Monday came, the day most have been waiting for. Pens are all down onto their desks next their exam papers all waiting for the clock hands to be at 0800 hrs. There is absolute silence in the exam room that the only things that can be heard are the clock hands as they creep. Mels, Bay and everyone are all ready to start paving their future. They all are breathing heavily and every one can see their hearts beating.
“The time is eight o’clock, you may now start”…..that was the invigilators words and all that could be heard were pages being turned on. One can tell it was very difficult for some other students as they took long to attempt to a question but others tackle them with confidence.
Two hours is the time the first paper took and the invigilator asked them to stop. They then them the invigilators goes around from a desk to another collecting exam papers according to the candidate numbers making sure that there is no mistake or mix up. The weight they have been carrying on their chest wondering about how the exam would go is slowly going away as they have started.
It is the sixth day of the examination. It is now ten minutes past ten in the morning. Students are coming out of the exam room to the dining hall for breakfast. Mels is standing by the entrance waiting for Bay to come out. Everyone comes out but there is no sign of Bay. He switches on his cell phone and tries Bay’s phone. It doesn’t go through as she forgot to switch it on after she switched it off when she went into the exam room. His mind starts running round in circle. He takes a sit in a shade which is near the exam room. His mind is running round in circle.
‘Mels! Wasup!’ Some maintenance man says.
‘Oh hi there! I didn’t hear or see you coming in here.’ said Mels
‘You look million miles away, wassup? Is it the exam that’s making you so miserable?’
‘I just waited for Bay by the entrance and she never came out, I then tried her cell phone but couldn’t go through. I am now wondering if something bad happened to her. I never saw her this morning, I came in late.’
‘Are you talking about Bay Brittle?’
‘Yep! That’s the very same person I am talking about.’
‘Oh! I just saw her walking towards the staffroom; I think she was going to her office.’
‘Are you sure it’s her you saw?’
‘I am very much certain. Stop worrying, Bay is fine and nothing bad happened to her. Come on, stand up and go look for her.’
‘I really don’t know what just came to my mind. My mind stopped thinking when I couldn’t reach her on her cell phone. The idea of checking her at the office or trying talk to her best friend Clara never came to my mind. All I could think of where the bad that could have happened to her.’
‘Mmmh! You must be in love with her.’
‘Ummh! Yah, she is the only girl I dream of having a family with. I just love her and can’t stand anything bad to happen to her.’
‘You go my boy! She is every man’s dream. Make sure you pass, go to university and when you finish there, you marry her immediately before they snatch her from you.’
‘That’s my intention big bro. I won’t let anyone take her from me. Let me just go and see her…’
‘ Hey! Please don’t let her know that you found me here day dreaming about her. She would always make fun of me out of it. Please man!’
‘You can always count on me; your secret is safe with me.’
‘Thanks have a great day…’
THAT smile always does a trick on me, whenever I think of it. It always has a way of turning things the other way around. Alive I feel and want to live more. Courage I get and want to do good people can talk about. Wanted I always feel and cant shy away to beautify myself in front of a mirror. Loved I can tell and find it easy to show it back to those surrounding myself. Deep thoughts and troubles I might be in the middle of, but to see that smile; all does fade away and everything goes back to normal. It does wipe sadness whenever I am surrounded by it. It does keep me going. With you by me, we can beat anything…
Bay gives the paper to Mels as he walks in.
‘Not even to greet me, what is it?’ Mels asks.
‘Sorry! Hi, how are you? Not good I guess because you came in late today. Don’t explain to me and that’s something you long asked me to write for you. I told you I would write it and give it to you at my own time.’
‘Wow! I am out of words; do you mean every single word you wrote in here Bay? Wow!’
‘I mean it, do you doubt it? Please don’t say anything in response. Just keep it or destroy it and let’s talk about something else.’
‘Why don’t you want me to say anything?’
‘We will talk about it another day.’
‘Wow! I am out of words.’
‘Mels! Can we please talk about something else; I shouldn’t have given you that.’
‘You did the right thing by giving it to me. I now know where I stand; can we talk about something else?’
He stares at her and says no word.
‘I am happier than ever.’
‘Mels you were right the other day about me and Mr. Lategaan.’
