Love, like a river, flows where it will.

Uru was a man of quiet contemplation, his enigmatic presence drawing people in. Aisha captivated him with her unyielding grace and beauty. Her vibrant spirit illuminated every room she entered, effortlessly commanding attention. Yet, their worlds seemed destined to remain parallel lines, never intersecting.

Aisha got entangled in a relationship with Terry, a suave playboy who concealed his true nature beneath a polished facade. Oblivious to Terry’s deceit, Aisha remained enchanted by his charm. Uru watched from the sidelines. In silence, he admired Aisha’s resilience in the face of Terry’s callous actions.

Day in and day out, Uru yearned for Aisha, his heart torn between the urge to express his feelings and the fear of disappointment.

“Too much truth disrupts the delicate balance of any relationship,” he mused. “Our bond is not yet strong enough to handle the strain.”

Suffocated by conflicting emotions, Uru found solace in Aisha’s portrait—a selfie she had posted on social media. Her striking gaze pierced through the photograph, making Uru feel she was in the room with him.

“A woman like no other,” read the caption. Uru squinted in disbelief; his heart filled with adoration for Aisha.

He held onto these declarations, preserving them like precious gems buried deep within his soul.

One evening, as the sky painted hues of orange, fate brought Uru and Aisha together at Shoprite, the mall on the outskirts of town.

“Uru, my dear,” Aisha announced with a casual endearment; it carried immense significance. Uru’s gaze feasted upon her, captivated by her blue sleeveless tunic and silver sandals. Her hair, freshly styled, showcased a side of her he had never seen before.

“Are you shopping for groceries?” Aisha inquired, her almond-shaped eyes sparkling under a cascade of soft curls.

“Well, I…”

He had longed for this shared moment but wished it was in a room filled with nostalgic memories.

“Can I buy you a drink?” Uru finally spoke, attempting to lighten the tension.

“Yes, my dear,” Aisha replied.

They found a secluded booth away from the other customers. Uru studied Aisha, feeling the tension in his shoulders eases. As he gulped his drink, relishing the sweet nectar of the chocolate flavor, a genuine smile emerged on Aisha’s face, her eyes dilating; it was a rush of rapture.

“You should indulge yourself more often. Tomorrow isn’t guaranteed; life isn’t a sure cheque,” she remarked, raising her malt can.

“I do,” Uru replied, a wave of melancholy washing over him. He downed the last drop of his drink and asked, “Would you like another?”

“Yes, please,” Aisha nodded.

Uru felt a trance-like state envelop him as he motioned for the waiter. Memories flooded his mind. “She used to be the girl next door,” Uru contemplated. They had grown up in the same neighborhood, attended the same junior high, and shared common interests. Back then, she was plain and unassuming, just a child. But everything had changed. Now, she was his heartbeat, the light of his universe, and the fire that ignited his passion.

Uru dwelled in his introspections, his gaze filled with hope. “How I long to lie down next to you, to wrap my arms around your waist, to breathe you in… in the most innocent way.”

Engaging his kinder spirit, Uru continued, “But I can’t. You are a hurricane—full of life and adventure—while I am a gentle breeze, cautious and hesitant.”

Unaware of Uru’s yearning, Aisha continued talking, her words striking chords deep within him. As she spoke about her dreams, aspirations, and desire to be free, Uru could see a path toward happiness—a course that could intertwine their lives.

“I have something to tell you,” Uru interjected, his voice quivering.

Aisha leaned forward, her eyes fixed on him. “What is it, Uru?”

Torn between the fear of rejection and the desire for honesty, Uru mustered the courage to lay his heart bare.

“I love you, Aisha. With every beat of my heart, with every breath I take, it is you who consumes my thoughts,” Uru confessed, his voice resonating with vulnerability.

Aisha’s expression softened, her gaze meeting his. The words lingered in the air, charged with anticipation.

“I’ve always felt a connection between us,” Aisha confessed, her voice a whisper. “But Terry… Terry is not who I thought he was. He deceived me and broke my trust. I need someone who truly loves me and appreciates the person I am. And that person is you, Uru.”

At that moment, a river of emotions surged through Uru’s being—relief, joy, and the overwhelming sense of a new beginning.

As the rain poured outside, washing away the remnants of the past, Uru and Aisha’s hands entwined, two souls embarking on a journey of love and discovery.

In their embrace, the Cafe Bliss became a backdrop to their fairy tale—a testament to the resilience of love and the triumph of hearts that dare to follow their true desires.

© Ugo Nkwoala | TheVillageGong | 2023

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