High School Chapter, Tale Africa

Pain

By Kasope Foluwaa, Nigeria:

I heard the sound of a gunshot. Reflexively, I shut my eyes not wishing to know what had happened. I heard a groan beside me; it wasn't familiar, and the only thought on my heart was RUN! Like a sack of beans hitting the pavement, I heard a thud beside me, but I was too scared to open my eyes. It never crossed my mind that… maybe just maybe if i were strong enough to open my eyes I would have saved the only man I had become really fond of.

Temilade was the love of my life, there was absolutely no doubt about that; there was not a thing we didn’t do together. Like yesterday, I remember the day we met, I was in Senior one, young and not really interested in love, but can you blame me if I fell for the tall, fair, skinny but built, pink-lipped and fine young man who became my knight in shining armor. He was what I liked to call eye-candy, and that was all he was to me until the day I spent longer in school than expected and all my friends had gone home. He saw me sitting alone and came to join me even though his friends were busy playing basketball. We talked for a really long time and by the look in his eyes he was interested in what I had to say. The same thing happened the day after that, then the day after that and I got to a point I started asking to be picked up late.

The day he asked me out was my birthday the following year, call it cliché but whatever….he was what most guys would call romantic, not really something you would expect from a guy who could get any girl he wanted. That year he graduated leaving me in secondary school, while he went off to study medicine. I thought by the time this happened he would lose interest but quite the opposite; even though his parents wanted him to travel abroad he decided to stay here for ME.

A year after that I graduated too, and decided to study theatre arts in the same University as my love. It was awesome, we were inseparable between classes and he would even go shopping with me during the weekends, and to top it all off the family loved him. We’ve been dating for almost five years now, five years next Friday to be more precise.

I heard the sound of a gunshot, then a sound similar to a bag of cement hitting the ground, my whole world began to slow down, I turned around and I swear my heart stopped pumping blood – he was on the floor…blood spewing from his chest and mouth; I didn’t know when I started crying but I couldn’t stop.

He died but before his eyes shut he whispered something that sounded very much like “I love you”. The police arrived and began to question me; I was too stunned to speak, I just continued to cry and whimper. Apparently he was hit by a stray bullet from a robbery at a bank close by.

We buried him a day after, nothing ceremonious; just a coffin, a hole in the ground and a few close friends and family. As the lowered him into the ground I went hysterical, claiming he was not dead and trying to jump into the grave. His cousins had to pin me down, the same person that watched him die screaming he wasn’t dead.
We were going to get married, and have children, get fat, grow old and spoil our grandchildren together.

Two years have passed and those dreams have never once left my mind. I carry the burden of a love for one that is no longer with us. The pain of knowing that the one I love no longer exists in the realm: A pain that eats at my very soul – Temilade, my one and only. I love you. Till we meet again.

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