I Wish

The sun hides behind the clouds, and nearby trees sway to the whistle of a gentle breeze.

I look around, as nature reminds me of the day I first saw her. The heavens, that day, looked heavy, waiting for a release. Then I was a shy twenty-one year old; she was eighteen, and thorough. She needed help locating the admissions office, and though I had a class I was already late for, I led the way to her destination.

We remained silent as we walked. “What’s your name?” I managed to ask, as I made to leave the admissions office.

“Ronke.” she had replied, with a smile. “English Language, 100 level.” She had given the extra information so I could look for her later.

That day was a Friday, a beautiful one, in 1987.

Today is a Friday too.

The requiem mass had been brief, and the chubby priest seems determined to maintain same pace as family and a few friends stand at Ronke’s graveside. Ronke wished it this way: quiet and simple. I had done my best to grant my late wife her wish.

For a moment I allow myself a luxury, my mind engaged with something beautiful. I listen as the priest, with words, paints a rare picture of heaven. Hell for a long time has been my abode; loneliness my faithful companion. So I let my mind and eyes wander as he makes a shift, describing what is already familiar: a dark, fiery hell. My eyes search for my children. Both of them stand side by side, with Ronke’s mother behind them. Roland has his eyes fixed on his mother’s casket; Rose has her eyes on me. Her look frightens me. It is tradition for a younger person to look away when they meet the gaze of an elder. But this time, I look away. Her eyes, as beautiful as they are, judged me—and the steady flow of tears from my eyes. I know, Rose, my nineteen year old jewel, feels I mock her mother with my tears.

Ronke, I whisper as my eyes rest on her casket. My tears are real; I feel pain, my love.

Truly, my tears are genuine, but they flow not because I just lost my wife. Ronke died only a week ago after a fierce battle with breast cancer, but, in sincerity, I lost my wife fifteen years ago when, for the second time, she learnt that another woman was pregnant for me. Ronke had been heart broken the first time when a neighbour’s daughter Tracy had announced to the world that she was carrying my baby. But her loving heart had healed, after a while. Sadly, it did not when a fling with her friend Amanda produced another child.

“For dust thou art; and unto dust shalt thou return.” I hear the priest say.

I loved you Ronke, I did; I mutter under my breath. You are the only woman I ever loved. I continue, sniffing in-between my words. I wish I had been faithful enough.



21 thoughts on “I Wish” by namdi (@namdi)

  1. It was a well told interesting story. Thumbs up!

    1. @Chijy…..

      Thank you.

      I just noticed the point reduction you told me about–quite strange.

  2. The way you shuttle your readers between past and present is remarkable. Well done

    1. @EZEAMAJ……

      Thank God I got it right. And thanks for the comment.

      Welcome to NS (Naijastories).

  3. @namdi. I don’t understand what happened o. Not just my points but my rank too. @ogaoga hasn’t yet replied my mail.

    1. @Chijy….

      Just be patient. I’m sure a response will come soon.

    2. Sorry @Chijy, the glitch has been fixed now. Thanks for bringing it to our attention.

  4. Brilliant work

    1. @Habibat……

      I appreciate the comment; it’s good encouragement. Thank you!

  5. Sometimes we wish and wish…there is nothing we can do about it…but we do have the future to make amends.

    Well done.

    1. @praize…….

      I agree. But sometimes, despite all effort, the ‘I Wish’ just persists.

      Thanks for the comment.

  6. beautiful piece. sometimes we make mistakes that we wish we could call back but most times it might be too late. Ronke can’t hear him anymore and there is bitterness in his children’s hearts already. the mistakes we make always have a ripple effect…

    1. @MaggieSmart………..

      I agree. And thanks for leaving a comment.

  7. Rhoiy (@Roy-journals)

    This nearly left me speechless… You keep proving yourself everyday… Good job Namdi; well written… Beautiful story.

  8. @Roy-journals……

    And your comment made me smile. Thanks bro.

  9. Brilliantly done. Nothing to add or remove.

    1. @aplusn…….

      Thanks bro. I appreciate the comment.

  10. If wishes were horses indeed…. beautiful piece!

  11. @Mayree…..

    Thanks. I appreciate the comment.

  12. How can you claim to love someone and still cheat on the person? Nice concept, nice flow, nice style.

    1. @simisolaade……

      Well, the devil gets the blame–as usual. “Na devil cause am oh!” lol.

      Thanks for the comment.

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