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How has the gone years been? Has it been lonely or rewarding? I bet it has. Nay Nay, you can’t have me back and I can’t have you back either. Damn! All of those dating gone in winds of boredom. You never bought me flowers. I never got to hold your sweaty jersey or watched you played football- running around, your short afro swaying gently in the wind. Watching lovingly as the gentle wind caressed your dark skin, drying the sweat pores and making you feel minty all over.
We never read poems under sepian candle lights. I loved beaches and salty waves, but we never went there. I was determined to bring some harlequin twist to our relationship but you reciprocated with a bit of rigidness, not tugging into my own side of the line. We never kissed under the rain. We didn’t dance either under the rain, with its slant whips drenching us from the hair.
I was so less of a woman. You can remember that, don’t you? My dress sense, my cosmetic choice, and personality choices were all made with you in mind. I wanted so bad to be complimented by you. If you didn’t like it, I didn’t like it too and I would feel bad when you castigated me. Didn’t you see, I was struggling to fit into the mould of your definition. You defined me to be calm, quiet, never objecting, subordinating- the perfect ‘christian’ woman. Then, all my dreams were to be a good girlfriend, grow up into being a great wife, bear kids and run the home, and of course chase my dreams but with limitations and boundaries.
But you didn’t know about the many battles I was fighting inside of me. I had this urge to rebel, but I feared, I was afraid you will walk away, I was afraid you will leave me alone. Why? Because I feared no other guy will walk up to me- I was a tamed lion. And you tamed me way too much into being a timid meek lamb. I suppressed myself to live up to your oppression.
If I was wrong, I apologized, and if you were wrong, you never apologized. I would only call and chide you lamely with some bit of fear. And you will wave it off or mutter an inaudible sorry- after all men don’t apologize, because they are lords to be served.
All the image of myself was reflected in you. I lived for you and put you first that I forgot myself, and placed me second.
I was not made for the kitchen but I faked it. All those meals I mentioned I could cook, were all lies. I can cook but only for me, something I alone find appealing. I am not made to be in an apron, bent over a stove, turning a pot, and serving meals with a bend of the knees. I lived that societal opinion that the way to a man’s heart is through his stomach. Why should it be always about your heart? Why won’t society care about my heart too? Is it stones I have in here? Why make me a second class citizens because of not possessing a penis.
Poke shit! That love line ain’t working. I was a lady trying to keep a man. You told me about your love for very fair skin girls. I was light brown skin but not fair enough for you. To get the approval of your love, I went all peroxide. I would go to supermarkets running my eyes through the rows of tubes and oval white containers; the ones that had white models with straight blond hair and hazel eyes. They would have coaxing names that promised you a fair, smooth, white skin like that of a white baby. It would read quick results! No hydroquinone! Whitens in 3 days! I would scan the ingredients written in tiny bold fonts on the product label, peering near sightedly into it; benzoate, benzyl alcohol, aqua, glycerin, stearic acid…….. The ingredients don’t make sense to me. I am only searching for the much talked hydroquinone, which they say is cancerous. I only want to bleach without the presence of the hydroquinone.The results? Ochre feet, yellow face, blonde arms, and brown legs. And how you loved it, much to my chagrin.
If I told you about my grades, you told me how you wanted for it to be perfect, almost flawless. ‘’Graduate with a first class.’’ You said. And I read myself to madness, letting my education come in the way of my learning. I didn’t realize you wanted a trophy girlfriend. Something you could show off,placed on the shelf to be wowed at, without serving one purpose. And you just sat back as an obsessed spectator.
I hated myself but I had to do it, do it for love, do it for you, do it to save my face. Societal woman.
But deep just deep inside of me, I wanted to run wild. Take fields instead of paved lanes. Laugh with hollows. Yell with maddening glee. Do the things I wanted without restrictions and a fear of break up. I loved you and hated myself. I made myself an object, and a subject pushed to be a background.
On the days you shouted at me, I feared to yell back. I fumed inwardly but trembled outwardly. I swallowed all your body shames, slight teases you said, but lined with some iota of seriousness. I watched you shamed my personality. I was the weird playing the normal, afraid to fight back lest you walked away. You were my god and I was your pawn.
You could flirt with some girl but I couldn’t. You were my man and I was your page boy.
But it changed, the game changed the day you called me a tse-tse fly from the south. You yelled at me to walk away and don’t bug your life with my insecurities. I did cry that night on my pillow, muffling the screams with my pillow. I played Adele’s Someone like you. But I never want to find someone like you, because I am still crisscrossing lanes finding me. That love died that night, buried in the grave yard of feelings and with morbid tomb stones of passion.
Well, its been a great walk. I have made missteps and faltered. It is all okay because I have found me and I am never letting me go. I am a queen busy with her kingdom. And this crown I wear will never fall off.
I am now too much of a woman. Loving myself shamelessly and realizing that I was given my life but I needed to create myself. The axiom of my life doesn’t revolve round men. Phenomenal woman.
Do I intimidate you? Do you want to drown my voice and make it faint? You don’t need to because still I rise.
I have walked away, walking on the cross roads to make it to the new streaks of a fresh dawn. I can see it all. Seeing strong women making it to the summit despite obstacles of masculine inclination. The view here is great, because I see now that I come from a line of strong black women.
And after all this, Ain’t I a woman?
The Lady in Glasses.