I have been trying to turn back time. To the night I cheated on my wife
Or maybe to the time before that. To the day I ran into Sayo in Central Park. There were many other trails I could have run that day but I chose the one I rarely ever ran. The trail ran the length of the river and at the end of it, was Sayo.
She was sitting on the bench reading. It was at least 45 degrees and yet there she was, a vision in a red coat, black gloves, brown boots, reading and giggling over a scene in Kate Atkinson’s Catch.
“Sayo?” I asked reluctantly because even then I knew that if indeed it was her, nothing good would follow.
“Oh my goodness! Seyi?”
We hugged and I held on a second too long.
“Look at you, all buff and even running now.”
I laughed sheepishly.
“Mary told me you are married now. I am visiting with her.”
“You are visiting and didn’t call. Is that how it is now?” I teased.
The next thing I knew we were making plans for lunch. Lunch because it wasn’t as presumptuous as dinner. Lunch was innocuous, as innocent as could be. Looking back now it should have been coffee at Starbucks. Nothing ever came from things like coffee at Starbucks.
But we had done lunch and a simple meal during work hours had somehow ended up on teal couch in Mary’s apartment.
“I am sorry.” “It was a one off thing.” “I swear it will never happen again.” Those were the things I said to my wife when that evening when she had taken one look at me as I walked through the door of our apartment and known.
It has been two months since and the divorce proceedings are well underway.
I call Sayo over and over again and it goes to voicemail.
“Hi you have reached Sayo’s voicemail. You know what to do.”
But I don’t know what to do so I leave her voice mails of nothing hoping she listens and helps me figure out what to do. I should know better. There are people like Sayo, that know how and what to leave behind. And then there are people like me who don’t know how to leave well alone, so I run that trail every other day, hoping to find a rainbow, hoping to find answers at the end of it.
My wife moved out the very next day after she found out. She took her clothes and books, nothing else. She even left behind her goldfish. I feed it and change its water often. I had to google that, ‘how to care for a goldfish’. We have both survived these past two months somehow. This is how I still have hope.
The divorce has been peaceful or so my divorced friends tell me. There are no children to fight over and the one time I mentioned the goldfish, my wife had looked at me as if I was senile. I too have given her everything she wants.
‘You should get a dog man’ my neighbor tells me when he sees me on the balcony talking to the goldfish one day. He has been divorced twice and has two dogs and a new wife.
But dogs bark. They need their humans pliable and hopeful. I am neither of those things.
I adopt a Terrier anyways. I name her Faith and the goldfish, Hope.
I will never see Sayo again, I know that now. And I cannot turn back the hands of the clock to before I broke my wife’s heart. I am the worst of men, undeserving of her forgiveness or loyalty. I will forever live with the consequences of my actions and there will be many cloudy days in my future where I beat myself up again and again, wishing I could turn back time.
My twice divorced, newly married neighbor tells me I will love again. I agree with him as we walk our dogs in Central Park. He never remembers to bring doggie bags so I have learned to stuff my pockets with some extra for his dog shit.
‘You are a good man Seyi’ my neighbor tells me when I pick up Faith’s blackened poop.
I laugh ‘And how do you surmise this?” I ask.
‘You pick up dog shit…me? I pretend to have left behind the bags because I don’t want to pick up dog shit. But you, you make me better. You are a good man.’
I nod my head and we walk home, our dogs in the lead.
I am not quite sure I am a good man but I will never say never to love. It is why I have a little Hope, a little Faith…
‘And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love. ‘ -I Cor 13:13
Song of the Day : Good and Loved – Travis Greene