I hate to see her cry.
It hurts to see her cry. Why? Because I am in love with her. Temwani is my favourite person in the world. Okay in Lusaka. One of my closest friends at UNZA. Her laugh infects my sad existence of a life, so she’s the light in my dark world. She’s been with me through my best, worst and the in between but she doesn’t know that. All she knows is she is my friend. Because of her, my life is better if not brighter. So I’m used to seeing her happy and I do all I can to make sure she’s happy be it getting her, her favorite cake or helping her with her assignments. She is special to me. But now I see her crying. Over what? A stupid reason that is that comes in form of a no-good-boyfriend or ex-boyfriend depending on his mood which changes everyday.
Pathetic really, I wish he saw what I saw, the beautiful, bubbly talkative, colorful girl that was, actually is the love of my life. She never notices me but I notice everything about her. The way she rolls her eyes when she hears something she thinks is stupid; the way she looks at a person who she thinks is telling a lie or the way if she’s genuinely smiling at you her eyes become so small because her smile spreads to her whole face; or when she’s lying she looks everywhere else but your eyes because she will laugh through the lie. I know her inside out, her likes, her dislikes, her allergies, gosh I even know her moods very well. I know her as well as I know myself. Weird right but that’s what love is about. Putting the needs of another before your own and ensuring the person is your centre of life. But I do not have her instead she belongs to another. He does not deserve her but somehow he convinces her to stay with him. I don’t understand how this is possible. How a beautiful smart girl can sometimes lose her brain to a man so foolish that she looks foolish too. Though this has been happening since the beginning of time I guess. Women losing themselves to no good for nothing men whose job in this life is to ruin women’s view of love.
Love truly is blind. And yet I’m here comforting her for the umpteenth time because her idiotic boyfriend is tripping. He is always tripping, making stupid excuses as to why he can’t do things or just simply be with her. One would think it would be easy for him to either love her or leave her. But instead it’s excuses like I’m too busy with school; or I think we should take a break; or my family says I should find someone else; or I think my church will decline our relationship; my favorite one I think is I’m just not that into you again!! And each time I watch him break her into pieces. Pieces I help pick up and glue with my hands only to see her crumble again into his arms when he borrows a brain from a friend. It’s hard to imagine he knows what a good lady he has in front of him when he uses his brain. Why do I have to keep watching him hurt her over and over again. I put my arm around her shoulders as she cries right into her palms. I hope this is the last time I’m doing this for her. I hope she’s really done with him because I don’t think I can take it anymore. She deserves much better. She deserves to be with me or with any other man but especially me.
I pat her back and she looks at me with her slightly swollen eyes.
“What do I do now?” She asks. “Move on again?” She sobs. “It’s been over two weeks and he still hasn’t called.”
Two weeks only? Last time it was two months of stay away from me I’m happy without you calls. Why don’t you stop crying, move on at the same time and stop wishing he calls you back. Period. I think. But I don’t dare utter the words because no woman wants to hear those words. No woman wants to hear the real brutal killing painful truth. No. Women want justifications; to be given hope that an ass can change and become a unicorn. Or even better the ever elusive flawed Prince Charming who they can turn into a King. Why can’t they accept those already in Prince mode looking for a servant to make into a princess. Women are so complicated. Where the hell is the manual?
“He’s so selfish. I hate him. Look at what he’s doing to me. Again.” She says.
You’re doing this to yourself I think.
“All because he’s so selfish. This is the longest he’s been away without calling me. Last time he called once in a while. Did I do a bad thing? I hate him for doing this to me.” She continues.
I don’t say a word. Talking bad about him might haunt me tomorrow or in a few weeks if she gets back with the idiot.
She sniffs and wipes her tears away. She looks miserable but I’m happy she is. I can’t stop but wonder if it was really that bad? Is she really done with him this time? I see a tear fall down her cheek. I’ve seen this countless times. Right on this bed. In this room. Who does this to a woman like her? An ass that is.
“What did he say exactly?” I ask.
I don’t want to know but I know she’s dying to tell me. She came to my room over an hour ago and when she sat down she started to cry, but between sobs she managed to tell me he had dumped her, again and he was taking the silent route, again. Nothing new there. You’d think from the many times she has been dumped by the same guy for the same reasons that she could have had a tough shell by now that would protect her from his hurtful words but no, she goes back to him and forgets the pain.
She sniffs, “He said he’s not ready to forgive me for my actions. That he needs time.”
“Time? To forgive you? For what?”
What has she been hiding from me? What would be so bad that he would act shitty again.
“For not trusting him. For accusing him of cheating. I wish I never listened to Claire. What if he wasn’t cheating. What if he was with his sister? Or his cousin? He said because I don’t trust him then maybe we should consider being with other people.” She says as she wipes her tears.
