Dear Ladies,

Here’s to all the girls who used to be his number one. The ones who waited all night for him to call, only to check the caller ID the next morning and be disappointed. The ones who made it through that bitter break up, dried their own tears, and moved on with their lives, only to have him walk back in months later like nothing ever happened. Those of you who cried on the first day you talked again because you knew exactly where this phone call was going. The ones who listened to him say, “I only want to be your friend,”one day, and the next, listened to him say how much he loved and missed you.

We deserve something, and this is our tribute.

Here’s to the ones that took him back, hoping that maybe this time, he was different, hoping that maybe people really do change. We listened to our friends tell us that we were stupid for even thinking about giving him another chance, caught crap from our parents, and even snuck around to see him for a while. We went through the great stage with no fights all over again. We started this out thinking we would be just friends, and ended up falling in love with him again. We wanted nothing more in the world than to hear him tell us he loved us too, that even though things were bad in the past, they would be different this time. And when we finally heard it, it was like we were dreaming.

This tribute is for us.

Here’s to the ones who believed what he said, sat around all over again waiting for a phone call that might come in a few hours, or a few days. This is for the tears cried and dried all over again. We wanted so desperately to believe that he was really busy, he couldn’t possibly call us at that moment, or even that he fell asleep early. We trained ourselves to believe the lies because we wanted to believe we had found the one for us. We learned to settle for someone who didn’t treat us the way we should be treated.  This is for the ones who did their hair and make-up and put on their prettiest earrings, only to hear him say that he couldn’t see us today. The ones who never believed it when people told us there might be someone else. We just couldn’t believe that he could do this to us again.

This is for those great girls who loved him more than words can say, and took him back no matter what happened last time because they couldn’t bear to look back on their lives one day and wonder “what if.” This is for the girls that stayed up all night long listening to him whine about an ex girlfriend who cheated on him, and cried during the entire conversation. The ones who hoped he would realize that he deserved better, that he deserved us. When he said that he loved you, but he was in love with her, he didn’t mean it. This is for the ones that held on to something that was never there to begin with.

This is for us girls, who somehow managed to get him to forget about her, and get him to tell us that he was in love with us again, only to have him tell us three weeks later that “things were going too fast, he needs time.”

Here’s to the girls who couldn’t cry to their friends because of how stupid they felt. The ones who held it all in when things came crumbling to pieces again. This is for the ones who couldn’t bear to even tell their mom what was going on, for fear of an “I told you so.” The ones that could just tell that they had made a mistake for ever allowing him into their hearts and their dreams again. We knew that we deserved better the entire time. That we deserved a guy who would call when he said he was going to, one that would come see us whenever he got the chance, one that would really care about us. We just wanted the one that we loved like that.

This is for the ones that finally realized that he never gave a crap about them and for those days spent trying to hold back the tears, and the tears that turned into anger, then disappointment.

Here’s to us girls who finally realized that we deserved better. This is for those confusing days when you miss him and want nothing more than to hear his voice, or feel his arms around your waist. Stay strong and remember that relationships are like broken glasses; sometimes it’s better to leave it alone rather than try to put the pieces back together and get hurt.

Remember the times you cried and how long it took you to even be able to look at another guy like that. When ‘your song’ comes on the radio, change the station.


When he tries coming to your house, don’t answer the door.

Think of the broken promises, and the lies, the manipulation and the tears, the wasted moments and staying up all night wondering where the heck he was.

Think of how your heart used to jump when your phone would vibrate in the middle of the night and how it fell to your stomach when you saw it wasn’t him, and realized that once again, he hadn’t called when he said he was going to.

One day, you’ll find a guy who’s worth all the tears, but he won’t make you cry. You may think that you’ll never care about someone like you did the guy that you always ran back to, but you will.

It’s going to hurt like crap, and it’s going to need time to heal, but the point is, it will heal.

This is for those girls who fell back in love with their ex, only to get hurt all over again.



Post image by Siris via Flickr

About the Author:

Portrait - KarueSheila was born and bred in Nanyuki, located at the slopes of the magnificent Mt. Kenya. She has a background in Physical Planning and has been working in the sector of promoting sustainable development across the African region. Sheila is passionate about the environment and efficient use of resources. She is currently involved in the promotion of innovative business models to promote resource efficiency. Her favorite work out is running especially in the beautiful Karura Forest in Nairobi. She also enjoys mountain climbing and traveling. In her spare time, Sheila volunteers at the Children’s Cancer Ward in the Kenyatta National Referral hospital.


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I'm finishing up a phd at Duke University where I study African novels, which I believe are some of the loveliest things ever written. Brittle Paper is the virtual space/station where I play and experiment with ideas on how to reinvent African fiction and literary culture.

2 Responses to “Case of the Ex… | by Kafoi Karue | A Heartbreak Manifesto” Subscribe

  1. Patrick Irungu 2016/06/15 at 7:35 am #

    Great piece!

  2. chika 2016/06/15 at 1:26 pm #

    Made me cry. I know that feeling…

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I hold a doctorate in English from Duke University and recently joined the Marquette University English faculty as an Assistant Professor. I love teaching African fiction and contemporary British novels. Brittle Paper is the virtual space/station where I play and experiment with ideas on how to reinvent African fiction and literary culture.

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