These days Raphael has been on my mind.
Raphael who is dead.
I subconsciously ask myself why I remember him every time. Is it that, I miss him, or maybe my mind keeps wondering how he would have done if he was alive, or just maybe my mind wanders down memory lane to those days when he was alive and vibrant.
Somehow, I still don’t believe he is dead. I always get this eerie feeling he is somewhere in the world doing his own thing. Raphael………I wonder why he chose the easy way out.
I first met him at the public library where he worked as an intern librarian. I would go there to read mostly on weekends when I want to get away from my noisy siblings. He was this outgoing, vibrant and cheeky person but for some reason I didn’t like him.
It was his demeanor of him acting as if he knew what is on my mind that made me dislike him. He wouldn’t stop being cocky and I hated him so much even though it’s such a strong word. He was about 5’9 tall, slender with a round face I found too feminine for a guy. Short black hair, eyes that can pierce your soul, chubby cheeks and full lips he always highlighted with a lip gloss. I use to wonder why a boy will have such interest in cosmetics. I always thought he looked feminine but never did i take it to mean anything.
I found him overly loud and annoying , he knew I hated him but just didn’t care and still do things that irritate me; walking up to my table when am reading; passing random comments about my dress sense and hairstyle and taking notice of a every little detail or difference in me every time. He just wouldn’t shut up no matter how I roll my eyes at him or rudely ignore him. Looking back at it now, I think he enjoyed making me angry and damn how quick temper i was.
When I found out he was the president of the book club in the library, I was disappointed. I was hoping to be a member of this group and if possible a position. I threw up my hands in despair as i thought he will deny me membership due to how rude I have been to him prior but surprisingly he didn’t. It was when I became a member I saw him in a different light. It turned out he was passionate about everything concerning books and an aspiring author. He carried his position so eloquently and professionally that I took a little liking to him but I never showed it due to my pride.
I later got to know he was the son of the minister of the local church my parents attended with my siblings on Sundays which I don’t attend no more. It isn’t like I don’t like church but am just that person who never want to follow rules and I always thought the church will restrict me from doing things that pleases me so I stopped going when I started working always feigning sickness on a Sunday.
But one Sunday mum forced me to go and when service started I realized the face that was leading the choir oddly looked familiar and then it hit me it was him…….the librarian.
I remember going over in my head where he came from suddenly to intercept in our close-knit community and chuckled to myself I will not visit church any longer. Deep down I wanted to know more about him beyond the brief book club meetings.
Who better to ask than Laura my childhood friend who was sat next to me and engrossed in her own thoughts or maybe what the preacher was saying. Laura knew everything that went on in our neighborhood and she is the right source of information to know the goings of the vicinity I grew up in.
I pinched Laura vying for information about him.
Hey Laura, who is that guy? I asked pointing to him.
She broke into a light smile before answering which I found awkward.
‘That guy’, she replied as if to mock me ‘,has been here for over a year.’
‘His father is the new reverend minister after the old one went on pension’.
My eyes lingered on to him as he sat behind the to the pulpit near the pretty middle-aged lady I suppose might me his mother, the reverend wife.
As if Laura was following my gaze, she said almost in a whisper;
‘Isn’t he just handsome’ and gave me a wink.