General News Sun, 4 Sep 2011

Project Akoma - A Short Story

By Nana A Damoah, with editorial inputs from David Donkor.

He was pleased with himself for making it early to the classroom. The morning was

good and the milieu, silent. It had rained the previous day, so the air blew humidly

into the classroom, turning the peaceful ambience into a soothing balm. For the

umpteenth time that morning he was grateful to be alive.

He was alone and the lecture would not begin for a half hour yet. This was a good

time to think about Akos, the second year beauty on Continental Block. It was time

to reflect, to take stock, and then to re-strategize how to win that lovely girl’s


The heart decides, but it is the mind that plans. His heart had decided to love Akos

two semesters ago. His nerves, couriers for his heart, sent the message marked


“Urgent” to his busy brain. It simply read: “I have found my desire—my missing rib,”

and set his brain in motion.

It had seemed impossible. Akos was hard to get—a quintessential “no-go-area.” And,

what is worse, she lived on the last floor of Continental Block, where male visitors

are prone to surveillance from the lodge of her uncompromising Hall Tutor. That is

not all. She was already in her second year, and he a mere freshman. She took her

classes in the Faculty of Arts, but all of his were in the Science. How would they

find common ground to meet?

When the heart decides and the mind is in motion a course is set to reach its

fruition, finding avenues, exploiting ways and creating means. Thus Project Heart

was born. He recruited friends to form a team: to review extant knowledge on the


object of his interest, to consider the best methodologies for securing her heart

and to estimate potential gains against his likely costs.

Project Heart recommended an expensive gift. It seemed a good start because it won

him her time, and the more gifts he brought won more time with her—a visit this

week, two the next, then three and more. Her roommates’ attitudes were encouraging

and her reception wasn’t bad, she even offered to see him off—he jumped at the

chance for a quiet night stroll--everything seemed perfect and according to plan.

Project Heart said it was time to spill the beans. The moment seemed golden. The

stars were in the sky. Night birds tweeted him luck. Crickets chirruped a moonlight

serenade. Shrubs danced around them like cherubs in the night. And when she stopped

and said, “I have to go home now, this is how far I can bring you,” he held her hand


and let out, “I love you.”

The whole world must have stopped to listen: the night birds, the cherub-like

shrubs, the crickets, moon and the stars; all the members of Project Heart, ears

intent hiding in the shadows; his heart, his brain and the nerves that had paired

them in this mission. All waited an eternity of the second before she said . . .

“No, we can only be friends”

The mind makes the plans but when it fails it is the heart that hurts. His heart had

lived the hurt but it still dreamed of living its hope, and if there was any sign of

hope it was in the soothing solace of the classroom in which he sat, in the

refreshing air the rain had cleansed, and in the simple fact of being alive for

which he still felt grateful. He had loved and lost and lived to love again. Someday

there might just be another Project Heart.

About the Author

Nana Awere Damoah is a Chemical Engineer by profession and a writer by calling. He

is the author of two non-fiction books - Excursions in my Mind (2008) and Through

the Gates of Thought (2010), and a contributing author to the anthology African Roar

(2010). He is working on his third book, a collection of short stories. He lives in

Tema, Ghana, with his family.

Books on Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Nana-Awere-Damoah/e/B003NJ3E7Q


Facebook Page: http://www.facebook.com/nanaaweredamoah

Email: nana.damoah@gmail.com

Source: Nana A Damoah