Our Last Dance

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You never liked to dance…
You probably still don’t.
You weren’t big on music,
But I think that’s better now.

It was beautiful… So much magic, so much laughter. My hands around your neck, yours around my waist.
I don’t know what to call that dance; we danced it anyway.
Two steps to the left, one to the right, four forward, three backwards. No rhythm, no sequence. Just love, and happiness, and a lot of spontaneity.
Our very last dance.

It was at Wendy’s wedding. You knew I wanted to dance… I did, so badly. I would have walked on to the dance floor even if the page boy had asked me.

But to my utter astonishment, you asked me to dance.
My calm, reserved,quiet  gentleman of a man, who never challenged the status quo.
Everyone knew you had two left feet… Feet that could move to no rhythm whatsoever.

The feet that danced away all my anxiety.

The floor wasn’t that crowded. So we got the stares. Yet we still danced. You danced me straight to elation that night.

Those legs!

I know you remember the dance really well. I know you keep beating yourself…
Even if we’d had more, there would still have been a last dance.

Today, they hang immovable and shrunken. The have no function. But they gave me that last dance.
The music was good. The laughter was fun! The movements were crazy, the dance was great.

I don’t care that they lost their function, and may soon lose their structure. I only care that our last dance, will remain in my heart a thousand years to come.

I know also that I can still sit in your laps even in that wheelchair, and relive that last dance.

Our very own dance…

… Two steps to the left, one to the right, four forward, three backwards. No rhythm, no sequence….

Just like our life… No rhythm, no sequence… No assurances…

Dwindled or not, I love those legs. They gave me a beautiful last dance.

Annie.

My Baby Girl…..

baby girl....I miss you Jessica …
You didn’t see much of the world…
Barely two years, and you were gone.
You were like a breeze of fresh air to me. The most beautiful thing I’ve ever seen.
Your eyes… So big and round…. Almost like your dads… Your tiny nose…. Mirror image of mine…. I miss your pretty smile, my darling girl… It lit up my world… Many many times.

Guess what? Last night Daddy fell asleep in your room… He held your pink dress, the one with the frilly ends…
He misses you so much!
He’s been so strong for so long. For me and him. That’s your daddy…
The man who saw you before anyone else did. I wish you’d seen the look on his face when he first held you.
Daddy loves you! And Daddy misses you.

We still don’t understand why you had to go. But we know Jesus is holding you better than we ever could…
I miss you, my darling girl. I miss your attempts at doing my hair, I miss your contagious laughter. I miss your quiet snores….
I miss your own A-B-C song, that always left out the ‘L’
Remember the last time we went swimming?
You were determined to win our little race. We were both so exhausted that evening, Daddy had to put us both straight to bed.
My baby girl…. I miss you.

Sometimes, I wake up with a start at night, and I hear your sharp cry when you’re having a bad dream…. I run to your room, and I realise its all in my head.

I had so much planned for your 2nd birthday…. But you weren’t here.
Sometimes, I can’t take it. My baby girl…

You don’t have any sisters or brothers yet. The doctor says you probably won’t. But Jesus says you probably will. So I’m waiting for them….
They’ll see all your photos, and hear a thousand and one things about you.

Daddy’s little pet,
Mummy’s Angel.
Grandma’s heart,
Grandpa’s joy.
Cudjoe’s best girl……
Aunty Esi’s laughing buddy

We miss you so much darling girl. 
I miss you. So so much!
Mummy.

Prodigal….

For about twenty-three months, pride has kept me from keeping in touch.
Pride, shame, and my wayward heart.
When I left home, all I could think of was a carefree life out there, the late nights out with my friends, and the lazy days with no stress.

I’m so sorry mum.

Even the prodigal son from the bible is better off than I am. At least he had someone to take him back when he came.

I was the breadwinner. But I got tired. I got stupid. Worst of all, I got selfish.

I was tired of you calling me endlessly, anytime I stayed out past 1am, and staying up to wait till I came even if it was at 3am.

