Romantic Rust

You know how those old pictures attain a new layer, filter.. if you will? That colour of romantic rust that adorns the picture with a sense of nostalgia? Like that one you found in your dad’s book about Abacha… your mother had been holding the phone’s receiver between her ear and shoulder.. those big receivers that people think are cool again? She had been looking over her shoulder; almost like he had called out to her and she had looked behind her, startled. Her big afro and even bigger glasses had you smiling, tracing your fingers over the picture you swore belonged in a magazine.

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You’ve given your past relationship this glory, haven’t you? Every day that passes, you carefully fade out the discordant colours and un-pretty contrasts so that when you 

describe it to those who ask, all they see is a collage, a 4-min film with an Indie soundtrack that presents a slideshow of pictures of you both skipping in the rain and kissing in the castle and laughing and dancing and documenting your happy life. “It 

might not have lasted but we sure had a great time,” you say. Time passes, distance lengthens but you keep fading it out and out till it looks like one of those perfect vintage posters you find in a thrift store just around the corner of Steep Hill. Hang it on your wall; preen; catch that glint of envy and longing in the eyes of your listeners.

Until someone asks, “But what really happened? If things were that great, why aren’t you together?” Then you remember the pain and hurt and selfishness and hours of bitterness; the blinding flashes, broken cameras and shattered picture frames. You tear up your perfect picture in anger and torch it up in the bin.

That is, until just enough time passes again. 

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Kitten Heels.

I said little heels made me look less like a tomboy; so I pulled out the blue sandals with the thin straps and kitten heels but I wore the boyfriend trousers- so I looked less like a sissy. But I stayed too late at hers and now, I walk the twenty minutes to my house- the clacks of these heels sounding louder and louder with each new step on these narrow England streets. I can’t help but remember how many a crime movie has started just like this – the clicking of heels against pavement; echoing in dark alleys and the morning after heralding a gory picture of a beautiful woman with a slashed throat, her long hair dark in a pool of congealed blood; or her breasts cut off with an explicit warning scratched into the soft skin of her stomach..

If I make it home, I’m wearing my sneakers tomorrow.