The Many Times We Tried at Love

We had discussed him before, when we just met, your now estranged business partner and friend of about ten years. Let me confess here that when you told me of your history with him and the intention to be all professional and keep it business like, I saw a problem. For me, it wasn’t about Okafor’s law.

I did not know what to say to you then, honestly I was stunned by the tirade. Who won’t? The calm Oluwaseunarafunmi had become a Tsunami. But it’s all coming to me now. And yes I was angry, really angry but then I had time to process the whole thing in my head and it’s clearer now. Oluwaseunarafunmi, for all the clarity I might have mustered in the past week, I’m still not sure why I’m writing you this.

The fondest memory I have of you was both of us lying side by side under God’s blue sky out in my compound, your laughter filling the entire house. God, it was amazing. You were amazing—not that you aren’t anymore. What you probably didn’t know was my folks will tease me when you leave. Why does she laugh so hard? What do you do to her??? Of course I’ll just smile, thinking about it much later I realised I wasn’t doing anything out of the ordinary, I was just there, with you and that made all the difference.

Oluwaseunarafunmi, remember that one time we spoke about your father? We rarely talked about your family. You liked to feel like a lone ranger, maybe you really are. That conversation about your father revealed a part of you I had never seen until then, you try to shield the hurt and projected a feeling of disappointment. I made comments about reaching out to him, in fact I’ll find a way to sneak it in our conversations in the coming days but you will respond in a mildly dismissive manner with a finality about it, only you can do that.

Remember, before we started anything, you always said you just needed a friend; you were not ready for a relationship. I wasn’t too, or maybe I was. Then the most beautiful thing happened: we fell for each other. We had our friendship and some extra toppings. Babe, it was magic.

It, however, did not take long before he started coming up in our conversations. We had discussed him before, when we just met, your now estranged business partner and friend of about ten years. Let me confess here that when you told me of your history with him and the intention to be all professional and keep it business like, I saw a problem. For me, it wasn’t about Okafor’s law. I never had any problem with you in that regard. I just saw an older person who had inserted himself into your life since you were sixteen and become your baggage. You couldn’t get rid of him and he wouldn’t let you go. It did seem like I was getting the whole of you, but he had a grip on a part of you, and babe it hurt, because I know you love me and you really couldn’t do that much about him.

And so you up and left. Yes maybe up to that point we had some arguments, but nothing enough to even consider a break up. I had called you after my meeting at the office that Saturday morning. We were supposed to meet later in the day. It was Seye’s introduction and my whole family was around, so seeing you at the house much later would mean you get to meet my family members other than those you had already met: Grandma, Grandpa, Dipo, and Shalewa,

The phone call that morning, and you casually said you were at his place, you guys were grocery shopping. Was I mad? I went on and on about how you were erratic and inconsiderate, raising my voice in the manner I do when angry, ended the call and that was it. I didn’t call you, you didn’t call me, not on my birthday a week after, not on yours eleven days after mine.

So, chapter 2. Some night, over a year after we last spoke, my phone rang and it was you. You had called me. Ok pause! At that moment you called, Omo; my cousin and I were talking about you, she had asked after you, she always does, my grandparents too, grandma said I was a bad child; I always find a way of repelling love (maybe it’s true).

Then the chase began, you would send me long messages, call me when you were sure I was less busy, asking that we meet. The thrill of being sought after like that, it was almost intoxicating, I enjoyed it! At a point you said it was okay if I wasn’t ready to meet yet, asking me to take my time. Honestly, I was glad you called and I wanted to meet so badly, only the reasonable part of me knew whatever broke us up in the first place was still lurking in the corner and of course I couldn’t resist you.

We met and met and continued meeting. We threw in a few apologies here and there, you for leaving without notice and I for all of my wrong doings, particularly not calling you on your birthday, you felt pained by that. We were back, like good old days. Only it wasn’t like good old days; I was involved with someone. I wanted you still but couldn’t trust you to stay.

In the one year we were apart, you had left your paid job to pursue your passion. I was happy for you. You had also gotten a new apartment, not the hostel that came with your previous job—meaning some overnight “fornication things”.

But now you were in full partnership with him, your baggage cum nemesis. It even gets better. He stays at your new place most of the time because: work. I remembered you told me at that lunch date where you refused to eat anything and asked for only water, but later snatched my yoghurt. “I’m going to sort it out, just give me time, he’ll leave.” I didn’t believe he was ever leaving—never did—but you were here and I saw in your eyes that you wanted to stay, so it did not matter. I had you, at least the part of you that wasn’t his.

I was working on a project on the mainland, getting home early,  which meant seeing you daily. And babe, it was amazingly sweet. But it didn’t take long before I realised you wouldn’t come through on the promise you’ve made. It was painful. I couldn’t come to yours because he was home, and I couldn’t even walk you home because….  So you were keeping me and he was keeping you.

At this point, I switched off, prepared for you to take flight again. We had a pointless argument. So, I thought, “this is it.” But you, Oluwaseunarafunmi, maybe the most humble person I know, came to the house like nothing had happened, all smiles, asking that I download Game of Thrones, or was it House of Cards on your laptop. That was you calling for a truce but being the proud Ijebu boy that I am, I was aloof. It was pointless, you deserved a hug that night.

That was the beginning of the second ending, I didn’t see you for weeks. We spoke a few times after which you asked to meet and went about how I was a wonderful person but…. At least you did better this time. There was a break up speech. I wanted to tell you to stay but I couldn’t will myself to do it, so you left, again. Only this time it was forever. I wanted the past to stay in the shadows of yesterday.

Almost two years of total silence, not a word. I texted on your birthday, still no word. I got curious, worried, so I called. Lines were decommissioned. I ran into our only mutual friend and asked about you, but it seemed like you had vanished from the surface of the earth, I was afraid. After lots of online search, reaching out to your celebrity friends that wouldn’t respond, I found you on Twitter and Facebook (you should do something about making your alias more unique). It was really refreshing when I got a message from you. I felt relieved knowing you were alive and probably doing well.

And so we meet again, still unable to resist each other. Sexual things happened and I really didn’t know where to go from there. Again, in those two years, you had moved back home, seeking a proper job. So, I figured trying to get you a job would set you on a steady course. This was what followed our meeting: you accusing me of calling too much, like we were something and later saying I was paying no mind like it was a booty call. Babe you got me confused?

Then you needed my help. I couldn’t come through and that was it. You tried to point it out, but I couldn’t accept the sense of right you seem to had established on the matter. I honestly would help if I could, maybe not go out of my way though. Right now, I know this is wrong. Going out of my way for you should never be a big deal.

Oluwaseunarafunmi, in all this pointing of fingers, the past wouldn’t change and the future is set in the stars. You were always the better one, very humble, loyal and loving in a kind of way that intrigues, but there was you-know-who. There was your fundamental idea of men and how they were no good. There were broken promises on both sides of the aisle, there was me being aloof and never listening, having the whole of you but wanting the very part that was unobtainable.

Maybe I write to let you know that the fondest memories of you is still a girl that laughs like a Jackal. I always love you for how happy you were when we spent time together. It makes me happy too.  You liken me to Frank Underwood—that manipulative? But I get you though, I can be all about myself most times, and some people call it being selfish.

Writing this piece made me realise that I’ll always have a friend in you whether we ever speak again or not. You gave me the best of your beautiful, broken and jagged self and maybe you never got what you deserved. I hope to see you again, maybe someday in old familiar places, free and laughing like an intoxicated Jackal.

34800cookie-checkThe Many Times We Tried at Love

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