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Monday, October 15, 2018

It's A Love Story (7)

When I was little, my elder brother told me that the world would come to an end some day; that life and death as we know it will have a different meaning entirely. 

I asked him what would happen after the end comes. He replied, “I guess in the end we’ll start to think of the beginning; a new beginning.” I never quite understood what he meant; I don’t think I really understood many of the things he said to me while he was alive. 

I was really young. He was clearly a different being; one with a profound insight into affairs pertaining to life, humanity and existence. I was nothing like him. He had all the answers, I asked all the questions; his state of mind was almost perfect, and I made all the mistakes. Perhaps that’s why he died at such a young age, because his mind had lived a hundred years already, or more.

I’ve made mistakes, like leaving Tony, and I still make mistakes. I guess that’s part of what makes me human. I wish my brother was alive, he would have surely been able to advice me on what to do now, on how to go about things. He always had the answers.

Two days before my trip back home, I went through some of my old stuffs. I found a picture of Cindy and I back in high school. We lost contact almost as soon as we left high school. 

Life was different for me after my father died. A lot of things changed afterwards and our friendship suffered. In all, I guess life took its toll on both of us, and we just went our separate ways, dealing with our individual predicament. 

I still remember the night before our graduation; she shared with me her deepest secret. She cried as she explained to me in details, about the pain and agony she endured that night. 

That was the night her father raped her. We both cried as she told me what happened. When I saw the picture again, that night before graduation was the first thing I remembered. I cried again. How can a man be so cruel as to rape his own daughter? I don’t think even my late brother would have been able to answer that question.

I set out on the path of recovery. To get back all that I have lost- my friendship with Cindy and more importantly, my relationship with Tony. But as they say, hope for the best, but expect the worst; either way, it’s a risk I am willing to take. And so I walked on; inspired by my desire, but blinded by my desperation.

On the plane back to Nigeria, I sat next to this young lady; she said her name was Martha. We got talking and I spilled a lot about myself, including my relationship with Tony and the awkward scenario that led to my departure, and also about my desire to have him back at any cost. 

Along the course of our discussion, we got really close, and I found out she knew Seun. I believed her. She said she was the daughter to the Commissioner of Agriculture for Ondo state, the same state Seun was from. 

They used to be good friends, thanks to their fathers’ political relationship. Their friendship lasted, until Seun betrayed her. Surprisingly, or maybe not, the crux of the matter was a guy. At least that was what she told me. They had both met the dude at the same time. Seun seemed uninterested, but Martha made it clear to Seun that she was interested in the fellow.

 To cut long story short, she said she dated the guy for about three months, till she found out that he had been cheating on her with Seun. She confronted Seun and they had a fight. When they could not resolve their issues, they went their separate ways.

There was no way I could’ve verified her story, my desperation made me very gullible. I believed her wholly, so that by the time we landed at the Murtala Muhammed airport in Lagos, we had already formulated a plan to get back at Seun. I was happy. I was sure of victory, seeing that I had an edge, an old enemy who had become my good and trusted friend.

To be continued

Friday, October 05, 2018

It's A Love Story (6)

My mother started appreciating me again after I started sending money home. She began to respect me and seek my opinion on various issues.

We stopped depending on my father’ s people to cater for our needs. I put my sister back in the school I finished from and I opened a small store for my mum where she sold provisions amongst other things.

Initially my mum was curious about how I was getting the money I had. She calmed down when she saw a few of the clothes I designed for some clients in Nigeria that I asked my sister to help me deliver.

For once things were working out for my family, and I was happy about that. I heard my mum laugh along with me again after a long while, when I told her about a certain guy I met at the train station on my way home from campus one evening. 

I might have liked him still if he had not spoken at all. He was dark skinned, handsome and quite macho too. He walked up to me and said, “Excuse me miss, have we met before, cos you look quite ‘ similar’?” 

I did well to hold my laughter by pretending not to hear him, and I replied, “I beg your pardon?"
I had hoped that it was a mistake and he had realised it, but he went again:

 “I said you look quite ‘ similar’. Have we met before?” 

“No, I don’ t think so," I replied and then walked away very quickly. My mum just kept laughing and I knew for sure that all was well between us.

