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My Stories

First Love Diaries…the ones that walk away

three women, same story

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Remi

There are days the pain is too sharp, I can hardly breathe, and there are days when all I remember are the happy times – the times he said he loved me; the times he said I was funny. Eccentric. Sometimes cute. But never beautiful. No, he never, ever said I was beautiful. But he did say I had a brilliant mind, and that I was sure to go places. He wore a chain – a thin, gold chain around his sturdy neck, and he had a gold stud to his left ear. If you had the patience to wait for him to take off the dark sunglasses he wore on both sunny and not-so sunny days, you’d find brown eyes that held secrets. He was tall, too. Tall, brawny, dark, handsome – all of those adjectives you’d find in a romance book for a hero. I remember him laughing; it was always such an unusual chortle…almost like he was chuckling to himself, secretively. I remember him holding me one warm evening and looking straight into my eyes. The world was perfect that night. Everything stopped, including my heart. I was lost… lost to the awareness of him; lost to the awareness of my deep feelings for him. Lost to an ocean from which I knew I would never find my way out.

Yes, all those things, I remember about my first love.

Tosan

Seven years I’ve waited for my first love, hoping he’ll come back…wishing he’ll tell me he loves me and that he’s made mistake about me. About us. But he’s married a woman that is conventionally woman – petite; light, even toned skin; with an accent that screams intelligence in its foreignness. Even now, I still do not know what I ever did to him that would make him walk away. One moment, he said he loved me. The next, he is married. One moment he said he loved me, the next… he says he wasn’t planning to fall in love with someone like me – too dark, too tall, too skinny girl with too wide lips. One moment he said he loved me, and the next, it almost feels like he can hardly bear to look at me. And now, many years later, and finally, physically beautifully in all of the right places, the pain of his rejection remains a gaping wound screaming for help; for healing.  It screams for attention from anywhere, and anyone willing to listen.

Yes, all those things I remember about my first love.

Rola

First love? Ha! Let me tell you about my first love. He had kind, warm eyes that caressed you long enough to make you feel you were the most special woman in the world. Yet, he chose his parents over me. I wasn’t exactly what his folks would have liked for him to have, so he did some choosing  and, well, it hurt. Very much.  I needed repair, so I did a little walking of my own, searching for the filling that would stop my emptiness. It’s a walk that seems to have no end in sight.  I’ve become a heartbreaker in my quest for finding love. I take your love, and never give back. I make you believe I love you, then, just when emotions are running high with sweetness and the spirit of giving, I walk away. I walk, and leave you hanging, confused, hurt, and alone. I walk on, in this journey called life, searching, constantly searching for the approval of the first love that wouldn’t stay.

Yes, all those things I remember about my first love.

Get my latest book, Lessons in Love, now available at Amazon and in Nigeria, exclusively at Takada Books.

 

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Categories: African Romance snippets, My Stories | Tags: , , , | 1 Comment

The Visit

The visitTime and chance visited. There was no warning.

He’d skipped dinner, sat up all night computing figures, refusing sleep to his eyes. Excited…beyond excited. Bills, paid; stocks, doing well. More cash to save. Now what to do? Family car needs change. Another BMW? May be an escalade, like Mr. Lawals’. Now, that would be nice. Fuck the economy, who cares? Definitely not this man. I’m living large, he thought. The house…oh, the house. It needed another new coat of paint. Yeah, how about changing the floorings, make it hard wood; turn the kitchen to pure marble, like the Buchis. Wifey would like that. Yes, that would be nice.

Then, we’ll know who’s who.

The thought went through his mind, and he got the visit.

The pain lanced through his chest and travelled down his left arm. It happened so fast, he slumped, hard, on the ground. The noise brought Wifey  in, running.

“Help,” her faint cries reached him before he slipped away into a darkness so overwhelming, he felt extinct.

He saw no shapes; no figures, yet  he knew their voices  had called out to him.

He said Yes, I’m here. He didn’t hear his own voice. When he  spoke, it was a language so different from the one he knew.

Stand up.

So many voices. They laughed, evoking  dread in him.

Where am I?

Their hilarity  encircled him. Like wolves, their mirth wasn’t kind.

Please where am I?

He felt, rather than heard their collective, impatient grunt.

A chasm, they said.  Somewhere between hell and heaven.

Oh, a hospital, he guessed, probably suspended on a ventilator with several wires hooked up to him as Doctors and Nurses battled to save his life. He stood up. Pain lanced through what was his chest, now turned to empty space. He swallowed hard to stifle his growing sense of panic. He looked down. No feet. No legs. No arms. He reached up to touch his face with fingers that were no longer present. He felt …vacuum.

