In his head, a beautiful garden full of flowers was the place he was. Chasing after a girl whose smile was radiant enough to shut down hell- bringing Satan to repentance. Maybe a bit overdrawn but yeah. He heard the chuckles and laughters of this little girl; he couldn’t have enough of it. He also pictured the little girl annoying him much that he started throwing gang signs at her. All this fantasy was brought to a sudden end by another feminine voice.
‘Hurst, how did we even get to this point? I mean, it all happened…’
‘Ingrid,’ he interrupted, ‘its time we actualize this. Lets make this happen and see how much better we will be.’ All this while he spoke, he didn’t blink. Neither did he look at Ingrid in the eyes.
Sensing the banks of her eyes are about to burst, she excuses herself, ‘Hurst, let me go to the ladies. I will be back.’
‘Do your thing babe, do your thing.’ Hurst replies.
He heart sang these words as she made her way away, ‘So I wither and render myself helpless, I give in and everything is clear I breakdown and let the story guide me( Dream Theater – Wither ).
She walks into the lavatories. She holds a staring contest with the mirror as she raises waters. The events of that Friday morning started replying in her mind. She remembers reading ‘Dr Tinsel Aretha – Psychologist’ then knocking at her door and getting in. Hurst and herself sat on the white couch -two seater. The lights and purple walls. Beautiful flowers that rested by the windows. Ingrid begins recollecting the words of Dr Tinsel, word for word.
‘Well, this is a very complicated matter. It is actually good that you decided to seek help. Had you waited a while longer, it could usher in depression.’ she paused, ‘Can I offer you guys a drink, maybe, before we proceed?’ Dr Aretha commented.
Giving them no time to accept or deny the offer, Dr Aretha, standing at about 5’6 feet, ordered for three glasses of apple juice and a bottle of water.
‘Owing to its complication, this feeling you behold will tarry. Living with it is something you should be prepared to do. Discounting counseling, very little that can be done to aid through this with ease.’ She paused and took a sip of her juice.
Neither Ingrid nor Hurst dared voice a word. Both were shaken. In a bid to sip her juice, Ingrid fortuitously knocked down her glass.
‘At heart, treat this as though it was a death. It would be in order that you get space in the cemetery then lay a tombstone as though someone got elevated to glory. Inscribe a name to the tombstone. Pay the grave a visit ofttimes to vent and elucidate what led to this…’
While still recalling, one of the janitors walks in. Recollecting her self, Ingrid wipes her tears, washes her hands than gave a smile,so fake, to the janitor. In her walking out, she mumbles to herself, ‘What have you done? Is this what you wanted? Hell you just earned yourself a reprobation!’
In the interim, Hurst is looking into his cup of coffee. Inside this cup, the darkness that surrounds him makes itself conspicuous. The birth to blackbirds and vultures that equated him to carcass were the upshot of his actions. He sees his soul bound in fetters of iron, blinded by guilt and shame in darkness so solid. Well, he very well knew that God was the merciful one and Satan was the punisher but at that instant, he didn’t know whether to place his soul in heaven or hell.
Freshly the little girl comes to mind. Perfect dent with two missing teeth, white eyes and brown skin. Perfectly curved nose and just the right forehead size. Lightly spotted tongue with a beautiful birthmark at the back of her neck. Two beauty spots just before the well sized ears. It is then that Ingrid sits back at the table and gently taps his shoulders and whispers, ‘Hey, hey….your tears are having fellowship with your coffee!’
He sobered up real quick and gave a rather sheepish smile. He then called for the waiter for the bill to be settled. Waiting for the waiter to bring the bill, the song that was playing softly in the background caught his attention. The words of the song struck his most numb of nerves, then came the chorus, ‘Then I lost it all
Dead and broken
My back’s against the wall
Cut me open
I’m just trying to breathe
Just trying to figure it out
because i built these walls
to watch them crumbling down,
Then I lost it all
and, Who can save me now? (Black Veil Brides – Lost It All)
Before he could react to those lyrics, for they spoke to him, the waiter got there. Paying the bill, he realized how beautiful that coffee bar was. It was dimly lit with tungsten bulbs, almost white walls and coffee-brown seats. It was then that he appreciated the place.
