Meeting Simon

So, a year has slipped by and I hardly noticed. Time flees when you are content, I thought. I was feeling jittery and ecstatic about going home. I was just packing the last of my belongings when warm arms enveloped me from behind, instantly I knew who it was. They were so familiar and the emotion they roused was like the sixth sense to me. Will placed a kiss on my cheek “Are you ready? I am here to collect you” he whispered. “I am going to miss this place; it was like a second home to me” I commented. “My place is your second home” he joked.  I shoved him playfully and he chuckled. “So, how are we going to carry all these things?” I asked worriedly. “You worry too much my love; you know I got you” he said whilst collecting luggage. I smiled and started taking some bags too.

I was a tad sad that I was leaving the university residence, but silently I send a prayer to heaven hoping to return to the same room again the following year. We said our farewells with Linds the previous night and it was very emotional. We shed tears, embraced, ate ice cream, watched soppy movies on her laptop; and repeated the circle until we fell asleep on the same bed. I smiled at how ridiculous we must have looked as I descended the steps following Will. I was out of it when I noticed that Will had stopped near a nice red car. A guy with shades pushed to his forehead and a shy smile conversed with Will. “Hey babe, come over here, I want you to meet someone” Will spotted a smirk as big as heaven on his face.

I put on my best smile and approached them as I tried to hide fact that I was deep in thought when Will spoke to me “Babe come meet Simon, my very good friend. He is here to help us carry your things” he resounded. “Hi Simon, pleased to meet you, I am Suri” I shook his hand. Simon simply smiled; nodded and cleared his throat. I raised my eyebrow at that and beheld Will.

Will said “He arrived early in the morning from the Northern Cape”. He opened the car boot and Will started loading the bags. I attempted to assist Will but my night in shining amour said “Don’t worry babe. I got this”. Simon stepped closer to me and spoke when he found his voice, “I finally get to meet the famous Suri that Will never stops raving about”. I chuckled and rolled my eyes; how typical, I thought. I found it weird that most of Will’s friends had something to say about me. They are a colourful bunch, I believed. He shook his head and continued “I have never seen him like this before, not with anybody. He is like a teenager in love but don’t tell him I said that” we both laughed. I had a feeling that we were not going to be enemies with this one. A strong sense of déjà vu wrapped itself around my heart, felt like I had been there before and heard those words about Will somewhere.

“So, what are you two laughing about?” Will asked. “I was just telling Suri about how you used to be scared of girls” commented Simon. “Man, that is not cool” retorted Will. “Babe, I am going to pick the remainder of the luggage and then we can leave” he said. “Okay” I replied. Will looked at Simon and said, “And you don’t sell me out again” and he left.  There was an awkward silence as we watched Will’s back recede back to pick up what was remaining of my belongings.

“So how is varsity life?” Simon broke the silence. “It’s good, Will made my transition very easy. I suppose things could have been worse” I replied. Already we were having small talk. It was so like Will to let me fend for myself at the hands of his friends. He enjoyed putting me in awkward situations regardless of knowing that I am a very shy person. “Will said that you are very intelligent, I am sorry, that just slipped out” he mentioned. “Oh! What else did Will say about me?” I interrogated him. “Besides having stolen his heart, being intelligent and fun, bubbly, authentic, humble, kind, beautiful, and turning him inside out?” asked Simon. “Wow, didn’t he exaggerate? Because I think he lied to you” I observed. “Will would never lie to me about something like that; he has no reason to” he retorted.

I only met the guy for five minutes and already I was bombarding him with my opinions. Will must have forgotten to mention that I am very forward. I bit my tongue at that thought. I was very thankful when Will came waltzing out the residence with my bags towards us. “What did I miss?” Will asked. “Nothing” we said in unison. “Wow! I leave you two for two minutes and you are already finishing each other’s sentences. Amazing” Will teased.  We laughed. “Let me go and drop these keys at the reception” I said and left. I could sense their stares at my back but didn’t bother to look back and somehow, I knew that I was going to be the heart of their conversation in my absence.

A few minutes later I returned, and we boarded the Simon’s car to Will’s place. They both sat in front and I was very thankful to be seated at the back alone for a while as that afforded me a chance not to fully engage in their conversation.  They caught up on golden days’ jokes and I occasionally commented and laughed so that I wouldn’t seem rude and indifferent.

But the entire time I was wrestling to keep my selfish self in her cage as she was roaring like a hungry lion. This was my last day together with Will before going back home and I was not very eager on sharing him. I didn’t want to admit, even to myself that I was selfish, but I think I knew it. Maybe that was the reason I hardly made any friends at varsity because most of my varsity life revolved around Will and books. We managed to keep our circle small and I wasn’t ready to let anyone else in other than the ones who were already there before me. I chastised myself from those dark thoughts.

