It snowed yesterday and I smiled.Two things that never used to go together and still don’t feel right. It felt strange to smile while watching the heavens fall. It felt strange to smile knowing that snow meant you were happy somewhere without me.It felt like trying on new shoes that don’t exactly fit. It felt like your empty side of the bed, wrong but yet slowly becoming familiar. It felt like salt in my coffee, instead of cane sugar.
Tade shows up every time it snows, and then some.
She shows up, bags of food in tow, like she has a crowd of 5000 to feed and doesn’t believe in miracles. But there is no crowd; it is just me. She tells me I am all skin and bones and in dire need of all the flesh I can get.I want to tell her that food is not the answer not to heartbreak. I want to tell her Egusi will not keep me warm at night.
She will probably just ignore me. She does that a lot these days; puttering around the house and cleaning up even though I tell her not to bother, handling the laundry even when she knows I can’t stand it when someone else goes through my things, showing up at the house even when I just told her over the phone that I am not receiving visitors…
She is as smart as a whip too. She took care of my taxes this year, just in case you are wondering how come you got your share of refunds so early.
Sometimes she brings the twins. They are as smart as their mother and growing up so fast. The first week after you left, the girl asked me ‘Did your wife leave you because you smell bad?’ I never thought I would laugh like that again or have a bath for that matter. I was ready to die a smelly old man till that question.
I still remember when they were born and we went to visit them in the hospital. You had taken one look at the wrinkled babies and sworn you would never let your precious body be invaded by aliens. Tade had laughed and thrown me a worried look at the same time; the girl I had grown up with on the streets of Festac knew I wanted to be a father some day.
The days when the twins are here, those are my best days. Those are the days I forget to miss you.
Have I told you how much I miss you?
The way we would tear off each others’ clothes when we had run out of words that could hurt? The way I would take you on the floor, up against the wall. The way your nails would rake across my back and my teeth would bite your lips, each one of us trying to draw first blood…
Do you remember our last fight? The one that finally brought this house of cards tumbling down? It snowed while we hurled words at each other; pieces of the sky fell while we fought over things I cannot now remember.
We didn’t know it until much later when you tried to walk out the door, running from us as you always were. I still remember the look on your face as you opened the door and the words that tumbled out of your mouth as you shut it behind you to face me.
‘If I stay here, I will miss out on life. I will miss out the things that make me happy. I will miss out on snow…’ You said as you crumbled to the floor.
So we waited till the snow was melted and we couldn’t tell the watery ice from our tears, before saying goodbye.
Divorce is so much harder than I thought it would be. Tade says it gets better. I want to ask her how she knows this seeing as there is still a sadness in her eyes even though she left Joe 3 years back.
I have started to notice little things about her. The swing of her ‘African hips’ as you jealously referred to them. The hollow of her back and how my palm would fit perfectly in it if we danced. The way she smells; like a mother, like a wife, like a friend, like everything you were not.
I miss you but when it snowed yesterday, I smiled. Snow means Tade will be here today.
Song of the day: Bruno Mars- When I was your Man