I sat in the little cringed up, dim-lit room as I waited for the priest. Sunrays were entering through cracked spaces leaving a lingering shimmering effect that drew silhouettes of ghosts on the wall. I fidgeted a little to fit comfortably on the chair as I peeked through the meshed small opening between me and the next empty room.
I took a deep breath in and started having second thoughts. This was my first time to come into this room and it felt like waiting for the disciplinarian in the staffroom. The priest took his time.
“What are you doing here?” My inner voice kicked off a conversation.
“I came to confess my sins.”
“Do you think this is going to help you feel good?”
“No, but I have to get this off my chest. I have to tell someone and talking to the priest is the best way out after all they will not share with anybody. A safe bet I may say.”
“You do know if you are to change or in any way sort out your feelings you have to talk to the one who elicits them.”
“I can’t do that to her, don’t you see how happy she is?
“I can see that but she is living a lie, Caleb. You owe it to her, to tell her how you feel. No matter how painful it will be. Just tell her.”
“I can’t do that to her. She has been through a lot.”
“Are you happy?”
Before I could contribute, the priest stepped into the other room. He was ready to receive me.
“What brings you here my son?”
“I am here to confess I think.”
“Well, whenever you are ready.”
“How do we do this father? Do I share my problems then we pray or we reflect upon them?”
“Are you saved my son?”
“I was but I have backslid.”
“Well, I am here to listen to you and help you find your way to the Lord for absolution.”
“Okay then that might really help me. Should I start?”
“Okay, I don’t know what is happening but I am falling out of love with her.”
“Who are we talking about?”
“Ooh, my wife. We have been married for the past nine months, three of which I took care of her while she was ailing.”
“I met her a year ago during one of those walks from town back when the governor was trying to get Matatus out of the CBD. She was dressed in a short, black flared dress with a pair of black flat shoes that absorbed her short gait even further. I had bumped into her thus prompting a sorry as she turned ready to curse. I smiled wickedly and covered the smile with an apology. The little chat did find its way into dinner dates and planned lunches that we had as I went by my daily duties. She was great.”
“Then what happened that you falling out of love with her now?”
“After four months of meeting her, Angela was admitted, she had these serious cramps that drained her to the point of fainting. I visited her the second week as she was recovering. In the one week we have been apart, Angela had lost weight such that the sheets and the blanket around her did not hide the protruding bones. She was frail. As she breathed in, I could see her ribcage rise and fall. I held back my tears as they welled up in my eyes. I could feel their hot stings in my eyes. I closed my eyes for a minute in a bid to control them. Angela looked at me and smiled. She was staying strong for both of us. I sat down in silence as I looked into the future. She was the girl I loved and the future seemed bleak. A moment later the doctor came in with her results, she was developing stage three cervical cancer that was slowly becoming metastatic.”
“You must have been devastated.”
“I remained seated not to faint as I try to stay strong. Angela looked at me, tears rolling down her now bony cheeks, her breathes were shorter as she resorted to sobbing. I sat there knowing not what to do or say. I had never seen anyone suffering from cancer so close plus I didn’t know what the next steps will be. The doctor went on explaining how they were intending to help her, treat her in a bid to control the spread and cure her. Angela and I were lost in our own worlds.
I could see Angela in a wedding dress smiling as she walked down the aisle as I waited for her at the altar. She was energetic. Her movements were full of power as she savored the moment. My heart stood for a second to take in the whole magnificent view before the doctor brought us back asking for a consultation with her next of kin.
Her parents had gone for a break and her sister had not yet arrived. I stood as I went to talk to her. She was insisting I fill in for her after all she asked, ‘You do love me, right?’. How was I going to refuse that? I agreed that I loved her but her family was the one to handle this one. We waited for her kin as we sat in silence.”
“She begun her treatment after a month which was to allow ample time for financial plans, I chipped in what I could. I helped the best way I could. Her family seeing my commitment asked what I wanted with their daughter. I obviously wanted a life with her. As the treatment went on, Angela seemed to grow worse. Her body was not so responsive. This led to more financial strains and I had to chip in more. I remember one evening the father stating that if the end goal is to marry her daughter then with the help, I was offering I should consider myself pardoned from paying the bride price.
I talked to Angela every day before I went home and each day she had resolved to let go of life. She had despaired to the point that she just wanted to go and abandon the suffering she was undergoing, the pain and the emotional hurt. Her frail body had undergone major changes; from losing hair, to increased weakness and her exposed bone structure. I remember one day I caught her looking at herself in the mirror naked as tears rolled down. She was going through a lot.
We talked of things she will miss as the conversation took us there. We talked of dreams she will leave unachieved. Then I asked if there was one thing, I could do for her. She wanted to be married via a church wedding. I thought about it for a while and decided to have her achieve this one thing. After all, I had already paid the bride price.
A month went by and we got hitched in the most beautiful wedding as Angela puts it. She was the happiest I had seen her in a while. We went for our honeymoon at the hotel next to her hospital. The first seven days we spent together as a married couple were heavenly. On the last day, Angela collapsed prompting another admission. This time round she started responding to the treatment.
Two months later, Angela was healed as we held thanksgiving at her church. It was wonderful to see her walk and eat with anxiousness. I watched her eat at the event with satisfaction but at the same time my stomach sunk in as I came to realize over time, I was growing to hate her.”
“Why did it come so sudden?”
“I don’t know father. I have tried to make sense of what I am feeling for the past three months.”
“Do you know what you bare feeling?”
“Yes, I hate her. I loather her. Am I a bad person for loving her in the short time she was sure she will be dying the next time? I guess I loved her so much knowing that tomorrow she may not be alive. I don’t know what gave me comfort. The fact that she was going to die or the fact that I am only to love her for a short while.”
“Wow. I cannot judge you. Why do you hate her?”
“She just annoys me and the fact that we are married and I will have to spend my life with her probably the next 40 or so years. I can’t take it anymore.”
“Why haven’t you told her how you feel?”
“She is so happy. She says that she has never been so fulfilled. I don’t want to see that fade. Why do my feelings have to come in her way of happiness? I mean, if I am to be forever unhappy and she remains the happiest she could, then my coffin is sealed.”
“Why are you here son?”
“I came to let this off my chest and now that I have, I guess goodbyes are in order. How do we do this? Do I just stand and leave or do I do a hug gesture and then leave?”
“We are not yet done. You have said your part and now it is my turn.”
“Okay. I am waiting Father.”