I was tired of paying the bills, and tired of having to pick Nina up from school, while you only sat at home, doing ‘nothing’.

I was so stupid I didn’t realise that all the calls, and the waiting up was your way of showing you loved me.
I had no idea that things would end up like this.

I didn’t know for even a second that you were sick.

If I could turn back the hands of time…

There’s one night that I remember clearly…

The landlord had been in the house to take the TV and the player. I knew it, yet I was gone. I had the money, but I couldn’t care less. I got back way after 3, and I saw the look in your eyes. I had 43 missed calls from you, yet I pretended you were invisible.

You looked me straight in my eyes, tears in yours. But I must have been high. Because I walked off.
You walked calmly into my room, and asked if I’d give you the money.
I threw it at you, and you picked it up quietly.

Oh, what a fool I was!!

You paid the landlord, sold the TV and player, and started to sell sweets and water from the front of the house.
From that day on, you never took a dime from me.
But I realised you wore the same few clothes over and over, and you wore just one outfit to church. I didn’t care- it worsened my embarassment at having you as a mother. I didn’t know you’d sold all you had, to care for Nina and I.

If only I’d known.

The day I left home, you begged me not to go. You told me that you’d do anything I wanted if I’d just stay. It was after an argument about why I’d left church, and taken to drinking…. Blah blah, blah!
I remember Nina sitting in that well worn couch, crying her lungs out. She was too young for all that drama.

She’s still too young to be an orphan.

Nina doesn’t speak now, the shock must have hit her really hard…. She only looks blankly at everyone.

But at me, she frowns.

My life away from home was only good for about seven months. After that, I lost my job, and it’s been a steep fall since then. 

But I was too proud to return…. too proud to so much as call….

I’m sorry for all the pain I brought you, and I’m sorry I never got the chance to say sorry, or even bye.

I’m terribly sorry, mum.

I’ll try to make it up to you.

I’ll give Nina the world she deserves. (As soon as I can afford it)So that one day, when we three meet in Heaven, together with Dad, we’ll have good stories to tell.

I love you mum, and I’m sorry. So , so sorry.

Rest in Perfect Peace.
Your son,
Papa Yaw.

My biggest regret….

Dear Daniel…

You’re my biggest regret.

As I walked down the hallway, ready for all that the world would bring at me, you walked straight up to me, and spoke gently to me . Medical school scared us both, but it was good fear. Fear that made us strive for the best grades. But that’s as far as you helped me. Beyond that, it was downhill.

I was innocent before you. But when you came into my life,  I became a savage.
You were insatiable.
Yet you never took responsibility for what was yours.

‘Daniel, I think I may be pregnant.’ I was petrified. You mustn’t have seen it. You beat me up so badly, I couldn’t come to write the test we had the next day.
I didn’t want to, but I had to get rid of it…..

I should have been smart enough to end it then.
But no. Like a stupid dog, I followed after you still.

The second time, I couldn’t even tell you… My birth control failed, and I was a bit too far along. You didn’t notice.
I found me a quack, and it was also gone. You were mad at me for two weeks, because I was too weak, to ‘be your woman’.

I wonder if it was love that made me stay, or just a fear that no one would want me. Or worse yet, a fear of all the beatings I’d get.
I was scared to be around other men, especially those that treated me right.
Because you would pounce on me, and my pretty face would get distorted.
I was asked once too often, why my face was all swollen. It was either the bath tub, or the slippery tiles, or lack of sleep, I’d say.

You were always sorry soon after. But you never stopped. And I never left.

When it happened the third time, my devastation was an understatement. The birth control interfered with my cycles and hormones, so I didn’t even realise it until after the fourth month. I knew I was going to die.
I had to tell you, and that started another tirade, and beatings so hard, I passed out.
I had to lie. I’d been attacked by robbers, and I miscarried that pregnancy.

I thought marriage would end all the violence. I was a smart doctor, yet a stupid woman. in the second year of our marriage, you wanted a child.

