When my eyes first met you, my heart asked, “Is he taken?”1 I followed your form as you picked a bottle, read the label, and then returned it to the shelf. You stood in the corner with the display lights softening your features; I knew you were the answer to my loneliness, the catharsis for my emptiness.
Before my head could formulate an answer from empirical data, we were walking along The Seine hands touching occasionally as we drew closer to insulate ourselves from other lovers meandering on the way.
Je t’aime. I love you in French. You say it first because you are not afraid. I repeat after you because now I am sure that one plus one equals one and that I have not dieted in vain. My wedding dress is an hourglass while your tuxedo is white and your groomsmen wear black. The tears on my face have only little to do with the pinch from my stilettos and more to do with my realization that heart, happiness, and home, begin with h.
Dark. Because on our wedding night, the stars do not shine. It does not matter as our love lights the way. The vanilla-scented candles I poached from Efe’s wedding gifts, which I was supposed to guard, make our shadows long and lean, as they became one. I sleep in your arms drowning in your scent and dream of vanilla ice cream. It is your breath, not fluttering butterflies, on my stomach that makes my eyes open as the sun rises to greet our love. Small wonder that we plan for maternity leave so soon after our honeymoon.
Four. The number of children we will have. Two boys and two girls. One of each gender on either arm, yours and mine. But in this economy, where purchasing power can be as uncertain as Russian roulette, two will have to do. His hands will be firm and kind, her hands will be dexterous and warm; our children will mirror the best of us.
A decade or two. We will wait before returning to The Seine. With the Eiffel Tower kissing the sky and glowing in the river below, you will whisper, “Je táime,” and water our love so thirsty branches will bud and grow anew.
When my eyes first met you, my heart asked, “Is he taken?” You cocked your head my way for one second. Blood rushed to different parts of my anatomy. I took my sit behind the counter and looked everywhere but at you. I asked the woman in blue if she would like my help.
I sensed your presence as you filled the space in front of me.
“Miss,” you looked at my chest, my face bubbled like tomatoes in stew as our eyes met and held, “Abe- yi- wa?” you looked down at my name tag again, “Abieyuwa?” Your eyes danced first and then your lips followed so I saw how perfect your teeth are.
I nodded like a yo-yo, my head bobbing up and down. Yes, yes, yes, take me as I am!
“My wife asked me to―”
“Oh shit! Damn!” How could I not have seen the wedding band?
“What? W-h- w-h-a-t?” You looked like a little boy who had lost his toy, stammering as his mother asked where.
“Ngozi, Ngozi! Ngozi!” I gave her the look, “please help this customer. It’s time for my break.”
I went outside and stood in the sun. I let the light breeze flush you from my mind.
©Timi Yeseibo 2014
This post is the consequence of reading too many Mills & Boon romance novels when I should have been solving algebra in secondary school. Seriously, I started thinking about relationships after laughing at Naijarookie’s depiction of the way men and women think. But when I read the opening verse of Jazilah Ali’s poem, Broken Spell, I knew I had to add my two cents.
- Broken Spell – Verses About Walking Away From False Love by Jazilah Ali
All people illustrations and vectors by Microsoft
Design: ©Timi Yeseibo 2014
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