After that day, I didn’t see Evaristus through the stretch of a whole week. But I didn’t feel his absence. For the first time I didn’t fall ill from not seeing him. Instead, I felt his presence from an even closer range. Then there were remarkable changes in me. I no longer felt the aching constriction in my chest that always left me breathing heavily, like I had a heavy weight there. My mood became more suspended and I became more cheerful. I began to move about to get things done. It was as if I had been operated upon with laser. It was then I knew that my life wasn’t actually going to end so soon as I’d envisaged from my experiences.
On his return, he came to my place first, with a countenance more affectionate than that of a newly elected head. I was sure my life had just begun when this happened.
‘I paid my parents a visit.’ He said to me as he took his seat casually in my arm-chair. In his new cloth and trimmed hair, he looked extremely charming. That new look he had on was such that could earn whoever had it on whatever he wanted in life.
‘For the first time since I was born, my father called my name,’ he said, pride and gladness radiating from his small eyes. It was the first time I was hearing about that. I just stared back with a smile on my pursed lips. I didn’t actually know how to react to the news. I wished I could share his feelings, but I knew I didn’t have to wish that, because it was impossible.
‘Oh, sorry!’ he apologised, ‘you don’t know my parents,’ he said, looking away from my face. I saw clearly the glint of disappointment on it before he turned it away. But I said nothing. I just turned my face away too. At this moment his mother’s present state and the issue that led to it began a revealing tour in my mind. I listened intently as he told me the story of himself and family which I already knew. And as he ended with a grim countenance I couldn’t place what lay behind it, I knew that however close we got in the future, the story about the incidence that led to his family’s present state would never leave my mouth.
Before he left my place, he thanked me for giving him another chance to have a life.
That day, I paid a visit to every house in my district.