There’s that time the sky darkens over, lugubrious clouds hanging low blocking out even the littlest hope of sun rays. It’s a cycle, this thing. Rainfall, sunshine, the cloud spilling darkness over everywhere, a darkness that grows even now across my heart. Something always brings us to this point, the point where perspective change.
I’ve always believed that the night was just a break for the day. So I looked forward to each day every night. I looked forward to the morning when your cries ceased, when you managed to smile. I lived for those times, those mornings, those days, those rays of invaluable sunshine. You even joked and laughed then. The night was just a break, however terrible, that was all it was.
When I wheeled you out for a walk, you told me stories. Sometimes I’d so engrossed in them I’d almost ram you into someone. You’d shout my name and say “watch out”, and I’d return from the journey your stories send me on. We’d laugh out loud while the puzzled passersby watch us without understanding what a cripple and a stunning beauty were on about.
Cripple, you always insisted that I call you that. You said “wear your disability like an armour because that’s what it is. Weakness is strength.” At first, my mouth trembled when I said “my crippled boyfriend.” People asked what I was still doing with you. But what do people know? What does anyone know? You were my weakness, and my weakness was my strength.
After the accident, you were no longer afraid of death. Sometimes I thought you were dying inside and smiling at me. They said something had affected your spinal cord. The treatment, the cost of the treatment. I could have sold myself for you, you know? I could have. But you vehemently refused, you insisted I don’t go online asking for help. I didn’t listen of course. I’m sure you knew I wouldn’t.
My dear cripple, every night I come out here to the railway and wait for that train, the one you wheeled yourself into. It is always on time. 11:50pm. Always. Just ten minutes before the spasms that always pulls you into a voltex of pain.
I could have told you, Dele, I could have. We had the money, treatment was to begin the next day, the night would have been over but I didn’t know. I didn’t know your strength was also your weakness.
I see the train approach everyday, and before it passes I briefly wonder how it would feel, if I could do it. Everyday I do nothing, it passes and I go back to the darkness. The day break comes in the morning, a break before another night. I will go to work and be like you, Dele. I’ll hide my pains behind my smiles, my fears behind my laughter, and my dead soul behind my jokes.
I’m still waiting for my weakness to turn to strength. But each time I stand beside that railway seeing the glaring headlights of the train sweeping my way, I look for my strength, Dele, and I do not find it. I do not find you.