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City of Banjul
Saturday, June 22, 2024

Now or never

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By Talib Gibran

When I first met Anna on the beach; when I heard her chilling soft steps creeping on me; when I felt her presence run through my spine even before she reached me; when her penetrating big eyes stroke me; when her soothing velvet voice captured my heart, instantly, I had expectations. It was spontaneous. And, like I always silently believe, expectation in pre-marital relationships is a recipe for life-shattering disappointments.
Anna was different, I was different. And our seemingly irreconcilable differences somehow magically drew us together. And for a moment, we thought we had pulled the magic by forming an unbreakable bond; a perfect union of clear opposites. We clicked. We matched; painstakingly matched in heaven. But, as always with Talib and women, we are bound to suddenly ‘unclick’. Sometimes I genuinely believe I’m kind of jinxed; like someone somewhere messed with my fate leaving the signs so clear that matching with an opposite sex is one of the million things I cannot do. But when I met Anna, I thought I had finally broken the spell.

The last few weeks had been weird for me. I couldn’t return to the jovial me that glared before meeting Anna, so I was hopelessly floating between THAT me and THIS miserable me. But after we bumped into each other—with my heart melting and craving at the same time—I couldn’t just stop thinking about her. And I used the fire incident as a perfect excuse to reach out to her, again.
Me: “Hi”
Anna: “Talib, you never cease to amaze me”
Me: “What made you say that, if I may ask?”
Anna: “Well, receiving a text from you is the last thing I expected, especially after so much silence”
Me: “But you still expected it, even though it is the last”
Anna: “Lol. You haven’t changed a bit. You still enjoy twisting words”
Me: “Changing in a space of few days would have been really fast, don’t you think?”
Anna: “Not fast enough for you. I mean, you changed on me faster than few days. If you could do that, then you could pull this off at ease”
Me: “I can see you too haven’t changed a bit”
Anna: “That’s the thing Talib, I can’t change”
Me: “No one asked you to. Not that I am aware of”
Anna: “Smh”
Me: “I expected that. Anyway I couldn’t find you when the fire broke out. I was really worried. No one seemed to know where you headed”
Anna: “That’s sweet of you. But I’m fine, my house is a few blocks away. I walked.”
Me: “Wow. I was genuinely waiting for the lemonade, what happened?”
Anna: “Fire happened”
Me: “That’s fair. I’m glad you’re safe”
Anna: “C’mon, it’s not like you would have run into the fire to rescue me or something”
Me: “You’re right, I wouldn’t”
Anna: “So basically what you’re saying is that am not worth running into the fire for”
Me: “No, what am saying is that who’s going to tell our story if both of us are charred in the flames?”
Anna: “You could have said that better, to make it sound more romantic”
Me: “Well, am sure you got the message. Lol”
Anna: “Kinda. I really missed us. You came into my life and, that very evening, you changed everything. And then you left in so much rush that you broke everything, including my heart”
Me: “If I had instead said those words, they would have perfectly suited you. I know I walked away from you, something I hardly do but in all the times I almost always walked away from joy. But I’ve never been more miserable this time”
Anna: “Just when I thought we were fated, you showed me a side of men I dreaded and refused to believe existed”
Me: “Let’s not take that path, picking on individual weaknesses and using them to demonize each other’s gender. Besides, my only mistake was not fighting for us but you started all of it. You kept two guys in your life, completely oblivious of each, while each holding on to the false belief that he would have you”
Anna: “So it was all my fault? Great! Classic Talib! You just had to heap this on me”
Me: “It’s our fault and I’ve taken responsibility for part of it, not all of it. We are co-authors of this mess”
Anna: “You’re not making me feel any better”
Me: “That’s the whole point, Anna. It’s uncomfortable but it’s the truth. If I take the blame just to please you, trust me, you would always mess up and expect me to take the blame”
Anna: “It’s getting late. I have to sleep now”
Me: “Sweet dreams”
Anna: “Just know that I am still mad at you”
Me: “That’s a good sign. It means you haven’t forgotten me yet”
Anna: “Smh. You’re incorrigible. Good night”
Me: “Sleep tight. Ciao”
That was the longest conversation we had since we hit a rock of reality few weeks ago. I was a mess, and apparently she was too. But like Cherno Baba said, once in a while, we are allowed to live miserable moments of our lives. Sometimes, these moments are the craftwork of destiny, its inescapability. Other times, these moments are the corollaries to our own human imperfections.

