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# LongPostAlert You have thought about him this morning. You met him last evening. A large, middle aged man. The type you do not like sitting next to in a matatu, because you will suffer. You suffer because their large frames threaten to turn your limited existence into imagined history.

It was about 9pm. You had left the office late, after tying loose ends. You could have sat anywhere because the matatu was not full, but you wanted the seat next to him, because that seat was under a light, and you wanted to read on the way.

You settled on the seat, opened the book and immersed yourself in the story. Then he started coughing. At first you ignored him. But then, there was something about that cough. You looked at him, he was clutching his chest and wincing. His head was resting on the seat in front. He was obviously in pain.

Your mind went on an overdrive. Maybe he was experiencing a heart attack. By now the matatu was moving. But your route passes by MP Shah Hospital, so you calculated you could commandeer the vehicle there.

But first you tapped him.

"Are you okay?" you asked.

He suddenly sat upright. He gave you a confident smile.

"Yeah, I am fine. Just a little cold."

You looked at him uncertainly, but his smile broadened, and you started doubting what you had seen earlier. So you went back to reading.

From the corner of your eye, you could see he was in pain. But now he made a huge effort to conceal it. His face would contort itself in pain when he thought you couldn't see. And his hand would involuntarily clutch his chest, but he would quickly remove it. He breath was labored, but you could tell he was making a huge effort to breathe normally.

You could understand him. While you have seen those jokes that women pride in about working while very ill and men collapsing at the slightest hint of illness, you have often concealed pain. You willfully wish it away. And you know you are not the only man to do it. This man was obviously doing it, although his pain seemed more than he could successfully hide. He certainly wouldn't hide it from his wife. Or mother. Assuming he was going home to either of them. Dress Affordable prom party wears specially for thick waist

There are those days your head is cracking open. Or your intestines are playing some lethal game. But you walk around the office smiling and laughing. Sometimes a perceptive lady will ask, "are you okay?" then you will laugh and say "Sure. Just a little tired. I think I have pushed myself too hard of late. I should take it easy."

Its partly because we don't like the attention. Especially those of us who had mothers who got heart attacks every time we got pricked by small thorns. You learn to shield them, and everyone else, from your pain.

But perhaps we should know when to seek help. Because we may cross over to the other side, and everyone will be left saying "he looked just okay".

But in the meantime, you hope the brother from last night is okay, wherever he is.