Day 14: To Whom It May Concern – LETTER TO AN EX

 

I am sorry we broke up. Really, I am.

Because you were wonderful, maybe even the best I have ever had. Why wouldn’t you be? That’s what drew me to you. But while you were wonderful in your own unique ways, I guess I just wasn’t enough or should I say; the distance was too much. I know 6 months is a very long time without seeing the person you loved. I could endure that but what I didn’t realize was that you couldn’t. You were fragile and I was trying too hard to build you up.

Looking back, I think the fragility was what endeared me to you. Our friends called us the perfect couple; they can’t even believe that we are no longer together. I can, not because I was a cynic and thought you would leave me but because like everything else in life; people always leave, it doesn’t matter whether they want to or not. In the end, they leave.

Up till this day, I still don’t get the real reason why you left; I don’t believe the story about the text. Or maybe I know the real reason and I just don’t want to say it out loud because I like the image of you that I have in my mind and that is the only good thing I have.

I still love you, I can never stop loving you (believe me, I have tried). And even if I find someone else, what I will feel for them will never be as much as what I will always feel for you. It doesn’t matter whether that someone has better qualities than you, there was a way in which you complimented me and made us fit that I don’t think anybody else can ever match. You gave me the best one year of my life and for that I am forever grateful.

I AM TRYING TO FORGET YOU BUT I AM ALSO WAITING FOR YOU TO COME BACK.

Day 13: Serially Found – LOST BUT RETRIEVED

This is a part 2 of the post Serially Lost – If Only

“Everyone suffers at least one bad betrayal in their lifetime.
It’s what unites us.
The trick is not to let it destroy your trust in others when that happens.
Don’t let them take that from you.”
Sherrilyn Kenyon

I never thought that I’ll find it again. I had given it to people and they had misused it in the most disrespectful way possible. Yet, whenever the next person came and asked for it, I would give it to them, and then they would do the same thing that others before them had done.

After a while, I started doubting myself, I lost hope in everybody and everything. There was no meaning anymore all because I couldn’t find it in me.

My Trust was gone, betrayed by the very people I had given it to. I cursed myself for ever thinking that the next person would be different from the rest.

So when this person came to me demanding, subtly, that I give it to her, I wondered how I would give something that I no longer have. But it helped that she gave me hers even when I didn’t ask for it and I knew not what to do with it. She gave hers to me and helped me find mine. It wasn’t easy and I almost gave up because of the fear that it would get disrespected again.

It’s been almost 2 years now, and I have to say that I do not regret finding it again and giving ti to her because she has not let me down.

Day 9: Point Of View – FROM A DISTANCE

HE

It was a cloudy day that threatened to rain contrary to the weather forecast. The park was lively as usual; people tossing Frisbees around, a couple having a picnic near the water fountain, two little girls feeding the ducks that normally came to mingle among the people.

He was happy, walking on the cobblestone path that wound around the outskirts of the park, and holding her hand while humming a Coldplay tune inside his head as she said something that made him smile. They had not gotten to spend time like this between his unusual hours and her school. But today was different and he was determined to make the most of it.

“You know, I can almost see us bringing our kids to this park”

“hmmmm”, she sounded.

“We will have a picnic while they play with the dog or feed the ducks”.

“Let’s not get too far ahead of ourselves”, she replied.

“What do you mean?” He was confused. “I thought we had already planned all this”

“I know we have but I’m just saying things happen that can delay the plan”

“Are you going to tell me what that thing is, because you are really confusing me”.

SHE

It was supposed to be a good day. The last time she would have to spend with him before she was to go to graduate school. She had suggested they went to the park to hang out because she wanted to be around people when she broke the news to him. And from the liveliness of the park at this time of the day, she felt she had made the right decision. But now, watching his face morph from happy to wary, she felt her heart break a bit because of what she was going to have to say. She wished she didn’t have to.

And when he blindsided her with the talk about kids and dogs, she knew this day was going to be a disaster.

She was thinking of how best to tell him and did not realize that he had stopped walking until he called her name.

“Why did you stop walking?”

“Because I want to hear about those things that will delay our plan. The same plan that we had made together”

“Well,” she paused, watching his face, “something came up and…….”

“I know something came up and that is why I asked you”

Damn, she hated it when he interrupted her like this, because it usually meant that something was about to happen that either of them wouldn’t like.

“I have to go away for a while”

“What do you mean you have to go away for a while?”

“It’s graduate school. There is this program that we have to partake in and it’s compulsory and I have to go soon”

“How long will you be gone?”

“A year”, she whispered for she was scared to say it out loud.

“What did you say?”

