The culmination of Evans Wambugu’s Transgressions Of Innocence (“What Would You do on your last day?”)
Beautiful piece as always. It has been a pleasure to host your pieces Evans
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My life had become a gleam of sorrow.A few weeks later,i gathered some cojones to visit her graveside.I left my phone at my apartment and walked all the way to their residence.On my way,i could meet young ladies.Whenever i passed any lady,i would turn my face and i would think it was her.Probably due to the similarity in the voice or the physique.Then i would pause,take a deep breath and walk on disappointed.There are those times you still live in denial.I couldn’t tolerate the thoughts of her demise.Not yet.
When i got to their gate,i sat down by the roadside .I couldn’t get in.It was almost 3 pm.On a Saturday.I sat there till around some minutes past 4 pm.The passers by would ask me if i needed anything and i would nod in disapproval.
Then her mum came driving.
When she saw me,she halted her beige saloon car and turned off the engine.She looked distressed.The loss of her only child must have saddened her so much.
“For how long have you been here?”
“An hour or so,i guess.”
“Sorry about that.How are you?Come in,please.”
I opened the gate for her.And closed it after she had parked it in the garage.
“Come in,please and have some coffee.”
Her father wasn’t around.Her mother told me that he had travelled up country to meet some clients.In the few months we had been together,her family was like my family.I was pretty much comfortable around her parents.
So i offered to make the coffee while she freshened up.As i was serving the coffee,while she was in the shower,i saw her eulogy on one of the tables.I dropped the sugar dish, in shock, just when i was about to pour some sugar to the steaming coffee.Luckily it didn’t break.Just a small part of the sugar poured on the floor.I was able to clean up quickly before she emerged from her bedroom.
“So…how is school,Evans?”
“School is fine.How about you?How is work?”
“Well,work is fine.Just a little exhausting.”
“Sorry about that.”
“It’s okay.You never came for the funeral.I had tried your number.You were unavailable.”
At that point,i saw her face redden and then some deafening silence followed.I was trying to
figure out what to say.I sipped my coffee.Then my gaze met Vivian’s portrait on the wall.I stared at it for some minutes.
I cleared my throat and told her,
“Honestly,I couldn’t make it.I wasn’t in my best form.I wanted to.But I couldn’t.And I am so sorry.”
I picked my coffee and walked out of the house.I went and sat on the grass outside.I began to
feel dizzy.I finished my coffee and returned my mug to the house.I was petrified.
“Can I show you the grave?”
“Yeah.”I mumbled hesistantly.
She walked me to their gardens and pointed at a neatly cemented tombstone.She then went back and left me alone.
My eyes became thin slits.My nostrils flared.I lurked in silence.I approached the grave cautiously,then paused and began to read the writings on the white tombstone.The hollowness overwhelmed me.I sighed and surrounded the tombstone touching the engravings of her name.The etch was neatly done in a clear dark font.I muttered a small prayer and then sat down just adjacent to the tombstone.
I had never felt that defeated in my entire life.Though I held back my tears.I closed my eyes in pain and I kicked a piece of wood that was nearby.
It was then that sorrow actually deluged me.Now it actually hit that she was really gone.And I would never see her again.Atleast now I accepted that,being the instinctive contemplative I am.
And I kept asking myself:What if I didn’t yield in to her insisting on going back alone?What if I had gone back with her?Could I have saved her?Would she still be alive today?
I can’t get answers.Because there are no answers to that.I struggled to wake up.I felt vacuous.I felt weak.I felt depressed.I walked away back to the main compound.
Her mother was feeding their poultry.I helped her.Then I helped her prepare dinner.I then went back to my place.
I had become denuded of any superficial pretence that anything would
ever be the same again.The arcane fear of deprivation camped at my door step.
What haunts me to date was letting her walk away to her end.In a blank stare into the air,I realize that I can’t take that back.The weight of her whispers.
The fond memories are all indelible.
When I see you again,I will not let you go back alone.I might never see you again.
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