Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Behind the poem

The Poem

When two separate souls meet
something beautiful can happen

When two different souls intertwine s
omething exotic can develop

When two distinct souls become one
someone somewhere envies their bond

When one soul wars with itself
someone at home gets torn apart

When we are tired, weak and weary of war
somehow we go back to the beginning

When we learn to make our soul work as one
somehow how love grows even more



When two separate souls meet
something beautiful can happen

The train moved violently knocking everyone to the same side. He bumped into me, and muttered a quiet sorry. I nodded without looking in his direction. He moved closer towards me this time without the help of the train. I looked at him and his eyes held my gaze. He wasn’t exceptionally handsome, but everything about his face seemed perfect; his eyes had kindness in them, a “cute as a button” nose and his ears looked like they would be fun to twist. His hair is full and wavy, I felt like running my hand through it. He has thin lips which look like a smile and his eyelashes were long and heavy like that of a woman. All these features, I observed in 20 seconds, and then I looked away. He got off at the next stop, but not without leaving his business card on my lap.

When two different souls intertwine
something exotic can develop

Work was exhausting, but I managed to catch the 8:05pm train. I saw him, again, sitting at the corner of the train reading a book. I had been looking at his business card all week, even picked up the phone a couple of time, but didn’t have the nerve to call. I didn’t want him to think I was easy, frankly I like to be pursued. I don’t know how that defines a relationship, but it is a role society has given me to play, a false sense of having the upper hand. As I looked at him from a far, I saw the book he was reading was the Holy Bible. Once I realized he was readying the Bible, I felt all sense of the rules of dating went out the window; I gathered my confidence, walked up to him and I whispered in his ear “would you like to have a cup of coffee with me”?

When two distinct souls become one
someone somewhere envies their bond

We met regularly for coffee breaks, lunches and other reasons to see each other. We were both eager to share the meaningful experiences in our lives. Our friends came to know of us only by our name. We had so much in common, and those few things that were uncommon were exciting. Friends kept asking “What is it about this person? Who is he/she? Why are you smiling ?” All the questions gave me more reasons to smile. I couldn’t believe how lucky I was, what if I had missed that train? What if I hadn’t been bold enough to go talk to him first the second time I saw him? The time came when we introduced ourselves with each others friends. Our friends seemed very happy for us, but as an African adage goes “Don’t mistake the whiteness of one’s teeth for a pure heart”.

When one soul wars with itself
someone at home gets torn apart

Have you found someone?” my mother screamed from the end of the line.

Why? I asked, not bothering to tell her to keep her voice down.

“Because when I talk about marriage, you don’t get angry anymore”

“Ma, I have decided not to argue with you about that matter anymore, there is no point for me to get angry everyday".
My mother continued by saying, “I know you, I am your mother, I have watched you grow the past 25 years, you can be very rebellious if you want to, God knows I did everything right with my parents, I don’t know why he had to give me a rebellious child”.

“Ma please focus…. I have to get back to work in 15 mins. Can I talk to you later?”. She spoke even louder, “No, just tell me yes or no, have you found someone”?

I wasn’t sure if I should tell my mother, this woman is very unpredictable. There was a time when we passed a beggar and I threw the change from my pocket into his bowl, she slapped my hands, complaining that I am part of the reasons these people don’t get jobs by helping them afford their booze. The following month, we passed the same street and a beggar came toward us, she begged for money to feed her children, I gave her a cold look and walked away. My mother shouted at me, for not having compassion, saying “how is it that I gave birth to this girl? Everyone in my family is caring, you must have gotten those traits from your father’s side” Ha!

I decided to tell my mother about my relationship; it’s been one year since I’ve been dating him and I feel it is the right time to share my joy with her.

“Ma I met someone, he is a nice guy with a great personality and hardworking too” I said all this in a rush and bit my lower lip waiting for her response.

“He is also Christian” I added quickly.

“Where is he from?” she asked calmly, but I can hear her breathing heavily

“He is Indian, from India” I said.

“Hm, I will talk to you later”; - - then a dial tone.

I look at the phone and wasn’t sure what to think, my mother as I said is unpredictable. As the thoughts of her calling anybody else in the family to tell about what I said and my doubts of should I have told her, raced through my head, my phone rang and it was him.

“Hey “I said smiling, I love how he calls at the right time.

‘How are u? he asked

“I am fine “

“ Sooooooo how are u? He asked again?

“I am fine” I said again “is there something wrong, you sound a little distracted”

“We have to talk; can you meet me after work?”

“Sure, I hope it’s nothing serious “I said

“No, ok I got to go bye’

We met in starbucks; he picked an isolated place, which got me nervous. He usually sits in front of the window watching people. He asked if I wanted to drink anything, I declined. He was noticeably nervous as I can see; he kept touching his tie and scratching his left eyebrow.

“What is it?” – I asked him in an anxious voice.

“Listen, I told my mom about us last week, and things are not going well. She said all kinds of things which I am not about to repeat. Her blood pressure has gone really up, she is in and out of the hospital, I am sorry I didn’t tell you this before, I tried to bear it all alone, but I can’t. As you know I am an only son and I have a duty to perform. She has been there for me all her life and I owe it to her. I can’t continue this relationship, at least not now. We have to give ourselves time. I Love you, you have been there for me, but I don’t want my mother to die over something like this. Please understand me. I am very sorry.”

I wiped his tears with the back of my hands. His home is in turmoil and God knows what I will face when I get home. I hugged him, said “I understand “, then picked up my bag and left for the station. I felt like I was going to have a heart attack. I ran all the way to the station with tears streaming down my face. “Oh God this hurts” “why me?” i kept asking but as they say time heals all wounds.

When we are tired, weak and weary of war
somehow we go back to the beginning

I caught the 8:05pm train. I saw him sitting at the corner reading a book. The Bible. He looked up and smiled. He came over and said “would you care to have a cup of coffee with a friend?”

Those words were enough for me to understand we have found a friend in each other, for 3 years of separation didn’t matter. Our friendship begins again.

4 comments:

Believer said...

Number 1: Beautiful story, i love the poem but like you said there is a story behind the poem. I think there will always be people like that in your life where it doesn't matter how much time has passed, you can continue from where you stopped. You've also raised an issue on inter-racial relationships that I hope maybe to do a post about later just to get people's take on.

Number 2: I like the new background.

Number 3: Have a great and fabulous weekend.

Allied said...

Hey Sis, long time. Hurray i called into TERC today!!! Clap for me.

Re: Blog - Thanks. The story is actually close to home, of course with "jaras" ( extras). I had to make the story sweet sweet a little.

Stay blessed!

Daddy's Girl said...

Wow, allied so this is you?? I remember your comments on my blog sooo long ago, then you vanished and I always wondered... wow so this is you?? Keep up the lovely writing.

rethots said...

Wow!!! ....can i even dare a comment. This is so so so beautiful. No, i can't make a comment.

I love your mother though. Apparently, snapvine disappointed me; your voice is captivating.