Gaps of time make the progression of emotions and thoughts settle like dust after the passing of a raging sand storm. I had a full week and it had certainly felt like i would not have confrontation in any form at the end of the week. Well, at least i believed within myself that all of the things that had transpired thus far had been at most a pigment of my over imaginative brain. I had found sleeping easier and thinking was not as hard as it was when the shock of Oscar’s death hit me. I had no work that week and i spent most of my days sifting through memories and comforting myself that the worst was over. A lot of paper work had been sifting through my email as i helped plan Oscar’s repatriation so he could be buried back home and it was a constant reminder that the dream i was wishing away was not going anywhere. It was the kind of experience you get on a clock you want to tick towards the future and at the same time not tick towards the future, a bitter sweet symphony so to speak. In all things one statement held truth “time waits for no one!”, I got the text message i did not want to see from my aunt; “boarding the flight now, he has been loaded into cargo. See you tomorrow”. He was now on his way, i had sent him off with a hug a smile and a hope, a hope to seem him prosper and realize his dream and all that returned to me was a box, a box! Hell lies intrinsic in the gifts of Eden.
Thursday night was my last night of real sleep and i chose to use it wisely, early night to try and get as many seconds out of the night as possible. Dawn started coming about and i found sleep evaporating from me like it was being pursued by a raging in-law with blood shot eyes. Soon enough the sun was coming through my window and i could feel warm air starting to circulate around me. “Why :(” i asked myself, trying to think why all of this had happened but unlike the time when Belana passed away, I felt pain but a great peace as well. When Belana passed away i was angry, hurt, I was a heart oozing blood and a mind pacing around in a mindless rage trying to make sense of things and in the end blaming the one person i could blame, God! I wish i had the peace i had now when Belana passed, it would have made the eight months of my pure shutdown better than they where. I got out of bed and walked to the kitchen to meet mom, as i walked into the kitchen i was greeted by what i wanted to hear “they will be arriving in Dubai in the next 6 hours.” I hanged around mom for a bit, but there wasn’t much conversation because we could not talk without getting emotional and though i could hold my tears at times she could not at all and it tore me asunder to watch her cry. The tears of a mother are bearable when they are tears of joy, not tears of burying a child because no parent holds the right to bury their own child. I left the kitchen to go outside as it was starting to be a hive of activity. People where up and about preparing for the funeral, tents being set up on the lawn lots of people just carrying stuff and moving stuff. I did not care much to see what they where doing, at most i was just glad they where there because it made everything easier. Soon enough three tents had been pitched up by ten o’clock and i drove out to get chairs for people to sit from a relatives house. My dad accompanied me, I guess the fear of losing another child was not one to entertain for my parents. As i drove, each turn i took and every road i drove on had a memory of my brother and I. Times at night walking home half drunk, or being chased by dogs, or afternoon walks. It was a strong dose of memory lane with a vital component missing, him!
I returned with the chairs and quickly went out again, this time i was buying drinks and meat that was requested by my mother. I drove to a nearby whole seller and picked up drinks and mineral water and loaded it into the trolley i was pushing. As i got to the payment point i took out one of the drink packs and put it on the counter. The drinks where the same and i simply had to take one out and count the number of the rest and i should have been good. However i encountered a cocky and rude till operator who near got a blast of all my bottled emotions. She said “You have to take them all out or else you can stand there and i will not process your purchase.” I moved from a straight face to a frowned face within a second and i almost leaped onto her to tear her to shreds. I asked her “they are all the same, why do i have to take all of them out when you can scan one and multiply buy the number in my trolley”. She looked at me with the “you idiot” face and i just near broke my banks wanting to pull her tongue, smash it with a hammer and shove it back into her mouth. Gosh I got so infuriated within 5 seconds and it scared me to bits. I quickly caught myself as i could not fight stupid with stupid and just pulled all the drink cartons out for her to scan and then put them back into the trolley. The till operator clearly just pushed a wrong button that day, and it made me realize the amount of emotional anguish i was under. I paid and pushed the trolley to my car, offloaded the drinks into my car and then taking a moment to breath as i really had just experienced anger i had put away from me a long time ago. Grief as i discovered has a way of bringing past vipers back to life. After a breather i got into my car and drove home and luckily i got home as lunch was being served. I had not had a solid meal in weeks as i lacked much resolve to eat. I ate like a savage beast, much to my surprise and up until today i am thankful i did. I kept thinking to myself what i was going to do in a few hours when he would be in front of me and there would be no place to