From that day on, by each passing day I and Evaristus grow closer, though it didn’t change his ever busy nature. At times, in between tasks, I would catch him glancing at my window, probably to check if I’m within his view. And each time I do we would exchange smiles, and the warmth of his would melt my heart and I would feel it run slowly out of me. Then I would begin to feel hollow again. That hollowness I know can never be filled by whatever it is that we now hold inside for each other. Life!
Evaristus requests that I visit with him the next time he goes to see his parents. And that I do gladly. The hospital where his parents stay is the largest hospital in Ulinis. The General hospital. The only hospital I know which has wards for all the medical cases one could think of.
At the hospital, on our way inside the psychiatric ward, a buiding with over five burglary proofs leading to the inside, he points at his father to me on the verandah. He says that’s where he stays most of the days to look out for him. On sighting us walking into the ward, his father stands still for several moments staring at me, mouth agape, until one of the wardens sit him. I can’t make out much of Evaristus’ resemblance to him except the hair border that cuts out far beyond the forehead. His stare doesn’t unsettle me. I’m almost certain he’s thinking what I’m thinking. From my poor knowledge of metaphysics, I know some people’s mind begins to work in sync with yours the moment they get hold of your thought. I don’t know how that happens anyway. He doesn’t utter any word till we leave him and go to another ward to see his mum.
She’s ecstatic to see me. She keeps smiling and shedding tears and squeezing my hands so much that I fear I might eventually leave the place without fingers. I can’t make out her look, and I feel so dejected about it. Most probably, Evaristus has more of her looks. I return every of her gesture, except of course, the hand squeezes which I know would drain the life out of her if I dared it.
Before we leave, he pulls her son closer and whispers something into his ears. Words that make Evaristus’ eyes grow so wide that they nearly slack his lids. His countenance is in between extreme excitement and confusion when he pulls away. He doesn’t tell me anything and I do not ask him.
On our way back home, we go back through the psychiatric ward to inform his Dad of our departure. He draws him aside and hands him a drawing on an old sheet, a pencil held in his right hand. I steal a look at the paper. Except for fresh pencil marks, the drawing on it is almost completely faded. But I’m sharp enough to make out as much of it as I need to draw interpretations. My being crumbles for Evaristus the moment I realize he’ll never be able to interprete the message of the drawing. It’s only minds with craziness from and beyond my treshold that can understand it, and his isn’t up to that. With this, I know Evaristus’ father isn’t actually deranged. He only has a wave of intelligence way too high for his brain.
As we leave the ward, Evaristus hands me the diagram and tells me what his mother told him; that she has finally agreed to undergo a cosmetic surgery that would restore her look. After thirty years of refusing to do so!