Distant

“You look beautiful,” I said to her, elated that I, after waiting a while, finally got to talk to her. She always had an excuse for not talking to me; Akua always had. I knew our relationship wasn’t what it once was, but I wish, for old time’s sake, she’d at least make an effort to keep it existing between us. As for me, I was doing whatever I could. Hell, I had to walk about forty minutes to get here, just so I could see her. I felt a bit self-conscious, because I wasn’t looking my best. But it wasn’t exactly my fault. ECG had struck before I had even thought to iron my shirt. And there she was, looking radiant, as always.

“You’re looking good,” I say, smiling. She nods. “I..err…I have a date, Emma.” I think she expected me to react negatively to that, but then the conversation was going good so far, and I wouldn’t allow my jealousy to ruin it. Not in the least. We had said we were going on a break, so she was free to do whatever. Or something like that.

“Ei, which lucky boy is that?” I asked, trying to sound happy, though I was far from that.

“I met him at work. He’s nice. I think he went to your school.”

Stay away Emma, stay away. Don’t ask. Don’t ask.

“Oh really? What’s his name? Maybe I remember him.”

The truth is, I already knew who it was. Maxwell, that bastard. My mind went briefly to a call I had placed to him months earlier.

“Max, I have a very special somebody coming to work where you are. Look after her for me, will you?” I has asked. He had agreed. And he seemed bent on doing the best of jobs. The old rascal.

“His name is Max. Know him?” she asked.

“Yeah, I think so. I remember him vaguely. Okine, right?”

“Ocran. That’s him. He’s been nice to me, you know? People aren’t really friendly here.”

“He has? That’s nice.” The was a brief pause, as if she could sense I wasn’t exactly elated by the news. Of course I’m not. Nobody wants to know that their girlfriend got over them so easily. It makes one wonder if the whole relationship was just a farce.

Before I could stop myself, I said, “Akua, I miss you. A lot.”

“Emma, we’ve discussed this. You see, this is why I don’t like talking to you. I can-” the screen went blank and quickly came back to a static page.

Damn, I hadn’t been focusing on the timer. Almost immediately an attendant materialised by my side.

“Boss, you want extra time?”

I didn’t even consider it. I was too angry to talk to Akua again. Knowing me, I’d probably say something I’d regret later.

Walking out of the internet cafe, I remembered what a friend had said once:

Long distance relationships don’t work.

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