The narration is a bit long but trust me, you would enjoy it.
“I had a boyfriend when
it was a taboo to have one. I was 17. Our first meeting was as ordinary
as it gets. I went on a stroll which was not uncommon those days on our
estate, and there came this young man driving his father’s car. He
stopped, chatted with me for a while and I wonder what he said that
made me get into his car and have him drop me off. He called the
intercom and we talked again but he knew the times to call when mum
would not do the picking. Little did I know that the day he picked me up
was the day I would begin the journey.
We spent our spare moments together, talking,
walking and when we walked the streets, word travelled swiftly to our
parents. On my arrival home, a cane was the welcome party. We always
paid dearly for those nights because our parents wanted us to be
straight kids, but we didn’t mind.
This did not deter me nor stop
my stubborn heart from wanting to be with him. I had a friend who
listened to my fears and laughed at my tales of the experiences school
had brought with it, alongside the education I so craved. I remember
when he played the guitar and sang Chris de burgh’s “Lady in Red”. It
was so beautiful; the funny thing is that I was not wearing red when he
sang, but in that moment red was just a state of mind.
fragile and he was so caring, attentive to my every need. We would meet
up at 7.30pm under the stairs and talk till it was almost 10pm. Then he
would tell me it was time to go. I would sulk, make faces till I cried
and he would be forced to stay at least a second more. Well that was
until mum called out my name and I would run inside, pretending the
trash was my mission. He would run back home and sometimes, the doors
would be locked and he would have to call for someone to open the door.
He was the best friend I’d never had.
After dad’s passing, I craved
the father-daughter relationship so much that I looked at him in that
light. I had found my first true love. He took me on many firsts;
squash, scrabble games, drives, music. And the day that Tunisia and
Nigeria played a match at the stadium in Surulere, he asked me out on a
date. It was our first official date (who takes a girl out to a football
match on a first date?) We went out to watch the Eagles play and I was
blown away. We won the match and he had won my heart. Our friends
marvelled at the way our love grew and we became the bad examples of what
not to be.
When we walked, mothers would point at us and say
“that’s what you should never be” hahahaha…
I began to hope that one day I would bear his kids. At 17 though, kids and their thoughts!
semester had resumed and we both went back to our different schools, no
emails, no cell phones, no blackberries or WhatsApp. The post office
was rather cumbersome. All we had were our hearts and our thoughts. It
turns out that was all the connection we needed. When the holidays came
around I looked forward to seeing him, and then he told me he was
leaving the country. My heart broke and tears poured freely down my
face, I begged him to stay but he told me he had to go. I accepted this
with a heavy heart and hoped that one day I would find a friend like
him. When we got to the airport, I bade him farewell, he turned and said
“I will come back, Nse”. I cried my heart out and went back to school
the next day. I had lost the only friend who never judged me, who sang
to me, and told me I was beautiful.
The years went by and one day
I ran into his mum and got his number off her. We started talking again
but I decided to let him go. I dated other men, became a woman and
swore never to marry. I knew it wasn’t meant for me because after what I
saw my parents have, mine had to be just like theirs or better!
I had finally become a woman, set in her ways but something was missing. So again I set out to look for him.
searched every social network to no avail and one day I used a search
engine and there he was staring back at me. I sent him an email and he
responded. We were ecstatic. At least I was, I had found the only man
who knew the right things to say to make me happy. Then he proposed. I
was over the moon. I accepted and told mum. My family was happy because
they knew our history and just when I was getting ready to be Mrs……. He
broke it off! I cried again, third time is a charm yea? He wasn’t
supposed to make my mascara run he was meant to smear my lipstick!
had been heartbroken yet again but this time it was done by him not a
circumstance. I hated him, I loathed him and I rued the day I first set
my eyes on him! He had changed me and now no man meant anything to me. I
just dated and if it was inconvenient, I walked away. My famous quote
“I was not born to be married” raised dust in some quarters, but no one
cared to know why! Why get married to someone who would cheat on you or
better still whom I would cheat on? Why get married to someone who would
make me a shadow of myself or perhaps, have me give up my career for
him? Yes, again I say, I was not born to be married.
I got an
email from him after so many years and I hated his guts. I alternated
between ignoring him and giving frosty replies. He had my sister play
mediator and that earned him a fairly warm reply. Well at least he was
honest to walk away when he did rather than walk all over me in the
As the days went by, we spoke about so many things,
emotions got in the way and he blurted it “I would love to spend the
rest of my life with my sweetheart” and I asked him “have you told
her?”. He said he had been trying but she seemed distant (abi you for no
pretend say you no sabi say na you) oh well. I wanted him to say the
words. And he did! “Will you marry me?”
My heart skipped a beat
and I said “listen yeah, you just have to give me some time to think
this through” I knew my answer would be yes, but how was I to tell him I
never got over him? Would I be perceived as weak, needy or just a
desperate woman? It had taken us two decades to get to this point and
what a road we had come. This is my heart, my happiness my true love had
come back to me. Who cares what anyone thinks!
… So I got on the
phone, called my friend and asked her to send him a card, flowers and a
bottle of wine with my reply… “Yes I will marry you, my one true Love”
Well I think that’s what I sent, but to be honest I was quite giddy. The
long and short of it is that I said yes and my life has never been the
The narration is a bit long but trust me, you would enjoy it.