Mels looks at her and says no word.
‘Mels! I am serious, please forgive me for the way I used to talk to you and the names I called you. I am so sorry and wish I had the power to take all that back.’
‘I long forgave you Bay and long forgot those. I am the reason you acted that way, I am the one who caused all that anger and please let’s forget all that and go forward. Why are you bringing that up today?’
‘I told that you that I don’t want secrets between us. I am telling you this because I don’t want it to be like there is that other something you don’t know about me. Mr. Lategaan and I dated. We understood one another very well. He was all that could brighten my day. I never slept with him like you said the other day.’
‘I am sorry about that Bay and I know you haven’t slept with him. Did I hear you say “he was” what happened?’
‘Ummm! I don’t really know what happened to us. He has been away and I’ve been told he is attending something out of the country. He never called or did anything to check up on me. That’s unlike him and the very last two days he was here in school, I felt like there was something huge he was hiding from me and couldn’t find out what it was? Do you mean you know I haven’t slept with him?’
A silence descends on the two. Mel’s eyes are so onto the ground that he can’t not look at Bay.
‘You are smart Bay, intelligent and beautiful. I don’t think anyone with those features would do something that irresponsible, sleeping around with teachers, no no no! I know you very well, I will tell you by the day you sleep with someone, and you haven’t right now. How do you know he was keeping something away from you?’
‘Like I told you, I knew him so well. I could tell when he was not telling something. My instincts tell me he is in the country and he is not far from this town.’
‘I am sure whatever he is doing, he has some reasons for it and it must be hard for him.’
‘I so hate it. Whenever I am left in the darkness, I feel weak and want to give up but not this time around. I am going to hold my head up and make sure that I pass.’
Mels comes and kneels next to Bay holding her hand.
‘Look at me Bay, this is not the time to crack or crash. This is our time to shine. To show the whole country and the world what we have been taught here by writing all that down. This is our time to start making our future bright, some have never seen this opportunity and we have that chance so let’s grab it and make it work for us wisely. Let’s make people talk the good about us, like you always say.’
‘Have I told you that I love and feel safe being around you lately?’
Mels shakes his head.
‘Like seriously…not that I am replacing Mr. Lategaan because he left me or something. He left me and I do not think things will ever be the same whenever he decides to come back from his hiding place. That love I had for him is now gone and I do believe he feels the same way.’
‘He loved you Bay, I could tell from the way he looked at you and I am sure that he still loves you and thinks about you a lot wherever he is. He can’t just go without any valid reason.’
‘I thank God for making him take the decision he took, to leave ; I mean look at me and you now, who could have thought …’ she smiles.
There is a knock at the door and Mels rushes to see who it is. Clara pushes him out of the door and gets inside. ‘Mmmm! That’s what I thought…’ Clara says.
‘Clara! We didn’t sleep with you.’ Mels adds.
‘And why would you say so because you have your girlfriend here.’
‘Then why are you pushing me like I am nothing and not greeting me?’
‘People look you will solve your problems at your own time. This is no time to talk about wedding arrangements or whatsoever, what you are doing is not fair at all.’ Clara continues.
‘What is wrong with you, what the hell wrong with you?’ Bay asks in an angry voice.
‘Bay! That language…no!’ Mels shouts.
‘Clara what is wrong?’ Mels turns to look at her.
‘Why did you tell us to meet there? We have something like an hour waiting for the two of you. Some even decided to go. What you did is not fair at all and you made us feel like fools.’
‘Oh! We totally forgot about that, let’s go. We will argue about it on our way. Let’s go.’ Bay pushes Mels and Clara out.
