Am in a restaurant now, on a semi-date. An awkward kid sitting opposite. I know the look he gives too well. His eyes are intense, pressing on my face and his eyelids are pushed up –like two dash ran across his face on the space meant for his eyes. He is smitten, as I stare-back hard at him, how I throw my hair and my soft smiles I let out –poised. He can’t wait to tell me how beautiful I look, he can’t wait to call me a queen, I know, my confidence overwhelms him. But I will smile and not pick his calls again. He didn’t know me before this, before I grew my hair, before I made by creams, before I became beautiful and bold… you did.
I was at the Saloon –Hair Forest. Wig about to be fixed when your ugly face distorted the sunlight. Your face as you peered into my eyes was hard, I was sure the devil had sent his agent to me. Your voice was inaudible, scorched by the sun or weed –you had the arrogance of yahoo guys. You said something about following me down to the saloon, while pulling out your business card from your pocket, it was green –like a decent job. Your hands were cold, fresh from the AC. What was it that made you abandon your cold existence to navigate through the hot sun and invade my life. I had only come to fix my hair not to find…. If I think about it, I think it was fate. I remember sulking when my mum told me to post-pone making my hair till the next day –the next day had you in its leaves.
I am the second in the family of four –second born, second daughter, three girls and our baby brother. I always pity the intermediate –not old enough to be treated as an adult nor too young to be seen as a child, in a family. We bear the brunt. I was both the girl and the boy in our family, I couldn’t escape it. That was why sometimes I would be mistaken for a boy… did this bother you? Did you prefer a more girlish girl? With the wigs, fixing and processed voice? Am sorry I just couldn’t settle with being a girl –to look beautiful and smile and catwalk.
Many would think I was brave for what happened next; coming over to your house on our first date. But deep down I knew you were good, I felt your warmth and your genuineness was harsh like your scent –It was there, stark, naked and raw. Somehow you had my trust before you thought about earning it. That immediately after you met me at the saloon, after I took your card and you, my BBM pin. And we would chat and you begged for my number and I called to thank you for paying for my hair –I didn’t see this as a trick played out of an old heartbreak book. I came over to your place. I did smell foul play but foul play was just right with you. You were above it all; any wrong doing. Somehow I was certain nothing would happen, your soft voice held that promise.
I left your house within moments because fate had yet to whisper us “right”, cupid forgot to load his arrows. When he did. It felt like it was just us left in the world, the rest of the world murmured like the drum of your car engine. He shot us into a moment, a slow motion; when our hearts began conversing; your face became clearer –it was mine, your lips were bold, they had a map to discoveries I would make. Your skin was hard, it held me down. My heart changed its beat, it tried pronouncing your name… But I remained in this moment. That brief moment when love is pure, when love was certain, dreamlike, when we would talk for days and days and it would seem we needed more of each other. I got stuck there. Your love grew. It grew legs, it wanted to walk. I was not yet ready. No I was. But you just weren’t sure the distance we would go. So I stayed dusting my shoes –dwelling in those moments.
When I think about it, I see myself as late bloomer. A flower not in a rush to showcase her beauty to the world, a flower in love with her buds and would unfold it slowly to the right sunlight. Perhaps you got tired of waiting around? Perhaps you weren’t sure I would bloom? Maybe I just looked like a stub that you kept around “in case” I began budding? I guess that was why you never told the world I was yours. Why our relationship was a big “IF”. You kept it hidden –its blue print. We had something but you never said what. Where you embarrassed because you had me?
It was on a Saturday, I went to a friend’s house. And I saw your smile on her phone. I was jealous, I thought you were mine, only mine. With your smiles and frown they belonged to me. Curiosity kills more than a cat, I skimmed further. I saw a girl, in a cozy cuddle with you. It was my friend’s sister. She told me the both of you were a couple. Then she called you to prove her point. It WAS you. I skimmed past the picture, passed your voice when you told her we were just friends.
If you had told me –without me having to discover on a friend’s phone, I would have glued my eyes for the wake of tears that would tear my eye lids. The nights I seriously wished I could sleep without my heart; pulling it out and keeping it far away from me so I could sleep light. If you had told me, perhaps I would have forgiving you. I would have dusted it out like specs on our perfect album and still placed it were it was –where it was meant to be, on the top shelf. But typically you. You couldn’t express what you wanted and even when you called later and told me you two had broken up. But I can, I know what I wanted, what I want; I want to be Quing.