Christmas is here again and all around me, I notice the genetic and excited pace of things as people struggle to get into the mood of things but it really does nothing to me. I can only sit and stare and sigh deeply, feeling the pangs of the heartache within me that has refused to heal.
My friends and family are abuzz with activity, planning, preparing, projecting and putting finishing touches to things. But in the midst of all these activities, I was quiet, pensive, lost in thought, the ache of my bruised soul throbbing softly and making me weep quietly.
There is nothing to make me get up and join in the festivities. The mood eludes me. I am like a love mourner at a festival; the joy, the happiness, the festive air all rub me the wrong way and instead of bringing happiness and calling up spots of joy, I find myself wallowing in abject gloom.
Christmas! The word that used to have an almost mystical and magical quality which never failed to bring out the excitement, has suddenly become a source of pain and sadness.
Now, I hear about Christmas and all I feel is a terrible languor of the spirit, soul and body, a deep seated feeling of intense pain and gut churning nausea. The season has lost its flavour and now tastes now better than a sour pot of egusi soup.
“You’ve got to let yourself live again. You can’t feel this way forever. “My sister, Tina said to me, just the other day as she drew up her list of people to send cards to.
“I know, but I just can’t help it. I moaned, turning over and over again the picture of Chris I had with me.
“Listen, Anita. Chris is dead.
That’s a fact and it’s two years now, two whole years. You’ve got to pull yourself together and let it go. You’re young and you just have to enjoy what’s left of your life. Tina said, dropping her pen to look at me.
I raised my head a bit and I had to learn to enjoy what was left of my life, she said. But that was the whole problem. There was nothing left of my life to enjoy. With Chris death, I’d lost an integral part of my life. The problem was that no one seemed to realise the fact.
“I know and I can understand how you feel about it all, but it’s been long time to mourn. You should let it go. I appreciate your pain, but you’ve got to let it go.
“My sister said, reaching over a palm to cover mine.
I felt the tears escape my lids and slide down my face and I stifled a rising sob. My sister meant well. They’d all meant well but it had never been enough and it would never do.
Chris was mine, my lover, friend and brother. We connected on a whole different level and no one could understand what it was that we had and shared and so no one could really understand what it was that I’d lost and how much it hurt then and still hurts now to know that another Christmas is here without my Chris, but with the terrible knowledge and pain for company, as I watch everyone struggling to grab his/her own slices of fun and happiness.
Chris! The name escaped me involuntarily and my sister looked at me. She shook her head and went back to her writing. I sighed, rose and walked out to the porch and even without looking, I could feel my sister staring at me and shaking her head.
I sat on the front porch swing and let it rock me to and fro as I tried to forget my sister. Had the Bible not said, “Many waters cannot quench love,” and it was true. Nothing can ever quench true love. Not death. Nothing whatsoever.
I sat on the swing and let my eye wander out down on the short walk that led to our gate and looking down there I could see the blue Subaru inching its way to the gate and the gate man let it in. Then Chris was out, smiling and waving up at me.
“Anita, Anita! I heard my sister call and I broke out of my reverie.
“What’s Auntie Caro’s address?” I supplied it and went back to my thoughts but the moment I had passed and I now sat there and tried to think of what we’d been doing now or planning to do for Xmas if Chris was still alive. I thought of the trip he’d promised me to Ivory Coast for this Xmas and wondered whether he’d had altered the plans. I thought about this and that, Chris handsome face flashing through the screen of my mind.
To be continued…