Stare into nothing. You are deep in thought. Pretending to try to remember what you never really forgot.
"Did you forget how to feel?"
"Feelings are visitors, let them come and let them go"
Have teary eyes now. It is important you look like someone capable of exhibiting emotions.
"You used to be vulnerable and fearless"
"We all have paranoia inside us"
This wasn't a lie.
"I meant you were an optimist. What changed?"
This wasn't a lie either.
"Did someone hurt you? Is that what changed you?"
"I still carry memories of how each one of them left"
You were too intense. Most of them had said this.
You don't talk about the details.
That it is both a blessing and a curse to feel everything, so very deeply.
To feel real love and true happiness with someone in a way that made you complete
And then have it all taken away
leaving you the worst kind of hurt.
You don't talk of the huge man and his huge self inside you.
He was going to help you get a job so you agreed to visit his hotel room even though you were aware he had always looked at you with hungry eyes. Despite your tears and pleas, he pins you down and pushes himself forcefully into your tight space. His hand is over your mouth and no one hears your muffled screams. He rolls away from you, speaking as though to himself how disappointing you turned out to be. You are in so much pain for the next few days.
You don't say who you are. A drunk
You don't say you got it from your father.
Who after working 12 joyless hours with the other laborers at the site and answering "yes sir" to a boy half his age, could only find his testicles was in the big Ragolis bottles filled with vile tasting white water he bought mostly on credit from his palmwine tapper friend. Your mom had scars almost every time this happened, other scars cut deeper than the dark pink colored bruises on her skin.
You don't talk about the looks and whispers that came with being unmarried at 40.
For people to see you as undesirable. The looks of scorn, the unbearable ones of pity. Your younger sister had been married off while you were the stock fish drying up in your father's compound. Your mom would kneel and pray at night, binding the witches that were chasing men away from you.
You don't talk about the accident at your sister's house.
How you carried your married sister's baby in your hand and a cup of American honey in the other.
You slipped, missed a step and let the baby go. Her head met the edge of the step. There was so much blood. You didn't drop your drink however, It didn't even spill, not one drop. Your sister doesn't know the truth, but she doesn't forgive you either.
You don't say anything. You just stare into nothing.