The physiology, biochemistry, and anatomy of heartbreaks – the maniacal musketeers of a pain unwanted;
Njideka knew it, full-blown.
An unconscious tear rolled down her eye.
She had been laying in bed for days, barely in motion.
She had no care for the world. No one she wanted to see.
Her clavicle now had a big hollow.
Her breath, the smell same as a dump.
Her eyes red still, aching.
She stepped out of her apartment, numb. Her body too weak to rest on its shoulders.
Her steps were managed.
She just had to get to the mallam who sold her favorite cereal, then she would be back home, away from the eyes that stared at her in unbelief and palpable despair.
She felt it. She didn’t want to.
Her hunger rose as she saw the variety in his store. She didn’t want cereal any more.
She looked hard into the street, hoping to catch the street hawkers selling ewa goyin, or better yet, rice or abacha.
“That abacha woman don pass??” she asked Shuaib.
“Yes, she don come, go…” he responded, with a concerned look on his face.
He knew she didn’t eat outside.
He knew, because he had tried many times to convince her to taste that woman’s abacha, and had failed every single time.
She looked lean. He had to strain his ear to hear her speak.
“Wait here, make I go buy that rice for tantalaiza” he said suddenly. “Gimme mooni”
She sent him off with all the money she had on her, grateful he made that call, for she couldn’t have.
45 minutes later, she was back in her room.
She didn’t realize how hungry she was till she had begun devouring.
She ate like she hadn’t just almost been hit by an okada on her way back.
Walking back, her mind had been off. She hadn’t been thinking about anything anymore. She hadn’t been looking. She hadn’t heard him horn until he had dangerously swerved away from her, alarmed.
He had thrown insults at her, raging for her lack of consciousness on that bumpy road. Her knees had buckled and she had wished someone would come carry her to her house.
With drops of strength from her flailing heart beat, she had managed the walk back home.
She looked at the food she ate, and suddenly burst into tears.
That moment your soul cries to your body, howling in unfair despair, “na me be dis???”
Her wrapper now clutched to her chest and the half empty plate aside shoved away, Njideka laid worn and wept unevenly.
Her tears kept asking the blankness of her thoughts, albeit without an answer, “He has really gone? and Ameze, what did you do…?”
The trifecta of Njideka’s being – body, mind, and soul – were in an unrelenting civil war.