Oh how we tried!

But month after month, nothing happened. Your mother wanted me out, and the abuse became routine.

Why were you beating me, when you were the reason we had no children? Why were you so angry, when you had purposely killed three of our kids? Why, Daniel, Why?

Today, I’ve realised thatI’ve been a fool for far too long.

I’ve also realised that hiding from you isn’t going to solve this. I’m sending this letter to you, and a copy to the police. They’ll know where to check in case I’m killed. I’m going to leave you, and I’m going to be free.
I’m going to find a man, that will make me happy, and not kill me in the process.
We’ll adopt children, and live life – real life.
I’m only 28, it won’t be hard.
I’ve gone back to the Jesus you made me neglect so many years ago. He’s going to give me happiness, and all the stupidity is gone.
So Daniel, Enjoy your life. i doubt you will. I’ve only started living mine.

love,

Elaine

The Change I see……

Ebo, you’ve changed…

          Every night, I wake up and see your back towards me, and I see the change. I see the way you look at me these days, and I see the way you smile… Your smile doesn’t even reach your eyes. 
We don’t talk like we used to, but hey, people grow quiet. I see the distracted look you have when we eat together, and I feel your haste to get away from me anytime we make love. Needless to say, the last time we even kissed is over three months ago!  
I’m tired of putting in so much wasted effort. I’m tired. 
I’m tired of crying and praying, because it doesn’t seem to work.

I’ve tried all I can. I’ve gotten you gifts, rubbed your feet every evening just the way you like it. I’ve tried to make myself look good everyday, for you. I’ve watched football with you on countless occasions, when we both know that football only drives me crazy. I’ve pretended to enjoy eating fufu, because it’s the only meal you can eat five days in a row. Ebo, I’ve tried. I’ve listened to your silence for far too long, because you’re in no mood to talk, and now I’m tired.

It breaks my heart that I can no longer make you  happy. It hurts me to know that she can. Trust me when I say that it hurts so bad to see that five years of marriage has robbed you of your love for me. 

I know that we both grieved a long time when Akosua died two years ago. I may never stop grieving. But I’m glad she didn’t have to see this. I’m glad she never had to feel love grow cold. I’m glad that for the short two years she lived, all she saw in her father was love that could conquer all, and joy that always filled the house with laughter. 

I miss that Ebo. The one who loved to help me cook, because he knew there was always so much I wanted to talk about, and very little time. The one who held me in his arms every night, even when a baby inside me kicked him hard all night long. I miss the Ebo that could kiss me, and make me feel like a teenager again. I miss the ebo that was madly in love with me. 
But lately, it seems I’ve lost that Ebo. 

So today, I’ve decided to let  go…

I know I can’t stop loving you, and I know it’ll take a while for me to adjust. But I love you enough to see that you’re no longer happy with me, you’re happy with her. 

Whenever she calls, you get that look… I know because I used to be the cause of that look.
I know you’re probably too much of a man to cheat on me physically. But I see that you seem to love her. So if you want, let’s get a divorce. I’d rather live a miserable life seeing you’re happy, than live a miserable life in which you’re miserable too… Either ways, I’m miserable.

However, if someway, somehow, you feel we could go back to the way things were, I’m more willing than ever to make it work. Maybe you could remember the songs we sang together, and the hours we made love while it rained and stormed outside. Maybe you could remember the tears we shed together for many months when we lost our daughter. Ebo, I could bring back a million memories, and even if they change nothing, I’ll still cherish them. 

Ebo, this isn’t a blackmail letter. Whatever you decide, my love for you will never go away. Whatever you decide, I hope it makes you happy. But for what it’s worth, I pray to God, that you’ll choose to make it work. I don’t care what I need to do… If you want, we could even see a counsellor. If you want, we could take a vacation… Whatever it is I need to do…

Thank you Ebo, for a beautiful four years of marriage. The last year could have seen better days, but thanks for that too. You’re a great man, and I can’t stop loving you. 

Always, always.
Crystal