A Remembrance of You

I say goodbye one last time.

I say goodbye one last time.

How do I begin? How do I start to tell the story of love that might have been but never was and, because of what has happened, will never be! It’s really sad! I never heard a thing. And that was because we’ve grown apart and so far away from each other. I know I’ll always have you in my heart because, who ever forgets the first love. You were my first love, even if I never knew what it meant at the time, but I later realized that I did feel something special for you. But now that you’re gone forever, we can’t even get the chance to rekindle such beautiful, hidden romance we once had. I’m beyond tears at this moment but the news of your passing, especially the way I found out, knocked the stuffing out of me! I’ll never forget you! And this post is a way to preserve the memory of you.

The story from the beginning was one of childish antagonism turned secret love affair. We just moved to our new 3-bedroom apartment in Akoka then and I and my immediate elder sis were still schooling at Festac so we only came over once in a while on weekends. It wasn’t long before we moved over finally to begin some of the longest periods I spent in one neighbourhood. The early days are quite foggy but one memory stood out for me. It always has. That fight at the tank downstairs. I hope you remember too. It was serious ‘chicken fight’ and we had a real go at each only to be separated by some of the adults around there. I still can’t remember what caused it but it’s one of my earliest memories of you.

It wasn’t long after that that everyone found out, including both of us, that we were birthmates. Yes! Same day, same month, same year! Then I knew you were always going to be special to me, even if I never wanted to show it. I’m sure finding out such information made us fond of each other, still secretly. We had a thing for each other but never talked about it. We only communicate with the eyes while in the crowd. We never really had time alone but when it’s just you, me and Bashiru, you were always different. I could hold you or touch you.

I remember the teases from Bro. Fatai and Bro. Jako. “Husband and wife,” they’ll say, anytime we were together with everyone and we used to fight against it going at them like we were very mad at the notion although we secretly both liked it. Other variations were “Iyawo Akin” or “Oko Basira” and we would start our tantrums. I grew out of it earlier than you, though. I just stopped responding to it but you were still fighting against any adult that tries to put what we had privately out there in public. I don’t think any of our mates really teased us about it.

I remember that one time when Papa came to our compound to play ball with I and Bashiru. He started telling us that he was going to marry you. I didn’t say anything about it even though I was quite pissed. Later that night, I was in your apartment watching Monsor and Bashiru play that new computer game when Bro. Fatai came in and started teasing you when he saw me there. You rushed to him and started hitting him. Then Bashiru dropped the bombshell! He said that Papa already said he’ll be the one to marry her so you should be ‘Iyawo Papa’. Bro. Fatai played along and you started asking Bashiru when and where Papa made this reference. I was a bit relieved that I was no longer the focus of the teases but I was mad inside that anyone else wanted to have you, much less my close friend.

I needn’t have worried. The following day, Papa came to see me while you were in the passageway playing with some of your friends. I can’t remember those that were there on that day but I guess they were the regulars: Nkechi, Efe and the rest. The moment you sighted him, you challenged him, “Come, Papa, who gave you wife? Are you sure you’re alright? Who do you want to marry?! If I hear such again…!” Or something like that, but you embarrassed him that day. I had to come out of our flat when I heard the noise just before Papa turned back and left. I pitied my friend but felt joy that you had just defended what we had. You wouldn’t let anyone take what we shared, even though many suspected and no one really knew. Except maybe Bashiru. And my sis, Lola. She was a tricky one. Always trying to get us together as much as possible.

I remember the days of ‘Dunlop’. I smile right now just thinking of those moments. ‘Dunlop’ was a game, quite pointless I might add, that we sort of invented where someone shouts “Dunlop!” and jumps on the bed, then the rest follow one on top of the other until last person and we roll over and start again, changing the first person. I remember we never wanted to follow each other even if it was just I, you, Bashiru and Lola. But we would try to feel for each other’s hands or bodies just before the roll over. On one of those fun nights, after we got tired of ‘Dunlop’, Lola came up with the idea of ‘Mummy and Daddy’ and, the matchmaker that she is, paired us together while she and Bashiru were the other family. Each family had a blanket to cover themselves with as their ‘house’. Under our blanket, we shared our very first kiss and held each other as much as we’ve always wanted. It was a night I’d never ever forget because that was the closest I got to you, ever! Other details of that night will be locked in my memories. Needless to say, that was the night I knew you truly felt the same way about me as I felt for you. That night I dared to dream that we would always be together and grow old together. Yes, we never really went to the ‘extreme’ but the closeness I shared with you that night was worth the thought! How wrong I was!

