There is a little bit of the movie, Inception, in this one but that isn’t what inspired it. Genesis inspired this. That and love.
Seth is almost here; don’t give up yet. Don’t you dare.
Something happened while we slept. I have spent many days and countless nights wondering what it was. 3 weeks later and I still don’t know.
This is what I know. That broken hearts break hearts. That I should have seen it coming. That I am lost, irretrievably lost till she is found.
March 20th; she woke up before me like she has done for the past three years of our lives together. She used to wake me up so we could pray but that hasn’t happened for a while. I got ready for work and walked into the kitchen to meet breakfast. She was sitting at the table, not eating, just staring.
“Good morning,” I said burying my nose in her braids. She smelled like oil and worry so I didn’t dwell.
She watched me eat, smiling her empty smile the few times my eyes caught hers. Looking back now, I know I should have eaten more slowly, paid less attention to the ticking of the clock in our kitchen, held her hands, kissed her even deeper when she handed me my suit…
But I didn’t. I left for work and buried myself in the routine, preferring to pretend that my wife’s eyes weren’t swollen again, that she had not said a word to me in days, that nothing was out of place and we could carry on living like this for the rest of our lives.
I returned home after a long day at work, made even longer by the ubiquitous Lagos traffic to find that home had fled, like a thief who knew the owner would return shortly, like unwise virgins who failed to bring along enough oil for their lamps.
Broken hearts break hearts. My heart is broken and if I could help it, I would but I can’t and so it is that I must break your heart.
I need to go. Where? I do not know. I just need to leave. I am going in search of children that didn’t love me enough to stay. I am going in search of answers. I am gone in search of my Penuel, a place where I can wrestle with God and die or have my hip broken. My hip, not yours. My life, not yours You don’t deserve a broken hip. You don’t deserve to die. You don’t deserve a broken heart either but I rather that than a broken hip or death for you.
I love you, husband, best friend, love, life, Adam, Andem, but this is my battle.
Her phone rang endlessly at first and now a voice coldly tells me she is unavailable whenever I call. I have started to plead with the voice many times before catching myself.
She speaks about a broken hip in the letter that she left me, forgetting that for broken hearts to heal, they need a ribcage, a place where the pieces of a heart can be put back together again. She forgets that I am missing a rib now that she is gone.
I sleep a lot when I don’t have to work. I sleep and pray for miracles; I am just an Adam, eyes closed, hoping that when the time comes for me to open my eyes, she will be back.
I dream that she comes back. I dream that dream a lot. It has been 3 weeks and I have dreamed of her every day. Yesterday I dreamed of her and the children we have lost- Kayowa, Abidemi…lost before we held them in our arms, buried in graves no one dug.
Today I dream of a third child. He is fair like his mother, long limbed like his father.
“What is your name?” I ask.
He beckons to me with his tiny hands, bidding me bring my ear closer to his lips.
“Omodurotimi” He whispers. “This is what my mother calls me.” He tells me as I straighten up.
“Where is your mother?” I ask him as what is left of my heart beats furiously.
“Where broken hearts go,” the child tells me. I start to run in a direction I have never been but before I can run far enough, I hear the child ask.
“What will you call me?”
I turn back to look at him. He is fading like a flower in the night. Names run through my head. Names I have held in my heart for children that will be mine but none seems to fit this child.
And then it hits me.
“Seth,” I say.
“Seth,” I repeat.
“Seth,” he agrees.
“I like books, The Fray and computers,” He informs me.
“Books, How to Save a Life and Apple. Okay. Got it.” I tell him.
” Anything else?” I ask the son that will be mine and he smiles like laughter.
“Adunola” he mouths soundlessly.
That is when I awaken to the sound of running water, the sizzling sounds of bacon frying, the whistle of the kettle, the ticking of the clock.
I run to the kitchen and my wife is sitting at the table staring at nothing. I look at the calendar; March 20th it reads. I look at my wife and her eyes are swollen. I bury my nose in her hair and it smells of oil and worry.
I call in sick to work. I take her hand and kiss it until she says “stop” with a smile, her first word since we lost Abidemi three weeks ago.
I start to tell her about another time, another space where she left and broke my heart but then I stop.I tell her instead of the dream inside a dream. Of the child that will be born to us someday if hearts and hips are not broken, if life remains. Of Seth and how he has her kind eyes. Of Durotimi and how his smile is all mine.
I don’t know when we both start to cry but we stop sometime between when it begins to rain and when hope returns to her eyes.
I don’t understand the dream outside the dream. I don’t know if it was even a dream or if it is my reality in another time, another space. If there is a me somewhere lost till she is found I don’t know much about anything.
This is what I do know. That broken hearts heal. That broken hearts go home. That my heart’s home is the rib cage, therefore she is home. That it has been so since the beginning of time. That Cain and Abel might break their parents’ hearts but someday, someday soon, Seth will come along and healing will begin.
Photo Credit – Simi Vijay Phototgraphy
Song of the day: Ed Sheeran – Photograph