“How do you know that Alvin is truly in love with me, Chantal?”
“He confessed it to me. Last night that was.”
“We only met yesterday.”
“Love starts at first sight, Sophia, don’t you know? We all fall in love that first moment we come across that special someone. And to him, you are that exceptional someone. You hold a very unusual place in his heart. No one can replace you that easily.”
“I am sorry. I can’t do this. I am in love with someone else. Alex Ramirez. I can’t do this to him. If he finds out that I am going out with another man, who is your son without misgiving, he will certainly kill the both of us. I cannot do this; I am so sorry, Chantal.”
“Please Sophia. Do it out of sympathy and kindness for my cherished son. He is dying bit by bit each passing day. You cannot let him take his last breath just like that. You cannot, my dear. You possibly cannot do this. Please, I beg you.”
“I am sorry. I have to leave now.”
“Sophia, wait! Where the hell are you going to? Where exactly?”
I ran out of the kitchen as speedily and promptly as I could. Chantal followed me, at a fast pace and nervously. As I was coming out of the house, I saw a man, ginger-haired and well-built, boarding off a motorcycle that he had just arrived on. I went on to push him over aggressively so that he tripped down to the ground and then I promptly and hastily laid hold of his motorcycle to scale it and start my way off. Too late the man rose up from where he had fallen, Chantal coming out of the house very late concurrently. I took off there and then, hurriedly and without any setback. The full-glass helmet fell off behind me, cracking and splitting up into a million sparkly and scintillating pieces. Into the never-ending forest I streaked off my way on the dust road, determined and enraged. That was the best thing to do. Running away from everything. Away from my troubles, my torments, and my sufferings. But I was sure to meet these yet again in a newly form. Obviously.
No one was following me. Maybe Eman was. In any case, I drove as swift as I could, heading this way and that other for hours and hours unbroken. Where would I go? Nowhere of course. I had to look for Alex. I had to tell him everything about me. All my secrets and my long-ago life itself. Yes, even all that Chantal had disclosed to me with regard to his son, Alvin. That is what I had to do. Precisely.
It was somewhere around four towards dusk when I made it to the town—Brownton, without doubt. I stopped at a petite filling station and asked for directions I could make use of to get to Brownton University. There was no way I could call Alex when I had left my phone back there at that damn forest turret together with all my baggage and stuff. Of course, I had not kept his number in my head. No, I had not.
Minutes later I had in appropriate time whizzed my way to the university. There were students walking aimlessly about and others standing idle and others chatting and driving intensely fast like they were on a speed-race-to-your-death sort-of game. Alex. He was all I needed to come across right now. And I thought that Maxwell Madalitso would help me on that part. Alex was his friend after all, right?
Having parked my motorbike securely where the security guard was watching and keeping an eye on all the innumerable vehicles in the parking lot, I proceeded my way to Maxwell’s apartment, leisurely and coolly. I was heading for his room to be accurate.
My God. I could not believe what my own two eyes saw. Just as I was about to make it to Maxwell’s room, having drawn nearer the building where his room was based, I saw Alex coming down the stairs with him and another very much eye-catching girl that was dressed in comprehensive black, all smiling blissfully and merrily. Alex was the one who was holding her in his arms steadfastly and lovingly, kissing and pecking her cheek and elongated hair every once in a while. It must be a dream on my part. A bad one. A nightmare even. No. He couldn’t be…with a different girl. But he in any case was, right there before my very own eyes and face.
For a while, the two paused to kiss intensely and tenderly. I watched in downright pain and unaided horror altogether. Then he released the girl to go away on her own, waving back at him dexterously and gaily, and it was only then that he saw me. In my blue jeans and a sanitary fresh lime-colored top. Damn him for everything!
I turned away and ran off as hastily and hurriedly as I could.
“Sophia,” he yelled at the top of his voice, widening his eyes in blatant shock and sprinting after me what’s more.
There was no way he could catch up with me. We were ended for now, I imagined. He was nothing but a bare-faced felon. Yes, he was. I didn’t care even though it hurt exceedingly much. I would date and wed Alvin if possible. Just so to hurt and tear him down in turn. He had shattered my harmony and pleasure and blamelessness. I would smash to smithereens his in turn. Oh yes, I definitely would. Damn him and everything despicable that he was!
I got on my motorcycle and went away. It was meaningless now. What else mattered? Nothing at all. My life belonged with Alvin and no one else. Not him—Alex—not anyone else but Alvin alone. Chantal was right after all. I had to love and give her son my very best. And that was what I was definitely going to do. With nothing to frighten or bring to a standstill the hell out of me either.
I loathed Alex for everything. He was such a horrible impostor. Damn him for everything! I reviled him; I was repulsed by his sheer presence and being itself; I hated him. He was the most contemptible and detestable creature that the world had ever seen. I swore that he would pay for everything painful he had done to me. If I wouldn't be the one to implement any form of judgment upon him, then heavenly supremacy certainly would. Which was better? My vengeance or one that divine power could only cause?
