A Quaint Reception

The Vowels Mansion was abuzz with activity that day. Being the most popular among the Alphabets residing in the town of Phoenica, A, E, I, O, and U were those who associated with everybody in the town. Their prompt alliances with the right Alphabets were indeed the reason behind Mother Lexicon's luxury. Her palace stood regally at the Central Square showing off her vocabularic riches. It had been her idea to invite a guest for dinner at the Vowels Mansion. She had always insisted that the Vowels need to network with the town residents apart from official associations.  "It's straight from Mother Lexicon's office. We’ve no choice but to obey." E rolled her eyes.  "Who shall we invite?" A asked. "Z?" suggested O. "Oh, he's useless," drawled I. "Let's invite Q," remarked U. With a long standing Latin and Greek history between the two before collaborating again in English, U had always harboured an admiration for Q. She was ecstatic when her friends finally agreed to invite him for dinner. “U sweetie, you’re too excited for your own good,” harrumphed E, observing her face brighten up. “He’s a Consonant, after all.” A clicked her tongue disapprovingly. U didn’t bother to respond. *** A handsome Q arrived at 8pm, dressed up elegantly. U introduced Q to her family. They greeted him with a smile. “Good to see you all. Except for U, I’ve never gotten chances to associate with any of you before,” remarked Q. “You’re right. We’ve never got the necessity to, you know…” said I, nonchalantly. “True. Also, we may never need..,” began E. “Let’s have dinner. You must be hungry, Q,” announced U, hushing up E’s snarky comment. They served a queer combination of quirky cuisines for Q. Quite dumfounded at the change of menu, U shook her head in disbelief. “So, how’s life, Q? I don’t see you much these days,” mentioned A. “Good…” replied Q with a mouthful. His eyes watered. “Must be boring. Hardly any Words to his credit,” sneered E. “Unlike us,” smirked O. Q’s eyes narrowed. U gestured at them to stop. “Want some Sushi, Q?” asked U, in order to digress. “No…” “He might’ve never heard about it, U. He hardly associates,” jeered I. “I gather that I’m unwelcome here,” Q said, suddenly leaving the table. “No…no…” U offered. “Took you so long to realize…” mocked E. “I thought I’d make friends here. But, I understand that everyone except U is unhappy with my presence. I’m not popular, yes, but, the associations I make are extremely meaningful,” remarked Q indignantly. “Sorry…” “Don’t be, U. At this juncture, I’d like to declare that I’m unwilling to associate with any of your friends. Even if they would ever want to associate with me and form new Words, it can only be through you, U,” roared Q and left the place in a huff. U’s eyes welled up as she ran behind Q to pacify him. Until today, Q has lived up to his decision.

Author’s Note:-

The vowels are supposedly the most used letters in English Alphabets, with E being the top most and A being second to it. Z is the least used and Q is the second least. In English, Q and U, apparently, is used as a digraph (a pair of letters representing a single speech sound) and U invariably follows Q whenever used in a word. Q’s pairing with U is a Latin invention which originated from Greek. The combination does have a history to it. Until this day, there has not been a single word in English language where Q stands alone without its loveable companion, U.

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