I have my mother’s eyes. No, not the same color, nor the same shape. But I don’t cry. It’s been that way for as long as I can remember. As a child I thought it was a good thing. They always called me a brave young boy who never flinched when taking his shots at the clinic next door. They didn’t know.
They got worried after a while. When for brief moments as a teenager my eyes would ache and turn blood red. Dry eye syndrome. That’s what they said. Like my mother.
Boys don’t cry. Boys don’t show emotion. Boys are strong. Boys are brave. Mother’s words, the only gospel I knew.
I learnt to hide my emotions, especially the ones that are ‘unmanly’. Anger, pain, weakness, ‘neediness’. I perfected the art….before you.
With you I am…me. All of me. I’m more alive than I’ve ever been. I am strong, I am weak, I am brave, I am scared, I feel joy, blissfully so.
But I also hurt.
I’m unused to this cocktail of emotions… this ‘unmanly’ me. Sometimes I revert to the old me. I keep shit inside. I hide behind the smile. I struggle so hard to keep it all in.
I clean. I spend entire days, sweeping, mopping, dusting, arranging stuff. Just to get a grip of these emotions, to regain composure but only for a while. I let it out eventually, when I’ve had a bit too much to drink. Often with harsh words I cut, uncaring, just releasing, just feeling.
I’m imperfect. I know this. I hate my flaws, especially the ones that cause you to hurt. I hate it when you cry. I hate myself.
One part hate, one part pain, one part anger, one part joy, one part lust, one part worry, ten parts love. The cocktail; My cocktail. One year after and I’m still tryna get a hang of it. I’m getting better at it. I’m loving it.
I’m loving you more and more each day. Loving the woman that you are. Independent, feisty, strong, stubborn (you’ve passed it on to your daughter), loyal, beautiful, mine.
Echi d’ime. I haven’t the foggiest idea what will become of us tomorrow. Quite honestly, I know very little about anything. I know how much you’ve changed me. I’m eternally grateful for you. I know how much you mean to me. After God no one else comes close. It frightens me. I know that I’ll fight for you, because I want you; because I love you.
Of this one thing I’m sure.