There was nothing else to say anymore. Mary stood at the door of her apartment and stared at it for the last time. She replayed various past events and occasions in her mind. She smiled and chuckled a bit and with one last sigh she locked the door and gave the landlord the key and slowly wheeled her suitcase to her car. She squeezed the suitcase in her boot and slowly pulled out looking around at what was once home for a decade. How fast had 10 years gone?
As she hit the highway her eyes began to tear, this was it, this was a toast to the new, to the exciting, to the unknown, it excited and scared her in equal measure. She hit the accelerator and rolled down her window to feel the warm air on her face. She had got what she wanted. She needed to enjoy this moment.
For the past two years Mary had been soul searching deep and hard, certain truths came to her that she needed to face. Some more painful than others – the hardest was seeing Mark and ending their friendship, he fought it for months on end, he realised she was serious two weeks ago when he crashed her farewell party with an engagement ring and a thwarted proposal. Mary had and still loved him, but he was too blinded to realize how much. Mary just couldn’t be friends with Mark; she loved him more than that. But Mark constantly shut her out. Mary got tired of trying to reach out. What crushed Mary was three years before when she was diagnosed with cancer; Mark empathized on text at the beginning but was never really there for her.
Mary recovred and got back on her feet, but it was never the same after that. Her eyes were now opened. She saw Mark for who he was. She had to end this lie, she knew it wasn’t her job to change anyone, people do that themselves. Mary was off to Sweden to do her Masters and explore a new life in South East Asia thereafter. Africa would remain a fantasy – a place to visit but not to settle. Her memories pained her. She needed a fresh start.
As she pulled into Jomo Kenyatta International Airport, for the last in a long time, there he was outside the departure section of the airline she was taking. Mark had come one more time to plead his case. Mary stared at him, reached out, hugged him and kissed his forehead gently and whispered; “You are three years too late. Take care of yourself Mark. I genuinely wish you well. Bye!’
And just like that she wheeled in to the airport, not turning back.