BY RILEY MONOH
It was an unusually breezy afternoon. The rain was a lazy drizzle, yet the sun was blaring in its glory. Jay, as he had come to be known in their world, had a lot on his mind as he stared blankly into the light seeping through the curtains, wondering if he could get a 24-hour rewind.
It had been 19 days since the text-meet, and it had been a whirlwind of difficult confessions, interesting revelations, and unsaid trips through timed, necessary throes.
He stretched, got out of bed, and went to answer the knocks that refused to go away. It was his neighbour again.
Back in the room, he saw the phone’s screen light up. His face creased into a frown, wondering what it could be about. But as he read the first three letters, his countenance took on a shocking surprise.
It couldn’t be. He tried to call back but the number kept disconnecting. He kept shaking his head in disbelief as he had what could be the fastest bath ever since secondary school harmattan season.
He thought of the message again and smiled. Then he frowned slightly. Again, he shook his head. It had to be a joke.
Less than 17 minutes later, he was walk-jogging through the drizzle as he headed towards the main gate.
He heard a car honking over the phone and saw a white van enter through the gate, which appeared to be the source of the blaring. His heart skipped four beats. The reality hit him hard. It was the real deal this time.
Then he sighted her, left leg tracing a circle in the sand as she leaned against a pillar while holding the phone to her ear and squinting in the sunny rain. He froze in shock. It was really her. He smiled and his heart started to beat again as he walked towards her, phone vibrating in his right pocket while he breathed hard through the earbuds.
Their eyes met, and as if the universe was sending a message, thunderstruck. He saw her tremble and increased his steps.
As they walked back through the gate, holding hands and laughing about how she almost fell with fright at the thunder strike, his thoughts began to converse with him. Five days and they had to make the best of the very short time.
“So, what is the plan? Make a decision and get with it. You are burning daylight,” his thoughts screamed in his head.
As they climbed up the stairs, he slowed his steps. Daylight had dropped a few rays and it was getting dark, but the stairs were well-lit. He turned to her, held her face with both hands, and looked straight into her eyes.
His lips started to form the words he always wanted to tell her.
Then the lights went out.
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