Between their physical bodies was a few strides, but an endless depth separated their souls. He ran to her, swept her into his embrace, comforting her like only he could. With a finger he wiped away her tears, with whispers he found and erased the pain. An out-pour of strength enveloped her within the safety of his arms. His heart beat against her chest, ushering in a sweet warmth, driving the bitter cold from her form. A hand ran through her hair, lips kissed her brow, fingers stretching out to hold her waist, returning her world to that of a fairy tale.
An arm stretched out, fingers curling together, grasping air. Namdi's eyes once again saw the truth, a few strides still separated them. The short dream evaporated like all wishes do. His world was not a fairy tale, his story not a single path destined to end in joy.
"Zainab, what do you want. Whatever it takes I promise to make it right."
Lightning fell in the distance, illuminating the night sky, sealing his vow and locking his path. In that second, Namdi knew not what his words would set in motion neither did he care. If he was to be damned so be it. He took a step, taking him out of the light shower. Firmly he stood, the distance between them though still significant, now shorter than before. At his words her tears had ended but the heavens' intensified.
"We cannot both continue to exist beneath this dark blue sky."
Her words froze his soul, reiterating a truth he stubbornly refused to accept. Visibly he aged a few years, his shoulders bearing a weight he would never rid himself off in this life. Namdi looked to her, hoping she would set those shapely eyes on him one last time. An object sped towards him. Reflexively he caught it, the feel familiar. In his palm a set of keys. Her bare back filled his view as the mahogany wood closed behind her, shutting the door on whatever hope Namdi still nurtured.
He couldn't look away, fruitlessly willing it to open. So much had been left unsaid, if only she would listen, if only he had shouted out the truth for her to hear, if only she could see it wasn't willingly, if only she, if only, if, if, if, if, if, if... A fist struck his jaw, causing him to stagger, the physical pain clearing his mind. Taking a deep breath, his feet moved, guiding him to the Dakota brown Mercedes he had no say in.
Empty roads kept him company, other commuters having long sought shelter. Wipers waged war on the falling rain, a metronome keeping his mind in beat. He reached into his pocket, bringing out the card she had slipped into his palm. A faint scent came off it, mixing with the fragrance of new authentic leather, evoking complicated memories he struggled to keep at bay. On the 5 by 4 card, in simple letters, was a single address. He looked at the blinking dashboard clock and date. The time was right but it was set to three days before, the date taunting him. Pushing it to the depths of his mind, he punched the address into the car’s navigation system. It wasn't far.
Looking out the window, he saw a house on darkened land, surrounded by nothing but untamed bush. Hanging his I.D card on the rear view mirror, he stepped out, running to the front door. A knuckle reached up to knock but he stopped, reaching for the door handle instead. It swung open, revealing a poorly lit interior. An aura of loss followed him as he walked in without a word.
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