Yvonne was tired of sitting down in the tattoo shop waiting area. The line was so long. It seemed people had told each other to show up on this particular afternoon. It reminded her of the day she had come with her now ex to put a tattoo just above her left breast. She had been brimming with love and she had decided to get evidence of what was going on in her life. She decided that everyone would know that Kelvin had won her heart whenever they looked at her because that tattoo would always be out in the open.
When it was her turn, the tattoo artist and Yvonne had to scratch their heads at how they could destroy the tattoo showing Kelvin’s name. They needed to make it spell something else because Kelvin was not in the picture and she needed the evidence of their love to disappear from her body too.
“What other idea do you have, because turning this tattoo into spelling Kenya can’t make it.” This was the idea that Yvonne had come up with, and the tattoo artist, Mwangi could not see how feasible that would be.
For her Kelvin’s name had to be covered by the end of that day. She could not forget what Kelvin had done to her and the sight of that tattoo made the pain even worse. The last three months had involved Yvonne replaying their love life in her head and getting heartbroken.
How things ended up this way was beyond her understanding. Things between her and Kelvin had started off well. The idea that playing hard to get makes a man value a woman more drove Yvonne to be difficult when Kelvin was wooing her.
“It’s been two years of you shifting goalposts with me, Yvonne. I had seen hopes a few months ago but am not sure anymore,” Kelvin said when they met for coffee.
Coffee dates were a norm for them. Several times a month and even when they were busy they would at least meet once for whatever reason Kelvin would have. He had made sure that he was consistent in going after Yvonne. he had never given her a reason to think that he was not serious.
One day Yvonne decided to let her guard down and give this persistent guy a chance. She had been single for some time now and all men that tried to date her had gone after her for a few weeks or months and given up. But Kelvin!! Kelvin won her heart.
Months before this day, he had tried asking for a chance severally and Yvonne had given him several excuses.
“I need to be sure. You know love is not something easy. I can’t just agree to be with you until I am sure of what am getting into.”
If all her excuses were analyzed, one would realize that she had been vague, repeating the same reasons but in different ways. Another time, she would say she needed to know him more. At another point, she needed time to think things through, yet another time, she said that she needed to understand his intentions.
Kelvin kept his eyes on the end goal. Always coming back and after some time, Yvonne was convinced that this dude was not going anywhere. He was there to stay. Three months down the line, when asked why she kept on shifting the goalpost, she decided to yield in and gave him a chance.
They started dating. Their relationship was steamy, dreamy and it had a lot of excitement Kelvin had finally gotten what he had gone after for so long. Yvonne, too felt very special because after the long wait, they were finally happy together.
Whoever knew their story knew there would be a wedding within the year. Everyone was happy with the blossoming of their love.
“When should we expect a wedding invitation? Because we know it won’t take long.” Her friends had started teasing her.
But little did she know what was coming. Had she known that what she had thought was love was indeed a trap, she would have gladly have stayed single.
After five months of a steamy relationship between the two, the relationship cooled down considerably. She could not put her finger on it, but she knew that there was something off. Something was a miss in their interactions. The spark wasn’t as it had been. The zeal for doing the little stuff that makes up a relationship had stopped, on his side at least. Something was off.
“Sharon, something isn’t right, and I can’t put my finger on what it is.” She confided in her friend.
“What makes you say so?” Shaz asked.
“Kelvin seems very distanced these days and it’s not like we fought or anything. Something is not adding up and I don’t know what.” She was sad and perturbed at the same time.
Sharon confirmed that her fears were true. “I can’t say that is normal. Have you talked to him about how you feel?” Sharon added.
“Where will I start? Every time I ask him he says he’s fine and that he is always like that,” she shared.
When someone says that they are okay and they seem very off from how they usually behave, it leaves one with many questions. Questions that one can’t know how to deal with. Yvonne had kept it within herself hoping that things would change for the better and she would stop worrying. But things have not changed for the better because Kelvin continued being distant.
