THE ATHEIST - EPISODE FIVE
Copyright © Ufuomaee
We walked through the doors of my high school auditorium into the cafeteria of my university campus. The hustle and bustle was as it always was, with freshmen moving in their clicks; girls in their groups and guys in theirs. It wasn't long before I spotted myself sitting with my friends by one of the large windows.
I looked about and took in the scene and tried to remember this day. I couldn't yet. It looked like just another day on campus. Then she walked into the cafeteria.
Angela, my wife. But she wasn't the one my nineteen year old self had his eyes on. It was the beautiful, red-haired, long-legged freshman beside her. Her best friend, Rebecca.
Rebecca and I had a thing going throughout her first year at the University of Michigan. But she was too hot for me. Every red-blooded male wanted a piece of her, and by the end of the year, I soon found out that many had succeeded...despite my boasting that she was mine.
This was the day I'd first laid eyes on her but, today, my eyes were on Angela, the girl I had overlooked. She wasn't a stunner, but she was still quite pretty. She had a bit more meat on her bones back then and wore specs that hid her beautiful, hazel eyes. She had been easy to miss but, today, I was emotional watching her as she watched me checking out her best friend.
I'd strolled over to their table following a dare from my friends that I couldn't get Rebecca's number. At this point, my confidence with the ladies was still growing. I'd had a few flings over the summer and one relationship to boast of, but my reputation as a ladies' man wasn't firmly established.
"Ladies," I greeted the small group of five girls, fixing my eyes on the prettiest. "Becky..."
"Hey..." she replied casually.
"I don't usually do this, but I've got $20 on the wage... If you give me your number, five dollars are yours..." I said cheekily, thinking I had nothing to lose.
"What?!" she turned around to me and then looked over my shoulder at my mates. "Only $5?!"
I laughed. "$10 then..."
She shook her head. "Believe me, my number is way more valuable. You give me the $20, and I'll give you my number... And if you play your cards rights, you might actually get a date too..."
"Deal! But, huh... Can't pay now... 'Cos they're watching and all... So, about those digits...?"
Moments later, my friends were cheering me on for scoring her number. When I looked back at their table, my eyes met with Angela's, who sat opposite Becky, before she quickly averted her gaze. But I wasn't to learn of her feelings for me for much longer.
"Hmmm..." I muttered to Samuel after the scene played out. "So, what did I do wrong here?"
A small smile played on Samuel's face. "Did someone accuse you of wrong?"
"Well, I thought we were looking over my sinful past..."
"Well, specific moments and milestones in your life. This was the day Angela developed her crush...and you chose the wrong girl." Samuel sighed. "Again, you were more concerned with what people thought and impressing your friends."
"But I really did like Rebecca..."
"On what basis?"
"Didn't you see? Even from our first encounter, we had some rapport."
"She had good business sense if you ask me..."
"Hmmm..." Come to think of it... Rebecca had shown a cunning business sense in our short-lived relationship. I spent all my allowance trying to woo her. But overtime, I noticed that the less she needed me, the less I saw of her.
Looking at Angela, I began to miss home. "Can I see them?"
"Yes, but only a short while."
The house was full of visitors when we got there. It appeared to be a wake keeping. I had no sense of the passing of time, so I couldn't tell which day it was. If I had known I'd be walking into this, I would have chosen a better time. I've never been able to stand people crying.
"He was gone too soon," I heard my mother say. She was sitting on the armchair, dressed in black. If only I'd tried harder...
In shock, I stared at my mother. Her lips had not moved, but she'd just spoken those words of regret, and I'd heard her... Tried harder to do what???
God, have mercy on his soul... It was beginning to dawn on me. She feared I would be in hell. I swallowed as I watched her, afraid she might be right.
"The last time I spoke to Darren was on my birthday. He called and sang to me. I even forgot to call him on his birthday. I can't believe he's gone!" Debra cried, as she mourned with my mother.
The youngest in our family, Debra, was my favourite sibling. Yes, she'd forgotten to call me on my birthday, but it was unlike her. I knew she was busy with her studies. She'd even been too busy to celebrate on her 18th birthday. I looked at her now as she cried, feeling a longing to go and hug her.
I looked around for Angela, but she was nowhere in sight. In the kitchen, two of my sisters tidied up, while their men sat with my brothers and brother-in-law on the dining table. Sarah was married with two children, while Kelly was engaged. Her boyfriend had popped the question last Christmas, and though they hadn't yet set a date, I could see that a baby was on the way. I would miss so much.
I swallowed as I took the stairs, still wondering where Angela was. I got to our bedroom door, which appeared locked. Instinctively, I raised my hand to turn the handle, only for my hand to penetrate through... How did I forget? In I went.
Angela laid on the bed, her face pressed against the pillow as she sobbed. "Darren... Why???"
The question made me freeze. I watched as her shoulders heaved. I wished I could comfort her. Angela, I called in my soul, my eyes shut, as I hoped she could hear me.
She arose slowly and looked about the room, as though spooked. She sat up on the bed, and pulled her legs in. "Why did you cheat on me?"
To be continued...
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