Being Ingrid’s choice, she deserved his congratulatory remarks for her good taste.
‘Babe, this is such a nice place. I see apart from me, you have good taste in other places.’ Hurst commented
‘Get outta here!’ Ingrid replied with a genuine smile that always had an effect on Hurst.
They were now walking out of the restaurant. They walking towards the parking area to take a cab home.
‘Did you just say get outta here?'(He laughs) ‘That statement takes me back into my school days. So, there was this time we were in a grammar class and our teacher, Ms Bennings Slater, threw a question. She was like,
“Class, give me the name of an animal with letter ‘E’ as the first letter. Anyone?”
I shouted, ‘Elephant!’
He went like, “Good, good. An animal starting with ‘T’?”
Before anyone could answer I shouted again, ‘two elephants!’ She really got agitated but he suppressed it. No, wait- she chased me outta class. She actually said, “get outta here. Off you go!” So I left class and stood by the window. Then she asked the class, “An animal starting with letter ‘M’?” And from outside I shouted, ‘maybe an elephant..!!’
‘Hurst, you haven’t changed a bit since then I see (chuckles)’ Ingrid replied. ‘I also had my moments though. Like there was this time,(Ingrid stops walking, jumps up twice in some sort of excitement-usual girl drama) I hadn’t done my assignments. And this teacher, OMG, she was like so harsh so I started thinking up an excuse. Guess what I told her, guess what I told her. Guess..guess!!’ She then paused
‘You told her you were too dumb to do the assignment?’ Hurst made the guess.
‘(Clicks) You are so mean! I don’t even like you. But my story is better than my life so (mschew)..this is how the conversation went like this:
Miss Abrahams: Ingrid, what happened to your homework?
Me: I made it into a paper plane then someone hijacked it!! Genius right? Right?’ Ingrid was all smiles at this point.
‘Hell Ingrid!!! Thats the dumbest thing I have heard in the age of Homo Sapiens Sapiens! How do I even talk to you? You know what, I wont even laugh!’ Hurst replied.
‘I know you are laughing at heart! You love me!!’ Ingrid concluded.
They got a cab; no sooner had Hurst settled in than he fell asleep. Getting Ingrid home, they sat at her front yard and discussed.
‘It would be a girl. It should be a girl!’ Hurst said.
‘Why a girl? I wont feud though, lets have it your way this time.’ Came the response from Ingrid.
‘You’re smart not to feud. Thats smart. At least for the moment you are.’
‘Shut up Hurst! Shut up! If its a girl then I think Naeva is a really cool name. Its better than North West right? Ingrid suggested.
‘Don’t even start! If her first name is Naeva then her and I will share a last name. So she will be Naeva Mathers.’ Hurst responded.
Hurst then said his goodbye and left for his apartment. Upon sunrise, they went to consult a mortician and a tombstone maker. They left the tombstone maker with the name Naeva Mathers. Completing that, they made their way to the cemetery where thy had gotten space and had the mortician mark out the place.
A week later, they called in a priest who held a funeral service. Fearing judgment, no one else was invited. They lay the tombstone by themselves. Unlike in the movies, this day the sun was shining rather brightly. Nature didn’t mourn with them.
A week later, Ingrid and Hurst go to visit the grave. Their walk to the grave was rather quiet. Not as comical as usually is. Both of them seemed to have drowned in thoughts. Both had a bunch of roses. Getting there, Hurst sat to the right of the tombstone and Ingrid to the left. They sat in such a way that they could look at each other directly. Ingrid had carried an acoustic guitar with her.
‘Naeva Mathers, today we are here. We wish to explain ourselves and also seek your forgiveness. Pardon me, or rather us, if we cry. Truth is, it hurts and haunts deeply. Never have I regretted this much, and I doubt I ever will. Trusting you have a good heart, lend us your ears.’ Hurst started. Ingrid had already a couple of tears.
