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Monthly Archives: May 2013

A Fresh Start

She woke. Her eyes fluttering open reluctantly. It was 6.25am. She started as the phone rang again and stared at it annoyed. After confirming the caller, she took the call and answered drowsily.

“Hello”

The caller launched into an explanation. No apologies. This did not make any sense.

“Its over”

He couldn’t believe his ears. They should be talking about a wedding and she was calling it off?

“It can’t work. I have tried. Its not working.

She hung up, feeling suddenly drained. She believed she had done the right thing. She and Seye had moved from friends to more than friends and then they had become lovers. Something they both wanted. But it turns out, from her perspective that they had both come with too much bagage. A life she wanted to forget and a life he wouldn’t tell her about.

She gets off the bed and turns on her computer. She didn’t even give the break up a second thought. She had rehearsed this so often in her mind that it didn’t even shock her. The computer flickers on and the welcoming ‘Windows’ tone. She glanced to the bottom right. May 27th.

The dull ache started as she scrolled through her Twitter Timeline. People were throwing jabs and making jokes about Children’s Day. She read through, trying to contain herself, control herself. She couldn’t. It was another Children’s Day. Like the one when she lost her son 2 years ago.

Goshen was 8.  She had been trying for another after he was born but God hadn’t smiled on her yet, so she endured everything: inlaws who were urging her husband who himself was an only child to take on another wife. So far he hadn’t.

When the school came up with the idea of an excursion to the Ibadan zoo on children’s day, Goshen was excited. There was no way he wouldn’t go. She had her misgivings. But she couldn’t even raise them. Anything to make her son happy.

As she packed additional lunch, just in case Goshen didn’t like what was served, little did she realise that would be the last time she would see her son.

The news came in the evening. She had become worried sick. All the numbers to the teachers in the bus and even Goshen’s phone was switched off. When she saw the proprietor drive in with her husband, she instantly knew that her world as she knew it, had come to an end.

She woke up on a hospital bed. Ikenna was seated watching her. The doctors had her on sedatives. Her BP had shot up to 180/120. She was awake for just a few seconds, but she wouldn’t, couldn’t forget the look on Ikenna’s face.

When she finally got home a memorial service was held for Goshen. His body was never identified. A petrol tanker had lost control and rammed into the school bus before bursting into flames. No one survived. Ikenna refused to speak to her for several days after the service. His younger sister Ada made scathing remarks and she just knew it was time to move on.

A week after the memorial service, she moved out of the house and stayed with a friend. Ikenna didn’t bother to look for her. Two months later his relationship status on Facebook changed. Ada was not his sister afterall. They were having a relationship right under her nose and she didn’t know.

She met Seye almost a year ago. She had finally decided she was ready to date again. He wasn’t perfect, but neither was she. She still believed any relationship required work, a shifting of grounds until a middle point was reached. But recently, she noticed she seemed to be doing all the shifting while Seye dug into the ground and waited. She really loved him, but in this instance they needed more than love.

She dug out Goshen’s photo and stared at it. He should have been ten this year. Her land of milk and honey dried up in its prime. She wanted to cry but the tears wouldn’t come.

She rose and went into the kitchen. She had made a decision and she had to keep to it. 38 and divorced didn’t look like a good resume, but she was going to make the best of this life. She wasn’t going to settle for less because life threw her a bunch of lemons.

She made herself a warm cup of beverage with plenty of milk. And took a mouthful. And then she walked back into the bedroom. She looked so unkempt. What did Seye even see in her? She picked up her phone and called her salon. She hadn’t called them since her first date with Seye. 

“Yes, its me. I’m coming in”

She turned and saw Goshen’s photo where she had dropped it on the bed. She picked it and went back into the kitchen and held it over the fire and watched it burn. There was only one place she wanted to feel the presence of her lost son~her heart.

As the last bit turned to ashes, she gathered it up into her hand and walked out of the house. She stood at the veranda and opened her hands and watched the morning breeze blow the ash fly free.

And then the tears came.

