Press Release (ePRNews.com) - BRIDGEPORT, Conn. - Feb 04, 2021 - Off Main Street, Ejike drove the Honda Pilot into the bank’s parking lot, settling without hesitation in a space between two small cars. The dashboard displayed 9:15 AM.
“Where is the security guard?” he said to himself as he walked toward the bank entrance.
Standing at the edge of the entrance, he casually surveyed the four people in the lobby. Two were accessing the bank ATM machines. The third, a woman wearing a wooly brown hat, blank pants, and white tennis shoes, was standing left of the center. The fourth person was the missing parking lot security guard, a new Guard that Ejike had never seen before.
Inside the lobby, Ejike stood to the right of the woman but behind the guard, in a spot that could still allow him to see the guard’s facial features. Neither the woman in the brown hat nor the security man paid him any mind. They were exerting their inner powers against an external force, which happened to be him. Their power postures triggered Ejike to engage his powers, with which he ignored them. With nothing much to do, Ejike surveyed the guard. He was a thickset man with a bulging cheek and a pregnant-sized stomach, which swallowed most of his black belt. He might have been 29 years old. It is extremely hard to tell the age of men who are fat and tall at the same time. Across his nose and mouth, the guard wore a dark cloth mask hooked tightly over his ears. Very occasionally, he would move a shoulder or a foot forward to recount, and view the number of customers inside the bank.
A man with long grey hair and an unshaven beard that reached the level of his nipples, already at the counter being attended by a bank teller, was loud. He kept apologizing for his loss of memory in not remembering what the bank teller asked of him.
As time went on, Ejike deliberated whether or not to engage the two strangers—the guard, and the woman— in a conversation. Doing so, he felt might make him lose a little bit of the power edge he held over them.
“No one is a stranger,” he remembered an old man telling him not long ago. When you talk to people, you discover a common humanity. With the sage’s voice reverberating in his mind, Ejike was determined to break the enveloping silence in the lobby.
Finding an entry point, Ejike said to the guard, “There is no guard at the parking lot.”
Half turning, the guard smiled. “No, there is none.” As he smiled, the tension in his exposed forehead eased.
“How could you guard the parking lot, if you are here in the lobby, directing Covid-related human traffic?”
“I couldn’t,” said the guard emphatically while permitting himself a little more laugh. Ejike was surprised by what he witnessed. Though the guard was thickset and looked vicious and brutal, all that viciousness went away when he talked.
“Unless, of course, you were supernatural; in that case, you could see the cars through the wall and could punch through it like there was nothing separating us and the parking lot,” Ejike joked.
With this statement, the guard started giggling and took comfort caressing his abdomen.
Eager to enter the conversation, the woman in the brown hat asked, “How long will these Covid protocols last?”
“Forever, I think,” Ejike answered. The guard looked in wonderment first at Ejike and then at the woman.
“I do not believe you,” the woman said to Ejike.
Turning back to the guard, Ejike said, “If you let me into the bank, I promise to hold onto one of those chandeliers hanging from the ceiling, maintaining a distance greater than six feet.”
The woman looked perplexed.
“Like Spiderman?” asked the guard.
“Better than Spiderman,” Ejike replied.
The young guard was now sobbing with laughter, temporarily forgetting the constraints of his uniform and his title.
The Guard’s laugh was interrupted by the appearance of the man with the long grey beard.
Quickly reverting to her irritable power-domineering old self, the woman in the black hair began to move her forearms and legs impatiently. In other to keep the woman’s power in check and to exert his own power over her, the guard employed the twitching movement of his bushy left eyebrow to signal her entry into the bank.
Seeing that things were beginning to move, Ejike prepared to exit the conversation.
“You can go as well,” the guard told Ejike in a more friendly manner, without any show of power in his voice or gesture.
“All right, I will hang onto those chandeliers. I promise,” Ejike said.
The guard smiled again, while at the same time trying so hard not to let his authority interfere in his joy.
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