Don’t Go

Don’t Go

How do you ruin a wedding?

Well, you start by knocking on his door.

The knock is harmless. It is innocent. And, most importantly, it has the best intentions. Others may elevate these intentions and call them noble, even. Delivering a tuxedo to a soon-to-be groom kind of noble, for example.

Harmless. Innocent. And noble. Perfect ingredients for ruining a wedding.

You should wait for your knock to be answered. When it is, introduce yourself to him as Mercy, the person who’s been planning his wedding that is two days away. Tell him that Suzzie, his fiancee, sent you to deliver his tuxedo and his best man’s suit. Mention that it’s nice to finally meet him. When he laughs and says, “Oh, so you’re the famous Mercy?” Return the charming man’s smile and answer in the affirmative. After all, you are the famous Mercy who’s been planning his wedding. After the light moment, apologize for bothering him at 8pm. You can go ahead and share with him that you’d intended to be there earlier. Explain very briefly how the traffic was horrendous and mention that Thika Road is not delivering the dream it promised. He’ll most likely agree with you.

When he smiles and holds your eyes with his for what appears to be forever, try to swallow down your heart when it tries to jump out of your throat. Remind yourself to breathe even when he takes your eyes hostage and refuses to let them go.

Breathe. Just breathe.

When he finally let’s go of your eyes and comes outside the door to take the wedding outfits from your hands, try to look normal. Try to unflush your flushed face. Try to tuck your embarrassing goosebumps under your skin.

Avoid his eyes. They are dangerous missiles masquerading as harmless sockets of vision. When he holds your arm instead of taking the suits from your hands, pretend not to feel the wave of current that his touch sends through your body. Try to keep your heart from beating. Plead with it to slow down just for a bit. Just until you leave the presence of this beautiful man. When he asks if you’re okay, look at his chin and answer that you’re fine. One word. Fine. Don’t add any more words. You can’t be trusted with words at this point.

You’ve knocked on his door. You’ve introduced yourself. You’ve made your good intentions known. You’ve apologized for bothering him at this hour. You’ve delivered the tuxedo to the groom. Now, it’s time to leave.

Go home.

As you drive home, think about him. There’s no crime in that. Follow your stubborn thoughts. Think about how his mouth moved when he spoke. Think of his white teeth that came out for the first time when you mentioned the horrendous traffic. Think fondly of the white vest he wore that allowed you a peek of the tattoo on his upper arm. As you sit in traffic, move your fingers over the tattoo on your wrist that is a replica of his. Wonder if two random strangers having the same tattoo means anything.

Think of the face he wore when he noticed your tattoo as he asked if you were okay. Remember how he tried to unflush his flushed face too. How his eyes came back to grab yours. And how you could see him struggling to master his breathing. Reminding himself to breathe. Just breathe.

As the traffic eases. Think about him. When you get home, eat as you think about him. Wonder what his favorite food is. Get in the shower. As the water runs down your body, close your eyes and think about him. Imagine him standing behind you. He won’t be worth your thoughts if he has any clothes on. Allow the water to run down his body. Lean back. Think about him. Smell him. Touch him. Feel him. Go to bed and think about him some more.

Get through the next two days with thoughts of him peppering your hours. Immerse yourself in work. Keep your conversations with Suzzie short and sweet. Think about her fiance only when you’re off the phone and away from her. As you plan his wedding, imagine him declaring his undying love for you. As you think about him, touch your wrist. Run your fingers over your tattoo. Wonder if he’s touching his too.

When he knocks on your door on his wedding day, let him in. But only because it would be rude not to. Out of courtesy, offer him a coffee. Sit and listen as he pours his heart to you.

Keep your heart in check. When he says he’s been thinking about you, listen. Try not to pay attention to your thoughts when they tell you to interrupt him and tell him that he’s been on your mind too. He’s lost his mind, he says. You’ve lost your mind too. But this is no competition. You’ll let him know how you feel soon enough. For now, let the man speak. Listen. You are falling in love. Allow yourself to feel it. Fall slowly. Savour the moment.

Just remember to put your cup of coffee on the table and concentrate on your breathing. Because when you lose your mind over someone, you have to keep reminding yourself to breathe. Just breathe.

That is how you ruin a wedding.

You start by knocking on his door. When he comes to find you two days later, when he asks you to tell him not to go to his own wedding, you stand up from where you’re sitting and you take the seat beside him. You take the half-empty cup from his hands and place it on the table. You hold his eyes with your eyes as you place his hand over your chest. Let him feel your heartbeat. Let him listen to the mess that little heart of yours is making in there. Let him listen to the chaos within you. Let him witness how much you’re losing your mind over him.

With a pounding heart and breathing that you can barely control, sincerely, tell him:

Don’t go.


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