The coffee tastes good. Someone surely did something right and can you look at the sun; selflessly filling earth with magnificence. I’m happy to see you too. It’s been a while- twenty years while-I almost forgot your face. The last time I saw you, we were playing hide and seek at Tchidi’s house. It was really quiet inside the cupboard… I waited for you to come find me. Looks like you finally did. Laugh!
I am confident enough now. Even learnt how to cycle. A few bruises, but I was okay. The neighbour’s kids have been asking about you, they were filled with wonder when you didn’t pick me up from school that day, and every day when I fell ill. These nosy kids!
And Mike from the body-shop asked if your car has been working right since then. He also claimed you hadn’t paid him since ’02. I told him you’d visit once you got your pay. He believed me, saying you were a good man. No, don’t worry; He passed away- ’twas an accident!
My teacher says I’m doing really well at school she never ceases to praise my genes for the good grades in Math- says I must have gotten it from my parents. But Mama says Math is mind-draining she must be really odd, right?
The sun is going down, I need to rush home now. I don’t like dark streets but it was nice meeting you. Maybe next time you’ll have a chance to talk, and I will be here to listen then we’ll know if what they say is true: that you didn’t mean to leave me.
The nausea I felt from the oxygen-draining smell of medicine made me feel worse than I already was. Seeing her lying there helplessly weakened me, but i wasn’t culturally allowed to show such feelings. All this had begun as an elating miracle with our soon-to-be baby finally showing up seven years after marriage. This was the miracle I had prayed for for 5 years, and at last, it had come true. But maybe I had forgotten to clarify the contract rules with the Creator, as He was planning to take my Maria away from me. This wasn’t the fair God I constantly heard of from my nosy neighbor Julia, and her pastor-husband. Or had He changed overnight?
She had been chained to machines for 2 weeks now with no movement whatsoever. Doctors had been avoiding direct contact with me for a week now, with not even a whisper of my wife’s near death or my baby’s soon-to-be life. I was getting restless at a very fast rate, and the desperation was hastily turning into a fierce rage that would have burnt the doctors if not for my mother’s hand always holding me back. Seeing my best friend through the glass window, so feeble and so helpless, seemed to have been that major point of weakness she’d asked me about on our first date. “What do you fear most in the world?” “Death alone” “Oh, really?…”
Now I wanted to tell her the truth. I wanted to tell her that what I dreaded most wasn’t death, but losing her. I wanted to tell her that even though getting our child was important to me, losing her would be the death of me. I wanted to remind her why I chose her 7 years ago in college, and watched her walk down the aisle 2 years later towards me, and me alone. I wanted her to laugh at my silly jokes, and hit me as she laughed just because her laughter was incomplete without hitting someone next to her. I wanted her to tell me about her day at the kindergarten, and how she despised Jayden’s mother because she had a crush on me. I wanted her to hold a spatula to my face and threaten to kill me if I ever fell for my secretary, who for many reasons, she also admired. Now more than ever, I wanted my wife… I needed her.
“Chris, why don’t you go home and rest? I will stay here with Maria until she wakes up , cause I know she will wake up. Go son..you must be tired.” I freed my face from the bars of my hands and looked at my mother. She seemed to understand my agony, but didn’t know the weight of it. I shook my head in denial, and bowed my head down back again. She pat me on my back as if to comfort me, only that my head was still lost in the flashbacks of my time with Maria.
“I mean, I don’t understand why you even listen to these people. Their music isn’t as great!” I always detested her taste in music. Back in college she always had this thing for boy-bands and she’d tell me stories of how handsome she thought the lead singer to be, or how the drummer’s hair looked so great, or how the guitarist must be having amazing abs as she had pictured him naked once or twice. I didn’t know why she thought such stories to be amusing-as her preferences in men were insults indirectly targeted on me. I just had a beard… And a great height:or at least taller than her. But I had no music talent even in my dreams. Just a degree in Economics, love in my heart, and a beard. That got me a ‘yes’ from her.
“Their music is amazing!” she’d cry out. “You cant even sing, so shh!” “But Maria,” “La la la la la…” she’d pretend to sing along just to avoid listening to my jealous comments. Looking at her murmur the wrong lyrics and sing out of tune always reminded me of why I chose her. She always did what made her happy. This was my perfect image of her: happy- not dying…
“Chris, I’m going to the chapel. Do you want to come with me?” Mother’s voice chased me out of my trance. The doctor hadn’t told us anything yet, and the nurses sprinted past us as if on a mission to hide the truth from us. I was getting impatient. I needed to know something. ” No ma, I’ll just wait here” “Chris, you can’t wait here just doing nothing. Let’s go pray for her. Then she’ll get strength to come back to us. I know you still have faith-“ Faith. Did I have faith anymore? Did I believe in the God of Maria and mother and Julia and her husband anymore? Faithful people don’t get to cry like I do at night. They don’t get left out in darkness like I am right now. The little faith I had left died when I saw my wife being rushed into the ICU. Faith…did I have it at all with her eyes still closed?