Soon we arrived at Will’s place and we assisted each other in offloading my belongings and packing them. Will had already prepared space for that. And we shared a meal; the three of us like old friends. Will stole glances at me as if he was gauging my reactions towards Simon and the smile on his face was like an indication that he was pleased.  I tried keeping a straight face and not act like a love – struck teenager in Simon’s presence but I felt like I was failing dismally. “You guys look cute trying to keep your eyes and hands off each other. You just can’t hide it, it’s all in the eyes” said Simon without looking up from his plate. Will and I looked at each other and back at Simon and we all laughed.

After the meal, I excused myself to afford them some privacy and it turned out that they needed it as they started talking in hushed tones and laughter would erupt. I could only imagine what they discussed. Simon requested to borrow Will for a few hours and prepared to leave. Before they left and Will was out of earshot Simon said to me “Whatever you are doing keep it up, it’s making Will so happy. God knows he deserves it. I am glad he found you when he did. It’s a pity he downplayed how kind you are. Thank you for welcoming me.” He was gone before I could say anything.

He was too kind. Will appeared out of nowhere and embraced me, kissed my forehead and held me a moment longer than necessary. “Are you okay?” he whispered, I nodded. I wondered and pondered over Simon’s words. I felt that they held a deeper meaning; an unspoken appeal and a silent thanks. Just what I needed on my last day at the city, I thought.


Castles in the air

Pure love is divine; it is surreal and heavenly. Affections reciprocated make every moment worth living. I sensed his stare on me long before I opened my eyes. I roused to those chocolate brown eyes staring at me. He head was propped on his hand and eyes gazing at me. I smiled and he said “You are the most beautiful creature I have ever set my eyes on. I can watch you forever and never tire. Did you sleep well?” Will commented. “You Mr. are a charmer. I slept well” I replied. He placed his hand on my cheek and tenderly caressed it. His touch still set my soul on fire. My insides melted like snowflake at sunrise.

I closed my eyes and let myself drift away, to revel in his touch. I mentally captured the moment to later relish it in his absence.  When he stopped, I abruptly opened my eyes, only for him to steal a kiss from my lips. My heart elated. “Have I told you how amazing you are?” he asked. “Not today” I teased. “You are amazing. You are the best thing that has ever happened to me Sweetheart. That is why I took the liberty of preparing breakfast” he said. “Wow. Am I not the luckiest lady to have you for a boyfriend?” I retorted. “But I already told you that for you I would do anything”. He jumped off the bed and left for the kitchen. How cheesy. He was so full of life and emitted charisma. But most of all, he was a poet in my eyes, phenomenal.

I smiled at myself. I must have been an angel in my previous life or royalty to be so lucky to have Will in my life, I thought. Then he came carrying a plate and a mug and placed them on the study table next to the bed, my heart filled to the brim. It was not the food on the plate that made me that joyful, or the thought and love put in that plate, but it was the smile he spotted on his face, and the look of happiness that he wore that moved me. Will looked tranquil and serene, like he had no care in the world; like nothing mattered but me. And that made feel very remarkable and that I really meant a lot to him. I wasn’t even aware that slowly but surely my reservations and the walls around my heart were weakening. However, I was well aware that I was that I was susceptible to his all his ways.

“Breakfast is served my queen” he bowed before jumping back into bed. “Well, thank you dear sir” I snickered. It was completely amazing that I can be freely myself and playful with the man I loved. It made everything I knew and learnt about love to be superficial. I perceived that relationships were hard to maintain, that love hurt and that things were not always as they seemed. Perhaps I was naive but loving and being with Will was effortless. He read my thoughts, emotions and reactions like written words. He even anticipated my needs even before I knew, and somehow, I always felt in sync with his.

“Come back to me” Will said and disrupted my reverie. “What?” I blushed. “Come back to me Suri, you left me here alone and went away” he said. “I am sorry I my love. I was just thinking” I confessed. I began savoring my breakfast. It was brown bread and tea, despite not having spread the bread or not having added milk to the tea, the meal was a feast to me. “So, where did you go inside your head?” he asked while nibbling a piece of bread. I cleared my throat and said: “I was wondering who I was in my past life” and giggled. He joined in and we laughed. “Why do you even ask yourself that?” he wondered.

“Because of the way you make me feel, the way you treat me, the way you love me is beyond me, my comprehension, beyond anything I can ever imagine” I paused. “Everything is so easy with you; it is too good to be true and it sometimes make me question my sanity, if it is real” I said. Will only smiled, took my hand, kissed it and placed it on his cheek. “You are the dream, my beautiful dream that I never want to wake from but you are real, it is real. As real as it can get. You are my sanity Suri, you are every man’s dream but chose me. You make me feel like I can conquer the world and when you stare at me with those big, beautiful eyes; I believe I can conquer the world and I want to do it for you” he confessed. By the time he finished I was shedding silent tears, but only because there was no longer space for them in my eyes. It sounded so cliché but to me those words reinforced the already deep-rooted love I had for Will in my heart.

Breakfast forgotten and getting cold, oblivious of the world, Will and I sat there, cuddling and drawing castles in the air, stringing our souls together with yarn of words, binding ourselves. Indulged in deep conversations that made the us and our relationship feel invincible in the face of the world

Fearless # 2

I heard that the city was like a lion; it roared, preyed, and fed at night and here I was standing in the jungle. I took a deep breath to still my shaking limps. I took a few steps and I was in the middle of the street. My palms were sweaty and my heart beat fiercely against my rib cage, I almost thought that it would fall out of my chest.

