I’m sure you have heard of stories of people being left at the altar. I imagine it must be gut-wrenching. The groom has it rough because he will be stood up. The bride a no-show. Ego bruised for life. However, where the groom gets an epiphany and realizes that he is making a mistake while he is looking at his wife to be there are no words to describe the anguish that lays upon her. The bride in her white dress- symbolizing whatever it is supposed to symbolize- is forced to watch the man of her dreams walk away from her as she helplessly stands by. Ouch! She should have stayed awake. I have been left before. Just once. Not that I’m keeping score but I thought I should put it out there. It hurt but I did not really feel the sting until I told the story to my best friend at the time and she asked,
“Why did she have to do it at the morgue?”
This is a personal blog for those of you who may not know. I realized that I haven’t been very vulnerable and my excuse is I am a man. We wear impregnable armor. Ego issues I guess. I have only let you peep through the tinted glass that is my person once or twice so I think it’s about time I let you take another look. I am perched on a ledge, two floors up, staring at the shine of distant luminous lights in a town that sleeps a bit too early for my liking. I traveled home. Nairobi isn’t working out as I expected. Sipping on my second glass of cold milk as I type. The night air is cool. The breeze. Refreshing. I have been reflecting tonight. I would close my eyes and meditate but I might lose myself and fall to my demise and you would miss me. You don’t have to say it …ssshhh…I know you would.
Breakups and heartaches are inevitable in life if you plan on living. If on the other hand, you decide to stay in a glass bubble inside your house with no human contact then there is hope for you. In my experience (real relationships) there is no dumper/ dumpee just two heart-broken people who genuinely cared for each other but just can’t seem to make it work. Obviously, one is more gutted than the other but it takes a toll on both parties. That is my rationale anyway, I also don’t like how the word sounds.
Cliff, what happened to you and Fatma?
Man, I was dumped.
Haha. I knew she was too good for you. It’s about time she dumped your ass.
As you can see it looks and sounds cruel. Sadly, that is exactly what happened. My ass got dumped. She wasn’t called Fatma though. She bore my mother’s name. Anne. I broke one of my cardinal rules when we started seeing each other.
Thou shan’t get involved with a girl that bears the same name as your mother.
Look at me now. I have rules for a reason. I don’t break them anymore. I should get me one of those Fatma’s or Zainab’s. It sounds Coasterian. Women from the coast have a certain allure about them that I just can’t put my finger on.
Back to Anne. What can I say about her? It’s been ages. Hardly think of her these days. This is the result of reflecting. Note to self, think less. She had a wild spirit. I think it hid a tortured soul. Her eyes had cloudiness to them or maybe it was just the glare from her specs. She made me date her. An ultimatum of sorts. A was a strong kyuk mama that one. I was young and dumb and broke. Shout out to Khalid. We never really clicked. You know what I mean. It’s like we operated on different wavelengths. We were complete opposites. Maybe they do attract. I can tell you what she looked like. Men are visual creatures. Proof in the pudding. She was a tiny thing, barely 5 feet. Frail in a way. Delicate is what I should say. Pretty little features. Divine body. The bridge of her nose would crease when she laughed. The most flawless chocolate skin tone I have ever seen to date. She had beautiful long natural hair. Picture a sexy librarian of African origin in a bond movie. I hope time has been kind to her.
It was around election time 2013. The sun rays were hot as they often are in K.U. I believe the gods are punishing team light skin for their transgressions. The sun in Kenyatta university is unforgiving. I had noticed that Anne had been distancing herself from me over the election period. She wasn’t a particularly political person so I thought that maybe I had done something wrong because men always do something wrong. No point fighting it. It’s a fact of life. After elections, I came back bearing gifts. My residence was a ‘lavish’ hostel in school called ‘New Menengai’. Room 4. Things were simple back then. She had called me and told me she was going to pass by because she needed to talk to me. Like I said, I was young. I had no idea what that meant. High school flings fizzled out without much fuss. Natural death. I was excited to see her after the long break. Yes, men get excited too and not in that other way. I had grown to have affection for her. She had grown disinterested. Ironic.
It was around 3 pm I think. She came to my room and we embraced. The kiss felt empty. I paid no mind to it.
“Let’s take a walk,” she said
“I don’t know, where ever our feet take us.”
Off we went. I gave her the colorful beaded bracelet I bought for her. She smiled half a smile, her eyes dimmed and she thanked me. It was a beautiful bracelet. I wonder whether she kept it or threw it in a pile labeled ‘junk’. She apologized for being so distant. I thought it was heartfelt. I can’t be sure. We talked and walked. What about I don’t recall. The tone of the conversation was ominous. A palpable tension brewed. I can remember desperately searching for shade. She donned a black dress that day. The signs were all over I was just blind to them. I’m pretty sure there were ravens cawing overhead as we walked.
Our long walk ended at gate C. The Kenyatta University morgue. There used to be a food outlet and shaded benches that behind the morgue. I’m not sure there are anymore. I have never gone back to the scene of the incident. I may have been traumatized. Cue the minute maid. Orange. I hate orange. We sat and she faced me. Behind her was an oak tree with a thick stem. Patches of bark missing. Probably torn off. It had been hurt by someone. She looked straight into my eyes took a deep breath and then threw her head back. Her dark hair touching her shoulders.
“Why did you have to be pretty?” she said. Her voice unsettled. Shaky.
“Are you breaking up with me?”
She shook her head and I could see tears well up. I felt mine well up too. Must have been one of those infectious things like yawning. A long awkward silence followed. Forget pregnant pauses, this was the mother of the mother of all pregnant pauses. We just stared at each other. Lustful looks of longing gone and replaced by a steely-eyed glare.
I don’t want to but yes. I am. How did you know?
I didn’t know. I was just taking a wild guess. Not so wild now. I played it cool. Got my emotions in check and felt the tears subside. Sinking into the abyss.
“It was obvious. You weren’t being yourself.”
That was the best I could come up with. My mind froze. Call it writers block.
“So, what do you think?”
The nerve of this woman. How dare she ask me what I thought. What was I to think?? It wasn’t enough that she had crushed me and stomped on the pieces of my heart? Daughter of Eve. You doomed us all. What more pain must you inflict?! I wasn’t going to lose my shit. That would give her joy. To know that she had really hurt me. To know that I really cared.
“I agree with you.”
That’s all I said. I could see her eyes widen. She was shocked. Probably expected me to plead. No. No. I would rather bleed.
“You don’t have anything to say?”
I had plenty to say but none of it mattered. I had already met Jaz at the time and we had an instant connection. When God shuts a door, He opens a window is what they say.
“Don’t you even want to know why I’m breaking up with you?”
I had already established that we were not compatible so I figured that she had come to the same realization. I asked though. I’m a curious person, another reason why I don’t own any cats.
“Why are you breaking up with me?”
“The spark is gone. I don’t feel it anymore.”
I never felt it to begin with, from where I was sitting we both arrived at the beginning in the end.
“I’m glad that you were my first and not some weirdo.”
I didn’t think much of this statement five years ago but now it seems like she was taking me for a ride all along. Water under the bridge. I was dumped at the morgue by a girl wearing a black dress. It doesn’t get any more symbolic than that. Our relationship was dead.