BE CAREFUL WHAT YOU WISH FOR

BE CAREFUL WHAT YOU WISH FOR

(i)

“Two Queens stand before me,” says the voice from your laptop’s speakers. “Ladies, this is your last chance to impress me and to save yourselves from elimination.”

Your concentration on the screen gets broken by the sounds of nibbling, slurping, and small, quiet giggles. They’ve started again, you think. They were the ones who wanted to watch RuPaul’s Drag Race. Yet, they are more interested in frolicking about than in the show, despite how single and celibate they know you are.

You roll your eyes as you pause the video and, turning to your best friend, Stanley, where he lies wrapped in his boyfriend’s arms, their lips doing an intricate dance, you clear your throat loudly. Slowly, they disengage from each other, and, smiling sheepishly, turn back to the laptop. You roll your eyes again and press play.

RuPaul’s voice comes back on, “The time has come for you to lip sync for your life. Good luck, and don’t fuck it up!”

The music begins. While it is a song you are not familiar with, you soon get engrossed in its up-tempo beat and catchy lyrics, while watching Sharon Needles and Phi-Phi O’Hara lip-sync to the song, and then you are nodding your head in time with the beat, and softly singing, “It’s raining men! Hallelujah, it’s raining men. Amen!”

(ii)

The episode is barely over when Stanley starts giggling again. You make to pause the video again, but he beats you to it. They are both laughing, being touchy-feely with each other, and you know this is a prelude to them going at it like rabbits.

“We really have to go,” Stanley says — in what is supposed to be an apologetic tone, yet does not quite add up because of his constant giggling — as he shrugs his shirt on.

You stand up to escort them out and, just at the door, Stanley turns and whispers in your ear, “I hope it rains men for you soon. This your single and celibate life isn’t helping you at all.”

A quick peck on the cheek, and he’s gone out the door.

(iii)

Stanley’s words stay with you, dogging your every step. You hear it in class. You hear it in your sleep. You hear it in music. You hear it in every conversation. It intermingles with that catchy song from Drag Race till it becomes all you can hear, all that you know.

Two years of being single and celibate seem to be doing quite a number on you, you think.

Problem is, no one is looking your way. And you are much too shy to walk up to anyone and strike up a conversation with them, no matter how much you like them.

(iv)

The square is bustling with life and activity. You should be in your apartment, reading a book or something. Unfortunately, Stanley had come around in the morning and forced you to come. And now, he has ditched you to join his boyfriend, and you are alone. You have no idea what to do, where to go, how to enjoy the sights enough, despite the panicky feeling you have.

You take a halting step forward. Then another. And another. Soon, you are striding across the field, no particular destination in mind. You buy some suya, and as you munch on it, you come across the oddest looking canopy you have seen in your life.

It looks more like a tent than a canopy. Dark green canvas that stretches to the ground, with quaint-looking figures stitched and painted on it; it feels like a living thing. Even the thin trickle of smoke escaping through the small slit in the canvas looks and feels like the hot escaping breath of a sleeping behemoth.

You are about to walk away when the canopy flaps open and a tall, beautiful woman steps out.

“Come, dear,” she says, a welcoming smile beaming upon her face.

You pause, wondering whether she’s talking to you, whether you should go to her or play nice and walk away.

“Come in, dear,” she says again, with a bigger, brighter, warmer smile.

What could it hurt? you think. You shrug and walk into the canopy after her. The canvas flaps shut. Rather than the dismal darkness you expected, the place feels warm, homey and cheerful.

She guides you to a table with two chairs and offers you a seat. You both make small talk as she pours you a cup of tea — hibiscus, ginger and lemon, she says, with just a dash of honey; just the way you like it.

“Now,” she says, “to business.”

You perk up in your seat.

“I believe,” she says, “that you were drawn here by your need. Only those who truly need help find their way here.”

You do not know how to respond, but instinct tells you that you are where you are meant to be. You nod.

She smiles when you nod, and continues, “There’s no payment required. I only do the work I do to help those who truly need help.”

You nod again. Then, on an impulse, you start to say, “I…”

She interrupts, “I don’t need to hear it. It’s not my place to hear it. Only think it, hold it clear and dear in your heart, and…” – she waves her hand over the table and a platter of cookies appears – “pick a cookie and eat it. Then your wish will be granted.”

“Is…” you croak. You clear your throat, and continue, “Is that all? Is it that easy?”

