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Cool & Cold - a short story by A.B.King

   Once upon a time in a place called Nigeria there lived a little Christian boy named Uche.
   Today was a very special day for Uche. He would be meeting with a scout for a kids fashion magazine. The scout asked Uche to meet with him because of Uche’s new reputation as the coolest kid in his school. If the scout taught he was cool, Uche would be looking at being on the front cover of the coolest kids fashion magazine ever to stand on shelves all across Nigeria.
Uche put on the coolest looking clothes he had. He did everything do - able in front of the mirror to the point that even the mirror seemed to give him two thumbs up. Uche even practised a new way of walking; although it looked unnatural - it looked cool and that’s what mattered to Uche.
   As Uche was about to leave the house, his Mum told him to take an umbrella. Even though it was not raining, you never know when rain might begin to fall during raining season.
Uche was like, Nah huh! He explained to his mum that carrying an umbrella just didn’t look cool. Besides he doesn’t want the burden of carrying something he is most likely going to end up not using.
   After a brief and very very low tempo argument with his Mum, Uche left the house without an umbrella. He was totally amused about how uncool his Mum, was. ‘Walk around with an umbrella just in case it rained?,Geesh!!!’
Minutes after Uche got into a Taxi and was a few miles away from home, it started pouring down rain. Uche was like Oh – No! This didn’t look funny to him one bit. He started praying that the rain would stop by the time he gets to where he was going.
   After the Taxi stopped to drop him at his stop, it was still raining. Uche stepped out of the car and rushed to a close by shade. There he prayed silently to God that the rain would stop. He still had a long way to go before he would get to where the scout told him to meet him.
   Thanks to the Governor’s ban of using motor cycles as a means of public transport, some parts of the Nigerian town weren’t easily accessible because there were some routes buses and taxis just wouldn’t run because they weren’t that lucrative for them or simply because the roads were bad so they could only be quickly navigated with a motor cycle. And since no taxi or bus ran the route from where Uche was standing and heading for where Uche was going, Uche would have to walk the remaining distance.
Uche was a Nigerian kid so it wasn’t the walking that bothered him; it was the walking under the rain that bothered him. He can’t present himself to the scout all covered in rain. Uche prayed harder that the rain would stop. He prayed and prayed and prayed but the rain just wouldn’t stop. Time kept flying and the rain kept falling. It occurred to him that it is better he comes out of the shade and walks the remaining distance under the rain without an umbrella before the scout gets sick of waiting and leaves.
Uche arrived at the meeting point to meet a very angry scout who had been waiting for hours. When the scout saw Uche he almost blew his top. To the scout Uche taught the whole thing was a joke, why else would he come looking that way?
Uche couldn’t tell the scout that he simply didn’t leave his house with an umbrella because now he knew how dumb it would make him look and dumb wasn’t cool.
   The scout angrily opened the umbrella he came with and walked to his car leaving Uche standing there with tears in his eyes.
Uche wasn’t only soaked in the rain, he was also soaked in regret. If only he had known he would have listened to his Mum. It turns out being cool also means not forsaking reason and common sense.


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