Daylight and Nighttime | Darajabi Nnamani

A stolen month on the other side of the planet… was it this far we had to go?

Daylight and Nighttime

Darajabi Nnamani

Dragging Energy Award

Remote beach, South Africa, February 2012

I kept wandering along the moonlit beach, the ocean waves always had a calming effect on me. Daylight was on the other side of the hemisphere, the kisses of our fresh love still vivid in my memory.

Almost as if pulled, my stroll landed me next to Nighttime in the sand, arms crosses behind my head, gazing into the night sky. She didn’t seem to mind, nor was she uneased by the absence of artificial lights and sounds which made it feel like we were the only beings in a vast world. Maybe she welcomed it, as I did. She intuitively sensed the unspoken melancholy of my thoughts and opted to remain silent. Maybe the beauty and peace of this place stirred her heart too.

“Do you think people back home look into the night just like us?” I contemplated aloud eventually.

“Maybe. Yet they can’t see what we see. These stars literally belong to different sides of the universe. So even if they were to look up, they wouldn’t see the same thing, you know?”, she replied.

She was right, symbolically and otherwise. It was Daylight and I who had diverging views into the universe tonight.

“Truly feels like being alone in this world, more than usual, doesn’t it?” Nighttime revealed a bit of her mind.

On top of warm sand, amidst this deafening loneliness, I reached for her hand.

Nighttime and I were at odds in almost every parameter that counts; values, preferences, and attitudes. Rationally, we were bad for each other. But the violent misfit in our cores exerted an inescapable magnetic pull once a certain proximity was reached. Call it laws of nature, or good chemistry; like a chain reaction we had to run our inevitable course.

There was a frightening ease in being with Nighttime, an absence of guilt where remorse should be plentiful. Our act of transgression felt irreproachable, a necessary rebellion against our former selves and our predetermined ways. I betrayed Daylight, but did I also betray myself?

I truly assumed we would stop, that the stars would shine the same once we returned. How preposterous!

The more Nighttime and I tried to find our way back, the stronger our mutual addiction became. Days and nights flew into nothingness like specks of sand in a broken hourglass. I was living two lives, but neither belonged to me.

At times, I couldn’t tell if Nighttime was haunting me or if I was the ghost.

The sinking yellow sun had turned orange when it started approaching the horizon. Nighttime had asked to meet me up at the mountain at dawn. I knew where I would find her, the need of climbing some spiky rocks usually kept other people from reaching the very peak.

I discerned her silhouette leaning against a boulder, soaked in a familiar unspoken melancholy. I sat down next to her, waiting.

“I’m pregnant”, she whispered after a few minutes.

“Mine or his?”

“It doesn’t matter.”

“Excuse me?”

“It was a mistake anyway. All of it. We knew from the start”

I wanted to tell her that she was wrong. But she wasn’t. Amongst all our failings and differences, we were always honest towards each other. This honesty without wants and pretense is what connected us in the first place.

“The bigger mistake would have been not trying,” I replied after a pause.

“I know. And I loved that we tried. We had to run our course, but this is the end of the line.”

Only now I noticed she had been holding something in her hands all along.

The moment when the setting sun had dyed the rocks surrounding us in a shady vermillion, Nighttime chose to ingest a little blue pill. I knew it was the end, of many things. We both sat together through that night, our last night.

Once the darkness finally cleared, I realized I would never see Daylight again either.