I’m writing this letter without addressing it to you, because it’s being written for you, to you, and without you, for you’re not here to read it.

The pencil called me this evening – the white one with the chrome nib. The one I bought, you broke, and I fixed. The pencil you threw against the wall when I was up writing our life story late into the light of the next morning while the Blackbirds called me overhead our east-facing window. They sang to me, telling me I could choose to stop soaking sheets with the crimson mess my heart had become. You choked their melody with your shouts and my pencil clattered on the table, broken just as my arm was that morning.

I looked at it, then looked at you, and found the personification of your demons breathing smokes of anger above my head, an arm held close to the light bulb. Despite the inferno you clutched in your fist, you struck hard, and the muffled contact with my pillow tore you into two, and you re-emerged, tears streaming down your red face. There were no tears for me to shed, as my eyes could no longer soften at the sight of you crumbling as you fought against yourself. Love was no longer the mirage l sought comfort in because reality was so much more tangible. So tangible that I could taste it on the very tip of my tongue, and that morning the song of the Blackbirds had found their way to settle on the lap of my soul, and my brain commanded me to dial.

All I wanted was for your wrists to become immobile enough for you to stop striking the face you’d once said caused a ripple in your heart and made you suck in a sharp breath. The very face you patched with blue blotches. And seeing your wrists encircled in silver locks behind your back allowed me to breathe again, and the rush of oxygen made me realise that seven years of holding on almost killed me.

© LaYinka Sanni, April 2012

Before I get emails of sympathy, this is purely fictional. I would still love to hear your thoughts though.


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