The Writer Boy

Today is Children’s Day and my friend Jibola decided to visit 19th Street with a befitting personal narrative. Happy Children’s Day everyone.

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This is not a writer’s block…

It feels instead like Olumo Rock piled gently over Zuma Rock and placed in my path.

My earliest contact with writing was composition in primary school. The beginning of every term started with the “How I Spent My Holiday” essay. Where my classmates bit their biros and thought of what to add to pad their anorexic stories, I packed my middle page paper full of stories. This year was about Yankari, the other would be about how Barb got lost at the carnival in Cologne or the next would be about how Paris is really dirty and most folk just romanticize it.

A little part of me was sad when Primary School ended and I could share those stories no more. But hide them away I did; for no one’s pleasure but mine. I was keeping a diary and I didn’t even know it. Somehow, I forgot all about that. And moved on to other things like battling puberty and being a wallflower. It’s funny with hindsight comparing the skinny young lad and myself now. I was wide eyed and filled with dreams. My naivete could rival a virgin Adam and Eve at the time. I couldn’t keep a regular diary because I have the nosiest mother in the world. But I kept an exercise book that I always packed with my school books. In it I imagined myself in different places from Narnia to Planet B6-12. I wrote about my different exploits in these places. It was a form of escape from the life I didn’t particularly enjoy. Somehow, I would write the parts of my life I wanted to file away into my “escape stories”.

A fast forward to my discovery of Laide’s blog. She was funny as hell. And a part of me thought if she could do it, so could I. Not that I wanted a piece of her fame or anything of that, but it seemed I’d found a “diary place” where my mother could not find. So I opened a blogger account. What an escape it was. It became even less about how much of my stories I could share but all these people whose lives and stories I could share. It was a really “kumbaaya” time in my life. It’s amusing how in hindsight, back then was the happiest I’ve ever been in my life. I won’t go into how I started seeing someone special and my blog became our blog. Dear lord, that blog went down the mush-and-unicorns landscape in 2.5 seconds. I don’t rue those times, but damn I was cheesy as hell. But I digress.

Along the way I had these movies I used to play out in my head. It started as a kid in the hours of downtime between books or sitting in church waiting for the service to end. I’d close my eyes and watch these movies directed by me, and sometimes starring me. One day, I decided to put one of these movies to text.

The reaction to it floored me. I thought it was utter scraps (I still think so). My “blog-buddies” asked for more, and I did again till it became a four-part series (Notice how I never judge Nollywood and their multiple part series?). I shared more of these head-movies and the reactions were no less heartwarming. Life stepped in, and the blogging thing felt staid. I had everything I thought I needed — my big dreams and a woman who I shared love with. I stopped blogging, not because I wanted for stories to share but because I had someone to share with in-situ.

Then something happened. For certain reasons, myself and my girlfriend whom I shared this cheesy-as-hell blog with, had to amicably diverge directions. To say I was distraught would be a big underestimation. It was probably my first real experience with heartbreak. Lol. No I did not get suicidal but I soon lost interest in everything I had previously enjoyed. I tried everything (even playing musical beds). But there is something about sharing everything with someone that leaves you feeling half the person you once were. One day, I wrote. What started as an “I wish I didn’t miss you so much” spiel became two middle page foolscap sheets.

What was an escape became a form of catharsis. When I wrote, I felt a little less hurt, or angry or whatever the cocktail of emotions swirling in me were, at the time. So every time the urge to grieve hit me, which was very often, I just bled out on paper. Paper here is figurative because I hate writing with my hands. It really was the “Phoenix space“. Phoenix because I felt all I was and possessed had gone down in flames. Dramatic, yes? But in a way it is true. I’m no longer who I used to be. And so I wrote, and wrote till there was no pain to draw from anymore. I began living again. Too soon. After grieving comes regrouping and deciding who you are and what you want. Lol. I didn’t realize this at the time but dived straight in the deep end. Another story for another day. Even through this time I still wrote. But it began to dwindle out. I felt like a fighter jet running low on fuel. It wasn’t even from a lack of pain to spur me on. When it came to pain, I had a truck-load of that to work with because I’d worked myself into a well worn bind with my poor choices in my love life.

