In my hands, I hold a letter to you.
On the table before me are your letters to me.
They contain our promises. Our exchanges. Our smiles, our joy, our happiness.
But because of what I’m about to do, as if all at once, I remember a lot of the things I have let go. All the times I had to whisper my goodbyes, let go of my dreams, hopes and wishes.
“Let it go,” my father had told me as I stared with dismay at my first bicycle, wrecked at the hands of my brothers and cousins, without even a chance to ride it.
“Let it go,” my mother had told me as she ripped one of my favourite shirts to shreds because of how old it was. On my bed was a new set of clothes I didn’t want.
“Don’t worry about it too much, just let it go,” my brother had told me when I was refused my visa to study abroad.
“You’ll get it next time dear. Don’t let it get to you. Just let this one go,” my sister had told me when I failed the entrance exam to a university after studying so much.
“She’s dead.” my uncle said, as I cradled the corpse of our pet monkey, Ribsy. “I’ll take her. Give her to me. Let go.” And he wrestled her from me.
“There’s not much we can do sir. It’s non-refundable. Just let it go,” the booking agent had said when my trip to Italy fell through.
“Let them go,” I told myself as I watched some of my friends leave for various reasons.
“It’s okay, don’t worry about it,” an ex had told me as I tried to apologise. “It’s just time to let it go.”
Goodbyes. Resignation. Love.
Slowly I have let go one by one.
And now, my heart feels that familiar twinge of pain, surpassing any I have felt before.
But I do differently from what I always did when this time came.
I whisper my goodbyes, let go of my disappointment, negativity and cowardice, and I gird my heart and my mind as I pick up my lighter and set a flame to the letter in my hand.
Once again, I’m letting go.
But this is the last time I will let go.
And this time, I’m letting go of letting go.
I will never let go again.
Egbemawei D. Sammy