Things We Never Say
Intro by Michael Ngigi
When I first saw Ahenda Anjichi‘s work I was stoned, thanks to my good friend Liz Lenjo. I have followed her posts ever since. I hope that one day, she will write something long. A book. Maybe a memoir. A diary… Initially, I didn’t expect her to agree when I suggested the idea of writing an article together. Why would she agree to work with someone she’d never met? As we spoke on chat about the project, I couldn’t help noticing how intelligent and creative Ahenda is. I have to admit, I fall shy of her skill. This article seeks to portray the feelings that words cannot say lest they hurt the spirit.
By Ahenda Anjichi & Michael Ngigi
I smoke the herb when my mind is on the run. I few long drags and my mind is suddenly light. It makes me forget that I am the worst liar in the whole world. I feel like a missing person. It is strange that I feel it is where I should be. I don’t think you know anything about this, or the fact that I am about to break up with you. I can’t help asking myself where I lost everything. Where did I lose you? Where did you let me go? I am about to pour these last five years down the drain. I need to get everything out of my chest. I need another story. I am man broken down, not by what I did or what I didn’t do. I am angry, afraid, selfish and selfless. Selfish because if I wait for the end to come, I might not survive it. Selfless because I made you a promise. Baby, remember when I told you I would do anything to make you happy? I meant it. If leaving you will put a smile on your face someday, then leave you I will.
There’s nothing left for me here.
Last night on my way home I stopped at Lazzaro‘s to buy you roses. I couldn’t find the strength to hand them to you so I threw them in the dustbin. I realized couldn’t look you in the eye to surprise you when you opened the door. I couldn’t stand your sad eyes beneath your beautiful pretending face. I feel like I have lost all I ever had. You’ve always wanted me to believe you’re happy. Great. That makes two of us.
Lately, I can’t help revisiting the great moments we shared when our love was new. All the mornings you tirelessly taught me how to tie my tie. I learn slow but you gave me time. I made mistakes and got hurt in the process. Still, you were ever near. The days we’d chase each other across the covers while we played a game with no name or rules. I ruled your mind. And you, mine. I knew how to make you happy. Boiled eggs, alcohol and garlic could not stop me from the sweet taste of your lips. Lazy days were our best. Lying still in each other’s arms silent but saying everything in the way we stared at each other’s eyes. Our album. I am surprised how unfamiliar the people in the pictures are. I hate these pictures. They remind me that I had you for a minute and the next you were gone. Only this time, you didn’t pack your bags and leave. You left your body with me as your heart wondered off. I am trying hard, but I can’t reach you. Sad eyes. You want to cry. You want to tell me but you can’t. I haven’t done anything wrong. It’s eating you from inside.
I’m smiling. We had great sex in ‘our time’. That I had to fight you down and conquer you made me feel it was what I was born to do. The earthquake that always shook our landing still fascinates me. The peace of collapse and surrender that followed as we lay twining our up-stretched hands. Stretching imaginary skies and plucking at non-existent stars. Me and you Ahenda. I hate that the smell of your skin still lingers on my nostrils. Flowers. Now you cry every time we make love. I can tell the sad darkness you’re going through when you whisper in my ear that you love me. I can’t do it anymore. You speak without saying a word. You’re out of love. The fire dies down and all that remains are the weak coals that gasp for more more wood.
The world is vast, dark and lonely. I wait. For you to send me those naughty texts. For a time you will tell you that you have time for a chat. For that time when you will have time. For that time you will stay up late waiting for my call. For that time I will make you smile just how your best friend Fiona does. For that time you will talk about our future plans. Our ‘house on the hill’ doesn’t fascinate you anymore. When was the last time you asked me how I was doing? I know it’s not that you don’t care. You just don’t want to lie to me. You are a wonderful soul. I guess it’s why you don’t want to tell me the truth and hurt me. More tears from your big eyes. You hate yourself for what you’re feeling. You hate that you’d want to love me but can’t. You don’t know why.
I am going to save you. Save myself. Save us. Save what we’ve built so far. The memories. The moments tatooed on our minds. I choose to leave. I can’t make you happy. You know I have tried. Let the blood be on my head. Just let go so I walk the plank alone. I will be fine. Fine because I have kept my promise. To do anything that will make you happy. Life lies full beneath your feet. You will find what you’re looking for. Keep the ring and I will keep the pictures.
