She was the one who taught me to laugh and the one who discovered that my laughter betrayed longing.
She said my smile was the blossoming of a tulip, my complexion the radiant black of the night, my eyes a harbor light guiding sailors lost at sea.
After she left me, I was hospitalized.
They told me that I was going mad. They said I was shouting her name countless times, laughing, and mocking the winds that whispered her last words to me:
“Aminu, you made me live long enough. I would have died long ago.”
Why won’t I go mad?
I was like a madman before I met her. She gave me my senses.
And Another Fragment
I laughed uncontrollably, but these tears trickling down my eyes in the moment of my laughter, mocked me, whipped my existence, crushed my bones like grasses beneath a tractor.
“You laugh and cry at the same time.” The orderly sympathized with me.
“Yes. Because I see her smiling face and hear her last words at the same time.”
A Rear Fragment
Today, I tried not to think about how her smiling face used to ignite the muse in me to write secret love letters. But not until when her parents came to the hospital to condole with me. One glance at her mother and a cold memory came crashing on me like the tsunami. A lone tear trickled down my cheek and stained my heart.
I started crying and shouting her name again.
A Small Fragment
“How much do you love me?” She once asked me.
I stared at her admiringly, my gaze lost in hers. I pushed my arm around her shoulders, letting her head rest in the hollow between my chin and shoulder, “I love you! The weight of this love surpasses the word MUCH. That is everything I know. I don’t know how much I love you. I love you.”
She laughed. Her hopeful glow engulfed me, shimmering. My heart was everything but sad.
“How much do you love me?” These words came out from my mouth honeyed all over.
“I love you…I love you so much I will give everything only to live with you.”
Our eyes met. The bond of love tightened us with a smile.
When you escaped Sambisa, you told me you were just like a tiny fragment floating in a vast river. Life was so cruel that you considered suicide. And when you were diagnosed with HPV, the urge to commit suicide increased.
When you met me, everything changed. You told me you began to appreciate life again and forget about their threat not knowing they were still looking for a way to get you.
One shot in your brain confirmed your departure from this world. They took you away from me. They didn’t take away your life alone. They also took mine.
And when you died in my hands after I begged you not to leave me, you told me you would have died long ago. You said I gave you so much to hope for in life. You thanked me and drew your last breath. I stared at your lifeless body and I went mad.
A Painful Fragment
I remembered the dream I had yesterday. We were walking side by side on the seashore, holding hands, clinging to each other. I felt the light of your love defy the great studded distance between the heaven and earth and fill it…when I decided to kiss you.
Today, I came back home, the fragments of my life washed over me, nurturing my loneliness. The sky cleared and darkened again. The facades of buildings whitened and then blackened again. And the asphalt hardened and then softened again. But my loneliness never passed away.
These words came frequently now to haunt me in my dreams. I was no longer afraid of reading them. These words; pitch dark, red, like the blood coagulating on the chest of a slaughtered bird, inscribed on every corner of my walls, on the stars and the horizon. These words, “You will love again.”
Post image is by Guyanese artist and filmmaker Kwesi Abbensett. Check out more of his work HERE.
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