Previous Challenge Entry (Level 2 – Intermediate)
Topic: CLOWN (02/13/20)
By Chiazo Obiudu
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However, what brought him to the gates of The Estate that early evening had nothing to do with his writing. The show he was about to put on helped to put food on his table, and some smiles on the faces of children. They believed that the hunched back was all a part of the act. His clown costume always did a good job of masking his deformities. And he loved it just like that.
As he made his way through the estate, peering through his lenses at the houses, he wondered how it was possible that he could be breathing the same air as the people who could afford to live in such opulence. Well, could explain why they offered to pay him such a ridiculous amount to make an appearance at their son’s birthday party.
He was soon at the house. The young woman that opened the door nearly slammed the door shut on his face, taking him for a homeless beggar. He was quick to speak up and introduce himself.
His perfect diction and calm but persuasive voice got her attention, even caught her off guard. Matching his voice with his looks had always been a puzzle for most. When he finally made it in, he was put through rigorous security checks by the burly bouncer in the tastefully furnished hall.
He was about to enter the changing room when he heard her unmistakable voice. He couldn’t miss that voice even in deep sleep. He turned to see for himself, and yes, it was her indeed. She had changed some, but she looked even more beautiful than she did the last time he saw her. He hadn’t changed much and was certain he didn’t look more beautiful. He quickly ducked into the room. Time to put on his costume. Time to become anonymous once again. When he performed, he wore a mask and he did his writings under a pseudonym. Both worlds kept him largely unknown to the outside world and it suited him just perfectly.
He was soon out, entertaining the kids. Making them reel with laughter. It was a wonder that he didn’t scare them. Maybe it was his heart. His mum used to tell him he had a good heart. A golden heart- someone else had called it that, years ago in their creative writing class. He wondered if she could see through his costume, and find out that it was him. Perhaps, she could still hear that golden heart beat.
The party was soon over. He collected the balance of his payment; that would take care of the bills for a few months. He wasn’t high maintenance; it took little to fund his minimalist existence. As he was about to remove his costume and fold them away into his carry-on, he heard the door open behind him.
There she was, in her gloriousness. She came to him and stooping, she gave him a hug. She had tears in her eyes.
“Thank you. For everything. My son hasn’t laughed in months. And you made it happen today.”
He held his breath. Maybe she wouldn’t recognize him.
“You still have that golden heart.”
She pulled away. “I am sorry I left without telling you. Things happened so fast. When I got married, we had to move away.”
He had been heart-broken. She had been his only friend in school. But he wondered where the husband was, perhaps he was off on international business, or a solo vacation on his yatch. Or …
“My husband passed away last year. And it seemed my son passed with him. But today, you brought him back to life.”
As he left the house after saying his goodbyes to her and the still-smiling little boy, he thanked God for little blessings. Through Christ Jesus even what, in the eyes of the myopic, was a clear weakness became a strength(1) and a gift so that he could make the world a better place, one written word at a time, one show at a time.
(1)- 1 Corinthians 15:43; 2 Corinthians 12:9.
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