After almost two months of living under the Ghanaian sun my love has come back to me. She has returned in better health and with bit more meat on her bones (*rolling eyes*- "Yeah..yeah ...heffa you're butt got bigger"), both things Mom is definitely happy about.
My younger sis needed to leave because the world is meant to be seen, especially by one who craves knowledge and had never ventured too far from home. But I am more than happy to have her back because there are only but so many things that can be shared in emails, on IM or during five minute long convos on shady foreign cell phones and a Sam's Club phone card.
She's in Boston for a few weeks so one day, while I prepared myself for work, I tried my best to fill her in on all the goings on of mutual friends (Remember Rach from high school? The one with the beautiful voice? Mmhmmm. We're invited to the wedding") and the family ("Shirgurl is doing alright but I can tell she's sad he had to go"). All this said I knew the story she had truly been waiting for.
I braced myself and reluctantly dug into my memory, searching for every single unfortunate detail so that she could understand, and see the entire hurtful picture.
Her eyes widened and several gasps escaped her mouth as I shared with her the series of events that occurred before and after I decided to let go. Already late, I promised that I would tell her the rest that evening. But she would have none of it. She quickly put on some clothes and joined me on my commute to work.
As we rode the packed Red Line, she looked me in the eyes, in that personal way only loved ones do, and called the deaded relationship toxic.
No judgement passed between us because she knows we're from the same place. A place where folks give it their all, in faith, and sometimes hope, that things will work out and reciprocity is truly real.
I take pride in being the one who gets requests for birthday money and a few bucks to pay cell bills. I love giving advice on crushes, friendships, clothes, life and old high school chemistry teachers who simply refuse to retire. I'm used to being asked to talk to Mom ("Can you pleeeeease talk to her for me? You know she listens to you") and critique election speeches, and English papers over the phone. And though I embrace my role as the oldest, there are times that I too lose my way and forget how to get myself back.
My younger sis and I sat in silence, allowing the story to marinate.
As we neared my stop, she reached over and hugged me. Letting me know that it's okay for everyone's everything, to shed my armor and allow the unconditional love of my kin to protect and soothe my heart.