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A Letter From the Grave by Olutayo Inioluwa

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Morounke,

I died yesterday; and of what use is a man who has left his family to live in the grave he has dug for himself. The judge said it’s a life sentence, but believe me, believe me, Morounke, there is no such thing as life in prison. They say take liberty from a man, and you might have just taken his life. They have taken my life Morounke, these prison walls are a grave; they have buried me. They have swallowed me, they have swallowed my dreams, my future, my hope. They have swallowed my life.

Morounke, I wish all this was a dream, I wish it was a lie, I wish it is just for a while, but it is not, it is what life has brought to me, it is what I have brought upon myself, it is reality and I have accepted it. I have given up my dreams, I have given up my life, and I have given up hope Morounke. There is no such thing as hope within these prison walls too.

But I know you, I know you too well Morounke, you are a strong woman, you are the strong African mother, her husband’s wife. You believe in miracles, you believe in hope and deep down within the deepest depth of your heart, there is still a tiny glimmer of hope, to which you cling on to. Quench it Morounke, kill it. But you are not like me, you are not like me Morounke; you are too strong to accept what life has given you, to accept what they call reality. But I am a weak man, I could not hold out for long. So as soon as they shut the gate, to trap me inside the four walls of this grave—they call it a prison—I lost it. You have always taught me hope, it died yesterday. I have accepted what life has thrown at me, it is what it is. I have accepted reality. And so must you, so must you Morounke. But you believe in miracles, you believe in hope. You are not like me. I am a weak man.

Or maybe, maybe you’re the weak one. Maybe you’re too weak to accept what it is. That I will not be there with you again, that I will not be there to put the kids to bed when they sleep off watching the TV, that I will not be there to listen to your never-ending gossip about work. I will not be there to see your face smile again, I will not be there to eat the food you cook, I will not be there to compliment your gele. And when you wake up on the 28th of August, I will not be there to celebrate with you the anniversary of our consummated union. But smile, smile without me Morounke. Be strong, not for me, be strong for you. And be strong for Lawale, the fruit of our union.

Morounke, for thirteen years, I have traveled the journey of life with you, and every single day has been a blessing, and indeed, those have been the best days of my life. But unfortunately, fate has shortened my sojourn with you. Is it fate? Or I, it is I who has by my actions put an end to the life we have together. Or is it the heavens who have rescued you from my hands. I am a man not deserving of your love.

Morounke, you’re a lone fighter now, because our journey together has come to an end. And for a farewell, I wish that the heavens give you the strength to continue this journey, the strength of an African mother, I wish you health, wealth, and joy, I wish that love finds you again and above all, when the heavens grant my wishes, I wish that you have the strength to accept all the joy, happiness and love that the heavens will bring your way, and as well to accept them without me. But I know you, I know you too well Morounke, you hold on too tight. But you have to let go, I’m in my grave now, and they say the living have no business with the dead.

Morounke, time will be your friend. They say Time heals wounds. I have prayed to the heavens, that your wounds are not too deep for time to heal, and when it does heal, that it will not leave a scar too big to conceal. I have prayed to the heavens, for our son; Dewale, that he grows up to be a man, not a man like me, I am less of a man. But a man of whom you will take great pride in being his mother. A man like you Morounke, for you are more of a man than I am.

I will forever be grateful for the gift of you, for the time we spent together, for the moments we shared, for the life we lived and, above all, for the fruit of our union.

Morounke, when you get this letter, you will shed your tears of affection reading it, you will once again be plagued with memories of me, you will wish I had not gone away, you will wish I were here with you, you will wish all that happened was a lie, you will wish I was innocent of the crime, you will wish it was just a dream. But Morounke, you can cry over me. But not for too long, for I am not deserving of your tears, I failed you. So pick yourself up, wipe your face clean, and close my chapter with you. And when the day breaks tomorrow, you are a new person and you will start a new journey; a life without me.

I am sorry, I am sorry Morounke. I am sorry for not being the husband you wanted, I am sorry for being less of a father, I am sorry, for being less of a man. I am sorry, that I could not give you the life you deserved. I am sorry, that I could not give you the love you needed, I am sorry, that I can no longer be there for you. I am sorry Morounke.

I should have done better, I should have controlled myself, I should have thought of you. But no, I allowed rage, it blinded my eyes, it blinded my thinking. I took a life Morounke, and now they have taken mine in return. I will think about my mistake for the rest of my life. They say time is all you have when in prison. I’ll spend my time, I’ll spend it in regret, and I’ll spend it wishing I should have done better. They say time heals wounds, but I cut myself, I cut myself too deep Morounke, so it’ll make mine worse, and who deserves worse if not me. I who live in prison, whose live there is no event but sorrow, have to measure time by throbs of pain, pangs of regret, and the record of bitter moments.

Morounke, now you are free, you are free from the burden of me. But I’ll miss you, I’ll miss you Morounke, because I love you, and maybe I have not said it well enough or shown it well enough. I really do. But Morounke, I am in the past now, do not dwell on the past, do not spend the rest of your days thinking, thinking about us, thinking about what we had, do not spend your life missing me too, and do not pray for me, do not pray for me Morounke, it will not save me. Spend the rest of your days living, because you deserve to live, and to live life well, so don’t spend it dying like me.

I write this letter as a goodbye; so farewell Morounke, and with every being of me, I wish I could say that popular parting phrase, “till we meet again”, but no, I cannot, because we will not. We will not meet again Morounke; the living has no business with the dead.

Your deceased husband,

Faronbi

 

 

Written by: Olutayo Inioluwa

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