There are nights when the moon is abnormally large and is bathing the earth with its luminous glow. There are nights where a bolt of lightening tears across the sky and a peal of thunder follows. There are nights where we, humans, just want to blend with the paleness of the night and get buried in it and wish not to rise with the morning but of course not without the person we love. Love, they say: is wanting more for a person than they actually want for themselves. I guess that’s what had happened when Jane — the lover of my soul — told me she had gotten an opportunity to study abroad, but she wouldn’t be taking it because she didn’t want to leave me in the cold and rigid hands of life. But because, love, being what it is, I assured her that I’d be waiting for her. “At the end of everything, we’d always end up running into ourselves”, I had said. I remember her actually leaving but more importantly I remember how each night, we would hold hands and speak our dreams into existence. We would get married. I’d start a business. We would be wealthy. We would have children. They’d go to the best school in town.
As I look back now, especially with the knowledge of what will come after, the rest of my life set in unparalleled anguish. I remember a day before the date of her departure, I remember the happenings of that day. That day, we began to love each other over again. I remember how we connected again, without words. We were in the same room we had always sat in, staring, as we always did, into the landscape, over the mountains, at the horizon, into the sun, until our eyes could not take us any further. It was a day of looking out, smiling, laughing, crying, holding hands. We sat there and watched the day stroll by. It was then I realised that she and I needed no words.
In the afternoon of that day, it had began to rain. She dragged me out of the house. We jumped in the rain, with our hands high in the sky begging it to pour on us so we could be big, tall, strong, bold. In that moment, we could feel our hearts meshing together. That day we began to form new memories, filling the impending void left by the ones that would be wiped out by the choice I had made for her. I believed absence would make the heart grow fonder. That day, we laid on the wet ground, legs and arms stretched out, rain falling our faces. We felt free. We had never felt so soaked in love before.
In the night of that day, the sky was dull and it threatened rain. The moon was no longer in sight and the stars were only dots in the sky. She and I slept lying the same way, instead of different directions. I had woken up in the middle of the night and found her holding me, squeezing me, she had sunk her teeth in the pillow so she would not cry. She jerked for a few minutes and then fell asleep in my arms.
We had later woken up by dawn to leave for the airport. I remember how it was time for her flight and how we hugged so tightly that the only way to have separated us was to have torn us apart. I had peeled off her embrace trying to halt the tears that streamed down my eyes. I remember how our hands glided against each other breaking the littlest form of physical connection we had together. She had whispered earlier that she’d be back.
Three years later, I’m sitting before her. She’s a little bigger now, nothing has changed. She still has the glow that the sun and moon are jealous of. She’s still wearing the same smile she wore the last time we held hands under the rain. However, it is not her that I see now, it is an image of her on the television. She’s smiling with both her hands entwined. And just below the image on the television is written:
Gone too soon.
— Wisdom Bartholomew