This is you, a girl, learning how to carve healing out of her wounds. You learnt the language of glass before you realized you too were fragile. You’ve walked out of your body into the vastness of an unknown emotion. So, each day, you break like dawn while striving to morph back, into yourself.
The day Victor left you was when you began to break into figments of your imaginations.
First, you never believed he was cheating. Second, you never thought he would leave and who could ever imagine that your breakfast would be served like the pot-bellied men are served in 5-star hotels?
You lay on your mattress, the only thing that has chosen to absorb your heaviness, fold up like tiny chunks of beef in a meat pie and you begin to map out all the places you could have possibly gone wrong. Was it you? You began with his shirt. The burgundy, thick one you are putting on now with “Atlanta” calligraphed in block letters scrawled on the chest. Is that reason enough to break you? That is what you’ve been wearing since the day he left. Was that the reason why he swept all the pieces of your being after all that has been transplanted to his body? No, it can’t be. After all, he told you that he loves you with his clothes on.
After three failed attempts of guessing the cause of your brokenness, you walked into the bathroom. That place that has been a constant acquaintance to your tears and apology letters to the mirror. Your body holds so much memories of Victor, your first everything. You recount all the “I love yous” he had once said. Your eyes break into a flood of emotions.
In the bathroom mirror, you see a different pair of eyes, different body. You don’t even remember yourself any more. The last time you checked, you had escaped this feelings. What changed?
You hold a knife to your chest. It has been living in the bathroom since he left. You’ve been pouring yourself wrongly, into the wrong person. You cry, again. The knife falls from your hands to the marbled floor. You know you can’t live like this. But what happens when your life isn’t yours to control too?
It’s September. It’s fall. The smell of dry leaves sprawled across the earth. The sound of feet marching sounded like bones breaking from all the hardness weaved into one country. Everything here, looks pitiful– the bent street light that has refused to illuminate the paths, making it easier for hoodlums to penetrate into anything. The old blind man on the streets staring at the sky, counting his losses and numbering his years left. The tired POS vendor. The tireless man in the bar, cloth sewn with yarns of pain and regret, winking at the waitress. Everything, even you.
But you wake a new being. Your phone is beside you, on the bed. You rub off sadness from your eyes. It’s a new month. It’s evening. You stand up and waver like a drunk man struggling to find his way in the dark. You don’t sleep like before anymore, you have a date with Jide. Ah! Jide! You knew better than your mom letting you marry a Yoruba man but you decided to try, your mind succumbing to the sour taste of hope. If I love him, we’re running away.
You leave the house with your face sewn into a smile. You wear a satin gold dress. There’s no much pain to hide again. There are tiny pockets of pain covered with your elegance. It’s a process of healing. It is not easy. Your brown eyes compliment the thickness of your hair. Where was all the beauty since?
The Uber driver takes you there. He’s fine but you bet he’s not as cute as Jide. The fact that you’ve not seen him scares you a bit. No one would want to see a pot-bellied, brown teeth-ed man on a first date. So, you hope as you’ve always been doing.
You had never been a fan of fairy tales about love. You never believed in the stories of fictional men being real nor men as romantic as the ones in K-dramas but something about the way he spoke intrigued you. Just his voice. His voice had a little bit of British accent fused with Nigerian. There is no iota of Yoruba accent in his voice. Intoxicatingly beautiful.
Right now, you both are sitted, facing each other, pointing out your beautiful features. The room is dimly lit. Your smiles brightening up the room. The fresh smell of pepper soup sprinkled with isi ewu lingered in the room. You couldn’t see anything, only the both of you. His white smile present over the place.
After taking sips intermittently, he broke the silence.
“You are a really beautiful being, Amara.”
It took the grace of God for you not to stand up and behave really stupid. His voice drew you into him, the more. You preferred people calling you “Jane,” your English name to Amarachi. But the way the name flew out of his mouth, you would want to hear it everyday.
“Thank you” You smile, showing off a beautiful set of white teeth. You sip again, drowning the next words.
“So, tell me, who was your last?”
“Last person you dated”.
“Well, his name was Victor and… I really don’t want to talk about him.” You look away. The last words flew out of your mouth like a fan that has been switched off.
He took your right hand in his:“It’s okay. I understand”.
You weren’t really sure what part he understood. If it was the painful heartbreak part, the depression part,or the abusive part. You nod. Sip.
The room became hot, too filled with bottled up desires. You speak:“You’re too handsome.”
“You’re too beautiful.”
“Oh please, stop with all this flattering.”
You smile. You can swear that you saw his eyes melt.
“I love you.”
“Already? You don’t really know me.”
“Your smiles are enough to sell you out anytime. They are enough for me.”
You laugh and gaze intently at him. His grip around your palms tighten and you get a little anxious. The drink in your tumbler had already finished. He saunters towards you and lifts you up. His masculine cologne hits your nose.
Can this day be more sweet?
Slow music. Interlocked palms. Rhythmic movement of bodies lost in each other’s arms.
“I love you.”
Your next words drown in your throat for the second time as his lips clashes yours. Passionate. Full. Butterflies.
You arrived at your house by 9:00pm. He had sent his driver to drop you off after hugging you the tenth time. The smile on your face was wider than how you left. You are happy that you’ve gotten over that phase.
You pick up your phone and see a message from him. It reads:
“Good night, my queen.”
You smile. You can’t even remember the last time you smiled throughout a day.
You were going on another date with him. You both planned to meet in a restaurant the day before. So, you prepare and leave the house.
There, you met no sign of him. This was very unusual of Jide. Very. You become worried. You would later leave because you realized that he wasn’t coming. Fear was an understatement in describing your emotions because even your last message was unread.
Days rolled into weeks, then into months. You never heard from him. Was this some sort of punishment?
You’ve been pouring yourself into the wrong set of people. Jide is you. He’s gone too, like Victor and you’re gradually stepping into another phase of trauma. The last thing you do is pray. You prayed that God heals you from what you’re going through if you’ll ever be able to come out of it. Then, you hold a knife to your chest and break into your emotions.
FORTUNE SIMEON is a fifteen year old Nigerian Poet, essayist and a short story writer. She is a proud member of the Hilltop Creative Arts Foundation and a student of Jewel Model Secondary School Kubwa Abuja. Her poem ” Memories of tomorrow ” was selected for the anthology ” The greens we left behind”- An anthology of inter generational stories on climate change. Her works have appeared or are forthcoming in Kalahari review, Eunoia review, Scavengers Querencia Press , Synchronized Chaos and elsewhere.