Alex sat in a restaurant surrounded by a group of her friends including her boyfriend Micheal. It was the end of a school year and as usual, they were celebrating, except for the fact that this hangout was even more special.
“We made it”, Jide said, raising his wine glass.
His words were met with loud laughs and clinking of wine glasses. It wasn’t just the end of a school year, they were done with school for good (“or rather, for now” as the more serious minded ones will say). It had been a long ride but it was definitely worth it.
The jingle of the restaurant door signaled another customer entering, Alex looked up but only saw a silhouette because of the sun rays. The new customer walked further in and she spotted her childhood friend Tope.
“Hey!….What’s up?” Alex said.
“I need to tell you something, it urgent”, Tope ignored the greeting, the urgency resounding in her voice, “Can we talk somewhere with less people?”
“Sure, why not,” Alex replied, her cheerful tone giving way to a concerned whisper, as they walked off to a private booth “Tope, why are you looking so grim, what’s wrong?”
They sat at the booth, and suddenly, what Tope wanted to say didn’t seem so urgent anymore as she looked at their friends celebrating and Alex followed her gaze; Micheal was laughing so hard at something Jide was saying.
“He looks happy; your boyfriend I mean…”, Tope’s voice trailed away.
“Yeah he does, doesn’t he?” Alex said with a huge smile on her face.
“Look at you looking all sappy,” Tope nudged her “oh well, what can I say? We all have to grow up sometime.” Alex replied with a sly smile and a wink
“You know I love you Alex, more than my own blood?” Tope’s voice had turned grim again.
“Riiiggghhht,” Alex turned to look again at her friend’s concerned face, and decided to indulge her unusual show of emotions “Yea I know.” she answered
With trepidation Tope pushed the envelope, she was holding towards Alex.
“What’s this?” Alex asked with suspicion
“Just look at them, please?” she pleaded.
With a loud sigh, Alex slowly opened the envelope and in it were pictures of Michael, with some girl.
Fifteen minutes later, Alex still hadn’t said anything, and the awkward silence was beginning to get to Tope. She knew Alex might need some time to digest the fact that Michael was cheating, but she had never been known to be patient.
She had given her enough time; “So what are you going to do?” she asked in a sympathetic voice, though Alex did not seem the least surprised or angry, instead she just continued to stare into space. And then, out of nowhere, Alex started laughing.
Tope sighed loudly, “You are not going to do anything, are you?”
“Nah, I’m not.” Tope replied with a weird smile on her face.
“I don’t understand, why are you so chilled about this? It’s like you are not even bothered.” Tope asked, the disgust clearly written on her face.
“Oooohhhhh, I’m angry, I’m bloody furious!” Her voice still had not changed, she clearly had her temper under control, “But you know I’ve had this feeling for a while now; you know what they say- you always know when your partner is cheating on you.”
“Mmmhmm” Tope urged her to continue.
“I don’t know…lately we have not really been on the same wavelength; it’s like we are not in sync anymore, everything just seemed so hard – trying to make it work, almost like we were forcing it.” Alex tried to explain, “When you can feel there is a problem in a relationship but you just can’t place your finger on what the problem really is.”
There were both quiet for a few seconds before Alex continued, “But really, I’m just numb. I don’t feel anything – not yet anyway- that’s the way it has always been. Maybe a few months from now, the crushing pain will hit me and the tears will come but for now…I’m just numb. Or maybe… maybe the tears won’t come at all.” She had that weird smile again.
“I think I knew we didn’t really love each other, not in the sense of what love really is. We thought we did, and at that time when he said he will love me forever, he believed it and he thought he meant it. And when I said, ‘I will love him till the sun dies’ I thought I meant it too…” Her voice trailed off.
“So…?” Tope had patiently waited for her to come out of her reverie.
Alex laughed at her friend, who obviously wanted to know her next line of action, “I’m not going to do anything. I’m going to get a cup of ice cream and go back to celebrating.” She stood and just before she walked away, she stretched her hands towards her shocked friend, “Thanks for telling me”
He looked at her and His heart broke, not just for her, but the billions he had made. And he said to himself, “I’m the only one who would say I love you forever and mean it. Even when you become distant and you shut me out, or when you get confused about your faith in me, and wonder if it was all worth it. I will always love you. And I will continue to love you…even when the sun dies.
P.S: The short story, ‘Till The Sun Dies’ stems from the song written by Alex and Sierra titled ‘Little did you know’ (just in case you were wondering)