If you were here, I’d tell you about how when I visited home on my birthday, me and Papa T found photos of you posing in red jeans before red jeans became a thing. And I’d tell you how I touched the place on my cheek you’d kissed on the last birthday I had when you were around.
If you were here, I’d call you up at night like I used to and spend an hour or two on the phone talking about nothing while we watched Eastenders in different houses on different sides of the city. And you’d say “what you doing, bitch?” and I’d say “nada, bitch,” and you’d say “except talking to me.”
I’d introduce you to peppermint tea and watch your face twist up while you drank it and although you’d say something disparaging like “you can’t be serious about this,” I know you’d call me later to tell me that peppermint tea is now your very own elixir of life.
I’d wait for you to lecture me on putting off buying new glasses and when you did, we’d backseat bus ride to town and pick out new frames; sharing headphones and nodding to Busta Rhymes. You’d probably get all squinty-eyed with irrational rage at the hipster trend of giant frames and nudge me in the ribs to expound: you had outsize frames when outsize frames were a real abomination. These people are imposters.
You’d say bitches be trippin’ with unrivalled zeal.
If you were here, I’d tell you that me and that boy went our separate ways and then I’d tell you every last detail about this boy and you’d stare at me with lashes like spider legs and hand me Cosmo, instructing me to do the exact opposite of what they suggested.
You’d steal my shoes and I wouldn’t realise until you brought them back and then you’d shove your scar under my eyes and say “but I’m deformed, you can’t be angry,” and the 8 seconds I’d spent being pissed at you would fade into nothing.
I think I might cry a little more, if you were here because I could be sure of a (sometimes clammy) hand slipping into mine when there were no more words to say and if you were elsewhere, you’d scream into the phone: I AM ON MY WAY. You’d come because you always came, dragging your dad out of the house and forcing him to play taxi driver.
The truth is, I might not be as grateful for you if I’d had you all along but since you’ve been gone for a while and since the you-shaped wound still gapes, still bleeds; if you were here, I’d all but worship you. Texts every few minutes, Gchat throughout the day. “I feel like I’m your boyfriend,” you’d probably joke, “I’d ask for a break but I love your boobs too much.” That is the kind of shit you would say.
That is the kind of shit you would say and I would love you a little harder.
The missing you doesn’t really stop.
So because there are so many things that I wish I could say to you, I think I’ll just write them down and hope that you find them here.
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Stereo. 20-something aspiring bon vivant. London based. Exceptionally Nigerian. Partial to snark. My default setting is "wry". Jeans and blazers are my uniform. Landlady. Speed reader, tuneless singer, hoarder of words, drinker of Schloer; I am suspicious of most people, have zero tolerance for tomfoolery, have a vast DVD collection, worship at the altar of Al Green, own too many bottles of nail polish, have small eyes, small ears and giant hair and owe approximately 86% of my awesome to the Parents Typewriter.
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