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  • Writer's picturenomtondo

I never left

Updated: Aug 1, 2022

The pen hovers over the crinkled paper as my hand shakes in emotional abundance - sprinkles of happiness, a dash of hope, a teaspoon of confusion and a tablespoon of tears.

Has all this been for not? The nurtured patience and understanding, the matured accountability so there is calm, watered acceptance of reality… Has all this been for not?

Then the voice asks, did you grow better or worse? What are the regrets? Where is the conviction that helped you make the first choice, the one after that and the one after that?

With a side-eye to my inner voice and with watery eyes, I reply with a teardrop, “I grew better but my conviction gave birth to convictions I am yet to recognize.”

Suddenly, flashes of memories rush to the surface. I am overstimulated with feelings; some old, some new and many woken up from dormancy. I am shoved into visions of candid smiles, stolen laughter, misplaced false accusations bundled with deep love, loud clarifications of assurance, and warm tight hugs of promises not once broken yet with enough external cracks to seem so. My heart sinks. I am at a crossroads again. And like before I did not choose to be here. I was brought here. And like before I have fallen for the same pattern.

I sit down in the belly of the crossroads. This is not an easy one.

I look to the right and see in the far distance loss which cannot be regained. Infinite, inevitable loss and it is approaching. Tears dig into my cheeks like a river erodes the earth - slowly, deeply and silently.

I glance to the left and I see loss, but there are two of them. The first is tangible with bottomless feelings of hope, wonder and wishes. Closely behind that is a replica of the loss from the right.

It seems I should pick one. But I stop to entertain the déjà vu moment I am experiencing. I have been here before. Cheated to this intersection with no recollection of what went wrong here. We were doing fine in the storm. It was shaky but we were holding on to each other. Or maybe it was an illusion. I have been here before, but I can’t remember what I did to get out.

Memory fails me as my limps collapse to the ground. I shake myself in frustration to remember. "What did I do the last time I was here?!", I yell. The answer is not in the silence – not this time. I begin to beg for sound, good or bad – something to help jog my memory. Anything will do. Just speak.

Then it dawned on me, there is no memory to be called on because I never left the crossroads. I have been here all along. I never left.




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