I pressed the frame gently to my bosom with my eyes closed, rocking it from left to right as I let the goose bumps that had begun to form on my skin settle. I lifted up the frame to let the moonlight of the new year's eve illuminate the squared object. And there it was, the smile that could sweep one off her feet. The striking pose I had rarely seen except on O.C Ukeje. The ebony tone that ravaged his skin. Some have teased and called it excess melanin. I made it milder by calling him a "burnt offering" and he would let that smile escape his lips and in between a childish chuckle, caressing his over grown beards in the process, he would say "I sacrificed my skin on the altar of your love. You let me roast, cruel lover..."
I let the tears already forming in my eyes lose. I had avoided the cross over service today at the Winners Cathedral right in the neighborhood just to do this. To force myself to hallucinate, to talk to Ochuko my betrothed into the new year. To tell him my ordeals during his absence, to reassure him of my undying love for him, to prepare his favourite Ukodo and plan our engagement.
But all I had left of him was this square frame I held.