Knock-knock-knock it is the second time I would be hearing that knock on the front door in about three minutes. Gently and patiently, it went again, knock-knock-knock.
Each time, the person seemed to wait a little longer than the last before knocking again.
Who is that? I asked again. This time a gentle voice answered in a rather low tone; Me!
“Don’t you have a name?” I almost screamed but again, it was all quiet from the other side.
Who could be standing in front of my door early this morning? I wasn’t expecting any guest and it couldn’t be Deb. No, Debbie won’t visit this early, and even if, she would have called.
It was a beautiful harmattan morning, the early morning sun calmly smiling down through a densely hazy sky making its way through the trees masking the surrounding of my apartment and gently into the front window.
Until my mystery guest showed up at my door, I was sitting on a sofa in my beautifully furnished, grey, and white sitting room savoring the cold morning wrapped in a blanket, sipping from a cup of hot coffee. I had my selection of slow worship songs playing softly in the background while I studied.
I rose, pulled my blanket across my shoulders, and started towards the door.
Again came the gentle knocks.
This time almost losing my cool, I asked “Who-are-you?”. This time, I was standing right behind the door.
“It is me, Shyla.”
“Shyla,” I retorted in a low tone I could swear she didn’t hear me. I felt like everything around me stopped instantly. In split seconds, a million questions popped up in my mind at the same time.
“Shyla? Could it be the same Shyla? what does she want?”
I reached for the door, turned the lock, and pulled it open. There stood my mystery guest, Shyla, the same Shyla that left for good.
Three years ago, I meet Shyla at my best friend’s wedding. She was besting for the lady my friend was getting married to. The first time saw her, on the eve of the wedding, I was attracted to her.
Shyla did not only fit my picture of my dream girl; she was the perfect person. She was my dream girl.
She is about 5ft 2, brown-skinned, slender, and she had the sweetest smile I had ever seen. Her dark, dreaded hair made me even crazier about her. She had an amazing personality too, always looking out for others and full of life too.
Before the night was over, we had bonded. By the next day, we felt like we had known each other for years.
Things happened fast and we started dating. We dating for about two years made commitments and even made plans to settle down. We felt like we couldn’t have enough of each other, we always long to see, always wanted to spend time together.
All the times we were together, I could count the number of weekends we didn’t spend together and those were the times when she had to travel out of town or she had other pressing things she needed to attend to. The times we spent together were the most amazing times I ever had with anybody or so I thought until things began to change.
Shyla did not only fit my picture of my dream girl; she was a perfect personality. She was my dream girl.
Things changed so fast from amazing to good, then bad and finally to worst.
Shyla soon started missing our weekends together when I asked, she gave reasons that were more like excuses. Our times on the phone soon began to drop, she rarely called and when I did, we seemed to suddenly not have anything to talk about. Her responses turned to single-words.
One day she called in to inform me that she was moving on because she didn’t feel like our relationship could work anymore. I cried and long to get answers to the many questions on my mind but Shyla never took my calls after that night.
The weeks that followed were some of the worst times of my life. Sometimes, I felt like the sky was closing in on me, other times it felt like I was alone, surrounded by thick dark clouds. Several nights I laid in my bed feeling empty and lonely. It felt like I had lost something precious like someone just walked by and snapped a treasure of my grip, and I couldn’t do anything about it. I was helpless. Hate and vengeful thoughts welled up in my heart.
As days passed, I was falling deeper into a depression. I didn’t want to see or talk to anybody; Thankfully, I lived alone. When my friends would ask to visit, I would tell them I wasn’t available. I found an escape in food and video games so I ate a lot of junk food and spent endless hours playing video games. I thought that as the days wore on, time will heal but I wasn’t exactly right.
My house was in a mess, I hadn’t clean for days.
Growing up, dad made us listen to gospel music daily while we prepared for school. Even though I believed in God and attended church sometimes, God seemed to be the strangest place I could go to at the time.
Every time I tried to pray, I felt like a stranger before God. My deeds echoed continually in my mind. I had this feeling of God is far away, He wouldn’t hear me now because I didn’t remember Him when all was going well so why will He even help me now.
Weeks passed and gradually I began to summon the courage to pick up my bible and read again. It felt strange at first but as I continued, I began to feel lighter. The more I read my bible, the more my urge for excessive eating and video game dropped.
The first week, it seemed like nothing was going to happen, I felt like giving up but something inside of me made me persist so I read the bible every morning.
By the second week, I managed to say a few words of prayer. One night I stumbled on a Christian tv program on TBN, it was a 700 Club program. I couldn’t change the channel; it was as though as was watching my life play out before me on tv. Before it ended, I was already on the floor in my sitting room crying and asking God for mercy.
That night something shifted in me. I picked up my phone and deleted every song that didn’t glorify God and replaced them with Hillsong and any other Christian songs I could find online. From that day, everything changed. The hate I felt for Shyla varnished, the hurt disappeared and I felt like I had found something new and different.
The next Sunday, I dressed up and went to church. That day when the pastor made the altar call, I was the first to run to the altar.
It has been over two years since she left. No phone calls, no SMS and now she stands at my door tears running down her cheeks.
I looked at her again, still as beautiful as she was the first time we met, thoughts of the beautiful times we spent together flashed before my eye. I wanted to take her in my arms, hug her tightly and kiss those soft, pink lips again but I couldn’t, a lot had happened to me.
As tears began to roll down my cheek, I turned quickly, closed the door behind me, fell on the floor, and wept till I dozed off.
I jolted from my sleep to the sound of my name, “Eddie”. “God, she is still here”? I whispered as I gently pulled the door open, determined this time to tell her the truth.
It wasn’t Shyla, it was Debbie. From the look on her face, I could tell she had been at the door for a while.
As she walked through the door, I couldn’t help of wonder how different she was from my past. She makes me want to love the Lord more with every passing day.
I ran after her, took her hands, looked her in the eyes and all I could say was; Thank you, Debbie, God bless you.