I Hope You’re Okay by Deborah Koche


I didn’t recognize who you were in those last few days, you existed in a world with defences I could not breach. This thing between us had been crashing for a while hadn’t it? We didn’t fight it, we knew. We let it play out as it desired. Should we have fought? I think our very survival of it should be something to celebrate, a testament of our strength. 
They say we should write about things we are most familiar with and I often find myself bleeding tales of sadness that is so great, it engulfs you onto my papers. I etch stories of memories onto any surface I can find, memories best forgotten. I write of love, of loss, of lost love. Our story captures most of these, I wish things were different.

You and I were meant to be forever, we had plans didn’t we? You were meant to be my maid of honor, the one to hold my children just after I had birthed them. You knew all of my secrets, I often felt you could read my mind. You completely knew me, even the versions of myself I was so terrified of showing to the world. I have accepted that what we had shall never be again, not between us at least, I have mourned and I am grateful for what was. 

 You and I were meant to be forever, that fight was the beginning of the end wasn’t it? We did not talk for weeks, I thought about you with my teeth clenched which was a fragile attempt to make myself stable. I longed for air as nostalgia of our happy moments knocked the air out of my lungs, they were taunting me. I loved you, nothing truer than that has ever been written. 

You and I were meant to be forever, our friendship saved me. I could laugh and completely be myself. We suffered together, we partied together, we lived and we loved. Eleven years spent together and now I do not know anything about you, I haven’t known anything for months. 

You and I were meant to be forever, I hope you’re okay. In the end, it was brutal and we were very different people. You had found your community and you fit in so perfectly, the same community I always felt left out of, the one I couldn’t quite fit into no matter how many years I spent in it and so I isolated myself. It was hard, declining invitations to things because I knew you’d be there. You see, it was hard to exist around you knowing I couldn’t hug you, couldn’t laugh about the mess happening in my life, couldn’t yell about how much you hurt me in the end. You weren’t even at my birthday. I couldn’t bear to be around that version of you, the pain was far too great for me. I would have you whole or I would not have you at all. 

Do you know how much I cried? I couldn’t sleep because I was mourning what we had. I had to put on a brave face in the morning and go to work while taking snaps where I tried to look like I was perfectly fine because we were still participating in something as mundane as streaks. Do you know I had to delete the snaps you sent unwatched because of how happy you looked without me? Were you happy? Was it wrong of me to wish you were sad as well? That you were just putting on a brave face as well? 

You and I were meant to be forever and now we’re just strangers. More than anything, I am sorry for hurting you as well, for the role I played in the demise of our friendship, of our sisterhood. What we had was ethereal, it beats words, and it beats worlds. 
Goodbye stranger, I wish you well. I hope you achieve everything you told me about. You were my brightest star. 

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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.