It had become a weekly habit, something I looked forward to, and something that was truly mine, not mine and anyone else’s but my one pleasure. Every week, I got to meet with him. Although the last meeting was a very difficult one, I hope I was not too rude or too forward, it has been three weeks now and I miss him dearly.
He is very difficult to describe, not difficult in the sense of his physical characteristics, that is easy – he was tall, dark, handsome. Cliché I know, but so true in this case. It was his blessing and his curse. Women wanted to be around him, they wanted to be with him. He never had to chase them, why, everyone liked something good, and in Nigeria where the ratio of women to men is so high, you can imagine that he had it very good.
But he chose me. Okay, let me make this clear. Ours was not a sexual relationship. Not at all. There was not even a hint of that, but the time we spent together, I felt he was truly mine, in the sense that I had a part of him that none of these women could have. They could never dream to have, and that is what made our weekly meetings so special.
I guess I should also describe some of his inner characteristics. Now this part is quite difficult, as I don’t think he liked to reveal his inner thoughts, inner mind. Or perhaps he had not fully come to discover who he was, I guess with the constant distractions of the female sex, that might have been difficult to get time to reflect on who he was and what he was about, and what he wanted to get out of life, and so, he coasted.
Or so I thought, but like I said, in the last nine years or so, I feel I have gotten much closer to him. Prior to that, I knew him, and I was close to him, but in a sort of distant way. Now, it really is just me and him, no interruptions, no distractions, my one weekly pleasure.
Okay, let me get into the format of our meetings, I don’t actually have to book an appointment with him, I just go, okay sometimes he’s not available as he’s busy or otherwise occupied, but that is okay, I can’t really schedule an appointment with him as he has no mobile phone or no email address, he is weird like that, so it has to be old-school style, I go when I want to see him, and when he is free, he sees me, and when he is not, I try to go back the next day, but we have to see, every week. Unfailingly. I start to miss him if I don’t. My week is incomplete without him.
Occasionally, he visits. I guess this means he misses me too. I always make time for him when he comes. Always. I love him too much.
But you might be wondering why he has not agreed to see me in the past three weeks. Well, let me tell you a bit about our meetings, when I go to his place, I go straight upstairs, to his living room, or his bedroom. Sometimes he is lying down, you see, he had recently been very ill, and I thought I would lose him, I visited him every week, for a year, and he was just there, lying on the bed, very weak, very fragile, the tall, towering person was now purely horizontal, that was a harsh blow to deal with and made me question my own mortality, and the fragility of our existence. Those meetings were painful. Painful as I could hardly hear him but I knew he felt my presence, and I guess that must count for something.
Sometimes, he was sleeping, and I just looked on and cried, quietly, I did not want him to hear me cry, I had to be strong for the both of us.
But something changed in the last six months, he became stronger, he became fuelled, he started to walk again, slowly. Well, he had always walked slowly, he had a limp, ever since the car accident following his brother’s wedding – he was driving back home, the police stopped him and asked him to come out and open his boot, it was late, the roads were badly lit, another car racing down did not see him, and drove straight into him, causing his leg to be amputated. The driver sped off, the police ran away, and there he was. Lying helplessly in the dark. I always wondered whether the driver that hit him had attended the same wedding, but that is another story.
Istarted to enjoy our meetings when he became stronger, but then something else happened. He became busy, people who had not visited him when he was too weak were now paying homage, I guess it is the thing about the human condition, we don’t like to be associated with the weak but we like to be associated with the strong. Something about the survival gene perhaps. I don’t know. But he became busier, although I guess he also looked forward to our meetings, we would escape to the garden together. His garden. The garden he built, with his hands. He had a love for nature you see, and the garden was a sensual pleasure, different colours of different plants and shrubs and herbs, and trees, it pleasured all the senses: smell, eyes, and spirit. Some imes, if we were lucky, we would see butterflies flying about, going about their daily business of pollination, unhindered, freedom. Free.
That is how we felt when we walked in the gardens. We did not talk much, we just seemed to enjoy one another’s company. I guess he felt free too, like the butterflies. I loved it. I had him to myself, all to myself, usually, until one of his many friends called to visit, and he had to see them. This was the thing, he was too polite to decline a visitor. Too polite. That was another blessing, and a curse.
All was going well in my wonderland, until last month. I really don’t know what happened. It was not planned. I had not planned it but it came out. I accused him of being a bad person. I accused him of using women and not taking a stronger hold of his life and what his life should be about. I accused him of favouritism, I accused him. I accused him. All I did was accuse him. The one man I have ever truly loved unconditionally, and I spent 4 hours. Yes 4 hours, accusing him.
He was patient. He provided me with answers, he apologised. But it was a little too late, the damage had been done, all the relationships he had broken over the years, being an inactive participant in his own life. Allowing life to just happen, not taking control. I guess the silence means he was uncomfortable with our conversation. Perhaps I stirred up too many memories in him, or perhaps he is reflecting on them.
Idon’t know. I have stopped visiting him, I hope he comes to visit again.
My dreams are incomplete without him.