I just felt burnt out and staid. It felt like whatever wellspring the ink had spurted from was sealed. Even my head-movies came few and far between. I average about 40 discarded drafts every month. I did 46 this month alone. It hurts not because I miss the comments, compliments and the ability to tweak people’s moods and perceptions with mere words. It hurts because my one form of catharsis was stolen from me (who by, I don’t know). It hurts because reality is not exactly the best from entertainment and my escape hatch has been sealed.

At the moment, there’s a bomb ticking in my head. My time is divided into times my head isn’t ticking and when it is. Most nights, I sleep not knowing if I will wake up in the morning. I try not to say much so I don’t unnecessarily scare the people around me. “I’m fine, I’m cool, I’m dope” are default answers through a haze of pain and despair; because I hate being babied or bugged with a passion. In times like these, I want to find my fortress of solace, but when I return to this secret place, I find it empty. The words to express what I’m feeling and I want to say are devoid of the life, that strength of feeling and prose that I used to wield.

Maybe it will be gone forever, or maybe I’ll make a fortress of this Writer’s Zuma Rock. Time will tell.

I was once the boy-Me. On my journey to find my Man-self, I lost the boy. Now I am a few blocks from becoming the man the boy-me always wanted to be. But I miss the old me, the boy me who I fear was the real me.

I Miss You (Part 10)

Today sucked. If it were possible to tender in a letter like you do when resigning from a company I would have gone to tender a letter to my Prof. and scream in his face. It sucks more because I can’t rant to the one person I want to and no, I’m not complaining, I know you need to work and all but yea, I really need you now, this moment.

I once watched an episode of Grey’s anatomy where Meredith said there’s a reason why people don’t let anyone in; it’s because they try to avoid beforehand the pain they’d feel if or when those people leave…for whatever reason. I have let you in and it scares me how much of me I’m ready to do away with, all for you. I have made you my sole purpose for wanting to be here, not like I planned to but somehow, I feel safe with you. All my fears are gone, I remind myself of them but they don’t hold water anymore. My logical self tells me to hold back, set up walls and just put windows, windows that I’ll open up to you once in a while to give you access but I ignore it. This time I’m letting my emotions run the course.

My heart beats for you. This is not me trying to be a lyricist, it is how it is. I breathe in air and it feels like I’m breathing in substances that heighten my feelings for you. Every word, every moment, I hold on to them so dearly. It’s funny how you can make me do what I would normally find physically or mentally exhausting, even from so many miles away; you say it and suddenly it feels possible or maybe it’s just because I respect and think highly of you and trust you. I trust that you want the best for me and have my best interests at heart, that you wouldn’t let me follow a wrong path.

Let me tell you something funny; when we met, I told Dolapo you didn’t seem like someone I would like to take care of and make feel at home. That was my ego talking but look how the tables have turned. You take care of me, even now that you are thousands of miles away. You are home for me; where I want to be all the time, where I run to when the world is hurling its premium lemons at me and I’m too weak from the sores and pain to even pick the lemons talk less of making lemonades out of them.

I have listened to every love song on my iPod and gone through pictures of you and us over and over again and even though I miss you so much that it’s causing my chest to ache, I can’t help smiling about every memory we’ve made. The two weeks we spent together before you left have been the best two weeks of my life so far, I was the happiest I have ever been. I can’t count the number of times I have wished something would hit me like those guys in Misfits and make me have the power to be a jumper so I can spend at least every night and waking moment with you. Usually, girls dream of when “he” will propose, I am here thinking of when and how I’ll ask you to marry me and be mine forever. Yep, you are that amazing. Please don’t worry your cute self trying to figure out what it is about you that makes you my favorite person in the world; that’s what makes this beautiful, the fact that it can’t be measured by the physical. I have joined the school of thought that there’s a “the One.” You are my one, my only, my forever.

