The Apology You Will Never Get

by Doyin Adeyemi

Mr Nkama Okafor: Now it is time for the second poetry recital by one of our top students – Kelechi Achebe. She will be reciting a free verse poem that is titled “The apology you will never get.”

*As Kelechi makes her way to the front of the hall, several students turn to look at each other and whisper within themselves. They are surprised because Kelechi is known as a shy girl, one who seems to lack confidence to speak in front of a lot of people.*

Kelechi: *shaking nervously she begins to speak.*

Why are you pushing me down?
I’m trying to get up
Up up there, I’m trying to go higher

Why are you pushing me down?
I need to be up there
There’s this thing I need from up there

*someone in the crowd laughs. In the quiet room, it is easy to pinpoint the person out. Kelechi glances quickly at Adesua and continues to read*

Why are you pushing me down?
I have been searching and now I have found
I know I need to be up there

*she hesitates to keep going, but she hears a voice in her head tell her she can do it, so she increases her voice*

Down here I am apologizing
And it is continuous
The continuity is weighing me down
I can not continue to apologize
Why are you weighing me down?
I desperately need to be up there

*the room goes silent*

You want me to apologize one last time?

Okay. I apologize.

I’m sorry that I have become this person
This person that is dissatisfied with just anything
This person that is willing to say no to what she feels is wrong
This person that does not have to practice a smile in the mirror anymore
This person that loves herself
This person that loves what’s inside of her

I’m sorry,
I’m sorry I make you uncomfortable
I’m sorry you feel guilt around me
I’m sorry you feel shame

This girl knows what it’s like
To feel guilt and shame
And what it’s like to not
And she’ll pick to not feel it every single time ——
She has a choice

You’re not willing to let go and I am
I am moving upward
Why are you pushing me down?

Why are you pushing me down?
I have had a peek of this love that is up there
This love that erases guilt, that erases shame
This love that erases past mistakes
This love that brings out continuous growth and not continuous apology

I need it all But — it is not down here

This love is what separates down here from up there I need to be up there

This apologizing needs to go
So I will apologize no more
I am not who you want me to be
I am who I am – a product of THE I AM THAT I AM
And I am not sorry

I need this love

*she pauses, when she starts again – her tone is calm*

It’s a different story if I just want it
But you see
This love – the love of God – demands to be felt – I need it

This love molds and remakes
And in the process erases unnecessary baggage
So don’t weigh me down
Down here is dark and ugly
And it’s been comfortable because I have known nothing better
But now I know, and it’s never too late to know
So I know and I will go
I will keep going, I will keep climbing, I will keep feeling- this love- that’s all consuming. I will yield to its demand.

I will yield to it, oh yes I will,
And I am absolutely not sorry.
This is the apology you will never get.

*she leaves the hall without looking at anyone’s face. she is out now and she is smiling and she is laughing and she is crying at the same time. she is free.*

You can visit Doyin’s blog here
You can reach her on Twitter @Doyiinn

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