Where were you?

lonely-person

I got home from school, mad at everything.
I got told off… because… Well, because of nothing.
I walked to your door, hoping you’d say something.
Where were you?

I woke up real early on Saturday, hoping we could spend some time together.
I did my chores, all there was to do, then prayed to God we’d have good weather.
I run to your room – an empty bed…..
Where were you?

And then on Sunday, I thought, maybe after church…
But you dropped me at home, and drove off on ‘research’
I cried that night, and wondered aloud
Where were you?

There was this holiday…. I was so hopeful… Even an hour would have been fine…
But you had an event… ‘I have to be there for that friend of mine!!’
I had nothing to say… Just quietly wondered…

Where were you?

This Wedding today, that funeral tomorrow….
You never were there, to share in my sorrow.
Yesterday was work. Tomorrow I’m not certain
Didn’t you see how much I was hurting?
Now you say my life’s astray.
Why should you care, when you were always away…
Honestly….. Where were you?

Where were you?

A World in my heart….

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It’s been an interesting journey with you… The memories are endless….
Yet there are so many things I’d like to tell you….
Most, I’d rather keep in my heart.
Over there there’s a store of things I wish you’d do and not do. Over there, you’re really my knight in shining armour….

It’s probably impossible for that world to become a reality…
But hey, A girl can only dream.

In the recesses of my heart, you open doors for me, and hold my hand…
You wait up for me when we’re walking and my short limbs can’t keep up with your long strides.
In this surreal world, you don’t tell your parents I’m just that girl from five blocks away. You actually sit them down and explain to them, that I’m the woman you love…

I’m hardly bothered when you do most of your things… I don’t mind when you stay out late with the boys, or when once in a while, you forget we had a date… But deep down, in the place where you’re my real life Prince Charming, you can’t wait to spend time with me… You tell the boys that your woman comes first. You don’t make promises and forget them… You don’t forget to call me back… You don’t find the little things unnecessary…… The little things…..
This may all sound absurd,
But hey, a woman has the right to dream….

In this wonderland of mine, you don’t get moody on a date, just because I kept you waiting…
And you don’t rush me…. You understand that it’s a ‘girl-thing’
You don’t get mad because I made a random decision… You don’t insist that I have to do it your way…. You actually support my decision….
And even when it doesn’t go right, You don’t say ‘I told you so’; you hold me and say, ‘we’ll make the most of this’

In this place, when you hold me, I know that I’m going to be held gently, I’m going to feel secure, and I’ll know that no matter what happens nothing can affect me once I’m in your arms….
I know it sounds stupid, but sweetheart….
A girl can only dream.

Here in this heart, you don’t get suspicious because the guy at the office was checking me out, or because I hang with the guys…..
Sometimes I want this world in my heart so bad! But usually I’m just content….
I know you try….
And I know you can’t…..
No matter how much effort you put in,
There’ll always be that world in my heart, where things are amazingly perfect….
Where my dreams merge with reality…
In that world….. Things are different. In that world, love is unconditional, it’s strong!
In that world, I don’t even need to dream!
In that world…. That world in my heart…

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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

To you….

I didn’t notice you the first day I saw you. Neither the second nor third. In fact, I’d seen you a couple of times. But that day was different.

On that day, I really saw you.

On that day, I fell in love.

You had on a simple white dress, with streaks of brown. Your smile was heavenly. Your eyes sparkled with laughter, and your left cheek dented with a small dimple.

My heart didn’t skip a beat or slow, or stop. It pounded so hard in my ribs, I thought I’d explode.

On that day, I knew.

It’s funny how you went about your duties so happy. Life had dealt you many a blow, yet you always had a smile. A smile that always worked its magic around my heart…

I remember the very first time I spoke to you… It was to ask where the church cleaning equipment were. You were amazed that I knew your name. Believe it or not, it’d taken me two long months to muster the courage enough to ask for those brooms!

When I asked you out, you asked me why….
I had no idea why… I just knew.
You didn’t think I’d accept you, probably because of your son. But I knew, right from the very first day.
I knew. I was in love. Son or no son.

When we started dating, I knew I’d found myself a jewel. A rare gem.
Each time you held my hand, I was captivated. Each time you looked in my eyes, mesmerized. And each time you hugged me, I was elated. With each kiss came joy that knew no bounds!  Mensima, you are my love!

After our very first kiss, I knew that someway, somehow, I had to make you mine. I had to do right by you. I saw the fires of passion in your eyes that night, and I knew they only mirrored a fraction of that in mine.

When I told you I loved you, I meant every single syllable.
The first time you said ‘I love you too’ I thought I’d seen a glimpse of heaven!

