Me in the Context of Him

A Short Story

By Selabe Kute

It drifts towards me when I least expect it. In the short passages of time where my mind lingers from the toil of everyday life. Driving home from work or walking the arid streets of my neighbourhood in the afternoons. Like a serpent, it prowls and pounces when my guards are down, my defences are suspended. Like our relationship, it is unpredictable – sometimes exhilarating. Not a day goes by where the sap of missing you does not rush through me – taking control of my senses.

I often wonder whether our ending was an inevitability or our start an unfortunate accident. Whether we caught someone else’s lightning in a bottle and passed it off as our own. In any event, we happened – and it is the memory that will outlive us. In trying to piece together the brief mosaic that was us, it is the small microseconds that come to mind. The moment I saw your eyelids dampen when I told you I loved you for the first time. How you hung your face in your hands, smiling in your palms before opening your birthday present. The perfect silence that lingered in the air after we said good night to each other in bed. Our torsos rubbing together in your kitchen passage. Massaging the arches of your feet. Exchanging comforting glances to each other distantly in busy bars and mazy malls. For a brief part of my life, you made me possible again.

Perhaps what I take from you isn’t necessarily the love itself. Maybe, it’s just the ability to think of a forever with something, or someone, other than myself. You’ve given me the faint hope that, maybe, life can be shared. That our victories and vices aren’t just our own, that the weight of being a complicated and flawed soul doesn’t have to be on lone shoulders, that the peaks and troughs of life aren’t solely allocated. You’ve located me in the context of him, and maybe, her.

You may never read this, but in the unlikely event you do, thank you – and for the last time, I love you, always.