I have never believed in love, I viewed it as a pathetic way for weak people to find something to believe and hold on to due to their hollowness.
Why I call it pathetic, no love story apart from walt’s disney’s Cinderella and so on stories has ever had a happy ending. Romeo and Juliet both committed suicide because their parents were feuding, couldn’t they find other people to love? Mark Anthony and cloepatra died for some reason, Salim watched as Anarkali the love of his life was being entombed alive was that even love? Layla died because she could not be united by her lover Majnun and he died by her grave. It just doesn’t make sense to be under self inflicted misery.
I do care about people, by the terms empathy, sympathy and compassion and those I believe to be essential for human nature to survive. And if anyone had told me I would ever fall in love, I would’ve scoffed, as it was no one told me, to them perhaps I was incapable of loving.
But love indeed existed, I would later find out that it was possible to loose oneself in a feeling towards someone that was beyond our control totally.
Bilal and my meeting was very unconventional, Though against driving rules I was texting while driving and got carried away then next thing I heard was Gbam. Had I not worn by seatbelt I might have flown out of the windscreen.
My car was a mess, the bumper crashed beyond reasoning and my car had to hit a jeep, my brother would call it an SUV though. I hated the sight of that car at that Moment, later I learnt it was a G-wagon and I actually came to love that car and had intensively beautiful memories attached to it.
Two guys got of the car they looked alike but I didn’t notice at that time, later I learnt they were brothers.
One was looking at the damage of my car while the other I termed arrogant from the sneer on his face went to his car, he bent down and peered at his car that hardly received a scratch, with his index finger he cleaned a line of red paint and blew it in the air and went back to his car.
‘Are you guys just gonna leave like that, my car is smashed to bits.’ I yelled.
‘What do you want now bitch.’ The arrogant one snapped.
‘Bilal you shouldn’t talk to a lady like that.’ The other said.
‘You son of a bitch.’ I yelled.
And thus we started a battle of words, the other man tried aimlessly to stop us. I floored him or he floored me, I can’t say now but back in school I was the queen of vile words, only when I was satisfied did I return to my battered car and realised that we’d make a spectacle of ourselves.
Later I learnt that I was at fault, that no matter the circumstances when you hit someone from the back in Nigeria you’re at fault.
I met Bilal again and this time it was different, I didn’t fall immediately though I should have because Bilal was unnecessarily handsome, I use that word because I believe a man should have neutral looks and he was also stinking rich.
It was his kindness that drew me in, he’d help an old lady cross the road, he helped a fallen street hawker get back up and dust his clothes.
Generosity should not just lie in giving alms but by empathy too, to hold someone’s hands and comfort them, to clean someone’s tears. That got me.
I asked Bilal one day, ‘If you are this kind why did you call me a bitch that day?’
‘Cause you were smoking hot.’ He answered.
Bilal was hyperactive, always doing things, the zeal he exuded in an argument, in a watching a football match or even a movie was to me hilarious, his inability to stay still was pleasing to me.
I had imagined my whole life with Him, we’d get married in a not too lavish wedding, I’ll be wearing a gown designed by Tarik Ediz. We would jet off to a quite nature reserve where there’d be no cell phe network in south Africa for our honeymoon. From there we’ll proceed to Zambia and see Victoria falls en lastly to Canada to visit Niagara falls.
We won’t have children for at least six months so we get to have the newly wed fun, engaging in play fight everywhere in the house, doing it every where and most especially engaging in acrobatic sex.
The first time Bilal and I got intimate, it was at his house. He lived separately from his parents and that gave us unlimited freedom and unwarranted privacy. I’d always visit and no matter what happens we never go all the way except for that day, if he didn’t stop then I would’ve stopped him but that day non of us stopped.
Bilal was remorseful later, he said if he knew it’d be my first time he would have waited till marriage, he repented and promised to wait until we tied the nuptial knot.
When I started experiencing strangeness in my body, it didn’t occur to me that once would be enough. I knew something was drastically wrong but I kept telling my self it was just once.
I noticed my Mom looking at me intently, fear and denial clamored her eyes, maybe she knew but decided to keep mum, to give me an opportunity to solve the problem before it became a public ridicule.
When I was fully convinced I told Bilal he was happy and devastated at the same time, getting pregnant out of wedlock was a serious offence, even if we got married the marriage rituals couldn’t be completed until after the baby was born so basically the whole world would know of the shameful crime and I being the woman would bear most of the brunt.
My dreams were also shattered, I didn’t dream of things going the opposite way. The not too lavish wedding would be not even be a wedding but a sad farewell, the Tarik Ediz gown would turn to a garment of shame. I would also be jetting off to the clinic for antenatal. And as for fun I should be getting ready for labour Pains.
Our marriage was fixed for just after three weeks, Bilal told his parents who came to our house with bowed heads and the matter was reviewed, there as no way out only a formal ceremony to take me to Bilal’s house.
My father was the most sad, he was labeled a man with a loose daughter, my remaining siblings were from that time onwards under strict surveillance.
My mother stopped talking to me, my Dad avoided me and my siblings were angry with me but Bilal never left my side, he was always there supporting me unconditionally even though my family could not hide their contempt towards him.
It was in the evening we were watching the sun set together when a foul smell assaulted us, later black soot and smoke flew around and the smell of burning surrounded us, we ran to see what was hppening. Our house was on fire, I had never witness such fire before.
The occupants, my family members ran helter skelter. Water was being poured into the fire but it absorbed it and increased as though fuel was being put into it. It was Bilal that told everyone to mix detergent with the water before pouring, detergents were supplied from the nearby kisoks. The fire was spreading to the main building via the bridge that connected it. One wooden pillar blazed and the fire spread to another. It was Bilal that suggested a trench be dug to stop it. It was also Bilal who called the fire service which took so long in coming.
Kpai our house help rushed in screaming on top of her voice. She was struggling to enter the blazing building but strong hands restricted her.
‘My daughter is inside, she was sleeping, let me go and get her.’ She kept wailing.
‘Which part is your room? Bilal asked her when she wouldn’t stop crying.
Kpai pointed, the part was still standing and my Bilal assured her and rushed there, I followed him then he held and told me to wait for him
‘Bilal its too dangerous, I can’t let you go in.’ I said gripping him.
‘That area is still intact don’t you trust me?’ He asked.
‘I do, but I’m carrying your child.’
‘Her child is inside.’ He said and kissed me on the forehead, ‘I love you.’ He murmured and dashed in.
I was filled with terror, anticipation and anxiety was killing me and every second felt like eternity, I kept seeing Bilal walking out of the building with the baby like a hero, but I could only imagine cause a few seconds later that part exploded cruelly.
I screamed and made for the blazing house, someone held me I don’t know who, the fire service finally arrived but the damage was done.
I stayed on till every bit of flame was gone, then I saw Bilal, he was a little burnt but not charred, he was close to the door but could not make it in time.
He was still cuddling kpai’s baby close to his chest, he nestled her and protected her from burning even though she had already died.
Why did Bilal go inside? Why didn’t that part explode before he went in? Who would father my child, how will I live?
How, why but no answers. My life became full of questions that would never be answered.
When ever I see the sun moving down, I remember that las Dark sun set we witnessed together with Bilal.