The Past Comes Calling: A Short Story

My name is Sarah and I am here to share my story. A story of love, pain and regret. This will be my first time sharing this; the pain in my heart has been too great to bear and after several sessions with my counsellor I feel I need to share; it may reduce the pain in my heart. 

I met Eric this day two (2) years ago, I just got out of a relationship and wasn’t interested in men or dating. I joined the gym as a way to while away time and get myself busy.

I had just finished an intense workout routine and got up to drink some water when my eyes met him.

His skin is the colour of my favourite shoe, Mocha brown. His hair, locked, long, and wavy is the colour of a black goat. His legs are as tall as the City Gate, he had long nails and they were neat. My God, I was hooked.  

I drank him in slowly, taking my time noting his distinctive features. I looked back up and I caught him smiling, shy, I turned my head and walked back to my Yoga mat and continued my exercise.

I began to look forward to going to the gym, started taking careful note of my appearance. I bought new gym clothes, sneakers and took better care of my hair. I never went late to the gym and always prolonged my stay just so I could have an opportunity to see Eric.

Whenever I was working out, I would look up and see Eric staring at me. It always seemed very natural; at various times, our eyes would always meet. I began to feel very self-conscious, the tension between us was as thick as a bunch of new brooms.

Until one day, “what exercise are you doing?” I asked Eric, “It’s a mash-up of programs, squats, butterfly, crunches and wipes, are you up to the task?” he threw a questioning glance at me. “Of course,”, I answered with my nose in the air, mocking offence. 

Jesus, you love me too much oh, was the loud sound that disrupted our workout session. “Sarah your phone is ringing”, Uche my gym bestie called out to me. I ignored her and continued working out with Eric.

At the end of gym that day, as we were in the lobby of the gym, Eric asked without looking at me. “So, you’re a Christian?”. his question threw me off balance, “ermmmmmmm, wait why did you ask?” I fired back.

“I heard your ringtone, only serious Christians use such music as a ringtone”, he replied. “Well, I think I am. I go to church” I answered downplaying my Faith.

“Hmmm”, was all he said looking at me closely. 

That began our workout routine together, it became a regular thing. And after every workout session, he would walk me home and we would talk about how exercise was the next best thing to water, cook up various workout programs and meal plans. 

One day after the gym, he asked me if I would follow him home, “Why?” I asked, “Well just for you to know my place”, he answered looking at the floor. “No oh, I don’t go to men’s houses”, “Why?” “Becauseeeeee I’m scared of what might happen there”, “Hmmmmmm”, ok he said. And that day we walked to my house without any of us saying a word.

“Sarah come back here, who’s that Dada boy that comes home with you every day? My dad shouted, just as I hurriedly walked past him. I was forced to turn back, “He’s just a guy I go to the gym with”, I answered my Father avoiding to look into his bloodshot eyes and ran into my room.

“Tell me what you meant by you don’t go to a man’s house”, Eric asked me while we were out on a date at Season Seven restaurant. “Well I’m just getting to know you”, I lied. 

“I thought you’re one of those Church girls who are waiting till marriage to have sex? He said pointedly looking into my eyes. I shifted uncomfortably on the seat. 

“Well me, I don’t believe in that nonsense, if I date a girl, I must sleep with her”, he continued. I became scared, I didn’t want to lose Eric, he was hot and a lot of girls chased him, and I felt special because he choose me. “I’m not ready yet”, was all I told him. 

I got back home and I lost my peace, I felt guilty for not standing up to my faith and I knew I should have spoken to Eric about my beliefs. I prayed and asked God for forgiveness and strength to be a better witness. I made up my mind to speak to Eric about Jesus when next I see him.

The next day after the gym, we both went to his house and while we were watching a movie, this is your opportunity, talk to him about Christ. I heard that still small voice, I shoved it aside and heard the word again this time stronger, it felt like someone was talking directly into my ears.

“Eh! I shouted, “What is it, babe?” Eric asked me as he inched closer to me. “Nothing”, I replied. 

Every day it became a burden to me to talk to Eric about Christ, but the more the conviction came, the more I pushed it away. 

Then one day I got to the gym and didn’t find Eric there.  This is strange I thought, I pushed it aside, but the thought that something was wrong didn’t leave me. So, I called his number and it went straight to voicemail. I called again, voice mail. Then I began to panic slightly.  I’ll go to his place after gym today.

Just then, Uche ran into the gym frantic, “Sarah Sarah”, she was shouting beckoning to me. “What is it?” “Eric collapsed, he’s at the hospital”, she was breathless. 

My heart seemed to skip a beat, “what?” I asked now in a full-blown panic, “where is he?” “He’s at specialist, come quick let’s go”, she replied. Before the words left her mouth, I was already packing my things and racing to the door.

I met Eric at the casualty, surrounded by a multitude of people I have never seen. 

“Where’s Eric please?” I asked no one in particular, I was pointed to where my Eric lay. He was white, barely breathing and gasping for air. I rushed to him; waterworks already on. 

“What happened to you?” the tears seemed to choke my words. “He collapsed while out drinking and smoking with his friends”, “NO! that can never be my Eric, he doesn’t drink neither does he smoke”, I said. “Tell them baby”, I shook Eric who could barely look at me.

I then remembered what I was supposed to have done since, “Baby”, I said shaking him violently, opening his mouth forcing him to look at me. “Please say these words after me, Lord Jesus please forgive me and accept my soul”, I was desperate now. 

“Lorddddddd Jesussssssss”, the words were slurring out of his mouth until he was silent…

“You mind all these bad boys, that’s how they kill themselves”, “see the fine boy, eyah” another one replied.

The words began to sound like echo until eventually, they started to fade, it felt like I was in a distant place. I was standing but around me, the world was spinning. 

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