Jomo Otiende

Jomo looked over at Pascaline.  She could sleep through anything.  Her long, braided hair spread across her little white pillow.  He called her name softly and his eyes began to well up with tears.  She was beautiful.  She looked exactly like her mother.  Jomo felt his chest spasm once more in uncontrollable lament.  He slapped both his hands over his eyes and heard his sobs break the dark silence.  He breathed deeply and wept hard while the images once again unfolded in the night, the time when he missed her the most.  He begged her every night to come back. Memories of their courtship appeared.  I remember you. I remember when we would go for a walk by the river in the hot African moonlight and stare at the clouds hemmed to the mountain’s shadowy outlines. I remember.  Remember when we were a beautiful, young couple?  Our hearts blossomed for one another; the wind would play with your long, braided hair and we would hold each other and laugh on the grass. The hot rays of midsummer fuelled our passion.  Do you remember our jokes of growing old together?  I hear you calling me.  Do you remember dancing together in the firelight in an embrace we thought would last forever?  I remember.  Of course I remember!  The pain in my heart doesn’t melt away because I remember you and I remember how we were!  I miss you so much.

          Jomo came back to the present.  He thought he had screamed out loud, but no, the children still slept. They were the only anchors preventing him from abandoning his life.  He bent over Pascaline, listening to the blood pounding through his ears.  I’ve found the strength to live, Ghalyela. 

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