The people you write about. They exist. No, not just in your head. They are not just figments of your imagination. They are real.
you walked past in the feminine care aisle trying to pick a reliable
brand of the morning after pill because she knows they can’t afford a
baby just yet? That will be Arese. She had an abortion last year without
telling her husband. Things are better now; he has a better job and she
has a couple of interviews lined up. The student loans have started
getting paid but there is still rent, money to be sent home to aged
parents, car payments and gas to buy… Right now, a child would be a gift
horse they would look in the mouth. She wants better for their
children, much better and so she settles for the most expensive brand on
You couldn’t take your eyes off the couple on the
subway the other day. Usually you are drawn to the innocence of children
but the woman and her husband seemed like they were in a world of their
own, a world even the noisy twins that sat on their laps couldn’t
penetrate. You had envied the shelter they seemed to find in each other.
They kept looking into each others’ eyes as they spoke, their
conversation riddled with giggles and chuckles. You could tell they were
tourists that had been to New York before. You usually are able to tell
these things. It is a sixth sense that people who live in New York
The man caught you staring one time as the woman attended
to the needs of the twins and you had blushed deeply but not before
staring into the saddest eyes you had ever seen. You knew then that he
had a story before he met the woman. You knew then why he wouldn’t let
go of her hand. She was his savior, his second chance. Her name is
Morenikejimi and when the man said it, it was like a prayer and it
brought sweet tears to your eyes.
Talking about children, you
can’t stop thinking about the little boy who had crashed into you as he
ran playfully from his father in Central Park last Saturday. ‘Jaiye, se
jeje’ His mother who had been pushing a pink stroller behind them had
called out a little too late just as the child bumped into you. Your
heart had swelled with joy when you heard her call out his name. You had
laughed out loud as he looked up at you with his almond-shaped eyes and
eyelashes that had no business making what was an already perfect
little boy even more perfect. He took your hand like it was the normal
thing in the world and your heart missed a beat.
“Can I see the baby?” You asked the mother when you could finally take your eyes off Jaiyejeje.
too was perfect. She couldn’t have been more than a few days old yet
you could see all the joy she had brought along with her, the healing
she had come to complete.
“What is her name?” You asked the parents.
“Ekundayo!” They answered at the same time, and then laughed. It was
hard to say goodbye to the little family, but you did it anyway thankful
for a God that writes better endings than you could ever dream of.
prefer the Trader Joe’s close to work. The one near your house is not
as clean or as organised but you have no choice at 11 pm and so you put
on the yoga pants you just took off and the hoodie the one that left,
It is Manhattan after all and so you are not
surprised to find that you are not the only late night peruser of
mangoes from Tahiti.
“These mangoes are the only reason I come
here this late”, the only other person eyeing the mangoes says to you,
his smile like that of a little boy in a candy store.
You have no
makeup on and the yoga pants have an appointment with the washing
machine and so you smile back, pick 3 of the most succulent orbs you can
find and start to make a beeline for the salads.
Later when you
visit his house for the first time, you will notice a part of the wall,
lighter than the rest of it, where a painting or picture might have
been. You will ask him about it and he will tell you that you’re not the
first woman he has fallen in love with at a gallery.
“What are you talking about? We met at the grocery store,” You say with a chuckle.
is a grocery store in Toronto, it is right on the subway line, in a
mall. You can go to the movies on the 4th floor and do your grocery
shopping after, on the last floor. But that isn’t my favorite part. See
the mall is designed in a way that you can look down from any of the
upper floors and see fruits, vegetables, flowers, all bursting with so
much color that even Monet would be proud of. So yeah, for me,
everywhere is a gallery, a collection of art, sometimes it is human art,
but most times it is God art.”
You let go the breath you didn’t
know you had been holding. You never thought you could be completely
enthralled by another human being but this man, this man…
met two other women in art galleries/ museums. How do you know things
will work out this time? How do you know this love will last?” You ask,
as the ring he gave you two days ago suddenly weighs heavily on your
“I don’t. I don’t know anything. Except that I have
looked for perfection and masterpieces all my life. I have since learned
there is no such thing, that no one can master the pieces that is me.
That if I ever find someone whose flaws I fall in love with before I
fall in love with their perfect, and if she can do the same for me, then
that is enough. That is in itself a masterpiece.”
You help him cook dinner and laugh at the way he can never get the pasta to do his bidding.
you are done eating, you tell him about the hoodie. How you had put it
in the garbage that first night you met because even then you had known
that you were at the cusp of something new. You tell him you want to get
married next month, at the farmers’ market you both like. It will be
the beginning of harvest, for the farmers and for you both..
He tells you later as you hug him good night at your front door, that he is happiest in your arms.
Thursday, 14 June 2018