The walls did this to us.
Even as I left it all behind today, I could not bring myself to look beyond the walls and knock on his door to say goodbye. I had to rely on a phone! I let mere walls get in between something as simple as a goodbye.
Those goddamn little things that get in the way of everything. It is easy to blame it all on something as solid as a wall. Walls can take it but we both know that the walls were just one part to a three-pronged tale . The phones were as guilty as the walls.
It’s phones that harbor text messages from the other women in his life. It’s phones that ring endlessly and cut short whatever little time we try to spend with each other. It’s those same phones from which he can’t keep his eyes off, forever hoping that some call would come through and save him from having to meet my eyes from across the dinner table. It’s phones that interrupt the comfortable silence of our lives and turn it into a circus where we make pretend that everything is alright.
There was a time we didn’t care about phones and walls. It used to be just him, me and a room with four walls that kept the rest of the world away.
It used to be just us with two phones that almost never rang.
We were happy until the four walls in Surulere became a dozen in Lekki. Everything was fine before the Nokia 3310s became i Phones, Blackberries and HTCs.
I have no idea where I am going but I keep driving east.
I just need to get away from the walls.I can’t get away from the phones. Right now, I will take whatever small victories I can get!
I stare at the phone that takes up the seat beside me. He should be sitting there.
I stop the car and get out. I start walking till I am close enough to the water to see it ripple. It’s a lonely bridge this morning. I left before sunrise.
I clutch the phone in my hand and look to the east waiting for the sun to make its debut. The phone rings before I can the find the will to throw it into the abyss below me.
“I can break down these walls if you say Ok”, He says.
I hold the phone so tightly that my palm begins to hurt. I catch a glimpse of horizon as the sun begins its ascent.
“Ok” I say.
‘Ok’ he replies.
‘Ok’ I answer.
He hangs up and I walk back to my car – still clutching the phone.
The phones did this to us too…If he succeeds in breaking down the walls,it will just be one hurdle crossed. Who, what, will make the phones go away?
The sun is rising behind me.