P. Sherman 42
March 1, 2016
Yes, it is not a mistake. It is not a dream. It is me, Ayanla. I will not be surprised or disappointed if you decide not to read this letter further because I know I do not deserve your attention and should even be grateful that you have read to this point and are still reading. Uncle, I want to say sincerely, I AM SORRY.
I know all of you at home might be thinking; how easy it is for someone to do something so wrong and condemnable as I have done and then come back some time latter to say the three magical words that will cleanse all his sins: I am sorry. But I do not want you to think like that Uncle for I am really sorry. I have realized my mistake. I was charmed, Uncle.
I was charmed by Cinderella. Bewitched, I was. I never knew she was not what she seemed to be. Since I left home, I have been working as a slave in Cinderella’s mansion here in Sydney. But yesterday, yesterday as I ate the white pebbles with red blood, I came to my senses. My eyes were opened and I realized that I have made a great mistake. I am sorry Uncle for everything. And I am coming back.
I am coming back home because two days ago, I met Kofo on my way to the supermarket and he has told me the truth. He has explained to me what you wrote in the letter you sent two years ago. (Yes, I got it. My foolish self just decided not to reply.) Kofo has told me that a month after my disappearance, Father died. May his wounded soul rest in peace. I cannot pray for his forgiveness for to pray for his forgiveness is to annoy the dead.
I am coming home because there is no where like home. I am coming to take care of Father’s farmland. I am ready to till the same six plots I abandoned when I ran away five years ago. I am ready to hold the hoe and handle the cutlass. I am ready now to plant the scarecrow and support the yam creepers with strong sticks. I am ready to unearth the treasures Mother Earth has buried deep within her bowels. I am seriously ready, Uncle.
I also want to come and take care of Mama. I know she might decide never to forgive me again but I still want to stay close to her. I want to sit on the floor and listen to her tell the stories of Oranmiyan and Moremi. I am ready to sit in the moonlight under the Igba tree and listen to the story of how Osu and Oba became rivers. I am ready to behold Mama’s gaze, to caress her wrinkled face when she smiles, to wipe away her tears whenever she remembers Father. I am ready because I’m dying here and my survival depends on her happiness.
I am coming home to marry Folashade. I was charmed, Uncle. If not, how could I have betrayed Folashade who was carrying my very own baby? How? I am coming home to take her as my wife. I am ready to pull her dreadlocks as I place my lips upon hers and caress her ebony skin. I am ready to take her into my hut and uncover her nakedness. I am ready to do what a man is expected to do with his wife. I want to hold her in my hands and play with her hair the way I used to do when we were small. I am ready to play the lover’s game in the village centre. I am ready to splash water on her and teach her how to swim in Osun water and how to invoke the goddess’ blessing. I am ready, Uncle.
All my years here have been a waste. I am coming home because Cinderella turned her back on me and turned me into a toerag. Because I stopped loving the day I lied to you all that I won a scholarship and collected all your savings. Because I stopped living the day I watched Folashade’s swollen eyes shed tears. I have only existed since then. Father has died because of me. I cannot bear to see Mother do the same because of my absence. I want to start living a responsible life.
I am coming home because home is where the heart belongs. I humbly request that my hut is prepared for me and left waiting for me when I turn up in the next two days.
I am sorry for the wasted years I have lived here and for the lives I have taken due to my rebellion. I am sorry Uncle, and I am coming home to make amends, to start afresh.