The Secret I Carried

Sarudzai was shapely built, sexy, angelic and pretty. In few words, she was an eye candy. I preferred to call her Saru in short for Sarudzai. Saru was light in complexion. I am cocksure, she formed part of the sixth ‘natural’ wonders in Africa. For the 2years I had known her, we almost shared every secret in our lives. However, there was one secret that I kept away from her. It was a secret that continues to haunt me as I lay on my bed. By, the time the story starts, and by the time it ends, I am still single.

Sarudzai had been transferred by her company Croco Motors from another town to come and work in the capital city, Harare. She had no friends, and I was always there to help. I assisted her in settling down and in introducing her to the capital city. She didn’t like the pace of life in the capital city, which she said was fast and confusing. We virtually did everything together, from shopping to having dinner. We also happened to share the same flat and the same floor. Saru preferred calling me, the ‘dude’ next door.

There are three words I wanted to tell Saru. These words kept on nagging in my mind. I wanted to tell her, the following words ‘I LOVE YOU’. Surprisingly, each time I tried to utter these words, I failed. Whenever she gave me that girlish smile, I literally melted. I know it’s hard to believe, I thought this only happens in a soap opera or in some mythical fairy tale. But, here I am to bear witness, to the overcoming power of love. Whenever she looked at me, I would shy away. I guess, she had noticed that I had feelings for her. As each day passed, I hoped one day I would summon the courage to tell Saru that, I had feelings for her. I remember how I used to take much of my time searching and reading Romantic Love Novels, reading online dating sites. I remember very well reading one article on a dating website entitled How to Approach a Woman and Make Her Melt.

Even after reading all this love related stuff, I still failed to tell Saru about how I felt. I kept my secret closely guarded. I was just unsure on how to break the news to her. I was also afraid, she will turn my proposal down. More importantly, I had grown up a quite guy; I had not approached any lady before. I had only written a love letter to a girl, whilst at High school. So, I was somehow a newcomer in the world of love and courtship. As days coupled into months, I kept on trying hard to get Saru’s attention. At some point I thought of sending her an email. Then another thought convinced me, ‘Boy that’s being awkward’. Then, I thought of slipping a letter under her door. My heart was torn apart.

We had just finished having dinner. It was Saru’s 21st birthday. I wanted to tell her, I admired her. I reached for her palm, ‘Saru you know whaaaat?’I stammered.

She responded, ‘Go ahead Gift, I am listening’, she replied with a contagious smile.

I noticed she had milky white teeth. I cleverly changed the topic.

‘I wanted to tell you that, you are the best friend-cum sister I have ever had’, I added.

Saru squeezed my hand and shyly said,

Really, I will take that as a compliment’, she said with a broad smile.

I had felt so weak; I felt butterflies in my stomach. Days passed by and at times she would come to my room seductively dressed. Still, words could not come. On many occasions I would feel tongue tied like a teenager. I was a prisoner of feelings and love. I was a secret admirer who was short of words. It came a time when, I had to go to study for a short course for 10 months in Germany. I never felt like leaving. She hugged me and bid me farewell at the Airport. Actually, that was our first hug. I nearly choked from the scent of her perfume, her breasts were pricking me, I felt weak and powerless. The aroma of her perfume filled my nostrils. Surprisingly, I wished the hug had lasted longer! In no time, I finished my studies. I took a taxi from the airport heading straight to my apartment. That night it was raining cats and dogs. As the taxi man was helping with my luggage, I was already knocking on Saru’s apartment.

Another lady with a baby strapped on her back, and with a green drying towel tied around her waist greeted me. After I told her, I was looking for Saru. She replied ‘We are the new tenants here, we don’t know about her’. She said, before she wished me goodnight. Maybe Saru had got married, maybe she had relocated, and maybe she had gone outside the country. All these thoughts flooded my mind. But, I wondered why she didn’t  notify me, that she would vacate her room. Maybe she was angry at me.These were just random thoughts. On this fateful night, I had come armed with confidence and I wanted to look straight in her eyes and whisper slowly…

Saru, I love you’, I was eventually courageous and bold to let my feelings known to her.

The lesson I have learnt in life is, to tell the one you love about how you feel towards him/her before it’s too late.

*****

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