You look at me different these days, you have that look in your eye like a deer caught in full headlights awaiting certain death, standing rooted to the spot and frozen in fear.
You’re afraid of me; my heart, my soul, my body and my mind.
Even your kisses have become strangers to my lips, I do not blame you. You must know. You must have figured it out. You must see that the flame we had is dying, the embers in our hearts simply fizzling, leaving us the ashes of our dead union.
When I met you, when we first met, my insides used to itch to hold you in conversation, to hear you laughing-you have this laugh my dear, so deep and hearty and soulful and the sound of it made my world sparkle. You don’t do it as much anymore-laugh that is, you half-smile at me in the evening when I’m in the kitchen, trying to remember how you liked the spices mixed up in your meals…I had a special recipe that awakened your inner demons and you used to have me on the kitchen counter, tightly gripping your back, head thrown back in absolute ecstasy and so out of breath. My knees used to shake and I would bite my lower lip in anticipation by just how you said my name…now, you sound like Mark, the photocopy guy at the ground level shop at our office building. It’s quite baffling.
What happened to us?
Looking at you now, it’s like I’ve been a stranger these five years…do you still like sleeping on the left side of the bed, love? (I can hardly feel your breathing late at night, I find myself laying on the edge, as if running away from that ugly awkward tension that has moved in with our relationship and isn’t paying the rent.)
I need those days back: when you held me so close I could feel you thinking, when I could tell what words your lips are forming before you spoke, when I knew what shirt you wanted to wear and the tie I’d help you fix…(oh, boy! Did it take you a while to learn!!), when you would know when my days are bad and you would kiss my worries away….memories now.
What happened to me being able to float through my misery? Being able to wear the smile you so loved without you knowing that I’m straining to keep it alive? What happened to me being able to mesh into your arms without flinching? What happened to you being the best thing in my universe? What happened to me wanting to rush home to you? What happened to the son we were to have?
Babe, those roses in the trash, I saw them. Poor little lifeless creatures shriveled up and left neglected, cold and alone. So without color…I laughed-they must have reminded me of us. I’m not happy at this thought; it’s just the irony in it all. You thought they were better off in the trash than in my hands; do I now possess the ability to wound a thorned flower?
This is not your doing. It’s mine. You stayed here loving me but I left without much of a goodbye. You cannot imagine how desperate I am to love you-I did once, I really did.
It was the way you paid attention to me, the little things you did, your smile,your laugh,the way your shoulders sag when you’re tired, the way your finger bends when it’s pointing, the silly faces you’d make watching football, the way you drank a glass of water, how you put on your shoes, the crease above your forehead when you’re being serious, how you would tickle me and kiss my neck at the same time…how rude of me to take these things and forget what they feel like.
I’m just numb. You move me no more.
This is not your doing-it’s all mine.
You have given me a chance at real love; you HAD given me a chance at real love…so here i am now, tears flowing onto this letter you wrote and this ring barely shinning in this dark room…still in its box, left by this damn letter. I chased you off before you even got down on one knee.
Isn’t this every woman’s dream I was living, with you?
I can almost hear your pained voice, gentle and sweet, speaking these words.
Michael. You loved me.
This is not your doing-it’s all mine.
I doubt that she can love me as well as you do. All she can do is be the secret fuel to my fire and the forever silenced voice of my longing.
Mikey…just so that you know, my soul remains with you. I’ll stay here, caught between my heart and mind-wanting it to be good knowing it’s not.
I’m really sorry Michael.
Outro by Ahenda Anjichi
I can’t deny-I jumped at the opportunity to write this, I love writing, but more so because someone as gifted and expressive as Michael thinks I’m good at it. It’s a huge, huge compliment! I’m short of doing a “yippee” dance on my office desk; it’s a refreshing chance to try something new aside from my usual prose/poetry.
Michael, many thanks for the shout. This was so much fun to do. (And Liz Lenjo for being the lovely bridge to this point!) .
This entry was posted on March 2, 2011 by Michael Ngigi. It was filed under Guest Writer, Love & Sex and was tagged with Arts, Babe, Death, Eye, Games, God, Hatred, Mind, Online Writing, Relationships, Roleplaying, Say Anything..., Sexual intercourse, United States.