I wished to blend into the night, but the streetlights illuminated me and stood tall like guardians of the night. My feet were heavy as lead, but I put one foot in front of another and I was in motion. My thoughts and my heart were racing. I didn’t know how I always managed to put myself in dangerous situations, but I did. I also knew that I loved Will but until that moment I didn’t realize just how much. I was practically risking my life and if I was afforded another moment to take that decision again, I would have done it in a heartbeat.

Something moved ahead, I froze. I fought the urge to turn on my heels and run back to campus and then I thought of Will, lying helpless and that gave me the courage I never thought I possessed. I started praying again and again. I slowly and cautiously approached the spot where the shadow moved; I held my heart in my hand the entire time. A car slowly approached from behind and irradiated and a cat jumped out of the bushes and ran the other way.

I was relieved and sighed, but then the car that just passed by slowed down and stopped ahead, so did I; fear like I have never experienced before enveloped me, I shook where I stood. I prayed again. My courage and bravery quickly dwindled before my eyes. I looked around to see where I could hide or run to, but it turned out that it’s either I move forward towards the car or turn back to where I came from, not that I could outrun a car. But that was not how I imagined my demise.

The minutes that I stood there felt like a lifetime; like a deer caught in the headlight, I just froze there and my heart beating wildly within my chest. For some reason, the car started moving slowly at first and then sped off. I sighed and thanked God. I also picked up my pace and before I knew it I was running until Will’s block of flats was in view. I slowed down to catch my breath, my chest was burning and my lungs on fire. I strutted forward until I was at the flat’s entrance only to hit another obstacle.

The thirty minutes of excruciating pain, fear and a roller coaster of emotions came to the culmination. I survived the journey of the night and I send a thank you to heaven.

The gate at the entrance of the flats was locked and needed a tag to enter and I couldn’t reach Will, so I waited. Fifteen minutes later a couple emerged and went out, I managed to enter and for the first time I was grateful that the city never slept. I ran up the stairs like a woman possessed. I knocked twice and Will’s flatmate emerged with a grumpy look on his face. “Where’s Will?” I asked. “He is inside but…”  I didn’t wait for him to finish and ran past him to Will’s room. “Will! Will?” I called. The room was empty and cold. My heart raced and I suspected I was about to suffer a panic attack.

I ran out the room only to find T still frozen at the door bamboozled. “Will is not in his room” I observed. “Yes! I know, that is what I was trying to tell you when you ran in here like a mad woman” he boomed “You didn’t even greet me after waking me up after midnight” he continued “Oh! Sorry, I …. It’s just that…” I stuttered. “Will is in the bathroom and he has been in there for the last hour or so” he said, locked the door and walked away, leaving me there perplexed, embarrassed and with my jaw on the floor.  It became evident he wasn’t very fond of me.

So, I stumbled back to the Will’s room and threw myself on the bed. The adrenaline rush was wearing off and I started feeling the effects of my actions.  I was exhausted. A few minutes later Will stumbled out of the bathroom with his hand clutching his stomach and almost fell over when he saw me sitting there. His eyes bulged out and his mouth opened, closed and opened again before saying “Suri? What are you doing here? How did you get here?” He asked.

My face fell and I felt tears well within my eyes. I blinked fast and then faced him. “I saw your message and I was worried. I tried calling you and you didn’t pick up, so I panicked. When it went straight to voicemail I got really scared and walked here”. Rage flickered in his eyes; and vanished and then fear before it evaporated. He closed his eyes and then crumbled to the floor next to the bed. Silence fell, Will was fuming and his anger was palpable, a vein twitched on his neck. I could sense that he was trying not to shout “Suri” he called. “Yes” I replied. “What time is it?” he questioned. “It’s a little after two o’clock in the morning” I replied.

“And you thought it safe for you to walk at this time of the night?” he asked. I kept quiet. He stood wobbly and crumpled on the bed right next to me. “Suri, I asked you a question” he asked beneath his breath. “I wasn’t thinking, I was worried about you and when you didn’t take my calls, I thought….” I sighed. I wasn’t aware that I was crying until he wiped my tears with his fingers and embraced me tightly. “Hush babe, I am sorry I didn’t mean to make you cry”. Next thing he ran out of the room like a bullet from the gun.

I was glad, so I cried harder. He looked better than I imagined, and I felt relieved. Moments later, I composed myself and knocked on the bathroom door. “Are you okay in the there?” I shouted. “I am fine, give me 15 minutes” he replied. “Is that your sickness?” I asked Will. “Yeah” he said. I thought for a moment and went to the kitchen. I made my grandmother’s famous sugar and salt mixture that curbs diarrhea within minutes.