‘Well, in college I played rugby. My position was a center- first center. Qualifications to play this position are speed and good body mass you take hits. After about six months of playing, Hurst Mathers was already a known and respected name. Every team knew how dangerous I was. The last match I played was about 10 months ago. In that match, I was a marked man. After I took the third hit I was getting tired. So, when I took the fourth hit, I couldn’t generate a lot of power. Worse off, I ran into a flanker and an eighth man. So I got a combo tackle. It was a six foot tackle!’
‘I landed on the ground so hard and badly. My knee hit the ground first after-which the two hundred and ten pound flanker landed on it. It got totally dismantled and shuttered. I was rushed to hospital.’ Hurst finished his explanation.
‘I was in charge of the first aid crew. So I had to accompany Hurst to the hospital.’ Ingrid started her explanation with tears in her eyes. ‘Hurst is a foreigner so he had no family or friends. Upon noticing that, I made a point of visiting him every so often until he got discharged two months later. We still continued meeting up and grew closer and closer to each other.’
‘We started dating two months after that. On this day, my house mate decided to host her friends for the night. So, I was exiled. I called up Hurst and asked him if I could spend the night at his apartment and he didn’t mind.’ She was crying Hysterically and wasn’t talking so clearly.
‘Excuse her,’ Hurst came in to help. ‘So a month after the sleepover she told me that she had missed her…her…, well, you know what I mean. So we both got scared. I feared for her esteem and she feared for my security. Security because foreigners who impregnated resident girls were usually attacked. So we both agreed, we agreed that..that..that you should…’
Hurst couldn’t finish his statement. A new wave of guilt rocked his world. He felt hollow inside and he began to curse himself. He knew he was the one who initiated all this. He knew that were it not for him, none of this would have happened.
‘Naeva, we’re sorry! Ingrid came in. ‘No excuse will be good enough, none will make this better. As Hurst was saying, it was then that we decided to let you remain in heaven without seeing the light of this earth. It hurts me so much to say this. Dr Tinsel told me to tell you everything. This is very crude of me, or rather of us. That day, Hurst drove us into some backstreet clinic’ She then stared at the tombstone as though Naeva was actually there.
‘I took my clothes off,’ she paused, ‘then I lay on the table. A masked man then walked into the room. He asked if I had any allergies then gave me local anesthesia. I started crying but he told me to be strong. He told me he was going to scrap the lining of my uterus and remove uterine contents with a long, spoon-shaped instrument-a curette. He also said if need be, he may use a cannula to suction any remaining contents from my uterus.’
‘After the process, I thought I had rid my self of shame. I started having abnormal abdominal pains and cramps few days later. They were so severe I couldn’t sleep. No amount of painkillers could take the pain away. My cervix was also hurting like crazy. Fortunately, Hurst never left my side. He took me to Hospital. After some tests, I was told I have a damaged cervix. The doctor told me, “Normally, the cervix is rigid and tightly closed. While abortion is being performed, it must be stretched open with a certain amount of force. This forced dilation almost always causes microscopic tearing of the cervical muscles and occasionally tears the uterine walls.’
‘From then on, depression started getting into us. We realized we had done something so wrong. Personally, I saw demons in my sleep almost everyday. I saw faceless enemies coming to me and burning me alive. I saw knives and machetes knocking at my door every single night.’ Ingrid explained. ‘At this point, Hurst suggested that we go see a psychologist to help us through this mess we were in.’
‘Naeva, I really wish you were here.’ Hurst explained. ‘This roses here are all I have to give but they cant help me make amends. And I really want to hold you. I think of you as though you were once alive. So I wrote this for you:
Faded is the face of the moon shy of gracing the night, its glory ended,
Out of faces that frowned, as she took to her horizon I lost my
Reason to smile, I cant stand and say that’s normal.
Drawn I am to kiss towards the direction she walked in with deep affection,
Back to me for mine eyes to see beauty in perfection and love to feel,
See all this is not normal, i may call it insanity.
It creates a space for her in my heart, mind and soul. Its just insane.
‘Dear God the only thing I ask of you is
To hold her when I’m not around
When I’m much too far away
We all need that person who can be true to you
But I left her when I found her
And now I wish I’d stayed
‘Cause I’m lonely and I’m tired
I’m missing you again oh no
(Avenged Sevenfold – Dear God)