The Paragraph I Promised
She isn’t a bad friend, she’s just a better fiancé.
Excerpt from Passing Through Season 4, Episode 6:
She types out the lie about her Uncle.
Sends six sad emojis and a series of exclamation points.
Calls once, knowing my cousin can’t pick up, she’s at work.
(You gotta add a lil’ digital intensity to make people believe you wouldn’t actually miss your best friend’s bachelorette party because you’re secretly marrying their first cousin)
She adds a few platitudes about how death is such a tragedy, and how no one knows when this life will end.
My cousin promptly responds, gives her condolences.
Politely pardons her absence.
She thumbs through the omg’s and I’m so sorry’s.
A half-smile blooms.
She kicks up her feet, opens Whatsapp, scrolls through the bachelorette thread, stops at the message she sent when it was first formed.
We have to make sure to really show out for our girl! Our goal is to make our bride happy by any means necessary! Whatever you all need from me I’ll do.
She skims it.
Deletes the chat entirely.
She interlocks both hands behind her head, eyes rolling towards the ceiling. She pictures all the likes, comments, and re-shares crowding her phone after she posts her traditional wedding.
And how she’ll be able to say my husband to strangers on the street and all her sorry single friends. How everyone will choke at how gorgeous the gowns will be, and how even her best friend’s wedding won’t compare. How she’ll go live on IG after the video hits 1 million views, and how people who hate her will have to block BellaNaija.
How she isn’t actually a bad friend, she’s just a better fiancé.
And whatever her future husband wants, regardless of whether he’s her “best friend’s” first fucking cousin or not, she’s going to give him.
This series is about getting more comfortable with the never-ending, magically forgiving process of revision. In the words of Annie Dillard:
One of the few things I know about writing is this: spend it all, shoot it, play it, lose it, all, right away, every time. Do not hoard what seems good for a later place in the book, or for another book; give it, give it all, give it now. The impulse to save something good for a better place later is the signal to spend it now. Something more will arise for later, something better.
These things fill from behind, from beneath, like well water. Similarly, the impulse to keep to yourself what you have learned is not only shameful, it is destructive. Anything you do not give freely and abundantly becomes lost to you. You open your safe and find ashes.
Thank you for letting me share lil’ snippets of my manuscript and the 4th season of Passing Through The Podcast every week.