Did I die? Am I dead now?

No. Last night. You didn’t eat. Why?

He shook his head. What used to be his head.  Here he was, caught between heaven and hell, and this was the question they were going to ask him.

I was busy -the words flowed out of his shapeless, formless void .

Busy. He felt the hardness to their tone.  Busy doing what?

Trying to be; to become.

Become what?

Rich. Successful. Famous. Better than my neighbor.

You didn’t eat.

No, I didn’t eat.  He hadn’t meant to reply, but it wouldn’t have mattered. Here, words weren’t uttered. They simply hovered  empty space.

Suddenly, he felt hungry.

But I’d like to go home now. I’m hungry. I’d like to go home and eat.   

That won’t be possible. Your home is in the world. The world is for the living.

You said  I wasn’t dead.

We said you didn’t die now.

I don’t understa-

You died. A long time ago.

I don’t understa-

You died. While you lived.

So I’m dead.

You’re dead. No going back.

 No going back.

Their laughter continued. He stooped to weep, knowing it would be for eternity.

Categories: My Stories, Reflections | Tags: , , | 2 Comments

Even men cry too (part III)

Click to read Part 1

Click to read Part 2

“You lied to me Mike,” she started. “You told me you were on a business trip. Guess what? I called your workplace and they told me that you were on vacation.”

I folded my arms across my chest, discovering quite suddenly that I wasn’t ashamed that I’d lied to her. In fact, I was kind of glad that she had discovered the truth. I reasoned she’d come to realize that I wasn’t happy in our marriage and perhaps, would be willing to work with me on how we could resolve our situation.

“Yes, I lied to you,” I replied. “I needed some alone time to reflect on the state of our relationship.”

“And what conclusion did you come to?” she asked scornfully.

“Chichi,” I began, “I think we should talk about this when I come back home.”

“No. I demand to know what decision you’ve arrived at,” she shouted, her body language speaking of an aggression that was well familiar to me.

I turned away, refusing to dialogue anymore. That was when she pulled my shirt and tore the material in a single split. I shrugged her off, but that action only plummeted any form of control that was left in her 5 foot 4 inches body.

“Get off me,” I said, warding her off again, knowing that if the squabble worsened, the Police wouldn’t believe me if I told them she had hit me. I’m a black man with a strong Nigerian accent so it’s only going to be natural for them to believe that I had been the abuser.  Forcing myself to calm down, I turned to plead with her only to accidentally hit her elbow with my hand. That was the cue she needed to let her anger seep out like a broken dam. She screamed, ran to the kitchenette and brought out a table knife.

Pointing the knife at me, she screeched, “You want to leave me, right? You want to end our marriage, right? After I lost our only child to your indiscretions and had my tummy warped, you now want to end our marriage? I promise you, I won’t make it easy for you. I’ll kill you first, then I’ll kill myself.”

And all I could think to myself was “Dis woman don craze finish.

I backed up against the wall, wishing I could somehow reach the phone to call for help. Never had I seen Chichi look so unstable. The beauty I once thought she had, pulled off her face like a mask, as she screamed vengeance.

“Chichi, calm down.”

But she was past caring. With eyes filled with the hot energy of retaliation, she reached for me. I ran. She chased. I ran some more. She chased even more, and as we did our cat and mouse dance, our yells became louder. It wasn’t long before insistent knocks rapped on the door of my hotel room, with voices demanding that I open the door. After what seemed to be like several minutes, the door came crashing down. The Security men ran to me first, holding me down.  But when Chichi came charging at me as they held me in their tight grip, they realized that the perpetrator in this dance of terror was Chichi. They held her, demanding that she quiet down. Unfortunately, Chichi was too far crazed to listen to them and she charged at them, intending to do them physical harm.

It’s been a year since the vicious event in Houston. Chichi was arrested and sentenced. I divorced her, while she continued receiving therapy in her anger management class – as that was what the Judge demanded at trial in lieu of jail time. I am still in the process of picking my life’s pieces, but it’s not been easy. My friends have been sensitive enough not to bother me with words of “I told you so”, but deep down, I still beat myself for falling for charm, forgetting that charm, like they say is fleeting, and that beauty, as they say, is vain. The most important lesson I have learned in all this is that I see the concept of beauty far different from most people’s view. For me, beauty runs skin deep, because I’ve come to understand that a beautiful woman without any form of control is like placing an expensive gold ring in a pig’s nose.

And you may judge me for all I care, but God knows, I’m so done with pigs.

***Originally posted December 7, 2011

Get my latest book, Lessons in Love, now available at Amazon and in Nigeria, exclusively at Takada Books.

Categories: My Stories | Tags: , , , , | 19 Comments

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