Y’all know I much I love ‘love stories’. I think all my love stories are starting to sound the same though. So therefore we will not be doing these love shenanigans for a while. Till I have a new angle on this thing called love at least 🙂
Till then, Enjoy and don’t forget to let your love be heard… 😉
The silence when you walk into the room is deafening.
Of course the room is silent as there is no one in it but you. But that is not the kind of silence that occurs to you as you stand in the middle of the room and close your eyes.
This silence is an absence that groans loudly at you, an emptiness that yawns noisily at you, a loneliness that wails.
You find it hard to believe you have not been certified crazy yet. The way you have learned to talk to the Aloe Vera plant Kofi, your friend, brought over as a housewarming present when you first moved in. The mirthless laughs you have shared with no one else but your mind and the emptiness. The nights you have stayed up to weep because that is the time of day when silence is most silent.
The plant’s name is Vera because she is an Aloe Vera. You remember the first time you introduced him to Vera.
‘Iska, meet Vera. Vera meet Iska,’ you said as you stood between them both.
‘Nice to meet you Iska. Oh wait, I am Iska. Sorry, sorry, let’s try that again.’ He had said and you had giggled like a little girl because.
He showed you how to use the sap Vera gave for the acne that remembered you once every month. He cooked meals with names you could never roll off your tongue but that your tongue was quick to forgive after a first taste. He showed you how to ride a bicycle.
‘I don’t believe you don’t know how to ride a bicycle.’
‘I am a lady. Ladies don’t ride bicycles.’
‘Well excuse me. Apparently Audrey Hepburn was no lady then.’
‘Sha shut up and show me how.’
The day he taught you, you had practiced and practiced till it started to rain and you both got soaked.
You ride to work everyday now.
You love riding. It is good exercise and you love that you are saving the planet by not driving around in your fuel consuming Ford. Your only problem with bicycles is the fact that they sometimes move too slow.
Like the morning you accused him of not loving you any longer. A car would have given you the liberty of driving fast, to somewhere far far away, from where the accusations you hurled at him would have not pierced his coal-dark skin and lodged themselves in his heart. But bicycles were too slow so you had stayed instead, yelling at the man you loved like one of those fishwives you had heard about. Later, you had wondered if fishwives yelled because they felt like their husbands loved the sea more than they loved them. You had yelled at Iska because he seemed to love life more than he loved you. He refused to be sad on the days you were.
You wished he had never taught you to ride bicycles when the text came:
‘I love you Mariama . But if I stay, I am not sure I will love you tomorrow.’
You had read the text twice to understand its meaning. Then you had run out of your office building like something was on fire, gotten on your bicycle and ridden home like a mad woman. What you should have done was taken a cab but you weren’t thinking. You got home too late, your thighs burning from having to ride so fast but home was no longer waiting for you. He was long gone with wind, just like his name.
Your house has three live occupants now; you, Vera and the silence. It used to be three; you, Vera and Iska, but he went away and took his sounds with him.
You could do something about the silence if you wanted to but you don’t. It is your penitence, the open wound you poke over and over again by remembering the way his laughter was like an oasis on desert plains of sadness. You remember his hoarse singing, the way he moaned when you both danced the dance of lovers, the way his heart thumped loudly against its rib cage when he held you; the noise his love made…
You sold the radio and the tv on Craigslist after he left. You stay in the silence and let it remind you of how much of a good thing you had lost.
‘Sis, what is taking you so long?’ Amina calls out from the living room where you told her to wait just a few minutes ago. She wants to borrow your gold lame dress for a concert at Madison Square Garden. She begged that you would come with her. Her new boyfriend works as an ‘event organizer’ and could get you a ticket to any event, she boasted.
You said no to her offer because to go for the concert would be to forget the silence, to revel in noise, and you weren’t done paying for your sins.
You hand her the dress with warning to take good care of it and smile as your sister kisses you noisily and bids you goodbye.
‘Maybe I should get a cat like some old lady. What do you think Vera?’ You ask the plant when you are finally alone with her and the silence.
‘No? But cats are quiet and unobtrusive. Besides you aren’t a fish or a bird so you have nothing to fear from a cat, kemo sabe!’ You assure Vera as you make dinner, a meal with a name that rolls off your tongue easily but does nothing for your taste buds. ‘Kemo Sabe’ is what he used to call you, ‘faithful friend’.
‘You watch too much tv.’ You said to him the first time he called you that.
He had thrown back his head and laughed in that way that left your heart in a freefall.
There is a knock on the door and it startles you. You curse silently. Amina probably wants your new Michael Kors pumps as well. Well, she can think again, you say to yourself as you walk angrily to the door to open it.
You have words and lines prepared to say to her.
‘Sen mareki ko?’
‘Have they beaten you before, Amina?’
‘You best get ready to walk shoeless to Madison’
But you open the door, and it is to the wind which wastes no time at all in whisking all the words away and leaving you blank and silent.
He is beautiful, the wind is. You start to cry silently because the angels have done a Zechariah on you and withheld your speech. They will not let you spoil a good thing.
Later that night, when you are lying in his arms, while the rooms still echo the noise of his love from a few minutes ago, the angels finally let you have your voice back. At least long enough for you to ask:
‘Will you marry me?’
And for him to answer ‘Tomorrow?’
PS ….our photo today was provided by Simi Vijay…he is amazing you guys. Call him for your weddings and all what nots!
Song of the day: Peter Gabriel – The Book of Love