“There is no greater joy than the one of waking up one day and realising that the wound that caused sleepless nights does not burn anymore.”—Katlego Llale
I recently realized that on this day exactly four years ago I met the person who would change my life in a way I possibly never anticipated.
I remembered this because there’s a guy who has been trying to win my heart, who reminds me so much of you in a quite startling manner. And I’m here saying to myself how ironic it is that this guy is wooing me precisely the same month that you relentlessly pursued me and won my heart over.
It feels like I’m meeting you all over again; as if we are reintroducing ourselves to each other, just as I had always wished when we ended. And I wonder to myself if I ever fall in love with him if I will be subconsciously trying to rewrite our story and change the ending.
Do you remember how when you left I said you are like a replay of my father’s abandonment? The gravity and reality of my words have recently dawned on me. You are the first man I had hopelessly fallen in love with—how my face would illuminate with utter joy when you stepped into the room or when your name was mentioned. Or how if the colour of my eyes were a name, your name would be the colour because everyone saw it in my eyes how I loved you, fully and completely. Those who raised me would testify the same with my father.
And when you both left, all the light in me diminished. The floor draped with my tears had become my bed every night. Your departure was as though my lungs were constricted and breathing ever since has never been the same. My wholeness, my happiness hinged on you—and when that was taken away, I broke into a million fine pieces which can never be put back together, at least not to what they were. And a deep sadness always lingers even in the midst of small sprouts of happiness. People know that after you, I was never quite the same person ever again and neither do I know if I’ll ever be.
The truth is, I’m scared. I’m afraid that you’ve taken all the best love that I was ever capable of giving. All the men I’ve tried to love after you…I have not been able to love quite the way I loved you. Every lover I’ve attempted to love who knew the depth of my love for you would use you (our relationship) as the measuring stick of my love for them. Truthfully speaking, I do not know if I’ll ever surrender my heart, my soul to anyone the way I surrendered to you. How the love poured out so effortlessly, without resistance. You gave me a taste of what it means to be loved like the only woman in the world; you epitomized romance in a way I’ve only ever read about. Our love was all-consuming, we were on fire for each other, and I never imagined us becoming ashes. It was as though everything in my life had culminated in bringing me to the moment when we would cross paths and fall in love. You gathered back all the broken pieces in me. I told my best friend the other day how you were all my prayers to God fulfilled.
To this day I still wonder how we lost the plot, how we began in so much love and ended with so much hatred and resentment. How we brought so much wholeness into each other’s hearts only to walk away having broken each other in the most devastating ways. But I guess the power of our love turned into a destructive force that left us in ruins, and with you, I came to understand what the philosophers mean when they say love changes us. And you changed me in both the most beautiful and terrifying manner.
But I hope someday I’ll open myself up to experiencing more of the love you gave me a glimpse of, and allow myself to drown in the kind of love that cleanses my soul and makes me forget the pools of blood I’ve painfully poured out on the altar of love lost.
I would like to thank you, though, for awakening in me a love that I never knew I was ever capable of giving. But most of all, for propelling me to finally understand that all the love I’ve ever wanted has always been in me. The beginning of our separation marked the end of my separation with myself, and I can finally say I know what it means to take delight in my own presence.
And this letter is a sign of hope, a symbol of hope that all that I’ve spent pouring into me will one day overflow into the heart that I’ll give myself to even when it seems all too impossible.
Because I finally realize that even though I died the day you left, there’s still so much more life, love, and beauty for me to take in.
From the one who was never able to imagine a life without you,