“So this is it, no kiss, no hug?”
“I guess so, we had it coming, love. It was just a matter of time. We did our best.”
“I just feel like we could try more. Don’t you want to see it to the end?”
“This is the end, we cannot go any further. This is the destination for us, our final stop. I wish it could have been different, I wish I had the energy to fight, I wish it could be otherwise but…”
“We could, we can, we had and we did. There’s more to our story than just a premature ending. Nobody likes those. Can we write at least the next few pages for the sake of it? I don’t want to let go of it.
“I am sorry, love. Do me one last favor?”
“What is it?”
“Close your eyes…”
“Are you serious? Why are you asking that right now?”
“Do this one for us, for the last time.”
Mulindi took the chance and walked away teary. His lips were shaking; small mounds of sweat were building up on his forehead. He hated this, he hated the whole breakup idea but he had to do it. It was time. He broke into a jog as he hurried off just to make sure she never saw him walk away. Mercy was going to be heartbroken; she would love one last look at him.
Mercy opened her eyes to a stranger trying to help her walk across the road; he must have thought she was blind. In a bid to hold back her tears, she went along with his plan and successfully crossed the road. Her lips moved but no words came out, she was lost.She headed straight to her Matatu stage. She wanted to be alone for tonight her heart was growing heavy by the minute. This was a whole new experience to her.
At home, she changed into her favorite grey sweatpants and a large woolen sweater with an imprint that said “I’m all yours but for a night.” This was going to be a long night; she wished things were a little different for her- a Friday night she will live to remember. She took a bowl of popcorn and a glass of freshly diluted juice and sat by the TV, she wanted to absorb every detail. Tonight she was going to watch TV shows to sleep. She decided not to cry, she decided not to let fear and anger engulf her. She was to be in control. She kept fighting any tears that came welling up her eyes. She knew the feeling of letting tears roll down your cheeks freely but tonight she wanted to be different. She wanted to feel strong; she felt that tears were for the weak. Tonight the feeling of letting go was a choice she was unwilling to make. She did her best in staying sane.
Mulindi went straight to the movies; his friends were waiting for him. At the entrance, he kept convincing himself of how good he did to himself in every aspect of life. He sat through the whole three hours without understanding anything. At the end, they just walked out and bid each other goodbye. For some reasons Mulindi decided to walk home from town. He knew the risks, he knew the distance but tonight he wanted to follow his heart. He had been in control his whole life, tonight he was following the flow of life no matter how chaotic it was going to be. He was putting to test his theory of trying to remain positive no matter what. He moved quickly without noticing those around him, he moved to assure himself he was still alive.
As he walked, ideas came floating, others knocked but he kept them out, he did not want to indulge his mind. He understood so well that rationalizing anything tonight was going to be fatal. A kilometer later he realized how wrong he was, on this road to home, he had his mind which kept him company but was always ready to comment on anything that they passed, anything that he saw and anything that happened in his life. His mind was ready to engage him.
Mercy was in the sixth episode but her mind was elsewhere. She recalled the days when life breathed pure bliss into her, when the touch of her human, her favorite person had her coiled in emotions he did not understand. It all came flooding back to her.
“This should not be the end. I must act right to correct everything. What if he is my soulmate? We were so good together, not perfect but we complemented each other. I must get him back, but how?”
She kept her mind racing which drove her to where it all begun. She was going to see her friend on the other side of the city. Following directions has never been her forte. She tried her best to interpret what her friend had told her but she got lost. Against her willingness she decided to ask one of the touts or so she assumed. He was dressed in a black pair of rugged skinny jeans with a grey T-shirt that had a ‘Rick & Morty’ imprint and a half jacket. She edged herself closer to him as she fought her willingness to ask.
“Hi, excuse me. Could you point me to Umoja stage?”
“Hi, yes and you have arrived at your desired destination. And next time be careful, who you ask to direct you. It’s not so safe out here.”
“Thank you, I’m to alight at Peacock stage. I promise to be careful.”
“Okay, then you can board this vehicle.”
They sat side by side and when she alighted, he waved her goodbye though they had not talked since boarding the vehicle. It seemed a little odd to Mercy but everyone was unique in their own peculiar way. She met her friend and shared about the dude she had just met.
A month went by and they met at a restaurant during the lunch hour. Greetings were in order and each sunk into their own meal. He bid her goodbye and walked out. He left her thinking. He had his own to comb through. The third time Mercy met Mulindi at the Umoja stage; it was seven in the evening. They talked and boarded the same Matatu. Mulindi led the conversation as they touched on almost everything except their personal lives. Listening to her talk, Mulindi felt that she was too mature for her age. She alighted as he waved her goodbye.