All these happened between the ages of 7 and 12 and I often looked back and thought if we’d grown up together, you would have been my one and only girlfriend, ever! I loved you like that. But it just wasn’t meant to be. You guys moved to your dad’s house, still around Akoka but we never got to see each other as much again. I visited with my siblings once or twice over the next few years but there was really nothing memorable apart from the fact that my heart still fluttered at the sight of you. I never really dropped the feelings I had for you. They just moved into my subconscious and resurfaced every single time I see you after that. Once just after I was through with WAEC and the other at your mom’s housewarming around Meiran when I was in my third year in the University. I still felt the same way about you. Even after two different relationships. I never knew how you felt, though. We never discussed it, even after I got your number and started calling every once in a while. You seemed like you’d moved on from our pre-teen romance and, though it was kinda sad for me, I couldn’t begrudge you for that.

We didn’t contact each other for a while until around 2011 when you gave me your BB PIN and we started chatting a bit on the regular. I remember that one time I asked about ‘the guy’ and told you if he wasn’t fast enough to snap you up, I’d just appear from nowhere and pack all the yams, palm oil and fruits to your parents and steal you away. You just laughed. I wished I had been capable then. I was in transition between relationships and I think I might have tried to start something with you. I moved on to someone else but I was still bothered you weren’t ‘off the market’ yet. After a while we just totally stopped communicating. I think I called once since that time, just to say ‘Hi’, besides the customary SMS I send on our birthday. It was almost obvious we were never going to be together because we’d grown apart but I still want to keep in touch anytime I think of you.

Today was one of those days when I thought of you and decided to check on you on Facebook and probably call you later to ask for your new PIN because you were no longer on my contacts list. I just wanted to know how you were faring and maybe see if you’re still available. I’ve never thought of myself as someone who can handle inter-religious marriage. I deeply respect those brave people who make it work. I naturally believe that there are too many things to work out between couples in a marriage before now adding the religious aspect into the mix. But with you I was willing to make an exception, if we ever had the chance. I always told anybody I spoke to about you that you were the only girl I could have ever gotten married to as a non-Christian and I would be willing to try and work it out. You were that special to me!

Imagine my horror, sadness and depression when I found condolence messages on your wall. I was shocked to the marrows! I couldn’t utter anything as I scrolled down the messages, hoping to see a response from you that all’s well and you appreciate the messages. I never wanted to accept that they were talking about you! It’s been 2 months. October 9th, to be precise. And I was just finding out today. I didn’t cry. My state of shock was too deep to bring tears to my eyes. That would come later, I know. I motioned through the day and knew I had to do this.

This is my remembrance of you, my dear soulmate! This is where I’ll come to share time with you now. I loved you like I’ve never loved anyone else! Even if the relationship was hidden and short-lived, you still existed in my subconscious.

You will forever live in my memories!

Rest in Peace, my darling!

Adieu, Bas’rat Yakub!

The last picture I personally took.

The last picture I personally took.

Do-or-Die Affair

Questionable relationships won't work

Questionable relationships won’t work

This post is from an a.e. called NiceGuy. If you don’t know what an a.e. is, please don’t bother asking. Ok, moving on, he just wanted to address a relationship issue and I decided to provide the outlet. Read, enjoy and comment!

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Well, I’m who I am… A nice guy! Yes, my girls, (ex’s and all) know that, so it’s not just me saying it. Anyway, this piece isn’t really about me. It’s about some people’s disturbing views about relationships. I just don’t know where to start.

First off, I’m the kind of guy that loves deeply. I respect my ladies and expect them to reciprocate. I do my best to stay faithful (which is kinda easy as I do not believe I can handle multiple partners.) In fact, I try to stay away from sex in my relationships (which is easier said than done.) With this sort of attitude to relationships, it’s easy to form a do-or-die mindset since you’re giving everything you feel is right for the relationship and you expect nothing less. From experience (not personal, mind you), however, it’s guys like this that get dumped most often by the ladies.

Now, I’m someone who believes that there’s nothing like ‘just one person for you’. In essence, when any of my relationships fail, I know I’ve given everything to make it work so I just dust myself up and open up to another. It’s been a difficult experience so far but it’s also been rewarding in some areas. I don’t believe sleeping with a lady makes you a superstar so I don’t actually feel bad about nothing going the whole way with her before the relationship ended. In fact, with my fear of the (sorta) spiritual bonding sex creates between lovers, I’m always thankful I didn’t go there. So you can imagine how absurd it sounds to me when a guy wants to date a girl by all means necessary.

