It was that fear that kept me, perhaps my cowardice was my own prison. I was afraid; since I once told you I loved you, that your serendipitous hello would end with a tearful goodbye.
It was a melody I hummed in my mind for ages on end, living never without your love. For more than a decade, the music seemed so loud that it enveloped us both in blues and symphonies of melancholy. Time and time again, we lost each other and hid in the embrace of broken crowds we could not lose. Maybe it was better that way, we only hurt each other with the unspoken words we would have otherwise said.
I thought we could have been so good together. But it was just my stubbornness refusing to relent to what we both knew. My mind kept telling me we would dance this dance forever, all along we were just waltzing slowly to ward off the ending we both knew was coming.
The mistakes many, endless thoughts and temptations and the times I sold dreams for the sake of flesh and explosions. My impulses were heavier than my devotion yet I never told you, partly out of fear and counterfeit benevolence. It was this incessant thought that threw our once circadian beat into discord—my guilty feats had rhythms of their own.
We could have lived that lie forever but your sudden exit spared us both another decade of loathing and regret. The departure broke me but it took your absence to let me see the true light of our once conflicted existence. I know you’re not a fool, you saw what I finally see now as I was holding on to chimeras.
I could sit up here and be undone by withheld contrition but I know better than to cheat myself. I won’t waste the future chances I’ve been given, the past is past we move on—regret won’t be the ballad I do eskista in forever.
Wham! You departed and what I feared is my existence. But I won’t shed tears for fears no more, can’t unread written chapters nor can we undo the endless hurts. I know I won’t dance with anyone the same as I did with you.
But that fear I throw in broken water for love and fear can’t coexist. Instead I follow a butterfly and maybe a new song can be found where once shattered records crooned sad tunes on repeat.
You left me alone but I’m no longer fearful. I wish you the best and hope you dance too and never be regretful. We find new melodies if we stop listening to old musika. I look forward with hope and where I sing acapella at the moment in time I’ll sing a duet.
I’ll dance again and this time I shall dance freely instead of sauntering in fear and regret. Pinkie promise broken, the music that seemed so loud is now fading into silence. Staccato beats evening out into diminuendo, a prelude to the next track. Side A will be flipped, better music will be heard on the flip side.
Conflict to serenity, fear to renewal; love is dual, the first preparation for second’s emergence. The next dance will come when I least expect it, I won’t wonder who will dance with me. Careless whispers give way to deliberate decisions to move forward without anxiety or remorse tethering me to your shadow. #MelodicTomorrow
To love freely—without guilt of compulsion—without need or dependence. To love without the burdens of expectation or recompense. This is the essence of love and all else will fall by the wayside the minute you experience and receive love that is felt and given freely.
Rest in peace George Michael, may you dance always and your feet have eternal rhythm. The sun goes down for you in this lifetime but rises anew for an eternity in the next. May your voice serenade angels and may you croon to the loved ones we all lost. Sing in peace.
Originally from Ethiopia with roots to Atse Tewodros II, Lij Teodrose is a former community organizer whose writing was incorporated into Barack Obama's South Carolina primary victory speech in 2008. He pivoted away from politics and decided to stand for collective justice after experiencing the reality of the forgotten masses. His writing defies conventional wisdom and challenges readers to look outside the constraints of labels and ideologies that serve to splinter the people. Lij Teodrose uses his pen to give a voice to the voiceless and to speak truth to power.