Trying to Find You

Trying to Find You

Dear Bree,

Do you remember that day in September 2016, when I thought my world had come to an end, and I was rolling on the floor, waiting for my heart to stop beating? I was sure it would stop beating, this heart of mine, after hours of my body being doused in extreme anxiety, and bending over the toilet bowl, vomiting my insides. Do you remember how you dropped everything, jumped on the next available plane, and came down to hold me as I struggled to be calm? Do you remember us sobbing, in turns, at what life had become, filling the silence between us with sniffs and ringing phones that we refused to answer?

Do you remember when that job called you for an interview, and you politely declined saying, “I am sorry, I cannot make it; I have a family emergency to which I am attending.”? I begged you to leave, and face those interviewers, because God knows how much you needed that job, because we both knew, even without saying, that it was the only way you could get your mind off the things that had been plaguing us.

I begged, and begged, and begged, uttering a dozen variations of ‘I will be okay’: I am a big girl; I will figure this out myself. I promise, I shall eat. I won’t go to the beach, because I know you’re afraid I might drown. Yes, I shall go out for walks. I shall answer my phone. I shall let my hair down. I shall let sunshine stream into the house. I shall say ‘yes’ whenever my other friends ask whether I need help. I shall play music again, and perhaps dance. I shall not drift, too much, away from joy, so that it tastes foreign in my tongue.

You listened to my declarations, in silence, ribbing my palms, as if in understanding, only to say, “I am not going anywhere. I shall stay here and nurse both of us back to happiness. Until light returns to our eyes. Until we can detect joy when we dance. Until the music ceases to bring us to tears. Until this little life of ours begins to make sense again. Until both of us can call each other by name without breaking down, mid-sentence. Until the ringing of our phones no longer sends our hearts into a frenzy of worry. I am brilliant; I will always find another job, but I know I shall never, in this lifetime, find another friend whose arms feel like complete home."

And we cried to sleep that night, promising ourselves, pinky-swearing, it was the last night we were sleeping with sadness in our hearts and souls.

Then, life ceased to exist within you, left me behind, and even though I like to tell myself that I have learnt how to live without you, to seek joy, always, to look through the dark clouds with hope, to allow my heart to be accepting of unconditional, soft love, a huge part of me is always lost in a maze without you. Seeking your eyes every time I switch off my bedside lamp, and try to drift to sleep. Every time something good happens, and momentarily, I almost call you to share in the laughter. Every time I look myself in the mirror and see that you are always there, will always be, no matter how hard I try to hide you. Every time I get on my knees to pray, but start crying because I know no matter how hard I pray, you cannot come back to life.

My therapist says it is the reason I treat dancing as sacred. That I can never let my body move, in dance, when I am with other people. It is the reason I stopped singing in front of people, even though music, and in hindsight singing, forms a vital part of what happiness and joy mean to me. She says I am holding these things for myself because I tend to connect them to you. Us finding happiness and joy, together, in these things, so that guilt tends to fill me whenever I find myself attempting to do these things without you. And sometimes, if not careful, this guilt might turn into anger.

Anger at the world. At God. At you.

She says it is this same anger that has kept me away from church and religion, because the people who have inflicted the most pain on me have always been strong soldiers of the church and religion: The high school. The aunt. The university friend. The past lover. It is this anger, in small fragments, that seeps through my throat when I am praying, so that I choke on my words, and almost convince myself that I will never get rid of this lump in my chest.

Anger at the world. At God. At you.

Anger at you, because I have so much to say, yet, as you predicted, I also do not have any other person whose arms feel like complete home. So I keep most bits about myself to myself, especially the joys, happiness, calmness, and brightness. I hoard them, hoping that if I drown myself in them, I might resurface from the other side and perhaps, just perhaps, see your face.

Anger at the world. At God. At you. 

Anger at you, because every time Mothers Day approaches, my heart does this stupid little dance, as if mocking me. As if it knows I wouldn’t be able to speak to my mother. To laugh with her. To melt into her arms when she is giving me village gossip. As if my heart knows you were my one shot at learning about the beauty of motherhood, so that when Mothers Day comes by, I struggle to push you out of my mind, and in the process, it looks as if I don’t care about the other wholesome mothers in my life, my own mother included.

This Mothers Day, though, the darkness settles in my heart early in the day, and I push it away knowing it is your memory trying to remain fresh in my mind. Only that the following morning, on my way to work, I am mugged at gun point, a few steps away from my office.

Now, I am angry at myself.

Subscribe to get new post notifications:


comments powered by Disqus
Meet Eunniah Mbabazi
Eunniah Mbabazi is an Electrical and Electronic Engineer with a deep passion for books and literature. She has authored Breaking Down (a collection of short stories), If My Bones Could Speak (a poetry collection), The Unbirthed Souls (a collection of short stories), and My Heart Sings, Sometimes (a poetry collection). She has also co-authored Kas Kazi (a novel) and When a Stranger Called (an anthology of short stories).

Get in Touch