Two weeks since I last saw her.
Maybe she’s stalling again.
Two weeks since the…episode.
Dr. Ladipo? Are you there?
Dare Ladipo shifted his focus from his notepad to his newest couple in therapy. Ever since his award, he had received an influx of young Nigerian couples seeking to better their marriage before things got old, sour and boring. Initially, he had been excited by the business prospects as some of the couples were wealthy heirs and heiresses willing to pay unimaginable amounts to make their ‘nonexistent’ marriage problems go away.
Recently, he had trouble focusing. Like an unexpected sandstorm, Fareeda had come whirling into his life shocking every ounce of his existence. He never knew if she would come back or disappear into the dust. Still every week, he kept his allotted hour for her free, no matter what he had scheduled. She was a risk to his job and sanity, but quite unlike him, he was just unexplainably drawn to this independently hopeless waif and possibly even slightly attracted to her.
‘I’m sorry. I haven’t been feeling too well. Shall we continue this next week? Your time is just about up.”
He had Fareeda scheduled next. She had not come for two weeks, but she might just appear. After all, she didn’t come in for a month after their first encounter. Still, he hoped she would come today. He knew she would… eventually. He just didn’t know how long he would have to wait.
Blue. Stunning powder blue. Gorgeous milky white visuals; beautifully tall and lean coconut trees, the fruits swaying like a woman’s breasts as she runs free of all life’s bullshit.
I am so high. And like every time I’m high, the random thoughts begin. It’s 11:00; I should go see Dr. Ladipo. I went last week. Stood outside the building for one hour gathering up the courage to go in, but I couldn’t. I was sober, sorry and honestly, shy because of my apparent lack of shame during my last session. At least I’m high now. Best to let him in with my regrets boxed up in meth glory. Besides, I had to see them today, and I couldn’t do it alone. He would be my shield. And with that I walked into Dr. Ladipo’s office.
He was facing his bookshelf, making slight adjustments, replacing old editions with new ones, when he heard his door open. No one else except his secretary would open the door in that time, and she would knock. It was her. His mind registered the rude door swing, and the contrasting gentle entrance. She stood awkwardly a few steps into his office as if undecided on whether to come in or not. She also seemed ruffled, as if that was possible.
Her face was down. She had on clean clothes today, hair pulled back, hands running over themselves. She was nervous.
“There’s something I gotta show you. We have to leave your place for a while. You might wanna cancel your appointments.”
It took a while for his brain to register that his mouth had already formed and released the words “done.” His legs moved quickly as he followed her outside his building to his car. It was until they were both seated in the car, engine started, that he realized he had literally dropped everything to spend time with a drug addict. Was he running mad?
“The ruins of the 1004 estates.”
And off he drove.
Dr. Ladipo’s car feels and smells nice. I can’t remember the last time I was in a car. As we got closer to the estate ruins, breathing became harder, my head started to ache and I was desperately craving a hit. Dr. Ladipo sensed my discomfort and stopped the car.
“You can park here. We can walk the rest of the distance.”
We walked for about ten minutes in random silence, all the while, my chest got tighter till we arrived our destination. The ruins of what used to be the ground floor of Estate F. And then I broke down in silent tears when I finally saw everything. My mouth opened and in a semi-dazed state, I told him about life as it used to be during the good times.
Do I describe Christa and her beautiful feminine shaped body, which was once or twice the object of my bisexual fantasies? Or do I yearn for the childish, innocence and annoyance of Anna in whose mischief, I found a kindred spirit. Or Emma, who liked to radiate maturity much to my irritation, as I was almost 3 years older than her. Or Rotji, the one who always stayed aloof and whom I wanted to hurt because he broke my sister’s heart.
The innocence and mischief of childhood had no ambassadors better than us. Our doors and hearts were open unconditionally to each other and it was filled with love and radiance. Sometimes I think my meth addled brain has somehow excessively intensified the memories I have of these people to the point where I forget the sad times. Because time and time again when I was stuck in the cold hard rain, struggling with the needle, hands shaking, pupils dilating, goose bumped skin, hair reeking, mouth dry, lips open and eyes watering, I would inhale, picture that one frozen image and slowly, a tear would find its way from the pits of my heart, wind up in my throat and slide down my face right before the meth took over.
It’s a sunny image, dragon flies making their usual rounds in my backyard, I’m doing laundry and my head is raised up, belting out the lyrics to Styl Plus’s ‘imagine that’. My sister is beside me, giving me the ‘shut your trap look’. Mama is frozen in a walking position, about to shout “Ramo.” Emma and Ameerah were there too, giving each other stylish coy looks, like the rest of us aren’t smart enough to see the sparks flying. And then mother’s voice comes wafting out telling us all to tone it down. The sky; the sky is as blue as it gets, blue colored puffs of joy blanketing us from what lay on top.”
I’m in full blown tears now. I can’t stop crying. It seems only natural when Dr. Ladipo takes my hand in his and gives me an awkward hug. But I want more. I need more. I turn around and give him a full hug, my tears streaming down, staining his shirt. I don’t care that I’m ruining his shirt or that I’m crying this hard. I need this release. I have to let it out.
And then I’m done. Because in that moment I realize I don’t want to let go. But I have to let go. It’s not right; it’s not. I immediately release myself and wipe my tears.
“Goodbye Dr. Ladipo. Our time is up for today. See you … next time.”
Dare Ladipo stood and watched as she detached herself, reminded him his time was up, and walked away like nothing had happened. Like she hadn’t just held on tight to him.
At least he was going to see her again. That thought was enough… for now.
This series is written by @FareedaKhalo and it’s supported by the good people of Barows21. Check out www.barows21.com for all your favourite international magazines.
Comments and feedback are always appreciated.
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