Broken pieces and a contrite heart

There’s a moment in each person’s life when you let someone down – the last person in the world you want to let down. That one person. If you haven’t already let them down, I truly hope you never do. It is one of the most heart-breaking experiences in life. I would know… I just did.

Nana and I have been great friends for… practically our whole lives, and best friends for the most part of our adult lives. We’ve been more honest with each other than we have ever been with anyone else. He doesn’t know this, but he taught me to say “I love you” to a friend and mean it.

And I hurt him.

A lot.

And I am so sorry.

I didn’t mean to. But then again, who ever plans on hurting the ones they love?

But then again, who ever plans on hurting the ones they love?

I hurt me and then I hurt us. I can easily deal with hurting myself. Pain and I have a longstanding committed relationship. But I can’t tell you that. I never wanted you to know how broken I was. You were the only one who saw me whole and flawless and I’d have rather died than shown you the jagged pieces.

How was I to know that those same pieces would stick out and

I… I was wrong. I was scared. I thought if you found out how truly damaged I was, you would

I was wrong. I was scared. I thought if you found out how truly damaged I was, you would never look at me the same way again. That I’d lose the respect, love and adoration I’d found in you.

I should have trusted in you. In us.

Today, all my fears, I saw them come alive when you looked at me.

Sorry does not cut it. I know.

But right now, all I have to offer, is an apology and a broken heart. And I don’t even have the right to ask you to accept it.

And I don’t even have the right to ask you to accept it.

I am sorry, Nana. Truly.

One Star

I fell in love the way you fall asleep; slowly, then all at once.
– Hazel Grace Lancaster (The Fault in Our Stars)

I wanted that.
What she had.
The love that happens to you against your will.
The blind faith in another flawed being against your will
Because no other option makes sense to you anymore.
And even if it did make sense, it wouldn’t feel right to not pursue it.

I wanted that.
What she had.
The love that creeps up on you.
And despite scaring the life out of you, it feels… safe.
Like the first breath after almost drowning.
Life-giving.

I wanted that.
What she had.
The love that makes you laugh till your tummy hurts but also makes you feel all warm inside.
Like your best-friend and your crush merged into one person and
They are so hopelessly in love with you,
You wish you could see through their eyes so you could love you like they do too.

I wanted that.
What she had.
That written in the stars kinda love.

Instead, I got mine.
The beauty in the pain kinda love.
The one that hurts for thirty days and feels almost alright on the thirty-first day.
The ride or die without the ride part kinda love.

I did not want that.
But it’s what I had anyway.

– Nyameba

Happy New Year

When the clock struck twelve this morning, I was in an Uber, going up the dusty road that leads to my workplace. (I’m an engineer by day, an editor by night and a writer/waitress/manager/consultant/anything-that-pops-up in between.) I kept staring at the time willing it to slow down just long enough for me to arrive there. If I wasn’t going to be at church (or partying, or sleeping, or just relaxing), I could at least be with other familiar faces who weren’t already in the car, that is my brother, two new-found cousins, and of course, the Uber driver. Sadly, time doesn’t bend to my will. 

So there I was, in the passenger seat, watching a woman in a white dress trying so hard to get into a taxi. She looked tired but somewhat determined. In that moment, I couldn’t help but wonder if she, like me, was trying to get somewhere before midnight. I’m sure. What other reason could there be with only a few seconds to midnight. But she, like myself, already knew we had lost against time.

What a way to start the new year, and the new decade? With crushed hopes.

Life.

I did get to my destination and sold drinks for the next two and half hours. it was just another night. I was just doing my job. Nobody cared where I was when the clock struck midnight, or who I was with. Nobody cared if I just wanted to go home and snuggle with my pillow and blankets. Nobody cared if I hadn’t had any time to myself in weeks and it is slowly wearing me out. Nobody cared. What they did care about was their orders. Everyone cared that I had their orders right, and smiled. They cared if I didn’t serve them fast enough. They cared if I had ran out of whatever they were asking for. People cared.

