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Syrupy sweet dreams

Sep 8, 2011, 2:23 PM | Article By: Isatou Dumbuya

She saw him, and he was the complete opposite of the lover in her dreams. It was a windy day and the pregnant clouds were eager to unleash their burdens. She was on an errand and no sooner had she gotten out of the market did the rain started. She was without an umbrella and the tank-top and shorts she wore with the flip flops were all she had against the rain.
The rain came down mercilessly. It wasn’t the kind which came lightly and then heavily, but the kind which came heavily, pelting people against their faces and backs like it was angry with them.

Some rain droplets hit her against her face and she ran to the nearby available shelter. There she met him, standing undisturbed on one foot and the other foot scratching his calf through his jeans. He hugged his arms and whistled an unknown song. He didn’t seem to notice her, and she unwillingly admired his manliness, but he wasn’t handsome. She would not hesitate to tell her friends that he was completely out of her league. He sucked in his lower lip. She hugged her arms around her to ward off the chill. With her shopping bag at her feet, she too stood on one foot wishing that the rain would stop and she would be on her way soon.

Then he noticed her and the way she imitated him and let out a sexy laugh. His laughter was like the edges of an April sunset- translucent and mystifying. You knew it couldn’t last forever, but you would stand for hours, hoping to get a glimmer of it once again.

Amazed, she asked him, “What….What is it?”

“It is the way you imitate me,” he managed in between laughs, “I can’t help, but laugh.”

It was the moment she noticed that she was standing on one foot with her arms hugged around her. She laughed with him.

Two years later, after they got married, he would come home from work, spent and wouldn’t say a word to her.

She grew tired, fatter and reserved. But her high cheek bones, deep chocolate eyes and her full lips were still with her. They both knew their passion was spent. Sometimes, he would beat the living day-lights out of her for no reason, but she knew that it was because he was always in and out of jobs.

“Go and find a job, I can’t continue feeding you!” He would snarl at her. He would come home drunk like a lord and collapse on their front door, and she would drag him to the tiny bed they shared and remove his shoes. Sometimes she would dip her hands in his pockets for money, not to steal it but to keep it for a rainy day.

One of such rainy days was when she had a second miscarriage and he didn’t bother paying her medical bills. “She eats all my children in her womb!” he said with disappointment written all over his face to the nurse.

And so in their damp, smoke-filled room, she conceived another baby.

And this time around, she gave birth to it. Not the easy-going kind, but the one which involved complications. The baby was a boy and she made her husband proud.

She knew she was going to die right after she gave birth. And so, she told him on her death-bed that she wanted to make them all happy, that she wanted to lit candles on their dining table and around the bathtub that she wanted to cook him meals, not the imbalanced ones they always ate, but like the ones she saw cut out of a magazine, that she always wanted to wear lingeries for him, that she wanted to crack coconuts with him and drink their wind-cooled milks, that she wanted to wash in the rain with him and take no notice of disapproving glances, like the couple opposite their house, and that she wanted to have a decent job to make them live comfortably, but how was she to do it when he ran away with her and made her a school drop-out and above all, all she wanted him to do was to always look at her in the eyes and say ‘thank you’.

Before she could say a word more, death came in the room and with it stole away her life and her dreams. He stood there baby in hands weeping hopelessly like a man possessed.