by Ngozi Janet Akalonu

Forever was just a thought, a fleeting wisp of entanglement strong enough to hold the moment, but too weak to last the time.

I saw it in his eyes, millions of stars, stars that held promises, promises that dissolved with the dawn of every new day.

It was a weak path, a path I dared not walk, for it threatened to cast me into oblivion darker than unrequited desires.

So I talked instead. I talked about life and its ironies and of all the things teenagers dreamt about.  I played with the innocence of our youth and drew it with words.

I watched his eyes light up with fires of interest, for I spoke differently, like a sage lost in the shadows of pilfering knowledge.

He listened, enraptured, while I ranted with the rant of blistering innocence.

I was determined to prove I was different and love wasn’t what I sought, even though I already loved him in a million ways than one.

He listened, drawn by the effigy of my innocence, the esoteric confidence of a girl trying to escape the monotony of spoken words, the type that usually plagued the ears of wandering damsels

He listened.

He listened.

He never knew words were like narcotics, high enough to keep you standing, but too low to keep you standing for long.

So He fell… He fell in love with the storyteller girl, the girl with a million tales on her tongue tips, the girl who spoke differently.

He fell, long before he admitted it to himself, long before he knew she was going to break his heart, like he feared she would.

So he learnt the hard way: story tellers were God’s curses to the heart of souls who dreamt too much.

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