Pale

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You will remember me

I will be gone, long before you turn your head and change your mind

It will be too late, at least for the moment

You are gonna live to remember that day

That you watched me break down

As you feigned concern when tears ran down my cheeks

As you watched me crawl, dragging my tired legs among the shambles of a life I once had

A haven I had created for myself, for us

You will regret, later probably

You will know full well that, I was leaving on account of your indiscretions

That you had the chance to man up or otherwise

And that you did not choose the former

 

You will remember looking into the windows of my soul and seeing the hurt

The sadness, the anger, and the disappointment

You will see a piece of me fade, die away

You will see the gravity of my emotions and realize you had me, almost

You will see me fading into nothingness and know you couldn’t save me

You will envision my form and realize that

As I lay in your bed beneath the sheets, I offered more than my body

That I lay my heart down for you, to do as you please

That you did what charmed yours

 

There’ll be others, and I will pale in comparison

For you found me in the shadows

But you too were there, or you couldn’t have found me

But I hope that my plain will be enough to have you bogging my friends to intercede for you

I hope the shards I leave behind will have you seeking my broken form

I hope you will miss the flaws in my being and the cracks I possess

I hope each tear I shed will sting at your heart, painfully

I hope that, as you watch her staring at the looking glass for hours, you will remember I almost never owned one

I hope that as she fights hard to fit in, you will remember I never did

For I neither did fear nor care

I hope that, as you toss in bed each night, you will feel that pillow I brought you

And that my scent won’t never fade from it

I hope you will hug it and fight back your tears like the man you believe you are

I hope you come knocking, on wrong doors

Since I will move, and remove

I hope you come bearing the pieces of me that I left behind

 

You won’t find me under the shower, drowning in my tears

I will be over that

I will be okay

But I know you won’t, for you know I was on the right;, not that it matters now

You were a work in progress; still are

I was too; still am

But you gave up, once you started mending the pieces of you that were visible

 

I will be waiting

And one of two things will happen

I will find closure, and forget you; almost undo you.

Or you will come looking, before it’s too late

I hope the latter happens

Till then, only one question will run in mine mind

Was a new notch in your belt I ever was? Only one that cleaned, and cooked and ironed, and…..

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ONLY BECAUSE

I am seated at a corner table by a window at the White Rhino fast food area, sipping at my occasional dose of caffe’ latte. It is raining softly outside and my helmet is sitting on the chair adjacent to mine. My laptop is on and I am busy trying to beat the deadline on my assignment while utilizing the WI-FI at this place. I am a regular here. Don’t get me wrong, what I really mean, is that I come here every fortnight; to recharge and just be. So I keep sipping, as darkness crouches the outside, increasing my typing speed until a ‘hello’ distracts me. I look up expecting to match the voice to a familiar face but it turns out to be a stranger just being pleasant.

The distraction lasts, as I remember exactly how you and I met. It had started with a hello at a coffee shop I was trying and we had grown close with each consecutive encounter. Phrases like “bill’s on you’ and ‘I owe you one’ became common and this became our meeting point, our common ground and haven. We even had a table that was almost always never occupied. It faced a busy street on one side and a boring old wall on another. We cherished our time together and almost fell for each other; at least I almost did. I loved how petite I felt as I stood beside your giant masculine form; and how mature your bearded face looked compared to my cheeky one. We would tell each other’s schedule even when we never did exchange contacts; we thought that was romantic. Thinking back, I think we should have anyway; thanks to my futile efforts to locate yours when I missed you.  We would walk each other home, sing to each other and talk for hours on end about nothing and everything. They all thought we were a thing, and we laughed at their faces. We looked really good together and I almost forgot you weren’t mine; and that we were just two people who saw each other.

And then you moved, with no word or goodbye note; not even to our steward at that coffee shop. I walked to your house only to find new occupants; with no forwarding address left behind. I waited for you to show up. I asked the waiters of your whereabouts each time i walked in; asked them every morning on my way to work and in the evening as I took my drug and probably bore them with my cliché queries. I did my daily checks like a doctor does on a patient and waited for you like one who had made a solemn promise to always be there; though you never did. We were all I wanted even without a label. That was kinda the thrill of it. We were the ideal. I finally gave up though, well after seeking your number and realizing how little I actually knew about you. I relented after a few months, and even contemplated giving up our coffee shop. I stayed though; as if holding on to the only thing left of that which we once shared; as if afraid to lose the pieces of you I so cherished. I wore that place like a badge of honor; as if proud I managed to walk in there when i knew you wouldn’t.

Then one day, eighteen months later, out of the blues, you called. Where you got my number I didn’t ask. Your name was already fading from mine memory; but your deep voice simply couldn’t. We had one of those weird conversations on a cold July evening, and I felt the ache in my soul intensify as if you literary slit my heart.  I hated myself, and the way this affected me, and reduced me to a frail thing. Something tragic happened, you said. And that you couldn’t explain it over the phone. And that was why you were sitting at our place for the fourth time that week, waiting for me to show up. That you too had bogged the waitresses with your bogus questions and that they finally found my number.

