TOUCH

So like I mentioned in my last post, I got my revenge here on my friend TJ. Next time, he’ll know not to cast me in such a mischievous way in his stories. I swear I shivered when I saw what he did so it’s nice to get one over him.  By the way, this was inspired by one very correct music video… No prizes for guessing right but I’ll love to see anyone try.

************************************

TJ looked at Sabre as she stared at the newspaper in her hands. Then he heard the spattering sound of tears hitting the paper before she flung it on the table in frustration. She didn’t look at him. She now knew what had happened and it would be hard to take. He understood. It would be difficult for not to react like she was reacting now.So far, it’s been hopeless. She wasn’t even acting like he was there, the sadness, anger and misery was all consuming so he just sat there and watched her go through the emotions ravaging her.

Sabre has always been expressive anyway, he’s the contained one. Thinking about it now, he chuckled upon the realisation that he’s never called her Tolu; or any name other than Sabre. That was the name he got when they met online. The name struck him because it reminded him of Diego, the tiger character in Ice Age and this was the only reason he added her as a friend. Once she accepted the request, she noticed his really cynical personal post and asked him what got him so pissed.

“Hey.”

“Hi.”

“Added you from NaijaPings just in case you’re gonna go all ‘where did you get my PIN?’ on me”

“LOL! Nah that’s okay, I know.I’m not that type.”

“Good, saves me energy. I’m lazy like that.”

“Thanks for the heads up. I bet you’re an angry one tho, going by your last post. Is there anyone you wanna kick to the curb?”

“Hahaha, no. I just get to think of random stuff sometimes and I put it all up. By the way, what’s behind your Sabre name, hope you don’t bite?”

So he sat at his desk in the office smiling at his phone (like an idiot) for an hour while chatting with a complete stranger.  They talked about Sabre-toothed tigers, Diego and Ice Age cartoons, and a ton of stuff he probably won’t be talking about with just anyone, much less for an hour up till the point when Sabre asked, “Hold up TJ, what the hell are we?”

“I have no idea kitty; I guess there’s a lot of time to find out.”

And find out they did, that they’re what people would readily call soul mates. It was all so wonderful till what happened threatened to destroy everything they had come through. He was still trying to go through the events when he heard the sound of a briefcase snap shut.

She was leaving.

“Don’t go. Please!”

She didn’t even look back.

He didn’t say anything else but kept repeating the same three words as he followed her down three floors.

“Don’t go. Please…”

Still there was no answer other than Sabre’s losing struggle to muffle her sobs and stop herself from shaking. She put her luggage in the trunk and got in the driver’s seat. There was no way she’ll be staying inside that house, not after what she saw inside the paper.TJ told her he was travelling to Ibadan and would call her when he got there.He didn’t call and she didn’t hear from him. She wouldn’t have known what happened if she didn’t see that newspaper. After seeing it, she wished the vendor didn’t come around that day. She’d prefer living in ignorant bliss and since that had been taken away, she felt her only remaining choice was to getaway from the pain.

People deal with pain differently; some go through it by connecting themselves to whatever remains of pleasant memories while others try to get themselves away from anything that would remind them of the pain. She didn’t want to see her pencil-drawn portrait on the wall – TJ drew it. Neither did she want to go anywhere near the kitchen because they cooked together. She’d smear his shirt just so he’d take it off and he’d do the same. It was where they played the silliest games. The couch would be untouchable because they cuddled there while occasionally wrestling for the TV remote.

Sabre wanted no memory, no reminder of what was, and definitely didn’t want to stay where she’ll be surrounded by memorabilia; she was better off leaving.

It’s a futile enterprise and she knew it. You can’t leave pain behind, especially not by vacating a location. It follows like a stray dog stalking a stranger.

“Don’t go…Please!”

She still didn’t act like she heard him.

Banishing those thoughts from to the innermost recesses of her mind for the time being, she pulled out into the street in Ogba and headed for Ojodu. As for her actual destination, she had no idea. Perhaps she’ll drive around for a bit before deciding. Go back home or stay a while with her best friend, Dotun? Another decision she put on hold.

Sabre was off now, and to stop her TJ ran after the car as fast as he could. If he can overtake her before she entered a major road, she’ll stop – except if she didn’t mind running him over.

He was too late.

She was wiping tears off her face while looking into the rear view mirror when she ran a red light at the intersection in front of Excellence Hotel. An oncoming truck hit the car broadside and didn’t stop for another ten metres. TJ screamed. In seconds a crowd had gathered to help pull the victim out of the wreckage. To the amazement of her rescuers, save for a small bruise on her forehead, Sabre was fine. A policeman motioned for her to follow him into the Area G Divisional Headquarters which was a stone throw away from the site of the accident.

That was when she saw him.

TJ stood on the other side of the road. He was still wearing the same shirt he wore when he left home. The silly smile she had become so used to was on his face. After her near death experience all she wanted to do was hug him so she ran into his open arms.Still in his arms, he finally said what he’d wanted to say all the time she ignored him back at the apartment.

“I’ll always love you, never forget that.”

“I know.”

The policeman, puzzled as to why the young lady stood motionless on the sidewalk, walked back and urged her on.In his hand was that morning’s newspaper with a short headline and passport photo of TJ at the bottom corner:

“MAN, 29, DIES IN AUTO CRASH ON LAGOS-IBADAN EXPRESSWAY.”

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