The third week of the exam is still on. Bay is comfortable enough to put the issue of Mr. Lategaan to rest. She told herself that Mr. Lategaan is never coming back to her not now or never so she should forget about him and finding out whatever is going on. She saw no point doing all that as it would seem selfish as things were getting better day by day between her and Mels; she also had a thought that Mels wouldn’t take it well must he find out that she was up to all that. She always got courage from her mother and she always advised her wisely, that she should always give her piece of mind whenever she needed someone to talk to and she would say,
“YOUR heart will never lead you to unhappiness, always follow it. It only knows where your happiness lies. You are still my young daughter; you are still confused by this love thing. I am not encouraging you to have many partners and I will never do so. If you find someone you think you love, someone that makes you happy, give it some time to know one another to love and understand each other’s needs and wants. Don’t just jump in to bed with them without knowing that they really love you. There is nothing as upsetting as finding out that someone you slept with only wanted you for sex. If you find that person is not what you had in mind, just end things immediately. There is no point staying in there but seeing that it is not working out for you. I know that might be selfish but who is going to make you happy if you don’t. You are still going to hurt your partner at the end if they find out that you have just been in a relationship with them but there is no love. I know the two of you loved one another and very sorry to hear about that. It is over our control if all the spark and romance is gone, it is even worse if you don’t see any point trying to fix that. It is part of nature; we begin to love what we hated and start to hate what we most loved.
LOVE is blind as they always say, my dear child. Love makes us do things we never imagined ourselves doing. It makes us behave strangely. It makes us say things we never meant to say. Love is one feeling that we can’t control, that other feeling we can’t fake, that feeling` we can’t control and very hard to describe. That feeling we can’t describe but make us do crazy things. It does make us do crazy things as one can fall for a stranger. A stranger from nowhere and start fighting siblings, start disrespecting your own blood because of new love. It can take us to far places, far places that we have never been to. Far places that one might forget about their future, it unites us with different people from different cultures; it might be so dark that one can’t see outside. It might be that cold that one cannot feel their fingers, but will do whatever it takes to see their lovers; one cannot be stopped by anyone”
Mels and Mr. Lategaan used to communicate late at night. Mels would brief him about how he is progressing on making bay forget about him. They agreed to use that time because that’s when Mr. Lategaan switched on his cell phone. They did this as they never wanted to find his phone ringing so they knew by that time she would be in bed dreaming. A big clot would block his throat every time he learns that bay is losing interest in him. He would feel like he is in another planet, where there was no air to breath but darkness to torture oneself. Thanks to his medication, he knew to see more of the years to come, go to the uk for the first time to go meet with bay and explain himself, he needed to take it out to go on. It was the only thing he could turn to whenever he felt like batting the dust. Whenever their conversation started with Mels, he made sure it was close as he always expected something hurting more than yesterday. Staying there alone made everything worse; it was as if everything was slowing down. The weeks he stayed there felt like years to him. Nothing made him happier not even Mels’s words that he used to say to him about the huge decision he took,
“YOU are a very good man Mr. Lategaan, a very good person indeed. It’s not everyone who would have done as you did. Everyone tends to put their selves first these days; they want to see themselves happy no matter the price it takes. They do not care about other people’s feelings but you. You have sacrificed your own happiness for Bay and doing that has already given you so many blessings; you already have a space in heaven. I never thought one could love another as you do Bay. I now know the meaning of love sir; I know the meaning of it because I learnt it from you. Bay is one of the lucky ones to have shared something special with you and I am sure she does not regret any of it. I am very grateful that I am part of this and promise you to love bay as you did and intend to do more. It also pains me as it’s like I am coming between what God put together but because I have a reason for this and helping out I have no shame. This is not about me; it’s about you and your good heart. So many people would respect you much for what you did in the name of love.’
Mr. Lategaan never found comfort in these words, the only thing he knew would make him better was seeing bay and explaining everything to her no matter how she would react. He knew Bay could be difficult and stubborn at times especially if things that involve her were kept away from her.