I quickly filled a cup and took it back to the room. I gently placed it on the study table to cool down, threw off my shoes and wrapped myself with a blanket. It seemed like the temperatures suddenly dropped. I waited anxiously for Will. It seemed like a lifetime and time moved slowly, or I must have imagined it. Will stumbled into the room looking weaker and barely having the energy to walk. His face looked ashen and his lips dry, it dawned on me then that he was really sick. I helped to bed and covered him with blankets.

My heart within me shuttered into a million pieces to see him in that state. I wanted to cry so badly but I wouldn’t want to add to his woes. So, I wept within me and feigned a phony smile. I helped him drink the mixture I made for him. I was tired but I was too scared even to blink, I was scared that something might happen to him if I closed my eyes. So, I watched him closely. He urged me to lie next to him and I didn’t argue. For a while we lay in silence. “My phone must have switched off when I was in the bathroom. I wasn’t ignoring your calls” he said into the silence. I only nodded, too weary to talk. Will turned his head and looked directly at me, into my eyes and my heart melted, and peace settled within me. His stare, after all, was still my undoing, my fall.

He squeezed my hand and said “I am sorry I lost my temper earlier. I shouldn’t have. I am sorry,but seeing you there and learning that you walked all the way here, at this time of the night paralyzed me with fear.” “I am sorry. I know it was very stupid” I replied. “Promise me Suri, promise me that you will never do that again” he requested. “I promise” I whispered. “A lot of things are uncertain in life, and I have that, but you and your love have always been felt like a solid rock beneath my feet. Suri you are the only solid ground I can stand on and not crumble. What you did tonight was very stupid and senseless but the fact that you risked your life for me humbles me. Despite that, I don’t think I can be able to live with myself if anything happened to you” He said.

I blinked back tears and squeezed his hand as well. Talk about being fearless, it turned out that I was anything but fearless.

Fearless # 1

I have always been fearful and weary of the night and darkness for as long as I could remember. I have a million reasons to feel that way. I grew up in a family that discouraged walking and travelling at night, especially for ladies. Growing up we were told tales about the horrors that one can encounter at night and stories about the monsters and evils that roam the night. That sort of things engraves themselves in your mind.

Despite all this information always lurking in my mind I still walked at night, mostly because I bend to Will’s will. Will loved walking and travelling at night almost as I disliked it. I dared not walk at night by myself. On days like that day; when I am not with Will, I focused on my books and prepared for the unknown. I missed him though, he was coming down with flu and he practically forced me to leave because he didn’t want me to catch it as well, how sweet and thoughtful. I’ve learned long ago not to argue with him anymore because at the end he always has his will done.

I was basically staring at the book I was supposed to be studying. I was worried more that I wanted to admit to myself, Will didn’t call nor text me. I found that very odd, but I kept giving myself reasons why I he didn’t. He is probably sleeping, he might be busy or studying, could he? I thought and questioned; I hoped and dozed off.

The phone beeped and I got grumpy as usual and then a moment later it dawned on me that I was expecting a message or a call from Will. I popped my eyes open and started searching for the phone. I had dozed off on the chair and ended up with my head propped on the table. The phone, where was the phone? I found it hidden inside a textbook. The pop up indicated that the message was from Will, I inwardly smiled at myself. “I am not feeling well; I feel worse than during the day. Please come see me first thing in the morning. I love you” it read. My head spun; my heart froze, and fear chilled my blood.  I shook my head and read the message again and again before my senses came back.

I quickly dialed his number and called him. It rang but he didn’t pick up. I started panicking. I called again and after a while it went to voicemail. The third time it went straight to voicemail and I lost it. My mind started playing tricks on me and my imagination ran loose. I pictured scenarios in my head of what could be happening to Will at that moment and each scenario worse than the one before it. It was half past midnight, what could I possibly do? What if he fell and couldn’t get help? I thought. I started to fervently pray but that only made feel like a hypocrite. I mean why would God listen to me? I wondered. And it dawned on me what I needed to do and I resolved to do it.

I started changing clothes, donning black clothes, my favorite color. Ironically my favorite color was like the heart of my dread, darkness. What I was doing was madness and I knew it but I could not talk myself out of my decision. In just five minutes I was ready, that was five times faster than I normally take to prepare myself. I placed a few things I thought I would need into my backpack and took my phone and started racing down the stairs. For some weird reason I caught the house mother about to lock the residence doors when I got there. I pleaded with her to let me leave and even lied about my mother being admitted in hospital in order to convince her to let me go, soliciting her pity or understanding. She was very adamant, and it was only when she saw my tears that she budged.

I realized too late that the moment I passed through those doors, there was no going back, I would be locked out and I would have to sleep outside if I didn’t go through with what I started. It was cold, and eerily silent outside and I started second guessing myself but I started thinking of Will. I started running towards the back gate. The campus was deserted. As soon as I stepped outside the campus premises, I comprehended the gravity of my actions. My phobia kicked in, all those stories that I heard around the fire at night became vivid in my mind and the monsters came to life. I struggled with my fear of the dark and my need to reach and help Will. I was at war with myself.  A tug of war ensued between my mind and my heart, and my heart won.

