They say, it’s hard to make a grown-up unlearn something he learnt as a child. How do you teach an old man to unlearn how to laugh and learn how to bark instead? We grew up in a society that taught us that it was a sin to let your feelings show. We grew up in a society that didn’t mind if we spent the entire day together without saying anything to each other. It taught us that laughing together was a sin. Intimacy of any kind was the unpardonable sin.
So we grew up, bottling all these feelings inside. You learnt that it was okay to protect me from bad boys, to show me the streets. You also learned that it was not okay to ask me if I liked that guy. It was never okay to ask me how my day was. Did I do anything interesting? Did someone make me sad in school?
I learned to give you the sweets I stole from home. I learned to lie for you. I never learned to ask you how you felt after failing that test. I never learned to ask how you felt when they sacked you from your first job and failed to pay you for the three months you worked for them.
It’s funny how you can know someone for long without really knowing them. I’ve known you most of my life. Yet I know so little about you. We’re like familiar strangers, together yet far from each other, physically close yet our hearts are thousands miles apart.
I wish I learned to ask how you felt. The first time your solo took you to the nationals. Were you excited? Did you feel like you were flying? Or did your knees feel like jelly due to anxiety, seeking to hide from the thousands of eyes that looked at you on that big stage.
I wish I learned to ask you how you were. When your first girl broke your heart. Were you hurt, did you feel like less of a man? Did you need a hug? Or some coffee and a listening ear?
I wish I learned to confront you as you pushed everyone who cared about you away. I wish I was courageous enough to demand answers.
In silence I watched.
I watched as you got kicked off from one job to another. I watched as the business you poured all your savings into went under. I watched as you stopped combing your hair, or eating healthy. I watched you waste away. I watched you become arrogant. You didn’t care for nobody, least of all yourself. Every penny you got, you took it to Mama Nina. A cupful of Mama Nina’s special medicine was enough to make you a zombie for the whole day.
Now it’s too late. You’re too gone for me. Your eyes are blank. I can’t read when you’re okay and when you’re going through hell.
I wish I can open my mouth and tell you that I love you. I wish we learned to dance under the stars and laugh at the bad memories and choices. I wish we learned to talk to each other, not at each other.
Its four a.m. I haven’t slept. I don’t feel sleepy. The truth is, sometimes I fear closing my eyes. ‘Cause when I am awake, and alone…at least I can remember you, and replay in my mind everything I wish we did together. It’s gonna be dawn soon, the day’s activities will leave me pretty distracted to think about you.
But in the dead of the night, alone with my thoughts, you are closer than you’ve ever been.
I met someone. He changed my life. He loves me so much it makes me cry. Before dawn comes, and reality hits. Allow me to make one last wish…I wish you can meet Him too.