I feel the electricity building from my toes as I writhe in pleasure under him, digging my nails deeper into his skin, certain the sweat on his back was already mixed with blood. He gives a low grunt of finality and pushes himself inside of me once more and I feel my bloated seed of ecstasy burst into a million spores. A blinding flash of velvet lightning momentarily takes my sight away from me. I hook my legs against his buttocks, holding him still, certain if he moved inside of me again, I would lose my mind. He stills, I stilled, time and space follows suit.
We lay there, bound in a single soul and suspended in the ethereal, till we feel the earth begin to pull itself from underneath us.
He finally rolls onto his back, heaving a long sigh. I drape my leg over his body, clinging onto him as if to replenish lost energy. I am barely able to speak, likewise him. The silence hangs in the room, alongside the musky smell of male essence, deprived sex, and sweat.
“I think I missed you too much” he chuckles.
“You think? I don’t think my legs will ever carry me again” I say in between short breaths.
“Really? Now I wish I had just joined the other men in my base and ordered Hausa prostitutes every sundown” he muses
I give a small laugh “Adeola, did that sound romantic in your head before or after you said it out loud?”
He gives a deep throaty laugh and places a brief kiss on my forehead.
I raise my eyes to stare over his bulky frame tinted with sweat, tracing scars, keloids and skin dents from bullets on his chest with my fingers. I feel a lump form in my throat and tears slowly fill my eyes.
“Lade, don’t cry” He whispers above my head.
I rest my chin on his chest so I can see his face. He wipes a rogue tear off my left eye before it rolls down my face.
“There were times, I wasn’t sure you were ever coming back” I mutter. “Everyday the news from the North was worse than the previous one and I didn’t hear from you for so many days, I feared you had left me” I finish as another rogue tear escapes my eyes. He keeps mute, simply staring into my eyes while running his fingers through my hair
“You’re so beautiful” he finally says
“Let me show you something,” he says sitting upright. He places his finger his back and asks me to see what he has put his finger on. I cross over behind him.
“Did it hurt?” I ask as I lift his finger from his back to fully see the inked image. The ink was heavily coated and the skin around the image had a light pink hue. I run my fingers across the slight contours of the print, as a blind man would read braille. It is a tattoo of tides of the ocean waves.
“A little, yes” he shrugs “Like a paper cut”
My fingertips continue running across the imprint, with delicate, precision like one would touch a wet painting.
“Our love is like the wave of the ocean, so sometimes we may wander onto dry land” he began and paused “But no matter how far we wander from one another, we will always return where we belong” he paused again and slightly turned his head, raising his left brow as if to confirm he had my attention. Moving from his back and I maneuver my body to lay on his laps and erase his doubts. “The ocean wave loses tide on dry land, its majesty is reduced to the level of a common puddle in the street or another liquid on dry soil for the earth to consume. Its existence is ordinary and its purpose is lost” He adds, staring into my eyes with a child-like mystique, as one would peer into a terrain unknown yet very familiar.
I pull him into a deep kiss with a chuckle under my breath. If there is another existence where the love I feel for him didn’t find me, I don’t think I’d ever live there.
The iridescent rays of the morning sun hits the back of my eyes, effectively pulling my eyelids apart. I lay still, not wanting to move the large arms draped around me, or disrupt the burgeoning aura of safety I was becoming accustomed to. His face is buried in my hair, I can feel the warm air of his breathing against my neck, slight but distinctive. I contemplate leaving his arms to prepare breakfast, but the dull ache between my thighs evidenced ecstasy and exhaustion, a sensation combination I had not felt in many months. I purr below my breath, relax my muscles and will my body back to sleep.
I don’t know how long I had been asleep when the distant ring of the doorbell wakes me. I slowly open my eyes, feeling an eerie sense of vivid evanescence, like I had woken from a familiar dream or nightmare. Yet I can’t recall what I had been dreaming about or if I had been dreaming at all.
The doorbell rings again.
I rise from the bed, groggily and barely conscious, trudging towards the front door.
“Who is it?” I call out, as I approach the door. I hear no response, just another ring of the bell. I peer into the peephole to see a dark skinned man in a military uniform. A friend of Adeola, I presume as I open the door. He is sturdier than he appeared from the peephole. His fingers were interlocked and he held a focused gaze. The tag on his solider simply read “LT. Cole”
“Good morning ma’am,, ” he said with a warm smile, that quickly faded into a forlorn but strong demeanor.
“Morning” I retort “Let me get my husband, he should be..” I pause, slowly realizing I hadn’t noticed him on the bed when I came to answer the door.
“Excuse me?” He interjects, breaking my chain of thoughts, with the confusion mixed with shock on his face, almost impossible to hide behind his strong jawline.
“I said, let me get my husba…” My voice trails off as I see another man in uniform walk briskly in an almost robotic manner towards us with the worst fear of any military wife. A folded flag and a beret.
“What is this?” I ask almost chuckling. Lieutenant Cole removes his ber and slightly tilts his head to stare at the ground.
“We’re sorry ma’am. Your husband, died in combat, serving his country” he says as calmly as humanly possible considering the information he just relayed.
“Is this a bad joke?” I reply “My husband was with me this morning!”
His brows fold into a furrow and he slightly raises his head to see my face, as if to confirm my sanity “That is…impossible ma’am. His body is here in our envoy”
I only bleakly recall the events that followed. The dull screeching of a white noise slowly increased in decibels in my ears. A coffin decorated with a flag on a trolley is wheeled towards me, my heart is beating into my head, the ache for a thousand heads and hurt for a million hearts. My eyes watered and my stomach twisted into several knots. The coffin is brought closer. I could see myself act but I was not in control. I bolted toward the box, but I was being restrained by rough hands. I broke free from the hold and ran to open the box. At the first glimpse of a familiar form pale but at peace, I feel my legs collapse below me. Oxygen is forced out of my body by the interlocking of the bars of my rib cage squeezing the air out of my lungs. In the brief moment, before I feel life leave my body, I feel a giddy sense of peace and I allow it to consume me.
My eyes slowly open to accommodate the white light. I notice quickly the hardness of the bed I lay in. A distinct digital beep synchronized with my heartbeat plays in the background. I feel air simultaneously being forced and sucked out of my lungs in rapid but calm successions. I slowly run my hands across cold rubber tubings that pumped oxygen into my nose and mouth to unclip it. I take a long gasp as it comes off, the air in the room had a stint smell of disinfectant and sterilizers. It makes me feel sick. I am trying to rise from the bed when a nurse walks in.
“You’re Awake! Relax ma’am let me call the doctor” she briskly walks out of my room and returns moments later with a young female doctor.
“Hello ma’am, how are you feeling today?” the doctor probes. I nod slightly.
“Okay, good to have you back. You suffered a neurogenic shock and you have been in a coma for a while now”
“How..how long?” I barely mutter.
“Four weeks, five days and as at the time the nurse found you” she checks her watch “13 hours” raising her head to look at me almost immediately.
“You might feel a certain numbness in your legs and upper-body. It should phase away soon. You may also feel slightly nauseated and dizzy, those are just symptoms of your pregnancy”
“Pregnancy?” I probe in disbelief. “It was a dream…” My voice trails off.
“Yes, ma’am. Your baby is almost as old as you have been here, but we have kept your body nourished, your baby is developing well” she adds with a smile.
Her warm smile was the last thing I remember seeing before my eyes slipped shut, this time like the ocean, I pray I actually return home, wherever it is and never come back.