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WHAT COULD HAVE BEEN
She leaned against the concrete rails that guarded the balcony of penthouse lounge that sat on top the four storey building family home.
She paid no mind to the solemn rumble in the dark clouds that whelmed the sun in its quiet dominance, neither was she bothered by the damp state of her hair which cost her a pretty sum to fix just the day before, now getting soaked in the unwelcome deluge that marked the beginning of the rainy season in Abuja. The rain came in light but steady sheets of endless drizzle which was accompanied by a forceful wind that forced the raindrops to slash through the space between the heavens on their way to the earth.
She stood there, dressed in grey spaghetti top – that clung to her supple flesh a bit more snugly in the rain than was its original intent, revealing her fleshy curves that brought the word ‘chubby’ to mind – and a pair of brown khaki shorts. Her bare feet were bunched together, toes curling and uncurling in agitation, letting the rain soak her as a quiet stream of tears poured out of her unblinking eyes.
She watched from her post, way up in the penthouse balcony, as he walked out of the house. She watched him walk past the now defunct mermaid fountain – that must have been cool when the house was built in the early 90’s – and into the driveway that was lined with a well manicured lawn and a boulevard of poplar trees. His gait was calm and calculated; each step seemed deliberate, as though a walk in the rain were just the thing he needed to get his thoughts in order. His white linen shirt was already glued to his body, showcasing his well-toned muscles and firm physique. Her eyes roamed over his departing back, watching as its broadness and firmness disappeared beneath a film of poplar leaves and multitude drops of water.
He was gone from her sight within moments of his exiting the compound, but it felt like a lifetime for her. Just like that… two years of her life was gone.
She felt like she had been playing the game of life, she passed ‘go’, yet she somehow was cheated out of her $200, two consecutive times.
“Funny”, she said aloud as she lifted her one leg over the concrete railings of the penthouse balcony that sat on top of the four-storey building that was her family home, “We met on a rainy day like this two years ago… he saved my life back then. It’s only fitting”.
Her other leg crossed over the balcony as well, she sat quietly on the wet piece of concrete, remembering all the times she had sat on these concrete rails with his arms around her… protective… possessive. In those moments, she felt he was her last refuge in a fiery world, her solace in the turbulent era into which she was born. She needed him and she was never too shy to tell him that.
All that was gone now. He was gone, he left her. She would never feel his arms around her again.
She let her pain tear through her like a sharp blade, slicing through her being, through her heart to penetrate the deepest parts of her soul.
“It’s only fitting that we part on a day like this… My life was never mine anyway, not since I met you”.
She shut her eyes and let her pain overwhelm her. She knew what she wanted from life; happiness, joy, a family… love. None of them seemed possible without him. She was, in other words, completely disinterested at the prospect of a life without him.
“My smile is not my own… my heart is not my own… I am yours… Now and always”
Her tears fell in large conspicuous drops that competed with the rain for dominance on her face; each soul wracking sob came with a pronounced shiver that could have easily been a result of the cold as it was a function of the pieces of her heart coming apart.
“My life is not my own… my death is not my own… I will find you even when all I am is dust”
She spread her arms at her sides, accepting the fact that all she was would soon be over. She knew there were people who would weep at the news of her demise; she had long since prepared her mind for that eventuality. She would not be around to hear them cry.
“A few hours with you and my dreams are true… a few more again and they come undone. The bitter sorrow of finding what you seek…”
“I’ll never know now… but we could have been great together”.
She took a deep breath to steady herself, letting it all out in one go, she said aloud.
“I’m sorry babes… but we will be going ahead of you. Don’t hate me too much”.
She held on to the picture of him in her head, that charming smile and his characteristic lopsided grin, his slit for eyes and his uncanny brown irises. The look on his face when he told her how much he loved her.
These things played over and again in her mind, a constant loop, reminding her of the heights of bliss she felt when they were still perfect for each other.
Her time with him was over, now she had to go. She could not keep him from achieving the masterpiece he had worked so hard to achieve.
With a quiet gasp, she leaned forward and let herself fall.
To be continued…