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.
“Place your chin here and observe directly into the
light. Tell me what you see.
Is the image clearer with this, or this?”
That’s a question I never know the answer to. Like both those instances seem unclear to me. They always do. Do I tell the truth? No! so I do lie? Yes! wow! So, when else do you lie you little bird?
“are you okay?”
“how was the test?”
“when am I going to see you?”
“how far are you?”
Yes, I do lie in those instances too. I ‘lie’ cause the truth, a powerful tool as it is, could hurt you or me, or what we have. So, I ‘lie’-I have to: to give you hope, or give me an escape from certain emotions.
And when do you tell the truth?
“I miss you!”
“I love you!”
“I am scared. I am scared because I have a feeling this might be the last letter
I write to you, at least for a very long time. I was scared since the last day
we spoke, and I’ve been scared every time I had to write on a new page-praying
that it wouldn’t be my last paragraph, hoping that it wouldn’t be my last word
to you. They have been keeping me sane for all those years, reminding me that I
have someone who cares truly, or once did. Now I have so many, all of them getting
close to me…and I can no longer fight. I can’t.
So maybe its time I let go, maybe its time I move on. Be happy like you would have wanted me to be. With no sad playlists, no more sad songs. No sad blogging, no emotional poems. like how it was before you left. like how I was with you here.
Maybe its time for me to start again. Let people in, and believe-in friendships, in love, in eternity, in God and in me. Just like how you would have wanted. This time, I will try not to disappoint. No promises though, cause that would make it a lie.”
I wish I could cut you out like a paper from a book and leave you outside my window for the sun to fade to grey.
I wish I could relinquish our bond like a leaf from a tree and ignore you on the dust for the earth to turn into waste.
I wish, I wish. I wish I could forget you, but at the same time I pray you forget me not.
“Now did that hurt?” “Yes… No. A little bit!”
“Well, you will be okay! Since that’s what you like being! Ha!”
A palace in the middle of imaginations.
A wreck of a home-to them a dynasty-
full of blood craving a taste of harmony.
She was born.
The walls creaked with ecstasy,
the wails brought hope: she believed.
She saw them broken, ready to make their pieces whole,
little did she know, she was set for a ruthless road.
She was just naïve.
She was me.
Hours had gone, the sun was no longer the same, the dynasty broke, the bonds shattered in ages. She was still very young, but not too selfless to understand that despite the peace, she also brought war and mixed with love, she bred despise for the ceremonies held were not of joy, but of malice, and specks of regret. She was meant to die. She was me.
In the thatched shanty with her grandfather she lay.
He was her last hope; the first drunkard she had seen.
His words brew blind hope
as his songs uttered blessings to his own.
But she wasn’t his blood,
he cared less to know her name-lest he would have said it just once-
even if as a curse, to her it would have been a coated blessing.
That’s all she ever craved, eight hours beside the river.
That’s all she ever cried for, till the river turned into clay.
She wasn’t related.
She was me.
The bamboo trees swayed in matrimony.
The light was back, though in secrecy.
He was sent by the Heavens to teach her how to love
and there, he became one of her only two relations.
Minutes later, he was attacked and kept away from his own
and on his return, he could no longer breathe.
It became her first loss; her first drown.
She had lost all she had-
forgotten for a much brighter illusion.
She felt tired.
She was me.
The bus drivers hoot out loud in distress-
she had just rested for six seconds.
The weight on her shoulders had gotten heavier,
the humans surrounding drew farther.
Her heart had never known to seek help.
Her eyes grew impatient for the sun rise.
Now she cries no more, for her pain surrendered
to drunk glasses and bended knees.
Her soul remains caged,
her body lies feeble, years awake.
The world is tempting.
The battles are enraging.
She dreams of being with her papa,
then maybe with closed eyes she would be good enough,
maybe in another life, she will be strong enough.
There’s only much one can take:
her mama knows not,
but she needs a break.
she is me.