It is here at your final year dinner, that you decide to move on. The lights are dim. Students hang in clusters around tables covered with food and drinks, holding paper plates and plastic cups. Soft music fills the room and beautiful decorations of purple, white and red satin hang on walls and weave around pillars.
This is when you see him; he is laughing at something a friend said. This is also when you decide to abnegate, because it dawns on you that making a flesh and blood human being the main source of your happiness is foolish. Making his decision count so much is preposterous. His movements seem to occur in slow motion, it always does. Time always stands still for him.
But enough, you weren’t going to wait any more, hoping that whenever he walked towards you; he was coming to claim you as his own. You had always hoped…
This sort of hope, you decide, is a bad thing, a snare. It seems to hold your breathe uncomfortably, seems to keep you in a permanent state of inhaling… Without a moment to exhale. Not one.
You look at those perfectly squared shoulders one last time and drink in every detail that is this man you have loved and perhaps even obsessed about. And when you turn away, that action of tilting your face to the side, your eyes focused on the door, you know it’s the end.
This of course did not mean you would not think of him. You would, but not with hope anymore. Not with that void, stifling hope.
You stand up and walk towards the door. It’s raining outside, but you don’t care. You walk under the cleansing drops that fall from the sky, past hostel blocks, past trees with red flowers and brown pods, past the lawns your school took pride in keeping perfectly manicured.
From the distance, you see your classmate, Lanre, standing in front of your hostel. You briefly wonder why he isn’t at the dinner. He hurries towards you, holding a grey umbrella and shields you from the rain.
“I have been waiting for you”; he says looking into your eyes.
He barely covers himself with the umbrella and you watch the rain drops become films that spread across his blue shirt.
You look back into his eyes and know that with him, hope would have more exhales of wonder and content than pensive inhales. You also know you would come to love his dimpled smile, his lazy drawls and all that he is. Perhaps not today, maybe not even tomorrow, but soon. Because, contrary to popular opinion, Love is a choice.
You smile at him and welcome the change that is him, as you both walk towards your hostel.