Even if it took every ounce of courage in me to ask Dede that dreaded question, I was still hoping he wouldn’t ask me out that night. But at the same time, I needed to know if we could put a tag to this thing going on between us. I had once been in a situation where I was with someone who made me think we were in a relationship. I later got to find out he had a girlfriend through a Facebook comment. Lol. This one is a juicy gist for another day.
It is believed that right before a man dies, his entire life would flash before his eyes.
My dear brothers and sisters, I wasn’t dying o, but I might as well have been. There and then, in response to my simple question, Dede launched into a TED talk that made me question my existence. He started to talk about the project he had just hit, how he needed to focus more on his career now and wasn’t ready for a relationship. But Dede didn’t stop there. He went on about how I needed to get a proper job (I was still at that shitty company at this time), and that I needed to upgrade myself, blah blah blah. He basically took every struggle I had shared with him and used them in lecturing me all in the name of, ‘You need to get your life together.’
So, all this while, it’s now that you know my life was “scattered”? Because you are going to be on TV, you look down your nose at me? Haba! Who you?
On a good day, this would have been words from a concerned friend who wanted to see me grow. But my dear Dede capped it all by saying the time we had spent together was just him helping me as a friend. Talks about, “I saw you were in need and just wanted to help out.” At this point, nothing he was saying made any sense. Indeed truly, I was in a tight financial situation, but I’m too proud to ask for help. Dede would always come along with dinner. I guess this was his way of easing me of some expenses. But that night as he spoke, the only thing I could do was smile.
“It’s not like you are ready for a relationship either,” he concluded. I said I wasn’t, which was true. I wasn’t ready for a serious relationship, but so did I not bargain for the humiliation he gave me wrapped up as advice.
I don’t remember much of what he said because I was so focused on trying to dig a hole in the ground, hoping it would finally open up and swallow me. In summary, he made me understand his career had reached a pivotal point, and that was what he wanted to concentrate on.
All those talk about wanting me by his side, making plans with me in it, telling me how much he cared about me… was he being nice as a friend? How does that even explain him stringing me along all this while? Because it seemed to me that was what he had done.
I had to pinch myself to be sure I wasn’t hallucinating. Abi this guy had been replaced with a clone? Because I wasn’t understanding the words coming out of the creature before me. When he was finally done, he asked if I was okay. Of course, I am. What were you expecting? That I’d throw a tantrum, cry and plead that you be eternally mine? Nah. I’ve had enough experience with men to know that shit happens.
However, when I got back to my room and started to replay our ‘movie’ from the very beginning, it broke me. I cried till my pillow got soaked with tears. I was in so much pain, the kind of pain that tears through your body and soul. This wasn’t even about the rejection. It was the unmitigated betrayal from the one person I had come to see as a safety nest. It turned out I was nothing but a charity case to him. I couldn’t reconcile the man I had spoken to that night with the one I’d come to know. This guy literally made me feel like street trash. I guess it’s true that money and fame do change people.
I decided I was going to give him some space. Three days later, he called wanting to know why I hadn’t called or texted him. “I thought I should give you some space,” I responded.
You won’t believe this guy was upset about this. How can you walk all over my already fragile self-esteem and still want to act entitled to my time and emotions? Who does that? How could he not tell that I was hurt? That made me resolve further to keep him at arm’s length. I needed to give myself some time to heal and recover from all the jabs and uppercuts my ego had taken.
We didn’t see again until I rounded up my program. Did I mention that we attended the same church? About three months later, we ran into each other after a Sunday service. He wanted to know why I stopped attending church. I laughed. “I never stopped coming to church. I just stopped coming to say hi to you,” I told him. The thing pepper am! After all this time, this dude still thinks he’s the next best thing after sliced bread? Ko jo!
We managed to stay in touch even though that night still haunted me.
Many, many months later, I decided to speak to him about what happened because even though I was emotionally over him, I realized I was yet to get over the hurt. I felt talking through it would help me move past it.
Dede acknowledged no wrong but instead, he managed to flip the script. First, he played the hero by saying he did what he did because he knew I liked him and he didn’t want to take advantage of me. Then he threw the victim card at me, talking about how he was hurt by the way I treated him after that night and that I was the least person he expected would keep her distance from him. I mean…
At that point, I gave up trying. I allowed him to entertain himself with his words which he crowned by saying he was a different person now. Very funny!
He failed to see how his actions had hurt me and still tried to make it seem like me wanting a relationship was the main issue. In that instant, I got an epiphany. This guy never has and will never acknowledge that he wasn’t exactly innocent in this matter. I had given him enough time in my head rent-free. That very day, I decided to dead the matter and washed my hands off it like Pontius Pilate.
Would an apology have changed things? I don’t know.
I later found out that seems to be his modus operandi; stringing women along emotionally. He has a knack for drawing women in and leaving them hanging.
This is the point where I should say men are scum, but then, I think everyone should be answerable for their actions.
Oh, lest I forget, Dede, not long ago got a taste of his medicine. He came to me to lament about how a lady strung him along and then walked away.
Maybe that was the point I should have told him it was what he did to me exactly. But I’m too nice a person, so I consoled him instead. Be the bigger person like they say.
Well, it is what it is; just another chapter of my life. We move.
Rant sent in by Tomii Awe. Click here to read Pseudo Lover (part 1).