There is a place. It is a place neither of us have been yet we know it exists.
I have tried to get you to go with me so many times. One time we made it halfway there and then you got distracted.
Yesterday Bukunmi called to tell me the news. I heard nothing else he said after that. I put on the Nikes you got me for Christmas, the green Under Armor sweatshirt you said made me look like the Grinch. And then I opened the door to the house I bought for you and ran for dear life.
Heaven. That is what the place I have always wanted to go with you is called.
You are there now. In heaven. With someone else.
“Lola said yes” was all Bukunmi said.
I hadn’t needed to ask to whom or to what.
We have always known, haven’t we? That if it wasn’t me, it would be Bukunmi. The two of us, your options, your cake and your ‘have it’, and neither of us man enough to call your bluff and leave.
I will be his best man of course. I am his twin after all. I will find a way to hold myself together to watch you walk down the aisle to another man. I will smile for photos while you promise heaven to another man. I will come around to the notion of being an uncle to your children rather than their father. It is what Bukunmi would have done if it had been me you chose. It is what any good brother would do.
I ran 20 miles yesterday, you would have been so proud. Bukunmi doesn’t run. I took up running because I loved you and it meant spending more time with you. What will he do when you run? What will he do when you run out on him and he runs out of breath trying to catch you and make you stay? I could run after you, even if it meant running in circles and chasing pavements. I have trained for this, for the future, for loving you. Yet you chose him. Him, and not me.
Mother warned us about girls like you. Girls who run. Fleet-footed fairies. We should have listened. But how could we have known, that the skinny girl with ring-worms who was our best friend growing up in Satellite Town would grow up to be the girl of our dreams, a girl who ran?
No one tells you these things. No one can see the future. But if I close my eyes really tight, I can see myself in heaven with you. It is my brother, yet it is me. Identical twins, Ibeji, Ejire, the one is the other. I will settle for loving you with my brother’s body.
Song of the Day: Adekunle Gold – Ire