I hadn’t talked to my ex-boyfriend in three months and so when he called and I answered, he was really surprised.
“Hi Abby, you wonna hang out?” he asked skeptically.
I hesitated and then replied, “Sure, why not!” My jubilant tone totally threw him off. I heard him sigh.
An hour later my mum walked into my bedroom with a frown on her face. “Tom is outside waiting for you. Are you guys back together?”
I jumped out of bed and slid into my beach sandals. “No mum! I’m in a good mood, I just wonna have fun.”
My mum was blocking the doorway. “Whatever happened to you guys anyway?” She asked as she glanced around my bedroom: at the clothes on the floor, the laptop on the unmade bed.
“Muum, you are in my way!” Pause. She didn’t move. “We just grew apart,” I said in exasperation. “Can I go now?”
She finally moved. “Be careful,” she cautioned and I knew what she meant. She had been the shoulder to lean on: she had heard me cry in the middle of the night.
I appraised my boyfriend as I jumped into his white car. Tom was wearing a blue t-shirt and white shorts. I pecked him on the cheek and caught the familiar whiff of his body scent. I struggled to hold my emotions in check, we were together no longer. Tom drove off throwing uncertain glances in my direction. I rolled down the window and my black silky hair blew in the breeze.
“Beautiful day, isn’t it?” I said as I took in a deep breath.
“Abby-” Tom began in that give away tone and I cut him off quick. We hadn’t talked in three months and I knew that he wanted to apologize. “Tom,” I said. “Let’s just have fun like we used to. Can we do that? Let’s make today special.” He nodded and a smile lit his face. I had just made it easy for him.
We went to the Six Flags and rode the wooden roller coaster. The old rugged thing shook our bones to the core and we moaned as we headed for the Helevator. The helevator, the ride from hell was a steep drop, straight up and then down the length of a skyscraper. It was the scariest ride in the park and I closed my eyes and bit into Tom’s shoulder as he raised his hands in bravado. We screamed as the ground rushed to meet us and got off laughing. After dating for five years since high school, Tom knew me well and my need for a rush, a good kind of high.
“The woman next to me vomited,” Tom said as we giggled.
The next stop was the canoe ride through the miniature waterfalls. With Tom, it was always fun and we splashed water onto each other and giggled like little kids.
“That was fun!” I yelled as I shook water from my hair. My white dress clung to my body and I noticed Tom trying hard not to stare. I had been called sexy many a times. I knew I was. Tom took off his shirt and I could tell that he had been working out.
“It’s okay,” he teased. “You can touch my abs.”
I rolled my eyes, “boys.”
We ran from ride to ride and some queues were long, although worth the wait. Twilight approached fast and still, the summer heat clung to the air. Tom bought me a pink teddy bear, which I cuddled affectionately. He seemed to like that. We grabbed some ice creams and watched the Lizard rock band playing as darkness descended.
On the way back home, we listened to Carly Rae and while I knew all the words to the songs, Tom murmured along.
But as we got closer to my house, the silence kicked in and the crickets began to chirp. The dawn of reality came back like a hurricane and suddenly we were back at one. The car coasted to a stop outside my house and Tom rushed in to steal a kiss, but right before he planted it, I asked, “how’s your girlfriend Grace?”
A dark cloud shadowed his eyes and he pulled back. I knew I had him on the ropes. The air was sucked from the car. He looked hurt, kind of like he wanted to cry. We sat in silence for a minute and in those few seconds I realized that I still cared.
“Grace is not my girlfriend,” he said.
“I know,” I replied, my words lacking benevolence. “She’s just the girl you are sleeping with after our fight three months ago.”
He grimaced as my sarcasm hit him. “Why did you agree to hang out with me?” he asked in an angry tone.
I waited for him to calm down then replied. “I missed you Tom. I got tired of being angry, but that doesn’t mean that I have forgotten what happened. I missed us, and how we used to be happy together. I just wanted to be happy for one day.”
“Then let’s get back together!” Tom said. “Let me make you happy again.”
I shook my head vehemently. “I can’t Tom. I’m not that strong. I will keep thinking of her every time you kiss or touch me. It’s best like this. It hurts not to be with you but it will heal.”
“She kissed me!” Tom tried to explain in trepidation. “I did not kiss her back. She knew that you were watching. Grace has always wanted to split us.” I knew he was right. What Grace didn’t get, she destroyed. And she had been after Tom for a long time.
“You didn’t put up much of a fight,” I said. It was time for the knockout punch. “Let’s just be friends Tom. Okay?”
Tom sighed deeply. “I’m sorry I hurt you Abby.”
“Don’t be. Everything happens for a reason. If we were meant to be together then we will.”
I felt bad, reached out and took his hand: he unclenched his fist. I squeezed it and he reciprocated. Deep inside we both knew that this was goodbye. We would never be a couple again.
I opened the car door and stepped into the warm night, started walking towards the house. The lights were on and I knew that my mum was watching from one of the windows.
“What if I want to be more than friends?” Tom said as he stepped out of the car. I stopped, startled, but didn’t turn.
“I love you Abby. I – love- you! And I don’t care. I want the whole world to know.” Tom turned his head and howled like a wolf. “I love Abby!” His voice cut through the night like a knife and a neighbor opened a window and yelled. “We don’t care!”
This was too funny and I turned with a smile on my face. Tom looked up and his eyes riveted on mine. I took a step towards him.
“So you kind of like me, don’t you?” I said.
“No,” he replied as he came closer. “I love you!”
Off to AFRICA
My book A Whisper in the Jungle has been picked by a publishing company and approved by the board. It has been scheduled for release soon.
The music is all around you, all you have to do is listen
Without God, what are we? What do we have? What is life...