How on earth will someone believe that if he/she doesn’t date one person the world must end? Then it gets worse when the person you’re actually chasing up and down is in a solid relationship already. This situation can be viewed from many different angles.

In a relationship, I believe that both of you have to somehow fight for the relationship. There will be issues, problems, temptations and times when you just want to end it, but the strongest relationships endure all these. As much as I don’t believe in the do-or-die mentality, I believe you have to fight for what you believe is yours ‘to a reasonable extent’! Imagine a relationship where there was a serious issue and one of both parties decides the relationship cannot go on. It’s up to the partner to try to get the other back. If the leaving partner is bent on ending it even after various persuasions from the pleading partner, then it may be time to let it go, no matter how hard. If the love is strong enough, it shouldn’t take too long for a leaving partner to have a change of heart.

Like I always say, relationships can never be a one-way street, otherwise it won’t work. Both partners have to share everything within it, especially the love and emotions. Now, when you’re trying to ‘catch’ this girl after you feel there’s so much ‘green light’, and she balks, then there’s room for persistence, especially if she’s single. Putting in a little pressure and perseverance is ok as ladies like to feel wanted most times before giving in. It’s acceptable only for a period of time and that duration can only be determined by common sense (which is quite scarce.) If she keeps blocking you, then it’s reasonable to move on with your life.

But in cases where the lady hints at you that she’s already in a relationship, the rational thing is to leave her be! Except you’re thinking of entering into a ‘three-way’ which won’t happen in this part of the world. Why would you really want to force yourself on a girl who keeps telling you she’s in love with someone else? No matter what you think you have for her, it’s not love if you keep insisting on having her. Life’s not fair and you can’t always have what you want. But then, she’s never going to be ‘the only one’ for you. Best move on with your life and open up to other opportunities. There’s no point making both your lives miserable!

No matter what commitment you think you’ve made into the life of another, it doesn’t make you own them, if not, you would also be a ‘life-slave’ to someone else. I think we can do with a little bit of rationality and common sense in the world today. Open your eyes and see a better future ahead of you, not tied to any one person but to a series of associations and relations with many different people. It’s time we do things the right way, starting with how we think of our relationships with people.

This is just how I see the issue discussed. Comments are welcome.

Thanks Seryx! Out!!

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There you have it! Always welcome, NiceGuy! Bye y’all. Till when next we show up.

Signing Out!

Find a balance between the rational and the emotional

Find a balance between the rational and the emotional

Posted from WordPress for BlackBerry.

Val Blues

Happy Valentine's Day

Happy Valentine’s Day

Ok, I know how that sounds but just hear me out. In fact, who says I don’t have the right to make my Val blue sef. At least all we use to hear about was Red Carpet before someone decided to break the norm and now we have ‘Carpets’ of all kinds of colours. Maybe I can start a Blue Val trend and if I do my job well on twitter, who knows… And besides, Red Val looks a lot like Christmas all over again so…

I’ve just been rambling through the last paragraph as Val Blues really has nothing to do with colours (I don’t know why I just always miss the point early on.) The truth is that Val’s Day is regularly over-hyped, like every other ‘special day’ in the year. And with this over-hype comes a lot of negatives. Thank God the subsidy issue came into our lives! An irony? Well, guys are now thinking twice about the day so much as joking about the cancellation of the day (bbm things) and asking ladies to alternatively spend the day with ‘loved ones’, as if we’re the last on the list. 😐

Anyway, Val Blues is about seeing this day the right way; like every other day. The thing is, with ‘special days’ (such as Christmas) we condition ourselves to do certain things in a certain way. Only thing is, there’s an extra problem with Val’s Day. This is like the certified day of LOVE (often conveniently misinterpreted as SEX) and frequently creates an avenue for the fulfillment of LUSTful desires. Now, Val’s Day can be disputed as a relevant day in itself because I personally have issues with setting aside a special day for love. It is easily misconstrued, as our definition of love itself is way below the original meaning.

This brings me to a point argued on Twitter recently. Statement is: “Love is Never Enough.” As much as I’d love to agree with this statement, I think we often miss the point of love itself. Take a relationship for example, a guy meets a girl, falls in love with her and she falls her own back. Simple. Love is shared! But then, they start having issues when she acts up on irrelevant things or he behaves in certain ways or she says some nasty things in anger or he ignores her for a while. There are a thousand and one things that could, and do, go wrong in such relationships. In this case, it’s easy to say “Love isn’t enough”, but let’s look at it critically, what else is there?

