FOREVER BY YOUR SIDE _short story by mcn

“No Ken, no! I am not leaving you! I am not going to marry him. I will forever be by your side.” Nnenne affirmed, bursting into tears.

Tears trickled down her cheeks from her already reddened eyes down to her immaculate white top. She didn’t mind the tears, allowing it to flow as long it wanted. It’s better to cry your pain out than withhold it inside of you and die silently she reasoned.

Ken deliberately kept avoiding her gaze. He knew he couldn’t bear watching her cry for any reason. Her tears hurts him more than anything in the world. But on this occasion he had to be strong for the both of them. He desired to stretch out his hand and wipe away those tears and to hug her and reassure her that all is well. But he can’t he has to try and pull through on this.

“Nnenne, please understand me, I jus….”

” No, Ken, there is nothing to understand here.” She cut him. ” I should be the one telling you this not you. I should be the one who is afraid of the future not you. I am the woman here Ken. I am the one whose life is like a flower. ”

She stretched out her hand and cupped her hand round Ken’s head.

“Look into my eyes Ken, I have chosen to be with you no matter what. Ken we’ve been together for years right from our childhood through our secondary school, our university and now that we are out. I have kept my virginity for you. We’ve been through hard and difficult times together. We’ve laboured together and we are going to enjoy our fruits together.”

As Ken’s eyes met hers his emotions betrayed him. He couldn’t be strong anymore. Tears flooded down, he left it to flow down as it deemed fit. The more he looked into Nnenne eyes the more the tears poured out.

“Dear, I just want the best for you. Things are so hard for me. I am yet to find my bearing in life. My parents still feed me. It’s been four years since we finished our youth service and am still unable to secure a decent job. That’s why I said you should consider following your parents directive and marry Engr James. I know he will give you the life that you deserve. ”

“No I do not want the riches of Engr James I prefer to live in poverty with you whom I love that in riches with whom I do not love. Fame and riches do not bring happiness but true love and understanding. I know God will bless our family. I am optimistic about our future. Please don’t give up, don’t allow me to go. I don’t want to go.” She again burst into tears, she shook Ken’s shoulder vigorously occasionally punching him while pleading on him not to allow her to go.

Ken’s thoughts flashed back through the years they have been together. They have formed such an inseparable bond. People who didn’t know them often mistake them to be twins because of the chemistry that existed between them. They were almost certain they would make a very fine couple. They have already decided on the number of kids they will have and their names. They have already seen their beautiful future together. But now the challenges of life is about to tear them apart. He had decided that the best thing for them was for them to separate. So as to allow her marry Engr James whom her parents have accepted as a son-in-law. Even though the parents knew of his intention towards Nnenne he is yet to make a formal introduction. They had invited him and pleaded on him to leave Nnenne so that she can marry the man who is ready now. For according to them Nnenne is a woman and needs to marry now before she passes her prime. And he Ken is not yet ready for marriage and can always find a girl when he is ready.

Ken stretched out his hand and wiped away her tears. Those eyes to him shouldn’t ever shed tears because they are like the moon providing light in darkness. What happens when the moon cries, the whole word cries.

He brought Nnenne closer and hugged her. They stood there in each other’s arm speechless for what seemed like ages.

“I am sorry Nnenne, for giving up on our love. ” Ken finally broke the silence. He freed himself from her grasp and held Nnenne by the cheek.

“I promise you Nnenne am going to work harder to provide a better future for ourselves and our kids. ” he continued amidst smiles.

As she heard those assuring words Nnenne’s face changed from a sad one to a happy one. Her smiles brought out her dimples in full glare. The tears in eyes and face made her look like a fairy tale princess who has just been united with her prince charming.

” I love you ‘very much’ Ken,” she declared emphasizing more on the “very much”.

“I love you too Nnenne, Ken replied. ” Now my dear, lets start from somewhere when you get home tell your parents we are coming to see them. I think this is the best way to fend off all our distractors. Right dear?”

” Yes. Yes, dear!” she jumped up in excitement.

Ken held out his hand and grasped hers and together they ran outside into the rain. They began playing in the rain just as they had always done when they were kids. This time around they didn’t mind they were too old for this, irrespective of what people around them thought they are not going to bother anymore. They will forever be by each other’s side.



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