Jerry still had his head on the steering wheel 10 minutes after driving there. The engine was left running and his headlights were on. It was a little past 9pm and his was the only car in the parking lot save a minibus that was parked in one remote end of the vast lot. I shouldn’t have left, the thought hanged in the air and added to the cold that already had him shivering. He let out a quick breath and turned the engine off. He leaned back into the seat and stared out straight, into the dark night. The flat stood 9 floors high before him; daunting. The power was out and so he guessed people had probably retired to bed earlier than usual. It was the worst time for him to show up but he knew he couldn’t wait till morning. His cruelty was staring him in the face. She had told him the truth eventually…two weeks before she had delivered – a baby girl he had never seen. He passed his hand over his face and accepted the shame that washed over him. It had been close to five months since Suzy had her…five months and he had been away in Kampala, tuned off from family and friends. He placed his head back on the steering wheel and winced sharply, slapping his neck in time to get the mosquito that bit him. He cursed softly and got out of the car.
He started up the stairs and each step was a reminder of how she had literally crawled on her knees down after him, begging him to say…saying she was sorry the night he had packed out -those very stairs that had witnessed their sultry kisses on nights when her hormones had made her too horny to wait till they were home to ravage each other…Stairs that had seen him carry her heavily pregnant self, up to the very last floor where their apartment was because she had been too tired to go up on her own. Those stairs had been the very ones he ran down and out of her life. The pregnancy had been theirs right from when she had broken the news. It had been hard, too hard for him, finding out after all those months, after she had seen his obituary in the papers, that he, the young man staring back at them from the center page, was the father of the child she was carrying. Her ex! Jerry hadn’t been able to handle the news. Making his way up the stairs he prayed under his breath. He was sorry he had hit her from anger…Sorry for not wanting to believe the story she gave her. She had cheated, was all he could think of, and the rage had had him swearing never to return but he had been miserable. Leaving had drained him of everything that meant anything to him and he had been fading. He loved her and it was what mattered at any given moment, not the past, or what lay ahead. The months had taught him the present was all he had and they were his present. He tapped on the door and stepped back. His chest heaved when he heard her steps approaching the door. She opened the door by a crack, holding up a rechargeable lamp. “Who’s there?” She called out and he answered coarsely “Jerry…it’s Jerry.” She almost instantly opened the door wider, and she stood there, in her night dress, staring up at him, unblinking. “May I come in?” He asked and she stepped aside and nodded.
She locked the door behind her, and walked past the living room, past the kitchen door into their bedroom, gliding, cool as the moon, and sat on the bed. Jerry, confused by her, followed and found a chubby bundle cooing in a cot next to the bed. Her eyes followed him as he walked to it and she nodded again. His breath caught when he saw her for the very first time – the soft glow from the lamp made the scene even more beautiful. “She’s Annabel” Suzy whispered and as if she knew, Annabel cooed again and smiled up at him, her eyes vibrant and filled with curiosity, she was like the sun and he was surprised at how instantly he loved her. Jerry was awed, and couldn’t help the tears when he picked her up and she cooed louder. Suzy got up and joined him by the cot. His emotions pushed him down to his knees and as he cradled Annabel against his chest, feeling her tiny fingers caress his nape, his free hand went up to caress her tiny calf, and all through it, while staring up into Suzy’s tear-glazed eyes glowing like his own private stars, it was more than he could ask for. The wrongs, the rights, were all his, there and then and he was content. Relief flooded his veins and he could feel it right to his soul that the very universe had forgiven him.
*Inspired by a poem by @Ozionn titled Heartful Of Cosmic and you can read it here —-> http://ozionnpoet.wordpress.com/2014/07/22/untitled/