Elsie maintained a firm grip with both hands on the steering wheel of the Hyundai car and kept her gaze fixed on the tail lights of the car ahead of her in the traffic. Her right foot wasn’t taking it easy on the brake either, it was as if exerting all her energy on getting the car across town to the Murtala Mohammed International Airport would ease her of the weight of the tears that were gradually welling up in her eyes.
He had been staring at her for minutes, he doubted she even noticed or maybe she just deliberately chose to ignore him because she had barely said two words to him since they left his apartment.
“Yes?” Her voice was almost a whisper.
“What?” She still did not shift her gaze.
“Stop the car”
“Why?” She turned to look at him. It was then he saw her face, her eyes – it was rid of her glasses – were filled with water.
Kamal lost his voice. He felt like telling her to turn back at the next possible spot, to tell her that he wasn’t going anymore.
“Baby?” He managed to say.
The traffic picked up speed and Elsie returned her focus to her driving, fighting to keep her tears off her cheeks and at the same time, drive them safely to the airport. She knew she wouldn’t be able to talk without crying and she didn’t want to cry so, she just swallowed all of the words.
The melody of her Alicia Keys We Are Here ringtone cut through the thick silence in the car, giving the both of them a little distraction from the issue at hand. Kamal reached into her handbag and pulled it out.
“Should I pick it?”
She nodded again. “Put it on speaker”
“Nne?” Ezinne’s croaky, pain-ladened voice burst through the speakers. She sounded like someone that had not spoken any word in days but only tears.
Elsie sniffed hard, quickly wiped her eyes with her palm and turned on the road that led to departures in the MMIA.
“Ezinne, what is it?”
“I took the step. I called it off with Obinna”
Elsie felt like pulling out of the traffic so she could first of all concentrate on her friend and then return to her misery but, she knew it wouldn’t be a smart decision; Kamal would be delayed, so she maintained a 40 and moved on.
“Elsie, are you there?”
She jolted out of her confusion. “Yes dear! I am”
“I don’t know what I’m going to do. I feel like I just, with my own hands, pulled down my life”
Elsie took her left hand off the steering wheel and rubbed her temples hard, her head felt like it was going to explode the next minute. Kamal had all the while been quiet, he could totally relate with his woman at the moment. Her soft and warm heart had been one of the reasons he had decided he was going to marry her.
“Elsie?” Ezinne called again.
Elsie sniffed hard again. “Ezinne, I’m at the airport”
“Ohhh… Kamal’s leaving today. I’m so sorry, I completely forgot”
“I’ll call back later”
“Uh, I’ll come by your place when I leave here”
“I’ll get a tub of ice-cream on my way so that we can eat ice-cream while you cry your broken heart away and me, my plain childishness and at the end, we can be strong for each other and see a horror movie”
Ezinne gave a loud pain-filled laughter and her friend joined in.
The line went dead just in time for her to find a spot in the parking lot. She turned off the engine, took her hands off the wheel and let herself breathe.
She turned to look at Kamal. She nodded.
“Come here”. He reached for her head and pulled it into his chest. Her body began to quake with tears.
“I’m going to miss you” she sobbed.
Kamal took a few minutes before saying “I miss you already”.
She lifted her head off him and looked into his eyes; her face smeared with mascara-stained tears.
“You came along just when I had made up my mind that I was not going to do guys anymore…”
Kamal’s eyes widened. “You wanted to go lesbian?”
Elsie burst into laughter and he joined in, relishing his small joke.
“Kamal, you gave me every reason to change my mind and I’ve not spent a split second regretting it”
He took hold of her soft palms in his. “And I’m grateful you allowed me in your heart”
She smiled. “I love you baby”
“I love you too”
He leaned over and kissed her full on the lips.
P.S: My sincere apologies for not publishing Pierced last week. i am kind of in the “dark ages” right now but hopefully, I’ll be out of the situation soon. Please bear with me.