It started out as a whispering. A loud and prolonged hush between the clouds that were drawing nearer the earth at eight o’clock in the night.
She held onto her sweater as she looked at the dark clouds hover above her while whispering.
They hovered and got darker and then just as they were about to merge she saw the flash of lightning bring back some light to the dark night. She looked at her watch.
The bus came and people filled it. It drove off while she was still seated on that bench. She fastened the scarf around her neck but the cold wind still stung her earlobes. She pulled out her phone and saw that she still had 27 percent battery power left.
Jeremy had called her five times. He might have been worried about her, but she needed to do this. The woman at the bridal shop had told her that matters of the heart could mess people up. If she loved Jeremy she had to face Mark. When she told the lady about Mark, the woman scrunched up her nose, scoffed and said, “A man with a four letter name is a player, haven’t you ever noticed how many women cry over Johns, Pauls, Max, and Marks?”
She laughed at this as she stopped to twirl so she could have a feel of her gown. She loved the A-line. The texture was smooth and it did not have too much embroidery. Her wedding was going to be simple, full of love and true. The woman had insisted, “you cannot move on unless you face your past and bury it.”
She stopped when she heard her name. It was a whisper as loud and real as that of the clouds she had been watching.
It was a voice she could never get out of her head just like she would never forget how he treated her. It was a mistake to him. It started with, “let me explain,” and ended with “I know I cheated but I love you.”
What amused her was how often she heard the words and how easily she believed them.
She looked at him settle beside her and braced herself for what he had to say.
” You came…”
She looked at him and then pulled out her phone. Her battery power was down to 24 percent. He had started with an observation not a question. She dug her hands in her brown bag and sighed.
“How are you Grace?”
“I am fine.”
“I can see. So, I hear you are getting married next weekend, is it to that Dentist?”
“I hate Dentists. You know it really hurts when they extract a tooth.”
“Don’t be like that Grace, I just wanted to see you and catch up on times and stuff, so don’t just sit there and act like I am a stranger, please don’t.”
“Grace,do you love this dude? I mean, are you sure about marrying him?”
“Yes, I am.”
“He does not deserve you babe, he really does not.”
She looked at Mark and just when she was going to say something she felt the first splatter land on her forehead. She looked up and those clouds had now formed one large mass of the darkest shade of black and were sending those rain drops down on her.
The splatter increased as the raindrops hit the pavement with vengeance. Mark was shouting something at her about seeking shelter but all she could see were the lights and heard the brakes before she saw the bus come to a stop right before her.
She stood up and rushed into the bus while holding her breath hoping that Mark would not follow her.
The woman at the bridal shop had been wrong. Everything about Mark unsettled her because every time he opened his mouth, she held her breath knowing that her heart was listening to him.
He still had that scent: some musk with a twinge of lime. His hair was still cropped short and he dressed better than Jeremy. It had been two years and he could still rile her up, get her jumping and running after his empty promises. Jeremy always called her “honey,” while Mark always knew that she loved being called “babe.”
It was pouring as she ground her teeth hoping the bus filled up and left the station. It was foolish of her to think that she could still love Mark. He has asked for her hand in marriage. In fact he had been the first man to ask for her hand in marriage. He had also been the only man to make a promise and break it even before he finished saying it.
She wiped the window to look at the people and there; right behind the bench where they were seated was the red saloon car she could spot even in her dreams.
There was a man standing beside the car with an umbrella and he was looking straight at her.
She looked at the tall profile of the man and in that moment, she stood up holding her bag close to her chest and ran out of the bus. She bumped into the tout on the way out, as she ran in the cold heavy rain towards the one her heart yearned for.
Jeremy opened his arms and she walked right into them knowing he had so many questions. They stood there in the rain with the splash of rain, hooting of the bus, ghust of wind holding each other and answering their questions by touch.
She did not care about that, except for the fact that he had drove through the rain to come and get her.