“Stories, stories which move the readers to tears have been written and will continue to be written as long as mankind knows what it feels like to love. This story which I will soon lay before you is one which will make the readers cry for themselves if penned by a polished writer. However, I might not succeed in providing the same experience for I am a person who does not do very well with words. If I were to be clever with words, I might be sitting here writing a different story. Let me tell, this story is not about me, it is about a woman has not drawn a breathe ever since she drew her last breathe six hours ago. I must admit, I had parts to play, parts I wish I had played better. I, to be honest, do not want to write this tragedy, for if I do write but do not write so good as it is to be written, I would be shaming a soul. But I will write, I will write it for myself lest I should regret it for the rest of my life the way I regret now. Once, I am done and the notebook is closed, I will try to move on and leave this episode of tears and sadness behind.”
Hailie, I had known her since we both were kids. We shared a bond like no one else, when we were little, we played in the sands, raced to the hill top and watch each other when we peed or had to poop. Yes, that was how close we were. But Hailie was also the most beautiful girl in the village. She would be the topic most discussed by drunken men; I would be lying if I pretended to not have taken part in such conversation for I have. I was also the victim of envious gaze but that mattered little because she was with me. I thought myself the richest lad, even though I am without silver and gold, I had happiness which no silver and gold could buy. In the darkest days, her smile radiated a warm glow which would sweeps through my entire body touching every wound and healing it. She was special, very special to me, not just because she was pretty but because I loved her. I thought it would last forever and I was the chosen one, the one whom God had blessed with a gift which other men could only dream of. But I was wrong for a thief; a thief who would steal my happiness appeared.
The twilight’s orange sky was beautiful, ‘neath it I walk. The route I took back home was the one which run along the brook that borders the western edge of the city. It was then that I caught the sight of the thief. He sat on the bank of the stream throwing pebbles into the water, he looked sad.
“Beautiful, isn’t it?” I said whilst finding myself a seat beside him.
“Yes it is.”
“why, then, my friend, are you sad?”
“It’s pitiful. The world we live in is so beautiful, yet we are mortals, we must go so soon.”
“I am not a scholar, but I do not think we lack time, we just think about time and forget to live the time”
For the first time he lifted his head and turned to me, his once saddened eyes now brighten up.
“I am Jason, I am glad I met you, this must be fate.” He said and he offered his hand.
“Marshall, my dad gave me that name” I replied while shaking his hands, it was cold.
“You are to come to my place tomorrow, at this time” and he scribbled his address on a piece of paper and handed it over to me.
“Goodbye for now”
“But I am a little confu…”
“Say no more, you called me ‘Friend”, didn’t you?”
After that he got up and started walking away.
I kept gazing at him until he was completely out of sight.
The next day, around the same time, I arrived at the address that was given to me; however there was a twist, Hailie had forced me to take her along. I wondered if Jason would be angry at me for bringing her. I don’t know why but she really wanted to meet Jason when I told her about him, and it was not possible of me to refuse something when I am requested, especially when it is Hailie who asks it.
I rang the doorbell on the second floor of an old shabby apartment, the first ring was not responded so I rang again, and this time the door was attended.
“So you’ve come”
“Yes, I have”
He looked at the pretty damsel standing beside me
“Who is she?” he whispered to me.
“She’s Hailie, she wanted to meet you”
“Woah.. She’s pretty”
He showed us to the living room, it was well kept. We were told to wait while he brews tea, so we did. A minute later he returns with a tray with three cups, he placed the tray on a coffee table in the middle of the room and took a cup for himself and signaled us to do the same. He didn’t speak much of himself, he’d rather persisted on speaking highly me even though he does not know me, and he knew nothing of me. His humor was appreciated by Hailie who laughed hard at all of his boring jokes while I struggled hard to fake my laughter. Time flew fast; it was already past dinner time when we left the place.