I miss you. I wish we had more than two weeks to spend together then. I wish we had our whole lives! I don’t ever want to have to be away from you. I crave your presence like an addict craves drugs. The logical part of me tells me not to show this to you when I’m done writing because it has exposed too much and with this I will make myself vulnerable but I don’t care. This is not me talking crazy but even though I know it’ll probably hurt my existence out of me, if you leave me I won’t regret letting myself fall for you. It feels so good to feel this way about someone you feel deserves it…for once in my life I am totally selfless.

These skype calls and chats and phone calls will soon become insufficient and I’m already saving towards that time so I can board a flight to come see you and cradle myself in your arms and feel your breath on my neck. And be where I want to be. I like how words are coming together to express how I feel, I hope that they have done enough justice to let you know how much you mean to me. I have to stop here now.

Do take care of you my dearest.

From the one who wants to spend all of her life loving you and, be all for you and all to you

Funmi

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Why did you do this to me? Why did you have to leave a piece of your heart with me and take a piece of mine with you when you traveled?

Thanks for sharing Deborah.

I Miss You (Part 9)

I can still remember the days that followed after we met, it was like we’d known each other forever. We talked about everything, time flew when we were together. You were crazily attracted to me and it really amused me then ’cause i wasn’t attracted to you at all. I just really liked you and wanted to be with you every time. I was most comfortable in your company, being with you was like being with myself, you told me you felt the exact same way ’cause at that time you found it difficult to confide in anyone.

As time went on we became the best of friends, inseparable, talking on the phone and texting all the time whenever we weren’t around each other. I had no secrets where you were concerned. Our friendship was one of the best things that ever happened to me.

Along the way I noticed that I started developing feelings for you, my body began to want yours, it came with the same force with which our friendship started, I’ve never felt such passion before you and after you. I can still recall the first time we kissed, it was on a friday night, I was hanging out with some friends and you came to see me. Immediately I got into the car, we just started kissing like teenagers. Whenever I was with you it was like we were the only ones on earth.

We evolved from friends to lovers, we saw each other almost everyday, still whenever I saw you again it was like I was seeing you for the first time. Whenever we had a fight it was like my soul was being ripped out of me, I hated fighting with you. You were basically the source of my happiness. I was your rebound and I didn’t care, I just wanted to be with you. I was in love with my bestfriend, the only one on earth that knew everything about me and still loved me anyway. I was beyond happy. But as they say good things never last.

Out of the blue your ex came back and everything changed. Because I knew you so well, I knew I was second best and that wasn’t good enough for me. How could you do such a thing to me? How could you not know you meant everything to me? Didn’t you know how much I loved you? Why didn’t you choose me instead? I thought you were my forever, you made me think I was yours, how could you not see we were meant to be together?

I miss you.

I wanted to be the only girl in the world for you. We were so perfect together, why did she have to come back and ruin our happiness? I even tried to justify why you couldn’t have come after me instead. Maybe I was the only one feeling those things but is that even possible? Whenever we were out together you never wanted to let me go; more often than not we just held hands and enjoyed the silence. We did that countless times. I’ve never met anyone like you till date. It was never just sex with you, we always made love. Can’t even describe the passion I felt for you with words. I thought it was mutual, what went wrong?

I still miss what we had because I unconsciously compare you to every guy I meet and none of them have met your standard. I’m not even sure I want to feel that way again with anyone because after I left, I was literally broken. I have no idea how I survived that. You saw the me no one has seen and it’s still hard to let my guard down with anyone.

I still couldn’t bring myself to hate you or be indifferent about you, somehow I understood, as I always do.

I still love you despite everything but I don’t want you back. So much has changed.

