Love Literati Contest: ‘Ripples’ by Covenant Chimnonso Benjamin

Love literati contest - elsieisy blog

A crippling silence sat in the room between them and stared at their disgruntled faces for a full minute. Then he heaved and broke the silence.

“Trish, I’m sorry. I didn’t mean to hurt you a…”

“Sure you didn’t mean to hurt me this time, or the other nine thousand nine hundred and ninety nine times that you have hurt me in the past.” She heaved heavily and shut up again as abruptly as she had cut him off. Her eyes swelled with hot tears as she stared into his dark eyes, wondering if there were any good worth believing in in there.

“Trish, I’m sorry. I am really, really sorry. I promise you this won’t happen again..” She cut him off, again.

“You have made this promise more times than I can count, John. I can’t continue trusting a man who cannot keep his word with something as precious as my heart. There is no surety that you will keep my heart.”

The tears poured from her eyes and started to travel down her cheeks, ruining her makeup. At her jaw, the tears lingered and then disappeared in drops that landed on the metal seat on which they were seated.

Trisha met John by accident, literally. She had lost control of her car and had bumped the white Prada Jeep in front of her in the rear, ruining a tail light. In her mind, this was the end. The owner of the car was going to come out and hurl insult after insult at her before reminding her to fix the damage and so forth. She had said a silent prayer that it wouldn’t be more than that.

And God had heard her prayer. In fact, he had ‘overheard’ her prayers. The front door opened and the most handsome man she had set eyes on yet stepped out of the jeep, a heart shaped face, neat goatee beard, low cropped hair, neat blue shirt and dark blue jean trousers. On his feet was the most interesting pair of shoes she had ever seen. She lowered her side glass and heaved, steeling herself for the rain of hail which was about to ensue.

“Hello, madam. I hope you have not in any way injured yourself?” His voice was crispy and smelled of mint. And his words resonated with reassurance. She could not help but lose her head.

“I…I…I….I…I am fi…ine” She was not used to stuttering. Also, she was not used to meeting handsome and extremely nice guys who spoke so nicely after she had bashed their cars. So, with bathed breath, she apologized for her loss of control, explained that she was unhurt and collected his greeting card.

Now, she resented that accident so much. And as the silence which once sat between them returned to resume after the momentary intermission, it came with a chirping cricket. In her mind, scenes from their love days together came rushing into her head and she wondered for the umpteenth time if this apology of this promiscuous young handsome man came from his heart. She wondered if there were any truth on the lips of a man who continually claimed to love her and yet had slept with almost all her friends. She wondered if he would ever know the taste of truth when he lived in this much falsehood. She closed her eyes and let her heart search for an excuse to not end the relationship with him. She could not find one suitable enough. She heaved.

The night was fast approaching. The suya sellers who often littered the park were nowhere to be seen, all around, darkness was their only companion. And in that darkness, she whispered to him “It’s over John, forever.”

And as the darkness swallowed her words, as his sobs reached her ears, she felt herself stand up from the seat and she walked out of his world on shaky feet, forever.

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