Another thing that got her thinking that things were off, was the fact that though he was growing cold and distant by the day, his socials were full of updates on how he was enjoying life. He was having the time of his life with his friends going on trips and weekends out.
These were activities that Kelvin used to tell her about before he indulged in them. A week or some days before the said event, he would tell Yvonne about it or even sometimes invite her. But lately, things happened and she did not even have a hint. If that was not something to worry about as a girlfriend, coupled with the fact that he was being distant and cold, then she needed some class on what a relationship was and how to be in one.
Though everything seemed odd, Yvonne decided to hold onto the hope that everything would be fine. That Kelvin would soon go back to being the charming, available, and loving boyfriend she had known him to be. She had tried to ignore all the fears she’d had. She wanted it to be a bad phase that every other romantic relationship goes through. Yvonne hoped against hope that even the secret events he went without informing her about, or that the silence she had experienced, would be a thing of the past one day.
But as she continued hoping, the rift continued widening between them. Yvonne had decided that however it went, she won’t beg for his attention or start nagging him about why he had changed. The far she could go in that situation would be to wait.
Eventually, she got tired of waiting – Kelvin was rarely communicating. They became something like strangers even because they’d meet in a public space they would just exchange pleasantries like they were acquaintances. Kelvin was cold during all of these interactions.
This withdrawal by Kelvin continued hurting Yvonne so much. Though she kept quiet and hoped and waited for things to change, she had grown weary and needed to know what was going on. She needed to find out what had happened to their love.
Yvonne wanted to know what Kevin had wanted all along. If he wanted to share a life with her, he would need that he did some adjustments from his end. She also wanted to know if he had fallen out of love too. She knew that she needed to make that call.
“Hi,” she said after Kelvin picked up the phone.
“Hey!” Kelvin replied and then he kept quiet.
His response was too brief and not typical of Kelvin who replied to greetings with excitement. Anyway, he had seemed bored lately when speaking to her.
“How are you? it’s been quite a while.” She tried to converse with him.
“I am good, maybe you.” He replied, not sounding like he cared.
“I am well too, I needed to talk to you,” she figured out that it would be best if she went straight to the reason she called.
“I am listening,” he said.
“What’s up? You’ve changed.” She decided to be brief and to the point.
“What do you mean?” He pretended not to know what she was asking about.
“You’ve grown distant and you are not as excited about us. We rarely talk nowadays too.”
Kelvin took a deep sigh, which was followed by an uncomfortable silence until Yvonne had to ask if he was still there.
“I am here. I don’t know how to say this, but I hope you’ll understand.”
“I am listening,” Yvonne encouraged him to speak.
“I met someone else.” His words were short but very heavy and she felt her heart break into pieces. She had not expected to hear this.
“What?” She asked in shock. “Was there even love between us from the beginning? Because how fast was that?”
“I don’t know what to say Yvonne, but at least you now know what has happened on this other end,” he said bluntly without care of how she’d feel.
These words had fallen like another bomb on her ears. She wondered if the relationship had been real from his side at all. It was a true love experience for her, from the moment they started dating. This could not be real. It could not be true.
“I can’t believe what I am hearing. Are you for real right now,” she asked crying.
“Yeah, I have no reason to lie.” He did not sound bothered that he was breaking her heart.
She hung up and continued sobbing. It was too painful to come to terms with this reality. When you take your time and ensure that you are careful, the least the universe could do was to at least reward that effort. But here she was, heartbroken and not knowing what to do with the avalanche of negative emotions flowing through her.
She knew that however long she needed to sob and feel pity for herself, she needed to remove any reminder of Kelvin, starting with the tattoo. After a long deliberation with her tattoo artist, she decided to tattoo the whole name into something like a special flower, because the letters of the name Kelvin had been made in a curly way. That won’t be bad.
As she walked out of the tattoo shop, she knew she had a long way to make sense of everything, but at least that signature tattoo was not in the picture anymore.
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