Everything from the moment she’d left that little house till now had felt automatic. She hadn’t realised how far she had driven till now and pulled over. she parked by a gutter and sank in her seat. She felt numb. He would never find me here she thought but then she realised he hadn’t come running after her. Her vision blurred and she folded her arms, she wiped her nose with her sleeve and sighed. She leaned on the car window aware of every aching part of her body and the deafening silence irritated her more. She waited for him to tap on her window and command her to unlock the doors. She waited for him to burst through the doors whistling tunelessly and smirking at her. Nothing. She sank deeper into her seat and closed her eyes. She hated that as much as her heart ached right now, she still wanted him badly. All of a sudden, her breathing got difficult and she clutched her chest, weeping. She needed him more than ever. Anger surged through her and the chirping sound of the crickets infuriated her more. She wondered how the world could still continue while her world had come crashing down hard.
Her heart ached more because when she closed her eyes all she could see were his aloof eyes as she’d broken down in front of him. He’d been unmoved and simply glared. She despised herself for her outburst but she’d been hurt so deeply by a man she least expected it from. A man she’d shared her heart, soul and body with. A man who had claimed he’d walk to the ends of this earth just to see her smile. A man she had freely given herself too. She saw her lover look her dispassionately in the eye and walk off without a word. He’d left her to the company of that thing! The thought of some sewer rat having a piece of her cake infuriated her and all of a sudden, the makeup on her face felt caked and irritated her more. She looked at herself in the mirror and rubbed off the matte maroon lipstick with her palms. She reached for some wipes in her glove compartment and rubbed at her face harshly. The tears didn’t stop and as she looked up, she realised it was raining. She couldn’t hear the rain over her wails and suddenly, where she was looked foreign to her and the first soothing thought of her warm bed and a cup of tea appealed greatly to her and she fired up the engine.
She drove slowly as her blurred vision and dripping windshield didn’t serve her much. She saw a red light and came to a halt. She could hear the rain clearer since her sorrow had subdued to occasional tears. She glared at her window, watching raindrops trickle down like a stream and her mind went back to the day she’d met Gbeke. He’d been the only guy at the party who wasn’t smoking. He looked troubled and bumped straight into her. She had felt awkward since her roommate had abandoned her for alcohol. He spilt his beer on her silk top and she’d been horrified.
“I’m so sorry” he begged, his hands suspended in midair, unable to do anything as the stain was well situated in her chest area. She’d walked away and headed straight for her hostel. She had concluded that night wasn’t her night and would slip into her nightdress and read a book.
She hadn’t seen him clearly but she knew she recognised him from the posters. He was running for vice president of the student union. Thats why she wasn’t surprised he’d turned up at her room with his friends the next day.
“Oh shit, you’re the girl from last night! I’m so sorry…” He begun once he recognised her as her roommates ushered them into their room.
“Its okay” She said, determined not to be moved by his presence while flipping the page of her book. She tried hard to concentrate on her novel but his charisma was endearing. When she finally looked up at him, his eyes were fixed on her and she swore his eyes shone.
Horn sounds cut through her thoughts and she realised the lights had flashed green. She ignored the disgruntled drivers and turned. The silence in her car and annoying sound of the wipers took her back to her trance. Gbeke hadn’t forgotten her there.The next time she walked through the fields, he came running after her in shorts and a football jersey, panting and the devilish grin of his made her insides turn mushy. Everywhere she was, there he was. But she took no meaning to it after finding out he had a girlfriend off campus who models. She’d felt intimidated by Peju, his girlfriend, when she’d seen her. Six feet of lusciousness, razor sharp cheekbones and full lips. Lola, in her life had never felt so worthless and ordinary.
She came before another red light but this time she was behind a jeep. She grabbed a tissue and blew her nose. The tears had stopped now. The power of memories. She watched the rain pour with more intrigue and her mind was taken back to the valentines day when she knew Gbeke was her soulmate. They’d been going out for only a couple of months and she didn’t expect some grand gesture for valentine’s. She’d saved and bought him a card and watch. She’d hoped it wasn’t too much as the watch was pretty expensive. He had picked her up in his brother’s car with a basket of goodies, a teddy bear and a rose in hand and they’d gone out for dinner. Fortunately, there was a stand up comedian present and she’d laughed her heart out grateful it wasn’t some cliche romantic dinner. She had caught Gbeke staring at her several times as she laughed, hand on her mouth and one clutched her tummy. On their way home, it started pouring but the music blaring through the speakers and their laughs drowned it out. He stopped all of a sudden on an empty road, increased the volume and got out of the car to dance in the rain. She’d been in shock but after a while, she laughed at how ridiculous he looked but soon enough, she found herself joining him, her yellow dress clinging to her every rook and cranny of her body, her hair dripping down her face, her feet soaked and his shirt was soaked revealing the frame of his body. He picked her up and twirled her round, drunken with happiness, she hadn’t realised their lips had met and in that moment, she’d decided he was who she wanted to spend the rest of her life with.
The tears were pouring heavily now. She’d triggered something and now her hands were shaking, she was screaming now. She sat there, in the middle of the road, cars passing and drivers cursing at her while her head remained low as she wept for her lost love. She had never felt so much pain before. How could one human go so cold all of a sudden. What had she done wrong? what was wrong with her? what was so disgusting about her that he couldn’t keep his eyes on her? What was so disgusting in spending the rest of his life with her? She knew he had felt what she felt too. She saw it in his eyes, the way he kissed her, the way he held on to her. It just made it more confusing. She reached for her phone and began typing angrily. She wiped her tears occasionally but she was fixed on keeping her fingers busy with typing. When she was done, without a moment’s hesitation. She sent it. She ached for his voice, she ached for his laugh and she ached most especially for his love. She’d given up too much to have such an ending. She deserved a much more dignified response. She sat there in silence once more, no tears, no rain, no memories. She was blank and empty. There was so much emptiness inside her and she preferred it this way. She started the engine and drove. She was much more aware of her surroundings. She hadn’t realised she had driven so far away from home. The road was dark and bushes were all around, the only lights were from her car and decided she’d taken the wrong turning. She put the car on reverse, trying to make a U-turn, unaware of the one-way signs. She’d paused as she heard her phone ring. She turned off the engine absentmindedly as the name flashed onto the screen and she could have sworn she heard angels sing. She reached for the phone eagerly and took a deep breath before answering.
She said nothing and he kept silent also. Her eyes blurred on hearing his voice and she held onto her chest as she mimicked his breathing. She decided to continue to drive but his next words had stunned her so. She didn’t hear the horn neither did she stop driving. She saw the truck’s flashing lights and felt the crash. In her final moments, she likened the pain to her aching heart while his words haunted her as she struggled for air.
“I’m sorry but this how its meant to be. I’ll always love you.”