AFFAIRS: THE ARTIST
It had been a month since Kojo left. One long, slow, dry and painful month.
Do I miss him? Every day. Does it hurt still hurt? Yes, but not as much it used to. It is pain. It never goes away; it just gets easier to bear. The memory of that evening haunts me and I cry, sometimes. The very scent of my room still dredges up repressed emotions and thoughts. I can’t blame it; he did break up with me within those walls.
I had to get up, get out and put my broken heart and life back together. I could no longer stay in this deplorable state that the split had put me in. I can’t keep missing and wishing he’ll come back when he doesn’t give a rat’s ass about me. (I checked his Facebook page…and Twitter…and his Yahoo status updates…and his Skype status) I had to get over Kojo, feel sexy and flirt again.
What better way to do this than to pick up a new activity. No, not getting under someone. All that ever does is cause more complications, emotionally and psychologically. I picked up something I had always wanted to do but couldn’t because work was too much and all my free time was mostly spent with him. Now that he is gone, they are filled with emptiness, tears, fatty foods and sad, romance movies. I picked up Art. Drawing, Painting and other related activities. I enrolled in an Art School which was just a fifteen minutes’ drive from my apartment.
And how has it helped?
This Saturday morning, I went to the salon for a Manicure and Pedicure which I hadn’t done since he left and it had left my hand and feet looking like that of a peasant. Plus, I put on lipstick today to Art Class at noon. All of this had to be paying off because my Art teacher kept stealing glances from behind his canvas.
His name was Louis. He was about six feet tall or more as far as my sense of height could tell. His facial features were rugged; stubble on his chin and a mustache, his eyes looked sunken, sad and tired. His lips were small and thin like that of a white man. It was obvious from the texture of his hair that he was mixture of different races. He had a slowly, maturing beer belly and was a bit too plump for my liking, compared to Kojo’s tall and skinny but fit frame. He was pretty much everything I found undesirable in a man but yet his constant gazes at me made me giggle inside like a school girl.
I was fresh from a breakup (1 month is still fresh, right?) and emotionally vulnerable so any form of attention felt like a little slice of heaven. It told me that even if Kojo didn’t want me, I was still a very attractive woman to others. That I wouldn’t die alone or amongst cats or farm animals like some of my grandmother’s friends.
The flirting continued for a few more weeks before somebody decided to take the first move. A move which I was soon to regret.
Class was over early that Saturday afternoon but I stayed back to finish on some practice exercises I couldn’t get to because of work. I sat there slowly and carefully working out the shades of my silhouette when I heard his footsteps walking in my direction, gentle yet sturdy.
He stopped behind me, and I knew he was watching what I was doing with the charcoal stick.
‘If you tilt your wrist in this direction, you would get a better shade of what it is you desire’
He reached out and placed my wrist in the position he had spoken of, and within minutes, we were at a nearby bar having a drink and some pizza.
We talked and laughed. He told me of his family. His father had passed away a few years back, and mum lived alone in the country side. He spoke of how he got into painting and his love for it. So passionately, he spoke of it as his one true and only love. Obviously, being the kind of man he was and the kind of work he did, he had been with women; not so many but he had had his fair share of beautiful women in his life.
If I say I found myself warming up to him, that would sound so cliché but the way he looked into my eyes, his smile, his laugh and those times when his hand touched mine whenever he got so emotional about something and wanted me to feel it (At least that what I think all the hand grabbing was for), I have to say I was a bit smitten. We left the bar after an hour or two. It was getting late so we strolled towards my apartment.
He would see me off with a light kiss on the cheek and leave. I have no time or desire for any form of intimacy. Maybe he could step in for some wine, besides what am I going to do inside than wallow in my sorrows. Just a drink, chat and that would be all. He would be gone and I would be asleep.
‘Lovely place you have here’, he said when he stepped into my living room.
‘Thanks!’ I replied. ‘Would you like a glass of wine?’
‘Sure but nothing alcoholic. It is late and I still have to go home. Don’t I?’
He grinned. I smiled and went in search of something non-alcoholic. That is if I had any. Since the break-up, it had been alcohol, alcohol, fruit juice with alcohol, tea with alcohol and some more alcohol.
‘Thank God’, I muttered.
There was still some fruit juice left over from last night and a large amount too. I cleaned out two glasses and took a tray of cookies as well.
‘There you go’ I placed the tray on the table and sat next to him on the sofa.
‘So you live here alone?’
‘Yes. Just li’l old me by myself’
‘No. We just broke up a few weeks back’
And so the story of Kojo and I began to unfold. I hadn’t really talked so much about it since we split. Even Zara tried to get me to spill how I really felt but I preferred to hold it in and cry whenever I was alone.
The pain still felt very fresh. How I miss Kojo!
I began to cry as I narrated and had to stop when I couldn’t go any further. He moved closer to me and hugged me tight. I needed that. I completely broke down. Crying like a baby. He got out his handkerchief and wiped my tears and the little snot that was slowly dripping down my nose.
‘Oh dear. I am so embarrassed’ I got up.
‘I am so sorry. I didn’t mean to break down like this’ I laughed and went it to put myself back together.
As I stood in the kitchen, washing my hands,I heard thunder strike outside and looked out the window. It was pouring heavily outside. There was lighting and more thunder.
‘Shit!’ He might have to stay a bit longer than I had wanted.
I went to the living room.
He had gotten up from where he had been seated.
‘I have to take my leave now before it starts raining cats and dogs outside’
‘I guess I have to be the bearer of bad news then. It is already raining cats and dogs outside so I think you might have to stay a while till it goes down.’
‘I don’t know if that is such a good idea…’
I walked up to him.
‘No. it’s okay. I don’t mind. I promise not to cry again if that is what you are worried about’
We both laughed.
‘No. I just didn’t want to cause you any inconvenience’
We smiled and got back to talking. Two hours had gone by, and the rain didn’t seem to showing any signs of stopping soon. And I was getting tired and very sleepy.
He had no choice but to stay here for the night so we discussed and after my persistent pleas, he agreed to stay and sleep on the couch. What other option did he have? To stay awake till the rain stops? That clearly wasn’t going to happen anytime soon.
I gave him a spare blanket and pillow and we bade each other goodnight.
(To be continued…)