Every day and a thousand times a day, I thought, in the inner crevices of my mind, about this strange girl I often crossed paths with. I had just quit my job as an engineer to work in the university library and in all sincerity I hadn’t lost my senses, at least not yet.
I never actually wanted to be an engineer. But I became an engineer anyways like every other person in the world living a mirror image of someone else’s life. I became an engineer because I had to live my parents’ dreams. So I was existing as myself but living the lives of my parents who had already lived their lives previously before. It wasn’t a difficult thing to do then. School had never been difficult considering I always came out tops but the boredom it impacted on my soul was particularly second to none.
When I graduated from school, my family celebrated my degree for what it was, a degree and nothing else. It was just one of those certifications in my life and what a good certification it was at that time. But it was never going to define me. The steering wheel of my life was now in my hands and I was ready to drive.
Less than a year of engineering I had absolutely no desires to get up from bed in the morning. A year later I quit my job. I realized that the only possible moment of happiness was the present; the past was full of regrets and the future – uncertainties.
When you are a librarian you have lots of time in your hands and to add that you get to do the things you love to that is thoroughly amazing. This didn’t take away the monotony of my job anyway. I knew by 8am I would be in the library café having coffee and maybe by around noon Angelina would stroll in.
Now quite probably, Angelina, by my assessment was one of the most complete girls I ever randomly met. She had an allure that the earth simply wasn’t used to. Angelina had a place in the intergalactic universe, a position any other person didn’t hold, a unique black hole constantly drawing light to herself.
Tomorrow I would say hi to Angelina and ask why she prefers to smile with her mouth close I thought. But tomorrow never came. For each time tomorrow became today, the day after tomorrow became tomorrow obviously. And how was I supposed to cope with something so dishonest and fickle as time that never stayed true to itself?
Days and months went by and I hadn’t had the slightest courage to speak to Angelina but as much as my esteem didn’t improve enough to approach her, her smiles never waned.
I cannot begin to describe to you in words how sad I felt when I discovered Angelina wasn’t who I thought she was. Maybe a lot about her didn’t change overtime but it came to a point in time that she never smiled at me let alone anyone. The guilt I felt at this point surprised me more than anything I could ever remember. Angelina didn’t just stop smiling, it must have been a gradual process and just how was I figuring all that now? Maybe she obviously got tired of my tricks and cowardliness I imagined.
The weekend came fast understandably so as it was just Thursday yesterday. After great moments of mental build up I searched on Facebook “Angelina Mcgivens” and selected enter. For me, this was like going to battle. Several names came up. Having identified her true profile I added her up as a friend. This was a giant leap in the advancement for humanity I thought. My progeny would remember me for good.
Just as I expected, she never accepted my request. Waiting for Monday was like waiting for Pluto to complete a revolution round the sun. Pluto completed it anyway. On my way to work, I stopped at a bookshop adjacent my house and bought a book I imagined she would like. I couldn’t believe I was doing this.
9am in the morning and there was still no signs of Angelina. I soon got engulfed with activities but not forgetting to keep an eye in case she sneaked in amidst the crowd. That would well be easy considering the crowd that streamed into the library especially on Monday mornings.
2pm and still no smiles of Angelina. At this point I would have taken her frowns too. It wasn’t long and the day was over.
The whole week was torture. Not only had my request been left unaccepted, Angelina had failed to show up at the library as well. This wasn’t even making sense anymore. How could she just come the way she did and then just leave?
One of the perks of being a librarian was having access to a lot of privy information. It was a beautiful sunny morning and here I was in the cover of this building, searching the directory for Angelina Mcgivens. Soon I got what I needed. Her address. This coming weekend I was going to stop by her place.
The woman who welcomed me into Angelina’s house had a smile that shared so many properties with Angelina’s, so intuitively I knew I had come to the right house. It was weird how we spoke at lengths and I was only a stranger to her minutes ago. Angelina’s mom, like my mom, had a persona that was impossible to not love. After entertaining me and making sure I had enough to eat, I was able to remember, not that I ever forgot, why I was here.
“Your daughter; Is she home? She hasn’t been to the library in weeks now and I was wondering if she was working on something or…?”
With a smile she said, “Angelina would be home now if she hadn’t died of cancer six weeks ago.”
With a burning furnace of anger I went home and promised never to forgive myself.
(All images excerpted from the Internet)