Justin and Alice happened like a dream; their relationship was as natural as naturally possible. Just like breathing you could say. One could not even draw the line where they turned from best friends to a match made in heaven. Their relationship was simple in definition, Alice and Justin relied on each other. Among their friends they were the most envied. Not because they were both stunning and would look good together in a wedding souvenir jotter but because of how genuine their relationship was; how utterly real. Like any good relationship, they were first friends, then it blossomed, the awareness that there were meant to be together, that their very destinies where intertwined and they fit, just like a handshake.
Justin and Alice met in University. Justin read business management in while Alice studied the very unpopulated catering. How they met was like any ordinary encounter, Justin and his guys went to study one evening when one of his friends spotted a group of girls in one of the class working on some group project. Apparently, one of the girls was a close acquaintance and they decided to say hi. In the course the chat, one of the boys made a comment how studying cooking was not worth paying tuition fees for and an argument ensued. Justin had remained quiet to the very end when Alice commented ‘nothing in life has value until conscious man attaches value to it. Dust could be gold, tissue paper could be money; it all depends on our consciousness to value it in whatsoever degree. In other words, you may see our course as just cooking, but to me, it is the most important thing in the world to me. One man’s trash is another man’s cash’ At that comment, Justin said ‘i see.’ and introduced himself to her. They became fast friends, what intrigued him most about her was the passion which she had. As simple or ordinary as her course seemed, the passion and drive she had was extraordinary. In the world they lived in now, passion was rare.
After their school days were over, they were flung into the teeming pool called the real world; the labour force. It was natural that at this stage of their lives, they ought to try to earn a living. This was the point in time where they had to plant their feet on the ground. They agreed that it was difficult for the soil was hard, malnourished, over populated, and the waters putrid. It was too hard to even earn what they needed for daily living. In the eco system of their urban society, the environmental factors; the economy was enough the get you, if it didn’t, the bigger creatures would. Every animal was struggling for survival, it was eat or get eaten. Everything bustled, wriggled, squirmed and if they didn’t struggle, they would be smothered. If you didn’t work, you’d die so just surviving was hard enough talk more of fulfilling dreams and heart desires. And the dream Justin and Alice shared was simple, originally, for Alice it had always been to open a bakery. A one-story building with the café down and a bakery upstairs. The dream evolved when Justin came into the picture and now it had become, ‘open a bakery with Justin’. But it was terribly harder than she had conceived it in her mind. Any money they managed to save seeped out one way or the other, like air from a perforated balloon. Basic needs were hardly ever met, paying rent, daily transportation, electrical bills and food. Their situation was a literal case of work like an elephant and eat like a microscopic organism. She baked for birthdays and stuff but she barely had enough gain to even save. There were so many other people in the market, more prestigious than she was; the market was just so small. She always had the experience of clients backing out on her, once, she fell from a motorcycle transport when she was trying to deliver a cake. (She had cried publicly), for her, it had been a disaster. Like the entire universe was against her dream. Her father had advised her that her course was a waste of time and money. “Anybody can bake cake” he had said “why don’t you read a professional course like your brother.” But she had insisted and her father had told her. “Tomorrow if you finish studying cooking in school and you are broke; don’t even ask me for a penny. I will disappoint you.” He had made her feel like a disappointment and it was as if the disaster befell her because she did not heed his warnings. But Justin was her rock. Sometimes when she felt like giving everything up, he stood with his positivity-shield. “We can do this.” He would always say. “Baby steps to greatness.” And he contributed more than just words; he put a hundred per cent to bear the burden. He worked in a private business consultancy firm with a meager salary, he also ran his own consultancy, he wrote business plans for sale, was an agent to a housing industry, all paid little but it really helped. He spent all his time working just so that her dream could come true. He had helped her to buy most of her baking appliances, the oven, the mixer, the fondant machine (which had made Alice to cry with gratitude). He had even gone to work as a mason a couple of times when there was no food to eat. Alice was grateful to God for Justin. He worth more than all the money in the world and she understood that though things were hard now, the prospect of reaching her goal with him by her side made everything bearable…
(Continuations will be posted every twenty four hours.)