Paper and Ink, Series

Hello. Goodbye, Jerkface (1)

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By Emmeline Bisiikwa, Uganda:

Love comes slowly, she said. I didn’t get it then. But oh the joy of falling in love when you didn’t expect it or imagine it. If this is love then indeed it is a calm peaceful feeling, like floating on a raft in the middle of an ocean.

Love doesn’t last and this I know because I have seen it fade all too often. It goes from a blazing inferno to a sizzling regret that reminds you of everything you lost. You are then left with the voices that haunt you, questioning why you did what and second guessing every single feeling you have ever had.

I didn’t know you would be in my life for a long time when I met you. At first, you were a means to an end and then later, that first message I sent caught your attention because of the profile picture. It was a carefree picture of me in a short dress that I changed minutes later, I was trying to be professional and didn’t want you getting the wrong idea.

I suppose, hindsight is like dejavu; it happens when it is too late. We spoke for a while and then somehow a friendship developed. You didn’t help with that internship I wanted but went on to become an open ear and encourager. Until the day you mentioned how much you admired me and wanted me to be the mother of your son.

I was scared silly because my idea of happily-ever-after didn’t involve a ready-made family. I imagined I would meet someone, fall in love, get married and then have kids. The decision to run wasn’t made any easier knowing I had never met you and ours was a virtual relationship. Sure, you liked me in the abstract but how would you feel when we actually met and started to relate? It was hard to trust and believe in you because I felt you were too old and worldly and I was just finding my wings.

I chose the safer bet, someone that was closer to my age and someone I felt I could fall in love with and experience happily-ever-after. That did not go well but I guess that’s how it goes with relationships – touch and go. We had a heated row on the phone and you put me in a tight spot. I remember it being hard to let you go, and the tears I cried as I asked you not to call again, that it was for the best. You were understanding but firm, made it clear you thought it was a mistake for me to walk away but you gave me my choice which made it harder and yet noble.

It was hard giving you up and it was also hard to give up the dreams we had. You were building a house and asked for my input because you wanted it to be our home. I remember contributing ideas to our home and I was sure it would be a lovely place to live with you and the family. I let that go knowing it would never come to pass and that hurt even more.

Somehow, I got left with pieces of you that kept puncturing my heart every time I breathed and I thought that the pain was something that would surely kill me. Everyday, I just breathed a little less deeper and that numbed the pain.

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