Prelude

He arrived in the late hours of that Friday night; his beloved was fast asleep. He walked hurriedly up the stairs to their bedroom and called out with a sense of urgency, “Honey!

There is something I want to tell you”. She replied eyes closed half asleep, “Oh! Honey tell me in the morning”. He conceded: “It is alright remind me tomorrow morning then. Please do not forget to remind me” and tucked himself in bed cuddled his beloved and slept; unbeknown to her that it was for the last time.

She woke up in the morning, took a shower. Strangely he continued to sleep soundly despite the noise and movement in the bedroom. Once dressed, she paused to wake him up.

He was sleeping so peacefully, she had thought but, she had promised to remind him … but, she couldn’t and thought that it would be silly to disturb him. She decided that it would be best they catch up after her classes.

She walked downstairs, stopped midway, thinking that she had not kissed her love goodbye. Walking back to the bedroom, she looked at him. He was in deep slumber and it felt unfair to disrupt his peace, so she left him alone. She ran downstairs, opened the door and walked briskly to the gate. Her lift club had just arrived.

Their eyes never locked during all that time, in retrospect, this was rather strange. That was to be their last time together in the physical plane. The years that followed were filled with tears, anger, sorrow, disillusion, inconsolable grief and so many questions but, no answers. Her world had ended.

With the passage of time, she realised that time diminishes the intensity of grief. Gradually one learns to smile again. Pray, laugh, cry, sing, dream, fall in love, break up, redefine happiness, find contentment and make the most of life. One does not forget. Not completely.

As we grow stronger and older, we long for fine days and lovely nights. As I came to terms with the loss of my husband, I found solace in our memories. I could never forget what he said, what I said, what we said. Neither a line nor a feature of his body both in our funny and tense moments; he is forever potent on my mind.

PRE-ORDER: Untimely Beginnings – Memoirs of Women who Defied Fate, by Nandi Manentsa (ed), (Red Soil, 2020) here

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