Since y’all seem to be in break-up season…What with over a 1000 covers of Adele’s Hello. Na wa o. You guys like pain so I have kindly decided to help y’all out.
Go on, bring out the tissues.
They told me I would be better off without you. You were not the kind of woman that goes well with a man like me. You were too hard, too tough, too patched up. You laughed too loud and didn’t care who heard your joy. You cried about bad news in parts of the world you have never been in public. You loved too easily, too fast, too much.
So I let you go when you had had enough of the people that I let get in between us and decided to leave. I didn’t put up a fight for you, for us. I let you leave. I thought your leaving would make one of us happy. I wasn’t sure which one of us but I thought it was worth the risk to find out.
I have since learned that no one can tell you the things only you can tell yourself. I should have told myself the truth, before you left, as you left, after you left, and then when sadness wrapped itself around my soul like a bandage. I should have told myself the truth but I chose to believe their lies instead.
Lies only provide a foundation for more lies and so their lies became my lies.
When I ran into you yesterday, I was looking out for lies that were the truth. What I saw instead was the ugly truth, uncontaminated by any lie.
I have thought you many times since the day you left. I have imagined you bent over with unrelenting sadness, soaking the sweater I gave you two Christmases ago with liquid sorrow. One time I smelled your perfume on a new intern in my office; I lied to myself that it was a sign from the universe that you were missing me something awful. There have been nights I couldn’t sleep, so I closed my eyes and dreamed without sleeping that you too were kept awake by thoughts of me. Only last week, a lump formed in my throat as I walked through the park we used to picnic in, and to keep the tears at bay, I told myself that you ached the same way I did every time you too had a memory of me.
Yesterday, when I saw you for the first time in months, all of of these things, all of these lies, fell apart like a house of cards.
You are still clumsy, that hasn’t changed but everything else was different.
“Kamiye!” you exclaimed in surprise.
“Tiwa!” I exclaimed right back.
“Fancy running into you here…” you said, as I helped you pick up the tower of books you had been ferrying to a table.
“Yeah…I didn’t know you used this library. I thought you were a Reference Library girl.”
You laughed and down fell the lies.
I had played out this scenario in my head a million times, this seeing you again. You would have lost your chubby cheeks from being unhappy over me. Your laughter would be non-existent or a sad echo of the past. You would lay eyes on me, immediately turn to mush and it would be up to me to comfort you to whisper in your ears that I had forgiven you, that I was happy without you but could be happier with you. None of that was the case yesterday. There you stood, braver than I remembered, laughing with joy, like someone whole.
“I moved close by recently,“ you said.
“Oh,” was my response. The books were no longer on the floor and the pieces of my heart had replaced them.
“”You cut your hair” I said, as hope leaped within me. Not once in all those months, had I imagined that you would mourn the death of us by cutting off the beautiful long locks that I loved but if this was your way of grieving, it was something, something I could hold onto.
The next words out of your mouth trampled on that hope.
“Oh! I did it for Mayen’s mom. She is undergoing chemo but the doctors are hopeful” you said with a smile.
We said nothing for a while- me unable to take my eyes off you and you, unable to look me in the face for the pity you must have felt as my eyes betrayed me with tears.
I took your hand after what seemed like forever and brought it to my lips.
“I miss you. Everyday for the past 7 months, I have thought about and missed you.” Then I let go your hand and walked away because there was nothing left to be said now that the truth was out.
You are happy, very happy. This is the truth.
I am sad, very sad. This is also the truth.
I went straight home from the library and wept, bent over the pair of red Converse sneakers you gave me two Christmases ago as I let the following truths seep into my pores and take the place of all the lies that have held me together these past months:
- There is no leaving happy when it comes to leaving you.
- You are very hard to get over.
- I am not that hard to get over.
- You were the best thing about a good me.
Song of the day: Labrinth – Jealous