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She lay on her back, facing the ceiling. Her eyes were heavy. She was quiet, unmoving; her outward appearance portraying serenity and calm. But the irregular tempo of her heartbeat, and the tears that threatened to spill, told a different story.

She yearned for him; her Ima. She longed to plant a kiss upon his soft lips, and stare into his deep set eyes… Those eyes that drew her in, and hypnotized her. He had become a part of her, the only one she confided in; her best friend, her muse, and a day without him was harrowing. It had been three weeks since he was away…

Now the love sickness was unbearable. She didn’t want to see anyone else, just him. She didn’t have appetite for food anymore, didn’t want to do anything until he returned. She had seen her mother looking at her with worried eyes… poor mother, she was so worried, but she knew she would be fine… when he returned.

She needed to see him, more than anything. She thought about going to him. She had considered it for a long time… she would leave a note for them, explaining why she had to go… Mother would be distraught, but she knew she couldn’t stay here anymore…

*                             *                             *                             *

She stirred when she felt someone enter the room. She didn’t want to turn around; it would be mother, or her brother, Kamsi, coming to check up on her again. She kept on facing the ceiling, until she heard the person call her name, so quietly… in a soft baritone voice that she could only recognize to be his… HIS!!  He was here!  He had come for her. She couldn’t believe her eyes. She ran to him, and he enveloped her in his arms… those strong arms that she had missed for so long.

They sat together on her bed, with her back snugly resting on his chest, and talked, and talked. She had become a blooming rose again, her eyes glistened, and she looked truly beautiful. She enjoyed grazing her cheeks against his beard, while he played with her fingers, and sang to her, a song of lovers who had missed each other, who were happy to be together…

But then it was time, and he had to go. She had to understand, he could only visit her for a little while before he was called back. Her countenance changed. She hesitated for a while, and finally nodded. She understood.

Just as he was about to leave, she said,

“Ima, what if I want to come there, to be with you; so you never have to leave?”

Tenderly, he raised her chin and look into her eyes…

“Don’t do it, my love; stay with your family. They need you more.”

She tiptoed, and drew her lips closer to his’

“Promise me, that you’ll be fine, and that you’ll visit often.”

He looked at her sadly; his love… his flower.

“I’ll be fine, my love.”

He covered the distance between their lips, and sealed his promise with a searing kiss. She felt it deep in her soul; it was a kiss that echoed his love for her; that consolidated hers for him. A kiss she would carry in her heart forever; that made everything okay…They kissed until she could feel herself no more; until everything became a haze…. Until she started hearing voices far away…

*                    *                                                *                                             *

She opened her eyes, as she slowly became conscious of someone calling her name. She turned to see her mother sitting on her bed, worried out of her mind. Why did mother look so worried? Where was her Ima? She told her mum that he had been here a few minutes ago, that he had come to see her, but she couldn’t find him anymore…. Her mother looked at her, heartbroken, and said,

“He’s not coming back, Nma, he is dead.”

The threatening tears quietly glided down her cheeks, wetting her collarbone. She didn’t notice them, didn’t call them back. She just let them flow.

*                                             *                                             *                                             *

Olujie Mabel


2 Comments on "IN HIS WAKE…"

  1. This writer … She doesn’t just make u read it but feel it! Pure Empathy

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