“For He Could Not Die” A Short Story by Michael Inioluwa Oladele
She never thought the day would come when she would get over him, when she would be able to look in the mirror and not see his dull blurry shadow reflecting threateningly behind her. But it came, though not in the way anyone would expect.
For years, she cried. She buried her heavy head in a basket of gloom and wrapped herself up in a blanket of doom. And then she began to do what depressed and broken people did; she started listening to songs. She would listen to Sia and Adele for days on end and she would cry. She cried with joy, with happiness. For her, crying was therapy. She felt as though she was emptying all the pain within her and it felt really great.
And then the time came when music lost its flavor. Adele stopped behind emotional and Sia turned out to be too happy. So, she quit music. And then she fell in love with the master of art. She fell in love with literature.
It was not just with literature. She fell in love with a particular story. She would wake up early in the morning every Tuesday and Friday just to read this series on the blog of this unknown writer she had come to adore. The series was about a group of students who had gone on mountaineering and were now unable to return.
She loved one of the male characters in the story. His name was David. She would read his dialogues over and over again and it was as though he was talking to her. She began to see David in her dreams and she started writing back to David’s thoughts as expressed by the writer. She would write him love letters, telling him how beautiful he was, how much she loved him. She loved David too much, for so many reasons but the ultimate being his immortality. She loved David because, since he never existed, he could not die. How wrong she was! Tuesdays and Fridays were the best days of the week now, no longer Sunday. They seemed so far apart, these two days. There were times she would be unable to wait and then she would send the writer a mail, begging him to send her the next episode on Monday instead of Tuesday. She wanted to read David’s dialogues; she wanted to read his reply to her letters. Of course, the writer never replied her. But then, she did not care. She was in love with the character not the writer. And so, her heart grew green again and she knew what true love was. She enjoyed this for-ever, until the day she read the 44th episode on Friday and David died. He had been infected by a deadly incurable disease in the previous episode but she did not know it would lead to his death until he slept in the next episode and did not wake up.
It did not feel real to her, his death. She could not believe it. David? David was her boyfriend, the love of her life; he couldn’t have died. He was immortal, indestructible – there had to be a mistake somewhere. She cried her heart out and broke under the weight of grief. She wrote a long comment begging the writer to please bring back boyfriend. She even wrote him a mail, sending him pictures of all her letters to David. David could not die.
The writer did not reply her mails. He did not acknowledge her comments. David died. He was dead. The series continued but she could no longer read it. It no longer felt real. David was dead. All the remaining characters were simply ghosts of her love.
And so, she crumbled. She died within and buried herself under her blanket of gloom. She remained like this for so long that when true love walked by, she did not see him.
She did not notice his nice brogues and his circular glasses. She did not notice his vintage tie and his colored socks. She did not notice reality when it dawned on her. She had fallen in love with a character, for he could not die.
Michael Inioluwa Oladele is a student of Obafemi Awolowo University. He writes mostly fiction, poetry and creative nonfiction. He believes the world is a basket of art and every piece in the basket should be explored and cherished. His poems can be found on Instagram @mikeinioluwa. He blogs at mikeinioluwa.wordpress.com