Almost Always

For a long time I would imagine that we’re still together and free to be in love and my dreams will offer me the opportunity of telling you the things you cannot know while I am awake. My appreciation for sleep and the temporary visits to you it provides me will soon increase. My sisters will accuse me of sleeping too much. They wouldn’t understand the initial uselessness of my conscious hours without you. At the time they accuse me it would be out of well meaning and misinformed pity. Faith wouldn’t have met her husband Misoma then and neither will Itohan be able to understand what love means at that time. I would probably always love you. I would still be able to draw your smile and search for it on the faces of the nice guys I meet. The sound of your voice would almost always be the soft music playing faintly like the song which is about to end but hasn’t ended in the background of my mind. I would still be able to sing our song, I may even teach it to my son who will most likely not look like you but may behave like you. I would wonder if I unknowingly trained him to be like you.

For a long time, I will shun people who are like you, I will accuse them of trying to steal your place; a place that isn’t still yours to take. I will think of days when happiness was all we knew and cry with timid hope then cry and laugh at my foolishness which will permit me to cry some more. I will cry different tears and occasionally they would stray from their path down my cheeks into my mouth and I would taste the saltiness. I would constantly miss the flavor you brought to my life. Sometimes I wont be able to taste the tears, their stubborn paths may lead them to roll down into my ears. Remember when I told you tears could speak, I was writing a story about timid dreams and Toke my main character after nights of sexual abuse would feel as though her tears were calling out to her. She would feel her tears have a message for her. However, in the story, she would not be able to understand them. She would never be free.

Last week I put some make up on as I continued my journey away from us. I wanted my face to conceal all the emotions I easily wear on my face. I wanted to be less the passionate woman I am, I didn’t want to be in love. I constantly tried to go back to the moments just before I met you and beg for a chance to choose a different fate. The week before that I just wanted to be beautiful naturally. No masks, no hopes, I simply paraded the blemish out there, the dark spots and budding acne for all to see. My big nose no longer mattered. My beautiful eyes could tell the stories I wasn’t ready to share. All my heart did was miss you.

He would meet us when he meets me. I would want to share our silly jokes with him because those are all the jokes I know. I would realize how futile the effort would be but still get mad that he cannot say the things you would have said then I would apologize and hope he’d understand that a part of me will most likely always have your name on it which he shouldn’t try to take away. Some-days he would let me love you, most days, he would be jealous because I would love him but I would sometimes sub-consciously demand that he wears the shoes I bought for you and we would quarrel like you and I used to.

Those times, I’d compare the happiness I felt with you and the type I feel with him and feel ashamed that I still compare knowing how different the circumstances are and how very different the love will be. When he annoys me, I will let you console me. He will let me let you console me. Some-days I will beg, other days he will make peace and we would return back to loving each other. He would understand how unnecessary it is to fight what is alively-dead.

On many occasions I’d forget you. I’d forget how sad you made me feel and the depths of happiness you made me experience..those times I would be so caught up with too many responsibilities and fulfilling dreams I dreamed with you. I may not think of you in days but somewhere down the road when I go with my cousin to visit her former neighbors to invite them for her wedding, I’d hear someone call your name and memories like flashes will flood my head. Somewhere there’d be a street not fully named after you and I’d try to look away while I drive by but I’d steal a glance anyway and merge that nano second with memories that match while I take you out of that moment and give you some of the bear hugs you were famous for.

Someday deja vu would greet me at the parking area of a certain airport while I go to drop of my daughter who is off to college. On some-days a random person will look like you. Sometimes they will be older, sometimes they would be thinner but they would all remind me of you. Some-days I would be angry and strong, other times I would be thankful and strong but regardless of the alternating emotions, I’d be strong because I would believe in the powerful force that binds us.

Few years later, I would be directed to your grave. The hostile breeze will mock me and the bored grasses that sit on the stone where your remains are would welcome me. I would wish I was strong enough to have watched as they put you to rest and I would water bored grasses with tears of bitter sweet emotions and freedom as I think of you and all that could have been. I would wonder if our love was the end of you.

I would demand for freedom to leave you at last and love you forever. Freedom to make memories of you without you with word pads and wild imaginations. Freedom to cross the waters we couldn’t reach.

Sometimes I would feel like an unsung song because I would be with you but without you. There would be beautiful scars that tell your story. I would wound myself trying to uproot you from the sacred grounds of my heart. I would listen for my heart beat and hear yours. Eventually I’d accept how much of you I carry along with me; and just how alive you are through me. Eventually, I’d understand that you want me to be eternally happy and I’d find courage not to fight you so often.. I would understand that you wish to rest in peace and not the quagmire that now defines us. Soon but not so soon, I would love you forever but in a way that is free to be different from the kind that we knew while I accept we can no longer be us.

Before the moon comes out to play one dusty evening, I would be free. I would be like a bird in an open cage who stays for more than a while longer after her freedom arrives. I don’t know how the story would end, maybe one day you would walk back into my life from the great beyond. Each day will bring fresh possibilities and I would stop by often, but I would make progress.

Eventually, I would fly.


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