I’m writing this now to let you know how much you meant/mean to me. I’ve never loved anyone like you and even after you, I still think about you and smile, blush and laugh. A part of me wishes we could go back in time and do it all over again, I miss the passion we had. I always saw us together, never imagined you with anyone else or myself without you. My pride was non-existent when we were together. You made me so happy I was ready to believe anything was possible in this world. I still love you totally and completely. No matter how much I try to shut it off, whenever you are around it all comes back. I can’t look into your eyes and deny you anything. You have immunity where I’m concerned.

Oh sod it! I want you back! I want you to be mine again. I want us to do everything we did together and more over again. You are my soulmate. I thought I was over you but writing to you is bringing it all back. But it’s too late, you are getting married to someone else and I have to work on letting you go. I really tried to hate you, you got under my skin and stayed there! Damn you! Why did you have to be so irresistible? Why can’t I be indifferent about you? Why can’t I have you for Christ sake? Why can’t my love be enough? Why????? I don’t even hate how much I love you, I’m powerless to hate it.

I love you. Still.

They say every lover has the one that got away. For me, that would be you.

Ijeoma

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The one that got away. Despite all your projections of love and all the green light signals. Sighs

I Miss You (Part 8)

What does it really mean when a girl misses someone? The journey to find out continues below…

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I miss you. The smart money says I probably shouldn’t, seeing as you ain’t mine no more…but I do. Perhaps I ain’t so smart after all…:)
Losing you was premature, but after what happened it was inevitable.

I day-dream about us a lot. I conjure up all sorts of scenarios that would make us belong to each other again, then I think about how ‘”a leopard never changes its spots”. Then I think about the times I was the leopard… and how I have never accepted those were my spots to begin with.

Have I judged you too harshly? Should I be judging you at all? It’s hard to think clearly. The throbbing of my heart each time I think of you echoes too loudly in my head. I can’t sort out the issues. I dunno how to fix ‘us’. I dunno if I CAN…or if I should.

Remember when I told you how calm you make me? I could almost say I knew what “peace that passes understanding” meant… We’d be sitting in a cab, in traffic… and naturally I’d be stressing about everything and anything. The heat, the traffic, your not having eaten anything, the heat, being late, the heat, etc…you’d just put your hand on my lap and tell me to calm down. With that voice…*sigh* everything would just be ok. Just like that.

I would never describe myself as ‘serene’ but when I was with you that was what I was. Even more amazing was the fact that it didn’t make me any less of a passionate being.

I miss you.

Remember when we had that fight. It was a stupid one cos we didn’t actually say anything…I think you upset me and/or I upset you and then we just didn’t speak to each other till we got home. I stomped upstairs to the flat with some major huffing and puffing, plus some mad attitude thrown in, lol… then out of the blue you sent me a message, apologising.

My heart melted.
I had to find you. So I came down again. It was really dark…but I found my man. Then we said sorry and kissed…and then just hung out.
We were leaning by some car, messing about and just generally talking absolute bollocks and then this older dude comes out and says we should move. We laid into him! It was SO much fun. I felt like an obnoxious teenager. Haha.

We did move in the end but I had so much fun it didn’t matter.

I miss us.

Remember how happy you made me? You said happiness made me glow. Everyone said I glowed. I said you made me happy. I have not come to terms with the possibility that I may never have that again. Some days are easier than others. I remember you with a smile. Then I feel the flicker of a glow…ready to be fanned back into flame. Other days…*sigh*, other days are not so easy. I don’t cry so much anymore though. Surely that’s a good thing?

Sometimes I think about how we may never have Eden… and then my heart breaks all over again.