My heart screamed for Will and every trace of fear was crushed by the sense of urgency that I felt within me. I knew I wouldn’t be able to live with myself if anything happened to Will and I didn’t try to reach him in time. I wasn’t waiting for dawn or sunrise. For him I had to be nothing but fearless.

Unpretentious vows

Tragedy opens our eyes to the realities of life. Pain is a brick that can shatter one’s illusions. My infatuation with Will was broken; what I felt for him was now deep, it was no longer a high school crush. It was amazing how one moment could change the whole course of someone’s life, in this case mine. I looked in the mirror and I almost couldn’t recognize the young woman who stared back at me. She had hidden wisdom in her eyes and was not a love-struck teenager who first came to the city. I was grown up and in a way it was scary. Since the incident I sometimes felt unsure of myself, self-conscious. Although Will made it a point of always reminding me of how beautiful I was in his eyes, I failed to see myself from his perspective.

He was taking me out on a date. Even though cash was low and times were tough, love was enough. We had each other and I wasn’t unhappy; it didn’t matter, nothing mattered. Apparently, all I needed to do was just to look Will in the eyes and all was perfect with the world. That day, it was one of those rare occasions where I wore a dress and I have to say that I loved what I saw. Will was in the sitting room waiting for me, chatting with his flat mate and another guy I’ve never seen before. I took a deep breath and exhaled. I left the room before he came to drag me out.

The minute I entered the sitting room silence fell; the silence was so eerie you could hear a pin drop; all eyes were on me. The flat mate’s jaw dropped, and the other guy’s eyes bulged to the size of saucers. Will’s eyes took me in, swept me from head to toe and landed on my eyes. Meanwhile I felt like vanishing, I didn’t like being the center of attention if it wasn’t Will’s. I didn’t know what to do so I cleared my throat and that seemed to do the trick. They awakened from their stupor and I guess the spell was broken. Flat mate’s face fell, and his gaze followed. The other guys started searching for nothing, looking around the room. Will moved towards me; his eyes were on me the entire time, steady, unwavering, captivated. He was awestruck. I had to wear dresses more often, I thought.

The moment he reached me he took my hand and kissed it, always the gentlemen and he said “Wow!”. He pulled me closer and placed his hand protectively and territorially around my shoulders, turned to the guys and said “I will see you later guys, I am owing this lady a meal”. He picked his backpack. “Bye” said the guys in unison. Will opened the door and ushered me out. As soon as we were outside, he whispered “Oh my God Suri, you look absolutely beautiful. You are breath taking” he gushed, and I blushed, I think.  We strolled hand in hand and I inwardly thanked myself for choosing the pumps over the wedges for shoes. “So, where are you taking me?” I asked him. “You will see” he replied with a lopsided smirk.

We were walking towards my campus and it was twilight. Most times I thought that Will was born at night the way he always preferred to do things from twilight until the early hours of dawn. Nocturnal all the way, other than being fearful I had no problem with that habit of his. It felt good to be with him. Our relationship had grown from its pains and we were building it, our communication was even better, solid and not superficial. We were connecting on a much deeper level and talked about serious emotional issues.

He took me to my campus for a date, he had discovered a new love nest. He found a way to get into the compartments of the university stadium. I didn’t ask and didn’t want to know how. From there you have the view of most of the city and almost the whole campus, in the evening it was a sight to behold, magnificent. It was beautiful, I took in the sight as Will prepared an evening picnic, candle lit, he actually brought scented candles and I sent thanksgiving to heaven for blessing me with his romantic soul. I held back tears and blinked rapidly. I thought that it was the best moment of my life, my heart swelled with fulfillment, affection and joy.

“Come and sit, you must be famished” he said “You have outdone yourself this time around Mr Will” I replied as I seated myself on the comfortable fleece blanket. “I aim to please Madam” he teased. We ate maize snacks with bread and orange juice and tinkies for dessert. We then shared a slab of biscuit flavored chocolate. It didn’t seem like much but to me it was like a banquet, a feast. His gestures, the presentation, the effort that he put into making all that to materialize pulled my heartstrings. Will and I barely made ends meet but I was confident and knew that I wouldn’t exchange him for the whole world. We ate most of the meal in silence.

“You know I am graduating in two years, right?” he broke the silence. “You mean in 24 months?” I joked. “Same difference” we laughed. After our laughter subsided, he stood up, took my hand and pulled me to stand. “What is it?” I asked. “Just come here” he replied. He took out his cell phone and played the “the dance” by Dave Koz and he asked me to dance. How cheesy, we slow danced with no care in the world. “Sweetheart” he called “Yes” I replied. “You know I brought up the graduation talk for a reason” he said “Which is?” I asked.

