Tell Me Not To Go
Something happened to me two days ago.
I was your usual Zach. Chill Zach. Lover of Game of Thrones Zach. Lover of Lifehouse Zach. Lover of Chapati Zach. Lover of Suzzie Zach.
I was going to marry Suzzie in two days.
And when you think of someone, they seem to think about you too. Because just as I was thinking how huge it was that I was marrying Suzzie in two days, her name flashed across my phone as it buzzed to life. I picked it up with my usual “Hello beautiful bride.” She responded with her usual, “Hello groom.” Then we had a short conversation because she’d been busy with the wedding plans and I seemed to eat into too much of her little time nowadays. Even as I asked how her visit with her parents was going, I was sure our talk would be wrapped up in a record minute.
In that one minute, I had been told to expect a Mercy. The wedding planner. She was to deliver my tuxedo and Eddie’s suit. Eddie was my best man. Suzzie would be back in town tomorrow. She missed me. She loved me. She would see me tomorrow.
Chill Zach sat on the couch and switched from watching Game of Thrones to watching the other game between Leicester City and Chelsea. None of the teams impressed me but I watched anyway as I listened to music.
When the doorbell rang, I expected a Mercy, as forewarned, at the door. But you were standing at the door. You said your name was Mercy. You’ve been planning my wedding. It was nice to finally meet me. Suzzie sent you. Tuxedo and suit. Here you go. Sorry, you’re late. The traffic was horrendous. Yada. Yada. Yada.
But you were no Mercy.
You were you. You hogged all the air in the room. Your scent wafted around and caressed noses. Your smile blinded poor eyes. And. Your voice sang. You were no Mercy.
I couldn’t stop thinking about you.
When we came over to your place with Suzzie the next day to pick those invitation cards that she needed to send to some last-minute invitees, when Suzzie handed me your key to open your home with because you were at a florist and you didn’t mind letting us into your house to pick up the cards ourselves, I couldn’t stop thinking about you. When I sat on your couch and my fiancee rummaged through your drawers, I couldn’t stop thinking about you. When she found the cards and started addressing them on your table and as I stared at your picture on the wall as I waited, for the life of me, I couldn’t stop staring at you.
I was no longer the Zach that my Suzzie knew. Something had happened to me.
I had every intention of going to my wedding today. So much so that I left my house this morning with my best man. We got into the car that was driven by my kid brother. He kept looking at me. I think weddings excite him. Or he was proud of me. Or something.
I had every intention of going to the church. But when my brother was about to take the last turn to the holy house, I asked him to stop by the roadside for a minute. He did stop. I did get out. I wasn’t sure what I was doing. I wasn’t even sure why we were stopping. I couldn’t stop thinking about you.
One minute I was standing at the side of the road. The next minute a boda boda was zooming past us. One minute I was waving and whistling for the motorbike to stop and the next minute, I was atop the motorbike giving instructions to your place. One minute my brother was lifting both his arms in the air with a quizzical look, far from proud, the next minute I was shrugging at Eddie who was mouthing, “What the hell, man?” I didn’t know what I was doing. I couldn’t stop thinking about you.
I found your door. I knocked on it. Still not knowing what I was doing. Only thinking about you.
Now, here we are. Me, in the tuxedo you brought me two days ago. You, in your pyjamas. You really do sleep in on Saturdays, don’t you?
We’ve never exchanged whole sentences before. I am here to have a whole conversation with you.
I’m sorry I woke you. Thanks for letting me in. Are you alone? Good. Coz I need to talk to you.
Coffee? Coffee will be nice.
Two sugars, thanks. No. No milk.
I look good? Thank you. I’m supposed to be getting married you know. Yeah, you do. You planned the wedding.
Why am I not in church? Ah. Wait, aren’t you supposed to be at the wedding too? Don’t wedding planners attend the weddings they plan? Oh, it’s still early? Oh. Okay. You only attend the reception? Church ceremonies are boring? You are no romantic, are you?
Your laughter is heaven.
The laughter wilts soon enough. Your eyes are asking questions now. Why do I have to explain why I’m here and not at the wedding? Can’t I just drink coffee and talk about nothing? Maybe we can talk about how beautiful the day is?
You place your coffee on the table. I hang onto mine.
Two days ago, I would have told you how today was going to go. I was going to go to church in good time and wait for my bride. I was going to say I do to her and mean it. I was going to promise to have and hold her, cherish her, love her in sickness and in health, through wealth and poverty, till death. I was going to sing to her Lifehouse’s Everything. And I planned to knock her socks off with my baritone.
Everything was going as planned. And then you happened.
I don’t know about everyone else, but when you happen to people they apparently don’t stay the same. Heck, they don’t keep their wedding appointments.
I’m sitting on your couch with a cup of coffee in my hands. My bride, for all I know, is heading to church right now. She expects to see me there. She will be calling me at any minute. She’ll be getting a message to “Please leave a message after the beep,” at any minute. I would answer her call if I knew what to tell her.
All I know is that I had to see you. To hear your voice. To get lost in your eyes. To lose my mind.
I’ve known Suzzie for six years. In those six years, I have never lost my mind over her. I have only known you for two days. In these two days, I have lost my mind over you every second of the 48 hours that I’ve known you. I am here because life never gives us people to lose our minds over.
And yet, you happened.
I am not the Zach that Suzzie knew. We’re not the Zach and Suzzie that everyone knew.
It’s my wedding day and I only need one thing from you, Mercy.
Tell me not to go.