He just had to get away from Mombasa; perhaps it was what he needed to stash her memories away for good.
The wind whistled in his ears as he drove along the highway. It was rather soothing, the effect the wind had on him. He would miss Mombasa thoroughly but he just had to do what he thought was best for both of them.
He had set up his home in Mombasa and he blended well with the climate and the people. It was the place he had relocated to after he had reverted to Islam six years back. He loved the place and the Islamic environment, the proximity of the Mosques and of course the ocean.
He had cultivated a habit of taking a jog every morning in the beach as he watched the great fireball awake as if from the deeps of the ocean.
And now he was leaving all that behind, just to do away with her memories.
He had rolled down the windows to enjoy the cool breeze in spite of the scorching heat around Voi. It felt nice driving alone; just him and his thoughts. Glancing to the passenger seat he felt a pang of loneliness; the first of such he had felt in such a long time. He had forgotten how a night in the heart break motel felt like.
She should have been there, seated right next to him.
A bag of ripe apples was there in her stead, sweet, definitely but not much to provide needed company.
Her long, beautiful hair would have been dancing to the harmony of the wind, falling down all over her face. He was pretty certain she would have tilted her head sideways, swept the dancing hair from her face using her index finger, a smile radiating her cute face. She would probably have been crunching on some Ginger nuts, sipping some apple juice, or simply just there, sleeping and turning.
She loved Ginger nuts. Damn he missed her.
He had to concentrate on the long tarmac ahead to fight back a tear that threatened to spill. This was no time to shed tears, he scolded himself; her absence did not mean the end of the world dude. Not entirely, practically speaking. Get a hold of yourself, be a real man and move on. There were probably, no DEFINETELY other women out there who would find solace in your humorous company.
Nope, not even close.
He was doing around 120 KMPH, a presumably ok speed on the highway. A Mark X drove past him at such speed he had to double check the speedometer just to make sure he was moving.
On the left, an old cargo train chugged on oblivious of the trendy cars whistling past it. It looked calm, the train; just there constant on the rails not giving a care about the cars speeding past it.
He admired it, wished to be it. He would give anything to move on in life without a single care about anything. But there was a huge difference between him and the train. The rails were straight and definite, his life was everything else other that straight, and so indefinite he would never second guess what would happen next.
Take for instance the case of the ex (ouch!!), one evening she was ok and deeply in love and dreaming of a bright future with several kids with him. The next morning she wanted out. That sudden change puzzled him.
Coming from a lady who had stuck with him through thick and thin it really did puzzle him. I mean, there was a time, way back when they were planning to get married, he had wanted to give up coz there were just too many obstacles. She looked him straight in the eye and told him not to give up on her.
“Honey, you are all i got right now, you are the only thing in my life i can hold on to and call mine. I only have strength to fight this coz i know i got you on my side. You give up on me right now and am done….completely done!”
She had looked at him with those beautiful, round eyes and his heart melted. He just had to fight for her, for them and whatever she believed in.
And right now he was fighting to be as far away from her as possible, funny!
He hated the way every detail seemed to remind him of her. Like the other day he was fuelling at Engen, and he felt an inclination to buy some pizza at Steers. He walked in and just when he was about to order he recalled how they used to drop in at the same joint every Friday, order Pizza, her favorite chicken wings, a black coffee for him and a hot chocolate for her.
Most of the time she ended up drinking all his coffee once he had drank it halfway coz she thought it tasted so sweet half full!
And he would drink her hot chocolate coz he loved the way she held the cup to her lips with both hands like she was under the weather and taking medication.
They had become a common feature at Steers, the smiling Hijabi and the dude who rocked a beard; always ordered the same pizza and preferred seating in a particular table where she would be facing the door. She called it watching his 6, learnt it from her fav character, Nikita!
At times they had a game where she would play Nikita and he would Michael.
It made him smile. He rolled up the window and turned on the AC. The air was getting pretty hot outside and the truck a few metres ahead of him was emitting too much smoke. He wondered whether it was fuelled by firewood!
His main reason for wishing to move away from Mombasa was because they shared common friends and every one of them would have liked to know what was happening in their lives. Not that he minded talking to their friends, but every such instance would remind him of her and the truth would have appalled them all since everyone considered them the perfect couple.
It was just better if he was miles away. He would sign out of Facebook and Twitter and maintain a low profile until he was able to overcome the heart break.
Along the way he stopped to refuel and grab a bite. It pained him to see couples who seemed so happy in their love and each other company. It reminded him of his current predicament. At the parking lot, he saw the Mark X that had overtaken him earlier. The occupants were a seemingly young couple probably just having fun driving back to the big city after what may have been a romantic weekend getaway to Mombasa. Some soft rock song was playing on the stereo, not that he loved music but the lyrics were so on point:
“….am here without you baibe, you’re still on my lonely mind,
I think about you baibe, and i dream about you all the time….”
(without you: Three Doors Down)
He wished he had not heard those lyrics. Why did everything have to remind him of her? Why was her memory so alive in everything he saw, touched, ate, heard, felt and thought of? Even the car he was driving, she had made the choice for him to purchase it.
The more he wanted to get away from her, the more her memories kept pulling him back. He had to do something. This was too much torture.
With confident strides he headed back to into his car, engaged reverse gear, did a 3 point turn and headed for the exit. There were only two options to decide from; either head back to Mombasa and fight for the lady he loved and the place he called home, or continue with his journey which now seemed rather fruitless. At the junction he had not yet decided which way to indicate, so he just stopped there, weighing his options, heart beating frantically in anticipation of the impending decision.
In his frantic search for a decision, he did not even see it coming, It happened so quickly. All he heard were screeching tires and the massive body of the trailer as it rammed into his tiny vehicle at 120 kmph.