“Today when I saw you standing there in the sitting room, beautiful and splendid, I was busy thinking” he swallowed and continued. “Today more than ever in my life I wished I had a car because I know that you don’t deserve to have walked all the way here and a moment ago I wished that I had taken you to the most prestigious, luxurious restaurant I can think of so that you indulge like a queen, right now I wish I had money, so much money that I could buy you anything your heart desires” he said. “But babe, I am not complaining. I love you and I am happy” I retorted. “I know Suri my love and that’s because you are the purest of souls and your love is the truest I have ever encountered. My love, you are an angel walking this earth, you are God’s gift to me and to the world, never forget that” he placed both his hands on my cheeks and captured my gaze and said “ Suri, no matter what happens in this life or any other life I want you to know that I love you and I always will love you, okay? And that is a promise” he stole a kiss and the words from my mouth.

I was undone, dumbfounded and lost for words and all I could say was “I know” I swallowed hard trying to drown the knot forming in my throat. I feigned a smile at him before continuing “But you should not worry yourself with such things Will, they are only materials and I know everything will be perfect once you start working and making millions” I teased in an attempt to ease the seriousness of the conversation. It didn’t help, Will was hell bent on pouring out his heart to me. The song had long ended but we still swayed to our own rhythm. “You know you are so perfect sometimes I ask myself how I got so lucky, you are every man’s dream. On days like today I even get jealous of myself for having you for a girlfriend” he teased. “Stop being silly” I punched him playfully. We giggled.

I watched the spark in his eyes that glowed in the dark when he elaborated on the house he was going to built for us, our wedding day, our children we were going to have, the way he was going treat me once he is wealthy, the places we would go, how I would never lack a thing, so much details. I could tell he spent a lot of time thinking about all those things and he already had a plan in mind. It sounded to good to be true but having him share his dreams with me, which included me in the center of it all humbled me. Then he said “You are the reason and the inspiration that I work so hard and doing my best to finish in record time. I want to start giving you the life you deserve my queen and appreciate and honor you the way you should be honored my angel.” he concluded. “It really sounds amazing hey but what if something happens? What if I am no longer here or you?” I kidded.

“That would never happen but if it does I have a plan” he said. “What plan?” I questioned. He took his hand placed it on my heart and raised  the other hand heavenwards and sworn “I vow before heaven and earth and before God that I will always love Suri and if she breaks up with me and intends to marry another man I am going to come to her a day before her wedding day and be intimate with her” I laughed. “That is the silliest, most ridiculous thing I have ever seen. Why would you do that? What if you break up with me?” I commented.  He wasn’t laughing, he wore a serious face. “I would never break up with you Suri, I know myself and I love you too much to do that. So if anything happens it will be either you or something else but not me” Will observed.

“No! Will, this is stupid, I am not vowing, it’s just weird and creepy and who does that anyway?” I retaliated. “Are planning to break my heart Suri? If not, then vow, say what I just said and I will never doubt you again” he debated. After 30 minutes of tug of war I succumbed to his reasoning and views. “Fine, I vow before heaven and earth and before God that I will always love Will and that if we break up and he wants to marry another woman then I would come to his wedding and cause drama. Satisfied?” I reacted. “Very happy!” he replied. He smiled and we kissed. We lay on the floor and watched the stars, oblivious to the repercussions of our words and actions in our moment of drunken love. Would we be able to uphold our naive vows? Did we know if we were really each other’s forever? I wondered. I wasn’t doubtful but an unease settled in my gut.

The redemption

The loss was taking a toll on us, mostly on me. I felt like a lost a part of me that I couldn’t replace.  I felt some sort of emptiness that was almost unexplainable. Our relationship was suffering and taking strain. Although we spent more time together than before, we were drifting apart. We no longer talked like we used to. We never talked about what we lost or about the incident at all. We kept on pretending like it never happened but we continued blaming ourselves. We didn’t voice the guilt but it was written all over our faces. The drifting apart that was taking place brought a new fear within me. I was beginning to think that I was going to lose Will as well and that made the current pain at that time almost unbearable.

It was not the question of love. There wasn’t any doubt with that regard but the cracks in our relationship were evidence that something was really wrong. I felt like I was at my wits end and it was really frustrating. I had been crying to a point that I ran out of tears. It has been two months and I was now having the thought that, that was it, that it was the end. I was sitting on Will’s bed with my back against the wall, watching my favorite series of all time on the laptop but seeing none. He left for school and I refused to go. It was one of those days that I didn’t feel like facing the world; I was filled with self-pity; I felt like being alone with my thoughts and the demons that tormented me. Will constantly worried about me; I always saw the melancholy that shadowed his eyes every time he looked at me. I felt responsible for drowning out the light in his eyes. I learnt that communication was underrated and that it was hard to talk when your heart is heavy but it was easier to cry.

I felt the strong urge that I should do something about the situation, if not for my sanity and well-being then for Will and his state of mind. The door opened and there he stood in all his splendor, my heartthrob. There was a spark in his eyes and he looked like he just discovered the cure for pain. He came to me slowly as if he is afraid that I might scratch his eyes out. He held my gaze the entire time. I was so awestruck I didn’t think I was breathing. I was flabbergasted at his reaction. He embraced me. “I couldn’t leave you like this, I just couldn’t” Will whispered, “Suri, I love you, I love so much it hurts, it really hurts me to see you this way”. He continued. “It was my fault” I said. “What? What was your fault?” he asked surprised. “The loss, the miscarriage was my fault. The nurse said it was due to stress and fatigue. I guess I have been working too hard without realizing the effects” I cried. “No babe it’s not your fault, it’s mine. That morning when you told me that you were not well, I should have taken you straight to the doctor right away. The classes and the tutoring are not more important than you. And when you texted me I should have left immediately and not make excuses. It was just 30 minutes to an hour but I keep on thinking on how much that hour has cost me, the life of my child and the love of my life” he sobbed.

