Day 1: identity

You knew you weren’t the one he wanted but the constant pull in your heart whenever he said your name or smiled at you assured you that it didn’t matter. Even when you asked for your relationship to be made official and he said he wasn’t sure you convinced him that it was the right thing. You fooled yourself long enough before you noticed that he tosses and turns in his sleep and the name he utters isn’t yours but hers, that every time he looks at you you can feel his silent yearning for her. You knew deep down this was the manifestation of something long coming but you still believed he could be yours. So you checked her Facebook pictures, you wore her kinds of dresses – those long formless boubous that certified her “Africanness”, you bought those whitening creams to enhance your complexion and lighten the blemishes, you cut your long flowing locks to their natural roots because she had natural hair and called herself names like “uncompromised Nigerian” and “unbridled feminist”. You assured yourself he would love you now and his lips will utter your name when he is deep in the embrace of sleep. You looked at your image in the mirror one night after your shower; stark naked and realised you didn’t recognise the person that stood before you. You had shaved peculiar bits of yourself to become someone else, another image, another soul but you didn’t succeed at that. You were lost in a body that no longer looked like yours; you were a lost soul without a home. But what broke your heart into a million and one pieces was you standing in front of him one night, looking into his eyes and realising he didn’t notice you, he still clung to the meaning of her, she was still his number one choice and her name will always linger on his lips. So you packed your bags and gathered the pieces of your broken heart, hurt piercing your fingers over and over again and you left with a heaviness in your soul because you had no idea how to find yourself again.

Day 1: identity

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