hide. Inescapable fate is a terrifying host and truth of the matter i wanted this cup to pass from me but how could it, he was my brother! The day cruised by faster than usual and soon enough it was time to start preparing to head to the airport. I went into the bathroom to freshen up, looking at myself in the mirror and thinking this cannot be real. Oscar, you know Oscar; the guy who was one year older than i was and we had been together since before nappies and after nappies. I tried to look into the mirror, a mirror mirror in the wall incident i guess; trying to see if all this was a form of madness embedded within the mirror and if i looked hard enough i would wake up from the trance. No matter how hard i tried, this was surely no dream, it was happening and i could not change it, i could not stop it and i could not fix it. A knock at the bathroom door broke my wandering mind, “Corey, are you almost done in there?” It was my mom, and i know she wasn’t waiting she use the bathroom as she has her own. I opened the door and went back to the mirror, “keeping tabs on me now mom?” I could tell that these where the subtle beginnings of a leash as they could not lose another son. I turned to look at her and smile as i walked out of the bathroom, smiling was becoming such an effort. I got dressed; jean, sneakers, shirt and hooded sweater, nothing special but almost my daily dress code. I left my room and went to get some cash from the safe, i had forgotten to go to the bank and needed some cash for airport parking and any other expenses i would meet. As i walked from the safe down into the passage i met my dad who was already dressed and ready. I could not imagine what he was going through, he was never one to talk and i doubt the past weeks would be anything to talk about after he lost Godfrey, his closest friend for decades and now Oscar. The sun was just setting now and the time was half past five. The plane was due to land at six o’clock and it was time we made our way as we had to fight traffic since it was a work day as well and noise from rush our traffic was filling the air. As i got into my car, again i asked myself “is this real?”.
As i reversed the car out of the garage, my parents also entered their car as well as family members who were escorting us. Boy, do i wish i had some of my friends with me that day but they could not be with me, i had the final stretch to myself. I gave my parents way and they drove out first and i followed the rest of the pack. It was a short drive to the airport after dodging a few streets clogged by traffic. Twenty minutes later we were pulling into the airport parking bays and got out of my car and rushed to check the flight chart to see if the flight was coming in on time. I stood there with a bit of shock but better more relief, the flight had been delayed by an hour. My parents arrived as I was just leaving the chart and saw the delay. My mother turned to me, “Where are you going now?”, i turned to look at her as i walked in reverse “going to enjoy the view of the runway”. Even so that was not my intention, I was going to sit at the outdoor bar overlooking the main runway because if all was quiet i could hear the aeroplane coming in before i could see it. I sat there for a few minutes and my cousin sister Faith who had just arrived joined me. She didn’t have much words and i guess talking wasn’t part of my repertoire at this time. Time passed by as i sat there, the same thoughts and disbelief running through my head. While i was absorbed in thought a distant sound broke my wandering ways, something was coming but it sounded like it blades and not engines, i looked towards the edge of the run way and Faith asked “what is it?” I looked at her and pointed at what was now a distant light but it was too slow to be an aeroplane, then two more lights suddenly came into sight and the noise grew more. They were helicopters, the President was coming in. I looked at them all the way until they landed with no thought in mind, i just looked! They turned off their engines and soon enough the airport was back to a dead calm. Twenty minutes later another noise caught my attention, this time it was the sound of engines and i stood up to get a better look. Seconds later lights beamed from the sky towards the runway and i knew the Emirates flight from Dubai had arrived. The noise grew as the aeroplane drew closer to the runway and subsequently landed. I stood, frozen in time as if a twenty one gun salute was in progress. The aeroplane taxied on the runway and then off the runway and i came into full sight of it as it slowed down to park. I looked at the plane, i stood there and looked at it; acknowledging that my aunt and Oscar were on board, the biggest hurt of my life had just landed on home soil. The aeroplane came to a full stop on the side of the airport where i could not get a view of it. I turned and started walking towards the arrival lounge. A restaurant overlooked the arrival lounge and i could get a glimpse of my aunt. I got to the restaurant and found that people had just started trickling in from the aeroplane. I stood there, searching for my aunt, seeing how reality was quite frankly molding itself from my nightmares. She was right, absolutely right; my aunt just a week before had said i would not be prepared for the pain and anguish i would face the day i meet him. He just wasn’t there anymore, part of me wasn’t there and no person help fill the gap, i just had to feel this and find a way to live with it. I could feel a song playing in my head and i slowly started to sing it:
Missing person’s in the window
Staring at me
Saying things I cant hear
A missing person’s in the window
Staring at me
Haven’t seen them in years