She stood there.
She just stood there. Her eyes wide open. Not even able to blink. She was staring at the door. It was a few minutes after he barged out of the common room like an angry bull, leaving her speechless and confused. Her friends came next to her and held her shoulders, thinking she may decide to chase after him.
But she just stood there.
As though she was rooted to the floor.
She had no idea what to do. Continue with the birthday or just walk away. Or chase after him. Or just…She was completely indecisive. She looked around: everyone was holding their smartphones pointing at her, with their flashes a clear indication that photos and videos were being taken for the sole purpose of sharing around the hundreds of University groups on various social sites. She was going to be an internet sensation in the next few hours. And not forgetting the endless comic memes that would accompany her ‘fame’ afterwards. People had even climbed on top of their chairs to witness the drama unfold between them as she boldly said NO to his witiful proposal. Everything was recorded. Every single detail. There was endless murmuring in the common room as people were still reacting and doing their own analysis of the incident. Some were murmuring hurtful words right next to her while laughing hysterically. She looked at them, hearing everything that they were saying, and just looked away, hiding the bitterness in her eyes.
Because there was nothing she could do about it.
A cold breeze coming from the open door blew straight to her and she slightly regained some sense of the matter. She blinked for a few seconds and looked at her two closest friends who were standing next to her: as they always did. They held each of her hand and led her away from the door towards the front where they were seating. She walked towards her seat, with her friends by her side and she slowly sat as they sat with her. She placed her hands on her knees as she lay her head between the palms of her hands. Some of the people who were standing slowly began sitting as they saw her sit, while others roamed around the hall bursting out laughter as they showed each other the videos and photos each of them took. She heard her voice coming from one of the phones behind her.
“I’m sorry but no…”
She heard her voice playing followed a by a loud laughter from the back. Her emotions wildened as she recalled those words, which she uttered to him a few moments ago. She remembered the very exact words and both of their reactions.
“Let’s just cut the cake and get this over with,” one of her friends said as she stood up and grabbed the knife. The birthday girl was seated at the front of the room the whole time. She stood up and went beside the table where the cake was neatly placed, still in the box.
She watched as the cake was being cut. The” Happy birthday “song started being sung as the birthday girl held the knife gracefully as she sliced the chocolate cake into eight pieces. A Bluetooth speaker was brought on the table and music was played in a bid to eliminate the weary mood that was hovering around the room.
“Hey, get up! Let’s dance!” Her friends said as they stretched their hands towards her. She rolled her eyes in frustration as she stretched her hands as well. She lazily got up, as her friend led her at the center of the room. Her friends swayed her hands side to side in an attempt to make her dance but it was futile.
Then she heard it.
“Don’t go am kujaiiiinnnggg…..
Tonight we are dunda…dundaiiinngg!!!”
Her favorite song started playing from the Bluetooth speaker. Her friends were still holding her hands while waving them aimlessly. She closed her eyes and she felt the happenings of that day slowly fading as her favorite song was reaching its climax. She felt relieved: almost as though nothing had happened. Her mind wandered away to the beat of her favorite song. She slowly started moving her waist rhythmically. She swayed sideways and went downwards, rotated back and forth as her friends watched in amazement.
“Now that’s more like it!” One of them said as they joined her in dancing her unique moves.
She felt relieved.
As if nothing had happened at all.
They danced their hearts out and soon one hour has passed by. People had begun exiting the premises and so they had to as well. The cake had been viciously attacked by those in attendance to the point where even the box was not spared by their brutality. But lucky for them, they had an extra cake safely stored in her room. They collected the rubbish that had been left behind by the party-goers, leaving the place just as they had found it: neat and clean.
She was happy.
The memory of that day had faded into history. She kept convincing herself that she had made the right choice. There was one memory that made her giggle: the one that he went on his knees. She remembered how that made her surprised making her speechless. She actually thought he was going to give her a ring or something. She giggled as she left the room with her friends. They went down the stairs towards the hostel’s exit.
