Telling someone with Celiac Disease that they are the best thing since slice bread is not romantic…apparently.
She is a lawyer.
No, to be precise, she is a barrister. A distinction she is always quick to point-out, ‘We wear the wigs, darling,’ she scolds me, with her deep, husky voice. That bit – wearing wigs – always makes me laugh. A white wig, on-top of her weaved, black Caribbean hair. Yes, she is a barrister. I didn’t see how it was possible, but then again, I barely finished high school, and know nothing about the law, except what I’ve watched on Judge Judy. She was a stunner, my friend, not Judge Judy (sorry JJ), and when she initially spoke, she sounded the part (of a barrister that is, not a stunner). But once you scratched her surface, (or her veneer), you realised that she really was a bit, well… dim. But I liked her company. And she had a decent heart.
Not too soon after meeting her, I would soon find out that she had a bit of a reputation for her courtroom antics. What she lacked in legal finesse, she made up with such theatrical flair, that judges and opposition alike, loved sparring with her. Rumour has it, that during a trial involving a cosmetic company, she purposely shouted out, Mascara! rather than Objection! banging her hand on table so hard, she almost broke it. The judge, use to her theatrics, did not miss a beat, and quickly retorted, Lipgloss – duly satisfied that she did not pull a fast one, over him. The whole courtroom laughed. Levity. She brought… levity. She lost the case. She loses a lot more than she wins, but as she says, ‘you grow accustomed to losing. It helps you appreciate winning a lot more. Never get to use to winning.’
She found out about a year ago. A routine examination caught it. Caught early enough, but it was terminal all the same. She swore me to secrecy and refused to tell me how long she had, ‘That’s not important to know, I even wish they hadn’t told me.’ She carried-on living the life she had, until it, the cancer, took its toll. Month by month, she slowed down until she came to a near standstill, the secret impossible to be kept, secret. ‘This is the bit I hate’, she told me, ‘everyone showing me their pity, reminding me that I’m dying. Show me the pity when I’m dead. Show me the pity at the funeral. I’ll appreciate it a lot more then.’
In her last two weeks, it was just she and I. She had no family – none that I knew about. Alone together for the last two hours. Alone for her last words. She opened her eyes and said, ‘rosebud.’ She laughed, theatrical the very end. ‘You get used to losing. It helps you appreciate winning a lot more. Never get to use to winning.’
1 hour and 37 minutes later, she was gone.
I wanted to write rhyming poetry,
but realise I have no rhythm.
This message was deleted
That was the last thing I read from you. Having come home to find nothing of you left, besides your ring on the kitchen table. I sat at that table for sometime, before deciding to write you a simple one-worded message, ‘Why?’ This message was deleted, was the response. Deleted? How can you delete a memory? How can years be simply, deleted? That ring sat on the kitchen table, in the same spot, for exactly three months, with hope that its orignal owner would come back to claim it.
Three months and one day later, I decide to call your bluff. I take my ring off, placing it side by side to yours, and go to work. On my way home, there is an excitement and anticipation that I have not felt for some time. I rush to put the key in the door. And as I turn the lock, I expect something new, something different, some kind of change. But the truth, still remains the truth. There the two rings sit. Side-by-side.
We see each other out and about, neither one acknowledging the other. Each time, walking in our separate ways – which is exactly how it should be. I have no bad feelings towards you. None. Time, as they say, does heal wounds – old and new. And you know what? I still wear my ring, taking it off only and when I sit down at the kitchen table.
My love, I want to hold you close, locked in an embrace,
as we dance alone on the moon.
And who’s going to pay for that?, she replies.
And that’s when I realise, why I love her so.
Some days I think I’m going to achieve such greatness –
then I eventually realise that it’s just trapped wind.
Thinking outside the box,
is not necessary,
if you refuse to go in it.