(To my Faith, Hope, Magic and a whole lotta Pixie dust)
December 9th this year you’d be turning that big ‘ol number. Probably with two or three minions but God settled for just this one. With such a number not defining you so much but being a major milestone in your life, she’d have had Biko Zulu interview you in his forties series. You would have aired your laundry out in the open- about your party days in your twenties, that dead beat that never showed up while you were in the hospital pushing five kilos out of you, how you were the family’s black sheep. Also, you would have lamented that maybe your little girl was following your footsteps in choosing poorly. You’d then go ahead and line up all her exes and being the so-not-psychie that you are, deduce what mental illness she has. Then chuckle and say, ‘I raised that one just right though.’
She would probably be chasing boys away from you, who should clearly be chasing after her. I mean, woman you was one fine hunnie! Only the hair eluded us but we got the color and the curves, no? Yes.
At forty five, maybe you would become a missus again. This time more legitimately. And she would have probably sat you down and given you the sex talk, pep talk and the “Good Christian Wife talk” too. She would send a text to the new man in the house, affirm her position as an ex-con with a rap sheet longer than Mugabe’s transcripts. And he has seven of those. Her happiness would be her number one priority.
On December 9th, you’ll be turning that big ‘ol number, just not with her. But in her heart and thoughts and maybe a couple of words here, there. Everywhere and a bouquet of black roses.
At such a tender age you breathed your last. At such a young age she suddenly had no one to call her own. At thirty, you were gone.
Before nine thirty, before she changed into her pajamas and prayed to a God she fervently believed in-sorta still believe in- before she even made her wish, to always be good and top her class, to help around the house and stop climbing trees, before she said she was sorry and didn’t mean the words that she said to you last summer, before she wrote you that letter that said ‘I love you’, before she got the chance to be your baby girl, she had to be all grown and tell her teenage cousins that their aunty was no more.
Before she hits thirty though, she hopes to make it right again. Somehow.
Soon she will be twenty-three years. But let’s focus on this twenty two. You had her when you was twenty-two. She got pretty scared of her twenty-two and so set up a firewall so high and so damn thick, the fires of hell couldn’t begin to thaw the icy fortress that had aged over the several thousand year old iron ore that housed her soul. A spirit so bright and so fierce that demands to be let out, but she so darn scared of the two legged creatures with pouches between their legs and voices so deep, so conniving, so convincing and in the same breath of fear she despises these said creatures and all so perfectly hides it behind a veil of feminism and a face so bright.
Before twenty-two she was dewy-eyed and so impressionable, so optimistic and saw the good in everything. Before twenty-two, she felt you in every beat of her heart. She was fine before it dawned on her, how alike she is to you. At twenty-two, she became a maniac and destroyed every good thing that came her way. She made it her life’s mission to do everything right for her that somehow went wrong for you.
At twenty-two, she suddenly feels so alone and scared like that little girl.
Almost twenty-three and she wishes she could see you one last time.
So many years in between but still hurts like yesterday. Enough number of years for minion number two. Fifteen years on and still can’t let go.
She is scared because as the wheel turns on the calendar of her life, increasing this time frame, she loses another memory of her beloved. Everything now seems like it never happened. Never existed. Blur.
At fifteen, she has to keep looking at a photograph to engrave your contours in her brain.
It has been a long, long time and everyone seems to think that she has gotten over it. Grown up, accepted it and moved on. The wound may not be open but the scab still itches a little and the one of the heart and mind they cannot see, that one bleeds out every night before four am. They chose to ignore that she was just a child and had every right to bleed openly. Instead, they praised and adorned her with compliments of bravery and strength that she didn’t need.
Fifteen years later, she still needs her mummy.
Three months after her birthday, her heart broke into a thousand pieces scattered across the expanse of the sky. The stars she yearns to reach out for night after night are the pieces that once used to be within her chest cavity.
When her whole world came crumbling down, nobody in the room heard the screams and cries for help, the whoosh! As air got rudely knocked out of her, the creaks and breaks and thuds from the crashing house of cards. Nobody noticed the numbness of her face, the storm in her brain. No one saw the tears fill her eyes and life seep out slowly from her- even though they looked, stared at her, they could not see that she wasn’t there no more.
Eight years old and God figured He needed her more than she did. Eight years old and He hurt her so much. But that’s okay ‘cuz only her words bleed inside these pages.