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Fucking Ex

Even the caged bird sings.

I go over that line again and again, keeping my mind as preoccupied as my hands are, with buttoning my shirt slowly. I don’t want my mind to be idle – because then it’ll become filled with thoughts of you.

Thoughts I know are not good for me. Not right now.

It takes about – I don’t know; some seconds sha for me to realize all the buttons on my shirt are done – my fingers are just fiddling. I also realize they would be twitching like a drug addict’s the moment they have nothing to do, so I shove them in my jean pockets.

And then I turn towards the room, taking in the walls as I have many times on similar nights – knowing there’s nothing new to see but finding it easier to look at them than at you.

And I know you know what I’m thinking – because I feel your eyes bore in my back; I feel the smile lingering on your lips. I see every little detail – right up to your brown thighs uncovered by the shirt with just a button done. My sleep shirt; you call it.

I still don’t look at you.

No. It’s the green grassy veldt outside your bedroom window that has my attention. It’s the view that makes me think of you; the view that reminds me constantly why whenever it gets a little chaotic in my world you’re the one person I seek out.

You’re my peace. My calm. You make me so happy.

So why is it so hard to look at you?

Look at me; I hear you whisper.

My feet drag as I turn – and then the slow flows from my feet to my throat as my eyes arrive and loose themselves in your tangled tresses. I keep the eyes on your hair – your face in general; determined not to look at the light-colored strip of flesh so proudly displayed.

I suck in a shuddering breath. It’s not that easy.

I know you have to go; I don’t need apologies or explanations. It’s okay.

I hear what you’re saying – I just don’t agree. It’s not okay. I swore the last time and the time before that it was going to be the last time. But like a goat with his heart stuck on eating the neighbor’s grass…

…I keep coming back.

And I know it’s selfish of me. I know this – whatever this is – is one-sided. I know it’s about me and my needs – or maybe we should just be honest and call it what it is – my lust; I know this isn’t what you want or even need –

I need this too, you say as though you can hear me think.

I stand beside the window and watch the evening sun bathe you in red; highlighting the black in your hair in some kind of way I don’t exactly understand. I’m not a poet; I don’t know how to put words together in a flowery and sensible manner – but I look at you and realize; God really took His time putting you together.

I know it’s a cliché – but it’s truly true.

You uncurl your legs – legs that seem to go on for days – and stand, rocking softly with the springs of the bed. Bouncing, you make your way to the edge of it and reach towards me with your arms. Smiling and shaking my head, I walk towards you – but I’m barely there before you bounce up once – and then jump off the bed towards me.

Okay. I wasn’t expecting that – but I stay unruffled as I take a huge step and catch your arms. Like the dancer you are, you land lightly – even though most of your weight is on my shoulders. You laugh in my face, brushing the hair out of it before leaning it against mine. We kiss softly – the kisses of comfortable lovers who do not have anything to prove to each other – lovers who have drunk from the water dispenser of love-making and are sated.

For the moment.

The light dances in your eyes as you lean your forehead against mine – and to my chagrin it occurs to me that this is not about me after all; I dare to imagine that you’re actually happy.

That surprises me. You; surprise me.

I’m about to speak – I’m about to go through the motions; say those things comfortable lovers say to each other – things that really mean nothing when they go under the microscope – but we say them anyway.

I’m about to mumble a bunch of sweet-nothings – but your finger silences me. Don’ t apologize; you whisper. Don’t tell me how you wish you hadn’t come back to me with your wahala. This; you are the most happy I have been in a while – and while I wish you were still mine; I’m grateful to have this much.

I inhale through the thickness in my throat. I love you, I say simply.

You smile softly, shaking your head. You don’t have to say that; you remind me.

I love you, I insist. You do not say anything; choosing rather to keep looking at me with those puppy-love eyes. I step backwards, away from you – before turning and heading towards the door. Opening it, I step through and close it behind me – and then lean against it like they do in all those romantic movies.

It overwhelms me – this much feeling. I get to feeling like I’m a character playing out a movie – like all this is beyond my control. Like I’m just fulfilling someone else’s fantasies for me.

But I know I am responsible for my life. I am the liar, the cheat, the impatient lover too much in a hurry for – I don’t even know what it was I was hurrying after – the sucker who all but threw away the best thing ever.

I wonder why you allow me back – even though we both know I’m just around for the sex.

Or maybe that’s another lie I’ve become comfortable with.

It doesn’t really matter. I get my feet under me and push away from the wall, heading to my house – to another woman I call wife; another woman I love.

In the same way, yet very much differently.

Sigh. Such is life.

Or maybe I’m just full of shit.

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7 responses

  1. Gosh! you are incredibly talented! You understand human emotions so well! I live them through your words; reluctantly but still, in the end i am sated!

    June 30, 2015 at 8:01 am

  2. I think it’s more than sex… sex alone doesn’t determine attachment to people…
    Maybe he ran from the ex cos he was afraid of the intensity of the attraction and the fear of losing himself, and needing her too much…not wanting to give her that much power…so he settled for someone who doesn’t scare him that much…
    But then, when you find something that good, you cannot let go…

    This is an amazing story sir! I doff my hat

    July 4, 2015 at 9:02 pm

  3. Pingback: Fucking Ex | prison-within: A tribute to Ify Omalicha and Adenike Goriola...may your memories breathe on.

  4. Hellena Ajani

    I am starting to understand that I should stop jumping to conclusion before reaching the end to your stories because they’re never what I anticipate it to be.
    You’ve got yourself another fan.

    On another note, this guy is hella shady; and I hope the overwhelming feeling he’s experiencing is in form of guilt and not ‘love’ because his actions has pretty much broken his allegiance to his wife so maybe I agree with him on one thing – he is full of shit!

    July 30, 2015 at 2:46 pm

    • Hehehe! Aren’t we all though?

      Thank you!

      July 30, 2015 at 5:14 pm

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