To all the names I will never forget

Lola Ibanez - Senegal


March 7, 2020

I didn´t know where to place
you in my family tree.

I didn´t know why you acted
like my mum and how you became my closest friend.

I didn´t know how we
encountered ourselves within the cultural gap.

I didn´t know why you can read my eyes so easily.

I didn´t know why you
decided to trust me.

 

All I know is that I will
miss you, Fatou Gueye.

 

 

I wasn´t told I would have
kids at my house.

I wasn´t told how empathetic
they were.

I wasn´t told I was  gonna be the
actual kid with no words to say.

I wasn´t told babies would
be my firsts best friends.

I wasn´t told you were gonna
hug me every day.

I wasn´t told I would countdown
the hours when you head to school.

I wasn´t told I needed you
to live here.

I wasn´t told we will
probably cry in April.

 

I wasn´t told you were gonna
make me feel like your real sister, Oumou, and Yhouka.

 

  

I won´t forget the first time
you talked to me, I thought you were mean.

I won´t forget how excited
and worried I was when you gave birth.

I won´t forget every little
gesture and joke you have shared with me.

I won't forget the amount
of times you hosted me.

I won´t forget myself from
smiling every time you call your daughter "Lola Ndiaye".

I won´t forget what you mean
to me.

I won´t forget to wait till
you have WhatsApp.

 

I won´t forget who you are,
Awa Sam.

 

 

I thought you were beautiful
the first time I saw you.

I thought you were really
nice for helping me improve my Wolof.

I thought I hated life when I
saw you cooking and cleaning. When they didn´t let you keep studying.

I thought you were really
cool when you said you don´t want to get married. When you talked about your
dreams, about continuing studying and hopefully going to university.

I thought I wished I was
fluent in Wolof so we could better talked about society.

 

I thought and keep thinking
that I admire you, Antakya

 

 

I was confused when you
accompanied me to my first Wolof class, I didn´t know your name or who you
were.

I was confused every time you
smiled because I didn´t think I deserved it.

I was confused when your
presence became essential.

I was confused about the first the time you gave me a hug.

I was confused when I demanded
one.


I was confused when I
realized I wished I could bring you home, Banna.

 

 

I was mad when you first
came to my house.

I was mad when you just said
"Toubab".

I was mad when you told me
you were 16.

I was mad that you started
working at my house.

I was mad that you had to
stopped studying.

I was mad that I started to
like you.

I was mad when your music
was better than mine.

I was mad when you were gone
for a while.

I was mad that I missed you.

I was mad that someone joked
about you having a fiancee.

I was mad when Fatou told me
you were getting married.

I was mad when you ignored
my questions.

I was mad when you stopped
talking to me.

I was mad at myself for
reacting like that.

I was mad at society when I
saw you shaking.

I was mad at society when we
hide in your room, when I saw you in that beautiful white dress.

I was mad when you wanted to
cry, when you confessed crying alone.

 

I am mad because I haven´t
seen you since, Yama.

 


I didn´t know Fatou Bintou
for a while.

I wasn´t told what to expect
from her.

I won´t forget who she was
these months.

I thought I hated her.

I was confused when she got
lost.

I was mad she didn´t like me
back.

 

I now know she is part of me.

I need to embrace, to fix
and empower her.


For a greater co-existance,  Fatou Bintou Ndiaye.


To all the names I will
never forget,

 forever grateful.

 

F.B.    


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Lola Ibanez