Breakdown: There’s Understanding, a little bit of which goes a long way in any relationship. There’s Respect, something which a whole lot of people believe would easily keep a relationship steady. There’s Patience, which a lot of ladies seem to lack (some guys are also not left out though.) There’s Communication, which is an important component of an effective relationship. There’s Trust, the bedrock of a solid relationship. All these are basic and mainly borne out of individual Character. Almost everything else is secondary; Looks, Financial Status, Career, etc. External factors, such as family, friends and environment, also play significant roles in a relationship, but when it comes down to the two of them, the above-listed are the crux.

Now I ask, why wouldn’t love be enough? And I answer, because we all see love as those butterflies or just the way we feel. So you both love each other but realise that you fight too much, or your ways just don’t match or there’s one thing or another, so you just break up because “love isn’t enough!” I put it to you that what you shared initially wasn’t love. Let me make it clear that love, of any kind, in a one-way direction (only one person falling) will most likely not work, and if managed will often lead to hurt. But in a case where you both claim to share love, it should be ENOUGH! Why? It’s simple. Because love, TRUE LOVE, includes all the above. You have to love him to trust him unconditionally. You have to love her to be patient with her when she acts up. You have to love him to understand his actions and explanations. You have to love her to always want to talk to and confide in her. You have to love him to respect him everywhere, even when you’re alone. You have to love her to forgive her offenses against you. True love has all these things by nature and, therefore, is enough in itself. It carries its own power to solidify and keep any relationship. That’s LOVE!

So, next time you think love isn’t enough, ask yourself if what you have is actually LOVE. As the often cherished Val’s Day approaches, I’d encourage us all to have a rethink. Take the day to re-examine the relationship. If there’s true love shared, you don’t need to ask him before he takes you out or gets you a gift, if he can afford it. He should do it because he knows you’re worth it. And as a lady, your priority shouldn’t be where he’d take you or what he’d get you. If it is, then your relationship isn’t true. You should actually just want to spend meaningful time with him. As a guy, it isn’t a certified day to get into her pants. That should even be the last thing on your mind. If it’s true love, you’re spending a long time together, so why rush? You should just want to give her some special treatment for the day.

As much as I’d not want a day like that to be recognized, it already is so we might as well make meaningful use of it. In my opinion, everything we do on that day should be replicated on a consistent basis throughout the year. Everyday should be special. If you can afford it, get her a new gift everyday. Spend as much time as you can together on a daily basis. Express your love in special ways every single day. Make your relationship lively, think in the long term, keep him/her in your heart always and you’ll find that LOVE is really ALL YOU NEED! Not just on Val’s Day, but every single day you have with the one you truly love.

Let the season of love come, and let it never leave again. St. Valentine’s Day is here. Let’s HAVE love and not just MAKE love! You can only share what you have, and I tell you, love is worth sharing. Treat her special. Treat him like a king. You all are royalty!

To all who do share True Love in this season, I say “HAPPY VAL’S DAY!!!” Enjoy!

I’m Loving Up!!!

What True Love is

What True Love is

Singles & Relationships

What a Relationship is.

What a Relationship is.

What exactly is a relationship meant to be like? Is it just a guy and a girl agreeing to be together, share things together and at the same time enjoy their individual lives OR a couple dedicating themselves to each other while looking at the long term implications.

These thoughts came to me after two different chats I had. The first lady I was discussing with had a friend who was getting married. During the course of the discourse, she mentioned that she didn’t know why her friend was in a rush to get married as she is still quite young at about 22. Then I asked if age had to be a determining factor for marriage and she actually said not really. She said she understands that age doesn’t determine maturity, which is required to handle the marriage setting, but she was not ready jump from under her parents’ authority straight to submission to one man. She emphasised that she had to enjoy spinsterhood.

Next I was ‘bbm-ing’ with my half-sis who stays in Abuja and I asked about the guy I saw on her display picture. She said he was just a friend, then I made a joke that I was wondering if she had gotten married without letting us know. Her reply was that it’s not possible, as she still has to enjoy her time as a single before going to be subdued in marriage. We eventually had long chat with me stating the case I’m bringing here.

Now, both ladies are in relationships, which made me ask the questions I put forth at the beginning of this post. My main observation from these is that ladies (and probably guys too) want to enjoy being single while still in a relationship, which brings the question, what is really there to enjoy in being single if you are already in a relationship?

