This is a lengthy read so I apologize in advance.
The thing about closure is that you don’t always get it and that’s okay. But if you do get it…I really don’t have the words to explain it. It’s just…closure; a chance to really get on with your life without ever wondering why a particular relationship didn’t work out. It relieves you of any self-blame you may have deemed yourself responsible of and no matter how gracefully you’d done that, trust me when I tell you it’s feels good to know, especially when you didn’t know what had gone wrong in something that seemed so right.
I never really had an answer when people asked me “why didn’t your last relationship work out? You guys really seemed to be in love”, especially if they asked me after reading my post-heartbreak piece on here. My answer was always based on what I knew, which wasn’t a lot. All I could really offer them was that Mother was the reason, but nothing more. Even to those who pressed, I couldn’t tell them much except that I guessed Mother became jealous of the new No. 1 woman in my life. She had lashed out and it hurt me that I didn’t fully understand what had caused Hera and I to break up. I didn’t know but I had respected her decision, even though I hadn’t understood it.
Not too long ago, Hera sent this to me and I cried. Not just because I finally saw things through her eyes, but because I understood.
I’d like to share this with you too…
Every day I pick my laptop and try to write, but nothing ever seems to come forth, nothing makes sense and I give up again, just like the day before and the ones before that. I’m guilty of being a hypocrite because I remember I always told you that even when you felt you had a ‘block’, you should just write and though it doesn’t seem to make sense at first, it just might in the end.
I guess I understand how you felt now.
I’ve prolonged writing this mostly because I felt it would be like re-opening wounds I just want to heal but the truth is, this might just be the only way I may be able to fully heal.
I read your piece.
I read how what happened between us has become so bittersweet.
I read how you still hurt.
I read how you’re trying to move on and for some reason it’s hard.
I read the comments also. I read how your ‘fans’ hate me. I read how they think I’m a despicable person *chuckle*
I read it all.
But most importantly I read your version of events.
I read the truth from your eyes and it made me cry on most nights but on others it made me angry with you, especially with the way you portrayed me with half-truths.
There are always three versions of a story; yours, mine and the truth. Unfortunately, time travel hasn’t been invented just yet so no one else can experience what really happened to us but this is my version of events, my truth…
I remember grinning to different cameras on the day that I’ve deemed ‘the beginning of the end’. I remember smiling so much because I was too excited. It wasn’t just because I was graduating but because we were graduating together and though it had seemed like it would never happen, there we were. You weren’t there-there per say but you were somewhere with your parents I thought.
I was yet to meet your mother and in some ways was looking forward to finally meeting her seeing as I had met everyone else with the exception of your sister who isn’t in the country. I had felt that as we were about to start a new chapter of our lives, it was only proper I met her and also because you had already met my whole family. Hell, you were already considered one of us. Lol. Boy was I in for it.
I had just said the 100th thank you when I finally saw you and I insisted that we go meet your family. Walking down there seemed to take forever. I was an embodiment of different brawling emotions ranging from fear to uncertainty and a bit of worry. You had told me how ‘different’ your mother could be. I knew this first hand as I had always been your listening ear and shoulder when you were on ‘exile’. I had an idea what to expect but I chose the benefit of the doubt. Hell, I prayed for it as I walked towards the canopy where she sat surrounded by the group of elderly women, grandmothers and aunties. As I approached her I rethought my decision of meeting her but I knew I had to so I put up my best smile and knelt by her side. She turned to look at me but ignored me and continued to what seemed like a very important discussion.
That was my cue or so I thought and I withdrew, knowing from experience that when women were talking it was only wise not to interrupt. I got up and greeted your dad, who was always the more welcoming one and he teased me by calling me ‘our wife’. You stood by my side and we laughed about it. We didn’t try to disclaim what he said because we had plans and the future we saw together featured me being called that in the end. We chatted for a bit, all three of us until I excused myself to greet a mutual friend’s mother. She sat typing on her phone close the circle of elderly women and I sat by her side and smiled. We began to talk and I thanked her for making my days in school worthwhile. She baked and her cakes were very well known and loved by many. She laughed as I tried to explain this to her amidst shy smiles and laughter but our friendly conversation was interrupted by words that till this day still haunts me.