We became closer, Jason and I, but they became more closer, Hailie and Jason, when we began, Hailie would meet Jason only when I was with them, but now, they could be seen together strolling down the marketplace. I felt I had been replaced, but I told myself that I am blessed, and that Hailie is mine. Jason will soon leave and return to wherever he came from and Hailie and I would be together again like we used to before Jason appeared.
One evening, I thought I should pay a visit to Jason, since it had been a while since I last visited at his little apartment. The gate of the apartment was at sight, I walked toward it, and upon coming closer I saw Hailie leave. Thoughts ran across my mind, all the muscles in my body twitched, but I calmed myself by saying I am there to visit a friend and Hailie was not to be thought of.
When I rang the doorbell, Jason was quick to respond; he opened the door and let me in. On entering the living room, I thought I saw Hailie sitting on the couch but she was gone when I blinked my eyes.
“Was Hailie here?” I asked.
“Yes, she was, didn’t you see her leaving?”
“I don’t remember” I lied.
“Well, she was here before you came”
It sounded more like, “ She was here. You shouldn’t have come, we were having fun” to me.
“Do you love her?” He asked.
“No. I do not” I lied again
“Thank God! I love her.”
“I am happy for you, my friend” I lied for the third time.
“I just remembered I have to visit aunt Mary before supper, I have to go now” I said, just wanting to leave and see no more of Jason’s face lest I should lose control of myself and struck him on his face.
I hurried down the road where I first met him, I was angry….
*Three Years Later*
I received a letter which said,
Pray you haven’t forgotten me, I’m horrible. I wanted to begin this letter with good words but nothing is good, nothing is well, everything is wrong.
Three years back, you left without a word, I woke up and saw no more of you, I came to your house only to hear your father words, and he said you joined the military.
Why didn’t you tell me? Were we not friends?
Even when you were gone, Jason and I remained close but it felt incomplete without you, the three of us used to be a triangle, with you gone, we became a line. We fell in love.
Few months after you left, Jason proposed me and I accepted.
We were to be married three months ago, and on the wedding day, Jason was not to be found. He never reached the church.
I went to his little apartment and found his bed had not been slept in, the land lady knew nothing of his either, he had completely vanished.
I don’t know what to do anymore. Help me Marshall. Help me.
After reading that letter, I made haste and asked the officer to grant me leave which he did with gladness because I had not took leave ever since I joined the military, and I hurried off to where I had come from.
The meadow, the trees, the waters, how everything had changed. My heart grew heavier with nostalgia and sadness for Hailie and anger for Jason. Believe me, if I saw him then, I doubt I wouldn’t have taken his life.
I reached Hailie’s dwelling, I knocked and was led to where Hailie is by her maid.
“Hailie!” said as I kneeled beside her, I found her sitting on her bed.
“Don’t say” I stopped her.
“But Jason is gone; he left his seed with me. I’m ruined”
“No you are not. You’re still the most beautiful”
“Look at me Marshall, how am I beautiful”
Indeed, there is truth in what she said, the one once most beautiful now is pale, and she almost seems to be a corpse.
“I will bring Jason back” I said, “I promise”
“You don’t have to, he’s gone”
“No, I cannot bear to see you this way”
“Stop…” and she collapse, must have been tired. I laid her on her bed and left the house.
I had a new journey before me, which is to find Jason and make him pay for his deeds, I embarked on my journey.
Three months elapse and I had not made any progress in my journey, I still haven’t found Jason. I wanted to give up but the last sight of Hailie kept me going, that fueled the flame of anger in my heart.
This morning, I woke disturbed by the noise downstairs; I descended the stairs and found everyone in the inn much saddened. I sat beside the fire and listened to the conversations, then a guy, a guy from my native city who must have recognized me handed me a newspaper.
I unfolded the paper and read the following lines,
“Fairest maiden breathes no more.”
It was the news of demise of a woman who killed herself in despair and helplessness. I had taken too long; she must have believed I abandoned her he way Jason did.
This tragedy might have been avoided if I had the guts to speak the words which unsaid.
Had I told Hailie that I loved her or had I replied I did when Jason asked me if I loved her.
Curseth! The faults of words unsaid!