When Things End The Moment They Start.
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“One of the hardest things you will ever have to do, is admit to yourself that the person you want most isn’t any good for you”
-R. M. Drake
It is Sunday—the weekend after, and you toss lazily in bed, snippets of last night slipping into your head. You and Sogo had gone to have dinner at your parent’s as discussed last week. He had arrived at your house something around 4:00pm yesterday and you had both driven down to your parents Magodo apartment in time for dinner. Mama and Papa had received you both warmly. Papa had seemed thoroughly charmed, as he engaged Sogo in a variety of discussions of interest—his major preferences being Politics and the state of the Nigerian Economy. Sogo’s responses, you reckoned, had been well thought-out, bold and independent—of Social media retorts and comments; and in fact pleasing to Papa, as you noticed the glint of approval in his eyes. Mama, on the other hand, appeared a little undecided, maybe less so than when she first set eyes on him that evening; but undecided, nonetheless.
She had asked questions, which you considered too intimidating and embarrassing for a first meeting; and had time not been so short, she would have gone on indefinitely. “What do you want with our daughter?” “Do you feel intimidated by her success?” “Do you know she is a virgin?” The way Sogo had confidently answered her, though, did so much to put your mind at ease. By the end of the meeting, Papa’s warm handshake as he bid you both goodbye, assured you that Sogo had won Papa’s love. The impish smile on mama’s lips however, did not give away too much; but the way she had held your gaze assured you that you would hear from her soon. You had held her gaze with matching strength too, in a way that said you would be ready whenever she struck!
Her call comes in around 8:00am, steering you from your reminiscence. You were not expecting her call this early but you pick it nonetheless.
“Good morning ma” you address her, your voice thick with rebellion.
“Morning Lara. How are you today?”
“Fine ma” you respond impatiently. You wish she would just get to the point already and not try to soften you up.
“See, I know you are angry that I asked your friend so many questions yesterday, but that is what any good mother would do. I must know what my daughter is getting into, and assure myself that she has not let love blind her judgement of her man’s character, worth and capability. And I must say, he is one fine gentleman.”
Surprise steals over your face, as her kind words ebb at the remnants of rage that seat in the pit of your heart, effortlessly. You smile. “I know ma. Thank you ma.”
“In fact—“ she continues, “—your dad and I called Daddy-in-the-Lord yesterday night to inform him that his god daughter will be getting married. He was very excited, until he called this morning to tell us that he prayed about it and you cannot marry him.”
Your rage returns. Daddy-in-the-Lord is your godfather, a spiritual and very inspiring man whom you respect and revere so much. Your family has always consulted him every time there is a big decision to be made, and his suggestions and predictions have always proved right; although now that you think of it, no one has actually ever dared to prove him wrong.
“It is frightening enough that he is Muslim and from a Polygamous family—“ mama continues, undeterred by your silence, “—but if those were the only considerations we had to make, the decision would have been an easy one. Omolara, this is bigger than us. Daddy says you must cease all relations with him immediately, and that if you choose to proceed, the consequences are grave for your future as a family together.”
You are speechless now.
“See Lara, I know you love him. In fact, yesterday, it was so obvious that you both care for each other but there is too much at stake. All I want is your happiness, because automatically, it becomes my own happiness. And your father, and Daddy want the same for you too. We know you’ll be needing a lot of time to take this in, and get over him; but I want you to know that we care for you and we are here for you, and in God’s time, your miracle will come.”
You still do not say a word. Tears are brewing in your eyes now; and soon, they start to fall mercilessly. You let them. You do not believe in miracles anymore.
“Hello? Are you there?—Lara?—Lara?” You do not answer. “MTN sha! They have started again this morning! Lara?— ”
“Maybe you have exhausted your call time.” You hear papa’s suggesting voice underneath.
“Lara?” mama calls out to you one last time before cutting the call. Immediately, you switch your phone off and resume your tears in full gear. Why?! Why has love never worked out for you? It has either been that the ones you liked did not like you back, or you did not like the ones that liked you. Yet, the first time you eventually meet someone who cares for you as much as you care for him, you are told you cannot marry him. You wish now that you were in a movie, so that you could just put a daunting soundtrack like Simi’s Love don’t care or Chidima’s All I want is you to your life as you diss mama and tell her you will marry the love of your life whether she or anyone else likes it or not. But life, reality—is a little more complicated than all of that.