“So you can sit down and talk to someone like this abi? You can have a conversation with another human being?” I looked up in confusion to the face of your mother. She seemed very upset but I didn’t understand why. I turned to the lady beside me hoping for an explanation but she was as confused as I was. I turned back to your mum as she continued.
“Do you think this is proper? Is this how you were trained? This is not the way things are meant to be done.” She walked away quickly before I could speak.
“Go after her and apologise” the lady beside me said.
I stood and ran after her looking around to find you hoping you could explain to me what had just happened, but you were nowhere in sight. I caught up with her and tried to apologise but she wouldn’t listen to me. I tried to explain that I really wasn’t sure what my offence was and I was truly sorry for it but she walked away from me and left me standing there…. alone. I was too ashamed to walk back to the canopy because all the women who had seemed so deeply interested in their previous chats now watched me ever so closely. I stood there watching your mum as she walked away. Words couldn’t and still can’t explain how I felt. They probably never will. I wanted the ground to open up and save me. I wanted to run as fast as I could and maybe if I was lucky I could run as fast as the speed of light and travel back in time before all that happened. Maybe I could’ve stopped myself from even going there. Maybe I could’ve handled things differently. Maybe I could’ve seen what she saw that got her so upset. Maybe I could’ve understood.
Maybe, just maybe. But I’m not a quantum mechanic and I’m definitely not the flash.
I began to walk away, no destination in mind, I just didn’t want to be there anymore. I heard my name and I turned to find you walking towards me and in that instant I hated you. I hated that you weren’t there to protect me. I hated that you didn’t know what had just happened. I hated that you were smiling, even as the smile immediately disappeared, replaced by a look of confusion and concern once you saw my expression. I hated you so much and even when you asked what was wrong I didn’t even know how to explain it all to you so I just told you to ask your friend who stood by his mum under that canopy. I walked away without looking back. With so much shame and hurt. I hid myself to cry that day. I couldn’t explain what had happened to anyone. Hell I didn’t know how. So I withdrew from everyone. The only defence mechanism that had worked for me over the years. The only way I knew how to heal. Hell the only way I knew how to forgive.
So I convinced myself that it never happened and maybe just maybe I had dreamed it all. I thought it was over but of course I was wrong yet again.The next day was quite a blur as I buried myself in any and all the activities the school had set aside for us and avoided you to the best of my ability.
I refused to think about what had happened, putting on a mask that said I was okay. Sunday was thanksgiving and I, amongst everyone, was looking forward to it. We sang and danced like never before. I still have clips from that Sunday. We were all so happy, beaming with smiles. If our faces could extend to become lips alone from all our smiles, I’m pretty sure they would have done so. I had spent the night before talking myself into forgetting, telling myself I loved you and nothing your mother could do would change that. I was going to love you forever if I could.
That was our plan. Always and forever.
We danced, laughed together and made up. I remember holding your hand to pray. I asked God to keep what we had. What we had was special beyond human comprehension. And in your words we had something that most couples only dreamed about. But I begged him not to let me get blinded by my emotions that I wouldn’t obey His will. I feared the future but I knew I didn’t want a future without you.
It was a good day, really. The best. For. Those. Two. Hours.
Then everything fell apart. My world crashed so quickly.
The service finished and everyone trooped out to take as many pictures as they could. It was our final service in that place after all and everyone wanted memories. Plus, they also wanted an excuse to see if they had outshined the next person in their traditional attire. While still trying to find as many friends as we could to save memories, we found your dad and he said they had come to thank God also. We had laughed at the way he said that. I asked about your mother and he told us she was sitting on the other end of the chapel. I needed to know because I wanted to apologize.
I needed to.
I really wasn’t sure what had happened but I felt if she thought I had done something wrong then it was only proper of me to apologize. You thought otherwise and wanted me to let it go but I refused. I knew how important a mother is when it comes to the relationship of her son and her first son at that, and I knew how very clingy and difficult they could be so I knew the right thing to do would be to apologize.
At least I thought I knew.
I just didn’t want a situation where I would be on her wrong side and being with you would become a cause of dispute between you and your mom. I didn’t also want a situation where she would make our being together difficult. And most importantly I didn’t want a mother in-law who would hate me.