I shouldn’t miss you, but Ede I really do. 😦

Annie

I Miss You (Part 7)

What does it mean when a girl says she misses someone? Enjoy

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Hey little baby, It would seem I was you again
Smiling up at the world anew
This wonderful place in so far as you knew
Eyes wide and bright
Taking it all in, cooing in delight

Hey little child, I’m told you used to giggle so
While building houses made of Lego
Piece by colourful piece, just like your brilliant soul
Then smashing them and starting over
Remaking and reshaping them like the world was doing to you, to me

Hey young lady, I want to say I’m sorry
That I wasn’t all there, that I didn’t just care
That I did the most stupid things out of fear
The fear of being left out, being alone
Forgetting only I could be the one
Only I could sing your song, my song

I shaped myself in an alien mould
I shaved, whittled, filtered myself away
I thought I still had forever and a day
To make up for it all
But the sands of time did fall
Now here I stand, those years forever gone
With the sinking realization of just what it is I have done

Here I stand way past the Rubicon
And yes, I now see I have lost not won
I have lost the chance to be you, to be me
I forgot who you were, you wonderful creature
I forgot myself measure by measure
And now I look at the pieces I have left
Like the spare stuff after a grand theft
I have robbed myself of you, of me
And now all I can say is I miss you, I miss me.

Dolapo

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I thoroughly enjoyed this for some reason. Do you think you lost your soul somewhere along the way to gaining the whole world?

I Miss You (Part 6)

When a girl says she misses someone, what does she mean? Enjoy.

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Dear Western, how are you? What are you doing now? Where are you? Are you truly happy when you say you’re fine? Or is there a deep sadness, a worry within that the phone calls, skype calls and chats don’t show me?

I know your heart is here, but I also want to know, every second, the many places your mind travels to. I wonder so much about you. I wonder if a little piece of you changes each time you are away on the high seas in your drillship. Have the tides been still or tumultuous?

You know, I went to the clinic today for another scan and left there in tears. Not because our baby is now forming beautifully (like a huge bean seed) but because I got there late and one of the other women said it was because I have no husband. Why would anyone say such a thing? Well it’s true they’ve never seen me with you. How could they see you, when you’re on an oil rig on the other side of the world?

This was not the plan, Western. Deviations are inevitable but this, this is an entire revision. You promised to be here with me to help me through the tight corners on this road called pregnancy. But you weren’t even here when I broke the news that we were expecting our first child. By the time you returned, the light of excitement in your eyes had been missed forever.

That one time you came home I was so complete. I felt like a complete woman. All my years on earth and my struggles in life suddenly seemed worth it. I wished I could step back out of the picture as soon as possible so you could be joyfully united with the young life growing within me. I was the vessel bringing our bundle of joy into the world. I watched you listen for his heartbeat and tell me it was strong and impatient, just like mine. How would I ever have heard it myself but for you? I miss you tickling my tummy, ignoring my breathless pleas for respite. I can’t fight back when you do that. I can’t fight you back even when I want to. I can’t kick and scream when you have to leave. I know it’s for our future and there’s no other option for now, but still, it hurts. Badly. I miss you whether it’s right or wrong.

I miss us following each other from room to room and to the kitchen to serve extra food while we are eating. I miss eating with you while watching the shows you hate on TV. I miss Saturday mornings too, having tete-a-tetes, talking about the past and the future and meaningless things, in those fleeting moments that mean everything to me. I miss opening my eyes to catch you watching me and my distended tummy while I sleep. I miss rejecting the pillow in favour of your chest, and the blanket in favour of your body warmth.

How I miss you Western! Come home, my dear one, and be awake the eight or so times I go to pee during the night. “Do you ever sleep?” I would always ask. “You sleep enough for the three of us”, you would reply. I so love how you love me. I love you even more, if that were possible. I almost resent your love because it takes me so high while I have you, only to drop me so low when I lose you again. Should I hate that I love you? I simply can’t bring myself to.

I miss our stare that stamps “mine” on us both and our silence that speaks volumes. I love how you hold my hand at the movies and even here at home when there’s nobody to see us; it feels like we keep linking our souls all over again. Didn’t I almost have it all? Laughter I could touch, words I could see, contentment that lingered aimlessly, days that passed swiftly. And your eyes, your mischievous eyes… Just come home Western. Come home and flinch again as I step on the rug carelessly with my shoes; laugh at me as I struggle to sweep it clean.

