No-No Bear

A Short Story by IV Olokita

It’s been a while since you and I met on our first date. This time I promised myself I’d try a little harder. I always need to remind myself to tell you how beautiful you are, or at least, let you know how much of a perfect match you are for me. And as of this moment to come, I hope everything will be simple: you will say, yes, and I will breathe again.

What if you’ll say no?

Suddenly I remember why I called you ‘No-No bear’ on our first dates. I put this name on you as an amusing nickname, but only in my thoughts so you wouldn’t be mad at me. Now I’m pressured by your possible reaction, and my eyes are fixed deep in yours. I guess this is what happens when you start a new romantic relationship with someone you like. Maybe I’ll just keep things as they are now imagining you smiling at me and not saying a word, painting my life with you as if we’ll never live them. In the next moment, after you protested in the car that it was all wrong and asked me to quit smiling, I took my eyes off your face and drove. You scowl like you always do, this time over God and his brazen rainbow, the one that stretched out at you. Then you asked me to brake, got out of the car and went to the center of the road angrily; confronting it once and for all.

“No-No Bear,” I called out to you. The windows of the car were closed, and the engine was running, yet I was still afraid that you might have heard me laughing too loudly. I looked to the other side of the road, but I knew, you never gave up on anyone — not even God’s colorful smile. You were mad. You raged on the rainbow that stood there in the middle of the road, stretching out into the nearby field. I heard you yell at her to move and clear your way; it was a juicy curse, something about her mother. Poor rainbow tried to explain, then moved a little and asked if that was all right. Suddenly you smiled, you said thank you words, and everyone in the traffic jam behind us applauded you, in fact, they hugged the both of you.

You sat down to the car, sat by my side and said nothing. Maybe you asked me to change the radio station. I turned it off and smiled back as you leaned back and closed your eyes.

‘No-No Bear,’ the words almost out of my mouth, but you didn’t notice, even though I hoped you would. I quickly drove on, you panicked, opened your eyes.

“Do you want us both to die?” a growl in the shape of a question and I blushed a little and slowed down.

“So what do you really like?” I asked quietly, a question of defeat.

“What did you just ask?” .

“What is it that you like if you’re mad at all the things in the world?” Then I hesitated almost ready to give up.

You leaned back a little longer and smiled. At the end of it was a tear. Then you answered with a false cough, “I love my mother, my father, and certainly, I you.”