My alarm went off somewhere far away, dragging me rather unwillingly back to reality.
“…makes me feel like I can’t live without you…”
Groggily, I reached out from underneath my blanket to turn it off, but the bugger remained elusive.
“..it takes me all the way…”
“I’m up” I announced, more out of habit than because I had company. What’s that thing they say again about old habits?
“…I want you to stay..”
Finally, I found my phone and turned off my alarm. It has been exactly three months, ten days, and eight hours since he left, I know this because I have been counting, and for everyday that he doesn’t come back to me, I add another hundred Naira note to my piggy bank.
I know he’ll be back, and when he does, I’ll buy whatever bowl size of ice cream the money can buy, and we’ll share, just like old times.
That is my plan, that is how I get through everyday. That is how I’ll get through today.
Taking three calming breaths, I swung my legs off the bed and went to get ready for my day, and not without a lot of trepidation.
I almost tripped on a dusty pair of denim pants tossed carelessly at the foot of the bed, but, I didn’t stop to pick it up.
Mornings are always the hardest, and it is a major miracle that I survive them, day in, day out. Or, maybe I don’t, damn, this kind of disorientation is the reason why I need a good dose of caffeine every morning. Okay, I’m not being entirely truthful. I drink coffee mostly because he used to drink it, and I have become accustomed to the smell of coffee around the house every morning. And who knows when he might decide to return?
Just as I was fetching the coffee bag, a loud, intrusive knock on my door interrupted my morning routine. I stopped what I was doing for a while, hoping the person will realize that they have made a mistake and leave. I was after all not expecting any visitors. Instead, the knocking increased and became even more forceful. With an exaggerated sigh, I decided to go answer the door. I don’t want to add, ‘fix the door’ to my list of expenses this month.
“I’m coming!” I yelled at the door.
“Hey, Jose! Girl, what took you so long to open the door?” my oldest friend, Stella said when I opened the door, and I blanched.
While she was going on about why I wasn’t picking her calls, I allowed my mind do a quick recap of our last conversation, and I certainly don’t recall asking her to come down to see me.
“What are you doing here?” I finally managed to say.
“Girl, that’s what you’re going to say? Out of my way, I’m freezing my ass out here.” she barreled past me into my own apartment, and I turned around to find her pulling the blinds and letting the early morning sun in, muttering to herself about why anyone will want to live in darkness.
I took several deep breaths before I closed my door and went to join her. I love the girl, I really do, but she can be rather overbearing, and it is for that very reason I have been avoiding her calls. Everybody’s, actually.
“What are you doing here, Stella?” I asked, trying and failing to keep the edge out of my voice.
“Well, it’s nice to see you too, honey Do I get a hug, at least?” She opened her arms for a hug, and I stiffly hugged her back.
“You have not been eating well, sweetie. I can feel your clavicles poking me.”
“What are you doing here?” this time around, my voice lost it’s edge.
I have never understood the desire to be around people when you are hurting, or healing. They always think you need to be around people that ‘make you feel good’, and receive hugs and what not. I don’t understand it. Being around people drains me, it sparks off different memories that just leaves me weak. And going out to hang out? Oh, hell no! Everything I see reminds me of what I’ve lost- even if it’s temporarily, but I still don’t want to have my face rubbed in it.
Home, home is safe. I work from home, and thank God for the internet, I don’t need to go to any physical store. Home is where I’ll be when he returns.
“You can’t go on like this, Jo. You look like a shadow. Everyone is worried about you , and you’ll not talk to anyone.” she finally replied, throwing her hands up in frustration.
“There is nothing to talk about. This is a phase, and it will be over soon.” I said stubbornly.
“Oh, God. Your mum was telling the truth.” she exclaimed, an expression of horror spread itself across her face like Nutella.
“About what?” I queried, wrapping my arms around my body.
“He didn’t break up with you, Jo.” she said softly, the Nutella dripping away from her face as her face relaxed.
“I know that.”
“Are you sure? Because you sound like he’s coming back”
“He is. He will.”
“He’s dead, Josephine. Not lost, dead.”
Score: Stay, by Rihanna
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