“Christmas Day” by Jade Kankam.

I still remember the feeling I got when we talked. When I thought of you. When I was with you. When you texted me, I wonder if you smelt it too. The scent of desperation and hope. My desperation and hope. Clamouring at my insides, the gut feeling that something was wrong. Slowly pervading and eating my insides until it’d wormed its way up into my mind, and before I knew it I was affected with the parasite of depression. I knew you were wrong for me. I knew you were happy with someone else as I sat there alone, hoping, praying, that I was the only one you were texting. But in the midst, of all the ‘last seens’ on whatsapp and “delivered/read” ‘s I knew that wasn’t true. And I was right. So what was it? Was she prettier than me? Was she smarter? Does she make you laugh until you stomach hurts like I did? Did she make you mix CDs and share the same taste in music with you? Did she look at you like maybe, maybe you were magic, because you were too good to be true? Did she, did she, did she? Or was it me? Maybe I just wasn’t good enough. Maybe you’re not supposed to let on how much you like your interest. Is that it? What did you want? I’d have been willing to do anything to make you happy.

I remember last year this time. I was crazy about you. We talked constantly, we sang to each other; heck one of us ended where the other began- one in the same. I missed you. It pains me to admit it but sometimes I still do. I miss your goofy grin and baby beard and caramel skin. It took me a long time to get over you. Slowly but surely, I weaned myself off spending copious amounts of time daydreaming about you. It worked. Now you’re just a vague shadow of a past relationship.

I didn’t mean to hurt you. I really didn’t. It was Christmas Day after all. I was so angry, Obinze, understand me. I saw. I saw you…roaming around with that scantily clad tart in the passenger’s seat, knowing very well what that what she had wasn’t hers to play with. Groping her, feeling her ‘womanhood’, lightly veiled beneath that cheap chiffon. Nobody should have been tasting you but me. You were an exquisite three course meal, and I wasn’t about to share. ” Chop time, no friend”, some would say.

I drove over to your house that day with the intention of talking to you. I wanted to know why Obinze, that’s all. Why? But that question still remains unanswered. Things got out of hand. Before I could fathom what was going on, you were shouting profusely. The air was choked with anger. Your anger. Why were you angry? You were at fault. So why were you angry? Why did you try to hit me? Why did you run towards me? Why did I push you? Why did you fall?

Those 5 seconds were the longest of my life. I watched you slip from the bannister in slow motion, frantically waving your hands, trying to grab mine. Ironic isn’t it? That you’d want to hold my hand then, after doing quite the opposite is what got you in that situation in the first place. But I still couldn’t catch you. And with a loud thud, I heard your skull clink against the what-had-been-white marble floors. You bled profusely, eyes open, mouth closed. Your blood snaked through the tiles, staining them crimson. And I fled.

“Did you hear about Ronke and Kayode’s son? What a shame. Such a promising future. Yet he killed himself. The devil is always trying to attack us sha but in 2014 we will bind all such forces against us”, they say. Similar comments fill the graveyard as we stare down at your casket. Suicide, apparently. The service is short and sweet and then we bid you farewell. You are lowered into a vast hole in which you will perpetually sleep. Soon, you are nothing more than a patch of soil and headstone. “12 January 1985- December 25th 2013”.

Happy new year, Obinze. Rest in peace.

-YM

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