Her words dazed you, tied your tongue and toyed with your mind. Her pronouncement was herculean to process – she probably noticed that you were lost for words. Your face, a blank sheet of paper, bearing no ink of countenance. You were orbiting in a solitary realm, actually standing – but were you really standing before her? A part of you wished she would say “April fool!” or the equivalent of the exclamation for December – Ember fool, December fool, or any fool that meant she was only joking when she broached the break-up.
Out of the blues, you had burst into laughter. It shocked Fatima and you even more. You could not proffer a reasonable explanation for your laughter. She smiled hopefully, waiting for you to say something, but you kept staring – maybe you were staring at her as she thought, or into nothingness – you had no idea yourself. Your tongue found its bearing, but you could not control it. It rolled out words that drew you out of your wool-gathering.
“Really‽” you asked.
Fatima nodded in affirmation.
“Then so be it,” you heard yourself say.
Your statement nearly drove her out of her element. She stared at you, unable to admit that you said what you did. Silence turned your meeting into a marketplace for seconds that reeled into minutes.
Neither of you found any words until an acquaintance expelled the silence.
“Fati et Fati,” he hailed.
You smiled, and Fatima did the same as you both waved him ‘hello’ without any words.
Without taking off her ersatz smile, she cleared her throat.
“It’s a goodbye then. Good luck finding the one for you,” she said, turning to leave.
Her reaction reeked volumes of reluctance, but you were too messed up to decipher it.
Instead, you muttered, “I wish you the same.”
She took a quick look at you – disappointment and regret sat on her comely lips.
You were sure you dealt the wrong cards but did not know how to undo your almost-instinctive moves. As usual, she took the path beside you as if she wanted to give you the customary ‘see you later’ side-hug. You stood still, hoping your cologne would convince her that your love for her was the Mayor of the county you call your heart – she got you the first bottle as a gift; although you told her you did not like ‘For Her’, you wore bottle after bottle for her. She sidestepped you as if she had a last-minute rethink, and you realised the game was over.
“Babes,” you called her.
You wanted to say something and convince her to call off the charade.
“Yes,” she turned, eager.
Her eyes besought you to beg her to reconsider her decision, but your words betrayed you.
“Never mind,” you dismissed her with a wave.
She nodded dejectedly and continued walking.
“Goodbye,” you added – the only word your tongue caught.
“Goodbye.” she echoed and trod on without looking back.
to be continued…
Do you think Bolaji will beg her to reconsider her decision?
Do you think their relationship has met its end?
What else do you think?
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P.S: This work is purely fictional. Any semblance to real persons (living or dead), places, or events are merely figments of the writer’s attempt at keeping in touch with reality.