I want the sarcastic look on your face when I boast of how great my mushed up dessert is. I want the sweet smile that turns up your lips when you taste it. I miss dressing up and getting all made up for work only to have my lip gloss off in minutes. When you’re not here, I don’t bother using any. It’s a waste of money and waste of emotions. You really can’t kiss me through the phone. I hate that bb ‘kiss’ smiley. I hate when you send it to me. It’s a mockery of what we share when our lips collide. Let’s not go there. Let’s not talk about the stuff that goes down after the kiss behind closed doors and windows.

You don’t let me win when we play FIFA Manager and I think that’s crap. But then, you wish you could beat me at Scrabble too. Like I’m used to saying, “It’s an ordained balance”. And like you always say, “Maybe we must learn to earn our successes”.

I always thought it cheesy to say, “I just want to hear your voice” but many times you’re not here, I miss the sound of it; that’s why I call so often. To connect the resonance in my mind’s ears with the one that sings that Luther Vandross’ “Here and Now” so sonorously. I never knew you could sing so well till we got married. You spin my momentary gloom so effortlessly into a glowing streak of sunlight by just putting your arms around me. Gosh! Time seems so slow when you’re not here.

That your smile, your knowing smile, I miss it. I hate that bb ‘big-smile’ smiley. I hate when you send it to me. It’s so empty and wordless. Bring me your beautiful and wise smile and the sexy way you look at me when I say you spent too short time bathing again, how you say I should come teach you how to do it right.

There’d never be enough words to say how so much I love you. And there’d never be enough kindness in this chilly night, to show you how so much I miss you.

I do hope though, that knowing sometimes we have to pass up orange juice if we want the whole tree is enough to get me through tonight and the coming week. And I do pray that every second apart, every set back, every offshore trip, whether unsolicited or necessitated turns up with a gold lace of perfection to make the pages of our lives soaked in beauty.

Love,

Jumoke

I Miss You (Part 5)

When a girl says she misses someone, what does she mean? Enjoy

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I’m suddenly jolted up from sleep by the rude rumbling of the thunder, lightning still flashing as the sky-roar rolls off the distant hills of the Jos Plateau; then the heavy downpour of hail. It’s really cold and I shiver slightly as I reach out to grab the duvet.

On nights like this, I would let you pull me close and would immediately feel safe sleeping in the warmth of your embrace. We were two peas in a pod and felt each other so deeply. Lovers? Friends? Soulmates? Undefined? Defined? Whatever the case, we WERE. I carried you in my spirit and you felt my every pain before I even spoke. We had so much passion and barely needed mere words to communicate, we KNEW. Caring, giving, sharing, feeling, fulfilling each other,we LOVED.

I pass a glance at you as you snore lightly and proceed to wrap the duvet around my body. It’s not as comforting as you but better it than you. I miss you, even though you are right here by me. What’s different?

I remember when you asked me that question: What’s different? I’d just suggested to you during shower hour that we needed to examine why we weren’t feeling each other like we used to and your question shot out of the blues and straight to my heart: What’s different? Where would I begin? The volunteering to do the dishes after a particularly stressful meal? The occasional fashion advice as we prepared to step out and conquer the world? The phone calls to my family every weekend? The random visits to my place of work to surprise me? You completing my sentences with my thoughts before I was through? The twinge of slight jealousy when I told you of some new male in my immediate environment?

If you hadn’t even noticed something had changed, how could I make you see? How could I make you feel the loss of my partner in crime? A slap in the face would be better. I know how to respond to those. But this? This is beyond any efforts I can make. You wave me off when I tell you my fears for the future and my tiffs with my office mates. It will be all right, you say. I know it will, but the uncertain how is what scares me. It is what it is, you say. But what is it exactly? Do you know? How could you? You weren’t even listening till the crux of the story.

Maybe I talk too much. Maybe I think too much. Maybe I want too much. Maybe I expect too much. I’m not sure. But, one thing I am sure of: I miss you Kunle.

Love,

Bolouere