It took sometime but we found her by your family’s car. I greeted her and for the first time since we met she acknowledged my greeting. I was pleased. I thought that maybe I was forgiven and all that happened was behind us.
Then she began.
“If my daughter did what you did I would’ve beaten her mercilessly. I’m not really sure your parents trained you well, I honestly don’t think so because…..” she went on and on, her words stinging like a beaker of hydrochloric acid spilled on a paper cut.
It hurt. It hurt badly.
Remembering the details of that day has become more and more difficult as the days go by. The fact that it started so well only to end terribly gives me a good reason not to try. But I can never forget those thirty minutes by your family’s car as your mother rained curses and abuses on me, my parents and my home training, for reasons that till this day I still don’t know and I can never understand.
And you stood there right by my side without a single word. You didn’t even try to stop her. You didn’t even take me away. You didn’t even try to protect me or defend me.
You just stood there and watched. My Hero indeed.
Not. One. Word. Not one from you.
I blamed myself afterwards. I should never have convinced you to take me to her. But I felt I needed to apologize again. I felt it was the right thing to do seeing as she seemed genuinely upset. I felt that I really didn’t want any reason why our being together would be difficult. I didn’t want anyone to come between us. It’s funny now really, because everything I was trying to avoid happened.
I remember how your dad tried to defend me and even begged for her to stop on my behalf but your mother was relentless in making sure she could say as much hateful things as she could. I stood there listening to it all trying my possible best not to take it in else it would hurt more. But it was futile. All my efforts to protect myself, to ignore those stinging words….I just couldn’t.
I remember saying thank you when she was finally done and turning to walk away. I remember you grabbing my hand and saying you were sorry. But those words meant nothing to me. Those words made me feel worse than what your mother had just said to me. The fact that you could even speak when she was done made me just….I hated so much. I couldn’t look at you. All my suppressed emotions hung by the tears that stung my eyes. I fought them back as best as I could. It was thanksgiving after all, a day of rejoicing and celebration. A day that should’ve been filled with smiles and laughter. Well….should’ve.
I walked away from you that day with so much restrained pain. I remember that detail. It’s the only detail of June 28 that I can remember. If not for the videos recorded earlier I probably wouldn’t really remember how the day had gone. I had pretended to everyone that I was fine. I faked a smile and took pictures with anyone that approached me. Some could see that I wasn’t okay but I refused to speak. I kept saying I was okay. I kept lying to all my friends, all our friends. I just couldn’t bring myself to believe that that had happened a second time. That I had allowed myself to be spoken to in that manner and all the terrible things said about my parents I had just stood there to listen, too shocked to react.
It’s funny how everything can just got wrong within a twinkle of an eye. When you think you have your life all planned out and for some reason there is a different plan. From the universe? I’ll never really know. I guess it just shows that you can never really have what you want.
I did not write this to spite you, or blame you. I wrote this just so you could understand why I chose to leave. The future I saw with you became more unbearable for me to handle. The uncertainties attached to our being together pushed me farther away. The fear of having to deal with that over and over crippled every thought of me loving you freely. I tried to forget, I tried to move past that but I couldn’t. I really did try and even when I forgave you I just couldn’t bring myself to love as I once did.
Fear wouldn’t let me. Pain wouldn’t let me.
But the thought of losing you completely scared me even more. I loved you. Sometimes I think I still do, that is why I asked that we be friends. I just needed to have an excuse to be able to talk to you. You were my friend before all this began and I hoped we could find solace where we started from. I was wrong yet again. It seemed that was the only thing I was right with, being wrong all the time. If wishes were horses, right?
I tried to move on but I found myself looking for you in others. Even when I found someone else that gave me butterflies, I looked at him not seeing him but seeing you in him. That was the attraction. That was the key element that drew me to him. And even when we kissed I wanted it to be you so bad
But….. That didn’t work out so well in the end.
I wrote this just so I can finally heal. You see, you haven’t been the only one hurting, I have too. And I think it is finally time for me to start to let myself fully heal, to move on and not look back. The past may have some cherished and loving memories but those memories feel like nightmares to me now. I wish you the best in life and I would always be here for you if you need me but only as a friend.
Have a great life.
Forever and always,