Then the misconceptions and misunderstandings were laid down on the table and it became apparent that we were both bound by false thoughts and opinions. “He was the love of your life?” I questioned. “No! You are the love of my life” he confessed. “But you said time cost you the love of your life but I am here.” I commented. “I know love but after that day I thought you blamed me, I blamed myself but I thought you hated me and you had every reason to but I couldn’t let myself to let you go. I mean you warned me and I didn’t take it to heart so I just thought…” his voice trailed off. I left the embrace and turned his face to me; he was crying. “Will look at me” It was my turn to wipe off his tears. “Babe, love, not for once did I blame you or was angry at you. It has never even crossed my mind. I thought you blamed me perhaps but the pain and sorrow in your eyes hurt me more than he loss itself. I was thinking of how awesome a dad you were going to be and how my carelessness stole that from you” I confessed. He raised his eyes to mine. He searched a moment and then said “You are telling the truth”.  “I am” I replied.

“I was so wrong, how could I have been so wrong? I was far off trail” he mumbled to himself. He then pulled me into a squeeze. “Oh Suri, I was so scared.  I was so afraid that you are going to leave me that perhaps you couldn’t forgive me, that maybe I was no longer enough” he said. “How can you say that? That is not true and never will be. I love you baby and what happened is a tragedy but you have been my pillar of strength and my everything” I consoled him. “Oh sweetheart” that’s all he could say. I felt the ice and pain within my heart melting and a seed of hope germinating, the self-imposed guilt that weighed on me shuttered like broken glass and the bondage of undesirable emotions lost their grip. Perhaps it was not the end after all. I wasn’t losing it all. I shed tears of relief. “Don’t cry baby please. You have already cried enough” Will solaced me. For a while, we stayed in each other’s arms, shedding tears that redeemed our relationship.  We talked about the whole ordeal and I felt lighter, better and free. We laid bare the weight we carried on our shoulders and in our thoughts.

“So he was a boy?” he asked. “I don’t know, I hoped he would be one”. I retorted. “Why?” he questioned. “Because he would have your eyes; your smile; your charisma and possess my mild manners. That way he would be a perfect being” I answered. “Did you say mild manners? Mild? Babe there is nothing mild about you. I would never use mild to describe anything about you” he joked. I laughed and it felt good. It was liberating to actually hear the sound of my voice not crying. Will smirked at that, the clouds in his eyes cleared as well. “Really now? How would you describe me?” I teased. “Exceptional, beautiful, intelligent, charming, alluring, hot?” he winked. “Stop it” I playfully punched him. Suddenly he looked serious and said “But Sweetheart, there is nothing mild about you, that’s why I hoped she would be a she. A mini you. She would be strong, intelligent, beautiful, humble, daring, funny, amazing. She would be a rare combination of exceptional genes; a beauty with brains; extraordinary qualities and characteristics.” He said with a dreamy look in his eyes. I was touched and moved by his opinionated decency. Then silence fell, the light and friendly silence I liked. “Pearl was going to be a perfect name” he said into the silence. “You planned to name our child Pearl? Really?” I differed. “Pearl is cool” he retorted. He looked at me and we laughed.

He turned me; placed me between his legs and cuddled me; but before he did that he stole a kiss from my mouth and I felt my heart do a little dance. As we talked I listened to the music his heartbeat made and his intoxicating voice hypnotizing me. “Will, I am sorry for the way I been acting and making you feel like what happened is your fault or that I am blaming you, I didn’t mean to” I declared. “Sweetheart you were hurting, so was I but I think mostly it was just my conscience plugging me not your actions. In my opinion you handled the whole ordeal better than I could have imagined”. “You are the best; I don’t think I would’ve survived without you” I said. “Oh Suri, not really, you on the other hand, you are like a rose that grows on concrete. You are delicate and strong” he concluded. I had to wonder why it took us so long to get this out of the way. Talking, opening up is all it took to redeem our fragmented relationship. So it turns out that love is not the only thing that sustains a relationship. “I love you Suri, no matter what happens, I hope you always know that” so I hoped to always remember that.