I thought that divine punishment was preferable. Far much just and appalling and equitable. I was simply human and could be somewhat unreasonable and unfair as well. Yes, that was very possible for sure.
Alvin. He was all that I needed to concentrate and focus on right now. Him alone and no one else. I swear, I was going to love him, even more than I had ever come to love Alex. Damn him! That bastard. He deceived and took me in for an idiot. And I avowed, I was not ever going to let him lay another filthy hand on me. Never again; never ever I say. Damn him!
When I stopped the motorcycle, it was at that filling station that I had been at minutes ago. I went inside and bought coke—the one that they place in a plastic bottle—and I paid for it with the efficacy of my electronic credit card. Yes, I would rather have the money deducted from my bank account by electronic means than bodily and in the flesh pay for it as I had carried no any reservoir notes or coins with me here. Outside, in the new and bright evening, I swigged it impatiently and then frantically threw it off away to scale up on my motorcycle once more and drive my way off. Damn Alex! Damn him!
Air whipped past me, rippling and flailing uncontrollably my drawn-out hair behind me. I narrowed my eyes at the unending road before me that was lightened up luminously and unmistakably with the headlights preset on my motorcycle. I regretted having run out on Chantal like I had done. Anyway, it was all worth finding out the horrendous truth on the other hand, wasn’t it? Alex was not the good and commendable man that I thought him to be. He was a fiend and an ogre and Old Nick himself all in all. Damn him! Argghhhhh! Damn him an incalculable times!
I was crying. Yes, I was. I couldn’t help it. I had loved him, adored him, cherished him even, and all this was how he could pay me back for my faithfulness and seriousness toward him, right? Damn him I say!
It was night when I made it back to Alvin’s forest house, all safe and sound. Chantal was the first one to dash out to me upon hearing the thunderous buzzing and humming of my motorcycle till its quietness. She looked terrified and apprehensive, her eyes swollen red and all tearful, her breaths ragged and bumpy and her hair rumpled up and windswept dirtily like you would anticipate to see a mad woman being. “Sophia,” she whispered audibly and ran over to hug me from where I stood, blunt-faced and hopeless. Alex had torn down my joy and virtuousness. He surely had.
I trembled and quaked aggressively in her grasp. It was like my feet would give way and I would pass out instantaneously and without interruption. Like I would breathe my last breath even. Alex. He had razed my everything. My ecstasy, my virtuousness altogether. He had destroyed my everything. Damn him a second time!
“Sophia, are you okay?” She asked me, scared-stiff and petrified sounding. If I were not in my bawling state, I would have posed the very same question back to her.
“I am fine, Chantal. Nothing serious happened to me. I am so sorry. Forgive me for having treated you that terrible way. You were right after all. I should think about loving your son, Alvin, as best and most greatly as I possibly can. That is what I am going to do right now, I give my word.”
She shrank back to study and observe me. I could see uncertainty interfused with fear in her sparkly green eyes. My God. What could have precisely happened to her? From the look of things, it was not anything good. No, it was not. And could it all be my responsibility? Could it be?
“Are you sure about what you are saying, Sophia?”
“Yes, I am.”
She hugged me even the more, crying and howling non-stop. I was right. Things were not okay with her.
“Why are you crying, Chantal?”
No. Could anything dire and catastrophic have befallen him? I prayed not so. If it had, I was surely to blame for everything. Yes, I would be the one at liability and very much accountable for his present unhappiness and hardships. “What happened to him?”
“He is not the Alvin that I always know and who I am familiar with. Right now, he is something else creepy and fiendish. He is throwing things all over the house like mad. I told him that you had escaped upon his arrival here and he became so nuts and unfeeling from that moment that he could not come to sympathize with anyone. Alvin will go crazy if he won’t see you again, Sophia.”
“Take me to him right now.”
“Whatever happens, please don’t tell him what I made known to you. Not a word, not a statement of it. Do you hear me?”
“I do. I promise, I won’t tell him anything you said to me.”
“Good. Let us go now, shall we?”
Goodness. The living room was in such an appalling mess. A very horrible one surely. My God. What was this that Alvin was doing? What? All the picture frames that had been satisfactorily pinned and transfixed to the walls were now removed away and thrown viciously and haphazardly all over the floor so as to smash and blow them apart to nothingness. This was terrible indeed. So, so awful and terrible. The couches were drenched and waterlogged with flammable liquor that Alvin himself had been insanely consuming and which he was on the threshold of setting afire.
