I had one of my long, work-out walks on Sunday, the kind I used to in my old life. I used to go for 2 or 3 hour walks all the way to Congo Town and back. My friend Chipo actually got me addicted to those walks. We'd solve the world problems, stop for ice-cream and just have a lot of fun.
Among all the things that I was nervous about doing again was the walk after Wesley. When I settled in with the business, I knew I had to start my walks again. It's the main exercise that I have, the main outlet for my physical and mental stress. I was very nervous though about starting those again. I felt too 'conscious' of myself, I am after all one of the few Asian women around who actually leave the house, I used to live and work around here..The worst feeling was the idea that I had no one to come home to after my walk.
For the first few walks, I took Joseph, my trusty housekeeper, my confidant, my everything, with me. After that, I settled back into my usual walk around Mamab Point. It was kind of painful at first but I have become an expert at blocking or repressing painful feelings. I mean, there's nothing to be done about it. Every corner, every street of Monrovia has memories of Wesley and I together. And even if I do not have a memory of us together, there is memory of my past life or the time when Wesley still had not come to Liberia to join me. There are literally pining spots in Monrovia when I used to miss him when he was far away from me.
I was out on this gone Saturday at a pool party in Congo Town. So I slept in on Sunday, got up late, had something to eat, read a lot and dozed back. I got up from a nap and just had an awful sense of nostalgia. I remembered my undergrad days in London and felt such a sense of nostalgia for those gone days, they seem like eons gone. I remembered my childhood days when the family was more or less in tact and happy. I missed my parents. I missed myself.
I remembered Sundays with Wesley and how easygoing they were. I used to go on Sunday walks and he'd scold me if I came home late. I missed making breakfast for him. I missed fighting for the remote control with him. I missed fighting for his attention like a little kid. I missed out movie marathons. I had such a sense of heart ache that it became hard to breathe. I felt these pangs of loneliness and despair, for the cruelty of my fate and his. I feel homeless. Utterly. I feel cheated.
I can't believe I have to live my life without him. And if there's an afterlife, maybe I'll get to see him again.
Life suddenly felt so meaningless in that moment when I was up and thinking lonely thoughts on my balcony. Whether I work hard or not, whether I struggle or not, whether I feel positive or not, he's gone. I can cry as many tears as possible, he'll still be dead. I can become a loser and vegetate and feel sorry for myself and he'll still be dead. I can be positive, strong and not let anyone know how many times my heart breaks in a single day, and he'll still be dead. I can go and roam this earth and look for him and he'll still be dead. This entire planet of six billion souls, mountains, rivers, deserts, eco systems, roads, cities, factories, corners, moments, lifetimes...feels empty for me.
I felt such a sense of heaviness but nevertheless dragged myself out for my walk. My heart lifted only a little bit when I heard some Arabic being recited on Newport Street where a goat was being sacrificed and some sort of function was on. I walked on and made my first round via the Masonic Temple. I made my second round and as the evening grew more golden and richer, I felt a bit of calm. One of the little kids beckoned to me and actually flirted and said, 'come here' to me and that made me laugh! His boldness and playfulness made me smile. I greeted the rest of the people who live along my route and felt better. By the time I had finished, all sweaty and red, I felt light.
So, my friend, many more Sunday walks lie ahead. I will walk on.