I have shaved my hair. Not all of it. Just enough so that I am still recognisable as a woman but unrecognisable to the girl who faced so much rejection from you. I do not blame you, let it be clear. Even though when I showed my cards, you chose not to play the game. Even though I chose you, you chose to still go with someone else. Even though I married you, your eyes never stopped wandering. And even though I prayed and pleaded with the universe, still you did not come my way.
Your face still runs through my mind time and time again. Your crazy hair that I would run my fingers through. Your masculine body – short, tall, slim, bulky – as I looked ashamedly at my own, first through the ignorant eyes of youth and later through eyes that have seen its fair share of toil – childbirth and plain old obesity.
It has taken me many years to realise that I am beautiful, through my own eyes. You see, for a very long time I judged myself based on what I believed you saw. Beautiful but not beautiful enough, interesting but not interesting enough; and intelligent but not intelligent enough. Over and over again I would stare at first girls, then women, whom I believed you were in awe of and wanted to be with. So I wore different weaves and starved myself but still it was never enough for you.
Eventually I broke down when you took off with someone else, when you cheated, when you proposed to someone else and when you did not pitch up for our wedding because the universe was obviously not hearing my song. With every instance I would label myself a fool and for my own sanity, which was in fact insanity, I would throw my arms into anyone willing to be with me. When the right man finally fell into my arms, I could not breathe because they did not smell of you; so I ended it. But in ending it, I fell right back into your cold arms and so the self loathing began all over.
But one day I remembered a boy who did choose me. A boy who patiently waited until I was mature enough to be with him. Unfortunately for us, or perhaps unfortunately for the things we desired for our lives; our paths went separate ways and this was my first taste of defeat. He still pines for me even in his married life, pines for the love lost out of circumstances beyond our control. If only you would pine for me this way and not in the stupid messages you send me which speak only of lust and the non existent messages I imagine receiving out of my own lust.
The last time I fell in love, I was certain it would be true because I had cast a wish on the universe and it produced you. You, the last boy I fell in love with because the relationships after that were a mere desperation in an attempt to forget you. I had loved over many seasons, fooled around too but truly believed, because I had changed the game; that you were the one. I told the world about you but nothing happened, you never appeared except as a name in the long list of boys who reached me.
And so here I am surrounded by the memories of a boy who did love me; and remains my best friend. At first I took it as a sign that love is something not meant for me. I allowed myself to wallow in the sadness of all your faces as they flashed before me. How you chose someone else and how you never appeared, no matter how much I begged the universe to turn you into a reality. I drowned in my own misery, remembering all your fingers upon my body and your fingers that never got to touch me. I cursed the universe.
But then I remembered the boy who loved me, who grew into the man who pines for me. And I realised that I was capable of being loved, without the weaves and the skinny body. And I started to look at myself differently. To see myself as me, a lovable being. I began to love me. And to mark this new beginning, to from the former me who did not like herself; I shaved my hair. But not all of it because who we were makes us who we are.
I look forward to the self love and I thank you, for rejecting me because it has allowed me to love me. I saw you in the super market queue with your children and I wanted to strike up a conversation. Instead I smiled, to myself, as I sent a note up to the universe that I was willing to wait. Wait for the man who would be drawn to my love because of his own love. I know he is out there – the man who will accept me as I am because I accept him as he is.