Published on February 13th, 2013 | by Guest65
The Love Letters: Letter #6
LETTER #5: Old Words, Still True (2/2)
From: Tracy Thomas <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Sent: Wednesday, February 13th, 2013, 7.19pm
To: Bolarinwa Thomas <email@example.com>
Subject: Re: Re: Please help send
Err…this is weird. And will get weirder. It’s been a while since we addressed each other like this, and I’m… I’m a little taken aback by your email.
Why did you open that file? I mean, it would have been easier for you to have just sent it. It would have been easier for all of us, to be quite honest.
Now I have to tell you many thoughts. Thoughts that I have been thinking, thoughts that I have thought…some while lying in his arms. So brace yourself. You asked for it.
I want you to know that I have never slept with Olisa. Yes, there have been a lot of embraces and tender words; there have even been kisses. Passionate kisses too. But I cannot bring myself to be intimate with him. It has been a constant source of frustration to us. We talk, go out a lot, spent a lot of time with his friends and family. They are nice people; they are not rude or unpleasant or anything like that, no. They can see that he loves me. He loves me so much, Bola. He loves my mind. Loves the way I think, look, act…but that does not change anything.
It does not change anything, and I know why.
Do you remember when we were young, when you used to escort me down our street, back when we lived in the flats? You took me so that I would go look for cigarette sticks on the floor. If we were lucky, I found an untouched one. I would kneel down on the hard ground and gently pull it apart, caressing the soft, fine, golden hairs and sniffing the erotic aroma of the tobacco. I would stroke them slowly and you would run off to play football. You never understood why I never came back with them. “You could take them home with you, you know”, you used to say. “We don’t have to look for a new one every day.” I didn’t understand you either. We found them on the floor. How could anyone take what did not belong to them?
I stopped feeling like I belonged to you, Bola. That’s what happened. I remember when we got married. How everything was so surreal and I had to keep looking at you to make sure it was happening. Your smile…you seemed so sure you wanted to marry me. It was amazing. I kept looking around at all the people that had gathered to see us wed. Did they understand? Bolarinwa was marrying me. He was marrying me.
I remember catching Dee’s eyes. She smiled at me. She was probably the only one in there (except for your mum, I suppose) who could understand how undeserving I felt of you. We looked at each other and I wondered if she was thinking what I was thinking. That day back in our hostel room when we were gisting about all the boys in our class, listing all their stupid flaws- Leo is ugly and boring, Samuel has crusty feet- when she said, “Honestly, the only one I can go out with in that class is Bola.” I remember how confused I got. My Bola? Skinny, quiet Bola who only knew how to solve maths and dance Michael Jackson?? I never saw you like that…
She found you first. She saw the gem, when all I could see was the rock. Sometimes I feel guilty, and I look into her eyes, trying to find even the smallest flicker of dislike. But her gaze never wavers. Dee is good. Just like you. She was so good, I had to see what she saw in you.
I was happy when I married you, love. I was very happy. Those vows; corny as they sounded, I meant every word of them. (Yes, yes, you were right, they sound like cartoon words, lol. Cartoon words. Who says that?).
Sigh, Bola… This is shaping up to be one long email. I am trying to shorten it, I am…
All those old people used to say marriage is not easy. I know. I am not an idiot. Even when we fought, all the times you would say ridiculous stuff, I still loved you. Even when you eventually quit your job to start AH and I got promoted at mine, and we had that huge row and stopped seeing each other as frequently and then we basically just became housemates, dropping sticky notes for each other about not coming back that night, I still loved you. It was alright. We could work it out. Even when you would go downstairs and work, and not eat my food for three days but litter the whole place with banana peels and groundnut bottles…
Even when, eventually, you announced that you and her were going to be business partners. She was efficient and she was driven; she was talented in putting the proposals together. How could I say no? I knew what Dee meant to you. She meant a lot to me too, but how could I tell you that throughout our relationship, I have always lived in fear that you would wake up one day and realize that it was her who God set aside for you? I tried to quell it, the doubt, the unease, until one day, still trying to “form nonchalant”, I read a quote in a story on that Naked Convos website -
“We think caged birds sing, when indeed, they cry”.
I couldn’t after that.
Olisa is fine. Or was, LOL. A little incident happened when we went to church last week. It is a church in Ajah, where we thought nobody would know us. Guess who we saw? She was surprised to see us too. Or rather me, with a guy that was obviously not you. We had a chat after service, and she asked after you. I stared at her. She stared back at me. Then she shook her head and started laughing. “What is it?” Olisa had to ask.
She adjusted her bag; moved it from her wrist to her shoulder. And she stared at me again. A bird hooted by. I looked down, and arranged my body to show her that I was listening. Then she spoke, in a low voice, her gaze never wavering from me. “I’m just thinking back to when this small girl was my bunkie. The day she came into the room and just faced me.” She tilted her head to look at me, putting one hand on her waist. “Do you remember?” Then she raised her other hand and imitated my voice- “Do you know that that Bola is not fine? There is nothing even special about him. He just has beautiful eyes, that’s all. Really, really beautiful eyes.”
Olisa was furious.
I felt like I had been slapped.
I understood what she was telling me.
She was reminding me of my vows.
She was telling me that I belonged to you.
Bola. I never stopped loving you. I thought I was setting you free but I didn’t understand. Our vows are sacred. You married me. You love me; only me, and I love you. Why did we ever stop trying?
Lol, I am tired of Tinu too. (That’s my lawyer’s name, btw) Basically, all I’m saying is…we don’t really have to see her again, if you don’t want to.
Sigh. This feels like a huge, huge relief.
This time, I’m asking. Will you marry me?
I am willing to try again, if you are.
I love you Bola.
I always have.
Please say yes.
With love and trembling hopes,