Alvin. No. He could not set everything up on untamed and feral flames. No he could not. What had gone on in his mind? What exactly? I looked at him with aghast and shocked eyes and he stared back at me, discolored and enraging with unwarranted and unmanageable wrath. I don’t know. That instant I looked at him, the ferocity and ire consuming and eating him up bit by bit seemed to lower and pass out. That was much better. Much better and more preferable indeed. I continued to gawp and stare at him, breathing gradually and evenly like he was doing on the other hand. He couldn’t carry on with this. No, he couldn’t.
“Alvin,” I hissed quietly, walking unhurriedly but circumspectly toward him. He could not do me any harm, could he? I hoped that he wouldn’t. “Alvin, why are you doing this to yourself? Why?”
He stirred toward me. And I blenched instantaneously. My God. If he would molest me right now, I could do nothing to shield and look after myself. He didn’t thank goodness. He flung himself against me, holding me warily and lovingly from behind and keeping me tenderly but steadfastly in his manful clutch. I had never been held so tense and yet so strongly affectionate. Only one that really and extremely loves you can merely hold you that remarkable way that he grasped me right now.
“Alvin, I’m so sorry,” I howled and yowled bashfully.
He patted my back delicately and unconscientiously. “It’s okay, baby, what matters is that you are with me right now, in my own arms and in my very own house.”
“I have to tell you something.”
“What is it, baby? You are free to talk definitely.”
“I love you, Alvin. I truly and with conviction do love you from the very foundation of my own heart.” Did I? Not really. All that was in my heart was pain and torture and soreness that Alex’s absence in my life had caused me. But with time these especially painful gashes would heal to give me plenty breathing space and chance and time to be intensely and truthfully in love with him—Alvin. I hoped so.
“Say that again, Sophia, will you please?”
“I love you, Alvin Morgan.”
“And I love you too, Sophia Solochi.”
He was in very high-flown spirits in the flash of that moment. So cheery and blissful like I had never seen him before. Alvin. The one and only man that mattered to me more than anything else right now. I loved him. But then not that really and truthfully. With time, real and good and adequate time, I would come to love him like he was deserving and worthy of. So, so much and devotedly that nothing in the entire world would come to undo and break us apart. Nothing at all. Not even Alex. Damn his memory! It was horribly and veritably painful and excruciating at the same time. Remembering him was like pouring vinegar mixed with chili on a very fresh and newly wound. It was exceedingly and unavoidably too painful. There was no way I could keep away from that immense pain.
Don’t worry, Sophia. With time you will move on and forget him like he has never existed at all. Trust me. And damn everything too!
I stared past Alvin’s strapping-built shoulder and observed Chantal smiling tearfully and happily at the two of us. She was the most happiest mother in the entire universe that precise moment. Nothing could fruitfully shatter her ecstasy and high spirits all in all.
It was late in the night afterwards. At curtly ten or 22hrs in other words. I discovered that by snatching a rushed peek at Alvin’s watch. After our settlement and weepy moment in the living room, Chantal had prepared dinner for us and the two of us ate merrily and naively. Before that he called his men—Eman of which he was comprehensive—to notify them that I had returned back safely and soundly and that they had to stop looking for me and instead come back here. Kris. I had to explain myself to her. Chantal had called her soon after I had gone missing and she as well instantly rang her back the moment I found my way back here. She was presently busy but pleased about my return and she would later call me, she said. What was I going to say to her? I was clueless and extremely hopeless.
That was not what bugged my mind right now. But where my future with Alex…damn him…Alvin I do mean, was going? Where exactly?
When I checked my phone, I discovered that I had 17 missed calls from Chantal, 13 from Eman, 56 from Alvin, 78 from stranger and unfamiliar numbers and 23 from Kris and 25 from Alex Ramirez. Oh, oh. How was I supposed to hear them calling me when I was putting on no helmet and the wind was sweeping and flipping my hair behind me outrageously? Thanks to my very stretched light brown hair itself, the fierce and deafeningly painful wind had not succeeded in making me go deaf and hard-of-hearing overnight. No, it had not.
“Do you like it out here?” Alvin asked from the swathed verandah where we were taking our stand on, eyeing and making sheep’s eyes at the beautiful stars overhead us. I liked it. So very much. As much as I enjoyed watching the beautiful sun set down the infinite sky, shining and blazing more dimly and gloriously dimly.
“I like it. So very much.”
“You have no idea that today is the best night ever for me. I have you, I have everything in the world I can think of, I have my very own happiness and guiltless joy.”
Today was the worst night ever for me. I had him no doubt, but I had unfortunately lost my purity, my blamelessness, my old and real happiness, and much worse Alex himself. In any case, I did not make all these known to Alvin. I smiled at him vaguely and cheerfully and he pecked my lips gradually slow and at his own speed and leisure.
“I love you, Sophia.” His voice was very soft and very tender.
“I love you too, Alvin.” Mine was quite humane and exceptionally easy-going. Where were the two of us headed? Where exactly?