Excerpt From the Book I’ll Never Write
Last week we fought. Over what? We both fail to agree on the cause. Maybe I was being too dismissive and maybe you were being too passionate. Or maybe we were both just being stubborn.
We lay in bed for days and none of us said a thing. Each of us too proud, to truly hear what the other was saying in that very loud silence.
I cannot speak for you but for my part my pride wouldn’t let me say, “I want you,” so instead I spoke to my pillow, apologizing yet again for the dampness I left on it, when my head was being too stubborn.
The violence of our silence was unbearable and lingered for days seeping into the walls of our bedroom. The air was heavy with the smell of our egos instead of the scent of lovemaking, even the planets and stars from the pretty light you bought couldn’t dilute it.
My mind, a loud traitorous Judas which doesn’t know how to mind it’s own business took me back to when you sent me flowers at my apartment before I moved in with you.
It remembered the countless times you have crossed state lines to get to me because you were worried.
It remembered that ours was a love to span dimensions and universes. The kind of love that love songs are written about.
And then it started to wonder how the universe ever thought someone as unworthy as I am, ever deserved someone with a halo as blinding as yours. It must be a cosmic joke because all my cold heart ever gave to people, was frostbite.
So I buried myself in anything and everything that drowned out your essence from my brain, after all it’s the pretense that kept me going. But your face, a handsome combination of lines created by both worry and laughter kept showing up in my thoughts. Your voice blared through my earphones when I tried to listen to my music on shuffle because of the audios you send serenading me. And every night we would go to bed, each on their side with our backs to each other and an invisible Berlin wall between us. But in the mornings I woke up with your body too close to mine, your warm skin tempting mine, our limbs sometimes entwined. You haunted me.
As I lay next to you during the four day cold-war, I tossed, I turned but mostly I yearned for you. The curse of the mind is that it is deeply thoughtful when you want it shut off and sleep. It overthinks, over-suggests, over-remembers and over-wonders. This time, mine took me to the ghosts of my dead relationships. WTF! I didn’t want to think about that. I wanted to sleep & ignore the sexy beast lying right next to me! So brain of mine can you please reconfigure and find where the sleep drive is, can you do that? Thank you very much!
My brain being the boss of me didn’t even bother to respond. It just kept doing as it pleased and took me on a long stroll down memory lane specifically, the fights. The ones where I was told some harsh truths about myself that I refused to hear. So I did something I had never done before. I finally listened to the voices from the past and one chorus rung true,
“People are different, Vanessa. They react differently to situations. You can’t always have them react how you want to. You can’t always have it your way.”
It dawned on me that you had said the very same thing to me. Me thinking I was self-aware had made me blind to the fact that you learn about other parts of yourself, from those around you. It’s tough coming to terms with my failures and unkindness but I must do it if we are to stand a chance.
When the fight was over you said that if I had kissed you, you would have kissed me back. But you give me too much credit my beloved. You credit me with maturity and an ability to govern my own pride. Oh how I wish I could! Lord knows I am imperfect.
See my love, I am an emotionally bundled mess who only ever learnt to use and be used. I only ever visited in love, I never stayed in it. I tested love, examined it and interviewed with it. Never learning that love does not care to be auditioned and if you try to evaluate it, it flees the scene.
That was until the day love decided no more! It said enough! It decided it had finally had enough of my teasing and so it exacted a revenge. It gave me you. A total opposite of everything I ever thought I wanted. A man, white, formidable, not a hardcore liberal and 100% manly, not even a little bit metro-sexual. I screamed to the heavens that I most certainly did not order this item on my menu of potential mates. But the heavens stayed silent. I fought hard against the current that was your spirit calling to mine. I childishly played sabotage with our relationship. I texted exes, I flirted with strangers, I ignored texts from you, I went out and lied to you, I broke-up with you & blocked your number. But like Nelson Mandela at the Rivonia trial, my fate was already sealed. I was in love with you whether I knew it or not and all my struggling did, was pull me in deeper. I had avoided it for so long, this fathomless and unfathomable falling in love; shoes on, hand out ready to take back the little piece of my heart I had rented out, always ready to run. Like I said, I visited and never put up roots.
It hurts to say but I know that there’s a part of you that wonders if I really love you as much as you love me, especially those times when I am indifferent and dismissive. Unfortunately the trouble with love is, fear and indifference look alike when you’re on the outside.
“Are you afraid or do you just not love me, Vanessa?”
“Yes, I am very afraid but it is only because I love you so much. I crave you as a necessity not just a delicacy. Soul and body together I realize I love you and it terrifies me because this version of love, tells me I haven’t been in love before. I feel it, it has always been you, it will always be you and it leaves me vulnerable on all fronts and the coward in me cowers. For my heart to beat for another, for it to let you take as much room as you do inside of it, that is courage in itself. The bravest thing I have done in my life by far is loving you. With you I lost myself, then somehow found more of myself I swear.”
You think I am an onion. Too many layers with some made to bring tears in your eyes. But my love what you fail to understand is, I am just cowardly. I cannot lie anymore. There are parts of me I have hidden so long from myself , so how can I let you see! I say you are asking too much, I ask you to let some things rest. But now I am asking too much, because it isn’t in your blood to leave a stone unturned. And once again, I feel undeserving of you.
You deserve someone who makes more of an effort to appreciate your effort. Someone who delights in the beauty of your spirit and cocoons you in a gentle mist of love. Someone who creates a fire beneath your skin to make you glow so others can exclaim that you look different. Someone who believes in you. Someone good. Someone decent.
And then just when I am about to give up on myself completely, you hold me and whisper,
“That someone is you.”
And just like that, all is well.
Now let’s make love my love. The twins did ask us to go to the baby store and get them a baby brother. Let’s not disappoint them.