Shall I Fall in Love Again? (Part 4)

When Death Calls Me by Name

Enter Pizza Novar. For some weird reason, it’s Johnny Drille’s Wait for Me playing softly in the background. Thanks to the air conditioner and the small number of people here, the atmosphere is cool and calm—apart from the traffic noise noticeable from a distance, of course. Valeria and I sit by the window, drinks in hand, with a small box of BBQ and chicken pizza before us both, now almost halfway eaten.

She giggles as she sips once more from her half-empty tumbler. I’m greatly distracted by her poise as I watch her lips move; she’s probably commenting on the NBA match from last night (turns out she’s a diehard basketball fan, by the way). She’s an effortless nine, I conclude, still dazzled by the radiance emanating from her eyes. So this is how it feels in the movies?

“Darling, you hold my love… As I’m leaving you behind, I’m gonna miss your smile… this our love will never die. Darling, promise you’ll be mine… I go dey think of you every day.”

Johnny Drille nailed this one, I must say. I sip from my glass, smiling and nodding as to indicate I’m following her discussion. I was, anyway, probably up until—the last thirty seconds? How an individual could effortlessly combine such an exquisite array of interests and characters such as hers, with just the right amount of sauce and wits, is just beyond me. I’m here wondering how the next few hours without seeing her smile will go, yet it seems quite obvious that Johnny meant more than being apart for just a few hours when he sang this song for his lover. Either way, is there any slightest possible chance that this damsel before me could be mine?

“(my name), do you like karaoke?” she asks. I’m jolted out of my “trance” as I stutter in the affirmative. “But I’d rather go for a movie,” I hasten to add, as I regain my composure and avoid having to give any details about my karaoke experience with Ann. We talk a bit further—with laughs and giggles now and then—finish up our drinks, and head out. As she steps out, my hand still on the glass door, she asks if I would like to go out for a movie any time soon. She seems to have had a great time today. Finished me, how can I say no? Maybe there’s some hope here after all.


It’s been a few days since Valeria and I had our “maiden drink” rendezvous, and things have progressed quite steadily. Now, my dear reader, you may have concerns about whether I have other things to do and think of apart from my lovescapades. Perhaps as you read these pages you can’t resist the urge to say, “Get a life, bro. There’s more to life than women.” Perhaps you think I should rather be spending my time facing my studies as a medical student, making money, or doing some other big thing. I get you. I honestly do.

So, allow me to introduce myself. I am a freelance writer who’s also into tech, and I get both local and international gigs steadily. I’m not jobless, and on average, I probably earn more than most freelancers on my level. Also, while I’m probably not BGS material, my studies have never been an issue. As I write this, I just returned from the cafeteria where I had my dinner—bread and beans, my surefire therapy for a stressful day (absolutely recommended). Coupled with a can of Dudu, it was fairly successful in drowning my “sorrows” and deflecting thoughts of regret in my choice of this course—for the umpteenth time.

I’m the only one in the room, and there’s a power outage. It’s getting dark and all my devices are dead. I already dropped them off to get charged with a friend who had gone to scout for a “location”. With the little light coming from outside, I struggle to find my torch. As I try switching it on, I discover that I forgot to charge it since the last use. I sigh as I flop onto the bed, exhausted as well as annoyed. Lying face up, I stare into the dark space that lies before me. Almost instantly, the lyrics to a familiar song stroll across my mind, though I don’t remember who sang it.

I’ve been feeling so restless

Got no place to call my own

When I know I don’t belong

There’s no place to lay my head down

Cause I’m just a wandering soul

And in the end, I feel alone

Why does this describe how I feel? If my heart has found someone to possibly love (Valeria) and if she can be my safe space—if I can call her mine, feel happy and feel like I belong when I’m with her, why do I feel psychologically asphyxiated? Why do I feel like I’m being engulfed by the darkness around me—beyond the immediate physical one? I can barely explain what I feel or why I feel this way. But I feel like a wandering soul. I feel trapped in a maze where I don’t know who I am, or why I am. I feel lost and haunted.

The more I think about this, the faster my heart races. I think I’m scared. It’s hot, and I feel uncomfortably sweaty. I can feel my hands shaking, and I don’t know why. I’ve felt this way before, but it hasn’t been this intense. An inexplicable wave of guilt washes over me. And another. And another. I’m greatly overwhelmed, and I don’t think I can make it stop. I can hear myself sobbing, but again I don’t know why. This is beyond hurt and damage—it certainly has got to be. But I feel helpless, hopeless, and numb. With time, the feeling intensifies.

Can it stop, please? Someone, please make it stop.

Suddenly, I remember the Sniper bottle we bought to repel the unwanted visitors (if you know, you know) in the room some days back. My sobbing intensifies, as I consider the ramifications of what I am about to do. Death, is this you? But at least I get to escape from it all, right?

I overhear my roommate’s voice as he approaches the door, but he is intercepted when our next-door neighbour calls out to him to come over to his side. “It’s either now or never,” I think to myself. With my dimly lit torch in hand, hairs on end, body shivering, and knees quaking, I exit my bed and walk towards the storage box at the corner of the room to reach for the small bottle.

Mr. eX

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2 thoughts on “Shall I Fall in Love Again? (Part 4)”

  1. I know people have different lived experiences, I know
    But if this is purely fiction, I wonder why the author went for that shock element at the end

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