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“Ahhh!” John yelled in pain as the doctors passed a metal rod through his leg. The anesthetics had failed to work on him. He clutched t...

“Ahhh!” John yelled in pain as the doctors passed a metal rod through his leg. The anesthetics had failed to work on him. He clutched the side of the bed, but nothing seemed to reduce the biting pain. Soon, the surgery was over and he lay in pain with his right leg hanging above. Two days later, no one had come to visit him. His parents had died some years earlier and his brother lived far away. He was on his way home to see John. Cindy had been around only was since the accident to announce that she was calling off the relationship. “Can’t you wait until I am out of here Cindy? Please don’t do this to me. I love you so much! I need you Cindy…I need you more than ever,” John had begged, but Cindy would not budge. “I am sorry John. I think it is time to steer my life in another direction,” she said coldly. “Is it because I may never walk again?” “It has nothing to do with that,” she lied. “I just want to apply myself elsewhere.”

“I am shocked Cindy. I am terribly shocked. I have given all I could possibly give to you. I was there for you when you had all sorts of problems in school. I have taken risks to drive from one city to another late at night just to be there when you needed me the most. Yet, you are willing to toss me out of the window just like this. I am shocked.” “I am sorry, John. I have to go,” she said. John was not the crying type, but as Cindy left, he felt a torrent of tears deluge his face. He looked on helplessly as she walked outside and hopped into a flashy Toyota Rav4. A male driver sped off with Cindy rubbing the back of his head romantically.

Each time John thought of her, deep, searing pains, worse than the pains he felt when his bone was drilled open stabbed aggressively at his poor mind. He had to take sleeping pills to sleep. He had nightmares as he ploughed himself into the abyss of pain and broken heartedness. One morning, he was fast asleep under the influence of a sleeping pill. When he woke up, he smelt a fresh fragrance in the air. He looked around and his dirty clothes were gone. He wondered whether his brother had returned. As he peered around, the door opened. Mary stood by the door. She looked unsure of herself. “How are you feeling?” She asked in a gentle voice. “You came to see me?” She nodded. “You washed my clothes and cleaned the room?” She nodded yet again. He looked at her for a moment. Shame and guilt….unworthiness stomped on his face like a frenzied dancer gyrating to intoxicating rhythms.

“You really came to see me…to help me?” “I couldn’t stay away after I heard that she left you; that you have no one to help you. I…I am not here for your money John. I can leave if you want me to. I just wanted to help.” “I am glad you are here,” he said. Drops of tear formed around his eyes.

“I…I have not grown any taller John. I am not your type. I am not as beautiful as the girls I have seen you with. I have come to believe that you deliberately show them around so I could hurt. I never did anything wrong to you. The one mistake I made was not being able to grow tall enough…you know, like Ngozika or Cindy. I have wanted to hate you in my heart but I couldn’t.” She took out a handkerchief to drain the tears that were streaming down her face. John wanted to say something, but massive guilt firmly shut his mouth. “I have watched you with all those other women and asked God why…why he created me short. I have not been able to love any other person like I love you. If there was a surgery to make me taller, I would have signed up for it…just to become your type. I recall when you used to look in my eyes and tell me I was the most beautiful girl in the world. Then, you began to listen to your friends and I ceased to be beautiful. Height became the singular parameter for measuring beauty, and in so doing, I became nobody. I have thought of taking my life but I did not have the strength to do it.

“As I watched you sleep, I wanted to celebrate…to be happy that you were suffering but I couldn’t. My heart bled and my soul cried for you. At home, I wanted to ignore that you were here alone; all by yourself with no help, but I could not stay away. I never stopped loving you John. Not for a single second. I never stopped loving you. All these years I still loved you…read the love letters that you wrote to me years ago and watch pictures of young us together wrapped in each other’s arms with pride and joy. I don’t know why I am here….I just could not stay away. I am not tall…with long elegant legs John, but my heart is large…filled with immense love for you; enough love to wipe your tears…to cry with you; to stand by you and take your pains upon myself. I can never grow any taller at my age, but my love for you…it is deeper and taller than anything you can imagine. Through all that you did to me, I am still here…watching over you like your guardian angel.”

She turned away from him and stared into the wall as a massive flood of tears fell down her face. John wanted to stand up and beg her for her forgiveness, but his leg was firmly strapped to a bar above. “I…I…I feel very ashamed of myself Mary. I don’t think there is anything that I will say that will make sense…but I will say it anyway. I have been rude and mean to you. I was terrible! Please forgive me. Please Mary, will you forgive me. I know better now.” She turned and looked at him through teary eyes. “Please forgive me!! Please Mary…forgive me. I can’t believe…that you are the only one here for me now. Now, I know what true love really is. Please forgive me Mary.”

She walked slowly toward him. They both cried profusely. “I want to say no for all that you have done to me John, but I can’t. I…love you far too much to say that,” she said as she wrapped herself around him. They hugged for what seemed like eternity. She cried uncontrollably as she held him. “It is going to be okay Mary. I am very sorry…I am sorry for everything that I did to you. You truly are an angel.” “I…I am still short John. Please don’t forget that…I will never be tall, but no height can equate to what I feel for you deep in my heart.” “I want all of what you feel in your heart Mary. Now, I know what is really important. I want all of your heart Mary and not your height.” They remained wrapped up in each other’s arms, refusing to let go!


Written by:
Victor Chinoo

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