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So our friend Jibola decided to reply the Not Like This letter we all enjoyed here. Happy reading



I chuckle as I write your name in full because I remember. It’s funny, this thing called memory. You think you have a hold on it and are able to put a dam on it and move on with your life. I chuckle because, I remember the first time I’d teased you about the innuendo that your name is. I told you that it sounded like a virgin’s plea for her lover to be gentle: Don’t let it hurt me. It’s crazy because I remember how you threw your head back and laughed, and then you wrinkled your nose still giggling, calling me a pervert. I laughed with you and knocked my Big Stout back. I remember the chill of the glass and its sweat running down on my hands. I remember because it was at that moment, watching you be happy with me that it hit me. I always wanted to be the reason that you laugh.

You know, I always thought having palpitations for reasons not medically inclined was just hogwash and the stuff for M&Bs. My God, how my heart fluttered when I immediately recognised the cursive that is your handwriting. I’m glad you wrote. I am. I am also glad you broke the dams I’ve taken years to build. Ok I lie. I’m not. I am mad at myself that I still feel so strongly for you. I am angry at myself that one letter from you; all 672 words in it (yes I counted), can take me back. All the way back.

You came into my life as an ear, a shoulder and an arm when I so desperately needed you. I was mourning ‘Motunde leaving me and you were there. Nobody else could understand how I could be so pained over someone who had brought me nothing but pain, but you did. You listened and you never once interrupted my going on and on. I remember how you told me it wasn’t wise for me to go and try to beg her to come back. I remember how you tried to reason with me, and tell me the way of women. God, in retrospect, I realize how crazed I must have looked. When I insisted, you seemed pained but bade me well. It’s what I loved about you, your quiet resilience and support.

Our people say that when a child sees a bushrat, he kills it. When he sees a pigeon, he kills it too. But when he encounters the insurmountable, he beats a hasty retreat to the safety of where he calls home. I made a beeline for your arms when she rejected and humiliated me for the last and final time. You didn’t laugh at me. Dear God, I deserved to be laughed at. You told me I was a great guy that she didn’t deserve. 

You always do this thing, this back and forth, this push and pull, and I hate you for it. I gave you everything, and I was ready to give you even more. I remember how I lowered that glass of the rich dark brew, and I looked straight at you. The laughter dwindled out and you looked at me puzzled wondering what. I told you that first time that I loved you. You smiled and looked away, but when you looked at me again it was with a resolve. You didn’t want to be a rebound. Oh God how I ached to shake some sense into you. You always teased me about being the Giacomo Cassanova nobody knew. You compared me to how he always loved deeply and… Why the hell could you not understand that I wasn’t joking when I said those words? Are you in my heart? Why could you not just believe me? You told me I was everything. You told me I was the best man you had ever met in your life, but why was I not enough for you? I know I was broken into a million pieces and you had helped me pick some of the shards, but why couldn’t my shards be sufficient for you? Didn’t you know they were all I had left to give?

It became harder and harder for us to hang out knowing that how I felt for you meant nothing to you. But I held on. If I couldn’t be your man, I’d be your friend. I knew you’d come around. I knew the comfortable silences and the random cuddles as we watched movies together weren’t for naught. I knew. Ashey, I was wrong. And then like a debutante arriving on the social scene, you seemed to suddenly have a crowd of suitors. They meant nothing until Tunde. I remember him, with his sleek manner. You once complained about how sleazy he was and how he only wanted to jump in your panties and be gone. I snapped that day. I asked why you always spent so much time with someone you knew wasn’t worth your time, when you had someone to love you without condition. I couldn’t understand it.  And just like that, we fought. My pride didn’t let me extend the Olive branch. And when I finally came to my senses I couldn’t reach you. It killed me, everyday. Do you know I googled you? I pined and pined until time eroded the pain. I tried to fuck away the pain, and when that didn’t work, I started to see other people. No woman measured up ever since. And after a while, I stopped comparing other women to you. What did you care anyway. Then I began to hate you. If you loved me like you said you did, why didn’t you choose me like I did you? Why wasn’t my love enough for you?

My life was fine till you waltzed right back in with a message on Facebook. I was on the train but I whooped without a care in the world. I composed and recomposed my first message in reply to you. My world was right again, well somewhat. It was just like old times, and I was like the desert lily receiving its once-in-five-year rains. I bloomed. There was a glitch but I debated whether or not to tell you. Looking back I wish I had just fixed things without giving you a chance to reject me again. Fisayo had already made me content, and that was it. Until you came back that was all I needed. I foolishly told you about her and then you shut down on me again. You said you couldn’t be with another woman’s man. As always, my love was not enough. I begged you, I told you all the things I’d never said. I can love no one like I do you. I told you that much.

Fisayo is due in a few weeks, and I am naming the baby Majek not because I want to be tormented with your name all my life but because I want her to be an epitaph to all that we once were. Loving you like this hurts. And I don’t want to hurt anymore. For this reason, I’ll just let you be another memory in the dusty library that is my life. This is me letting you go like you did to me twice. I won’t love you any less, unfortunately. I’m afraid that my heart is forever bound to yours but I can’t let my pain be forever bound to you.

Good bye my love. Please be happy all your days. You deserve that much.

Love always,

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