I should never have let him leave. If I had known he would break his promise, I would never have let him go. In my naivety, I had embraced his vow like an unfortunate fish swallows the bait and here I lie, pulled ashore with a hook stuck in my throat. Sun rays mercilessly unleash strokes on me and I am dehydrated beyond recognition.
When will he return to me? Our home has fallen into pandemonium and our children are at loggerheads. Anarchy is the order of the day and horror reigns supreme at night. We are encompassed by sedition in the East, treachery in the West and an eerie wind of hostile takeover blows from the South. From the North, I hear gongs of war and a not so distant stampede of hordes. They are closing in on us with the breaking of each dawn. Our children are starving, staples have become rare gems and vegetables have received the Midas touch.
I sit at the pivot of the cardinal, holding my breath till you return. The morning time has made my throat parch, the noon saps my energy and by the evening, my clothes are threadbare, but still I wait. Sometime ago, from the capital territory, emissaries came with tidings that gave me an ember of hope. Brace yourself, they urged, and prepare for the return of your boo but my heart was again broken, as rumours of the postponement of your arrival filtered in via careless whispers from the boisterous Northern wind.
While I waited, the emissaries came and confirmed the rumours. That bit of information I could handle, but when I asked them the duration of your delay with a hesitant smile, they scurried off to mask their irking cluelessness. Agitation welled up in my heart. What could be happening to my boo, I pondered? You said you needed some alone time which of course you are entitled to. You said you had plans to find your muse and return rejuvenated. You were to come back as a cornucopia of witty inventions, ideas that would make our home the envy of every other.
Alas, it is now hummed in rhetoric that I was hoodwinked and your frailty was the reason you left. While I am yet perturbed over the circumstances surrounding your sourjourn, I stand face to face with the reality of having no hint about your whereabouts, the state of your health and when you will return to our home.
There is foreboding in the air and the feeling is strangely familiar. Could this be a déjà vu? Now I am ransacking my memory to find answers. You wouldn’t be the first to treat me in this manner. It happened before…Yes; it was half a dozen and two years ago since I got my heart trodden upon this way. He also walked and not for once did he glance back. How it hurt; I writhed in agony as I watched him walk away and the distance between us expanded till he disappeared into immortality. For months, I was consumed with agony, waiting for a love that had transited but I never saw him again and another took his place.
You, however, came with a scintillating proposal and a promise of change. I was skeptical. I didn’t want to be a fool again because I had been loved by you before. While I didn’t have a choice the first time, this other time, it would be different but you wouldn’t take NO for an answer – three times you tried and by the fourth time, I succumbed.
Euphorically, you assured me you had become a converted democrat and what I feared wouldn’t surface. Old things have passed away, all has become new and again, your caucus vouched for you. They insisted you were the only one that could bring back my maiden beauty. They described me as an old maid that had been raped and ravaged by the last scoundrel I loved but I wasn’t swayed. In my heart, I remembered your lack of generosity or benevolence and how I wallowed in austerity when you first loved me. With the broom you swore that in this dispensation, our relationship would be an epic romance and with the same broom, you swept the children, who didn’t know you as I did, off their feet with bogus promises. You swore to make my life, our home and the lives of all our children – those we had during the military regime and the ones you adopted by virtue of rekindling our love, the envy of this planet.
The children believed you… they would swim naked across the Antarctic Ocean for you; all you have to do is ask. They would walk on burning coals for you, not minding the burns and blisters because they were certain your love would translate into N5000 monthly allowances for the unemployed, three square meals for pupils, millions of job opportunities… Alas, their hearts are as broken as mine for I am yet to exchange the dollar at the rate you promised and I practically have become Hade’s roommate as power generation hit rock bottom and pump price escalated while loving you.
Today is Valentine’s Day and this relationship is almost two years old but you simply walked out and left us out to dry… I have no idea where you are, the children are asking questions and I have nothing to give them save for flimsy, messy excuses. We cannot afford bread not to talk of valentine cakes or chocolates but I will keep waiting for my boo to return. I will endure the sun, the rain or the wraiths that may frighten me at the dead of the night to see this charade come to an end. For my children’s sake, I will not waver, I will remain dogged and when this wait is over, we shall love again.