Eclipse Of The Heart
A Novel by Pat Uzezi.
The sun had begun to shine again on the small town of Oak shire in the state of California, heralding the birth of summer. The flowers had begun to come to life while the grasses took on their natural green.
Chinonso, on the other hand, was yet to feel the life and sunshine of the new season. He had spent the whole of last night dining with one of his clients. Dr. Eagel has been his faithful client for over 3years but having dinner with him, last night especially, was not what he enjoyed.
Dr. Eagel drank too much, talked too much and laughed at almost anything. Worst still, having to laugh at his stupid jokes and contributing to his meaningless rants were reasons enough to kill oneself.
Earlier that day, he had called Chinonso to request that his firm supervise the interior decoration of his girlfriend’s flower shop and that they meet at Mortiz Diner by 9 pm to finalize the deal. Chinonso reluctantly agreed.
At the dinner table, Chinonso wondered why the Doc drank so much. He was leaner than he had looked a few months back. His once golden hair now had tinges of gray. Ironically he calls himself a ‘charmer’. More like “marasmus”, Chinonso had thought to himself and smiled.
The dinner was another waste of time, as expected. He spent the whole night listening to Doc as he argued why Lisa his new girlfriend was way better than the former, Nonye. Unfortunately, the previous dinner was all about Nonye. ‘Nonye, my dream; Nonye, my life; Nonye, my this and that’.
Chinonso knew the dinner was not about business and the deal will be concluded on the phone later in the morning. This was another opportunity to briefly escape from the realities of the world they both lived. A bandage used to support two broken bones. It just couldn’t last.
The thought of waking up for an early morning jog wasn’t on his mind as he drifted to sleep after a boring dinner. However, the song on the radio had woken him up rather early and there was something to this song that made sleep impossible.
Hey! babe, the female voice that came from the kitchen had startled him. It was his wife.
“You look sweaty honey. You should take a cold bath. I almost can’t believe you jogged as far as Lake shield! I saw you on my way, but your ears were plugged.”
‘Really? Sorry, Alice. The music I had on was so loud. Are you going to work today? he asked his wife with a fake smile.
‘Oh no. my boss gave me the day off. Please, babe, go baff abeg. You smell like grilled meat!’
And how is your boss? Chinonso smiled mischievously. They both knew where she had slept last night.
Last night, Alice had sent him a message stating she was not going to be home. She had to work on a presentation her boss was taking outside the country. But he knew the truth. Alice was having an affair with her boss. But he didn’t care. He stopped caring a long time ago.
Staring at his own image in the bedroom mirror reminded him of things he didn’t want to remember. He was taller than most guys, but his huge body frame made him look like he was of average height. He decided to start growing mustache 2years after he moved to the United States. He wanted to forget. He wanted a new look. He wanted a new life. But he soon realized that having a new life was beyond growing a beard.
‘You have a new message’, the automated voice came echoed from his PC, distracting him from his thoughts.
“Hey! Longtime. Just checking on you. Joan.”
Chinonso stared at those words on his Dell PC, surprise written all over his face. She sent me a mail?! He thought to himself. Was she thinking about him? But why use the word ‘just’? Does that mean it’s nothing serious to her? Don’t be silly, Nonso. Don’t get ahead of yourself.
His thoughts were running wild. He wanted to reply her. He wanted to tell her everything. He wanted to tell her that he had eventually followed his dream of opening his own interior decoration firm. He had given it the name she chose- Swiss Décor. He wanted to tell her he was stupid to have walked away. They were so young. He shouldn’t have allowed his hurt get in the way. But it was too late. It was all too late.
“Thanks for checking on me. Hope u r good. Chinonso.”
He clicked on the ‘send’ icon.
………to be continued.