I tried to take a quick glance around the room and a pair of eyes stopped me dead in my tracks. No way. Of all days and in all places, he was the least person I had expected to see. I blinked twice and looked away. My mind was definitely playing tricks on me. Maybe it was time I stopped reading about opening my third eye and all that chakra nonsense because I’m beginning to see things I’d rather not see. But curiosity got the best of me and so I looked again just to be sure.
Three seats away, the same pair of eyes still stared back at me like a missile locked on target. I’m as real as day or night, they seemed to say. As if in collaboration, his lip spread in a thin, all-knowing smile. I jerked my head back and stared at the ground between my legs. My heart was beginning to beat to the rhythm of a wild African drum. Dear ground, please absorb me, I thought as I swallowed hard.
“We would begin this session by having everyone introduce themselves, starting with the people on both extremes of the front row. Please…” the speaker gesticulated towards us.
We were both seated on either end of the row. Was this the universe’s way of pulling a cruel joke on me? For a moment, I hesitated in my seat. I could feel the other occupants of the row staring at me. I could feel him staring at me, probably waiting for me to make a move. And so I did. Slowly, I rose and unfolded myself like a magician’s snake. Introducing myself shouldn’t hurt.
I didn’t know where the voice came from or why. All I knew was my legs had obeyed the instruction without delay, leaving my brain to catch up. And so, I found myself running out of the hall, into the corridor. I didn’t know if time had stopped or if this was a really long corridor. But after what seemed like forever, I eventually got to the end of it where before me stood a brown door. Not caring what laid beyond it, I pushed and ran in.
The room welcomed me with a sigh like a mother welcoming a new born. Be still my poor heart, I said looking around the empty space and trying to catch my breath. Then I heard the door close softly behind me. Even though I didn’t think I was followed, I knew I was no longer alone. I didn’t have to turn to know who had walked in. Summoning all the willpower I could, I turned and faced him.
“What do you want…”
The rest of my words were caught in my throat as his lips pressed against mine. This couldn’t be happening. Only that it was. The warmth of his lips were a sharp contrast to mine which were as cold as death. I should be fighting this, I thought. But I was no match for the fire that was slowly spreading from my lips to my belly, coursing through my veins like magma from an erupted volcano.
For so, long I had been running and fighting. Fighting and running. But this moment brought with it a new realization. I had never stopped loving this man. I felt my body soften as the first tear hit my left cheek. Maybe my days of fighting were over. Maybe after all these years, there was hope for a new beginning. So, I let myself fall. Like a feather, I swayed in the wind as I fell into this sweet abyss that was slowly enveloping me. Then he pulled away and reality came crashing.
We stood, staring at each other in silence. I wasn’t sure what this meant. I wasn’t even sure this was supposed to mean anything. But it had been 5 years. 5 years since we went our separate ways. You don’t just kiss an old lover out of the blues. This has to mean something, I hoped and silently prayed.
“What about your wife? And your child?” I finally found the courage to ask. He smiled. The same smile he had given me in the hall. He knew the question I wasn’t asking.
“I just needed to get you out of my system,” he said before walking away like he didn’t just turn my world upside down. Again.