The War Within


Choices; They have consequences. You know this, I know this. Everybody knows this. Yet we still make some messed up ones.

Pick up the phone, put it down. Pick it up again, dial, chicken out, and hang up after the first ring. Kick yourself in the butt. Put phone down. Pick up your tablet, go to YouTube. Listen to sad love songs. Have a hard time falling asleep. Maybe cry a little. Pick up the phone again. That phone next to you is like a pimple, as much as you want to avoid it, you can’t. You know it’s there, it won’t leave you alone, and the itch just won’t go away. You scratch the itch. First mistake.

Rule number one: Never scratch the itch.

You go to Whatsapp, damn you Whatsapp! Kidum-Mpenzi is playing on the background. You go through your past chats. The ones that made you smile like a fool alone on the bus, the ones that made you cry alone late at night in your bed. The ones that left you feeling vulnerable, exposed and alone. Stop it Kidum, what do you know about “Kutekwa ndani ya mtando wa mapenzi” anyway? Who needs lessons on “mapenzi ya fujo”? That itch, you keep scratching it. You know you shouldn’t, but you do it anyway.

Rule number two: Don’t keep scratching the damn itch!!!

But rules were not made for the likes of you. No, away with the rules. You scratch some more it feels good at first. You scroll down to the last message, yours. He hasn’t said a thing, but why should he? You asked him not to.

YouTube should just leave you alone. Now you are listening to songs you didn’t even know existed. Juliana & Bushoke “Usiende mbali” is now playing. Messing with your head. Taking you to a good place but not quite. You know the consequences of scratching an itch at this point, you are beyond caring. Why oh why do you still have those past chats five months down the line? Is it a sign of denial? It’s 1:58am. You have no business being awake but an itch is an itch.

You scroll back to the day it was all taken away from you. When your heart was ripped out of your chest and crushed to pieces which you are still trying to piece together to date. You curse under your breath. That scratching doesn’t feel good any more but the damage is done. That pimple is a mess. It hurts like a mother.  So much so, it doesn’t feel like it’s even been five months. The memories have made themselves at home in your brain. They have bought a comfortable couch and have even subscribed to Netflix. When they are not chilling, they are busy haunting you like little stubborn ghosts.  The pimple is bleeding. What the hell, you might as well. So you open your gallery and look at the photos.(You still have those photos?Seriously?) By now you are oblivious to whatever YouTube is trying to forcefully shove into your ears.

You look at that face. That face your arms know well, so well you can trace it with your eyes closed. Lips that kissed the pain away, lips that hold secrets only two lovers can know.Lips that whispered sweet nothings to you during moments of unbridled passion.Yet the same lips that spewed hateful hurtful words without a second thought. A smile so mischievous that years down the line still sends shivers down your spine. Eyes that looked deep into your soul and from which conspiratorial winks were once delivered leaving you red to your toes. A neck that bruised so easily and as a result constantly but proudly bore tattoo evidence of your love. Shoulders so strong and inviting they had you lean on them even when you were not crying. Hands, hands that know everything there is to know about you. Hands that explored and took you places. Hands that know you so intimately, you look away slightly embarrassed.

Love is stupid, and so are pimples by the way. You wish picking up the phone and calling was as easy as it used to be. You almost, just almost beat yourself up for not taking a chance to get back together last month when it presented itself. You feel your resolve weakening.  Your girlfriends will have your hide for this. (I don’t mean you Renee). You know why you did not take that chance. Stupid it may be, but love should not hurt, love should make you cry only happy tears, love stands by you when things get tough. It is about trust, and compromise for all involved. Love is patient, love is kind so on and so forth. You get the point.

You put the phone down. Turn off your electronics, turn off the lights and oh crap, it is 2:28am. Better go to sleep. You may have scratched that pimple today to the point of bleeding, but you left it at that, before it got worse.  Today you have won the war. A little bit at least.

Rule number three: Never ever forget that even scratched bleeding pimples (though they may leave a scar) heal.