This is one of the many letters I’ve written to you. I can imagine your reaction when you start to read it. You’ll call me drama queen, pull me close and kiss me. You love me. I don’t doubt that. But ours is one of those ‘love is not enough’ tales.
I remember clearly when we met. I was a giggly teenager, straight out of secondary school, while you were the ‘bad boy’ having problems with university. We got on immediately, no awkward moments at all. We became ‘friends’, it helped that we were neighbours and ASUU was on strike. I think I saw you everyday that year. Remember the day my mother asked you to leave my house? You came with your friends to visit me and you guys were making a ruckus. I was mortified. I was so mad at her. And the day your dad asked me what we were doing together. How do you ask a teenager this? I faltered and giggled and told him we were only exchanging novels. LOL. He obviously didn’t believe me and told me to face my studies. Maybe I should have listened then.
I went to school one day and didn’t hear from you for a full week. I was afraid and worried. Then I received a phone call from a foreign number. You called me that nickname. That was all you said. You were in the UK for school. Your dad sent you off. He never gave you concrete plans because he didn’t want you to run off and do something stupid. I cried that day. My friends at school thought I was crazy. We kept in touch, yahoo emails, occasional phone calls that always seemed to come at the very right time.
Then one day 4 years later, another call, from a Nigerian number. You called me that special name again. My heart thumped. You were outside my house. I ran out, I was shy now. So much time had passed. I was dating someone, I was a 500 level medical student, I had moved on. But I fell into your outstretched arms like I was home.
We had sort of moved on or I had, or so I thought. I didn’t see us dating anymore and even though you wanted more I felt too much time had passed. Friends still, you had found God and spent a lot of time preaching to and praying for me. I was so busy with school and you with life. This time, your dad liked me now. He couldn’t believe I was going to be a doctor soon, it was interesting to see 3 of us seated and gisting like family.
When I graduated we started hanging out again. Getting closer, we became ‘best friends’. You knew about my boyfriend and I knew about your girl. That didn’t stop us from ‘seeing’each other and going out on ‘friendship dates’. My mom even liked you now. Kept talking about how you were such a ‘nice boy’. I wonder if she remembers when she chased you out many years ago.
Suddenly, you said you were going to Abuja for work. The Lagos scene hadn’t been very helpful for you and you got something in Abuja. You came by to say goodbye that night. I was upset but you asked me to trust you. You would be back, you said. We still continued to talk and chat and I remember one day I decided to surprise you and come to Abuja. I logged into facebook and saw that a girl had posted a picture and tagged you. Your girlfriend. Your excuses were I had refused to commit, that I said I didn’t do long distance. Besides, wasn’t I still dating K? I was so mad at you, didn’t speak to you for 6 months. You called, I didn’t answer, you sent texts that were never replied. This was the end. I told myself.
Until you showed up again in Lagos. You had been transferred, but I think at this time I didn’t trust you anymore. I went for your brother’s wedding because he asked and because I needed to see you. Your dad saw me and asked me why he hadn’t seen me in a while and when you and I would decide to be serious with each other. I laughed. But I was sad inside. This was a question I had asked myself a lot. I needed to see you that day because I had to tell you I was leaving Nigeria. I had told you of my sketchy plans a few times before but now it was real. It was happening. You didn’t believe me at first, and then you hugged me and wished me the best. You didn’t call me for a while. Later, you would say it was because you were angry with me because I was abandoning you.
Six months ago, you asked me to marry you, jokingly. We talked about us. Everything. Communication with us has always been good. Then you said you needed me to come home. You said your heart was my home now; but we have an ocean between us now. Ironic how in the past all we had was just one street between us. But finally I’m tired of the yoyo, tired of the terrible timing and tired of waiting.
You will always be the one I would run away with in a heartbeat without thinking and you know that. You know that I know that you know that. But it’s been 13 years and I’m tired.
I’m tired of waiting for you.