[This is a snippet from a letter in the “Dear past me” section I wrote for Clitbait.]
You fall in love with someone, knowing what would happen—it’s a selfish choice, stepping into another world where religion means nothing, where you’re more yourself and free, happiness colouring you in blush pinks and lilacs, ribbons of silver twirling around you like a ballerina, lighting up every dark crevice in your hollowed out chest. This love won’t save you, only you can do that. But it will change your life and fill you with almost impossible-to-believe dreams and peace, the glorious fires of finally finding yourself and who you are and what you want. This fire will burn against the fires of eternal damnation, a threat raised above your head like a mighty throne, judging you, only promising absolution in the act of leaving him.
The coming reckoning of a life estranged from the people who raised you, their pleas and heartbreak from you finding and choosing a man they don’t want for you dripping like rain, will feel as if the heavens were breaking down with them. This chaos, the drowning in brown girl guilt and tidal waves of depression choke you, but it makes you realise you can’t live a life, a lie, just to appease a family who, despite everything, will always protect their reputation first. What is wrong with choosing someone of a different faith or no faith? It won’t stop you from bowing down, kneeling before God to pray, to supplicate, to thank, to praise.