The Irony.

I am not about to throw myself a pity party. I don’t have the energy to go through with it even if I wanted to.

I am glad that no matter where I was when the clock stuck twelve, I wasn’t alone.  I was with family and a decent stranger, which is a lot more than I had last year anyway. I’m glad that I had a place to go to after all was said and done, to a home full of love in spite of everything we have been through. I’m glad that I didn’t almost die on my way home when the driver fell asleep behind the wheel a couple of times.

I am thankful for a whole lot of things. I could write a post about finding love or losing love… or both. I could go on a rant about family and my support system and how they have all been there when I needed it most. I am truly thankful for all my experiences thus far – the good, the bad, the ugly… and the ones my brain has erased from memory altogether.

So Happy New Year, lovely person reading this! 🙂

Regardless of how your year started, I believe that the rest is really up to you. We have a little over three hundred days, I’m sure we can make it count!

With everything that’s going on lately, I don’t know what this year has in store for me, to be honest, but I’m looking forward to it. Are you?

why?

–  Nyameba

Antoinette

She is a phenomenal woman

She is a dancer

She dances with all she is, all she feels, who she is

She holds nothing back

She forgets who she is, where she is, what she is

She is expressive

She doesn’t think about who is watching

She doesn’t think about how others see her

She is impressive

She is magnificent

She is full of passion

She is carefree

She is careless

She is emotional

She is guarded

She is a exciting

She is fun

She is loud

She is silent

She is rude

She is polite

She is thoughtful

She is flexible

She is a vibe

She is a dancer

She is a lover

She is an intellectual

She is my sister

Please, Don’t.

A woman can wear whatever she wants and should be able to wear anything she wants, revealing or otherwise, without being harassed.

But that isn’t what happens.
For years, and years, anytime a lady is harassed outside, there’s always someone commenting about how she should have known better. There’s always someone there to point out the fact that it was late, or that her dress was too short or showed too much of her body, or that she shouldn’t have used the shortcut where there were no witnesses or that she should have worn a jacket or perhaps she should not have walked too confidently or talked back… etc. There’s always something the woman did or should not have done. Always.

While pointing this out, I must also point out the fact that lately, for every person who passes a comment of this sort, there’s always someone else (man/woman) who responds by saying that the harassment was not the woman’s fault. Which is the truth. And it warms my heart to see this because it shows that change is here.

It is never anyone’s fault for being abused, or harassed or bullied. Regardless of the gender. And please do not pass some snide comment about men being too strong to be harassed or how men actually enjoy it and so it doesn’t count. It does count. And no, they do not enjoy it. As a matter of fact, nobody enjoys being molested. Way too many people have been hurt by a lot of things we turn a blind eye to because we tell ourselves it is all we’ve ever known. Please, be enlightened.

A lady was sexually harassed today. A random guy touched her butt. At least ten guys saw it, but only her boyfriend stood up for her. Fought for her. And only his bestfriend had his back. Her sister was trying to prevent anyone from getting hurt. She could only do so much. Really. The lady ended up joining her boyfriend in the fight, and got hurt. Someone recorded the whole thing.

I wonder, if everyone had shamed the man for groping the lady, would there have been a fight? If everyone had stopped thinking about themselves for a split second and instinctively hooted at or shunned him, would he have had the nerve to cause a fight or felt justified in doing what he did? And more importantly, would the embarrassment have been sufficient grounds to make him reconsider groping another female in the future?

There was a party recently. A video was uploaded. Everyone was dancing, drinking, laughing, and just having a great time. At the party there was this guy who was sipping on his drink and minding his business. Out of nowhere came this girl who started dancing and twerking all over him. After a moment of shock, he quietly moved away. He wasn’t interested. Miss Dancer, however, did not take the hint and followed him to wherever he moved to. Each time making sure to vigorously twerk on him. This man was being sexually harassed and no matter how much he tried to make a dignified escape, the young lady was bent on preventing that. It was mortifying to watch.