“Hey miss! A moment please,” shouted the housekeeper as she rushed towards them. They stopped walking and the housekeeper stood next to them.
“Sorry to disturb you but I’ve been told you know him,” She said as she reached into her pockets and took out a school ID. She showed it to them.
It was his.
She took it and keenly looked at it on both sides. Indeed, it was his. “Yes, I know the owner of the ID,” she said.
“Well kindly give it to him. He left here in a hurry and I noticed he was angry. Someone must have pissed him off,” the housekeeper said while smiling.
She smiled back. A very fake smile it was. She took the ID and placed it in her pocket. Her two friends were staring at her blankly, confused by what she had just done.
“Have a good day,” said the housekeeper as she went into her office.
They continued walking towards their hostel, which was quite the distance. She began wondering where he might have gone to after displaying the angry rant towards her. It was around six PM and the sky was becoming dark. She felt the cold breeze, once again: this time it was colder than usual. It blew past her, leaving her skin with protruding goosebumps all over her body. She took out her red jumper from her bag and quickly wore it.
It was his jumper actually.
She felt warm.
They had now crossed the first gate out of the hostel they had been and they had and were now heading towards their hostel. They neared the students’ annex center and saw a huge crowd of people gathered at the entrance. “What’s going on here,” they wondered as they approached the crowd. People were murmuring as the sound of the school’s ambulance wailed loudly as the crowd paved way for it to enter.
She reached where the crowd was. With her level of curiosity getting higher, she squeezed herself between the rowdy crowd to reach the front and see for herself what had happened.
“Hey wait up!” Her friends said as they struggled keeping up with her. She was rather slender so it was easier for her to penetrate through the crowd, considering her plumper friends. She finally made it to the front of the crowd. She looked around, hoping to see something astonishing but there seemed to be nothing of interest. “Excuse me, what’s happening here,” she asked the person next to her, who was busy holding her phone upwards towards the wall, with the back flash shining brightly. She looked at the wall.
On top of the wall separating the annex from the lecture halls, he hung there like the way a cheetah hangs its prey on a tree after killing it. His hands were on one side while his feet was on the other side of the wall. There was a large gash on the left side of his head out of which blood flowed, coloring the wall red. She stood there: eyes wide open with her hands on her mouth. “Finally, we have reached you. Next time wait for….” Her friend stopped talking when she saw the body dangling from the wall.
“Oh my God.”
The three of them stood there as they watched the school’s Red Cross team climb up the wall and pull his body down. She took a few steps to where the ambulance was and looked closely.
It was him.
It was truly him.
He lay on the white trolley: lifeless. Unable to utter a single word.
Tears started falling, since she could not believe what she had just seen. The Red Cross team began searching his pockets and took out his wallet. They opened it and neatly placed the contents of the wallet on the ground.
“There seems to be no identification card in the wallet,” said one of them.
She dipped her hands in to her pockets and took out his ID card. She stretched it towards them and they looked at her in amazement.
“I…I…I know him,” she spoke, trying as much as she can to withhold the tears from streaming down her eyes. They took the ID and confirmed. It was indeed him.
“You will have to come with us miss,” one of them said as she was led into the ambulance.
“We’ll also go with as well,” one of her friends, said as they followed her into the ambulance.
The body was neatly put in a huge bag and placed on the ambulance next to where they were seated. She looked at him one more time. Her hands on her still placed on her mouth. She then noticed something odd.
Trapped in his right hand was a piece of paper. She looked closely and it was scribbled some writings on it. She bumped her friends to see the piece of paper.
They all immediately thought that the contents of that paper were the explanation behind his untimely and shocking end.
His reasons why.
Meanwhile, the crowd began showing the birthday videos to the Red Cross team while pointing at her. She sat on the ambulance bench, knowing very well that a long, unpleasant moment in her life was beginning to unfold.