But all was not well with me and myself. I dated a few guys after Tony, but none proved worthy. The white guys I dated just wanted to score a black chick and the black guys just needed company till they returned home to marry a virgin from their village. 

I am tired of being sick and tired. I know what I want and I know that I had it once in my arms, but I gave it all away for next to nothing. Once I had silver in my possession, but I let it slip because I sought gold.

My brother said to me once, “What is worth the price is always worth the fight.” Seun made me understand this advice fully. 

She saw the deal in Tony and she wanted to have him by all means, because he was worth it. I did not recognise this initially and now I’ m paying for it in full measure. But for how long?

How much must one endure before it becomes enough? This is the question I’ ve been asking myself of recent. Last night I picked up the phone and I called Tony,

 “Hello” said the voice from the other end. It was Tony. Damn! I missed that voice. 

I was just too overwhelmed to respond, my tongue clove to the upper part of my mouth and I froze where I stood. I remained in that position even after he had hung up when I did not respond. I knew immediately that I needed to get him back and I was going to do that at all cost.

Thanks to Seun and my selfish heart, I am now in final year of studying business administration at the Imperial College here in London. In a few weeks I would be done and I would return home. I am more equipped now to fight for what rightfully belongs to me. I am coming and Seun had better prepare...

To be continued

Thursday, September 27, 2018

It's A Love Story (5)

Once upon a time, when stories still began with ‘once upon a time’, my mother told me of a lady who set out looking for gold for a husband, and then she ended up missing the silver lining in the one guy who truly loved her.

Now I remember that story every time I lay my head down to sleep. I think about how it happened that someone would sacrifice happiness for next to nothing. 

My elder brother also told me, “Never leave a place you are having fun to a place you think you will have more fun”.

I wonder why I ended up going against everything my brother taught me. Sometimes I feel it’s my stubbornness and incorrigibility that killed him. 

And I also think sometimes that it was his death that killed my father and makes my mum hate me so much. Nedu was our father’s favourite till he died, and maybe even afterwards considering that they are perhaps together in heaven. 

Nedu died when I was fourteen years old. I was in S.S.2 then. I was home for the mid-term break. Doctor said he died of a bad heart. “Bad heart?!” My father was puzzled and he could not understand how a child so smart and gifted and good in every aspect would have a bad heart.

 “You see Mr. Alozie, the lining around your son’s heart was very thin and weak. Those things are not easy to detect, some people never know about it till they are dead. 

Some others get to know before then, but even so, there would still be hardly anything that can be done to fix the heart. The best we can do is buy more time for such people with diet and control”, that was what the doctor told my father.

My father found it hard bearing the loss of his first child, his only son. He died a year later in a car accident. He was drunk and was speeding down the third-mainland bridge on his way back from work. 

He lost control and could not stop the vehicle from running into the trailer ahead of him when he did realize it. He never made it to the hospital.

A lot of things changed after that. My father did not leave a will and so his people- brothers and the rest of the family, came and took away most of what my father left behind. 

They only let me finish from my secondary school where the school fees for a term was N150,000 because I was in my last year there. My sister had to go to another school that paid much less because they said they would not pay for her to finish from that school.

My mum is a strong lady but she always liked to have someone to blame for all her misfortunes. She blamed me because she felt I was not as smart and productive as my brother was. 

She simply blamed me for being a lady basically. Traditionally, the ladies don’t get any share of her father’s property, except that which is given to her by her brother(s). My brother was dead and so my father’s family took possession of almost everything.

The money we received from my father’s people reduced with time and my mum did not like the fact that we had to go to them to ask for money and things that belonged to us. 

She dreamt of a breakthrough and I just wanted to make her happy. I wanted her to see that I could be better than the son that she loved but lost.

When Seun came to my house that evening with her offer, a lot of calculations were done in record time in my head.

 I saw my opportunity to make my mum love me again like she used to when Nedu was around. I used to be her favourite then, or so I thought, until Nedu died and everything changed.

I accepted the offer hoping that there would be other men out there, even better than Tony. I was mistaken. I miss Tony and I want him back.

 To be continued

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