LAST HEART STANDING
© Dora Achieng Okeyo, 2012
Listen. This time, I’m in charge. Sit there and listen, darn it! Just listen. I see you, yet you see me not. I see you when you wake up, and when you sleep. When you sleep you lie on your left side. When you chew food, you chew mostly with your right jaw. Your eyes are black, and your smile reminds me of morning dew. No, don’t baby me right now-just listen. You are like me. Then again, you are not. You come in pairs. You have two ears, two eyes, two lungs, two kidneys, two hands, two legs, two set of buttocks, yet just one mouth. Do you know why? Stop laughing! I am serious, would you tell me why? Yeah, I know the ‘two set of buttocks’ cracks you up, but answer me. Well, you come in pairs so you can cherish your completeness. There’s certainly ‘two’ much of you already, but you take your ears for granted. What is this all about? Well, now that you asked- it is about us. The ‘us’ that crept in some time and stole you away from me. I want you back. Well, I never did go anywhere. See, you don’t get it do you? Get what? I am tired of running around. I am tired of smiling for the sake of others. I am tired of holding your hand because you want others to see that you got a girl. Do you remember what I told you when we started dating? Yeah. Say it! Say what? Say what I told you, I want to hear it. Okay, you said you are hard to get and even harder to keep. Yeah, I said that. What’s so funny? You are babes. Don’t babe me right now. Babes, oh…sorry, but darn it you were right, I mean you have been harder to keep. I ain’t saying that I haven’t loved it, but damn! You make a guy work. You made me work hard. Is that what you think? You haven’t been working hard enough. I am tired of playing dress up. I am tired of waiting for you to call me at 10:00pm. I am tired of you saying you’ll be here but you never show. I am tired of having to ask if I can see you or not. Well, you are tired babes? Are you tired of me now? What are you saying? Babes, are you trying to break up with me, is that it? Well, listen-if you are tired, then it’s time you heard me right! I am tired of your save the world tirade! I am tired of calling you only to hear you are out in the field. Each time I call in the day, you are carrying some orphan, or feeding some sick person or talking to a person in need. I am tired of your being so nice. Babe, you are just too nice. You let me get away with everything! You are more of a friend, than my girl. When I talk, you listen and stay quiet. At times I want you to talk, to complain, to get mad. Babes, at times I look at you and wonder what did I ever do? You are so freaking perfect, it is hard for me to catch up. And don’t get me started on your boy jeans. Forget the blue ones, I love those-you look sexy on them, but let’s talk about the beige ones. Babes, I want you to wear a dress at least once, show off your curves, so my boys know what I’m getting. And please, stay the way you are for I am glad you wear no make-up. That way I know who you really are. And go out with me to the clubs once in a while. Let my boys know how flexible you are. Show them the moves you show me, let them see you. I want to flaunt you to the world. But babes, you are never there. I know it’s good to help others. At times I wonder if I come first or second. Don’t dare speak up-you asked for this! You pushed me babes, I didn’t ask you to. Yeah, let’s talk about her-that friend of yours’. You write babes. I love what you write. I read it. I never know when I will turn into a story in one of your books. I know however that I will be a great read. Babes, just once put the pen aside and hear me out. You are hot. You are mine and I want to show that to the world, so what’s wrong with that? You cannot save the whole world babes. Take a break from slaving for others-and let me treat you. Just one whole day babes is all I ask you. One day. Are you done? I think so, but you pushed me babes. I know. You have no clue. You have no idea babes. You can make a man go crazy, do you know that? I know. You don’t know how much babes, if you did, you would never have said you were tired of me. I am tired of you. So what are you saying? I am saying you’re still mine. I don’t get you, babes, this is confusing. I know, but hear me out. If there’s one thing a girl loves is to be heard. Okay, I’m listening. Let me switch off my phone first. Okay. There, I am all ears. I am tired of you, because you stopped being you. When we started dating it was about each of us. You took time to know and appreciate what I did. I did the same. Then somewhere along the line, you stopped. It then became about us. Like something crept in and we started giving it our all. I know I love you. I know I am here, but are you really here? I am. No you are not. If you were, I would feel your presence. What does that mean? It means you stopped being the real you and you have been doing things to please me. What’s wrong with that? What is wrong is that you are not me. I know that. This is the only time I have ever been close to you. Just when you started saying how tired you get of my stuff. I love helping where I can. I love writing and I so love my boy jeans. We can come to an agreement on the boy jeans, as for dresses, you will have to write a proposal about that. Talking of going out, name the club, day and time and I will get set. Are you for real? Yes. Sure, I will let you know. I like that. I also know about Kia. Let me explain that. When were you going to tell me? I was, but you started saying you were tired and I just couldn’t. Look, I never meant for it to happen. I was just out having a good time. Shut up! Babes, please let me explain. Hear me out, please. No, I don’t have the time for that. You should know better dear. You should know what a kiss means to a girl. I know. I am sorry, look I mess up. I am not perfect, and I know that even if I say I won’t do it, who knows? I only know that it’s been killing me staying quiet. I am sorry, wish I could go back in time and make things alright. You have no clue. I know for men any physical contact with a girl can be just that. Well, for a girl it is different-unless she is doing it for business. I know what happened that night. Kia made a bet with her friends. It was to see if she could get a kiss from you-and she did. I wonder what would have happened if she asked you to take her home. I wouldn’t. Shut up, I know you would. Listen, I am me. I love what I do and why I do it. I will not be around you all the time because I am afraid you will stray. I do not have the time or energy to follow you around. You are not a dog. I do not have a leash, but live your life. Be your own person. Do what you love. Stop doing things to please me. I am your girlfriend and you know that. I will always be loyal to you, but try and be loyal to yourself. Babes, what are you saying? I am saying that my heart’s tired. It is tired of watching you acting. Stop pretending to be something you are not. For our relationship to work, you have to love yourself first, then me. Babes, I am sorry I hurt you. In fact, I came here today with something. What is it? I saw this on my way to work and thought of you. I do not know much about it, but I think you will love it. Thanks dear, you are right- I love it. Now I have the complete collection. I know I ain’t good enough, babes, but I’m trying-so please give me a chance to make things right. You need to work hard for that chance. Everybody has a chance what counts is how many earn it. I know. Don’t give up on me babes, not until I show you how special you are to me. Then get on it, you do not have the whole world you know. I know, so how about we grab some lunch? Sure, let me get my sandals. Are you seriously going to have lunch with me in boy jeans? Haven’t we just talked about this? We have. Then why are you going against what we have just said? Because I want to have lunch with you, my clothes won’t eat. But they’ll be at the table where I am won’t they? They will be. You will look at me, not them. Babes, you obviously know nothing about men, now let me teach you! See, a guy likes what he sees. If it’s good then he’s good, if it ain’t then there’s a problem. Now please go change and wear something for my eyes. You are serious. I am there’s no way you are having lunch with me dressed like me, now go change. I will be right back. Take your time babes, I want something good-so do some research in your wardrobe and shock me. Your ego is filling the room dear, be warned. You are the one inflating it. You know when I asked you to come; I wanted to know whose heart would be left standing after we talk. And? I am glad that mine is still standing. That’s good babes, because mine is flying high.