Story: Broken Promises By Awanto Margaret
I should be lying on the couch now, Adam Levine’s Locked Away playing on repeat, as I run my hands on Agbor’s hairy chest and listen to him talk a blue streak about the latest celebrity gist because that is what gossip bloggers do best.
He should be saying Davido bought Chioma a Porsche worth forty-five million naira on her birthday and Chioma’s name has been trending ever since. He should be telling me The Harry and Meghan wedding is a fad, not because they are royalty, but because it breaks stereotype. He should pull me in close, kiss my forehead and promise to give me the world – things like Porsche and confetti and paparazzi are only but fleeting…
I should add this to the chest where I save his thousand broken promises.
Binwie, I should be proofreading and signing my resignation letter. I was hired as a graphic designer at Afriko games and became a designer-content creator-editor-secretary-janitor. It has been like this for six months, I can no longer harbour the resentment. So today, I add this employment contract to my chest of broken promises.
Beloved, I should be having a warm bubble bath now, sipping a glass of Brandy every now and then to appease my soul, or bickering on phone with Mami why the hell I picked Agbor – this shrewd creole man who holds me like an orange, rather than an egg, over a wealthy clansman who is beautiful – the first son of her childhood friend – a notable in the palace – owns over thirty-three shops at the Fiango market – and is hopelessly lovesick for me.
I should be doing a thousand different things, but I am here, writing this to you, my once-best friend.
I do not write to say I am aware you stole half of my life’s savings when you had my account code. I do not write to say you recounted that childhood secret you swore you would die with to Daizy and her clique. I do not even write to mention how you flirted with Agbor – My own. You let him thrust you. Or he let himself. You offered your body as a dark-fertile soil, and let him plant his seed in you. I do not write for all that.
It is just another item in my chest of broken promises.
I write to inform you I would be officially adopting Princess – the fruit of you drinking from Agbor’s groins. She cannot continue to live in that orphanage where you abandoned her. I do not know how much you fleeced from Governor Kadi which prodded him to press the buttons that have landed you a fifteen-year jail term. I do not wish to know.
I write to tell you tonight, I make a campfire. Not to sing or roast marshmallows or watch the stars illuminate the sky. But to cast away the broken promises that fill my heart. To burn these skeletons of resentment until they are charred. To blow the ashes into the gentle night breeze and watch it scatter into space like pixie dust.
I write to tell you I would grow and tend Princess like my own, sprinkle the fertilizer of love on her, ensure that she is a better person than you, or Agbor or I could ever be.
I write to tell you I forgive you, it would be needless holding onto hurtful memories when life has so much to offer. But our walk together has become a locked door whose key can only be found at the ocean’s depth, an emotion tucked away – a treasure buried in the sand of time.
I love you, but I can no longer afford to love you.
Stay safe, make better decisions, and be kind to you.
Your once-best friend,