When it rains, it certainly pours.
As a kid, I never liked the rain. When all my friends sang and romped in the cold showers, I always stayed far away under some type of covering. My mother joked that I was allergic to the rain. My grandmother said I was like the palm oil daughter who was never to go near fire. Only this time, I never went near rain. Time moved, and I was grown up. Working and living on my own in Abuja. I had been beaten by the rain twice in Abuja already. I told myself it was the sign of my coming of age. The fear of the rain was broken.
I just bought a new car and was launching it at my cousin’s baby dedication. I had jokingly commented that it was still raining in Abuja and would not want to be caught it in again. And here I was, my key locked in my car, standing in the rain. That was how I met my Anthony. He called my service center and had them toll and get the key out at their office. We had lunch while we waited. In one hour, I knew I had met the man of my dreams! And for some reason, i knew he felt the same way about me. I have never been presumptuous about men, but the pull to Tony was so strong, it was palpable! He took me home later that day in my car, after meeting my entire Abuja family at the dedication that I was incredibly late for. He took a cab home after making sure I was safely in my apartment. We talked all night, and spent all day together the next day. He just fell into my life easily like he had always been meant to be there.
Six months after meeting Tony, we were formally “meeting the parents”. Everything was so surreal! I couldn’t believe my luck! Our private joke every time it rained was always on me. And I was glad for it. If it had not been the rain, i would not have had the joy I had in my life right now. Tony was amazing! He is the most thoughtful, most romantic and most mature guy I had ever been with. Maybe I had grown too… but he was just like heaven sent. He has his own bit too, don’t get me wrong. He is some type of hermit and I’m such a bumble bee! My girls thought he had me under some kind of control. But Tony didnt need to ask me to do anything. Both our lives adjusted naturally to each other.
It’s been 18 months now and wedding bells are ringing. But I cannot hear them. I’m hearing the dirge of the mourners. It’s coming from somewhere above me. I am looking at Tony and it seems he is looking at me. It’s shocking to see how fast one can become past tense. We, Tony and I are at the cemetery. I am trying to be brave and not cry. Even if I did, no one would hear me, cos my cries are mere whispers compared to the loud wails around me. I want to touch him, hold him and feel his warmth one more time. But I can not. I’m looking at him, focused on him like I could hold his image like this and frame it for eternity. Like the memory could take me through the rest of eternity. Funny enough, its raining too. Someone had been smart enough to think of a canopy for this part of the procession. I am not wet this time, but it would not make a difference if I were. The pall bearers close the coffin, and Tony is the last thing I see before the top closes on me. I see the final death in his eyes. Like he died with me and would never live again. I tried to look beyond the wooden coffin, but I could not see a thing. I could still feel him though, as he took one laborious step after the other, walking away from me for the last time.
I was announced dead on arrival at the hospital. The drunken truck driver did his best to nearly grind my body to the asphalt. I was parked on the side of the road buying groceries from my customer when he drove right into me, clearing my car and the grocery stall, maiming the fruit seller and taking my life instantly. They said his third hand tires skidded in the rain and he lost control. It’s raining heavily now and the grave diggers are working fast to cover up my portion. I’m trying to end this as fast as I could. i need to finish before they do. If you are the one reading this, please take a message for my Tony. Tell him it’s not raining here…