She smiles again.

“Yes. Just remember to hold only one thought clear and dear in your heart while eating the cookie. Make sure it is clear and unambiguous. That thought, that wish, that desire will be granted.”

Gently, she pushes the platter towards you. At first, you hesitate. Then you steel your heart and pick a cookie.

I want a man of my own, you think, a good man who will make me happy.

You think it over and over, but it sounds like the strains of a badly-tuned radio.

Static, soft words, white noise, whisper, blank space…

IT’S RAINING MEN! HALLELUJAH, IT’S RAINING MEN. AMEN!!!

The song blares out loud in your head.

And just before you bite into the cookie, your thought changes: Let it rain men for me. On me. And around me.

(v)

You wake up to the rays of sun shining on your face. Despite the sun, there is a chill in the air. Harmattan season is not over yet.

You quickly boil water for your bath and go through your morning ablutions. You dress in your usual simple clothes, a pair of jeans and a sweater. While you wait for the water for your tea to boil, you remember the woman’s parting words from yesterday.

“By morning, your wish will be yours.”

You smile to yourself as you sip the tea, feeling it warm your insides. Maybe this is what love would feel like, you muse and laugh.

Despite yourself, you are happy this morning.

Stuffing your ears with your AirPods, you put on your shoes as you search through Spotify for a song for your perfect morning. Soon, you find it. Papi by Jennifer Lopez.

You laugh as you recall the men throwing themselves at Jennifer in the music video. You imagine your day being like that, men throwing themselves at you like that. For the first time in your life, the thought doesn’t scare you. You do not want to be invisible any longer. You want to be seen. You need to be seen. And loved.

You put the song on repeat and walk out of the house, locking your door behind you.

Let all the heat pour down

I’m good as long as he’s around

The road to school seems fuller than usual, but you don’t mind. Maybe this is how your man will find you.

He lets me wear the crown

I do my best to make him proud

You have your eyes, as usual, glued to the road just before your feet. And you miss the first one to fly. The second. The third.

Now all my super ladies

I’ve got my baby

If you’ve got your baby, baby

What you do not miss, however, is the squishy thud.

(vi)

You feel the splash of hot liquid across your face, your hands, your clothes. You turn to see who poured whatever foul liquid that was on you, when you notice that people around are screaming. Screaming and pointing.

You follow the pointing fingers to the broken body of a man lying close to your feet.

Your body starts to shake.

Behind you, you hear another thud. Then a third to the side. And another. And another.

You look around, finding broken bodies — the broken bodies of men — lying around you.

You look up. And you scream.

Men are screaming, falling from the sky, falling to their deaths. All around you.

You scamper away from the road, running for cover at the side of a nearby building. Just as you reach it, an old man standing in front of the building gets lifted speedily into the sky.

You watch him shoot up and start to come crashing down, just as the other bodies come crashing down around you.

That is when you realize what is going on.

It is, literally, raining men.

For you. On you. Around you.

And so, you run. Away from the bodies, tears streaming down your face. But no matter how far you run, the bodies keep coming down. You still hear the thuds, the sound of bodies splattering apart on the road, the consequences of a wish gone wrong.

Written by Precious Oraz

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10 Comments

  1. Mandy
    January 24, 11:38 Reply

    Jeeezuz!!!!
    I actually imagined this happening in real life, and it gave me the shivers.

  2. Loki
    January 24, 17:19 Reply

    Wish gone wrong for real😂😂😂😂😂😂😂.

    But my own wish is dat u try to update d blog a bit more frequently pinky. I know ur very busy nd hav a life of ur own bt some of us here only hav dis blog to keep us going nd d commentators as our friends. Its a real bugger to check it up each day nd find no new updates. Sha hope dis wish wouldn’t go wrong😂😁

    • Precious Oraz
      January 25, 08:54 Reply

      The shade of your final line🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣

      Well, PP does have a lot on his plate. And he’s handling this blog on his own. Maybe cut him some slack, realising that he’s doing the best he can.

      PS: Pink Panther, now that I think of it, I think that editorial plan has to come into play now. It should take much of the weight off your shoulders.

  3. Yusuf
    January 24, 17:51 Reply

    😂😂😂😂😂and yeah what Loki said!

  4. Fred
    January 29, 08:02 Reply

    I actually imagined You running with stiletto shoes

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