“ LISTEN carefully, give me time to finish then you will comment, Mr. Lategaan! You want me to be your girlfriend, yes! I agree. I am only your girlfriend and you can ditch me anytime you want because that’s what men always do. You can change girlfriends like underwear whenever you feel like. I am not a wife to you but only a schoolgirl because you have not paid for my bride price and you have never proposed me, not that I’d agree if you try your luck. All I want in this relationship is transparency. I am going to do all I can for you to see through me and I expect the same from your side. We should trust one another, respect one another and believe in one another so that we share anything even if it’s that little. It might not matter to me but it will to you do it. I want us to be very open to one another that we would be able to tell if one of us is hiding something or if something is troubling us. All this can work if we love each other. It will never work if there is no love. I am saying all this because I don’t want to get hurt. If you know this is not going to work better pull out now before we go any further. I’ve been deeply hurt and it is going to take forever for those scars to disappear. I have missed 15 years of my life not 15 days, mark that. I have missed those years thinking all will be well just like other people but no! I was lying to myself. Look at me now; I am going to live for the rest of my life with regrets because I missed those years. If it weren’t for all the lies that were kept from me o would at least know his face, at least had a conversation with him. And that didn’t happen because some people thought they knew better did this thinking that they were protecting me, little did they know they were killing me inside. I may seem like a very young girl with a soft heart, who is weak and easily hurt but you are wrong. I am a little girl with a muscular heart, a heart as solid as metal. I do hurt because I am human but not that easily. I have my way of dealing with things my own way and know how to let them not control me. I hate to be left in the dark, I so hate it when people keep things from me as a way of protecting me. To hell with that, my dad died without knowing my face or me knowing his, he died before I could touch his flesh. He is never coming back and I will never know him. This could have been avoided if I was told the truth in the beginning. I could have met and shared some words with him. Always find courage to tell someone at the beginning even if you know it is going to hurt them. They will deal with it and it will pass. Keeping things from someone is more like making them fools, you’d be laughing with me every day and pretending to care yet you can’t tell me the truth. The truth always sets free and as they always say it has a way of healing. One gets to understand everything that is happening around them. Whenever someone decides to lie to me, I always think of what happened to my dad and me. Everything happens for a reason and its God’s way. God made us to suffer and it’s us to see what to do to get out ourselves from that suffering, lying to others and claiming to have been protecting them is not the way. The time wasted hiding the truth is the time something bad could have been avoided.
Bay’s words are now starting to come to him. Bay said all that to him the very first day they started dating. He never remembered this until now and he starts sweating slightly. These words sank deep into him and Bay’s voice hypnotizing him. He starts walking from one point to the other in his bedroom. He takes his laptop and goes outside, he sits by the pool and log into face book.
‘Nonsense! He got the guts. Who does he think he is? What an insult.’
‘Bay what is it?’ Mels asks feeling he knows what is coming.
Mr. Lategaan eyes are glued to his laptop. He can’t take them away waiting for response. All he wants is a reply no matter how bad or good it could be.
‘Bay! Are you going to answer me, give me that?’ Asks Mels as he takes Bay’s phone away from her.
‘Hey! Bay I am the last person you want to hear from now. I know I messed up and do not expect you to forgive me. I did not act like the real man I should, I didn’t tell you the truth because I didn’t want to hurt you. I hope you find it in you to forgive me. I did it all because I love you. I hope you will give me time to explain to you tomorrow. I know you will be done with your exams by then, you are all I think of these days.’
‘Is this message from Mr. Lategaan?’ Mels give the phone back to Bay.
‘Who else can it be from; didn’t you see the name written there?’
‘Aren’t you going to reply him?’
‘And say what exactly?’
‘Bay! Act like a woman and tell him to go to hell. Tell him all you feel about this. If that is difficult reply with a “hi” or tell him that you will talk to him when he gets back.’
I have nothing to say to him.’
‘Come on Bay! He is waiting for your reply. Do you know how it hurt to text someone and they never get to reply back?’
‘Oh! Is it? This serves him right.’
‘Bay! Revenge is not the way. That is where Satan grabs an opportunity. He likes it when we fight with one another. Just reply Mr. Lategaan Bay! A “hi” will not harm anything, please!’
‘And what’s in it for you, why do you really want me to reply?’
‘Ahem! What do you mean? Hell no!’
‘Then what’s with you?’
Bay! That is not how you should end the relationship. You should be able to say hi or anything to your ex in future, anything but anger or hatred. There should be that peace and harmony between the two of you. You should be able to give one another a phone call just to check up on each other. Just because the spark between you two is gone does not mean you have to hate each other. Just remember that you guys once shared something very special and that should always bring a smile to your face when thinking of the good times you shared and please don’t get angry.
“Let’s do this when we meet, in person. I can’t right now, take good care of Yourself.”
‘At least you said something.’
‘I really don’t get it why you are this concerned about this. Something tells me that you might be part of this mess.’
‘Ahem!’ Mels clears his voice.
