I feel overwhelmed. I’m struggling to swim against a current that I can’t name. I’m choking on slapping mouthfuls of grey waves. How will I know which life vest to shout for? I can’t name the waves crashing against me. They reek of loneliness and lust. Or maybe I’m polluting the beach front. I feel the waves tugging at the yellow crotchet bikini string entwined with orange waist beads. Drowning and staying afloat are the same thing done in reverse. My nipples tingle, then ache and I stir awake. I feel numb then shiver.
The beach chair cause my ribs to ache. They leave lines on my light brown skin. I sit up slowly, my yellow two-piece tube feels scratchy against my budded nipples. There are flower imprints on my arms from the tiny scalloped petals on the tiny sleeves woven into the tube covering my small breasts. I hug the velvet fabric wrapped over me. In the 6am dawn it looks like a spilled glass of burgundy wine. Moaning, I stand up and instinctively touch my damp twin afro buns. It happens fast like a flipped switch. Numerous sounds rush into my silence hallow mind. Hooting and honking traffic, gawking and chirping birds, crashing waves, crunching sand, shouted bus-stops, low afro pop, bellowing wind.
Why didn’t I drown? Why did I try to go back home by dying at its doorstep? Why am I thinking of steaming akara and creamy pap? I need to cry. I feel it like a string. Each breath adds another bead of grief. Like the current that pushed me back from death. As my slender fingers button up the yellow shirt dress, the string lengthens and waves crash against my insides. I miss myself.