The one girl I truly loved got married.
Sad news as it is to me, it’s the heartbreaking reality that I have to make do with. Maybe I took you back to where it started.
Evelyn Asha, a childhood friend, and I, were quite assumed as a predetermined Union that was decided by the powers hovering in the winds.
The innocent love we shared with Eve was enviable to everyone. Tracing back to our early highschool soonest we got the exposure, we were in love. In each other’s company, we found solutions to our frustrations and joy was in excess of supply.
Many are the chances we got to be together; by the river, in the woods, grass and even secluded in houses, but we never “did it”.
Looking back now, I envy with nostalgic emotions, the respect that was between us. It bound us closer all the more.
As we grew older, and with the conspiracies of events and place situations, we became more distanced and our physical meetings and contact became limited. At times once a year. We even lost contacts which found their way for renewal again.
These irrespective, there wasn’t much to worry about. It seemed we were true to an unspoken vow; that we’ll wait for the right time for each other.
The biggest challenge came after our national examinations and my admission to campus. Sadly, she hadn’t qualified and financial constraints couldn’t allow her go any further.
All she lived for now, as she told everyone, was “waiting” for me. I trust she was sincere to that and I looked forward.
Quite apart now, campus ladies found me quite fun to be with, Just as Eve had feared. I tolerated them and even toyed with the idea of getting serious with some. But whenever she came visiting, I exalted her, quite unapologetically. I took her shopping, walked her around and felt very proud and happy being with her. Her presence reduced the other ladies to nonentities. Still, we never “did it”
One time, in my final year of study, just six months to go, my lovely Eve developed an urgent rush of seriousness and conditions. We were now adults, she said, and I should drop my fun girls and be more serious with her. I should even meet her parents.
She seemed to me like someone appealing, almost imploring for help by saying that. And looking at her closely, it’s like I’d never seen her at close range. Beauty packed with approaching adulthood. Making her all the more beautiful. Enticing…
I could do anything for her, I promised quite sincerely, the fun girls around me would be a thing of the past. And thence, they became history in my heart and my whole person.
The only lie I made was to cheat her that I’ll see her parents. That thought scared me to my roots. It made me lose appetite. Though her parents had heard of me, meeting them on a formal African occasion seemed too fast, out of thought.
However, I regret. Had she told me the reasons motivating her urges and naggings, I’d have boarded the next bus to her home.
Time was working itself out, and being the last semester, I needed to give my best grades and having run out of excuses for not meeting her parents, I hated it but decided to block communication with Evelyn…. Asha, my one dear princess.
I convinced myself that I’d sort everything when through with my exams and relying on our love which had survived all along , I underestimated the damage that few months with cut communications could do.
Unknown to me, time was of the essence.
The time I cut contacts convinced me all the more that I couldn’t do without her and probably this time gave me the much needed courage to look forward to making formal arrangements for seeking her hand in marriage.
Finally, it was time.
Fantasies and sweet imaginations fought for space on my mind as I headed home. I had prepared my apologies, explanations, sweet lines and all that would see everything on track, as she had wanted.
As it would later reveal itself to me, I was like a prodigal son coming back home only to meet the father’s grave, with a tired wooden cross falling apart.
Here I was, trying to ask what everyone wasn’t forthright in answering. After little success, I gave up and left, maybe by walking around I could meet her.
A short distance down the road, my young sister caught up with me and it’s her who broke the news to me.
I shed tears. I felt bitter and betrayed. Asha’s wait for me had seemed too long to hold. Her cling to hope had been weakened and let loose by my cutting of contacts.
She had felt I was just like all men, a joker who chickened out when it came to formalising things. She cried, one sad endless cry.
More sadly, as my sister said, my incommunicado option had weakened her case against her parents on her “endless wait for her campus boyfriend” who might be having other ladies, as they said. She had caved in to pressure and was hurriedly married to a local teacher who was now assisting their family financially.
I blamed myself and had my sister not been present, I would’ve cried out loud and rolled to the ground. Maybe it was the only way to relieve myself of the pain and mix of emotions tormenting me from within.
To forget things, as I decided, I’d go back to town and early the next day I was off, a short walk to the bus stage.
Who was in a company of three other women chattering as they headed to the opposite direction as mine if not Asha herself?
I tried not to focus my gaze on her lest she recognized me. But even then, I’d noticed the visible sign of expectancy from her protruding tummy. On this, my stomach muscles tightened, my knees almost gave in.
Not to appear odd, I waved at them, briefly though.
Like they had choreographed this, her three fellows let her trail behind and we were here, the two of us.
Quite cornered now, I could freely look into her eyes. Her formerly bright eyes no longer shone. My image in her eyes had disappeared and despite her beautiful face, her eyes had lost it all.
She broke the silence,
“I heard you came back and was heading to your home. I wanted us to talk”
Despite the morning cold, I started sweating at odd places …….
(to be continued…)
The above events are the writer’s own creations and should not cause suspicion of reference to any related happening. Names of characters are fictitious and only exist in the writer’s dreams, don’t dream about them.