I make her giggle like a child—so pure, so contagious. Zainab smiles with her whole face and laughs so free; so generous with it. I am the funniest man alive. She gets me. Against a million odds, her energy matches mine. She is all I’ve been waiting for. We are on the same wavelength. We hear each other, see each other and mimic each other’s vibe. My heart wants to spend every second with her. She sparkles. Her presence makes my core shiver. Zainab wants me and she is not afraid to show it. Courage of emotional expression. This I like the most about her.
We have been dating for two months. Love’s zest climaxes at the beginning of a relationship. I’ve experienced this before, but with Zainab the level is unprecedented. Love’s zest climaxes at the beginning and its endurance peaks at the middle. At the end, zest and endurance tussle it out. What wins depends on the couple. And sometimes, love loses to another love, other times it loses to hate. For now we shine the brightest. She is my star, I am her star and we travel in this galactic world side by side. Same energy.
It is a few minutes past eleven. I am in my pyjamas, calling to say goodnight. “48:51”, the call timer says. We will probably talk ourselves to sleep. She is in her pyjamas too. She even told me its colour and what’s not under. My room is chilly with the rainfall and my bed is cold. Her voice, which exudes her warm heart, warms me. The lights are out but their power rationing cannot stop me from beaming.
“I have been meaning to ask” she suddenly says “why you’re still friends with your ex fiancé, Hal?”
Where is this coming from? I ask myself. In my silence, a lot of things cross my mind. Like she’s not really my ex fiancé. I popped the question, she said yes, then changed her mind the next day. We didn’t even get the chance to start talking about wedding plans.
“What do you mean?” I finally say “though we had different opinions about our future, we still respect each other. We dated for three years. She knows me, you know”
“Wow” she says “you should hear yourself speaking right now. Do you still love her?”
“What? No” I say, sitting up “I love you. Why does it bothers you so much that I’m still talking to her?”
“You really can’t see it, do you? You barely go an hour without bringing up her name”
They just brought back power, I say. The first time this weekend. I need to iron some things. She says she could hear the ceiling fan turning. I ask her if we can talk about it in the morning.
“Ok” she says “but you should really think about this tonight”
How could I not? She didn’t sound happy with me.
Why can I be friends with my ex without it meaning anything to my new relationship? Zainab means everything to me right now. That’s all that should matter. Hal knows me. We share a deep history. It is important to me. If only this doesn’t concern Hal, she would have advised me on what to do. She is very good with people. But she is too selfish to be reasonable in a case like this.
Why am I thinking about her right now?
I read something somewhere about black holes in space. They are regions of intense gravitational field. So strong nothing can escape out of them, not even light. I am ironing my shirt and can’t help the thinking, maybe Zainab is right. There is a black hole in my space and part of me is in it.
This is trying to taint our run. Zainab and I are on a streak, superbly fitting into each other’s lives. I guess love comes with all the excitement just to show you how good it can be. Then it quickly pushes you into the endurance stage to see if you’re worthy of it; worthy of a happy ending. Is love fair demanding more from one partner than the other? Again, I guess one decides if it is fair by deciding how much his partner is worth to him. If one can give his all and get love back in return, then it is fair.
The air in my small apartment is getting uncomfortably warmer due to hot steam from the pressing iron. I am eager to finish, edgy. Perhaps I am edgy about something else. This is making me anxious. No sacrifice is too much for keeping happiness. Look at Hal. She gave up our future for her “happiness”.
I reach for my phone.
“What” her sleepy voice says “I’m trying to get some sleep”
“You don’t have to worry about Hal anymore. I love you. You’re my priority” I say, surprising myself.
Sometimes, I don’t know what I want to say till I say it. The time is 1:07 in the morning and I decided this love is worth holding on to.
Bio: Ibrahim Oga is the author of Sisyphean Mind Anthology. He has an ongoing series on channillo.com titled Vista of a Sisyphean Mind.