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For the first time in weeks I had a sound sleep…almost erotic. And I woke up with only Anna on my mind. This has to mean something. I knew it was a little early but I couldn’t care less about the NORMAL. I just picked my phone…..and dialed her up. She picked even before it rang, or even before I noticed it rang.
Anna: “Did you see me in your dreams or something?”
Me: “That was very close”
Anna: “Hah, what did I miss?”
Me: “Well, I didn’t just see you in my dreams….I was with you in my dreams”
Anna: “What’s the difference?”
Me: “Last time I checked, you shy away from hearing kinky details of erotic dreams. Except, of course, if you have actually changed overnight; you know, good girl gone bad”
Anna: “You just had to discourage me from hearing the details. Smh”
Me: “Oh I would be happy to share it with you. After all, it was us in the dream”
Anna: “Haha. No thanks”
Me: “Right, I saw that coming”
Anna: “Erotic dreams huh….don’t you think it’s time to get married?”
Me: “Yes it is time”
Anna: “Good. Looking forward to your wedding”
Me: “You wouldn’t know about it”
Anna: “What?”
Me: “You heard me right. I won’t inform you about it”
Anna: “Why?”
Me: “Cuz I wouldn’t announce it”
Anna: “Smh. Who wouldn’t announce their marriage?”
Me: “Talib”
Anna: “Silly, what is your reason?”
Me: “Cuz I don’t need to inform the whole world that I’m now allowed to sleep with someone”
Anna: “As’tag’firul’Allah Talib. Naughty”
Me: “Haha. I would rather prefer people finding out that I got married. Plus, in this world of white smiley teeth spewing venom on marriages, it’s better if you have a limited audience. People nowadays are good at keeping tabs on marriages. Once it’s crumbled, they get notified and get it spread”
Anna: “A valid point, but people in your life deserve to know you’re getting married”
Me: “No they don’t deserve it. It’s a privilege”
Anna: “If you get married without telling me I’d kill you”
Me: “Fantastic. At least you would save me the horror of waking up next to someone for the rest of my life. There’s nothing more tormenting than that, even the thought of it”
Anna: “Haha. I thought you didn’t want to get married. What changed?”
Me: “I realised the secret to success is who you marry. And I want to succeed”
Anna: “Wow. That sounds refreshing, Talib”
Me: “Yup. So expect to know after the wedding, not before”
Anna: “Talib, am dead serious about taking your life if you do that”
Me: “I’ll gladly wait for it. And then you will have an eternal fight with my young widow while I sleep peacefully in the underworld”
Anna: “Freak. You’re so unbearable. Tell me, does this call mean we will be communicating like before?”
Me: “Well why not? A setback is the perfect setup to come back”
Anna: “I like that. Quite rhythmical”
Me: “Great. Now talk is over. I have to leave this bed. I’ll get back to you later”
Anna: “It was nice speaking like this again. Take care”
Moving on from Anna was impossible because I’m not Casanova or Don Juan, with a legendary predilection for disposing women. I go in…and stick in but once it fails to work, it feels like my heart is violently ripped out of my chest. And what I felt for her pulled me deeper like the invisible magnet beneath raving tidal waves. And like Bisila said, my body is not untouched but my heart is, and I’d gladly give it to Anna. But Somerset was right; the love that lasts longest is the love that is never returned. However, after weeks of estrangement that left both of us crushed, we have another chance to either redefine our fate or part ways forever.

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