27th July 2013 fell on a Saturday. It was a landmark Saturday for me. It brought to an end the bliss that had briefly come into my life. Never before had I felt that grave. I looked again into the eyes of my beloved girlfriend and I knew she was truly going, I could do nothing to bring her back. I questioned life, I questioned my God, “God, why did you let my love for this lady grow so strong when it was never going to last?” she too was looking into my eyes daring me to say the parting words that would end everything. My heart, my fragile heart, was bound to break. I could imagine the left ventricle in pieces, the heart valves ripped apart and the sinoatrial node racing. I wonder how it would sound in a stethoscope. Could it sound like the mid diastolic rumbling of mitral stenosis or the radiating murmur of mitral regurgitation? Perhaps the pulse would even collapse. The collapsing pulse of a broken heart.
It was a few minutes to 4pm. I waited for the clock to struck 4 so that I could break loose. I was breathing fast, the minutes had elapsed quickly and the time had now come. I remembered the preacher’s sentiments “…a time to be born and a time to die…a time to love and a time to hate…’ Was this a time to hate? How could I hate the very person that I had given my heart? Then I encouraged myself that a lot would become available if I let go. “You can go,” I said to her trembling but composed. This was a path of most resistance. It looked like the Spanish soap operas, Alejandro breaking up with Isabella. But this was real, I parting ways with my sweetheart. She took a U-turn and then it was over. ‘Free at last! Free at last!’ but did I really become free?
Three years have elapsed since that day. Exactly three years. A lot has happened in my life. Looking at Akula (not his real name) I can’t help but identify with him. We admitted Akula for attempted suicide. He had taken poison to part ways with this world full of struggles. He was lucky his mum came in time to rush him to the hospital. A stitch in time saves nine. He had been relieved of the poison from a peripheral facility and was referred for further management and psychiatric consult. I quickly took his history. He had lost the girl he had dated for six years to an old man whose only advantage was money. Coupled with a few problems from work, he had so much stress. So much seemed hopeless to him that life was no longer worth living.
I quickly wrote a lab request for liver and kidney function tests as the doctor we were with summarized his report and clinical findings. I was relieved when the tests came back normal. However he was admitted still and a suicide note given to the nurse in charge. These people need close monitoring. One attempted suicide could always lead to another. The mother was happy that the son had not gone so soon and so were we.
Later when he was regaining his normal profile, I asked him to narrate to me the experience of a poison in the belly. “ Hiyo kitu ilinipeleka mbio, “ he said as we both laughed. He meant that the poison had raced with him. He had so much to say. He told me that love is a strange thing. He himself has not understood it in his twenty eight years of life. He has heard of princes leaving kingdoms for the sake of love. When he told me the story of Taj Mahal in India, I knew he had so much knowledge around this thing called love. He took me to Shakespeare’s classics and I sank in. He was willing to do anything he could to prove his love for his girlfriend. What he got in return was betrayal and bitterness.Woe unto those that break the promise of love. None the less, when you find yourself in such a mess, never take the path of most resistance. Remember that you have another story to tell. The story of courage. The story of a better tomorrow.