As I stepped into the house, the memories came rushing back. I deliberately pushed them out of my mind. I was here to fix things, not make them worse.
This time she was clothed in a bum short and a white strapless top.
“I was about to take a swim. Care to join me?” She asked a mischievous glint in her eyes.
“I’m here to talk, Ruby. I think it’s time we have a chat.” I said in a serious voice.
“Play now, talk later.” She held out a hand to me. “C’mon, I’m sure you’d love what I’ve got in mind.”
“You’re not listening, Ruby. This ends now. This…flirting…and all, it ends today. I’m married and I want to stay that way. So, I’m begging you…stay out of my life.”
She paused, peering up at me.
“You have a fever, honey?” She asked, eventually.
“I’m perfectly fine.” I said, anger creeping in. “I’m warning you to stay away from me and my family. Whatever game it is you’re playing, stop it this instant.”
“Wait a minute you sanctimonious prick…when did you suddenly grow a conscience?” She stood, arms akimbo.
I shrugged. “Are we into name calling now?”
“You forget that what happened between us was mutual. You wanted it as much as I did. Hell, you still want it!…and you seemed to conveniently forget that you were married.”
I lowered my eyes. She was right there.
“It was a mistake. And it won’t happen again.”
I didn’t see what happened next coming. She grabbed me and planted one on me, right there on my lips.
What did I do? Well, she didn’t even give me a chance to react…the kiss stopped as abruptly as it started.
“Was that a mistake?” She asked, panting. “Is that a mistake?”
The second question was directed at my third leg. I had a serious hard-on. How that happened, I have no idea, because…I swear I wasn’t thinking about doing her ever.
“This conversation is over. Our contract is over. I don’t wanna see you near me or my family ever…or else, I will take out a restraining order.”
Without waiting for her reply, I walked out with all the dignity I could muster; thanking God that I’d survived the encounter.
“My name is Natasha Price and I lost my sister six months ago…”
“My name is Kennedy Wymouth and I lost my wife eight months ago…”
“ My name is Karen Sky and I’m mourning the death of my dog…”
I regretted coming to this place. I mean what good was it hanging around with people who were no better than you?
Share our stories of how we lost loved ones? That was more depressing than sitting at home all day feeling sorry for myself.
I wonder why I’d let Sarah talk me into attending this support group. Bad bad idea.
Sarah was one of the few mothers I spent time with when Shirley was alive. We carpooled together.
She was one person I could say had experienced loss. She’d lost two children to still birth and had issues dealing with it; so I figured she had a point if she asked me to attend the support group.
I’d decided to attend because when I woke up after our mind-blowing sex…
Wait…how could I talk about sex being mind-blowing when I was supposed to be mourning my daughter?
Why was I even enjoying sex? I mused.
Weren’t Mo and I supposed to starve ourselves of sex out of respect for Shirley’s memory?
I found myself chuckling as I thought about how passionate and sweet the sex Mo and I had been having these days had been. The best in a long time actually.
Stop it. I willed myself. Stop thinking about mind-blowing sex at this chaste gathering.
Respect the memories of these people’s loved ones. I chastised myself.
Forget the fact that sadness and loss makes you horny. Forget the feel of Mo’s hand on your body this instant. Forget it.
Sympathise with these people.
Why had I come again?
Ooh yes…because I’d woken up depressed when I realised I was going to be alone at home for the better part of the day.
Being in that house would drive me crazy sooner than being with these…people.
“Ma’am. You’re up next.” Someone nudged me.
I looked around, embarrassed. I’d drifted.
Then I stood…”My name is Mrs Kemi Pepple and I…uh…I just lost my daughter ten weeks ago.”
There were sympathetic sounds of oohs and aahs.
“You wanna tell us about her, Kemi?”
The question came from the woman who I’d reckoned to be the leader of the group.
“Actually, no. I wanted to say.
Instead I opened my mouth and began to speak. “She was seven. The most beautiful and adorable kid ever. She…she loved pizza. I mean, she could eat pizza for three days straight without complaining.”
There were sounds all around, shuffling of feet, a little laughter.
“She had a temper too. She threw tantrums…I guess she…was used to having her own way. But when…when…” I hesitated. The tears were bubbling up somewhere inside me. “When she wasn’t angry; she was an angel. I loved her with every fibre of my being.”
The tears had begun dropping but I was oblivious of them. I just wanted to keep talking…
“Sometimes I wake up in the morning…and the first thing I do is go to her room…I forget that she’s no longer there. I go there; hoping that somehow…somehow God had had mercy on me…and brought her back. I just want to hold her one last time…I want to see her fingerprint everywhere in our home…she used to mess with my make-up kit when she was…alive. I want that back. I want to capture every single moment with her again, knowing that today might be her last. I miss her so much it hurts. Sometimes I just…I want the pain to go away; then I remember I’ve got my husband who loves me…I thought the hardest thing was losing someone close to you…but, you don’t know what it’s like to sit and watch someone that came out of you die in your arms! You don’t!”
I was screaming now. I’d no idea why. Suddenly I was angry with everything and everyone.
“You talk about losing friends and wives and…dogs…I lost a child. Damnit! She was just seven years old! She had her whole life ahead of her…she was supposed to bury me, not the other way round!”
By this time someone was trying to calm me down as I screamed, but I was beyond calming; they asked for it. They wanted to know how I felt, well this was it.
Raw and simple.
The wounds I’d tried to cover up inside me were opened again. The memories were back again, and it was as though I’d lost my daughter just yesterday.
“I can’t take it anymore…I just want to die.” I sobbed.