Ben stared at his wife picture for the first time in 3years. He stared hard at it waiting to feel that familiar pull in his heart that always came with his wife’s image. When nothing happened, he dropped the picture disappointed. He was dead emotionally. He didn’t need a doctor to tell him that. Any emotion other than pain was alien to him. If only… If only he could turn back the hands of time, he would never have gotten intimate with his wife Claire. He would have avoided anything that could lead to a pregnancy.
How he continued to live in the house they shared together until now was still a mystery to him. The memories in the house brought nothing but pain to him. He was glad to have finally grown the balls to leave. Not just leave the house, but to leave the state entirely. His flight was already booked for six am the next day. All he had to do was pack his necessary belongings and be on his way to a new life.
Some people may call it ‘running from your problems’ but he didn’t care.. if he had to run to start afresh and leave behind his sad memories he would. A job was not an issue to him. As a writer he could write from wherever he wished to. The house was already up for sale alongside everything in it.
Ben sighed as he picked up a t-shirt that was buried underneath his clothes. He closed his eyes to push away the painful memories that came with the shirt. He wore that shirt the day his wife went into labour and died hours later with his unborn child. He had relieved that day for many months after his wife’s death. He didn’t want to do it again… Squeezing his eyes tight he dumped it in the disposal box.
He finished packing at about one am and laid on his bed to get a few hours of sleep. But instead of sleeping, he tossed and turned restlessly until his alarm rang. Few minutes past five he dragged his tired body through the airport. After he had been checked, he sat down waiting for his flight to be announced. Lost in thought he didn’t notice someone sit beside him
“Ben..?” a familiar voice inquired
Ben turned sharply.. he had not heard that voice in almost a decade “Sharon?” he asked to be sure he was not hallucinating
“yes Sharon” she hugged him smiling
Ben stiffened underneath her touch and managed to subtly free himself from her grip “what are you doing here? I thought you lived in PH?”
“yes I did.. until I lost my husband two years ago. Right now am starting afresh”
Ben didn’t know where the sudden urge to comfort her came from. They had gone to university together. Though she wasn’t exactly his friend, he had carried her in his heart all through his school days. He saw her as way above his level so he hadn’t told her about his feelings instead He let her go… But now she was in Enugu and even single. He wasn’t sure he still wanted to leave the state. Maybe they could start afresh together. After all, they were in the same situation. He couldn’t remember the last time he felt as content as he felt now…just sitting beside her. His past happy memories were replaced with painful ones. He looked at her as she took a bite from her snack… She was still as beautiful as he remembered.. A lot more Matured but still beautiful. Maybe God was against his travel plans..maybe God wanted him to stay in Enugu… If not why will he meet Sharon now after so many years. Not asking God for direction before deciding to leave Enugu was a mistake on his part. But then, he had stopped asking God for anything a long time ago…
“are you listening to me?” Sharon was looking at him
“yea.. Sure” he raked his brain for what she had said last
“I asked about your wife and kids”
“I lost them” he told her and waited to feel the intense pain that usually came with saying it. To his surprise, he felt normal.
Ben nodded and they both sat down in silence, Each lost in their own thoughts. Ben didn’t know whether to leave the only thing that had made him feel alive again and go to an unknown place
“flight 302″ the flight attendant called out
Ben remained glued to his seat. All he had done for the last three years was work. Right now he wanted to do something else….he wanted to live again. He opened his mouth to tell Sharon that he was going back home but what came out was ” that’s my flight. I have to go. Please call me” he handed her his card and turned away. Maybe he needed some time to heal…
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