Fiction by Arnold Adrian

As they called out our names onto the stage, I recalled all that had led me to this very moment. I always believed that life wasn’t just a record of how we spend our time but rather a bank of moments. Moments like this very one as I stood on stage before all the cameras broadcasting live on National television, knowing over a million people were watching including all those who doubted me back in school.

The events that led me to this very moment all started with my girlfriend’s pregnancy test. The moment the test turned out positive, I knew my life wouldn’t be the same again. I was an unemployed high school dropout whose girlfriend had just gotten pregnant. We were both not prepared for this but I had to become a man for both of us if we were going to make it through this.

The metamorphosis was gradual; as the old me died when I saw the flyer perched in a hedge

” CHEF KAY’S COOKING COMPETITION “. I grinned as the universe smiled at me for the first time in a long time.

Six weeks after seeing that flyer, I stood on National TV with two other finalists waiting for Chef Kay to announce the winner. I crossed my fingers and smiled as Chef Kay opened the envelope to mention the name of the winner.

I got home late or rather early the next morning after I won the show. As I took off my shoes and clothes, I took the masked smile off and shed tears. The tears started as silent sobs but as my emotions bubbled the more uncontrollable they became.

I just laid on the floor thinking of how I blackmailed Chef Kay instead of reporting him to the police after I learnt his secret spice was made from human parts, he believed the crashed bones of infants produced a nectar that when dried and processed gave his food a divine taste.

I had wanted to give my unborn child a better life but now, Louisa was in a coma after getting hit by a red Toyota corolla on her way to watch the TV show at Stella’s. I had paid the price and made the sacrifices but now it all seemed vain and as I lay on the cold tile floor with tears running down my cheeks, my phone screen lit up and displayed a text from my mum-

” Great achievement is usually born of great sacrifice and is never out of selfishness. Congratulations my son I am so proud of you.”

Arnold Adrian doubts he exists, for he is all the people he’s met and all the books he’s read – the sun clothed in many things.