But then, I had already moved; away from things that never would be. I was tired of waiting’; for something so uncertain for so long. I had opted for a fresh start; away from the constant reminder that you weren’t no more. I had chosen to leave my ghosts behind and sought solace in my work.  I was hurting, and no one could understand why if I explained it; for I too didn’t know why it hurt so much. It felt like I was moving on, but from something that never was. We said our regrets on that weird call and promised to catch up some day. We never have; at least not yet. We never may, and that’s okay. We aren’t kids no more. We can deal.

I am sure that, someday, you will be seated at a place like this one Sunday taking coffee, probably Mocha, and remember me. It would be raining, hopefully, and you would be hugging your mug. You will recall the songs I sang you and admit that I cared. Maybe cared too much. You will admit that I disarmed you and that I always was in your loop. You will hate that my voice just couldn’t leave your mind like yours couldn’t mine. You will smile sadly and agree that it is only romantic because it never happened.

 

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Its Been a Long Way Coming

 

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I am dragging the two handbags that I insisted on carrying as my mom and sister trudge along the driveway to where the car is parked. I forced him to carry my navy envelop clutch, and he pretends it’s a document file. I can finally rest. It’s over. And it’s been a long way coming.

He can see the tire behind my eyes, or at least he pretends to do so. We are taking selfies along the way, in an attempt to block our preoccupations pertaining varied issues. We stop at that stone erected in honor of the former SA president and take a breather.

We are looking into each other’s eyes and mine beg to seek meaning in innocent his. There is nothing deep in mine, but he looks anyway. And for this one day, he makes me forget. That I wasn’t his. Made me feel like I was family. Like I mattered. And counted.

Despite the noise, and all the uncertainties and doubts we carried in our hearts, and amidst all the excitement and irregular melodies around us, I am tempted to voice it. He wouldn’t heed; that I was sure. The tension was there though. And despite the strains and the tire, I chuckled and heard myself murmur, “Get it over with”.

 

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ALMOST

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I recently, almost, suffered a breakup. ALMOST. And no, its not what you think. Thinking back to that instant, I cant quite make sense of it either. I mean, we kinda have to be involved for us to then break up, right? Well, life has a way of surprising us. Ever thought of  breaking up with your sister, or cousin or that childhood friend you have known for three decades?? Absurd, right? Maybe the later ain’t that uncommon. Only thing is, when friends ‘break up’, they don’t really do it formally. They just fall apart, stop caring about each other like they used to, stop texting as often as they did and things just kinda sort themselves out. Those who stay, just stay.

So, when i came to this point in life, when i had to kinda break up with a friend I have known for a decade now, I couldn’t believe it. I couldn’t stop laughing and everyone around me probably questioned my sanity. I grew hysterical like I do when I don’t know what to do or how to defend myself. And he just stood there, looking down at me as I made a fool of myself at the roadside. I could tell he was trying hard not to laugh out loud and tell me it was all a big joke. Maybe it was ‘fools day’, only that it was still in December. Mehn, he was damn serious. I mean, it isn’t easy dealing with me. Who could blame him?

I can be insensitive, and stubborn, and a pretty poor listener. I could also be extremely honest; a virtue i have been cultivating all my life by the way. I may also never be the kind of friend he needs. I am highly unpredictable and may only text when I ‘have time’. I may even be guilty of calling only when I really need something. I may also be guilty of being so evasive, sheltering my soul behind this giant smile and endless chatter about what my friends and I have been up to this semester. I may also talk a lot about books and authors and even recite other peoples blog posts from memory in an attempt to ensure no talk bordering soul baring comes up in our conversations. You don’t believe me? lets try this:

“Darling, if you are hearing this

Then its too late

They are currently plotting my downfall

I can tell

Their silence betrays them…..”

You want me to continue? And yes, I wish every day that I were the one that wrote that. (I respect you Jean). So, I am looking at the 100 meters stretch that we have as friends as he sees me off after the ‘break up session’. We even joke about it, teasing us to make good use of the time remaining and wishfully make it last forever. I even tease him, saying he would have to apologize to my mum after keeping me all afternoon just for a ‘break up’. We are closer to the end and I really can’t slow this down. I never experienced what I felt before, and with boyfriends, I get to initiate the break. I really wouldn’t want a reverse of the roles. So, I am demanding a good bye hug. I mean, you won’t deny me that, right?

‘Do you hug your exes when you leave them?’ he asks.

‘I kiss them goodbye. But since we never did get there, a hug would be appropriate.’ And it is so powerful as what we just decided hits each of us.

So, I walk home, obviously not looking back. I know we are getting back together. *wink*. Don’t sweat it girl. In the meantime, why not use this as an opportunity to sing all those sad love songs I sing regardless of where I am and what state of mind i am? I am now fully aware of the dozen eyes that are staring at me as I break into a Roxette track that goes like;

‘It must have been love…

But its over now…’

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Treat Her Well

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So you have had your eyes on her for a year now?

