I wanted Idris Elba. His dark features got to me but on some days I yearned for Chris Hemsworth. I was torn between both worlds. Should I stick to the sexy man of color or go for the exotic Australian whose accent made my insides tingle. I needed to make a choice. Then you came along, perfect in your simplicity, nothing like either of my options and yet more than I could ever hope for.
And I chose you.
I hated the space in between my armpits. The large lumps that initiated stares from the men. On a good day, I indulged myself, getting adornments for it, covering them up with the prettiest laces and the softest of foams. On the bad days, I couldn’t wait to get home and rip them out of the burdensome cages. They offended me on those days, this round mass of seductive flesh. Till you touched them and it made your eyes glaze over in pleasure.
And I loved them ferociously after that.
She wanted a life filled with glamour; reveling in the attention of the paparazzi, her style team forever at her beck and call to serve up the grandest styles. She wanted the opulence of affluence, she wanted the trips to exotic countries and beyond. He was quiet. Withdrawn. Took each day at a time. He let his words roll off one at a time in sweet melody. And when he spoke to her, this man who sheltered his heart, when he spoke to her of feelings unbridled, her heart responded in a fury.
She left the cameras and walked quietly into his life.
He was a player. Conquered hearts and filled jars with tears. He went through life with a dazzle. His conquests yearning for more, while the queue of potential prey grew even longer. He never understood love and swore himself a degenerate bachelor. But her voice called to him. That day at the music festival, when quietly and melodiously behind her piano, she sang. And he felt himself lifted by love fairies while cupid’s arrows dealt him a strange warm blow.
Leaving the haven of wanton bodies on his cushioned bed behind, he walked into the beautiful emblem of love’s note with her.
It was a random day they both say till now. Best friends they’ve been, lovers they never considered. They sat together that day in his room and when for the fifth time, they watched Dear John which they both considered their favorite romantic movie, he leaned forward to wipe the silent tears from her face, their lips touched and fate worked.
Best friends they still are, lovers they would forever be.
“I call this season summer because I’m not in my country. In my country, it’s either rainy season or dry season. You people have a label for everything. It makes everything easy to categorize and yet hard to comprehend. All the mumbo jumbo confuses my small black head. In Nigeria, I can’t just pack a mat and basket filled with sandwiches to come and sit in a park with several other people I don’t know and call it a date. And in Nigeria, people don’t move into each others houses without marriage like you’re asking me to do.” She said all this to him, her eyes gleaming with love. He watched her as she spoke in the animated voice he had become so fond of, her small arms gesticulating widely as she spoke.
Three months later, on a hot saturday in Lagos, standing awkwardly in an Agbada, bronze hair peeping out of a richly embroidered cap, he was paying her bride price.
She didn’t think she was the kind of person anyone could love. So she played a part, loving each of them in the fiercest ways possible and yet counting the days till they walked away. And they did walk away. The fear of being alone became something tangible. Days spent without sleep, pills swallowed with reckless abandon. She felt used, broken, wasted and without color. Till he came along, as naive as a new born and told her she was perfect and that she colored his world. For the first time, she felt something she never thought she would, a self affection.
Now she knows broken crayons can still color.
She had told all of them, her exes that they gave her premature ventricular contractions. But they didn’t. She just wanted to say it because she liked the way Natalie Portman said it to Ashton Kutcher in No Strings Attached. She sneered at her friends when they stained their sheets with tears from a broken heart. It would never come to her. This strange illness called Love. Of this she was confident. She walked away from relationships and anyone without a scar. Until she met one who walked away without a scar, leaving her with never-ending pain.
Her tears flow, clear and steady, as the Niagara.
There was a side of him that wanted a meaningful relationship which infers a real future. But the thought of breaking existing patterns and focusing on being real and straightforward required him to be much more vulnerable. He didn’t want any of that. He loved his computers, and the world of unreality it brought along. In his life, narcissism and technology had a powerful, symbiotic relationship. Twitter, Facebook, SnapChat were his companions. Till she tweeted at him asking for a follow back.
He followed her everywhere after that.