talk about solutions. I expected more from you and from all other people posting on that particular thread. No one seemed to want to do anything. All they do is say something, use emoticons and then hash tag. Here look at a couple of these.”
“What’s wrong with hash tagging? Everyone is doing it;” he started but ended up whispering to himself.
“Let’s see than, how many more posts have you hash tagged?” She brought her phone to him so they both scrolled down from the most recent post.
Hit and run by drunkard Government Employee #drugs, #alcohol #violence.
Policeman Murders wife #drugs #alcohol #violence.
Nun raped during a Peace Ceremony #rape, #drugs #alcohol #violence.
Drunken Youth kills Members of a family over K 5.00 #drugs #alcohol #violence.
Drunk driving PMV driver kills 7 #drugs #alcohol.
Priest caught with Marijuana Destined for Australia #drugs #alcohol #violence.