A Happy Sin #MuwadoLoveLetter20

My first glimpse of what I hoped love would look like was in The Fresh Prince’s “Summertime” video from back in the day.

It was sunny and lively and filled with colour and flyness. It was sweet, it was cool and, as would come to define HipHop and RnB videos from that era, it was relatable to a black kid like me. I could see myself in those little hellions running circles round their uncles manning the grill. I knew what it felt like, that they could get away with all kinds of sneakiness at those gatherings cos every single one of those grownups had too many of their own grownup issues and responsibilities put on hold for the day. They wanted to dance and get buzzed and laugh into the night around people they felt at home with and would know for all of their days.

I waited my whole life to love you the way love felt in that video.

Sometimes I wish love was more than abstract and we could see it, like a badge you earned if you did enough of the right things, so you’d wear it on your chest with pride for the whole clan to see. And when you lost it, everyone would know, without a word, and wouldn’t pull you into a corner at those family gatherings to ask, “What’s going on with you, man? You can tell me, I promise…”

You taught me that love is the sound of Tevin Campbell’s “I’m Ready” drifting through our apartment on a rainy Tuesday morning. That it started off soft and shy but built, with each successive bridge, in confidence and substance, billowing into a crescendo of unexpected finesse.

Sounds that led to the sweet bitterness of orange on your lips as you rushed through breakfast, leaving just enough room for me to steal a kiss you pretended to swat away.

“Uh uh, gwe stop messing with my panties at dawn,” you’d protest while straddling me on the couch, both of us still in our underwear. “You’re making me late for work.”

And then that burst of citrus again as you pressed your lips against mine in a haze of warm flesh in my grip and fuzzy dreads grazing my cheek.

“You’re right, I was an idiot to start this now,” I’d feign moving you off me but you’d reach back and press my hands into your ass while running your tongue along my jawline til your teeth were at my earlobes, nibbling a clear threat.

“A total lumpen,” your hot breath would hiss down my neck in agreement, “but you’re my lumpen.”

“Shya… I didn’t come here to be insulted,” I’d lift us both up off the couch with you still straddling me.

“Nawe…,” you’d plead, rapidly unhooking your bra behind you, as I carried us over to the book stand, relishing your sudden shudder as bare skin met the cold wall.

“Are you okay?” I’d ask through a mouthful of warm breast.

“Fine! I’m fine!” you’d pant aggressively, a flurry of hands dipping into my boxer shorts to extract me. “Just do it… do it now!”

And then time would cease to exist or start all over again, not with a big bang but with a soft whimper as you let me inside you. A time before civilization or responsibility; just primal wants and two bodies on the hunt for exactly what they needed.

The holiness of a happy sin.

I still have the mix of orange on your lips and shea butter rubbed into every memory of our time together.

I feel your love in the phantom wind brushing my skin to remind me that this bed is half-empty, and stifle tears which themselves are only liquid love that’s already done its damage.

You’re in everything love used to be… everywhere but here.


What do you think?

Written by Ivan Sserwaniko

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