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Wednesday, November 02, 2016

This Loving Heart Of Mine (5)

I run over to what remains of the Camry oblivious of the glass and metal slashing my stockings and cutting into my bare feet. There is this sinking feeling in my guts. The Mac hit the Camry from the passenger side where the lady was seated so she got the worst of it.

Her face is turned towards me and I can see where her head has been smashed in by the Mac’s high fenders. The man is stretched across her lap, his right hand on the buckle of her seat-belt. I reach through the jumbled mash of steering wheel, door and window to check for pulse and signs of life. Neither of them has either.

 Her left hand lies lifeless, almost comfortingly on his back and on the fourth finger, I catch the glitter of a ring. There is nothing I can do for them.

By now, two other cars, one on either lane, have stopped at the scene. The driver’s door of the metallic blue Volvo that has parked behind my Jeep opens and a man wearing a suit steps out. I ask him for his phone because I must have left mine in the pocket of my jacket back home.

He takes it out and gives it to me but I don’t know who to call. I ask him if he has a number for any police station. He doesn’t. Road Safety Corps office? He doesn’t. By now, the driver of the car parked on the opposite lane has joined us. He doesn’t know any law enforcement numbers either.
Two more cars have parked now. I tell them how certain I am that the couple in the Camry are dead. The Volvo man says how can I be so sure. He suggests we bring them out nevertheless, that maybe I am wrong. He talks like a lawyer would in court. I look again at the wreckage; without some serious demolition tools, getting those two out of that car will take a miracle.

 So I propose that they do their best to disentangle the corpses from the Camry while I head back into Uyo where I will report the incident to the nearest police station or Road Safety office. More people have gathered by now and they agree to my plan. I return the Volvo man’s phone, get in my car and wheel around facing town. I do not look in my rearview mirror.

As I drive back into town, my mind is racing. Those two never saw it coming. They were just two lovers travelling together before it was all snatched from them. They are dead…never to tease again, or laugh again, or hug or kiss. No warnings, no signs. Just dead. It hits me that it could have easily been Bella and I in that car. They were young like we are, in love and most probably married like we are and talking, laughing and kissing like we do on our drives together.

Or it could have been me alone. Had I not been so caught up in watching them, I would have been the one ahead of the Camry; I would have been knocked across the intersection by that drunk driver of the Mac; I would have been lying there now in my battered jeep dead, my head smashed and bleeding, my arms lifeless by my side, all those women peeking in at my mangled body and crying ‘Abasi!’ while the men tried in vain to drag out my corpse.

And I never would have seen Bella again.

The thought chills me to the bones. The thought of never again seeing or touching those lovely features I know by heart, never again hearing that voice or that loud laughter again, never again hugging or kissing her. I feel the chill right down to my marrows.


Their youth, their love is all wasted now. They are never to be young and strong again, never to laugh again, never to love again. But for me, I am still alive; still young, strong and very in love yet here I am running from my love. Bella did me a huge wrong but I can admit now that I contributed to it. I know how emotionally unstable Isabella is and how much she depends on me for that strength she lacks yet I cut off all communication with her for over six months.

True, I had been working but maybe if I had only tried a little harder… And she regrets cheating on me. I know it; I saw it in her eyes – eyes that cannot lie to me. So what am I doing so far away from home? Shouldn’t I be with my wife making up for all the lost time?

 I have no answers to these questions so I make a decision. I get up to run across the road to my car but the call girl yells at me. I did not even realize I still had her phone in my hand.

 I apologize and I’m about to return the phone when I change my mind. It is as if the phone in my hand sparks off a very desperate urge to hear Isabella’s voice. So I signal the call girl to wait – she does with a furious pout. I dial Bella’s number.

It rings…

  The concluding part of this story will be published on Friday. Watch out!

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