”One more chance. That’s all I ask, please.” He begs.
I can’t look at him. I don’t think I can handle it if I look into his eyes and see insincerity. Looking, however, happens to be the only way to know if he’s telling the truth. His eyes could never lie, not even while his tongue did. He could never look me in the eye when he was lying to me. Yet, he lied occasionally and, I caught him every single time thanks to his beautiful lie-detector eyes. I could do it again right now if I just turned around. Perhaps I just don’t want to know the truth. Deep down, I know I probably just can’t handle it if he’s lying. I like the speck of hope and I don’t want it cleaned off of his sheet.
”The park where we went on our first date. I’ll meet you there tonight.” I hear the desperation in his voice. ”Think about it.”
I hear the footsteps as he walks away. I turn around now but his back is turned to me. He just keeps walking while I stare till he’s out of sight.
I blame my punctuality on childhood trauma. Mother never lets us arrive anywhere late. Not even owambe that Afrika-man time was always the order was an exception.
It’s dusk and everyone prefers the park when the sun is still out so the place is nearly empty. I sit on the bench. The first time we were here, this is the bench we sat on and fed pigeons. We’ve sat on this bench every time we visited this park since then. If I was going to meet him anywhere in this park, it’s here.
More and more people leave as the hours go by and the darkness covers the sky. I know I was a bit early since his exact word was tonight. Tonight, however, is already here since it’s 9 PM by my watch. Where is he?
I get up from the bench and decide to take a walk around the park. I might find him making his way in, who knows? My ability to give him the benefit of the doubt every single time deserves credit. It’s quiet save for the sound of animals and the dry fallen leaves being crunched beneath my shoes.
I make my way back to the bench after one tour around the park. I see him standing by the bench and can’t help the smile that crosses my face. He smiles too but it’s taken over by a look of confusion. I see perfectly manicured fingers with red painted nails just like mine make their way across his chest from either side till they interlock. I wonder what kind of sick joke he’s playing at letting his side get the exact same manicure I did.
I can’t believe he brought another woman altogether. He still managed to look genuinely confused when she misbehaved. I turn my back on him because I can’t bear to see the hands of that woman caress him. I’m devastated. My heart is so utterly destroyed that it’s an apocalypse. I start to walk away when I hear muffled sounds. Are they really kissing? They couldn’t even wait till I was completely gone.
I look back, ready to release the hell I feel on him but he’s gone. They both are. I scoff and shake my head and walk so fast toward the gate of the park that I’m nearly sprinting.
The quietness of the park is mirrored outside it. It’s barely even 10 PM. Where’s everyone? I get in my car and start the engine when I look up at the rear mirror and see it. Those hands with the red nail polish. Did he really?
”Why are you…” I look back to yell at the woman that the love of my life chose over me and I’m cut off mid-sentence by what I see.
She smiles at me with a smile I’ve known all my life.
”This is one of the nicest shapes I’ve ever taken. I can’t let them take it away.” She says with the voice I’ve always loved.
”How…” I’m unable to finish.
”…am I you”? She finishes for me. “Well, like I said. I liked the form. Oh, and, you might wanna drive before the rest show up. They’re busy feasting right now.”
”What?” I’m obviously confused.
”They didn’t tell me communication would be so hard.” She relaxes into the chair and palms her face. “We are apocalypse. I kind of like you though, so I want you out of their way. I’ll explain more but only when we get out of here. Now drive!”
I swallow hard. What on Earth?