In those moments, it doesn’t matter how often my feet touch the ground or if they do at all. It’s a communion with the universe, a dance with the darkness, an intercourse with the moon.
The one where I walked with a stranger…
I walked past him in the middle of the night. I heard him call out to me but I had earphones in my ears, so I pretended not to have heard. Fat chance! He walked up to me still, a big smile on his face
“Hi, I’m Paul”
“I’m Anastasia” I said, pretending to be startled.
“I saw you walk past and you look really beautiful. Do you mind if I walk with you”
“But you don’t even know where I’m going” I protested
“Does it matter?” he asked with a mischievous grin
We walked the walk and talked the most part of it. He was a graduate of a school in the north here for a visit. He was leaving the next day and insisted that it was fate that made us meet….
Talking to Paul was fun. At the end of the walk, we exchanged numbers and resolved to keep in touch
The next day, Paul called. He had lost his sister that day to a road traffic accident and just wanted to let me know. I sent my condolences to him and my prayers to God.
The one where we touched the wall
It was his ritual.
Was it weird? Yes!
Was I down for it? Also yes!
It was our second time taking a walk and we were less nervous being around each other. We walked the path and joked about our exes.
There was a special wall he insisted we touch and I obliged. Sometimes I like to feel adventurous…spoiler alert, I’m not. Sometimes I like to imagine that touching the wall that day created a “butterfly effect” or somehow made the world a better place. Sometimes I think like a sheep and I know it.
The wall marked the boundary between the hospital environment and the outside world. There was a security post which usually had 2 night guards. Tonight, there was only one guard and he lay asleep on the floor close to the wall which made our mission more risky. We began to tiptoe, trying hard not to make a sound. He whispered something funny…a little laugh escaped my lips. Dammit! My hand flew to my mouth, drowning out any sound.
Slowly and steadily, we reached the wall, touched it and made our retreat.
“How do you feel?” he asked with his eyes fixed intently on mine.
“Great” I said with a shy smile.
I felt warm inside.
We got to a T-shirt junction and I wanted to tell him that it was goodluck to kiss at a T-Junction.
We haven’t spoken in a long time.
The one where it was darker than usual
“If you forget to invite me to your wedding, I’ll kill you”
“Deal” he’d said with a straight face.
This one felt good. It felt really good. We set off at 1am and didn’t get back till 3am.
All the lights in the hospital were off and it was darker than usual.
I pointed out my favorite trees to him and he told me about how he met his girlfriend.
By 3am, we were back in the hostel. In front of my block, he bent over and hugged me with his cologne lingering on my dress.
“Have a goodnight” he said
The one where I met a doctor
“You’re really hot and I want to be your friend” he’d said
It was really cold and I wasn’t looking for any new friends.
He’d stopped his car by the road and came down to have a chat with me. He was a doctor there in the hospital and he asked that we go get a drink at a bar close-by. I wasn’t down for a drink or even a conversation so I made excuses to continue my walk.
“What genre of music are you listening to?” he asked, spotting the blue light of my headset
“Indie rock” I replied.
The confusion on his face made my night.
The one where I walked alone
This was a night when I sought pain. I wished for a car to hit me, or a stone to trip me… Anything to cause me physical pain. Let’s face it, it’s easier to tell people you’re sad because you sprained your ankle, than to explain to them that you have no reason for crying. The psychiatrist explained this to me once, but I don’t remember what he called it.
To my surprise, that night was perfect. The cars avoided me, the wind dried my tears and the trees even cooed a soft tune as if singing to the beat of my feet. By the time I arrived back in the hostel, I was numb and tired. Nothing mattered. I just needed to sleep.
It sucks to admit to myself that sometimes, life can just as simple as taking a walk. It ends where it began. Nature birthed us and when we die, nature shall receive us. Sometimes we’re alone, sometimes we’re not and these different people we meet spur different emotions in us.
No, there is no lesson to be learnt from touching a wall, conversing with a stranger, looking at trees in the middle of the night, etcetera and honestly, I have no justification for writing this post. But my mum always told me “When you have a story, tell it”.
I’m wrapping up this post while listening to ‘Walk me home’ by p!nk and even though I don’t know when my walk(s) in life would end, I hope I never stop telling stories about the incredible humans I’ve met along the way.
PS: Can we skip over the part where I’ve been away for 3 months? I broke my own heart and needed time to heal.