Dammit, she cursed. Why does he have to make me say it? “I said, A Year”

“When are you leaving?” he asked in that calm voice that carried an undertone of, ‘be careful the next words that come out of your mouth’.

“Tonight”, she quietly said.

“And you waited until the last moment to tell me this?” he exploded.

“You were always so busy and I wanted us to at least have one last special moment to together”

“I don’t care if I was busy every single day or if you wanted us to have a billion special moments; you shouldn’t have waited until now”

“I am sorry”

‘Well, sorry doesn’t change anything”

And with that he stormed off.

HER

The park was as she always loved it. She usually came here to feed the ducks or to read a book. But today she had decided to bring a ball of yarn and just knit a sweater.

She was enjoying the noise; something she normally referred to as happy noise.

She was seated on the bench just outside the cobblestone path on the outskirts of the park and had noticed the couple that were walking slowly and laughing to each other. She felt a sudden ache as she remembered her husband of 55 years who passed away only last year.

But she felt a little happiness for the couple because they had managed to find something good out of all the chaos in the world. Therefore, she was surprised when the man raised his voice. She looked to her right and saw that they had stopped walking and that he was farther behind the lady. She couldn’t hear what they were talking about and she wished they would stop because they seemed so happy before.

Few minutes later, the young lady came and sat next to her and had tears in her eyes. She didn’t know what to say to her so she just put aside her knitting and wrapped an arm around her shoulder

Day 7: Give and Take – HIS & HER

“I love you”, she said.

They were sitting on a bench under the almond tree, as they do every night. It had become their usual spot. This night was like any other night; cold, with different couples scattered around them. He had his hand around her shoulders and seemed to be lost in thought listening to a silent tune. She looked at his face and saw that faraway look that he normally had like he was looking into time itself. Not tonight, she thought and then jabbed him in the ribs with her elbow. That seemed to bring him back.

“Sorry”, he muttered, “I guess I was doing that again”.

“Yes, you were”

“OK then, I repeat, I am sorry”, he turned to face her, “what were you saying?”

“I said I love you”, she repeated.

“Oh, that?” he kept quiet and looked straight ahead. By now she was already getting annoyed. Why can’t he just say it back? , she thought. He started whistling a tune, and she was already opening her mouth to chew him out when he turned to face her and he had the smile.

“I know that you love me, Kay, and I love you too”. He said

“Was that so hard?”

“Was what so hard?” he said with a knowing smile.

“Telling me you love me too”

“No, it wasn’t hard at all. Why would you think it was hard for me?”

“Because of all the silence and the time it took you to say it back”

“Oh, does that bother you?”

“Yes, it does. You always take your time to say even the simplest of words. A common yes or no might take a full minute for you to say”

He burst out laughing. By now, she was ready to go back to her room. She was standing up when he reached out and held her hand.

“I’m sorry, I’m sorry”, he said.

“It’s not funny”

“I know it’s not funny. It’s just that I didn’t realize you were timing how long I take to say my words”

“I wasn’t timing anything”, she defended, “I’m just making a point”

“And I got your point”, he stood up and went to kneel in front of her.

“What are you doing? Stop it” She was getting embarrassed.

“Just hold on” he said, he took her hand, and looked into her eyes for a few seconds until she looked away. “What does it matter if it takes me an hour to say what I want to say? All that matters is that I mean what I say, and I mean it when I say I love you”

“I know you do she said, but do you always have to take time before you say it?”

“No, I don’t”

“Then why do you do that?”

“Nothing really, I just like to see the look on your face when I do it”, he said

“Urgh!!! You, my love, are insufferable. I don’t get why you have to think about everything including love”

“Because someone has to do that for the two of us and you are happy not being that person so that leaves me”

“I hate you”

“I know, that’s why I love you too”

Day 6: A Character Building Experience – FORNEVER THE SAME

I met her two years ago while I was on holiday in Abuja. First time I saw her, I was blown away. She wasn’t the most beautiful girl I had ever seen. I have had my fair sight of beautiful girls and she was beautiful in her own away. What really blew me was her smile. She had the kind of smile that would make you forget you were ever having a bad day.

Her eyes were kind of large but beautiful large and they could make you squirm and actually give you butterflies. She had one of the funniest laugh I had ever heard. She wasn’t the fairest of them all neither was she the most beautiful of them all. Her power resided in her smile, I remember telling her that she had the most beautiful smile I have ever seen, and I have seen a lot of beautiful smiles. She smiled not with only her mouth but also with her entire face and it was hard to stay mad at her when she smiled like that.