And finally have her in your loop

And she gave in

Dared to give you a second look

Have you any idea what it has taken her to do this?

How she has had to convince herself that you really are worth the shot

You think you know her?

Think you have her figured out……

Well, you haven’t

What you know

Is that which she has had the courage to bare to you

Still waters run deep

 

That she is kind, and loving, and selfless is true

That she will stick by you and fight for whatever she believes in is undebatable.

That there are times she knelt against the mirror, leaned on the looking glass, crying like a baby, digging her nails into her flesh, willing herself not to die

Begging herself not to give up

Begging herself to fight, and dare be strong

And that she smiled through it all

Smiled as she wore out, shedding weight

Smiled as she watched her sheltered life crumble, and break….

Smiled as she collected her pride and wore it like a crown of thorns.

Smiled at the absurdity of your daring to approach her

Wooing her amidst all the debris of a life she once had

Wooing her as she walked, day dreaming

Looking for things that never were, and maybe never will be

Walking through the hurt, and the pain

Waking each day, hoping ‘t would be better

 

Well, it never was

So, now that you have her,

Treat her well

Treat her like a virgin

Like a mere girl

Like one innocent in the ways of men

Like one who has never known hurt

Make her forget

That she ever cried

Ever labored in vain

For all that she gave

All she never received back

Bestow unto her

She has earned it

 

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SHILE

 

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Well, I can’t possibly talk about Shile without touching on the brave nature of her parents union. One that had heads turning and humans talking in hushed tones about the absurdity of a supposedly wrong affair. One that they jumped into, knowing full well the criticism they were bound to encounter in the face of a world that simply doesn’t tolerate such a bout of insanity; an apparently sane world. Who wants sane anymore anyway? I could never blame you Ann, for falling for one of the men of a ‘rare’ species. I mean, Chao is my all-time uncle-crush. (Who didn’t know that?) Well, without the uncle part. *wink* And yes, i said brave. It takes brave to not let a single link between your families, that is not blood, come between your love. Chao is a dynamic mass of strength and stability that you may need for the path you have chosen. He never did let anything deter him from spreading his charm all about you. And without you two, Shile would never have been.

And right now Shile, I am tempted to just paste Mufasa’s “Before My Daughter is Born….” right here and it would pretty much cover all i wanna say.

So Shile;

I pray that you will grow to be whoever you wanna be.

That you explore every single discipline you will ever want to.

I pray that all God has put in you, you will exploit.

I pray that you be curious……

That you spend all your waking hours trying to feed your mind with the words of humans and trees alike..

I pray that you marvel at all God has created and appreciate all you will ever be.

I pray that you question society and seek the truth behind every myth, theory and misconception.

I pray that you be imaginative and creative.

I pray that you play by your rules and none other’s.

Or you know what!? Ditch the rules and just live.

I hope you never have to worry about hurting no one, for all you do will be honorable.

When you don’t know whether to be my cousin or niece, I pray that you just let me be a friend.

I hope that when they see us together and ask what you could possibly call me, you won’t be confused.

I hope you look them straight in the eye, shake your head at their closed-mindedness  and walk away undeterred, always ready to defend your honor when you have to.

I pray that God blesses all you will do.

I pray that you climb to the very top of the ladders you will ever choose to climb.

I hope you will never fear failure and rejection; they are bound to happen.

I hope you never fall victim of your circumstances.

I hope that you  look your monsters straight in the eye and face them head on.

I hope that you will be different and pray that everyone sees it.

I hope that you will be a crazy myriad of talents and abilities.

I hope that you carry your father’s crazy bravery, his attention to details, and your mother’s beauty and her humility and desire to please only those that count.

I pray that you find the strength to overcome all the obstacles that life will throw at you.

And when you get the temptation to fit in, don’t!

Stand out!

May you delve in the world of wisdom and bathe in the pool of ideas and the creatives.

I pray that you have a spa in you.

And be your own shrink.

Trust me, you will need that; the world is sane, we are Not.

I pray that the little voice and the glimmer in your head will always guide you.

I hope that you will be willing to listen and follow its lead.

I hope that you will listen to people, but weigh their words against what you believe in.

And that you never have to compromise.

May you always turn heads.

May every man that approaches you when you are of age hesitate.

May they stand back and bask in your grace and majesty.

May they always fear the halo that will always surround you as you do your thing.

May only the bravest and most kind and honorable reach your heart.

May they never break it, For God help them if they do.

May you always be a romantic.

May you be a master of your craft.

And Queen of your vast empire.

May You wear your pride like a crown.

May you fly from one landing to a higher one.

May you never apologize for all the success that will be bestowed unto you.

And may you always extend a generous hand to those that will not be as lucky.

May you always use what they brand you for your own good.

May you always be an equation only the best will solve….

And a code only the wise could crack.

And Shile, make sure you read this someday.

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