Nkiru my love,
I know I am the last person you want to hear from but please let me explain. If the time we spent together meant anything to you just give me this minute. Don’t worry, I’m not here to plead my innocence, when I close my eyes I can still see you standing there quietly in the dusk as I left with another woman. But I had my reasons.
Nkiru, when I met you you were sprightly and alive and bright. You were no spring chicken but you looked, sounded and moved like someone half your age. And I loved that about you. I know we met when I was struggling and could barely afford to do anything nice for you. And I know that even though I could never afford to appreciate you with more than a smile you were always ready to push yourself the extra mile for me. I remember how you worked yourself to the bone, ensuring I got to my niggardly job every morning, and how you were always there to greet me with music and so much comfort when work was over. I remember how you hustled me off to my interviews when I was looking for a new job ensuring that nothing made of man, and sometimes even God, kept me away or made me late. And when I got the job and lived a million miles from the office you didn’t mind getting up with me in the cold, dark, early mornings to make sure I got there in time and kept the job. And I remember that when we moved to the new apartment you worked every bit as tirelessly as I did, maybe even more so, without a single complaint. So Nkiru, believe me when I say I know, I wouldn’t be here without you.
But Nkiru, as time went by we lost it. You lost it. You lost that spark you had when we first met. You slowed down and your age finally began to catch up with you. And worst of all, Nkiru, you couldn’t keep up with my urges anymore. When we were together you suddenly wanted me to go slower and softer even though you knew I liked it fast. I’ll admit you struggled gamely to keep up with me, but even though you never once stopped me before I got to my destination your whimpers of pain always robbed me of whatever enjoyment I might have had. I remembered all you’d done for me and tried to stay with you through all that but, at the risk of sounding callous, being with you became quite the chore. And then, there were my friends. They never really said anything, but I could tell they didn’t quite approve of you anymore. And let’s face it, next to their women you just weren’t the belle of the ball.
Then I met Rita. I know this may not mean much but I was attracted to her mostly because of the close resemblance she bore to you, she was you, just many years younger. She’s from the same place as you are, in fact, you girls are practically family. But she isn’t you. She is a fussy child who likes to have her way, in fact she made me send her off for cosmetic surgery just the other day because she had a scar. On her back. And something tells me she might not have been such a dependable companion if I had met her when I met you. But Nkiru, she’s young, she’s beautiful and she lets me ride her any way I want to. And my friends think I look good with her. Can you find it somewhere in your heart to be happy for me and wish me well? You know I will always love you in some way.
(For the uninitiated, Nkiru was my trusty old ’97 Toyota Corolla and Rita is the finicky younger Corolla I replaced her with. I love them both in their special ways.)