Show me all the beauty we possess together, and I will give you a thousand reasons why it never glows. There’s you and there’s me, but never any us. And don’t start by taking the blame, wanting to see rational reasons behind my actions. This was one of the reasons for my leaving.
It gets tiring, you know? Having to watch you go on your knees every time you see the slightest trace of distaste on my face. I know Iya Labake taught you that that is how a responsible wife should behave. But I never liked it, and I wasn’t even your husband. I tried to tell you, but it made you beg for forgiveness even more. Labake, I just needed you to communicate your feelings to me so I can do the same with you. But you never got it.
Should I blame it on your lack of a western education? Would that also be enough reason why you found it difficult to prepare an edible bowl of oats? Those cans you wasted were expensive, yet that wasn’t enough incentive to get you to make it properly. The smell of the smoke from the wood always got into it and gave me a bad cough. And each time that happened, you went down on your knees with apologies. That wasn’t the solution, Labake.
I wanted to see you dress up in the nice clothes I brought with me from London, but you said they harbored bad luck since they had crossed the seas to get there. You constantly wore those ugly wrappers that made you unappealing, yet you went on your knees to apologize for not being able to please me.
How about the way you screamed out “Ye!” in the middle of our making love? And the touches that seemed to lack direction? I told Cindy about it recently, and she said something about being local. Do you remember Cindy? Yes. That girl I told you I met abroad. The same one I told you not to worry about.
I’m sorry I got you pregnant, but you should have listened to Iya Labake too when she warned you against visiting me at odd hours. You should have gotten the water from the stream, and gone straight home, without having to fill my buckets up.
I’m sorry I didn’t tell you I was traveling back to London too. Or that I was already engaged to Cindy.
At the time, she was too white for me. But I think I prefer her white to your black.