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Caleb Somtochukwu Okereke: You’re Something Running Loose



dreamstime_l_14193979You are something running loose, untamed, cannot be controlled, a horse. You are something difficult to climb, something beyond reach, something hands scramble for, you are gold. You are stories Mothers would tell their daughters, photos teenage girls would stare at and want to be like, you are something sought after, something longed for.

These walls cannot contain you Baby, these walls cannot. You fill them with your essence, space by space, volume by volume; you are something overflowing, something running over to others.

You are crossword puzzles already figured out, pleated skirts already weaved-this does not mean you are boring or repetitive, it does not mean you are sprawled out in one glance, it rather means you are whole, complete, you are something fit for kings. You are more than stilettos and lipstick smeared lips, you are more than stood-up dates and texts not replied. You are something deserving.

You sit cross legged, hands placed securely over each other, face turned away from onlookers, you sit in your own comfortable corner knitting dreams with your mind. Dreams of far places and charming princes, dreams of happy conclusions, little beginnings, and coffee made beside fireplaces, linen sweaters and warm sheets but they tell you these dreams are stupid dreams.

“Girls who go far do not dream like this“

“Girls who go far are the Quillox girls, girls who are wisening up”

And so you fold these dreams into rumpled pieces and toss them in the sections of your mind where determination never reaches, and little by little, they start to die, they start to wean, like the outstretched hands of malnourished children during the civil war, they reach out to you, you are too far gone.

You adjust yourself into lesser pixels of these dreams, you say, “I did not get the big house in Ibiza, but I live in Ikorodu, I am married and that’s just fine”. Then you become one of those who laugh at the dreams of other girls, you become dream catchers, snatching dreams you feel are too big into paper bags like the kinds you placed yours.

But Girl, You are something running loose, untamed, cannot be controlled, a horse. You should know to never adjust your dreams to things you can see, you are something for Princes, something for bedtime stories, you are beautiful and swanky and every other good adjective, girl, you matter.

And life is keen on tugging at the hoofs of horses that canter, life adores sloppiness, life loves always to be in control and so dear, life does not like you. Life wakes up everyday uncomfortable at the thought of women like you; life tells you women like you are insufficient, it frowns at the messages of feminism and says irrational things like “But can a woman impregnate herself?” or “God did not create woman and man equal”. Baby, Life is afraid of women like you, afraid of stand alones.

And you cry when no one is looking, the hurt is too much to bear; men who do not know you matter, men who are oblivious of your worth, have manhandled you. They have made you into origami’s of their own and placed you afloat in waters of their desires. They have broken you bit by bit, piece by piece, shared these bits amongst their friends like bread for communion. They have said “Take, eat, this girl is my body, I have had her, do this in remembrance of me” and placed you securely in the palms of waiting men.

But Girl, you are not the victim, you are the predator.

It is you, who hurts men, you who breaks men, you are not the one to always cry, your emotions are not always available to leak to the crowd as symbols of love gone wrong, your tears are precious, just like you.

You are something afire, something ignited. You are not one of those girls who wait for men to kindle the fire in them, one of those girls who only start to burn when stimulated by a man, girl, you are your own matchstick; you light yourself up. And the fire burns fiercely, this fire that is not just in you, but is in essence you, for dear, you are not something set ablaze, you are something ablaze.

And sometime this world will learn just how powerful you are, how not all hands snap when faced by difficulty, and not all legs wobble, this world will learn to tolerate powerful ladies, to acknowledge rather than fear them, but girl till then, you remain something running lose. Untamed, cannot be controlled, a horse.

“Calm down, look at the girls marrying every Saturday, you are here claiming feminist”

“He is not so bad, he just hits you when he is angry, when you marry, it will not be like that”

“And he is fine, do you see his pictures on IG, manage, make do with what you have”

You are not something that compromises, something that makes do, for girl, men are ice cubes to the smoothie that is your life, additives, they make you taste better, but they do not make you. They are fancy wrappings to the gift that you already are, cufflinks to the readymade shirt that is you; they enhance you, but they do not complete you.

And girl, this is how you know you are complete. It is the animation in your voice when you are watching Tyler Perry and the similar vigour reading your favourite books, it is the sparkle in your eyes from the vibrancy of little things and the liberation in your steps when you dance to Fergie in the shower. It is your favourite TV shows, fitfam and a slender bar of healthy chocolate.

And this is my prayer for you-May you understand how remarkable you are, may all doubts about yourself doll up and leave using the front door. May you find love first in simpler things, may your shoes be comfy and your mind more open to the knowledge that you are something running loose, untamed, cannot be controlled, a horse.

Photo Credit: Dreamstime

Caleb Okereke is an Editor/Co-Founder at Minority Africa. He's also a Correspondent at Heidi News and has worked with the AFP.


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