 
2 Comments

Posted by on May 27, 2013 in Short Story

 

If Love Were Mathematics…

If love were mathematics
All relationship issues would add up
One plus one would make two
And not one as we are told
In marriage

If love were mathematics
All relationship issues would be solved
By using formulaic or algebraic equations
The four figure table would be the bible
Of marriage

If love were mathematics
All who tried to divide a relationship
Would go under like the denominator
And not like the numerator rise
In marriage

If love were mathematics
All worded problems
Would be expressed in figures and letters
And the solutions would be
In finding the right variables
Of marriage

But love is not mathematics
Whether you find it easy or hard
Love will not ask you why
It won’t even let you choose your ex

There’s no reason to be scared
Of the mind buggling equations
Or try to follow any formulae
Forget about algebra

Love speaks a language of its own
And each person has a unique tongue
Love is a language of the arts
It is not rocket science
It takes one and one that choose to be one
And are willing to weather every bitter storm
As they come
Forever committed
To do all it takes
To remain one

 
4 Comments

Posted by on May 26, 2013 in Poetry

 

Following Your Partner on Social Media? Bad Idea.

Maria and Kenny have been having issues in their four year relationship. She has done her best to keep their issues between them away from friends and even family. She woke up one day to see her BlackBerry Messenger filled with messages. They all asked the same question in different words. Concerned ‘friends’ wanted to know when she broke up with Kenny. His Facebook status page had been recently updated to ‘complicated’ and unlinked from hers.

A Facebook survey of 1000 users showed that 25% of users found out their relationship was over by seeing it on Facebook first. When you are in the same friends circle as your partner it means that you and all your friends will be finding out just about the same time or they may even beat you to it if they are online before you.

If you are using a social networking site. It just may be the best idea not to follow your partner or even have them follow you. In fact, have different friend circles. Yes, I know it may sound insane. You may point out many who follow themselves and seem to have a perfect relationship. That indeed is the point. In my close to four decades of existence on earth I am yet to find a perfect relationship and when certain couples come and present such a front it has a dual effect:

1. It breeds a condition which researchers refer to as Facebook envy. Your friends and followers wish they were you and some would actually go a step further to plot how to put a chinc on your wall of perfection. Why would you want to set yourself and your relationship up for such unnecessary scrutiny?

2. Since there really are no perfect relationships, what happens when things go wrong? Remember, you and your partner are hardly on the same level of maturity and when things go awry in a relationship, the hurt may push one of the parties to talk about it. The result? Deleted accounts or a war of words leading to airing of dirty laundry before the world. What is more, your actions will be documented for posterity.

Did I hear you say “If I don’t follow them how would I know what they are doing on social media? Let me turn the question around: why do you want to know what they are doing on social media? Following your partner on social media can easily turn you into a watch dog and stalker. If you have ever found yourself asking your partner why they posted this or that status or why they posted this or that comment, then it is about time you unfollowed or even blocked them. Remember, social network is first of all social. You and your partner are forming relationships with others and the friendships automatically influence you. How would you react if your partner went against your views? My people say: what you don’t know, will not kill you.

Need I mention the jealousy that breeds when one of the parties has a higher social ranking than the other. What if you were in a relationship with an overlord or overlordess? Even if he or she decides not to flirt with anyone online, innocent exchanges can be easily misconstrued. Don’t forget, social media makes flirting so much easier and it is even seen as cool. I have seen ladies jump on innocent posts by men and vice versa and some of these people have very strong personalities. Save yourself high blood pressure: block your partner. 

Then there is the matter of sometimes innocent posts being misinterpreted at subs at the partner especially when you are having issues. I have heard several couples complain that one of the partners was refering to them in their update. Most times this is totally untrue. Would you see the update if you don’t follow them?

You may have heard the expression ‘Nigerian Twitter’. It simply tells you that this is such a small community where everyone seems to know the other. It will be to your best interests if you joined this community as separate individuals. People who know you offline will of course know you are an item, but coming online to put your relationship up on exhibition is mostly counter productive. This is not to say there are not people who it is working for but the demerits far outweigh the merits. Relationships are coming under attack, it would help if you didn’t add one more reason for a break up.

I dare say that following your partner on Social media can be linked to distrust. I mean, if we live together in the same house, share the same bed, why would you want to follow me on Twitter and constantly tweet at me? And even if our relationship is a result of a social network meet, you should give each other space to breathe and not force your relationship down everyones throats. Remember, once you make your relationship social, you give everyone that sees your update the right to contribute to your conversation and some people may actually knowingly get nasty.

So, are you still following your partner on social media? Hit that button, now! Unfollow, mute, or block…pick your own poison. If you really think about it, this is the best option for most people.

 
11 Comments

Posted by on May 7, 2013 in Relationships