Wow. Just pure wow. Another excuse for him to have fun. And this time it’s a sister excuse. Who the hell didn’t know the guy was dating some girl from first year. I have seen them together plenty of times at school, in the club but obviously Temwani didn’t want to see what was happening under her nose. Her level of trust was admirable if not idiotic. But that’s what made her the sweetest person I knew. She loved hard and fell hard. Pretty obvious she caught him with another woman or her friend told her about the first year girl, and like he always does, he finds a way out of it so easily. She gives him too much power. I really want to laugh. I really do. I also want to punch him in the face. Why does she fall for this guy and his lies? What does she see in him? Will she ever see past the lies he tells her?
“Maybe wait for him to cool down and you can talk to him.” I say slowly. Such terrible advice but she has to learn at her own pace.
“No. I’m so done with him. I’m never going back to Jim. It’s over. I’ve gone through this too many times. I need to put my foot down and live with the pain. Time heals all wounds right.”
You’ve said this too many times too my heart whispers. But hey the heart wants what it wants I guess and sadly time will never heal a wound if you keep poking it with curiosity of what ifs and maybes.
She suddenly stands up and turns to look at me, her eyes showing a dim light of the girl I knew, but I know she will pick up the pieces again and be on her way. She’s strong but not too strong if she keeps going back to her destruction.
“It’s over. Done. I’m done crying too. I just needed to let it all out.” She says as she wipes her face with her hands. “No more tears. I’m fine. He’s gone. It’s his loss not mine. I am a good woman and if he can’t see it then I deserve to be with someone who will.”
That’s the spirit. That’s what I want to hear. Moving on words which are easier said than done; I stand up and look down at her; slightly shorter than me with her long black braids, brown eyes and pink lips. I think her nose is too big for her face but it makes her beautiful. It’s a flaw I appreciate and that’s why she’s the queen of my heart and one day in reality it will come to pass. I still have faith that one day she sees me and realizes I am the man for her. She helped me get through the worst time of my life when my mother died last year so I owed it to her to make sure she was happy.
“Tell you what.” I say. “We can either watch a movie, cook supper or we can go to the student center and drink our hearts off like we usually do with breakups.”
Breakups that are usually hers. I never go through such drama. My relationships simply end and we go our separate ways. No hard feelings. No hatred games. She smiles then shrugs. For the first time since her crying episode, she gives me that smile that reaches her eyes. There she is. She’s back. Soon.
“Food. Then movie. No drinks.” She says. “Alcohol makes things worse.”
“Great.” I say as I squeeze my way past her and towards my makeshift kitchen in my room. “Pasta okay?”
“You read my mind.” As I get the pot from the shelf.
She laughs then. Amazing laugh. I could stare at her for hours just listening to her laugh. It was infectious. When she laughed then best believe it was genuine.
“I’ll cook the mince.” She says
“Of course you will.” I say. “I am not cooking for you.”
“Meany. I have a broken heart and you can’t cook for me and my broken heart.” She says
“I have glue. We can mend it. Besides your heart has been through a lot. I doubt it can be broken now. Nothing left.”
“Oho. You saying that to me?”
We both both laugh. This is how we are. Close. Since the very first time we met in first year on a queue paying school fees; and we’ve been friends ever since always going to class together, studying together and having supper together if she wasn’t with her no good boyfriend. We simply made it work. The theory men and women can’t be friends is both truth and a lie, I’m in love with her yes but I’ve stayed as her friend because I didn’t want us to get to awkward level. But who knows now. Maybe awkward would be a good thing. I accept awkward.
Cooking supper is a beautiful affair. We talk about school and upcoming tests and stay away from topics involving her ex which I’m happy to do. We eat, clean up our plates and decide to watch an old movie off my laptop. UNZA rooms are disappointingly small so we sit on my bed with the laptop between us just like old times.
By the time the movie is done its quite late but Temwani doesn’t show an indication of leaving any time soon plus it’s a Friday. Our Friday ritual is to go out to the centre and drink but tonight there is no ritual, just two friends enjoying each other’s company and besides my roommate is out for the weekend so Temwani and I can make noise, not so much though and talk all night if we want.
We lay back on my small bed looking up at the ceiling counting black spots like we usually do, when she sits up and then moves to get on top of me with her legs parted on either side of me. It’s a beautiful sight as I try to concentrate on her face and not anywhere else in case other parts of me decide to awaken on their own.
“What are you doing?” I ask
“I was thinking about something.” She says.
“We should do a trip.” She says happily. “During the break.”
She moves slightly and what that does to me I can’t not describe in words. But I brush the feeling aside.
“Livingstone. I’ve never been to Victoria falls. I’d love to see them. Maybe cross the border.”
“That would be fun. Though that means money.”
She laughs. “No biggie there. Just you and I. Or maybe a few friends.”
“Cool. That sounds like a great plan. I like it a lot. Now get off me.” I say
“Why?” She asks
“Because you are quite heavy.” I say jokingly “And I’m a guy who has not had a woman on him for months. So come on now get off me.”
“No.” She laughs
“You might regret this move.” I say
I smile at her. It’s good to see her smiling and laughing again, back to her usual self.
“Thank you.” She says
I look at her and she looks at me.
“Being around. You are awesome. Gosh I love you. You are bestest ever. Putting up with me everyday. My tears and crazy moments. So thank you. I am grateful.”