‘Bay! What are you talking about? I know how it is to be ignored by someone you love. It is the most hurting thing ever; believe me because I have been there.’
‘That makes two of us. I so know how it feels like and don’t need anyone else to explain it to me. Why are you a big fan of him all of a sudden?’
‘That man loves you Bay. The way he used to look at you, you could tell that he would die for you. I am sure he has a good reason for the way he acted.’
‘I don’t care if he has a good reason or not. Whatever it is he should have trusted me enough to tell me. I am a big girl you know…’
‘Bay! Stop it, stop being this difficult, and just wait for him to explain. Is it that difficult for you?’
‘…Never will I…The end. Perfect, this will say it all to him.’ Bay says.
‘Let me take a look, have you been writing something there?’
‘Yep! Here, I think will explain all about how I feel to him, I don’t have to open my mouth to him.’
WHEN ROMANCE GOES SOUR
Happiness was all I knew. I could laugh by then. And I could smile. All the smiles on my face were his creations. I knew I found love. And I began to love him. I gave my all to him. I gave my heart and soul to him as I knew he will protect them. A big family and a bright future with him was all that ran in my mind. My living days were never dull with him. All that could brighten my day was him. I had a valid reason to live then. With his sweet words, and his love everything passed quickly. I had no reason to listen to other males wooing me as I had a better half. Tears of pain were the last to think of. A broken heart was less of my worries. He was my all. He was my light, my savior, and my treasure. He was all I needed to survive. He was a drug I couldn’t do without. The bad he could do to me were the last thing to pop into my mind. I never went cold with him. All came to an end as rapid as a wishing star. All felt like I dream I wanted to wake up from, but I couldn’t as this was really happening. All came the other way around. All pet names stopped. Phone calls and messages were never returned. Little did I know at the beginning I was a waiting stop. Little did I know he was up for games? Little did I know he never loved me? The feeling was more like a door slammed at ones face. A deep cave was all I felt, everything had turned dark. All became senseless. Never will I listen to his lies again. Never will I lie to myself thinking everything will be fine. Never will I!
‘Like seriously Bay, are you going to give this piece of rubbish to him?’
‘Yep and it’s no rubbish for your information.’ ‘Bay! What came into you? I never thought of you being like this.’
‘Then you don’t know me. I don’t want to be taken for granted Mels. I don’t want lies. I don’t want to be treated like a little girl who can’t face reality.’
‘No one is treating you like a little girl. You just can’t give that to him and I am not going to let you. Make things right.’
‘How do I make things right when he doesn’t? He is out having fun with whoever he is with and I am supposed to take that, no I can’t.’
‘So you think wherever he is, he is with a woman having fun. Do you think he would drop his job and run off with a woman? Mr. Lategaan never cheated on you if that’s what you are thinking.’
‘This conversation is getting old. I am going home right now.’ as she takes her school bag.
‘We are supposed to be revising with others Bay.’
‘I am sure you can handle them on your own. I can’t be around them in this state.’
‘Bay! You will be fine, now let’s go and help others. What am I to tell them if they ask about where you are?’
‘Think of something. You will speak for me as you always do for Mr. Lategaan and oh! You can take that piece of paper and do whatever you want with it. I won’t give it to him since you are so against it.’
‘Bay! I am sorry for hurting you if I did and you can’t let your emotions control you.’
‘I have to get home and start with revision, my last paper is tomorrow morning and I want to give it my best shot so if you will excuse me.’
‘Bye Mels see you tomorrow.’ as she slammed the door behind her
Mels sat on Bay’s chair. He leans back his legs bouncing up and down.
“Bay doesn’t want lies and secrets. I never told her about Mr. Lategaan and what we planned. We thought all we did was to save her from the pain and misery but it looks like we are the cause of it all. Just when I thought we were finally coming to a point where I could be hers and change, it gets uglier than ever. I have seen how stubborn she is but I am not going to let her slip my fingers. Mr. Lategaan should come, its time I explained all to her. I can’t be defending him all the time, the more I do that the more Bay pushes me away. I did everything I could to make Bay see the point of his actions but nothing she picked from there but to drive her away. Its time he came to face his own doing and be a real man”