It is often said that people come into our life for a reason, a season or a lifetime. But then there are those who just come to use your time to ‘ta’ kite.
2018 was one despondent year for me. I had recently concluded my NYSC program and was working at a place where I did love my job but hated the establishment. I had also just walked out of a relationship because I was in a messy headspace and didn’t want to make somebody’s son suffer. Navigating life post-college was proving tough, and I was mostly operating on autorun. Wake up, function, go to bed, repeat.
Later in the year, my dad enrolled me for a short broadcasting program. I wasn’t totally interested in running it, but when you are living under your parent’s roof and eating their food, you have to obey their directives. After all, parents are supposed to know what’s best for their kids. *scoffs* Anyways, I got a change of scenery which I desperately needed, so it wasn’t so bad.
My life was threefold; hostel, class, and anywhere I could find food. As an introvert that doesn’t even try to be a people’s person, I was able to get away with not grooming close relationships with people. My room was my fortress where I’d go to hide from the rest of the world. It was during this gloomy period I met him. We’d call him Dede.
I had known Dede from afar for a short while but we never really spoke. We started by exchanging bants on social media; then we moved to phone conversations and eventually started to hang. His place was close to the school so coming around wasn’t so treacherous. After a long day of boring lectures and tolerating people, I finally had something to look forward too. If we didn’t see in school, we’d see in church. All it took for the dark clouds looming over my head to dissipate was a text from him or his name showing on the caller ID.
One thing that fascinated me about Dede was how he made me come out of my shell. Dede and I spoke deep. We talked about our past, our struggles, dreams and aspirations. We consulted each other on ideas and gave support where we could. I was V for vulnerable with this guy and so was he with me. He made me have the zeal to keep going, keep trying and keep on believing. It was only natural that I started to like him. I felt safe with him. I figured he liked me too but we never steered our conversations in that direction. We seemed okay just being each other’s safe space.
One day, out of the freaking blues, Dede tells me he has a crush on three of us and didn’t know who to go for. It was hilarious but also scary knowing two other people were vying for his attention. He went on to tell me about the other girls, one of which I knew very well on Instagram. I felt jealousy spring up in me like the Trevi fountain. That’s how I went to unfollow her because I didn’t want to be seeing my competition on my timeline. *face palm* Makes me cringe now that I think of it.
From then on, anytime Dede spoke about his future, he’d find a way to include me in it. “I have this cooking show I’m planning. Would you like to be my co-host?” “If the Visa I’m processing clicks, would you travel with me?” “I can’t wait to see you drive your own car when we go on dates.” Blah blah blah. I didn’t take these things to heart but still it felt good that this guy was featuring me in his future. Awon ti Don Jazzy. It did make me feel special and I had my head in the clouds. After all, he can’t be saying these things to the other babes. Or was he? I’d never know.
Things went steady like that. He was my emotional support and vice versa. Surprisingly, we kept things PG. No kisses. Nothing sensual.
We never went beyond hugs even though sometimes we would linger in each other’s arms for minutes. Did my body do gis-gis? Abso-freaking-lutely yes. Body no be firewood.
One day we got good news. Something Dede had been pursuing had clicked. It was big. After the excitement and celebration had calmed down, my brain started to churn. He was going to get really busy. Goodbye regular visits and I’d be lucky if I manage to even speak to him daily over the phone. It was only a matter of time before what we had would die a natural death. Boy, did I panic? He had come to grow on me, and I wasn’t ready to let go. I should have allowed things take their course but when your village people are determined to drag you ehn, nothing will stop them. With my two short legs and round mouth, I walked up to Dede and asked the world’s most dreaded question –
“Where are we headed with this?”
(To Be Continued)
Rant sent in by Tomii Awe. Click here for the Pseudo Lover (part 2)