First if all, let me do a breakdown of common relationship statuses (facebook style):

1. Single: This status means you’re not attached to anyone in any form of mutual agreement. You’re available to potential suitors or to pick potential partners. You can do what you like as you not ‘answerable’ to anyone (in terms of a partner).

2. In a Relationship: This status means you’re with someone with whom you agreed on some mutual arrangements. Both of you have committed one to the other and have decided to share ideas, feelings, thoughts, plans and more, with each other. The strength of relationships is often determined by the level to which both sides are able to open up to each other. Here, I won’t say an ‘Open Relationship’ qualifies as a true one, as partners agree on some form of independence which will most likely not let the relationship grow.

3. Engaged: This is when partners have taken the relationship to the point of commitment. They have both agreed to take the long haul and are, therefore, in the final stages of finetuning their attitudes, characters, strengths and weaknesses to fit each other. By this time, they already understand each other almost perfectly.

4. Married: This means they have finally sealed the deal. There is no room for ‘escape’ (except for divorce, which is not commonplace where I come from), so you’re both in a spot where you just have to make it work. Ideally, it is not supposed to be too hard as you should both already understand each other, so the new challenges that come with marriage should be the main issues for you to tackle.

Anyway, to avoid too much digression, my main focus is on Singles and Pre-engagement Relationships. To make my point clear, I think everyone deserves the freedom that comes with being single. Whatever you do, you’re not really hurting anyone. You can party how you want, go out with whoever you want without thinking too much about it, sleep anywhere you want, go wherever want and do lots of things just the way you want. It’s always a great time in the life of a young person and could be necessary most times for you to understand yourself.

Now, the moment you choose to be in a relationship, you have consciously accepted the fact that you have to consider the other person in whatever actions you’re going to take. All the ‘whatevers’, ‘wherevers’, ‘whoevers’ and ‘howevers’ will have to drop gradually, except you don’t value the person you’re with, in which case you’re better off being single.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying a relationship is supposed to be a forced ‘ball and chain’, I’m just saying that to have a quality relationship, the people involved should be willing to make sacrifices for each other. As a guy, you might have a lot of female friends you like to hang out with. You play a lot, touching, hugging and sometimes sharing friendly kisses. No lady will sit down and watch her man doing all these things and not feel enraged. This simply means that once you’re in a relationship, out of respect for your lady, you have to stop the silly games. Same goes for the ladies.

There might be one or two friends from the opposite sex you’re very close to. As a single, you can actually hang out with them without any issues. Once you’re in a relationship, your partner has to be able to trust them to allow such. This means you have to let your partner know them in person and relate with them well enough not to be agitated when he/she hears you’re with them. It doesn’t mean a restriction of association, it only builds better relationships.

On the flip side, being in a relationship doesn’t give either partner any right to shackle the other. You’re allowed to make objective assessments but you don’t have to force any form of change. Except you’re forced into a relationship that you can’t get out from, you should be able to check the person you’re with and determine if he/she is just senselessly trying to restrict you or he/she is making meaningful observations about the people you relate with, the places you go to, your appearance and stuff like that. They always say ‘A broken relationship is far better than a broken marriage’, and I agree totally. If you feel you’re being unnecessarily restrained, make your feelings known and walk away if no change is forthcoming. Believe me, if he/she doesn’t change while you’re dating, no changes will come if you eventually get married.

Trust is the basis of very strong relationships and it is only built when there’s openness (which requires communication) and respect for each partner’s feelings and values. If trust is sufficient, relationships, even through to marriage, will afford each person the respectable amount of freedom each requires without hurting the other person.

Therefore, I ask again, why would you strive to enjoy being single if you’re already in a (meaningful) relationship? If you have things you’re hiding from your partner or you just don’t give a damn about how he/she feels, then you shouldn’t be in that relationship. Try to consider being on your own until you’re ready to take the bold step of sharing your life with someone else.

On a final note, I’m an advocate of Relationship-to-Marriage, so I think you should try entering a relationship with the mind of pushing it to the marriage end. It should help your commitment level and also help you determine if the person you’re with currently is worth it. Relationships shouldn’t always be started with a ‘Trial-and-Error’ mindset. If it doesn’t work out in the end, you should both be able to understand and agree that it’s better that way. Just my thotz, anyway.

Thank you for reading through. Share your thoughts, if you please.

Signing Out!

You can be 2geda 4eva!

You can be 2geda 4eva!

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