My aunt, Tamara, is what I term the true definition of a survivor. I often wondered why she had decided to live a celibate life – beautiful as she was. It just didn’t seem right, especially now that she was in her mid-thirties. As close as I was to her, she never really had the audacity to answer me whenever I asked her the question about being her being unmarried. She would either excuse herself and go to her bedroom, or change the topic of discussion without notice. Noticing this, I decided it was best to leave some questions unasked. Someday, somehow, I would uncover the truth.
As I approached my 17th birthday, I was told of a testimony that left me cautious to date. I was busy with chores when my aunt stormed into the room and said abruptly, “Donna, we need to talk”. The sound of that rang a bell that whatever she wanted to say was surely of great importance. So I left what I was doing and accompanied her to her bedroom, which she was so fond of. We sat down and she began to talk.
“What I am about to say to you is based on my true life experience. I am sure it will answer most of your questions concerning me. I just realised that you are growing older with time and you need to be prepared psychologically for whatever you may face in whatever aspect of your life. When I was about your age, I fell deeply and irrevocably in love with a boy called Javis. Surely, he was the perfect match according to my principles of a dating partner, and I was almost sure we would spend the rest of our lives together and make a perfect couple. We dated for five consecutive years with no cases of unfaithfulness or cheating reported by anyone concerning either of us. Everybody, including my late mother, was cock-sure about our future together though they never really showed him this. By then I was an upright twenty two year old lady facing her campus life.
“One day, he promised to come for a visit at my hotel so I decided to prepare a meal especially for him. Everything had been well set at the table and I was eagerly awaiting his call so that I could receive him by the gate. An hour passed without even a text message from him so I dialed his number. The phone rang for long but there was no reply. I assumed that he was caught up in a traffic jam and his phone was on silent mode. ‘But it was so unlike him to stay silent when he was caught up’, I thought to myself. I was heading for the door when suddenly my phone rang. The number was new but I answered anyway. The speaker was a lady claiming to call from Nairobi Hospital. She confirmed that I knew Javis and said that I was needed there immediately.
“My heart began to pound at the sound of that. I hang up immediately and I left for the hospital. A nurse approached me almost immediately to guide me to where Javis was. You would think she had been waiting for me all along. We walked down a hall that felt like a million miles away to me. She suddenly came to a halt in front of door number 13. Without further ado, a confused me stormed into the room before the nurse had confirmed the patient’s name. The sight that my eyes met was very disturbing. Javis had his face covered in bruises and one of his eyes was extremely swollen. Parts of his body, except his nose and mouth, were in bandages and plasters. I couldn’t bear the sight. I walked slowly towards him and I looked at him. He tried to speak but with great difficulty. Just then, he uttered my name but before he could continue, he had a shortness of breath and moved his lips slowly – uttering anything. Javis took his last breath with me standing by his bedside. I was too perplexed to even make a move. With him went all the happiness I ever had. My ability to love was lost and now a permanent wound is left in my heart. To date, I don’t even know what happened to him. I miss him every single day.”
By the time she was done talking, Aunt Tamara’s eyes were soaked in tears. I wanted to show my deepest sympathy to her, but what would I say?