The vicissitude #2

I rose to the strong stench of disinfectant and medication assaulting my nose. I felt groggy and my eyelids were still heavy. I sensed myself out of place and I recalled the blurry memories of the previous hours. Tears sprang to my eyes. Lindy jumped up from somewhere in the room and came closer, she wiped away my tears. “Finally, you are up” she said with enthusiasm she didn’t feel. “Do you think you can be able to walk? We have to go” she supposed.  “What time is it?” I asked. “Eh.., it’s almost noon” she looked confused. “Which day?” I questioned her. “It’s Friday” she mumbled. “Friday? How long have I have sleeping?” I panicked. She embraced me and said “Calm down Su, you were hysterical, and they gave you an injection. Besides you needed the rest”. I nodded. Instinctively I placed my hand on my tummy and I just knew without being told what transpired. My stomach was flat and softer and felt empty and I felt hollow. Lindy noticed and her face turned somber.

I stood and she jumped up to help. “I am fine Linds, I am not sick” I snapped and regretted it instantly. “I am sorry” I apologized. “It’s okay” she said. She placed a plastic bag with fresh clothes for me without saying a word and pushed it towards me. I undressed the skimpy hospital garment I had adorned and put on the clothes that Lindy brought. I tried to hold back tears as I didn’t want to depress her anymore but I was miserably failing at that. A nurse entered and feigned a smile before turning gloomy. She came over and took my hand “I am sorry for your loss Suri; I really am” I nodded in acceptance of her condolences. It still seemed weird to me, I wanted to snap out of this horrible dream I was having but I couldn’t. So, I put on a brave face and requested Lindy that we should go. She signed off some papers and took my medication and instructions from the nurse so that we could leave. She really was treating me like an invalid, and it annoyed me but I was too tired to fight or argue with her. Then we left.

When we got to the entrance Lindy paused and so did I, she stepped aside and then I saw him, pacing up and down, restless and helter-skelter. He looked tormented and it broke my heart that I did that to him. It was all my fault. That’s how I felt. Regretful and blaming myself. Will was going to be an awesome dad but all that was stolen from him, I thought. “He spent the night outside, all night, by that bench, the nurses could only let him in for a few hours, but he refused to leave afterwards, he said that he couldn’t leave you” Lindy said, interrupting my thoughts. “What!” I exclaimed; surprised; amazed and undone. My heart plummeted to the ground at the realization of the implication of Lindy’s words and my soul bled profusely.

He seemed to sense our stares and he looked our way. He half ran towards us. He looked like he didn’t have an intention to slow down or pause and I felt that if he collided with me I was going to fall, I was feeble. And he did collide with me and I didn’t fall. He held me, squeezed me and cuddled me at the same time. He started rambling under his breath “ I am sorry babe, I am sorry my love, I came as soon as I can sweetheart, I tried  calling and you were not answering, I am  so sorry I was not there for you, I apologize that I was late” he went on and on. All the tension, the weight on my shoulders, the pain, the emptiness, the numbness and the emotions I was holding in melted into tears that I wept on his shoulder and so did he. We sobbed in each other’s arms whilst Linds stood by and shed tears of her own, for us or for the soul lost.

After a while, tears ran dry and sobs subsided. Will and I just held on to each other for dear life. I felt him loosen up and then he wiped away his tears and he let go of me. He beheld me and wiped away my own tears in silence, literally and I let him. He took my hand and as if on cue, Lindy led the way and we followed. We were all in a somber mood, listening to our own thoughts, hushed. When we reached the residence entrance Will paused and we followed suit and looked at him. He cleared his throat and directed his stare at Lindy and said “Linds, thank you for everything and for taking care of my Suri but I think I will take it from here. I will take good care of her, okay? I promise”.  Lindy looked at me for approval I assumed and I nodded and she also nodded. “I will bring down a few things Su might need and her medication, wait here” she said and turned on her heels. Will led me to a car parked by the parking lot and it turned out to be a maxi taxi. He came prepared, I thought.

A moment later Lindy appeared with my weekender in tow. Will left the car and approached her, he took the bag and they exchanged a few words before he came over. We sat at the back seat; he directed the driver to our destination and we were on our way. We sat in silence still and he pulled me closer, wrapped his hands around me and placed my head on his chest. I found that very comforting. “We will get through this babe, together” he whispered to me. It sounded very cheesy and shallow at that particular moment but his words held a deeper meaning and a solemn promise that I believed. But the elephant in the room remained unaddressed. I wasn’t sure of myself anymore or my emotions and feelings. Chaotic is a better word to use in such a circumstance but I was sure that I was a different person from the one entered the clinic the previous day. Suddenly everything had changed because of a single incidence.

The silence allowed me to wrestle with my thoughts and emotions. It was a much needed diversion for the both of us, I guessed. Will rubbed circles on my arm and hummed something that sounded like a song called I will never leave you by Santos,it was low it was almost inaudible. It was a sweet sentiment indeed and I wasn’t able to catch the teardrops that escaped my eyes in time. Only then did the paramountcy of our situation sink in. Reality swept in like a cold gust of air and slapped me in the face. The baby was gone, my baby, our baby was departed, even before we could meet. It was a rude awakening to life in my opinion. I blinked back tears that threatened to break through my barriers but rain clouds were gathering in my head. Deep within me I knew that the storm was only commencing and I wondered if Will and I will be able to withstand it; pondered if this love, our love was strong enough to endure the test of time and circumstance.