‘I Doodled Your Name By Force’ by Naggayi Sanyu Lydia

I doodled your name by force. Yes please. I was not going to be that girl who’d pass through her teenage years without ever doodling a boy’s name in a notebook when she’s supposed to be concentrating on something else. I’m not normal but then again I couldn’t accept to be that abnormal.

So on that day when we walked to the taxi park and I sighed at the mere touch of your fingers on mine, it felt special, yes, in a way only a very clammy hand can. I did my best not to wonder what had you touched before you touched me. I tried not to dread the time we would kiss and failed, miserably, because unlike every other girl I wasn’t looking forward to my first consensual sharing of saliva in a gesture deemed romantic by a world whose sanity I have doubts about. How do they do this? How do they hide their disgust? Is love really that strong? Anyway, I laid all that down.
You see, you’re special. The first time I saw you you made me sweat. I hated you. Like, how dare you. And yet I couldn’t look away. Your face hit me like a bolt of lightning, and even today it still burns.

When you asked me out I fled. There are some things my entire being was not ready for. Like petty fights and worrying why you haven’t texted or called. Like awkward dates in restaurants you’d struggle to afford, while I’d struggle too to eat like a proper lady, just to please you.

However, the one thing I really wanted above all else, my litmus test, was failing to take place. I wanted to doodle your name, draw a likeness of your face on classroom desks. I wanted to draw love hearts all over my books and colour them red. For a long time I told myself it couldn’t be real, these things I felt, if there was no girly teenage evidence. Forgive me, I still had a lot to learn about myself. About you. About love. About life.

When I let you go I was a fool. Correction: I am and have always been a fool. The day I told you I couldn’t do this you asked me why and I said I can’t date you if I can’t doodle your name. For what must have been the first time in your life, you cursed and jeered. I too curse and jeer everytime I remember my own stupidity. I have cursed and jeered for six long years.

But mostly, I cry. I always thought myself tough as steel but it turns out I’m mush. It turns out I have a leak in my face, one that widens every time I see you at the supermarket with her and with that beautiful child, every time I see you in that permanent pew of yours at church, helping her sometimes by carrying that beautiful child and sometimes carrying the baby-bag. I cry everytime I try to pack up my stuff and move to a place far away because I always realise that I just can’t.

Why didn’t you fight for me? It’s simple. I’m not normal. And you knew. You knew that love confused my brain cells and made me fear my own self. You knew that I was uncomfortable with almost any sort of human contact and anxious around even my own family. You even once dared to say you loved me for my strangeness. Which is why I ask, why didn’t you fight for me? Why didn’t you cling on? I too wanted a beautiful child and I too wanted that beautiful child to be yours. I would have never said it, of course, but you should have read it in my eyes.

But I guess you never really looked into them. I guess I never really let you. I guess I never really did much at all. I guess I never tried. I guess I don’t deserve you. No, that one’s not a guess.

When people witness something crazy or shocking they judge only the action, because that’s all they can see. They cannot see what lies behind it, the emotion, the grit, the down and dirty. For them it will just be that viral Facebook video with the crazy bitch that makes a mess of such a nice couples’ wedding, the bitch up at the stunningly decorated podium saying wierd things and pulling strange stunts. They will not think of why, they will not understand that when the priest asked if there is any reason why this couple should not be joined together in holy matrimony, I genuinely had one. You still owned my heart. It’s not fair, is it? You walking around holding two hearts in your hands just like that. You once said that if I loved you I had to be bold. See? I became bold. I raised my hand and said yes. I walked up there and explained to everyone. You once wanted more than anything that I accept to make our love public. I did it! I know it has taken me ages but I did it!

I will admit, it hurt me when you acted shocked. It drove a knife deep into my heart when you flinched away from me as I turned to you after making my little speech, when you instinctively pushed your pretty bride and your little flowergirl, that beautiful child of yours, behind you in an attempt to protect them from me. Me. Of all people. You know I’m a third degree coward. You know I simply cannot do anything. But that I could handle. What I could not take was the derision, the way you turned your nose up at my declarations as if I was a dustbin pouring my garbage out to you. I did my best, I really did, don’t you see? Even the guests thought as much, did you see how amazed and excited they were, all whispering to one another and taking videos? But you, you could not be pleased. You, the only person on earth who really knows me.

It was a surprise to me too when I lunged at you. Stupid as it sounds, I just wanted to touch you. It was more of a proof thing. I was sure, confident, that the real you can’t do that to me: it had to be a clone or just someone who looks like you. I needed to touch and check, it was the easiest way, because I alone know what happens to me when my skin touches yours. That lightning-bolt-meets-butterflies kind of thing. But it didn’t work this time. You can only imagine my confusion when I brushed my fingers by your face as I fell to the ground and felt nothing, nothing at all. From down on the floor I grabbed your leg and felt nothing……nothing at all. I was stunned, but in slow, painful waves. Once again, a litmus test had failed. The only difference is that this time, it did not drive me insane. If anything, it calmed me down. It was not hard to realise. It wasn’t you that I had touched. It wasn’t you anymore. It was someone else that had taken up the old you up and was using you. I understood what had happened. You were gone. Gone. I had lost you. That was as close to closure as I could get.

Maybe my problem is that I always put too much of my energy into tests: tests which could fail me any day, tests which could give me wrong results or even right results in the wrong way and make me lose everything. I am tired. Losing you has made me tired. So I’ve decided that I’ll do one last test. The very last one. You know I’ve always wanted things easy. This time it’s going to be a test in chemistry….or is it biology…..but not the kind you’re probably thinking. This time, I’m going to test if ingesting large amounts of this strange bluish substance I found will finally give me bit of rest.

Just a little rest.


Written by Short Story Writing Competition (0)

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