“It’s no big deal.” I respond.
“Yes it is.” She argues. “You’re like my best friend. Okay I have a lot of best friends but you are just awesome. The guy who makes sure I’m okay everyday no matter what I do. You are awesome.”
“Any time.” I say and I mean it.
She leans towards me until her face is close to my face, her chest is touching mine and my heart is racing and I’m scared she can feel it. Her hand touches my face, I feel my temperature is rising, oh gosh that’s not the only thing rising here. Can she feel it? I need to think of something else but she gets in closer and her lips meet mine. I always imagined what her lips would taste like, cherries maybe because of her favorite cherry lipstick; I always knew they would be soft but nothing prepared me for the feelings her lips on mine bring me; it feels like I was falling because I want more from her; is it right to want more? She just got dumped and she’s kissing me. She is using me right? To get over the fool. This is wrong. She should be moving on alone and not onto another guy. The rebound guy. Not even me. But her lips, her hands on my face as her hips grind on me making mr forget it all. Damn the consequences to hell as I move her off me and get on top of her. Should I stop but then why is she moaning and wrapping her arms around my neck while her legs wrap around my hips. I need to stop this right now before it goes to far. When exactly do I classify it going too far? When she lets me undress her or when she starts fighting with my belt buckle as she’s doing now.
I start to pull away and her hands touch my face.
“No.” She says. “I want this.”
“It’s not the right time.” I say. “You had a bad day. You are still hurting.”
“I want to feel better. I feel better already just by being with you. So don’t stop this. Please.”
“It doesnt work like that Temwani. ”
“Come on Marcus. Please. I want this.”
“No buts. I am here and you are here. I know you love me. I love you too. As a friend I know. I also know I was hung up over Jim. ”
Was? Is she sure? I just saw her crying and she thinks she’s over him. Wow. That easy. When a woman let’s go so they say huh.
“I loved Jim but he’s gone. He’s been gone for a while and maybe I was foolish not to see it. So it’s just you and I right now. Nothing else matters. So don’t stop. Please.”
She kisses me but I’m bomb wondering about the way forward. Isn’t this what I always wanted. Her in my arms. On my bed. Kissing me. Happy with me. I guess she notices I am just laying there and she looks into my eyes.
“Please.” She says. “Don’t zone out on me. I want this. So kiss me and don’t stop.”
There is something about the words “don’t stop” and “please” that make me forget all my rational thought. I push away my feelings of uncertainty and I kiss her with everything I’ve got. I finally have her and I’m not letting go of her. Maybe this time she will be mine and I show her what a real man looks like.
I open my eyes and I see him fast asleep. I smile, I have been keeping him as a friend when he is actually amazing in bed. Never judge a book by its cover type of thing. How wrong I was about him; but I still feel the hole in my heart, maybe I shouldn’t have done this with him; it was wrong but I was hurting and I wanted to forget the pain even if it meant for a little while. Find pleasure in another and just let go to the moment of being intimate with another man. And in the moment it felt good. I did forget the pain when he held me and kissed me like I was the only thing worth his loving touch. It was special, unlike any other. I felt special. Then why do I now feel like my heart is still breaking. Worse than it was before. Did I just cheat on Jim? Even if he dumped me I know I still have feelings for him. I do not understand what the man did to me but I feel I can’t let go of him.
I hear my phone vibrate and I reach out for it from the study table.
Hey Bbz. I miss you. I want to see you. I want us to talk. I think we should talk about us. Let me know when you are free. I can come by your room today.
I read the message again. Finally he opens up communication lines . Jim wants to talk to me. Guess I have to leave now. I can call him when I get to my room after I’ve had a shower. I don’t want him to smell another man’s scent on me. Would be even care to know? Would he guess it? Is it important that he knows about it. I have to talk to him and officially end the abuse he pulls on my heart each time he wants to leave. I will pull the ultimatum on him. Either he treats me right with respect or he leaves me alone for good. Period. There will be no more tears and hurt. I know it will hurt if he chooses to leave me for good but I will get passed this. Maybe I can finally move on to better and healthy things.
I move away from Marcus and get off the bed, I quickly dress up as I watch him sleeping. He’s such an amazing friend but he deserves better. Not a girl who already thinks she met the one a long time ago and gave him so many chances to destroy her heart and leave nothing but scars that barely heal and an empty heart so afraid believe and hope in love again. I won’t wake him up now but I’ll call him when later in the afternoon. Maybe we go for a movie later on. Who knows.
I quickly leave his room before he notices I’m gone.
I hear the door close and I open my eyes. She’s gone. I guess whatever she received on her phone that early was important.
I turn on my bed angry.
She’s obviously going back to him. I’m not that stupid to not know who it was. Who makes her jump over cliffs every time. She’s made her choice again. Back to the pain and tears she can’t seem to let go.
I’ll let her go back to him.
But there is no way I’m waiting for her. When she gets hurt again I will simply watch her cry and not say a thing. I will watch her break down over and over again.
I’m done waiting for her to see the truth.
I am done.