THE PATH - Episode 4

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“Sorry, I have to take this call,” Margret said. “Of course, feel free,” Elim answered with a smile. Margret stepped short distance awa...

“Sorry, I have to take this call,” Margret said. “Of course, feel free,” Elim answered with a smile. Margret stepped short distance away and answered the call. “Dearest Maggy, please don’t do this. I spoke to Awiti and she told me to forget you. She said you are seeing someone else now. Is that true? So soon? Can’t you see what you are doing to me? Please my love, I don’t mean to be critical of you, but I desperately need you in my life…like someone in need of an organ donation. Please give me some time. Soon, something will work out,” James pleaded frantically. His voice was laced with apprehension. “James….I can’t talk right now please.” “You are with the other guy right?” “Let’s talk later James. I can’t really talk now,” Margret repeated. Her voice was somewhat husky. She swallowed hard to wet her drying throat. Her hands shook as she spoke into the phone. She looked at Elim who was still downing the Ugali ravenously. She could feel the wall caving in on her. She wanted to be home all of a sudden…tucked away in the quiet of her bedroom. She took a deep breath as she fought off the impending wave of tears that was preparing for a march out of her eyes.

“Honey…Darling…Sweetheart…My Angel, please don’t let go. I have never wanted anything in my whole life as much as I want you.” “Then come back home! I can no longer wait. Come home to me. My arms, they are waiting to hug you. My heart aches for you. My heart hungers for your touch. My neck, my face, they are itching for your touch, your sweet breath on my face when you kiss me. I…I…I don’t know what to do. I don’t know what I am doing James. I love you more than I can say, but I am…I am afraid. What if? James, what if you never show up? Please come and take me in your arms. Come and wipe the tears that I cry every night. Come and put a smile back on my face…I can no longer do this. I have to find some way to carry on if you are not able to return home soon. Please, tell me you will be home soon…not in one year.” “I am doing all I can to return home my love. I am working on it. Please give me some time. Just a couple of months.” “That still sounds like eternity, but better than a year.” “So, will you wait for me?” “I will try James, but is the best I can do.” “Thank you my angel. Thank you Maggy.”

She felt specks of tears around her eyes. She turned her back to Elim and walked further away. She brushed the tears off her eyes. Even after James had hung up, she kept the phone to her ears as though she was still talking to him. She was buying time for frayed emotions to calm down. When she felt she had pulled herself together, she walked slowly back to the table. “Your face looks somewhat ruffled. Is everything okay?” Elim asked. “Sure, I am fine,” she replied sharply, managing a weak smile. She tried to finish her food, but her appetite had disappeared. “This is the most important day of my life yet, Maggy,” Elim said. “I am glad to hear that.” “Are you as excited as I am?” I am happy…yes, I am happy,” she said unconvincingly. Elim was smart enough to read through her words. “Maggy, please you don’t have to lie to me. Was that your ex you just spoke to,” Elim asked rather directly. “That was James,” she answered, not wanting to lie to him. “You still love him?” She said nothing. Their eyes met as she pondered the question. “You are angry right?” She asked him. “Why should I be?” “I am on a date with you and he called and I felt it was important that I talk to him. And…I took a while talking to him.”

“I have waited for years to be here with you Maggy. I am happy to go through more, just to show you how much I care…how much you really mean to me,” Elim said calmly. “I have to say that…I am not sure I have reached the same conclusion about you Elim. I am being honest. I am trying my best, but…I still find myself thinking of James. I am sorry, but I really want to be very honest with you.” “That is a bitter pill to swallow of course, but it is what it is. I wish you loved me as much as I love you, but I am willing to give it time.” “What if you do that and I break your heart eventually?” “I am prepared for the worst.” “I don’t want to be that girl that broke anyone’s heart Elim. I have been thinking of making this work, but my heart is still playing games on me. I…still love him. I am so sorry. Please forgive me. Let’s take things slowly while I try to sort my head out.” “That is fine by me.”

They said little for the rest of the evening. When Elim reached home, he tossed his car key on the table and made straight for the bedroom. He lay on his back and stared at the ceiling. What do I have to do to make her love me? He thought. I felt a sharp pain in my heart when she said she still loves her ex, but I had to pretend I could handle it. How long do I have to wait to win her love? Will I ever win her love or will I always be second fiddle to James? He went to the fridge and took a bottle of tusker Lite. He drank it swiftly and took another one. He lay in bed and began to flip through his phone book. As he peered at his iPhone 7, he wondered who to call. A well of frustration was building within him. He stopped at the name, Evelyn. He and Evelyn had been an item for quite some time. In the past few years, they had seen each other off and on. The last he saw her was over a year ago. She still wanted to be with him, but his heart was with Maggy. He dialed Evelyn, and she picked. “You finally remembered me Elim,” Evelyn said. “What are you doing?” “You want us to meet up,” Evelyn asked. “Yes. Would you like to go clubbing tonight?” “Yes of course,” Evelyn said eagerly. She was still very much in love with Elim.

