Sizwe. I was thinking of my to-do list, I think. Or was it that proposal I kept putting off. I was thinking about food, just before I thought about how big my butt looked in these jeans. I think. I was thinking about anything other than you. But like you always do, uninvited, unwanted, painfully, your face popped up in the middle of my thoughts about my thoughts and your name wouldn’t leave me.
This is the longest you’ve stayed with me. After 7 years you’d swear I’m used to letting you go, again and watching you leave my life, again and opening the door for you when you come knocking, again. I should be used to the fact that each stint never lasts too long and that everytime I start to find home in your embrace and peace in your kiss it’s time to say goodbye. For the last time.
Like the last time.
It should be second nature getting to know you again, relearning you – the old has a way of feeling new after a while. I’ve got to know you many times before and then, then I’ve had to forget you. Little by little as I tried to hold on to every piece of you that was still alive in my being.
When I was 16 it was your scent. Everytime the wind blew in my direction I’d follow your cologne like a dog getting a whiff of his master. When I was 20 it was your words, the time you reminded me that you had not forgotten. I’d recite them to myself everynight to fall asleep. I’d recite them to anyone who would listen. But this time feels different. This time there’s too much to hold on to and it’s all fading too quickly or too slow because sometimes nothing is there and I struggle to trace your face in my memory and sometimes everything comes at once. And something as simple as a melody, or locking eyes with a stranger has your face, your voice, your warmth, your name and 7 years of memories, flooding in to my thoughts all at once.
I resent that I love you so much. I resent myself more for never telling you until it was too unbelievable to believe. Until it was impossible to separate the origin of those words as truth or desperation.
And now here you are again, presenting yourself to me in my thoughts with all you come with.
And here I am again trying to tell myself in my thoughts you know what I know.
That there is no hate in love.
Writer: Sinegugu Ngwenya