This story was given to us by Phidelia Imiegha, ThePhidelia_ on Twitter. Please enjoy.
It was the year 2012. It was the dark year, the year disaster struck, the year everything went wrong, the year of failure, the year you cried yourself to sleep every night. You finally understood what the saying ‘when it rains, it pours’ meant. What started as a mild drizzle in January, had grown into a storm by June. You tried to find shade, but everywhere you ran to, the storm was worse. You felt like you were in a dark tunnel with no beginning or end; there was no light to look forward to. They say disaster happens in 3s but yours came in tens of thousands, or so it seemed to you.
And then you met him, in June, when summer started to slowly creep in and you decided to take a walk on a Saturday afternoon at the mall. Your eyes were bloodshot, puffy from crying all night, you knew you looked hideous but still he came to you. He talked to you for hours and suddenly you felt the intensity of the weight in your chest reducing. After that day, you saw him every day for two months; the entire summer. He found a way to pull you out of your misery; he made you talk. You told him everything that had happened that year: your mama’s suicide and the brothers of your mother who were harassing your father, and you told him about your fears about your father’s mental state; something you had never told anybody. He made you feel better, he gave you hope, he was the light at the end of the tunnel. He gave you pep talks; he prayed with you, gave you books and made you laugh. Even when you finally told him, with tears in your eyes, that you had failed the school year and didn’t know how to tell your father, he held you in his arms, kissed your tears and told you that you were strong, that failing didn’t make you a failure and he assured you that your father would feel the same way, he was right. That day, you realized you hadn’t cried all summer since that warm afternoon when you met him. He was perfect. On most days, you would go together to the beach and lay gazing at the sun and talking about your dreams, fears, hopes and regrets. He opened you up and made you embrace vulnerability in a way you never dreamed you will. You gave all to him, body and heart, and you gave them willingly. He was your light, afterall.
Then came autumn, the school year started and it was time for him to return to school, miles away. You promised to keep in touch, call each other every day, text each other, and make use of bbm, whatsapp and kik and countdown the days until he returned in December. You cried the day he left but he kissed you and told you he would love you forever. But as the leaves fell, so did your hopes. The calls were short and awkward. The texts were few and meaningless. You cried on the phone and he told you he was too busy, you couldn’t understand how he could change so much, how he could feel so loveless. You started skipping classes, failed tests, you even yelled at your dad. Once again, you had puffy eyes from crying. It dawned on you that he was never a gleam of light, he was just another of the disasters waiting to happen.
By December when he returned, he had stopped calling or texting completely and you saw him once at the mall, hands linked with a girl. You ducked; you couldn’t bear to face him with your swollen eyes. You went back home and you sat in the living room and cried for hours. You felt cold, inside and outside. Life was bleak and you were certain that your life had lost meaning. You saw no reason to keep living.
But then springtime came, and the flowers bloomed, the sun came back and the cold disappeared. A familiar feeling washed over you, the feeling of hope, of redemption. But this time it came from within you. As the trees regained their colour and once more, colourful flowers filled the walkways, your colour returned. Your eyes regained their glint, springtime brought you hope and once again, you felt happy. You danced with your father and on your mother’s one year memorial, you both had a quiet picnic by her grave. You were healed, redeemed, and free. You read somewhere that the concept of a soul mate, ‘the one’ was false, and that contrary to popular belief, you were bound to have several ‘the ones’ in your lifetime. It made you laugh, but that was it, it was what you needed to let go of the hurt in your heart and open yourself. It took time but soon you found peace within yourself, and in time, that epic flame that burned that summer became but a distant memory.