Under the video, there were numerous comments pointing out the blatant assault on the man. Yes, it’s a party. Yes, people dance with strangers and they all have a great time. But the moment someone shows disinterest, you have to respect their wishes. It is that simple. There were people who claimed that perhaps she was embarrassed when he first walked away so she decided to continue as a joke. A joke? With all due respect to Miss Dancer and her supporters, jokes of that kind are not appreciated. At all. Since when did embarrassment become a reason to incessantly harass someone? There were people who said he should have been more violent about his disinterest. Perhaps she might have received the message then. Really? Is this how it’s going to be? Is violence the only solution? Isn’t it possible to simply respect one’s wishes in spite of our desires? Can’t we do that?

It takes just a moment of our time to stand up for someone, whomever they are. It may not change what happened, but it just might change what will happen, while letting the victim know that they are not alone, and that what happened to them is neither okay nor their fault. And, it starts the healing process too. It takes just one person to effect change in their circle of friends. It may not happen to overnight. But I am willing to believe that it can happen if we each make a conscious effort to call people out when they err instead of hoping that if we ignore it long enough, it will go away.

Don’t you agree?

31.10.2019

I lost an aunt today.

I’ve always thought of losing a loved one as something that happened to other people. I don’t mean to sound cruel or anything, I just never quite experienced it first-hand. I lost a grandfather when I was in junior high school. We were never close so I really didn’t feel the loss. I lost another a couple of years ago. I’d never met him, but I spoke to him once. He called on my mother’s phone and I picked up. He said he was my grandfather. I was like “Cool.” No biggie. I lost another grandfather recently. I think it’s been a year now… or close. He was such a witty, kindhearted fellow. I don’t particularly miss him, but he was a great man.

I lost an uncle last month. He wasn’t really an uncle, but in Ghana, a lot of older people are called uncles and aunties, especially if they are family friends. It’s polite. We were much closer about a decade ago when he was trying to marry my auntie. He would take us out (my little siblings and I), for ice-cream and pizza. We would get chocolate too. He was a police officer so he would disarm his gun and let us hold it sometimes. He was cool. But we haven’t spoken in years. I can’t even remember the last time I heard from him. Of all the people who would feel his absence, I am probably on the bottom of that list.

A friend lost her dad two summers ago. I was heartbroken. I’d never met her father. But I loved her. I love her. She has a big heart and a fiery spirit. We don’t talk so often, but she means a great deal to me. And for her to lose someone so dear… It just broke my heart. At the funeral, she talked about how cool her dad was, and I realized, regardless of how strong she is, or how formidable her family is, their lives would never be the same again. To lose a parent, especially when you have a special bond with them that goes beyond their giving birth to you, is a big deal. I would know. I lost a father this year. Not to death, though at this point I could care less. But to a lot of wickedness and cruelty. So he’s lost to me (and my family).

I have lost quite a number of people in my short life. Some I’d only remember one day when I am telling stories about them and then remember that they are not with us anymore.

I lost an aunt today. She’s family. We are not bound by blood, but she’s been there since day one. As we grew older, our families hang out less often because we live and work on opposite sides of town. But love doesn’t care about time and distance and all its nuances. As it should be.

Losing a loved one is not something that happens to an unnamed, nondescript group of people whose feelings, in no way, directly affect mine. It’s not something that happens in a vague unforeseeable future when you are ready to deal with it like a “grown-up”. It’s something that happens to all of us. It might happen when you least expect it. Or even if you are prepared for it. And it hurts. It really, really, hurts.

Today, I lost an aunt. Her children lost a mother. Her husband lost his wife. Her family and friends lost a loved one. My mother lost one of her oldest and best friends. Our lives would never be the same.

Today is my mother’s birthday.