Probably I should have done this a couple of years ago. 11 to be precise. 2009- When I cared less about people’s opinions and shame was nothing but a passing cloud. That time when none of us had been through the fire of puberty. The time when note writing started to pick up speed since it was the year we started using ink pens. Maybe if I’d written then, the letter would have read “Dear Crush, I love your beautiful smile and the way you smell like a strawberry pin-pop. I want to marry you forever and ever. We will be mummy and daddy and love each other so much. From Mark.” So, more than a decade later, I have grown the proverbial ‘pair’ and Liwe liwalo, today I pour my heart’s contents.
First of all, Gerald is a jerk. Scratch that. Your Instagram profile is … ah scratch that too. There’s no way to put this without sounding like a creepy stalker. But anyway, judging from your gram feed, you still look as breath-taking to me as you did a decade ago. How is it even possible to be consistently prettier each time than before? The sparkle in the corner of your eye is still kindled. Your teeth are whiter than white. Your lips, aaah. Ah your lips are inviting, with and without the layer of gloss. The smile is still beautiful and I bet you still smell like strawberry pin-pop. I especially like the selfie with the dog. Not Gerald, the real fluffy puppy you posted last December. But let me first address Gerald so that we get him out of our way.
No girl deserves what Gerald did to you. I believe the intimacy a person shares with another person must remain between them regardless of the status of their relationship. I was equally as devastated when he went live on Instagram and told the world about your break up. For a moment, I thought the online pressure would force you to deactivate your account and then my only contact with you would go into the winds. I’m just glad you’re strong. Your strength makes you a billion times more attractive. You deserve true happiness. I’m sorry you could not find such happiness in Gerald. I hope that you can move on from this and find someone who is deserving of someone who is as great as you … and I’m someone.
I love the way you make me happy without even trying. I know you cannot remember, but there’s that day as we were preparing to sit our final exams before high school. Ms Grace, our teacher of English was revising the topic on Subject Verb Agreement. She picked you to construct an example sentence. Your response, “All the boys but Mark are footballers.” Out of all the names in the world, mine was the first off the top of your head. Of course I played football, but I was melting with blush to care about the accuracy of the claim. I dream a lot about that day. I dream hearing your silvery voice say, “All the boys but Mark I can’t love. All the girls in the world but me must not be with Mark. All the things in this world I do not want but Mark.” I only wish it were true.
This other time during swimming class. Ah, swimming. That was something. We were both in Yellow house, you remember? As we prepared for the galas in seventh grade and our team needed a participant for backstroke. I volunteered so that I could see you write my name in your handwriting. You don’t know how happy you made me. I was the worst backstroker in the world and I almost died that day but I would have died a happy boy. During the galas, as I fought through the waves, your honeyd voice screaming “Tunaye Mark, aah Mark, Tunaye Mark, Hamtamweza!” kept me going and going. I still finished last but at least this time I made it to the finish line.
When I joined high school, I heard that my school only went to your school for religious rallies. I do not want to say much about it, but my decision to join the Christian Union and to give my life to Christ was not fully inspired by the Holy Spirit. I looked forward to only one day every year. CU rally. First and second year, I managed to come and see you. I know I acted surprised to see you each time but deep down I knew how much I had worked my way to that point- prayers, meetings and occasional CU official butt kissing and all. Third and final year I never came to your school and I just hope you noticed. A week prior to the rally, the chairman had called me to his office and informed me that my name was being struck out of the list. For what reason? I wAs So dEvOtEd tO mInIsTrY sO I wOuLd rEmAiN iN ScHoOl aNd bE iNcHaRgE oF tHe CU that Sunday. Long story short, I broke his nose and got suspended and banished from the CU after serious exorcism prayers that did more of chasing Jesus from my heart than the devil. But the chairman deserved it. He was trying to take away the most precious bit of my life.
Do you still make jewelry? I still have the bracelet with the word MAY on it that you made and sold to me. I know I told you that May was the name of my niece and I wanted to surprise her with it but honestly, MAY stood for Me And You. I omitted Together Forever because MAYTF would come off as a weird name for a niece and I never had the strength to tell you that it was your name I wanted on the bracelet. And not just your name, but your heart and your love and your affection and attention and even half a chance.
I’ve written a story with us both as the main characters. It’s not a Romeo love story. That’d be too obvious and less sentimental. It’s about a slave and his owner. The slave serves his mistress diligently for eleven years, doing everything while bound by a chain at the doorpost of his mistress’ house. In his eleventh year, the law of the land dictated that all slaves be set free by their owners. So by law, she was required to set him free. However, as the mistress came towards her slave with the keys jingling in her hands, the slave stops her with the words,
“A slave of yours I forever shall be, For in a cage I am, in your world trapped, The hurt and pain I prefer to free, In your house welcome, and in your arms wrapped.”
Such is my story. I do not want my freedom if it’s not with you. I’d rather a world full of delusional dreams of you than this reality alone.
I’m sorry this letter is too long. I don’t know how you’ll receive my message. Am I coming off as a weird desperado or a determined lovebird? Either way, I only have one shot at this and I will not spare anything. I also had a poem prepared but I will save that for my second love letter. If I were to sum up everything I feel about you in a few words, this is what I’d say.
I know you’re from a nasty break up, but for every girl with a broken heart is a boy with a glue gun. I have tried to get you out of my head but it’s impossible maybe because you’re supposed to be there. I feel enchanted by your beauty. If you ever look my way, you’d never look away. The only dream I have left is that of you and I on the tip of a high cliff, looking down at all the world of which I could possess. And you looking at me with your large dark eyes. And me looking back at the most gorgeous girl I have ever met and saying,”I have finally found you and that is enough.”
I know you’re reading this, so kindly HMU.
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