Cruelty is Life
I woke to a terrible feeling, a feeling of isolation, loneliness I’ve never felt before. I dragged my palms from my forehead to the my jaw in an attempt to clear the sleep off my face. My bed seemed wider than usual, the sheets were scattered like a fight occurred on it. On my right side two empty bottles of whiskey lay on the floor; on my left, pieces of shattered glasses littered the floor.
I tried to cough but the nerves on my forehead spiralled, the pain was like that of a hammer crushing my brain cells, acids scourging my stomach, tearing intestines to shreds, all these pains couldn’t substitute for my fractured heart.
I tried to move but dizziness possessed me, I remembered her call last night, how lovely the conversation was until it wasn’t, how lively her giggles made me feel until she dropped the bomb, a bomb of a statement that took my breath away. It wasn’t April yet, why such prank I had asked with a reeling laughter.
“I’m not joking,” she had said with her tone of seriousness which I was accustomed to, she had to be kidding me, right? Or how do you deliver such a message via a phonecall, a message tearing the eyes and ripping the heart apart.
“I’m no longer interested, honey. Count me out,” she voiced with a tone of finality.
Steam came out of my ears, my squinted eyes turned red, I could see my veins popping out of my skin but I kept calm, she wanted to air her reasons, I hushed her and entreated with a soothing voice.
“Come over to me place tomorrow, let’s talk things out, I won’t force you baby, I just need you to state your reasons in person.”
“Okay.” She hung up.
It’s 3:00 PM. I had called the office to notify them of my absence, and I sat on my couch having thought out my plans.
Then I heard a knock, it definitely must be her. She was the one but had her friend for company, I ushered them in with a little frown but deep inside I knew her arrangement was impeccable for my plans, she saw the disappointment on my face and smiled.
“I’m playing safe, hun,” she said.
I motioned for her friend to sit on the sofa as I had something important to discuss, I led her into the bedroom, a territory she knew so well. As she wriggled her waist I wondered if that was how I’ll lose out at the sumptuous meal beckoning on me to have a taste, the urge to have her at the moment surfaced but I had other pressing issues to deal with, her friend also was there to make sure she was safe.
In the bedroom, we had to leave the door slightly open—her decision. She sat at the edge of the bed, the light in her eyes shone a million stars, she spewed the words again to my hearing. I could tell that hearing it directly pierced my soul too deep, incompatibility her only reason for calling it off. I stepped into character as an actor would, I grovelled at her feet with tears cascading, phlegm dripping, sweats forming and mouth speaking softly to drive my pleas home.
I reminded her of our memories together, our plans for the future, the day I proposed and how shocked she was when she saw the ring in her glass, how she accepted and kissed me passionately, how we meet each other’s parents; the pranks and silly questions we were asked before fixing the date, how much we’ve lost in resources, things at stake and how much I loved her.
She listened but never budged, she pulled her engagement ring and placed it on my hand, I swallowed hard but proceeded to ask her the last question.
“Honey, why do you have to find out that we’re incompatible just ten days to our wedding?”
“I knew all the while, I was only afraid to make the decision,” she said and stood up to leave. “I’m sorry hun.”
“Don’t be sorry babe, it’s alright , I figured out myself too, thanks for the taking the initiative,” I said with sincerity written all over my face.
She should have known that for a jealous lover like me to accept her decision with little fight, there had to be a catch, but no, she was astonished, happy and relieved. All these expressions showing on her face in the space of three seconds. She even pecked my cheek with hot kisses.
There, I realized she had no discerning spirit and I couldn’t have married her. We walked out to the sitting room with smiles on our faces to the utmost confusion of her friend.
“Let’s toast to our new found truth” I said and handed her the champagne bottle, as she tried to uncork the bottle I made a rush to get some glasses from the kitchen, if only she knew that the liquid in her glass wasn’t remnants of water from the rinsing of the glasses but a tasteless, odourless and colourless chemical assigned to devour her intestines. She wouldn’t have taken three gulps of the champagne in quick succession.
Minutes later, they rose to leave, I escorted them to the door with the option of staying longer, but of course they never took the bait. I led them to the car and watched as they drove off.
“If I can’t have you Cynthia, no one will,” I uttered while waving goodbye to them.