Why I Must Let Go.

Written by Nyambura

“I, staring up, the light did spy

And to my God, my heart did cry

To strengthen me, in my distress

And not leave me succorless”
From ‘Here Follows Some Verses upon Burning of Our House’ by Anne Bradstreet

Dear John*

I have taken some time to think and pen this down and I would like you to read it over and understand my point of view. Over the last 6 years we have somehow been involved in each other’s lives. I mean involved socially, intellectually, sexually and to some extent emotionally. At the beginning, I used to think a lot about you, and I actually wrote something of you; 

“With him, I feel reckless, like the dreamer I am. I feel delirious with excitement, like I do not have to conform, tolerate, endure. I feel free.”

It is funny that such feelings can fade and disappear altogether. You would also think that 6 years is enough time for two people to define their relationship, but for us, it hasn’t been. The first three, I must admit I was totally obsessed with you. And you know it because I talked about it. But when I spoke of commitment, boundaries, love, the future, you would be evasive and non-committal. Then I would learn from your friends that you have a girlfriend, or you smashed someone from your class, or that you are hitting on some other girl, who would be pointed to me, and wonder what they had that I did not. 

You would claim that we have a ‘special’ connection, and that you are so ‘fond’ of me but I still didn’t qualify to be your girlfriend. You would say if we got into a relationship, things would be ruined for us. I asked you if you envisioned a future where I am your girlfriend/wife. You said no, and you would say no whenever I broached the subject. The day my visa application to the United Kingdom was rejected, I called you so broken-hearted, crying and wondering what I would do. But you didn’t care. It was in that call that you also told me you had a girlfriend. And when a few days later I re-applied more fervently, and got it, and told you, you were so ‘happy’ for me and you asked me to stop by your house. And you cheated on your girlfriend. Can you imagine how confusing that was? Messing with my feelings like that? While also, betraying another? 

Then while in London, I lived such an abundant life. You would call when you felt like, long video calls, then you attended my graduation for me because I couldn’t make it, and video called me throughout. That was precious. But you still had a girlfriend. 

I think, over time, I have given you so much. So much of my attention, my resources, my time. But you have not given me anything that would make me fight for this. You have never taken me for dinner, a coffee date, a night out, nothing. I craved your attention. I checked on you so often and it would mostly be me reaching out. Then when I gave myself, you were so thankless and solipsistic. Though I enjoyed our talks, on books, about Platonism, Stoicism, about Queen and Bohemian Rhapsody, we loved Nickelback and Cigarettes After Sex too. It was fun.

Until I was jaded.

The last 3 years, I started by physically detaching; distance helped, being 6,721.6 miles from you. Then slowly my weariness became mental. And I would even pray for peace and solace. This time, God helped me see the brokenness and the vanity of our relationship. Then my heart detached. Then my whole being. But you still had access to me sexually. And for a year or so, I indulged in it, though not often, because other people also came into the picture. 

Until last Saturday. The bough broke.

You called me when you were drunk/horny and showed up at my door with no regard. What if there was another man in my bed? What if I just wanted a quiet weekend? You didn’t care. Because I have ‘always’ been the girl you can access and fuck. I was so MAD. 

You didn’t even come with anything, nay a drink, to soothe. Then you just expected me to ‘want’ to have sex. I said NO so many times, and even when I gave in, my mind drifted. I was detached. I couldn’t wait for you to stop and it all felt so mechanical. I have never felt so caged in my own house, so suffocated by someone else’s presence. I actually felt free when I left you early on Sunday, just to come back to an unlocked house, messy bed, and dirty dishes. I was so disappointed. And you didn’t even leave a note or call to ask about the keys yet I had asked you to lock the house. That is familiarity. I need you to know that it was so disrespectful. And also, when a girl says NO, they actually mean it.

At this point in my life, I am at a phase where I am closing doors (quite literally and figuratively), not because of pride or incapacity, but because those doors have been open, letting in cold air and leading nowhere. Whatever we have had, has run its course and shutting this door, for me, is leaving in the past those moments because the connection we have had in life is over. There is simply no future. Will I miss you? No. Even writing this doesn’t break my heart. It frees me. Freedom comes in many ways, because at first when I thought you freed me, you were tying me down.

Finally, you might not know that you have wronged me, and if you know, I know you wouldn’t apologise. But, I forgive you for the heartache, the tears, pain and disappointment you have caused me over the years. I forgive you for the blows you have cast my way, and I also forgive myself for being stuck in these murky waters for so long.

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