Lost love


I felt some cold chills sent down my spine. The hairs inside my nostrils stood as I watched his every step from the window.  His gaits, to my eyes, were heavy.

As he climbed the first step to my door, I rushed towards the door waiting for the doorbell to ring.

On his face were anger boldly written on. That was the same face he wore two Saturdays ago and the Saturday before. He looked like he was suffering from lack of smiles, unlike the other weekends when he would wear a smile handing the brown envelope to me. Today was different.  I knew he had brought the stories that makes the heart bleed blood and water.I questioned him with a brow.

“There are no letters for you today.”  He replied, turned, and walked away towards my neighbor’s door.  I watched him give her a brown envelope from his file with a smile that could heal wounds.  He was indeed not suffering from lack of smiles.

Something must be wrong somewhere- I wondered.  Tears filled my eyes waiting for just a blink to start streaming down.  I watched my neighbor’s face beam with smiles as she glanced at the sheet of paper from the envelope. She gestured her two year old baby to the sheet of paper as if he could read the words.     Those acts evoked my tears the more and they poured out and down my cheeks like they were going to get my own envelope.

It’s been two weeks now since Philip wrote me last. In his last letter, he never mentioned of any sickness or break in writing me.  He said he was hale and hearty and that he misses me. He said he would’ve been writing me all day and night if it was possible.

I wondered what was happening.

Why did he stop writing?     Could something have gone wrong?- I questioned my confused self as I walked back into the house still in tears.  I met little Sam crying.  Sam was my lover and best friend. I had him two months after Philip left for the war front promising to come back to be the good father his father was not to him. He had named him Sam after his father, on the night before his departure.

It was yet another Saturday morning and I stood at the window praying for a miracle.

My window had become my favorite position in the room every Saturday morning.

My eyes met him coming and to my door step.  He whistled as he made dancing steps towards my door step. I ran to the door and let it open as I was eager to hear what news he had brought today and couldn’t wait for the doorbell to ring.

The first thing I saw were those kind of beautiful smiles he gave my neighbor the Saturday before. It’s been long since I received that kind of smile last. I knew he had brought a good news. I felt like forcing the words out of his mouth. I felt like grabbing his file and searching for my own envelope.  I was eager to hear the good news.

Finally, he dipped his hands into his pocket, brought out a wristlet which had my name in scripted on it.   He also shoved out a brown envelope from the piles of envelope in his file and handed me wearing the most beautiful smile I had ever seen.  Smiles beamed my face as I fit the bangle around my finger.  I thanked him, he bowed in response, still with the smiles dancing the moonlight dance on his face, and he turned and walked away to my neighbor’s door.

I ran back excitedly into the house screaming “Sam, daddy will be back next Saturday.” like he could understand what I was saying.

At the hall, everyone had all gathered to welcome our husbands and some, their fathers, brothers and friends.  It was another Saturday, the February 14.

I dressed in my best outfit and I dressed Sam in his too, with a bunch of beautiful flowers, I waited excitedly to be in Philip’s arms again.

They arrived and marched into the hall in twos, some with wound scars on their body, some with broken and disfigured arms or legs and the others came back the way they had left.    My eyes met women hugging and kissing their husbands in excitement and gesturing their babies at their fathers, they also met little children jumping up and down in excitement in their father’s and brother’s return. It was a happy moment as tears of joy strolled down from the women’s faces.  I couldn’t wait to hug, kiss and be with Philip again.  We barely spent time together after our marriage.  It was just two months after our marriage and the call came up.

Soon, the hall began to get empty as women went home with their husbands.  I couldn’t go, I hadn’t set my eyes on Philip yet.

I still waited in excitement, fantasizing on how I would jump on him once I set my eyes on him.  I would kiss him passionately, and then point at Sam and tell him it was what he put into me. I would tell him how much a good companion Sam had been.

I saw some men wheeling a wheel-bed.  On the wheel bed was a human-like figure covered in a blanket.   The men wore gloves, and a piece of napkin around their noses and mouths.  I recognized one of the men.  He was a friend to Philip.

I watched them wheel the bed coming close to where I stood with little Sam in my arms.  They stopped right in front of me.

Was that a gift from Philip?- I wondered.

