I Woke Up The Next Morning And Saw Her Eyes Opened But She Wasn’t Moving
I saw her once at the car station while picking a car to work one morning. She came to my focus because my eyes were wandering. We were in a queue, waiting for the next trotro to arrive. I remember thinking of the bag she was carrying and asking myself, “What do they put in their bags that they always have to carry one around?” When the trotro came and we entered, she sat on the seat right in front of me. When the mate was collecting the money, she collected mine, added it to hers, and gave it to the driver’s mate. Two days after that day, I saw her again. It was her bag that drew my attention. That red bag that looked like a walking companion. She came to join the queue—it wasn’t a long queue so when the trotro came we both went in.
It became constant. I saw her in the queue almost every morning. One day she sat next to me. I asked her, “Do you live around here?” She said, “Yes I do. Not too far from the next junction.” I said, “That explains it. I see you here each morning.” She smiled. She said, “I also see you every day. We don’t have a choice. It’s the only station here and we both go to work each morning so we are bound to meet often.” That day she sat next to me, we had a lengthy conversation that didn’t end before she got to her destination. I said, ��We’ll continue tomorrow.” She said, “Sure we would. Definitely.”
When I was lacing my shoes the next morning, I remember thinking of her. I remember thinking of all the things I was going to tell her. The questions. The jokes. The stories. I got to the station, stayed in the queue for minutes but she didn’t turn up. “Is she not going to work today?” “What’s wrong with her?” I asked all the questions a man would ask when it has to do with someone he cares about. I regretted not having her number. I told myself, “Next time when we meet, I will definitely get a number.”
All week I didn’t see her. The journey to work became longer than it used to be. I was thinking of her every step of the way, asking myself, “What if I don’t see her again?” What was I doing all the time that I was seeing her?” Talk of wasted opportunities.
One morning I was in the queue when I felt a tap on my shoulder. I knew it was her even before I turned. I prayed it should be her. Before I could turn and see who it was she said, “If I were your girlfriend, you would have looked for me but because I don’t count, you didn’t even realize that I’ve gone missing.” I said, “I’ve been thinking about you every day, wondering what happened to you. Where did you go? Did you travel?” She said, “No I didn’t travel. I was very sick. I went to work that day and took my first shot of the Covid Vaccine and it got me sick. It was mild at first until it got worse. I’ve been home since.”
That day I took her number. The following weekend I went to see her house. She cooked, we talked about our work, life, and what the future means to us. One day after work she called. She asked, “You said you live around. Are you home?” A few minutes after, she was at my house. It was like my room was made for her. She sat on the sofa, crossed her legs, and asked, “Don’t you serve water when you get a visitor?” “Pardon my manners,” I said. I rushed and got her water. Before she would leave, I proposed to her. She asked, “Since when? Since when have you harbored such feelings for me? I said, “Since the day I wasn’t seeing you. My journey to work became longer than usual because of the lack of your presence. Right there, I knew you were the reason.”
She said, “Yes I like you too but I’d rather we took our time.”
Time was all we had so we took as much as we could. Two things became certain in my life; It was certain the sun will shine but it was also certain that I will meet her in the queue each morning. We went on a date on several occasions. We were patient. We understood the times we were in. We knew time was all we had so all we could do was to spend time together. On her birthday we went out. She had too much to drink and we ended up in my room. She had her senses intact though drunk and I also had mine too. I remember clearly what happened and she did too. That means we were both sane and correct.
I woke up the next morning and saw her already awake. Well, that’s what I thought. I said, “You’re already awake? I hope you slept well?” She didn’t talk. I got up from bed, went to the bath, brushed my teeth, and all the while tried to pick up a conversation with her. She never said a word. When I came back I looked at her face. Her eyes were opened and dazzling. I asked, ”Too tired to talk?” She didn’t say a word. I looked closely and realized that she wasn’t blinking or shaking. I called her name twice. She didn’t say a word. I panicked. I shook her twice before she jolted off the bed. I screamed, “You scared me, what was that?” She asked me, “What was what?” I said, “Your eyes were opened but you were not talking. You were stiff even when I screamed your name.” She said, “How can I have my eyes opened when I was sleeping?”
It turned into an argument. I said, ”You scared me. I thought you were dead.” She said, “You’re exaggerating!” I said, “No I’m not exaggerating. It’s the truth. I’ve been talking to you all this while thinking you were awake. Is that the way you sleep?” She said, “Now, you’re embarrassing me. It’s ok. I’m going.”
She got up, dressed up, and went away. Honestly, I didn’t think she took what I said in bad faith but she did. She got to her house and sent me a message, “It’s ok. I scared you with the way I sleep. That’s fine. Since you’re scared, it’s better we leave it here than continue scaring you all the time.” I replied, “You’re going too far, dear. That’s not what I meant. It’s my first time and it’s right for me to show concern. I’m sorry if it hurt you.” She said, “You don’t have to be sorry. It’s alright.”
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We met in the queue the next day and she gave me a cold shoulder. I waited to sit next to her but she didn’t enter the trotro until everyone did and it was almost full. Then she sat on the first seat. She got down without looking back. I sent her a message, “It’s that how it’s going to be like going forward?” She said, “That’s how we started. We didn’t know each other. Yes, we are going back to where it all started. You don’t know me and I don’t know you.”
Two things became certain in my life; it was certain the sun will shine. It was certain I will meet her at the station but she won’t talk to me. I tried for days but it didn’t yield any results. So I stopped trying. Now, we both meet at the station and pretend we are strangers. Our eyes will meet and she’ll turn her eyes away immediately. The last time I paid for her. She told the mate, “I don’t accept such favors from strangers. Give him back his money.” The mate asked me, “She doesn’t want it. Can I keep it?” Everyone turned to look at me. I said, “Keep it but tomorrow I wouldn’t have to pay again.”
Was I wrong to be scared? Or my reaction was wrong? Did I go overboard? She drank the night before that morning. When I saw her eyes wide open but she couldn’t move, I thought the alcohol did something to her. I didn’t know she sleeps with her eyes open. But does it also mean she doesn’t know she sleeps with eyes open? I see her every morning and I miss her. I want her. We thought we had time, little did I know that time is no one’s friend. We got severed mid-way and now I’m the one trying to get her back. What should I do or say to get her back into my life again? Please help.
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