Well, guess what???
|Photo by Sybil|
|Vehicle Assembly Building or VAB|
|US Astronaut Hall of Fame|
"The secret smiles, the awkward silences, the sideways glances; those days are gone - I get that. And you know what? I’m cool with it. But let me set a couple of things straight. First off, I don’t know why I loved you. All I know is that I did. Maybe it wasn’t true love, but it was the closest thing I’ve ever felt. And even though I didn’t get my perfect happy ending, even though you chickened out and left me hanging like an idiot, I still believe you’re a good person; and I wish you the best. Really, I do. So go out there and find whatever makes you happy. The memories are already starting to blur around the edges, but God knows I couldn’t ever forget you completely. Do you understand what I’m saying here? I’m saying that whether it’s a good thing or a bad thing, you are the reason I am who I am today. Oh God, I hope you know that. I hope you know that you were the most important person in my life for a very long time. You were the guy I thought about while listening to all those songs, the one guy who made me actually look forward to Mondays. You were the guy who could make or break me, who had my heart, but never bothered to do anything about it."
See baby I know
You got your life & I got mine
It's just the timing ain't right
and so the story goes
of a love that could've last
but we never could try
What nobody knew about the docile girl from Osogbo was that her heart was too heavy, and that almost from birth she had felt its weight, a gravitational pull that invited her to her grave. Her heart was heavy because it was open, and so things filled it, and so things rushed out of it, but still the heart kept beating, tough and frighteningly powerful and meaning to shrug off the rest of her and continue on its own.
The girl tried, several times to give her love away, but her love would not stay with the person she gave it to and snuck back to her heart without a sound.
The girl decided that she had to hide her heart somewhere until she was big enough to keep hold of its weight... the shrine was a rectangle of stone arches that spoke of other kinds of love - strange, ugly, smoke-and-choking sort of love, carvings of cruel hands that killed candle flames to break refusal in the dark.... The shrine was the kind of place where a Valentine's heart would have trembled and wilted. With her fingers the girl scratched a place for herself in the north wall and slipped her heart through into the dry moss behind the stone.
And she walked away, and she walked away, and that was that, and that was that.
The girl was lighter without her heart. She danced barefoot on the hot roads, and her feet were not cut by the stones or glass that studded her way.
Sometimes she thought about her heart, and wondered how it was doing without her. But the girl was never curious enough to go and find out.
Except once, when she almost went back to see.
Except once, when she woke up one morning convinced that she was in love. All over her, her skin felt softer even than her breath, and her eyes felt wider, clearer, dreamy, lashed and lidded with an unknown stuff that had drawn a man in. For a week, she washed and dried and rubbed cream into her body with a special, happy care, and she realised that she was preparing her body for caresses. She found a taste for cold things that released their sweetness slowly - ice cream that slid down her throat before she could taste it, tinned peaches in chill syrup.
But there was no heart there in her chest.
When the girl remembered this, she forced herself to eat a bite of mashed plantain, and the first swallow was hard. But after that, life stepped straight again.