This went on for a while until they started having lunch together as a routine. Bored of the same ambience they kept changing hotels every three days, it became a game to them; if mercy chose this hotel today, Mulindi was to choose the next one. Time went by and Mercy decided to invite him to one session of her book club. It was beautiful to watch them share ideas and support each other. It was a team at work. Mulindi was leaving an ink in her life.
Slowly the relation between them grew and Mulindi decided it was time she met his crew. A trip to Naivasha was in order, she came with her friend. The trip was smooth and enjoyable. It brought the two together. Mercy was growing fond of him day in day out. One time she came to Umoja and decided to check his place out-she texted him when on the Matatu.
“Where should I get off this Matatu?”
“What do you mean? Anyway, I’ll pick you up at ‘Kwa chief’. Is that okay with you?”
“Nice, I am on my way.”
Ten minutes passed and she texted again.
“So where are you, I thought you will be waiting for me.”
“That was quick, I’m coming.”
He saw her from a distance, dressed in a white flowing dress with a clutch bag in her left hand. She was glued to her phone. Mulindi had come with his girlfriend to pick her.
“Oh, you are here already. Kwani how close is your home?”
“I just live across. This is my girlfriend Melissa. And this is Mercy, a friend of mine.”
Melissa went mum as they begun the journey to Mulindi’s house.
“ Well, this is awkward, Mulindi think of something.”
“Mercy let us first get home. We are going to have a wonderful time.”
They walked the next five minutes in silence as Mulindi led the way. The walk felt long and painful. Mercy was sweating, as she concentrated on her phone.
At the house Mulindi cooked, they ate and played video games which warmed them up into a conversation and later in the evening he had to take them to the stage. Melissa was the first to go and she left Mercy.
“Hey, you could have just sent me away, no hard feelings.”
“You are the one who ambushed me, anyway it is an afternoon well spent. Thank you for coming. The house was tense even before you texted. I’m sure what we had with Melissa is over, your presence was the last chance and I failed to handle it.”
“Aren’t you going to fight for your love?”
“I was but it is not worth it plus things had to change. I’m sorry for having to hear this. So why today, why did you choose to come over today?”
“I was bored and my friend from this end was busy, I’m going sleep at her house. Thank you for the time.”
“It was great having you. Bye.”
She looked at him as the Matatu disappeared into the next corner. She felt the urge she had the first time they met.
Mulindi was almost home, it had been two hours since he began the walk. As he crossed the road, his phone rang. Mercy was calling; he ignored the first two and then picked the third. He knew how relentless she can be and she was not going to stop unless he talked to her.
Her voice charmed him like from the first time they met.
“Why did you leave my eyes closed?”
“I didn’t want to see you cry.”
“It is okay, I’m not crying. Why did you do that? Why today? I invited you for a date and you left me brokenhearted.”
“It was bound to happen, I only hastened the process. The feel, the emotions were no longer there. We were just doing this for the sake of it; the intensity had long been worn out. No matter what we did, the passion was lost, love.”
“This is not how it’s supposed to be. I still love you, in fact I need you.”
“Don’t you think it is a little late for that? You had the time and tonight it is just too late. It’s done.”
“If you say so, go but know that I loved you.”
“Saying that is easier than showing. Haven’t you realized that from the first day we decided to be together it has always been squabbles upon squabbles even on trivial matters? I’m sorry but you are too petty for liking.”
“We have been in this for a little over six months, you could have gotten used to it by now.”
“Being a great boyfriend is work like any other; you have to put in the hard work, discipline, commitment and be alert for compliments, soothing and support. I did my best but you never tried. I’m only human and at some point I anticipate even a little reciprocate of what I do.”
“I’m sorry; I now understand what we had. It is too precious to lose.”
“You had your chance, love. It is now gone. I will move on, no harm no fuss. You have made me numb to seeing goodness in people. You recall those days that you went silent for no apparent reason then pop up as if nothing happened, you kept a lot to yourself forgetting we were a team.”
“I was not used to sharing what I was going through but you have helped me a great deal.”
“Yes, I know you wanted somebody you could look up to but I am not that person. I wanted someone I could go ahead with. It will be well love just keep breathing.”
Mercy was going in for an answer as the call was disconnected. She recalled how her father ignored her from the day she began noticing things. The guy was not ready to listen to her; he did not care about what she did or what she wanted to do. He always looked at her as a plague. It was until later that she realized her mother was pregnant with her at a time his father was out of the country for business for almost three years. The father came home to find a one year old daughter.
Mercy had tried to get a replacement but it was all in the wrong places. She had been in fifteen relationships but this one with Mulindi was too long and precious for her to lose. She had to find a way even if it meant healing or collecting herself first. He was a great deal of a man to her. She decided to dust herself and in doing so water down any part of her that had been turned to dust by pain, being ignored, being around those who mocked her , being around those who used her and those who just hurt her to get back to sins she didn’t know existed. She was ready to recollect and build her empire but first she was to be a person.