My friend, Nero, is a physicist who lives in the UK. He has been my dearest friend since the good old days in St. Peter’s Secondary School and KNUST. In December last year, he visited Ghana for the holidays and we had a get-together in my house. As we drank and munched, we discussed all the topics there were to discuss under the earth. Then came the subject of love.

“It hurts. More than ouch. Every time two people love each other so much, it ends in pain. One thing or the other will cause the hurt. It comes in like a little leaf on the water’s surface and before long, the ripples it creates overwhelms you. And before you know it, it leaves again as silently as it made its entrance into your heart. Accept that love hurts” I said.

“Matt, let’s not complicate matters. Maybe it wasn’t true love. Maybe you never understood what you felt for her or maybe she didn’t. Because if it were love, it would never hurt. Because the love I know is the best feeling ever. Like Auntie Mansa’s “kooko” in your throat.

I laughed. Thoughts of Auntie Mansa, the matron in our secondary school came rushing back. We gave her lots of tough time and likewise, she always made us regret the time we even thought of “sinning against her” as she liked to put it. Those were the good old days. Nostalgic!

“What are you talking about? Don’t I know happened between you and Jessica?” I asked my friend.

“Yeah, that…”. He said in a very sombre tone.

I knew bringing Jessica up would put him off. Nero’s history with Jessica is as old as Mugabe. Just like the old president, the memory has decided not to leave the governmental seat of Nero’s mind.

“Yo, Nero. Don’t tell me you’re quiet because I mentioned Jessica? I’m sorry. You see, this alone should tell you that love hurts.”

We were both silent for a while, holding our glasses and lost in thoughts. Our mind moved in circles as if they had been accepted into the solar system.

I do not know what Nero was thinking but I was processing my surprise at how he had not got over Jessica. I remember I had to take him to the chaplain when she broke up with him because he threatened suicide. My thought swayed off Nero’s history and walked into my past. I, too, have been a victim of love’s wicked sting.

I once believed in love. I believed that love came with pomp and pageantry, waiting on street corners to give one his dose of her potion. I was foolish to have believed that easily. I drank from the gourd of love and my life has never been the same. Now, my eyes are open. I know better. Love is not real; it is transient – chasing a butterfly.

On a cold night in a land which was nothing like my home where I was privileged to go and expand my knowledge in the engineering of medicine and pharmaceuticals, I heard a voice and fell in love with it. When my eyes met the owner of the voice, my heart instantly blew open and invited her in.

Adele, short for Adelaide, was a lady that every man would kill for. She was also an African student like me in Germany. From the day she accepted the invitation to be the queen of my heart, I knew the meaning of happiness. I was on cloud nine.

Then one day, while in class, a friend hinted me that Adelaide was gone.

“How?” I asked her.

She nodded sheepishly, confusing me the more and walked away. I treated the information lightly till I went over to Adele’s and saw it has been swept clean. She was indeed gone – no explanation, no farewell. All she left was an empty room that sapped my soul out of my body. The light in my life dimmed. There was nothing more to live for. I felt cheated, used and dumped. I knew it was not fair to put myself through those emotions but they were better than the alternative available – rage and destruction.

Till date, I have not heard a word from her. I do not know where she. I have sought for her to no avail. I have cried, prayed and fasted but none of them have given me answers to why someone would so something like what Adele did to me. I even attempted falling in love again, but the hurt is too much. I end up venting on other ladies…

“Hey, why are you quiet suddenly?” Nero asked me.

“Nothing, bro. Let’s talk about something else.” I lied too.

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