Everyone had gone home. The service was over. I hid behind the trees, it will be weird if anyone saw my tears. My eyes should be puffy red by now. Even in my black jumpsuit and black rimmed glasses I knew I look pathetic.
We grew up in the same neighbourhood. We went to the same secondary school. Kelvin and I saw each other last 5 years ago and so I moved into a new area because of work. The new apartment was so close to my work place. I am a nurse by profession.
On the second day of work, I walked down the corridor and I met my school crush right infront of me with a lab coat and stethoscope. I didn’t need rocket science to decipher that he is a Doctor. He is probably not going to recognise me, I thought to myself.
“Good morning Doc.”
“Good morning Cassie.”
My shoulders drooped a little and he smiled.
“I’ll recognise you anywhere, we need to catch up.”
“No, Doctor Cogsworth. We have nothing to catch up on, we were never friends.”
“Please, for old times sake.”
“Okay, okay. Let’s meet at the Café place.”
“Six? Would that be fine with you?”
“See you then. Nurse Cassie Will.”
I was nervous throughout that day. I thought I had gotten over Kelvin. Obviously not, inspite of the lovers I have had. He was somewhere in my heart still.
I needed to explore this.
I got to the Café a few minutes to six that evening. I was dressed in a flowery dull pink gown. I had no makeup on as usual and I wore my worst nerdy glasses. I was not here to impress him. No jewel adorned my face, only my studs in ears.
A few minutes later, exactly six pm Kelvin stroll in.
He was in black T-shirt and denim jeans trousers. He had a Paper bag in left hand. He came straight to my table.
“Let’s go get our coffee. Then we come back here.”
We both gave the woman at the back of the counter the description. I wanted my coffee laced with lots of cream and sugar. His was just black and two cubes of sugar.
We spoke animatedly for two hours. There was so much to catch up on. We were the strangers who were not really strangers. Just because we were unnecessarily mean to each other did not mean we would always hate each other.
Kelvin gave me the paper bag and told me to open it. I opened it.
I was speechless for a while. I opened my mouth to talk and shut it again.
“You like it?”
“Like it? I love it.”
It was a butterfly collection.
“How did you know?”
He smiled. “That’s a peace offering to you. Let’s end our long years feud and be friends. I know you love butterflies. You were always enthralled by them and you get carried away by them. I used to think it is so adorable.”
I smiled and blinked once.
I stood up. I carefully returned the butterfly collection into the paper bag. I motioned for him to rise. He rose and went meet him and we hugged. For that moment, I felt the earth stand still.
He rocked me from side to side and then let me go. There were tears in my eyes, and his face went blurry.
“Thanks. It is a very beautiful gift. And a thoughtful gift too.”
“You’re welcome Nurse Cassie.”
The guitar was strumming and a man was softly singing. I checked the time it was 8:30 pm already.
“May I have this dance?”
He held me and we gently swayed to the music. As the music ends briefly I raised my face to look at Kelvin’s face and without warning, he claim my lips in a kiss. His lips was warm on mine, mine was cool.
He accompanied me home and saw me get into my apartment safe. We had no more hugs or kisses. The butterfly collection I hanged in my room.
“Doctor Kelvin is dead.”
I heard Nurse Titi say. That was the last thing I heard actually. It shook me to my very core. I couldn’t lose him just now.
There were no tears. I felt numb. Inside, I felt the whole world crash around me.
I took permission to go home, of course it was granted when the other nurses saw I took I news too hard.
I rushed home and went to my room. I sat directly opposite the butterfly collection – This I have to keep in loving memory of Kel. Then the perfect evening played in my mind. Instead of crying, I was smiling. My heart was torn and I felt pain but I still couldn’t believe someone so perfect for me could be stolen away so soon.
According to his Will, Kelvin was to be buried in the local cementary.
I had to return home, to our roots, the place that connects us and his final resting place.
Everyone had gone home. The service was over. I hid behind the trees, it will be weird if anyone saw my tears. My eyes should be puffy red by now. Even in my black Jumpsuit and black rimmed glasses I knew I look pathetic.
Kelvin and I were sworn enemies, that was no news to the locale but it changed just a few days ago and now I lost him.
I dragged my feet to the place he was buried. The place was freshly made and the tombstone too.
1985 – 2014
We will miss you.
I read the tombstone inscription again and again, my eyes blurry again under the glasses. And I couldn’t make out the words anymore, I took the glasses off dabbed my eyes with my already damp handkerchief and wore the glasses again.
“I just got you and now you are gone. You’ll always remain a big part of me. I never got the chance to tell you that you were always my school crush. And I fantasised about you every time, but you never saw me that way until three days ago. That night when you held me in your arms it was the time of my life. It was so brief. I’ll always relish the kiss too. That butterfly collection you have to me I’ll never part with it. I’ll place it in my room to remind me you are in the next world where you are even more beautiful and tranquil than those butterflies. Adieu Kel.”
I stood up, my tears had stopped flowing and I felt strangely emptied. I looked at the place one more time and walked away.