She had a very charming personality. She was naively innocent, she believed in the good and bad, she saw things as they were although she tended to talk of everything, no matter how bleak they looked, in a beautiful light.

I remember standing in the rain and talking to her for hours because you just don’t know how to end a conversation with her. She was talkative that way. She was also philosophical, believing that she has the power to bring out the good in people, and she did. I found myself smiling more around her. She even inspired me to pick up writing again.

She was the best friend anyone could ever ask for. She had an innocent spirit, and as these people tend to be, they usually have more friends than they can handle. I got lost on the wayside and while I very much like to be as close to her as I use to. I am thankful for the few times I got to spend with her. I owe much of the good person in me, the part of me that still wants to care about the world. I owe it to her.

So, Shalom Amarachi Onyeka-Oforji, wherever you are, if you ever read this, please know that you changed me in ways you can’t imagine

Day 5: Be Brief – MESSAGE IN A BOTTLE

While setting out for his daily four mile run down the beach, he had only one thing on his mind; to complete the run as he always did every morning. He normally told people that he did it to keep fit but deep inside; he alone knew the real reason. Dressed in a black tank top, shorts and running shoes, he began the run slowly at first building up a consistency that he would apply throughout the run till the end.

Halfway into the run, he stepped on the ground and heard glass shattering. He hadn’t seen it, so he cursed silently that he had let his mind wander off again to the same thoughts he tried to run from every morning. Looking down he saw he had stepped on a bottle. As he bent down to inspect, he noticed a neatly folded piece of paper lying near the bench with shards of broken glass around it by the sidewalk.

He was torn between continuing on his run and finding out what the paper might be. He continued running but few steps forward and he found himself turning back. He picked up the paper and discovered it had writing on it. He held it up and discovered it was a note dated only yesterday. So he read;

Patrick,

It has been 3 weeks since you left and I blame myself.
I shouldn’t have acted the way I did and I am sorry.
I find myself wishing every night that I had done things differently
but it is done and I can only try o move forward.
Please come back because home doesn’t feel like home without you anymore.
I am sorry.

Kayla.

He had tears in his eyes when he finished reading. His name was Patrick and her name was Kayla but this wasn’t from her. It had been 500 days since they fought and he never got the chance to say he was sorry for she died 11 days later. This wasn’t his and he wished he knew who it was for so he could help give it back.

Day 4: Serially Lost – IF ONLY….

“Grief does not change you. It reveals you.”
John Green

He wasn’t supposed to die. If only we had gotten him to the hospital fast enough, he would still be around today. “If only”, those are the words I constantly use to punish myself nine years after I saw my dad live his last day.

IF ONLY

Cardiac Arrest. Immediate medical attention would have saved him but we just couldn’t get there fast enough. I didn’t go with him to the hospital, there was not enough space in the car. All I did was stay home and pray and beg God not to take my dad away from me. But God didn’t listen or maybe He was too busy to care. You see good people dying senselessly while the bad keep on living and prospering and it makes you wonder what the purpose is in all this.

Losing my dad was one of the worst days of my life. It was the day I realized that “PEOPLE ALWAYS LEAVE”. That in the end, all I really had was me. That day, I felt numb; it was too much for me to process. Until that day, I had never lost someone before so I had no idea what I felt like. Needless to say, it felt like death.

I wish I can continue to describe how that night was but I’ve never been able to tell anyone about it or even find the right words to use.

I can’t tell you why it happened because then I would get angry at the senselessness of it all. It would be like trying to explain why that bullet went stray and killed that kid who was only just playing ball around the corner, it would be like trying to explain why that car couldn’t keep its tires on the road and had to crush the lady on the side walk.

But now, when I think back through it all, I realized that there is no general order in his world, no general purpose, people die for no reason at all and wars happen and diseases come out from nowhere and kills thousands of people.

The only thing that is universal is chaos, random senseless, meaningless events and nothingness. There will come a time when all of us are dead and the only thing that remains is the chaos and nothingness that once was. That all there is and ever will be is chaos and randomness and it is up to each of us to find our own individual order and meaning in that chaos and make it all co-exist.

“Chaos was the law of nature; Order was the dream of man.”
Henry Adams

I realized that the only reason is that which you create and give yourself and not what society preaches. The meaning and sense to it all is that which you can create out of the chaos. There is no order except that which you make.

Losing my dad made me a lot of things; I became reserved, cold, detached although I covered it up with humor. Sometimes I feel like there is a dark void inside and that I don’t really care about anything or anyone in the world and that every word I say and every emotion I express Is fake and calculated. Sometimes.

Somedays, it’s bad. And other days, it’s, well, not so bad.