I’d be waiting for you, sitting at the balcony breathing the fresh night breeze, listening to the whispering wind. Wearing a forlorn look on my face patiently waiting with a hope filled heart for you to brighten up my face. Reminiscing on how we used to laugh and make jokes by this same balcony, overlooking the city lights without a single care in the world. In that moment, we were the only ones that existed. No one else mattered except the way your eyes pierced deeply through my soul. It made my stomach churn with excitement and I could feel my heart in my throat. It always felt like I was falling in love with you for the first time.
You saw through me, I was like glass with you. No one else had such power over me. We had a ritual and the balcony was our shrine, you worshipped me with your words and praised me with your hands. Whenever you leaned to kiss me, my heart stopped for a moment, just like we were kissing for the first time. Each time seemed better than the previous.
That morning, you left me with a goodbye and a kiss on my fore head. You told me you would see me later so I’m still standing on your word. I lit the scented candle you shopped from amazon and prepared dinner for you. I hummed to Nina Simone’s “to love somebody”, I played it with the vinyl you got me on my birthday while thinking about our sacred moment at the balcony.
You failed to show up that night and I called you severally but it didn’t ring. I became worried, I called your office and they said they hadn’t heard from you and your team since noon. They assured me they’d look into it the next day. Dreadful thoughts filled my head, I couldn’t sleep that night. The bed felt strange without your skin touching me. I tossed and turned waiting for the sun to rise so I could go out and search for you. I couldn’t even drink my tea that morning, the honey was excess. I couldn’t make it like you did for me every morning. We both know your tea tasted better. I put on the television to calm my nerves and the 8 0’clock morning news was showing. I was expecting a call from your firm, I was hoping for some good news.
I didn’t realize my subconscious was paying attention until the announcer said “a group of five individuals on a task to extract minerals from a quarry where reported to have been blown by dynamites resulting to a blasting hazard.” I was thrown into a frenzy. I picked up my phone and called the firm asking if it was true. Everything else they said after replying me “yes” became a blur. I think they were muttering half handed apologies on how they intended to call me much later when the dust settled.
A couple of weeks after they held a funeral in you and your teams name. It seemed like a movie scene to me, your picture was everywhere, decorated with flowers. I wore a black dress and put on an orange pair of heels because that was your favorite color. People looked at me funny but I didn’t care, if I was going to attend an event in your name then I’d honor you with what you loved. When they asked if anyone had a speech to render and I didn’t stand up with the rest of the other families, everybody looked at me funny after the service. There was a silent underlying tone of judgement in the way they stared at me. Even your sister Ida shot me a quizzing look. She stood up on your behalf, such a sweet soul. At least people got to hear of your amazing personality through her lens. I couldn’t bring myself to speak of you in the past tense because I was yet to come to terms that you were a part of my past. We promised each other the future, to scale through many hurdles together. You weren’t one to fail on your promises. This people wouldn’t understand, after today they’d move on with their lives like nothing happened. I didn’t know how, my life didn’t just revolve around you, it was intertwined with yours. We became one in the old church of Mulumba with our cheery vows and our loud “I DO(s)”. I didn’t know how to explain to them that I couldn’t sleep without you presence or the emptiness in my heart I felt. You set the tone for my life, which is why I decided you lived on somewhere.
It was utterly unbelievable! There’s no way you left me in this world to make my tea and watch the view from the balcony alone. Which is why when the representatives from your office came telling me they were yet to find your remains, a new sense of purpose and glee shot through me. Since they had no ashes to give me, surely you had to be somewhere. They tried to make sense of your missing remains but I shut them out. I delighted in the possibility of you not being present during the explosion, perhaps you went to pee and then you slipped and hit your head somewhere. A Good Samaritan probably rescued you, and you lost your memory. I was ready to believe anything as long as it meant you still existed on this earth.
Since you weren’t around for me to love, I made it my life’s mission to find you and investigate the happenings of the explosion. I paid different detectives and investigators. I searched through the earth for you because in order for me to live, I needed to believe you were alive. I needed to hold on to the tiny shred of hope that you existed somewhere on earth since we couldn’t find your remains.
Months turned into years and years turned into decades, I still searched, waiting for you to come back home. People looked at me like I was a lunatic, it was evident in the worrisome face they wore while telling me to go for therapy. They tried talking me into moving on but I didn’t want to move on. I didn’t want to know a life without you. I wanted to look at your pictures every morning and smell your sweats while making dinner every night till you come back home. They wouldn’t understand that, they never knew what loving you meant. It was like a thousand stars beaming above you at nightfall. It was a glorious feeling. I never wanted to exist without it. I never relented in my search, even in your absence you gave my life meaning. Nothing earthly could measure up to what we shared. You were mine and I was yours.
I have no regrets regarding you, I’m glad I lived with the memories of us fresh in my head. I honored them, they were sacred and I wanted nothing to take that space. The doctors told me I have a terminal illness, science named it cancer. It caught up with me over the years in which I chased endlessly after traces of you. I am counting down to the days I will leave this world, I hope I’d finally be able to meet you in the afterlife. I hope God lets us in. Then I’d be able to love you without restrictions, fear or worry. We’d be together for eternity. Till then, I will sit in the sacredness of our balcony hoping the day my breath seizes it is in this our shrine. That way, when my spirit leaves my body I’d be easily connected to you, for you are my home and I will wait patiently till you come back home to me. You will then explain the mystery of the explosion to me and I will nest in the safety of your arms in the sweet evening breeze, my sweet sweet lover.