Because what do you do? When the boy is kind? Never gives up? Buys you flowers? Calls you baby? Offers feet rubs? Without you asking? Steps out? But returns? Apologizes? Does his laundry? Cooks his meals? Pees inside the WC? Never threatens leaving? Begs to love you? Loves you? Waits? Delivers his heart? Exactly like his words? Says: here, anything you wish to do, I will love you? Forever? And you love him?
When it is seven years already? And you have given your youth? When you are fat? And your breasts saggy? When you don’t want to die lonely? Or become Aunty Lisa? When you want to have sex? When you’ve had sex? And your father was your mother’s first? And you cannot bear the next child asking how many? When your mother is on her knees? For a man? And your father wants grandchildren? When your friends are asking when? Why? And you are twenty-four? Not old, but not young? And he knows you? Your age? Ring size? Favorite color? Food? Shitty pen names? Every little secret? And bumps?
When you love him? Really love him? But don’t want to have his kids? Wear his ring? Share his name?
How? When you swore only men leave? Promised forever? When you don’t want to be the bad guy? When you are the bad guy? When you’ve waited two years? Travelled with him to therapist offices? And nothing is changing? When you know? But don’t want to know? Don’t want to retire?
How? When you share friends? Years? Memories? Joy? When there is a scarcity of good men? And you have never once stood alone? Never alone gone grocery shopping? Never changed your tire? Learnt to drive? When, every panic attack ends in a recital of his phone number? When you love him? Really love him? But know now the difference between I love you and I am in love with you?
When it is 2022? And everyone lies? And dating is hell?
Christtie Jay is a Nigerian Writer and Lawyer. Her works appear in Praxis, The Rumpus, Glass: A Journal Of Poetry, Kalahari, Poetry Potion, amongst others.