I have a good mind to strut in here and pretend that this is not a brand new year.
I could go ahead and narrate a story I was told recently, try to make it the best read you’ve come across so far this year, yet, and hope that I succeed.
I could choose to pretend that this year doesn’t come with new dreams for you, fresh energy to achieve, rectify, explore. I could pretend that you don’t have new goals and that your resolutions have not been sufficiently edited. I could just assume that you rolled over from 2016 to 2017 the same way you roll from one side of your bed to the other, pushing your partner off the bed in the process, or, if no partner exists, barely falling off the edge of the bed.
I could attempt to be an asshole, not bother to thank you for coming here to give an audience to my stories the whole of last year. A whole year. One that saw you grow in numbers. I could decide to give a blind eye to those of you who have contacted me, told me their story in the hope that I could retell it. I could just pretend that the level of trust you bestow upon me when you narrate your story to me, when you allow me to claim it as my own, that it is not a big deal. I could try to act as if the fact that you are ready to sit back and read part of your life retold in my words is not a big deal. I could opt to be a conceited bitch and presume that these words that I use, words that are not entirely perfect, have no chance of disappointing or offending you, and the fact that they haven’t, so far, is a given. I could choose to hope that these words will always give you a chance to see your life from a different perspective, maybe get something out of it. If it is healing, if it is deep appreciation, if it is insight, catharsis, closure, something. Anything.
I could turn a blind eye to the fact that by telling me your stories, you have trusted me enough to believe that every word I used as I told it was meant not only to entertain, but to educate, to inspire and to challenge you and, inevitably, others. I could try to fight the fact that this is not just my platform anymore. These are no longer just my stories anymore. That this is a space for all of us now.
I could skip the niceties, immerse myself, quickly, into telling the next story because I have missed narrating these stories to you.
But where would my manners be if I did all that? Flushed down the toilet? Left behind in the year 2016?
I don’t think so.
I will pause. For you, I will do that. I will be happy to see you again this year and take the time to acknowledge your presence here. I will extend my arms forward for a hug. Not the cheek to cheek kind of hugs. No. Me and you, we’ve become more intimate than that. Haven’t we cried together? Laughed together? Haven’t we loved and hated together. Come on. Cheek to cheek doesn’t cut it. We should have a proper embrace where my arms come around your neck, all the way to your back and no space is allowed between us. We will hold each other close, enough for you to feel my heartbeat, and me yours. I hope you will hold me as tight as I’ll hold you. I will pause in that moment and hold onto you. Just hold. Then I’ll close my eyes for a minute. And I’ll breathe.
After a while, we will move apart but I will hang onto your arms. This is the moment you will discover that I am not that girl. You know her. The girl who has a crush on a man. She sees him every single day. She waits for him to notice her, but he is too busy. Life is moving. Fast. What with all the hustling going on? There is traffic to beat each morning, there is football to be watched and beer to drink with buddies in the evening. In between all that, there is the internet; Youtube videos to be watched, Facebook status to be updated, Instagram photos to be filtered and posted, Whatsapp blue ticks to dish out, hashtags to be trended on Twitter, not forgetting the politicians to curse out now that they’re in our faces every damn time. His plate is full. There’s no space left to acknowledge girl with a crush.
When, while holding you by your elbows, I look you in the face, deeply into your eyes and declare, “I want you,” you will discover I’m not the shy girl who sits and waits for things to happen to her.
So I’ll say it. Reject me all you want, but I’ll say it. I want you to come back with me to my place. I want you to keep me company like you did last year. To need me in your corner because I’m in that corner already. I want you to talk to me about anything. Allow me to court you, and host you, and give you many unforgettable moments, day and night.
I want to please you so, tell me what you want, where you want it, how you want it.
Over and above, I want to thank you for who you’ve become to me: someone I could never start the year without appreciating.
I want you to have a year full of love.
Could you do that for me beautiful, handsome?