The Last Kiss Concludes…
THE LAST KISS
Twenty years later!
It is Alicia’s fifty-fifth birthday.
Curtis and his three lovely kids have put together a simple surprise sit up for her and now all they need to do is get Alicia to the venue for the event.
Alicia’s mom has been more than willing to help in that direction. She has waited till all was set and put a call through to Alicia. Her message is simple. She has come to an event close to their home and her car has broken down so she needed Alicia to do her a favour and pick her home.
Alicia is more than willing to help. Her mother has not been a demanding one so asking for this little favour isn’t a big deal. She informs Curtis and the kids and surprisingly they all want to use the opportunity to see her.
Finally, Alicia has given in by their persistence and they have used the family van instead of her car for the purpose.
They drive through a few traffic jams and are at the venue within thirty minutes.
It is an event ground and Alicia sees the place is nicely decorated and a big tent that is covered, even at the sides, is sitting in the middle of the grounds with decorations everywhere.
Alicia calls her mom to find out where exactly she is and she urges her to come inside instead because she will want her to meet the friend who is hosting the event.
Courteously, Alicia updates Curtis and the kids in the car and gets down from the van. She walks inside the tent, using the door close to where Curtis is parked.
Curtis, their twenty-year-old daughter, who has grown into a beautiful young lady just like her mom and their sixteen-year-old twin boys, who look strikingly like their Dad, hurriedly gets down and vanish into the tent using another entrance.
Alicia steps into the tent and she is astonished.
There are white tables and chairs everywhere with a vase of flower on each table. There are gold plates and cutlery nicely set on the tables. The lights are dim for some reason but it sure makes the place nicer.
She has entered from behind and so cannot see the faces of the people seated and busy with one thing or the other. Thankfully, she has dressed well knowing very well her mother will make her see her friend or friends. Alicia has no idea what the event is about.
She moves forward cautiously, trying to locate her mom.
“Over here, dear.”
She sees her mom getting up from the front row and wave at her.
She moves with precision now, headed straight to her mom. Alicia takes a few steps then everyone gets up and turn to face her.
Alicia stops dead in her tracks.
She sees Curtis and their children moving to the front.
Alicia sees her daughter take the microphone and her sons hoist their guitars across their shoulders and then they start the performance that brings tears of joy to Alicia’s eyes.
Curtis walks to Alicia as their children, their little musicians, sing their rendition of the birthday song with everyone present joining in.
Alicia is so happy she cannot stand.
Curtis pulls her into his strong arms and kisses her just to calm her down.
Alicia looks around really surprised. Everyone is there, her colleague PLWHAs, colleagues from the office, Curtis’ friends and family, her friends and family and many more. Even Omar and his family has flown from the UK to join in?
Curtis has finally forgiven him for his role in the Cynthia fiasco even though things never went back to how it used to be. It took years but it happened. Curtis had heard a pastor say in one of his sermons that ‘Forgiving the people who hurt you only means you are stronger than they are’ and that has helped him put the past with Omar behind him.
When the song is done, Curtis guides her to the seat reserved for her and people take turns to give a dossier of sorts to Alicia.
Sitting there and hearing the good things people are saying about her gives her real joy. She has come far. The fight is not easy but she is surrounded by so much love it will only be selfish on her part if she has not made a difference in society. Now people see her and they see hope. Hope that things can work no matter what life dishes out to you. You just have to decide to make it count in life.
Curtis’ mom openly apologizes to Alicia for the way she treated her when the news broke that she was HIV positive. She admits she had been wrong and craves her forgiveness. She ends her little speech with a statement that her son married the best woman in the world.
Curtis takes the stage right after his mom.
“When I met Alicia, I knew she was the one for me. For me, it was love at first sight and I’m not sorry that happened. Through the years I’ve felt loved and cherished in a more fulfilling way. Her love surrounds me every second, minute, hour and day for the twenty-three years we’ve shared as a couple.
I see her love for me in the way she talks to me, the way she touches me and the way she dances with me. There was a time in our marriage, very early in the marriage that I was very scared. Scared not because I can be infected with HIV but because I might not have enough time to share her life. It is only by the grace of an Almighty Father, the creator of all things that we are still here.
She is like the light at the end of my life’s tunnel. She has proved beyond reasonable doubt that she is resourceful and a survivor. For that I’m deeply proud. From that day till now, every time we kiss, I do it as if it’s the last and you know, if you really like something and you know you are doing it a last time, you do it very well. I love you then, Alicia, I will love you tomorrow and will love you even after the end of time. Happy birthday, my dearest, sexiest, adorable wife.”
Everyone cheers as Alicia comes to the front to hug her husband.
It is very humbling to hear Curtis talk like that about her. She wipes the tears of joy from her eyes and everyone chants for her to say something. She is going to anyway. People have to know the kind of angel her husband is.
“Thank you, Curtis for the wonderful words. I’ve heard a lot from you all today, singing my praise in every speech that was said here. It’s really humbling to know people have such inspiring thoughts about you. It’s been a long but fulfilling journey and I have one person to thank. God sent me an angel in the person of a man to love me unconditionally and for me that is the key to how far I’ve come. Curtis held nothing back, he loves me in totality.
His, is an unchanging love, it grows better by the day. Yes, the journey was tough but with people like him and all of you around me, how couldn’t I have made it. Curtis’ love is the reason I live. His love is the ointment for my sore joints and the healing balm to my dry lips. He’s the beginning and end of me. And it’s funny because every time we had shared a kiss, I’ve also done it as if it was the last. Through his love, I met incredible people like you all.
Through his love I raised three kids who are a reminder of what we share. By this same love, I lived to see my brother marry the love of his life, Nancy and got to meet their lovely kids. Through this love, I lived to see my sister settle down and raise a family. By this same love, I saw Ekow Styles graduate as a Computer Analyst and met his lovely wife and child. I also got the opportunity to meet by best friend’s children. As for her husband, I’ve known him for years.
Through this same love, I lived to see my brother -in -law Isaac, raise a family of his own. Through this same love I chose to live, never giving up on the challenges as they came along. Love you more, Curtis. Love you to the max.”
Curtis meets her half way to her seat. He pulls her in his arms and lowers his lips to hers.
“You are my breath, Aly.”
“You are the wind beneath my wings, Curt.”
His lips find hers and the resultant kiss is sweet and beautiful, both imagining and enjoying it as if it is the last kiss they will ever share.