I don’t need a gift, I need Philip- my heart cried.I stood and walked close to the wheel bed.  I knew they had come for me.

” Philip’s…” I was about to ask and I felt a hand pat my back. I looked around and it was Philip’s friend. I smiled.

The hand patted my back the second time. I turned around again to smile at him but met a face that seemed like a smile had never visited for once.  I read the tales sadness wrote on his forehead and I knew something had gone wrong.

“Where is Philip?”  I asked in a low tone as fear had begun to take over me.  My heart sank into my belly.

He patted me on the back again without uttering a word.  I saw a tear leave his eye slowly.  Whatever makes a man’s tear drop isn’t good for the woman’s ears to hear- Father always said.I rushed the figure on the wheel bed and pulled off the blanket.

I stood still, unable to move and shocked beyond limit to utter a word.  I tried to scream but my voice had left me, I couldn’t cry.  I looked around me to know if anyone would smile and tell me it’s some sort of joke. My hair strands stood as no one said it was.  I placed my heart on his chest but he didn’t move.  I bent my head over to his chest and had my ear positioned on his chest but I heard no beats, he didn’t move.

I threw myself on the ground and writhed my body in pains but no one came to console me.

” Allow her to cry for as long as she wants today. Allow her.”  I heard an elderly man say to Philip’s friend.

I was lost in the world of pains, sorrows and hurtful tears. Losing Philip had always been my biggest fear, and now, my fear had overcome me.

” Tell Philips to open his eyes and see his son…” I cried,  “Somebody tell him he has a son.  Somebody tell him that we just got married.  I need a husband and my son needs a father. We need Philip!”I was brought back by the crying voice of Sam.  He stared at me like he knew what was going on.  I took him into my arms but he never stopped crying.

” You won’t be fatherless.  Father will come back.  Philips will come back.  Death will be merciful and bring him back.  He needs to see you.” I said to Sam.  He was too tender to understand but I knew that the tears from my eyes that dropped on him would melt and convey my messages into him.  I knew!

Sympathizers watched me. I sat on the bare floor like a mad woman begging for food.  My clothes, rumpled, my hair, unruly and my eyes red and swollen.

I was called to pay my last respect.

What more could I have done?   I bent my head over to his and placed a passionate kiss on his lips.  With Sam in my arms, I pointed at him telling him who he was;

” He’s your father, my husband, my joy and my life.  I wish death hadn’t taken him away. He would have taught you how to love a woman.  He would have taught you how to be hardworking and be contented with what you ha…” I bursted into another cry.

“… But…” I know, I know you will learn.”    But he never stopped crying.  Everyone around who knew how calm Sam was wondered what the little boy was feeling that made him cry.

” Its so with kids…” said another elderly man, one of my sympathizers,  “…   Kids are like spirits, he knows within him what had just happened even though he can’t say it out. Besides that’s his son, his product.” He came and took away Sam from me but he still never stopped crying.

I cried as Philip’s body was wheeled away, I wished I could be made to live with his dead body. I never believed I would never set my eyes on Philip again.  I never believed I would never see him laugh nor hear his voice again.   I never believed I would never kiss his lips and feel his soft palms again.  Love is cruel, so death is.  Love is wicked.  It’s brutal.  It hurts.  It causes pains to whoever it wants to and whenever it decides.  Love collided with death to take my life away.  Love is wicked!

I watched Sam cry in the old man’s arms as he followed the men wheeling the bed.

Minutes later, I saw the elderly man running towards me in excitement, with Sam in his arms, in Sam’s hands was a bunch of beautiful flowers, ones more beautiful than the ones I got for Philip.  He had stopped crying.

He pushed out his hands, presenting the flowers to me wearing smiles on his face and I wondered the magic the old man had done to my son.The flower had a tag to it which read;    ‘ Jesus died for love.  Valentine died for love. It’s all about love. I love you mom.’

Those words hit me, they dried my tears and filled my heart with joy.   It was then I remembered it was the February 14, the Valentine’s day.   I smiled, shook my head sideways and said, “Philip died for love.

Submitted by Mbagwu Amarachi Chila

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  1. “Was that a gift from Philip? I wondered” —— Wow! This was the peak of the tragedy, for me. Wonderful!

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