This lovely piece came in from my dear friend/sister/homie Uche. Its poignant and I love it. Enjoy
I miss you.
It always starts this way, my apology letters. Whenever I know I’ve done something wrong, whenever I haven’t done what I promised, whenever I have hurt you.
I ply you with images of affection, of myself a lost, confused soul without your hand guiding me.
Emotional blackmail, I think it’s called, and I’m an expert at it. I became so unwittingly.
It sprouted from that gentle, forgiving nature of mine that made me expect to not only be forgiven no matter my crime, but also to be rewarded.
I rework myself into the model of the perfect, dutiful lover, not the petulant child you’ve had to tolerate for a little over a year now.
I cast all pride and shame in the gutters and grovel shamelessly for your affection.
Much like a baby who has soiled its diaper. I know you will come to my aid. You might hate it, but you have no choice.
I romanticize our lovemaking sessions and remodel them from the sweaty bodies, having frantic, messy sex, into the kind of languid lovemaking that exists only on television and in romance novels.
The kind with slow, rhythmic movements, and perfectly tousled hair, and breathy sighs and soft moans and simultaneous orgasms that are portrayed as supernovas, engulfing everything in sight.
I scream when I come. I shake violently and claw into your back like I’m digging for gold. The sound of trapped air going “POP!” when you slide into me sometimes, reminds me of the fart sounds my brother and I used to make with our armpits when we were younger.
It is not pretty.
Sometimes I feel nothing, other times I feel pain, so the groans you think are of ecstasy are often of agony, and I clutch at your shoulders not in passion, but because it’s the closest I get to you these days.
Since you started this new job, you barely talk to me; you talk at me.
You seem to always look through me, with that glass-eyed expression.
So our bed feels cold and alien to me. The way you only seem to be interested in what I have to say, is when it might lead to the treasures between my legs. So you cover me in just the right amount of kisses. It feels like you’re following a formula.
Kiss here, bite there, stroke three times, insert penis.
But I open my arms and my legs to you because I want to be the one that heals you. I want to be the balm to your wounds. I want you to find release, escape, inside me. It’s the least I can do for you.
We don’t come together.
I haven’t come in six months.
But this all doesn’t excuse what I’ve done; though it might be why I did it. And like the spoilt brat I am, I expect you to understand that I did not mean to have sex with your cousin’s boyfriend, the one whose success you envy so much.
I expect you to know that I did it to see if you still cared, to infuriate you, to make you jealous. Anything to get you to feel for me.
So I fall back on my old plan. I crawl at your feet, snot-covered and drooling, begging and expecting to be picked and cleaned up; even when I know I’ve gone too far this time.
The three words that end my letter feel so unfamiliar to me, that there is something rigid and forced about their placement.
It occurs to me that I have bit my tongue so long, practiced not saying it, so as not to upset you, taking deep breaths and swallowing sentences, hoping for the day when you’d say it to me.
Just so I can tell you, “I love you too.”