“Love never dies a natural death. It dies because we don’t know how to replenish its source. It dies of blindness and errors and betrayals. It dies of illness and wounds; it dies of weariness, of witherings, of tarnishings.”
Anais Nin

Mama used to tell me a story, back when my eyes were still young and hers already old. She spoke of a gem that came from the heavens, that streaked the night sky in white and pink, that caused all alive at the time to look up and wonder.

It was forged for four hundred years in the heart of seven suns and cooled in a word where the entire composition was water.

She said the ancients sent it to Earth, either to spite us or save us. She says both versions are true.

The gem fell through the stars and onto earth where it made a crater, and as fate would have It, there were two humans at the time who both saw it fall. Two humans who were called to the gem. Two humans who could not take their eyes off it.

The gem gave them both a scar on their fingers, purple and circular, much like the one I had on my finger. And so, their dance began.

She told me that every age the lovers would find themselves, as their hearts both called to each other. And in every age, they would fall in love, like it was the first time.

I was young then, and I asked Mama if the story was true. And she smiled then, and I still remember the glint in her eyes.

But life continues, and after she died, I dismissed the story. She was old, Mama, and her stories were just that. Stories.

Or so I thought.

It all crashed down that day, as I waited to get into the bus, and a man came running towards me across the road. His eyes were wide as he ran, like his life depended on it. I stopped and I looked at him. His face, I had never met him, but it looked so…familiar.

And when he was hit by the car, my heart caught too, for this total stranger. I ran towards him, rushing to kneel beside him. And on his right hand, was a purple circular scar, just like mine.

Anthony Azekwoh is a Nigerian-based author and artist. He has written five books so far, and is now working on the sequel to his fourth book Ṣàngó, Oya.

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