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