Dear Deirdre by Desire


Dear Deirdre,

Oh, my love. I know, and I’m sorry.
I’m sorry. It is my fault, and I am the reason the mess exists at all. I’m sorry. I should have been better. Could have found a way to have been better for you. I wanted to make you happy. God, I wanted that too much.

I wanted to love you. I wanted to make you feel my love, carry it around like it was that yellow purse you took everywhere. I wanted to teach you that love was not something to be feared, that it was something to make you happy. But I went too far, didn’t I?
I told you that psychobabble from the books, about how I couldn’t love you till you loved yourself, and I pushed you away when you needed me.

That was my fault too. That you needed me. You did so well on your own, my sweet girl. You did too well on your own. You would fall apart, and I would watch you. And then you would pick yourself up, alone, and it made me feel useless. You did too good a job, damnit. At first, I was trying to be polite to you. Be kind when you let it slip that you were chaos. But then helping someone as broken as you were made me feel respite. Better. I realise now that I was selfish. Disrespectful.

Your pain terrified me, but the power was heady. Every time you needed someone, I would be among the front line soldiers to love you. To help, and it burned my eyes, my throat and my tongue. It stung to see you in all of your pain, but I felt powerful. You tried to warn me. You did.
But I thought I was better. I was. I need to believe that.

I was better than ending up tired of you. I was better than the overwhelm you promised me was coming. And for some time, this was true.
You were more than enough. You were kind, and empathetic. Your joy made the corners of my eyes lift, and you were in more pain than I had ever seen in a person, in one place at once. So I wanted it. To tease it, lure it out of you.

But it got overwhelming, Deidre. Heavy. I could not do it anymore. My chest was heaving, and I met the darkness you said I couldn’t win against. And I fought it. As hard as I could. But it just blazed over me and went for you. So instead of holding your hands like you had asked, like you had wanted, instead of being a home for you when you had just fought it, housing you in your hurt, I ran roughshod over everything.
That was my love.
That was how I knew to love.

I know now that I was wrong. I know. I said so many wrong things. So many foolish things, baby. I was so wrong, and so stupid and I didn’t –
I made you need me, and then I left. I pushed you over the edge myself.
I’m writing this sitting at your graveside. I know that they all think it was an accident, but I knew you better than god knows himself. I know you rolled to a stop in the middle of the road. I know it was intentional, the result of one more thing you loved being taken away from you.

You can’t hear me anymore. I know. But I loved you, regardless of how you loved yourself. I loved you even when you didn’t love yourself. I loved you even when I didn’t like you. I loved you even when I resented you. Even now. I loved you when you laughed and when you cried and when you screamed and when you giggled. I need you to know that. I loved you. With everything that I had. The best way I knew how. And I’m sorry I did. Perhaps if I didn’t, you’d still be here. I’m so sorry, my love.

I’ll spend forever being sorry.
I love you. Please, forgive me.


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Pencilmarks and Scribbles Magazine was founded in 2017 by Clara Jack to be a home for African writers, asking them to come as they are and giving them room for growth. The publication aims to give back to the Nigerian Literary scene for the things it has given us.