An hour later, they were at Galileos Lounge on Waiyaki Way, Westlands, Nairobi. Evelyn was all over Elim as they ‘buggied’ on the dance floor. At some point, she went to get a glass of juice from the bar and a girl made an effort to dance with Elim. When Evelyn returned, she cast a look at her that could penetrate her skin and burn her heart to ashes. She quickly stepped into the space between the girl and Elim, asserting her ownership of him, at least for the night. “Is she after you or are you after her, Elim?” She asked caustically. “Come on Evyy. Nobody was after anyone. You don’t have to become possessive. Remember, that was what ruined our relationship. “But you can’t do things like this and expect me not to do anything.” “Just believe me. I was not after her.” “Okay. I believe you. So what happened with Margret, the apple of your eyes?” “I don’t want to talk about anyone but you Evelyn.” “She does not want to be with you right?” “Evyy, please stop. I just want to have a good time. I am here with you, and that’s what matters.” “For how long before you go running after her again…I told you she used to date some guy that traveled abroad. I take it she is still in love with him?” “I don’t know Evyy. Please stop!!!” Elim raised his voice. “I am sorry,” Evelyn apologized.

When they reached Elim apartment that night, Evelyn was eager to jump in the sack. All of a sudden, Elim began to feel guilty. He went in the bathroom and took a long hot bath. As he sat in the tub, he felt sharp pain go through him. Why am I doing this? It is Margret I want, he thought. “I am in bed waiting for you honey,” Evelyn shouted. When he finally came out of the shower, he told her that he was sleeping in the guest room. “So, I am your remote control Elim. When you are frustrated because your dream girl does not want you, you press me and I come running. Finally, you dump me in a room like a piece of garbage, right? I don’t blame you. It is my fault because I am in love with you.” She went into the room, got dressed and hit the road.

Two months later…
“I am sorry Maggy, I can’t make it this month,” James said over the phone. “Why?” Margret asked, trying to rein in her anger. “I don’t have permission to travel from my University.” “I don’t care about your University any more. I am done with this James. What do you take me for?” You think you can remote-control me into waiting for you forever? I am done with this!!!” She shouted into the phone. She hung up on him and crashed into the couch behind her. Her chest was rising and falling as she breathed heavily. A gust of rage went through her. Then, she began to cry again. After a few minutes, she picked up her phone and dialed Elim. “I am surprised you called. I have been trying to reach your for weeks on end, but I got the impression you were avoiding me,” Elim said. “Do you want to meet tonight?” “Tonight?” “Yes, like right now.” “Of course. Where do you want to meet?” “I can come to your place.” “You are willing to come to my place?” Elim could not believe what he was hearing. “Yes Elim. Please text me your address, unless you don’t want to see me.” “Of course I want to see you Maggy. I have been dying to see you. I will text it right away.”

“I will be there in the next hour or so.” “I will be waiting,” Elim said. He could not believe his luck. He began to clean up his apartment. He checked the bathroom, the rooms, the kitchen the fridge and the living room. He took a bottle of his Aqua Di Gio and sprayed it liberally in the living room and bedroom like someone hunting down mosquitoes with insecticide. He sprayed some on himself with equal liberality. He went to the mirror and took a good look at himself. He had not been in the gym for a few weeks. I am going flabby, he thought. He had been feeling emotionally down over Margret, hence, unable to drag himself to the gym like he used to. He dropped to the floor on both hands and quickly racked up a hundred pushups. After another look at himself in the mirror, he was down on the floor pumping up his muscles again. Afterwards, he sprayed more Aqua Di Gio all over his body, turned on the television and sat back and waited. His excitement was beyond measure. He could hardly wait. He got up and walked to the window, pushed the blinds aside and peered into the street. He scanned every girl in the vicinity. Somehow, they all looked like Margret in his excitement, but they all turned not to be her. He stared at his watch and wondered how long he had before Margret finally knocked on his front door.     STORY CONTINUES...

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Victor Chinoo

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