I have seen them flock around you; svelte young beauties with bouncy pointed breasts, their board stomachs missing scars, thighs that are stretch mark free, faces that are alien to the ravages of time. They flock around you despite your gray beard and the gargantuan potbelly that I have nursed all these years. Who can blame them? They are drawn by the wealth and prosperity that is visible in your every nuance.
So in case you forget and somehow decide that they are better than your wife of 27 years, there are few things I must remind you of.
In case you forget, and I know that it is possible that you will. We are human after all; susceptible to amnesia – self-inflicted and sometimes through means we have no control over. Who knows if we will escape the horror that is Alzheimer? Or the unavoidable accidents that could someday steal our memories and leave the pages of our lives blank? Memories are as vulnerable as our bodies. Who knows if tomorrow might bring seas of sorrow or despair, wealth or abundance to wash away the memories of all that I am to you?
In case you forget, the wrinkles on my face are from years of worrying about you those nights you stayed out late, those days you couldn’t face the dawn because of pain and despair, those times you were grieved in your spirit and unwilling to face whatever life had to offer.
In case you forget, the laugh lines near my lips are from the joy you brought me over the years, the laughter you drew from my lips with your clumsy advances to win my heart, the clowning you engaged in to elicit a smile from my face when all other efforts had failed.
In case you forget, the stretch marks on my thighs are from the four children i have borne you. The scar across my stomach is from our last child, that one that you so badly wanted to be a girl. I suckled and nourished all four of them from the bowels of milk nature gifted me with. That should explain the sagging breasts.
In case you forget, i make the best jollof rice. It is all you ever eat. It is your best meal and years of cooking it has made me into a plump woman and no more the svelte girl you met on the streets of Akoka. The cook must taste the meal first after all. If salad had been your favorite meal, it would be another story altogether.
In case you forget, my eyes are dimmer and I wear glasses because i cooked for five long years with firewood. You couldn’t afford better then. Now we have all the shiny stuff in the kitchen but back then i had the firewood, my hands, my lungs and my eyes to make your meals.
In case you forget, I love you and I have loved you for the best part of my life. I know deep within me that I will never love again like this again, never like this.
Most of all, in case you forget, my father is still very good with his guns and my brother, the one that never liked you, is a Major in the army now and he is acclaimed for being a sharp shooter.
Just in case you forget…
Song of the Day: The Script- I ‘m Yours