”I don’t think I love you anymore”
Blood was rushing to my head.
I felt myself sway.
What was he saying? What was Emeka talking about??
”I think it’s best I’m honest with you”
Is he breaking up with me??
I can’t hear what he’s saying. I can see his face though; contorting, making pained expressions.
”I hope you understand….”
Focus Ada, focus.
He’s not saying anything now. He’s looking at me. I’m supposed to leave now, you know, gather my pieces and go. I can’t move. I feel faint. He starts to talk, then he stops. He starts again, stops. I feel something in my eye, something tingle my cheek. O.k, so I’m crying. ”Shit!”. Not only did Emeka just dump me but now I’m standing here, tongue-tied, crying.
”Please don’t cry”
What did he say?
‘Do you care if I cry, if I die?’ I wanted to ask him. I didn’t. There’s something welling up at the back of my throat, something hot.
He’s moving towards me. I don’t know why but as he approached me, the closer he got, the more I knew I had to run. The feeling to run was getting stronger and stronger and just as he was about to touch me, embrace me perhaps, I fled.
I found myself outside. I had left my umbrella inside. I came to see Emeka in the rain, now I was leaving…..in the rain. I couldn’t go back for the umbrella, I couldn’t go back for anything.
I stood briefly wondering why I couldn’t hear Emeka screaming my name, wondering why he hadn’t chased me, why he wasn’t standing here in the rain with me, telling me he was joking and that he cannot believe I bought the act. My brain retorted: ”You moron, he just broke up with you….now you think he wants to get wet, for his ex-girlfriend?”
The rain beat me. My new weave is ruined most definitely. The rain disguises my tears. I was weeping by now and I’m sure the rain could not cover up how bloodshot my eyes must have been. I’m sure the downpour is doing little to hide the contrast of red eyes against dark skin.
I was home. I was standing in front of my gate but I had no will to move. Do I go in?. Do I actually want my little sister to bug me all day? asking me what’s wrong. Do I really want to have to explain to mum how I left in the morning with an umbrella and why I’m now back home, drenched, puffy-eyed, umbrella? gone..?
I start walking again. I’m moving. Where am I going? Adrenaline rush; my heart is beating like crazy. I giggle. It’s funny how my broken heart is still beating so purposefully.
My mind flashes, I remember last year when Emeka had come to me after school pleading that I give him a chance. I remember telling him that I’d rather not have my heart broken, I remember saying it lightly, I remember meaning it seriously. I remember him saying ”I will cherish your heart Ada, till mine stops”. I remember how despite the corniness of his words, my ears had heard sincerity. I remember finally, believing him.
I start to cry again. My head is now is pounding. The rain has dwindled down to a drizzle. Another memory flashes across my mind. It’s last May. A month after I told him ‘yes’. He had come over to my place. My parents were at work. We had watched movies. We had talked; purposeful talk. We had laughed, gosh Emeka made me laugh so hard I couldn’t breath. We shared our first kiss that day, for me my first kiss ever. I remember staring at my lips when he left, searching for any visible damage, praying that the first lips I had kissed would never produce words like Emeka’s had today.I remember after the kiss, he told me to close my eyes, and I did. He had slid a ring on my finger. I remember the panic I felt. I remember my puzzlement. I remember blurting out ‘You did not just propose?!’. I remember him laughing long and loud and telling me it was a promise ring. I remember him saying something long and sweet and ending it with I promise you my heart….forever.
I look down at my hand. I’m staring at the ring, intently. I see the edges are tarnished. Why had I never noticed the faded silver till now? Why? Something inside replies; ‘same reason you hadn’t seen a break-up happening till it did’.
I stop moving. I look around. I have no idea where I am. I wipe my eyes. I blow my nose. I pat my weave. The pounding in my head is starting to subside, the pounding of my heart has long silenced.
Wait…wait…hold up… did i really just give somebody ten months of my life only to end up in the rain, cold, crying??
I remember me before Emeka. I remember how I’d say that I’d never be dumped. I would never cry over a boy. I would never cry in front of a boy. I would never fall in love without doing the math and being sure I would be caught. I would think like a man because a man never puts his heart in his brain’s position. Look at me now. Look at me.
What happened? The song ”Subway” by Asa comes to mind. Is this the kind of love I had warned myself about?
I was going to sleep with him. Yes. I had planned that whenever the day came that Emeka brought up sex, I would agree. I knew that he would bring it up eventually. He is a boy, isn’t he? I was going to let the bastard in me. That’s the truth. I mean, I was in love, right? I was rocking his promise ring, no? He is the only person that I have ever let come near my heart, so I felt heck why not sleep with him.
I say a silent prayer. I thank God that somehow I didn’t sleep with Emeka. I thank Him that I stood there wet and cold with a broken heart but not with a broken hymen.
I say amen. Something is wrong. Well, apart from the obvious. Something else. It hits me. I haven’t prayed in months. In fact, I started to pray less the more I fell for Emeka and after a while I had stopped altogether.
I realize I’m still standing. I look around. There’s a fast food by the road junction. I start moving again. Thank God I didn’t forget my bag in the dog’s house, so at least I have money. I reach the building. I go inside. I buy the biggest container of ice cream they have. Comfort food. I sit down. I start to eat. I feel better now. Do I really? Abi it’s numbness that is setting in?
Now I’m thinking of the times that I had cooked his meals. The times I had pretended to like his awful music. The times I lent him money. The gifts I had bought him. I’m thinking of the times I’d let him kiss me even when I didn’t feel like it just so that he was content. I’m thinking of the times I stayed up all night talking to him, missing out on precious sleep, being a wreck the next day, and still thinking ‘well, it was worth it’. I feel a tear drop. I can’t cry here now, ah ah…inside fast food? haba. I stop thinking
I find myself praying. O.k more like talking..to God. I’m apologizing. I’m begging. I’m telling Him how sorry I am that I dumped Him for Emeka. I’m telling Him how sorry I am that I put a man before Him. I’m telling Him how sorry I am that I was even ready to throw my purity, the purity that I had pledged to Him, away. I’m thanking Him for loving me even in my faithlessness. I’m thanking Him because I know that somehow Emeka ending things was for my own good. I’m thanking Him for the scales that have finally fallen, rather that have been flooded out my eyes. I say amen. I tell Him I won’t ever leave Him again. I mean it.
What is left of my ice cream is liquid now. I feel very much better now. I smile. I know that at least I have God now and so I’ll be fine. I stand up. Time to go home. I look at the time; ‘3p.m’. When I woke up this morning, my plans had entailed being with Emeka till about 4p.m. My curfew was 4.30. Early I know but well…… As I glance off my watch, I see the ring…the tarnishing ring… I take it off, first time in months. I drop it in the ice cream bucket. I start to walk away. I exit the building. The image of the silver circle in the milky water lingers. It fades.
I leave determined. I will love again. I will live again. I will be loved again.
However, I’m putting God in charge of scripting my next love story and I have a feeling that His plan will have a much better end.