I got home, running into my kitchen, searching every nook and cranny to see if there was anything I could make out of what I had. I had run out of stuff but I noticed I had uncooked abacha, palm oil and salt. It wouldn’t make sense but I just had to mix it up like that. It was an issue of survival and not pleasure.
When I had dished my mixture into the plate and was about leaving the kitchen, the bulb blinked. I didn’t know why it blinked and I didn’t care. As I got close to the door with my plate in one hand and the other hand on the knob the light blinked again and I looked up to see what was wrong with it; it was my past calling me.
A few years back, I was in a relationship with a beautiful soul. She came visiting one evening and at that time I had packed in newly to the apartment I lived in then. She came with some consumables and we spent time talking and laughing. Then, she brought out a rechargeable bulb and said
“Someone was selling this in class today and I felt you may need it since you write at night and may need light when electricity is cut off in your area. I had to buy it for you, I didn’t have the money at hand but I promised the seller that I was going to pay him tomorrow.”
I took the bulb from her with smiles all over my face. Very little things get at my heart easily and I felt very emotional that evening. Using one of my plastic chairs, I raised myself to reach the ceiling and I installed the bulb. Months later, we separated for good. Although we had little misunderstandings, I credited our separation to the fact that we weren’t compatible health-wise as I am AS and she was AS.
It took me almost a year to start learning to get over her; at random I would still go through my archives to commune with the memories that I have been able to retain in pictures. She was such a sweet soul that I wished there was a way to get around the obstacle we had, I wished it worked out but I had to accept the reality and move on with my life. Not that I didn’t know any way but they are too expensive and it isn’t worth it.
I kept staring at the bulb, reminiscing the good memories, reeking up piles of emotions as I walked slowly into my sitting room. I wasn’t feeling hungry any more and everything around me reflected her, her mark was just all over my house. The plate, the spoon and even one of my chairs were things she gave to me. I picked up my phone to call her but I held myself back.
All these while, we haven’t been talking so well and it wasn’t a wise thing to do. We both had moved and I needed to keep it at that. I knew it was time to ensure I don’t get a visit from my past so often. I may not wipe my memories, but I can put away things that make it so profound because at some point it hurts.
I loved her.
Why am I sharing? I got something out of the whole situation. Gifts can be powerful and as long as gifts last, we may continue contending with the presence of the giver even when they are gone. There are people who will remain in our hearts as long as their gifts live. Depending on the life span of your contribution to someone’s life, you will be in their hearts that long.
If a mere bulb could remind me of someone, how much more the investments we make in people’s lives, how much more the marks of love and support we give to people, how much more when we are part of someone’s success stories. To live in people’s hearts forever, leave a mark! The kind of mark you leave will determine what they will remember about you.