IF YOU GO

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SHORT STORY Nov. 27, 2021

There are certain things in this life you cannot control.

Like the way things break.

You are holding them, and suddenly they are out of your hands, and they are falling and there is nothing you can do but wait for the shatter.

I would like to say that is how I am feeling right now- watching Jerry pack his bags, saying things that my ears cannot fathom,  turning into someone my eyes no longer recognize.

But the truth is, I know Jerry has been wanting to leave for quite some time now.

I have seen it in his eyes, the way they would spark when he was speaking to someone, and dim their shine when they landed on me.

I don’t blame him really. It is the fate of things – they have to eventually break. Doesn’t matter if they seemed that they would last for eternity, like him and I.

Things have to break, and you have to wait for the shatter.

The problem with me right now is not that he is leaving, it is that I am yet to hear it – the shatter.

Does this mean I have been wanting him to leave too?

He is now asking me if I have seen his blue shirt.

I tell him, no, and his eyes linger on me for a second, suspiciously, like I am not telling him the truth.

I meet his eyes and hold them for a while. I will miss this. Holding his eyes. Caressing them. Possessing them.

He backs down and continues packing.

I hold him with my eyes a bit longer, then I resign and go back to my phone.

My mind, without my permission, takes me back to when we first met – in Gikomba market, fighting over the same blue shirt he is now looking for.

It is funny how life works out, isn’t it?

You think you are going to meet the love of your life in some romantic setting and your eyes will meet and everything in the world will stop just for you two.

 But instead, you meet him at a rowdy, sweaty market with the shouts of hustle-driven mamas clouding the air, and when your eyes meet for the first time, it is not love that stares right back at you but rather the hard stare of competition.

He got the shirt that day. He won. Just like he always does.

Later in the same day, when we coincidentally met at another stall, he smiled at me, and I smiled back, and the rest, as they say, was history.

 A history of three years.

 And now, he is leaving. Claiming that he needs a break from me. That I am too suffocating, too nagging.

I watch as he finishes packing his two suitcases, and then when he is done, he surprises me by sitting on the bed next to me.

I shut off my phone, turn my full attention to him and wait for the dreadful words he want to say. No, the dreadful words he must say.

The words that I will forever be replaying in my mind, wondering if he truly meant them.

The words that will have me think maybe he is a good guy and I misunderstood him when I tell my friends this story.

 “Cheki, Leah,” he starts, “I didn’t mean for this to end like this. But bado nakupenda na I will miss you so much. I am sorry for this. Hope utanisamehea.”

And there they are. The words.

I want to look into his eyes when he finishes talking to see if I can see some truth in there, but he avoids my eyes completely, gets up, drags his suitcases, and heads for the door.

I watch as he reaches the door and I watch as he opens it and I watch as he closes it behind him and I watch and watch and watch as he leaves.

And as I am watching, I am waiting. Waiting for the inevitable shatter. The sound of the heart breaking.

I watch and wait and wait and watch but nothing.

Hmm, I think, and then smile to myself.

Have I just reached the level Javier Dunn mentioned in his song If you Go ­– feeling nothing?

by Amanda Nechesa 19

Comments

  • Murriel Atai

    Nov. 24, 2021, 11:17 p.m.

    Beautiful Piece, it is the watching for me. We are always waiting for the inevitable and in this scenario I believe she knew already so her heart was ready that's why the shatter didn come. 👏👏👏

    Amanda Nechesa

    Nov. 25, 2021, 7:46 p.m.

    Yeah exactly. Thank you for reading 😊 

    Reply
  • Tory-Teller

    Nov. 26, 2021, 7:16 p.m.

    Glad you waited in vain for the shatter!

    Reply

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