Walking Away

Walking Away

Celestine,

Later in the evening, when you get back to the house, you will find a small black trash paper just behind the door. I have always questioned why that house has always had a door that opens to the inside, instead of the normal outside. I always cursed under my breath whenever I had to stand of my toes to get the curtain out of its way. I have always cried when I pulled too hard, wondering why the lock refused to fall into place, before you saunter up to me and yell ‘Puuuuuush!’

Today, I have found favour with the door for the first time. It hid all the things I had nothing else to do with.

I had initially planned to carry away the small pack, but my heart was too heavy. Too heavy to carry with me memories of a person who no longer wants me. Memories of a person I used to be for all those years we lived together. Memories of the two of us struggling to find meaning in life. Memories of me trying to fit in, and you asking me to back down.

My heart was too heavy to carry memories of me crying into the pillow throughout the night, and you waking up early to air the pillows, all the time saying, ’the sun will always come out, and will give you a new slate to start from.’

Memories of you hugging your knees, your back against the cold wall, and me doing the least for you; cracking my knuckles and calming a racing heart in silence. Memories of you falling asleep on my laps despite the cold floor, and me fitting my palms into the pockets of your jumper; too afraid to move, too afraid to wake you up.

Memories of you telling me, ‘You do not have to always live alone. You have to break away and accommodate others’. Memories of me telling you NO every time you asked to move in, and you saying ‘Take your time. We go with your pace.’ Memories of me finally having a melt down deep in the night, and you finding your way to me, and involuntarily moving in.

Memories of you saying, ‘I will stay here with you until you gain back your mental stability.’ Memories of now, three years later, and the chaos in my head have refused to completely die down.

There is an assortment of dirt in the trash bag; the letters we exchanged when we could no longer voice out our words. The letters in which we poured our minds, unafraid of judgement. The letters that carry our blood in place of ink. Letters that for a long time now have been the reason we are still breathing. Letters that used to bear my dreams, before the chaos in my head pushed them down the drain.

Letters that gave me the push to write you this final one, because I am not sure there will be any strength left within me after this.

There are clothes I so loved. The black and white horizontal striped vest. The black high waist jeans you used to say makes me look accomplished. The short blue dress, with black hems; the one you labelled the ‘freedom dress’, because, in your words, it radiated positivity and energy.

There are diaries from three years ago, filled page to page. Pages stained with tears and mucus. Diaries that smell of misfortune, hurt and guilt. Diaries whose pages are living testimonies of my desire to break the chains around my existence. Whose pages have pampered me, given me hope, and pushed me to more sunrises.

There are things in that trash bag that I hold so much close to me, but as I said earlier, my heart is too heavy for this.

I had planned to kick you out, but that would mean I have to sit you down, and remind you that this time round, I am not the one who has failed. This time round, you pulled the trigger. You gave up on me, and decided I was being too much.

This time round, I am the one who carries the pain of betrayal, because you decided you were too tired of me, and told everyone else but me. You described me as a moth, always dull but springing up to life whenever the light turns on. That you were the light in my life, and my constant nagging was beginning to leave stains on your edges.

You accused me of nursing back to health, the very people who have caused nothing but pain to me. Accused me of hiding my wounds, just so my oppressors would seem okay. Just so they would walk with their heads high. Just so they retained their public image.

I do not deny the accusations, only that I should have heard them from you, instead of the numerous phone calls and messages pinging on my phone. Only that I did not ask you to try to heal me; you forced yourself into it. And even when I told you I feel selfish about it, you pulled me into a tight embrace, and asked my spirit to calm.

And because my voice is not the strongest thing I possess, I choose to let go. I choose to start afresh, leaving behind all the memories. I choose to start afresh, hoping that this time round, the demons in my spirit find calm within themselves. Hoping that I forget the betrayal, but remember the lessons. Hoping that with time, I stop being a moth, and instead turn into a butterfly; radiating beauty wherever I go.

I choose to walk away, because I cannot stand seeing you even for one more second.

No. I am not going to apologise for all you have accused me of. I am not going to wallow in shame and guilt, wishing that I listened to you. I am not going to try to forgive myself one more time, because my heart is tired. I do not think forgiveness is something I can do, neither to myself nor to anyone else.

I hope, with time, you realise that you did more harm than good to me. You should have let me stay alone, and learn to deal with my demons in the silence I am wallowing in right now.

Jenine.

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Miss Mbabazi

Miss Mbabazi


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