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The man with the green shirt.

The promised one.

When I met you, you were just the man with the green polo shirt, standing at the corner at Chinaza’s house party. When I told my friends about you, they called you “Mr Green Shirt”. Just like they called Ahmed “Mr Anal”. Or Tunde “Uncle Midnight Call.”

But you, Mr Green Shirt, aren’t like Mr Anal or Uncle Midnight Call who only remembers me when it is time for booty call.

You call me at 10 past 5, every time you close from work. You text me at six-thirty, when you just wake up for work.

When you call me by 11 past 5, you apologize for the late call.

When you ask me to go out for dinner at 7:30 on Saturday, you are right outside my gate at 7:15.

When I lick my plate after a meal, you do not call me a “glutton” or sneer at me, instead you ask, “do you want more?”

When you want to touch me, you stutter, “C-can I… hold your hand?”

You don’t just grab my wrist or slide a finger on my laps, pretending like I didn’t see it happening.

When I tell you about my dreams reaching for the sky, you tell me that it is bigger than the universe.

Even though you get everything right with me… you are only a template.

A template of the man to come.

You are not the fair-skinned man I have always wanted.

You are not the beardless man I have always wanted to hold.

You are not the Mount Everest man I can stare at with my head bent backwards.

You are the template of the fair-skinned tall, beardless man that I will love tomorrow. All your consistencies and kind words and safety will be found inside my dream man tomorrow.

I will enjoy all your sweetness now till “the one” comes.

Days become weeks and weeks turn to months.

You are still here, calling me at 10 past 5, texting me at six-thirty and showing up at my house by 7:15.

The dry jokes you crack that once made me roll my eyes have begun to make me fall to the floor in laughter.

The same hand you use to hold mine does not feel like glass anymore, it feels like warmth.

The eyes that I always avoided have become the place I look to for comfort.

I don’t want you to just hold my hand anymore, I want you to wrap your arms around me as well.

What is happening to me?

This is not how the story is supposed to play out.

I am not okay with this.

I want to run away because I will only hurt you.

You are too calm for all the chaos in my head.

I cannot love you because I do not feel butterflies in my stomach.

Why does my body feel so still around you? Maybe it’s because you are just a friend. I think.

But why do I see my future with you in it, when I do not feel goosebumps all the time?

Isn’t love all about the goosebumps and butterflies and fire in my soul?

All I feel is the opposite.

I feel my skin glow and my heart still and just… pure joy around you.

I find myself healing every wound in me to keep you.

I find myself dreaming bigger because of you.

I find myself wanting to protect your dreams as well.

When a day goes by without us talking much, I want to say anything and everything to keep you around. No matter how boring the conversation feels.

I don’t want you.

I need you.

Because I love you even when it doesn’t make sense.

But only one thing makes sense.

You aren’t a template of the dream man to come.

You are the dream man.

It is you, Mr Green Shirt.

It has always been you.

INSPIRED BY SONG: BLESS THE BROKEN ROAD BY SELAH

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2 Comments

  • T
    Posted June 8, 2023 8:04 pm 0Likes

    Phenomenal ✨

    • Husseina Jafiya
      Posted June 8, 2023 10:18 pm 0Likes

      Thank you 💕

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