Love Literati Contest: ‘Tough Love’ by Nwosu Felix

Love literati contest - elsieisy blog

I couldn’t sleep.

Two minutes into my slumber, I was awoken by the sharp pain in my head, no.., it wasn’t a headache, it was a thought, one which I had sheltered since the day before but hoped to have numbed it after a good night sleep. But how could I, she was the only thing on my mind and she was gone…she is going, I can still remember the words of the doctor forcing their way into my medulla who in turn was aptly trying to refute them, “she doesn’t have much time, I am sorry, but there is nothing we can do to help her at this stage”..

As I walk down the stairs from my bedroom, my thoughts are linear, filled only with memories of Esther, my eyes were glossy with tears struggling to burst down my cheeks, I remembered the first time I saw her, ELECTRIC, and I don’t mean that in a good way, I went over to introduce myself, she scratched at my face so hard, I still have the marks to prove it… electric right?

Still thinking back to the advent of summer last year, where we both went on a picnic in City park at Abuja, we ate…a lot, she more than me though, what can I say, she was a handful. As we toured, I noticed peoples piercing glances, I would have panicked but I knew it was one of envy not otherwise, but I knew the paparazzi wasn’t for me, I knew how beautiful she was, she knew it too. Now, here is the thing, I am not going to deny the fact that it was her beauty that attracted me to her, but the point is that as time went on,   I began to realize that her beauty was the least of her qualities, I became fascinated by her goodness …NO, I was drawn in by it.

Christmas last year was the worst; I was on my way back from my aunts place at Lagos,  on getting home, I just wanted to cross the road to pick up some fruits for my people, they love the little stuff, and just as I was about to head back, earphones on, listening to Daddy yo by Wizkid and then GBAM…at the time I didn’t know what hit me, in fact the only thing  I remember was a searing pain in my left leg, split seconds  later I’m on the paved road,  as I slipped into unconsciousness I could see the apples I bought rolling away. I spent three weeks at my mom’s office affiliate hospital, receiving orthopedic treatment for my dislocated knee, and all through that time Esther was there, every morning she came with mom, we played and ate together and she never left my side till I was fast asleep. Little wonder I was back on my feet in no time. At that point I knew… that I loved her.

However, what I have come to understand about life is that life is like a perverted stalker that watches you closely and when it finds out that you’re having too much fun at a stretch, it says; “okay, funs over”, and hits you with a double bill of sadness to remind you that life is not a picnic. I might be wrong, but what other conclusion could I give, when on one rainy evening, we had just eaten noodles together and goofed around for a while and fell asleep, I remember waking up and going down to get me  some milk, I was parched, then my eye came into contact with my playstation 4 console, it shouldn’t have done that, I played far cry till 3:40am in the morning, and then I noticed that Esther hadn’t come down even once to bother me or enthuse, so I called  out to her as I climbed up the stairs back to my room, on reaching, I knew something was wrong, I felt it. Her body was pale, I shook her rigidly to be sure she was conscious, my eyes already glossy…and then I saw it. blood sipping from her nose as I turned her over, my brain went blank, “was she dead?”, “what should I do?”, I was frozen with shock, and then like a thunderbolt of reality struck me, I put her on my arms and drove to the nearest hospital, which was like twenty minutes away, the only thing on my mind as I drove was, “God, please don’t let her die…I love her”.

She was diagnosed with a partial burst artery. She will die in two weeks time.

What is love? Love is when two people touch each other’s soul, love is trust and honesty, love is helping one another, love is mutual respect. We had that. Love means that differences can be worked out. She was a dog, I was a man… we had that. Love is the connection of two hearts, hers and mine. I knew it, I loved her. Even more now as I stared down on her small doggy casket, her grey colored fur still  glowing under the sun as we prayed over her, a form of burial right. I placed a picture of the both of us that we took a while back on our trip to Enugu, I don’t know, I believed wherever she went, the great beyond, she’d still  have me close to her.

Love is realizing that every hour, every minute and every second was worth it because you did it together. As we put her in the ground I recited those words, I meant them. “I will always remember you”.

P.S: Since this is fiction, none of it is real. Even some words…like…partial artery burst.

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