That was by far, the most beautiful weekend of my whole life and that training session was by far, the most wonderful month of my whole life to that point. Amara brought amazing joy, love, fun and adventure into my life. We had a week off before reporting for work. We went shopping for suits – hers and mine. I remember us pausing in one of the shops in a corner to grab a quick kiss when no one was watching. “I can’t wait to get home,” she said. “Me too,” I replied as I held her firmly to my body.
By the end of the week, I saw her off to the Motor Park at Maza Maza where she boarded a bus for Awka. She wanted to see her family before moving to Asaba, which is not far from Awka. That Saturday, I was torn to shreds. To think of my life without her was like thinking of my life being snuffed out. I sat on the edge of the seat texting her at the drop of a hat. She and I texted back and forth until I did not receive any more replies from her. I texted over and over again, but there was no reply. I called her, but there was no answer. I assumed she must have left her phone on silence mode, but I kept calling anyway. My heart would not stop thinking of her.
I never heard from her again! I began to make enquiries, and soon, it was announced at work that she passed on in a ghastly motor accident. My heart stopped beating!!! I cried until there were no tears left in my eyes. I could hear and feel violent pains goring at my poor heart like a buffalo goring a lion to death. I made numerous mistakes at work, hardly able to concentrate on anything. I had to take time off work. I needed some time away from everything to recover from the knifing pain and shock. Eventually, someone answered her phone. Her older sister told me about her burial arrangements. Her family was shattered to say the least.
I cried on the flight to Enugu from where I rented a car to Awka. I watched through the windows as the flight coasted through the skies. At times, I wished the plane would crash…I wanted to die so I could go be with Amara’s beautiful soul. I had searched for love a long time…I had been heartbroken time and again. I had begun to think of love as some phantom emotion that humans talk about to make themselves feel good…something that did not truly exists. Until I met Amara…but why did she have to die? I finally found true love. I felt loved. I touched love. I saw love. I held love in my hands and kissed it with every ounce of life in me…for just a short while before tragedy struck. I kept wishing that it was all a dream. I wanted to wake up and realize that it had all been a nightmare, and that Amara was still alive.
As I watched her body as it was lowered into her grave, I fought my way through the crowd, wanting to go to the other side with her. Hands sprang out of nowhere and held me back. Tears rained down my face and indescribable pains stabbed mercilessly at me with ruthless abandon. “Cletus,” Amara’s sister called to me after the funeral. “Yes,” I replied. “She never talked about any guy in her whole life. She was a careful person. She kept herself for that one person who would sweep her off her feet…and you did, because he talked about you to me every night after she returned from training. She could not wait to dive into her bed and call me to chat about how much you made her laugh; how original…how genuine you were. She adored even the strands of hair that grace your head.
“From the very moment she spent time with you, she fell head-over-heels in love with you. She said you made her life exciting. You brought joy and adventure into her life. She would do anything to be with you…anything.” She stopped talking as tears streamed down her face. I held her as I sought to comfort her, even though I could not fight back my own tears. “She loved you so much and I know…I know you loved her, else, you’d not be here.” “I loved her with every drop of blood and ounce of life in me…” My voice trailed off in pain and tears. “I found this in her purse. I believe it would serve you more than myself. She kept a journal about you and how she felt about you. Her last entry was moments before the…the…the accident. Have it.”
My hands shook as I took the notepad from her. As I read through it, I cried aloud in pain. Her descriptive power was amazingly evident as she chronicled her journey, or as she put it, the journey of her heart with mine. When I reached her last entry, I broke down. I could no longer take it. How could such love end? The entry read like this;
Goodbye my love, Cletus. Good bye as I leave Lagos for Asaba. My heart bleeds like I can never explain. I hear myself breathing painfully – my soul longs for thee and my heart hungers for your warm, firm touch. I kept myself…I waited for you, hanging unto hope that somehow, you were out there. I had been right – because you were out there. Like blind people, we wallowed in darkness, looking for each other. I am glad and very thankful to God for pleasing my soul with you. Good bye my love…I go away, but just for a short while. I know that nothing can keep me from you…Good bye my love, but my soul rests deep in the abyss of your heart. You own me now and I am not afraid to offer up my whole person…my heart and soul to you.
A life without love is like a parched ground, begging, dying, and crying for rain, at the mercy of the ruthless sun that beats down on it with crushing blows. That was me before I met you, Cletus. Someday, I want to share these lines I scribble down with you. I wish I could express myself as fully and deeply to you…I feel like I don’t do enough of it. I will keep trying. That is why I put my thoughts and feelings for you down. That you may come to know, someday, how deeply I love and care about you. I wait…I wait for the day when I would no longer be apart from you again, Cletus. Good bye my love, but soon, I will be back home; in your arms where I belong, where my soul longs to rest.
A relentless cavalcade of tears ran down my face as I read those lines over and over again. I was shaking violently with anger, pain, frustration and indescribable broken-heartedness. Months went by and then, years before I began to heal from that loss. I guess I may never fully recover from the pains that stabbed at me after losing Amara – my one true love. I still miss her – in my eyes, she was the most beautiful girl that ever lived, both on the outside and the inside. I still wish that I could have spent more time with her. I framed that writing of hers and today, it hangs above my desk at the office. I am not married, but I am finally seeing someone else…carefully with some baby steps. It has been a slow process. Hopefully, someday, I will fully allow another woman into my life and heart. For now, Amarachi still dwells deep within my scorched, scarred soul.