You love each other, but is love really worth sabotaging your future for? Would it not be selfish of love to ask you to pick short-term happiness over long-term sustenance and fulfillment? But then again, what is a fulfilling life without genuine love? You are confused and angry! Why? Why did God make you meet him? Why did He make you fall in love? Why did He put that sign in your way on that Sunday morning when you asked for His direction? More questions and no answer, and your rage intensifies. You force yourself to sleep now to douse your heart’s heat, hoping that maybe you will wake up to realize everything is a dream; no love, no heartbreak.
You wake up an hour and thirty minutes later to the reality of your woe, when the smell of something tangy fills your nostrils. You head out, puffy eyed to find Sogo in your kitchen, fixing breakfast.
“Good morning Sunshine!” he coos upon seeing you.
You break inside as it hits you that, perhaps, that is the last time you will hear that voice and see that smile. “Good morning–” you manage a smile “—I think we need to talk.” You continue, wasting no time.
You catch something that looks like fear pull his eyebrows together in a brilliant squeeze, but you do not let that deter you; as you recount the gist of the discussion you had with mama to him before you change your mind. Once you are done, for emphasis sake, you add, “We cannot continue seeing each other, Olorunsogo. And I am sure you understand that I am doing this for us.”
“So… so that’s it?” he questions, his voice spiralling higher and higher by the second “that’s—that’s it, right? After six months of love, courtship and friendship, you want to break up just like that, and you do not even care what I think or feel? You think I have not thought about our vast differences severally? You think I have not had people tell me to give us a rethink? I have… but I have not been so quick to dismiss what we’ve come so long to build; something you obviously do not appreciate the gravity of!”
You are angry and surprised. Angry that he thinks it was an easy decision for you to make; surprised that he would speak to you in that manner, lashing words at you like a weapon. But you have not got time for words. You have not got the time or energy to explain to him how you wish he had never been a part of your life to start with, so you would not be in the dilemma of whether to rescue the moment or save a very uncertain future from some foretold danger. “Thank you for making breakfast. I would appreciate it if you leave as soon as possible. You do not have to tell me when you are going. I am sorry, and thank you.” You walk away from him now, but he pulls you back into a defeating kiss. You break down again, as you melt in his arms; renting apart in a fresh round of tears. He hugs you tightly, like he has never done before; like he will never do again.
“Omolara, you are a believer. Where is your faith at a time that we need it most? Why are you proposing a break up, rather than a prayer battle?”
Faith? Fighting? You wish he had not said a word so that maybe you could have stayed in his arms longer. You pull away now with resolute purpose, as you say your final words to him before leaving for your room “Goodbye Olorunsogo Martins. I hope you have a good life.” He does not try to stop you now. Even if he did, it would make no difference; because your mind is made up. In less than thirty minutes, you hear the loud bang of your front door, the sound of a vehicle being kicked into ignition, and the screeching sound of angry tyres or perhaps an angry driver.
And then, it dawns on you– he is going; he is gone. Your best friend, your first love. You remember the hope in his eyes, and how he had wished you would not end things so quickly. You remember the last kiss, and how you had wished it would go on for eternity. You soak up in tears. You miss him already. You feel like love has failed you; and maybe it has—or maybe it has not. Maybe you failed love. Maybe you should have fought.
‘ME’ is a short black girl, Chartered Accountant by profession, and a hopeless lover of words. She is terribly shy on some days, and provocatively assertive on others. You can find her smiling away by herself at a corner of the room with her ear phones plugged in, and her head stuck in a novel or anything that looks as interesting as a string of figures begging to be analyzed. Or you might find her in the same bus as you, typing away furiously at her phone. You might think she is chatting, but chances are she is writing about you. ‘ME’ blogs at Miniscule Diary. Check it out. You may find yourself in one of her posts.