Your cheeks shook violently when he said, “I love you”. It was the kind of shaking that people now call blushing, the kind of embarrassment that made you unable to look him in the face to say anything more because you sincerely wished the ground would open up to keep you safe until the moment was over.
It wasn’t that you didn’t know he was lying. Of course, he didn’t hate you, but ‘love’ was too far-fetched a word to slide off his lips to you, the girl whose name he hadn’t memorised successfully.
You knew too, that this was that season in school, when ss2 boys were earning for themselves a reputation by getting themselves girlfriends, extorting money from the ss1 students and breaking school rules -on purpose.
It was not that you didn’t see in his eyes that he would later on sit at the zanga with Jojo and Keke, the subject of their discussion: your shivering cheeks. You in fact could already see the grin that’d be fixed on his face because this was after all a proof that he was ‘the guy’. Wasn’t it confusing how something as conspicuous as his gender still needed proof, as if his boyish demeanour wasn’t too obvious.
I know you knew all of this, that it was a mirage, a scam in the biggest definition yet you sat down that Tuesday evening to send the text that read, “yes, I will be your girlfriend” …but i get it.
It was more than the knowing, a way of escape from all the people that thought you too ugly for a girl. It wasn’t only him that had something to prove, ironically you had more.
How else can you explain the constant bickering and long stares into the mirror. The holding in of your cheeks and covering of portions of your face to see if you would have been beautiful if your eyes were not really your eyes…if they were a smaller version slanted seductively- cat eyes.
Holding your nose at the tip and trying to vaguely picture how you would have looked, if your nose wasn’t your nose, and your lips were not yours and your forehead, neck, ears… if you were not you. So you send that text that really meant: thank you for choosing me.
Thank God today is here.
Today. The day you will sit and laugh about how stupid the shivering was. Wait. That’s not the only thing you will laugh about as you hold the mirror in front of your face.
You will laugh out loud at the voices that you once upheld above all else, because now they don’t count. Now.
This moment staring at yourself through the eyes of your maker, reflecting the glory of God and so much grace, you would have no choice but the laugh away those years of stupidity.
How come no one told you?
Or was it you that chose not to know
That you are perfect, beautiful and treasured by the most high.
That your quirks and so-called “abnormalities” are what make you, you.
That being beautiful actually meant being you to the full.
That people would kill to have you on their team, bae, I’m not even washing you.
Today is the day you would throw you head backward and laugh away those years of low self-esteem.
You must laugh.
Written by: Victory Osaretin Osarumwens
“IT CAN ONLY GET BETTER”