By Anita Nimmo
As I look into those big, brown and beautiful eyes, they look like they can see right through me. Cold tears roll down my face as I see hers drip. It hurts even more to know that I am the sole cause of the pain behind them. It breaks me to know that there nothing I can do to ease it.
Don’t get me wrong, I have tried many times, but every time something holds me back. Something that is bigger than me, bigger than her, its way beyond us, I have tried to fight it for some years now, yes years but I get the same results every time. I despair, I am weak but I am not giving up. No, I’m not giving up on her happiness. How can I ever find rest when she is this devastated?
Its five years now, five years since I went for the candles when the lights went out. How can power go out and backup generator refuse to work at the same time? Still baffles me to date. Anyway I tend to think its fate, just fate! Let’s blame it for the fact that I’ve never made it home after that night.
That day was special, always special to us. We always had a getaway, one because we had all the time in our hands, no job for any of us and no school for any of our children. Two, what made it even more special, it’s the day that God decided to bless us with a beautiful set of children, yes, you heard it right, we had twins. So Christmas was a very special day that called for lots of celebrations and gratitude.
As usual we left for our holiday home, we owned one, still do. It’s located far away from any town, with a big beautiful house in a vast land surrounded by a forest we created. We wanted to isolate ourselves for this particular time of the year and have some quality family time, blowing fireworks at will and celebrate with all the noise without disturbing a soul. We all loved it and looked forward to the holiday.
On this particular day, we had a lot of fun, more than any other time I guess. Our boys had just turned five. Oh they were bright and lovely and so mischievous, I guess they took that from me. So, after dinner, we had confession time where we would speak out all our fears troubles and sins without judging each other. This always created a special bond among us. We never slept early on such occasions, even the boys wouldn’t let sleep overtake them.
I gave her a kiss that lingered far too long
Twelve minutes past nine it was raining heavily, the lights went out, I went at the back to fire up the generator, but lo! The thing didn’t even utter a sound. We could not stay in the dark and we still had so much to do before going to bed. I was then requested to drive to the nearest shopping center and try finding some candles. I kissed the boys goodbye and told them to man up while I was away and take good care of their mum. I gave her a kiss that lingered far too long and hopped on the jeep and off I went.
The rains grew heavier and it was difficult to see ahead, it was foggy and the roads were pretty bad given that not many people used that road. I pretty was much alone when I hit a deep ditch that gave me a flat. I could not leave the car, the rains had become even heavier, I had no signal on my cell, all I could do is sit and hope for the best. After what seemed like forever, I fell asleep worrying about my family. I knew they were worried and trying to get through to me.
The next thing I heard was a thunder that awoke me, a lightning then struck, it struck too close, and it hit a branch of a gigantic tree above me. It hit pretty hard, the jeep was completely written off with whoever was in it. Fear crept in, I was so cold, and I could see everything right in front of me. I was confused, how is it possible, I could see me sitting, in the jeep, well parts of me, I was really hit bad I could hardly recognize myself.
Then I remembered them and boom, I was home. I was glad, I found them all worried about me, I tried to talk to them but none of them could hear me. I tried to tap on Catherine’s shoulder but I hit a wall, this made no sense at all. I tried again, but I could not reach her, I felt like there was a thick, invisible wall between us. Then the reality hit me hard. I was dead!
How do you deal with your dead self? How do you explain it to your family? I wept for them, how will they bear the news? How will they carry on? How will the boys grow without me? Will they forget me? That thought really scared me.
Little did she know that tears will be her companion
I watched her put them to sleep, by now the rains had subsided, she tucked them in carefully and kissed them goodnight. She was using our emergency torch all along; I saw tears streaming down her beautiful face. She could feel if I gathered, she felt the void too, she knew that I was never coming back home to her. She wept all night long. Little did she know that tears will be her companion.
In the morning they came to confirm her fears, she released a shrill cry and went rigid. I have never seen her like that. How can a lively soul like Catherine look so? She became mute, couldn’t talk, eat or sleep. Tears, tears and more tears. I pitied her, tried to scream her name but nothing came out. The only thing she could utter was my name, the only other word she knew was dead, and after that a flood gate of tears would open up all over again.
Ever thought of attending your own funeral? Damn that was crushing, seeing my wife pass out severally was not funny, seeing my boys crying their eyes out at the loss of their father, it was not easy. Watching them force Catherine throw sand at my casket while I just stood there, it was heart wrenching, well, I don’t think I still own one but it wretched my soul big time. The fact that I could see it all and do nothing, watch my people blame Catherine for my death, till she too believed them and started blaming herself for it. It was too much, I just wished for a moment, to reach out my hand, comfort her and assure her that it wasn’t her fault, just hold her and tell her that all will be well eventually. Damn this wall! It reduced me to a watchman; I have felt this desperate and useless.
Five years now, I watch her take boys to the vacation house, it is a tradition she is determined to keep no matter how much it hurts her. She puts a smile for them and tells them of how great their father was, she makes them narrate of events that we shared that they still remember to ensure that they never forget who their father was and how much he loved them.They still blast fireworks and make merry, but I always look into her eyes and see longing, her wishing that I was there, to celebrate the day with them, I always am, I just wish she knew that I never left, that I’m always there, watching over her and watch the boys grow. Today they have blasted one for me, I have seen her swallow a lump and covered a cloud that always hangs above her with a smile for boys’ sake. I always think that is so brave of her, she is such a strong woman, the best I could have ever asked for.
I was glad when she shooed him away
When she goes to sleep, all she does is cry; cry her eyes out calling out my name. I always answer her, but she’ll never hear, so I just look on and wish she could even for once hear my whispers. How can I rest when she is this messed up? I need her to heal, move on, but she shuts every opportunity that comes her way. A few months after my death, my friend Paul became a regular visitor, comforting her. I was so agitated, how could he? Paul, a Casanova! I was glad when she shooed him away, at that time I felt like she heard me.
I saw her with a good man a few months ago; I’m dead so yes, I can tell good from bad, I see through everyone. His intentions were good and I know he can take good care of my boys. They need a father figure now that I can’t be there for them. How I wish I could turn back sands of time. I will be jealous to see her in the hands of another, but what use am I when I can’t even touch her?
I’m getting colder as the days pass by; I’m trapped between the living and the dead, a very dangerous world where many souls get lost. I can feel the pull to the next world, I’ve been fighting it for five years, I don’t know how much longer I can hold, but I need to see smile lighting up that beautiful face before I take off. The boys are my exact replica and so they will never forget me. My worry is Catherine, who will thaw her heart? Who will free us from this cold? Please somebody, tell Catherine to fall in love with Samuel please, he is a good guy, he will make her happy, that I know. Please tell Catherine that that’s the only thing that will free us both.
© Anita Nimmo