I see them flock around you. Svelte young beauties with bouncy pointed breasts. Board stomachs without scars. Thighs that are stretch mark free. Faces that are alien to the ravages of time. They flock around you despite the gray beard and the belly that i have nursed all these years. They are drawn by the wealth that is visible in your every nuance. In case you forget and somehow decide they are better than your wife of 27 years, remember all these.
In case you ever forget. And i know that it is possible that you will. We are human after all . Susceptible to amnesia – self-inflicted and sometimes through means we have no control over. Who knows if we shall escape that horror that is Alzheimer’s? Or the numerous accidents that can steal our memories and leave our pages blank? Memories are as vulnerable as our bodies. Who knows if tomorrow might bring seas of sorrow or despair, wealth or abundance to wash away all memories of all that i am to you?
In case you forget, the wrinkles on my face are from years of worrying about you those nights you stayed out late, those days you couldn’t face the dawn because of pain and despair, those times you were grieved in your spirit and unwilling to face whatever life had to offer. In case you forget, the laugh lines near my lips are from the joy you brought me over the years, the laughter you drew from my lips with your clumsy advances to win my heart, the clowning you engaged in to elicit a smile from my face when all other efforts had failed.
In case you forget, the stretch marks are from the four children i have borne you. The scar across my stomach from the last one that you so wanted to be a girl. I suckled and nourished them from the bowels of milk nature gifted me with. That should explain the sagging breasts.
In case you forget, i make the best jollof rice.its all you ever eat. It is your best meal and years of cooking it has made me into a plump woman and no more the svelte girl you met on the streets of Akoka. The cook must taste the meal first after all. If salad had been your favorite meal, it would be another story altogether.
In case you forget, my eyes are dimmer and i wear glasses because i cooked for five long years with firewood. You couldn’t afford better then. Now we have all the shiny stuff in the kitchen but back then i had the firewood, my hands, my lungs and my eyes to make your meals.
In case you forget, i love you. I have loved you for the best part of my life. I will never love again like this. Never like this.
Most of all, in case you forgot, my father is still very good with his guns and my brother, the one that never liked you,is a major in the army now and he is acclaimed for being a sharp shooter.
Just in case you forget…