“Chris! Chris! Let’s go son”
“Bless me Father, for I have sinned!” “Speak my child” “I have questioned God. I have lost my trust in Him. I have rejected Him. Father, I let my human emotions get the better part of me, and I am undoubtedly sorry. My wife is dying Father! She is fighting for two lives, and… and if she loses, she will take away three. Father, I don’t know what to say to God so He can help me. I can’t lose her… “ I cried. I had let down my guard. I was weak. ” The Lord shall forgive you my child. For you’re His , and will forever be. The Lord loves you, and He loves your wife too. My child, go tell Him to let His will be done. And don’t say anymore.”
I left the chapel and lazily strolled my way back to the lobby. What if – no, I couldn’t question Him again. A nurse walked out of the room wearing a calm face and stood beside me. ” Sir, you can go in and see your wife. “ Her words brought me back to life. I darted past my family and walked to her bed with a hopeful coat on. Her belly was still big, easing my worries of losing my child. Her eyes were still closed, and her body as still as a tomb. I gathered the little strength I had hanging, and reached out for her hand. It was warm. She still had life in her. There, I kissed her and whispered, ‘Let your will be done!’
I held her hand for a longer while, as I replayed all the memories I had shared with her. She was more beautiful than ever, and her peaceful nature was more evident now than when she confronted me for coming home late without notice.
“Promise me you’ll always keep the key under the flower pot just in case,” I had asked her before. She nudged my arm causing a fake cry of pain to leave my mouth. She laughed at first, then said, “Well I don’t promise that. But I promise to always wait for you cause I know you’ll come back home.”
The heart rate monitor started beeping fast, jolting me back to the downcast moment. The nurses rushed back in and pushed me away from her touch. The doctor walked in, and whispered,” Have faith! “
I left relentlessly, wishing that it was easy to have faith as it was saying it.
I turned 12 last October. It wasn’t a magical day like all the kids in my block claim. My family sang like a forced choir, and after the cake-cutting, I was off to the cafe down the street. It had been standing for years now, and the cracks on the walls were signs of a very short life span left. I took a book from my series of The Diary of a Wimpy Kid, and sat at the last table in the corner. The lack of customers in the cafe was a loss for Mrs. A, but the serenity it brought was a plus for me. I ordered my usual: a glass of milk and cake, and indulged my mind in Greg Heffley’s vacation in the Dog Days. That’s when he entered. He sat at farthest table from mine, and his eyes drifted to see me staring. I was ogling at this creature before me, and in my head, the Wattpad teen-romance stories were coming to reality: the new cute boy in town, the nerdy girl, and the breakfast date.
I will be turning 22 next October. Maybe I will be having a better year than I did this year. I’m currently at the school library, trying to understand the aspects of Business Law in the 2 hours before my presentation. The morning doesn’t seem promising, and the shiver in my bones isn’t rhyming to my favorite jam. V walks through the doors with two cups of latte and a box that seems to be packed with cupcakes. Not giving enough cares about her environment, she screams out my name as she places the box on top of my books. “You worry too much kid!” How was I friends with a human that hated reading? Anyway, coffee had always been a great start for me, and V has always been my best friend. This was my kind of favorite breakfast.
I will be turning 32 next October, and that really scares me. My male-dominated profession doesn’t allow me to harbor such feelings, but not being ready to think of midlife crises forces me to have fear. Stuck in traffic from work, my eyes can’t help but stare at the hotel across the street. The floors look exuberant from far, and the architecture bears a social-class definition. The environment surrounding is serene and almost perfect for my meeting. At least Mr. O would have one less thing to complain about. I imagine myself wearing my navy-blue pants suit and I feel my toes cringe at the thought of high heels. The coffee has the taste of its berries right from the rim of the cup: something that would lessen his complaints. Just one problem- his lawyer’s eyes were intimidating me. I thought coffee brought tranquility?
I turned 42 last October. It has been an exhausting April for me, and thoughts of retiring have been kicking from all directions. Aunt Gladys’ son, my husband, is planning a getaway weekend at the beach, and the anxiety has been creeping out all week. A morning at the beach, watching the sunrise on the water’s surface, sipping on mango juice glazed with whiskey. This vacation is meant to distract our minds from the ongoing divorce procedures, but for me, it seemed to be a summit for me and my gods. “Why are you leaving such a good man, ey selfish woman?” Traumatizing. This wasn’t the breakfast I dreamed of.
Its October once again. This time I will be turning nineteen. I always thought my first breakfast date will be like the former imaginations. But it was entirely different- completely real. It wasn’t like I read in the books, or watched in the movies. The streets were quiet and peaceful, and the drizzles made the soil smell edible. Wearing my black coat like a second skin, the euphoria of dates tickled all my senses; bearing warmth. I was having coffee with my long-lost friend, and the cheerfulness of that moment was something I wanted to capture till the end.
Her nails had a freshly painted coat of dazzling red lacquer, and her hair was neatly combed. Her outfit had the ability to showcase confidence and casualty, and the flamingo purse she clutched was the wrap-up of it all. Although coffee with creamer had always been my go-to, I felt phony-like I was disappointing the coffee lovers-as she ordered black coffee. But the exhilaration of sharing this moment with her outdid all other emotions of the day. The rains got heavier, and the connection we had was watered back to life. I was falling in love with the old things; with someone who meant a lot to me, over a cup of coffee.
fika [fee-ka] • Swedish (n.) a moment to slow down and appreciate the good things in life “Coffee with friends”