It’s been two years since our first kiss. Two years of a lot of bliss. Two years that showed me that you’re not only a jewel, you’re an angel.
We’ve had our bad days, but through it all, we grew more in love!

There’s not a night that I went to bed without you on my mind, there’s not a day I wake up, without thoughts of you…

So today, I want to ask you… Marry me……
Make me the happiest man on earth….
Make me a proud man….

Marry me, let’s make more  sons, and little princesses.

Marry me, and let’s share all of life’s sorrows and joys together.

Most of all, Mensima, marry me, and give me you. For I’m almost certain, that with you by my side, no task will be formidable…

I love you today, and I’ll love you always. We may not always see sunshine, but the rainbows will surely come. Each storm will end, and at the end of it all, having you with me, will be my own silver lining.

Love, Ekow.

 
 
 

Dear ‘dad’

You don’t deserve my forgiveness.

You never have, and you never will. It doesn’t matter that you’re in jail now. Frankly, you deserve worse.

You were a monster!

You never loved me. I saw the way my friends idolised their dads; I saw how dads picked up their little girls, and twirled them about. I saw the way fathers got happy because their daughters had good grades.  I’ve never had a father. For no father makes a child, with the sole intention of breaking her. You were never a father. 

Remember my first day of grade school? I was just six.  But I remember – clearly! You walked me close to the gate, yelled at me to get in, and walked away, without looking back. If I didn’t have a six year olds brain at the time, I would have known then, that I didn’t have a father. I never would. But that’s not what made you the monster.

The year I turned eight, the real deal started. The dark shadows, the muffled tears. The stern threats, the agonizing pain. It was a fast ordeal, but it never left my mind. It was a nightmare. A prolonged ghoulish incubus!  I yelled, and I kicked. I begged and I cried. I did all I could do. Yet, you never stopped.

You were never drunk. So what was your motivation? You were never on any drugs, or were you? What did I do, to deserve all of that? What did my mother (whoever she may be) do?

For twelve whole years after that night, you carried on. Relentlessly. Sometimes twice at a time, sometimes more. You are a devil. For any human, would have stopped at the sight of the pain in my eyes, or upon hearing it in my voice. You never stopped.

One night, it got so bad, I passed out! Yet, you never stopped.

When at twelve, my friends were all excited about menarche, I was shrouded in doubts and fears and many many tears! – What if I got pregnant? What if I got a disease? What if…?  When at fifteen, all the girls my age were flirting harmlessly with boys, I couldn’t. All I could do was pump myself with various birth control pills, and morning afters too. When at seventeen, my mind needed to focus on my education, a terrible abortion, took my health, and took my future. When at 26 most of my colleagues are happily – married and expecting kids, I live alone, with the dark knowledge of the fact that I can never hold a life in me.

You broke me. You wrecked me!

People respected you. Because they had no idea. They didn’t know the darkness of your soul. They didn’t know your cruelty. You were a beast! But they didn’t know.

When I run away from you, I had to keep reminding myself, that I didn’t deserve all that torture. I struggled a lot, but it would never beat my struggles with you.

You hardened me up! I couldn’t look into the face of a man, without reliving my agonies. I couldn’t be nice to a person, because then they could abuse me. I couldn’t love anybody, because love requires forgiveness, and I couldn’t forgive. I couldn’t hope for or in anything, because all my hopes of you letting me go, were dashed night after night for twelve long years.

I was an angry woman. A bitter woman. A woman of very few words, because my story couldn’t be heard. But I’m glad that it’s passed! I’m glad I exposed you! I’m glad you didn’t die without getting caught. I’m so glad!

Today, there’s this beautiful young man who wants to marry me. He’s sweet and sensitive, spontaneous and charming. But I can’t let him in. I can’t allow him into the dark recesses of my heart. And the only reason is because you marred me! You screwed my life. You took away everything there was in me. My innocence, my dignity, my heart, my peace, my sleep, my womb, my life!

But you can’t take anymore. I’m letting go of all these emotions with this note to you. I’m free of the hate, and I’m free of the bitterness. I need to move on; I’m going to move on. I’m going to find love. I’ve started the journey. It’s the hardest journey I’ve taken. But it’s well worth it. It will make me happy. It will make me live!

So while I’m happy that you’re rotting in jail, I want you to know that I’m forgiving you. I haven’t forgiven you. I’m in the process. It may take many months, years even. But I will. And I’m only doing it because it will set me free.

It will set me free to love that young man who’s stood firmly by me for the past two years, even though I never spoke a kind word to him. It will set me free to finally let him in. It will soften my heart. It will give me hope.

 I’m forgiving you ‘dad’ not because you deserve it, but because I deserve it.

I’m going to be free!

Signed with Love,

Amanda