It all started when I was young. I was brought up by a very strict father and a somewhat lenient mum. My dad made sure my siblings and I had all the time in the world to study. As young kids, he stopped us from playing outside with other kids. He made sure we were studying during his time at home. We never really got familiar with other concepts apart from studying.
Pertaining to me, my childhood lacked “spice”. It revolves only around books. I would leave for school very early, take down notes, solve some problems and head back home as soon as I heard the bell. At home I made sure i had all my notes, I trusted absolutely no one with my note. After that, check for assignments, if I had, I’ll solve them immediately and if not, I’ll use my free time to read. I actually had a streak for not missing any assignment. Unfortunately, that ended when I got to SS2.
I’ve always been bright in terms of education. I read broadly across different fields, apparently anything that tickled my interest. Sometimes I’d read newspapers and come across different individuals explaining how they found love and all that. This made me think of my love life. Well, nothing to think of, it was blank. I had my eyes on no one. I always thought I was doomed to be alone, without love or even friends.
Time passed, I began to meet new people as I progressed into secondary school. I made friends and I began to open up. I was still smart though. Things were good with friends. Then I met a girl. She seemed perfect. We had a boy-girl relationship but that was short-lived. I gained admission before her. Apparently, we didn’t do well with long distance relationships so we found a common ground and broke things off.
I wasn’t able to maintain contact with my friends once I gained admission.
It’s been some month since I got admission, it was book book book all over again. Until, I met another girl. Our story started when she replied a message of mine from a group we had in common. I noticed her display picture and I saw the cutest girl. I knew better than NOT to message her. I sent her a message, we introduced ourselves and it was smooth sailing from there. We had lots to talk about. It was during the holidays so we had all the time in the world.
After some days of getting to know her, we began to develop feelings. Unfortunately, she has a boyfriend at the time so that was a bit awkward. Knowing this, I threaded carefully.
Few days later, we planned a meeting at one of the lecture halls of our school. I was never used to meeting someone new alone, not to talk of a girl. I had to bring my closest friends along, or stand the chance of having a nervous breakdown.
We settled and waited for her arrival. Then she came. I wasn’t really able to recognize her at first but I eventually did. She had the most precious figure. She took her seat on the row behind ours. Still feeling nervous, i offered my greetings through a text. I guess she was feeling the same way because she also replied with a text. My friend thought it was silly, so did I but what could I do. I summoned some courage and sat beside her. I couldn’t stop smiling. We tried talking and that went fine. Then, she demanded we took a stroll, privately. That wasn’t a problem for me and my friend. We stood up and started the stroll.
We talked about our experiences on campus as we walked past some halls and then we finally sat down at the department’s pavilion. We talked and talked until we got into the moment and we kissed, several times. I felt a bit of guilt doing that because she was in a relationship and all but the moment was to beautiful to be ruined.
I got home. I could see that she was active but I was feeling a bit shy to send a message. Finally, she sent a message and we had a long chat about what happened between us. I knew this was the beginning of something magical. We had what you might call a secret relationship. Soon after, she had some issue with her boyfriend which inadvertently led to their breakup. Not a very pleasant scenario, but that eliminated my guilt.
After that, we had eachother to ourselves. We hung out more, read together, spent time together and all. It was really great. She was very insightful and was able to challenge me academically. I liked that in a woman. We spoke of having a serious relationship but I dismissed the idea. I wasn’t ready for a relationship. You can’t blame me, what we had seemed too good to be true at the time. She was insistent on it. I had to agree to it. Then we started dating.
Nothing really changed. We only had the opportunity to tag one another as boyfriend and girlfriend. Everything was going well until we finished our exams and had to go back home for the holidays. The distance between us was really great. We thought we could manage, it was just two weeks. Unfortunately, the coronavirus pandemic jumped into the picture and the few weeks holiday turned into several months.
These were truly testing times. Things didn’t seems as beautiful as it was when we could see eachother. Anxiety began to set in. Different thoughts rattled through my big bulbous head. I began to fumble. Sometimes I’ll get angry at her for no reason, sometimes I wouldn’t talk to her. Like her, I noticed my distasteful attitude. I thought she had had enough of my shenanigans. Weeks went by and it was getting worse. I couldn’t help it but I felt bad for making her feel bad. She tried to tolerate but I guess I was too much to handle.
We broke up or better still, I broke up with her. Seemed uncalled for but I felt she deserved better than a distrustful teenager. I felt I was doing good for the both of us. We stayed months apart, the next more gruesome than the last. I couldn’t handle staying away from her. My friends advised me to talk to her. I contemplated and later sent a message but I sent it at night when I knew she was asleep, I was afraid of her response. I typed a very very long message, trying my best to explain why I did what I did.
Her response was positive. We cleared the air and chose to start things off as friends. During our time apart, we made a couple of new friends. Well, I made one, I wasn’t really a friend magnet like her. I made a female friend. After the break up, we grew closer but not the relationship type. I’d often post her pictures on my status but that didn’t sit well with her. Though we haven’t resumed our relationship, she had some reservations about her. This caused some problems as I was unable to cut her off for no reason.
I assured her that she was just a friend but there’s was only little to what she could take. It was hard for her to believe there was nothing between us. She complained a lot about her which I didn’t give much regards to. I felt since she had her prospective grooms who would be happy to replace me, why couldn’t I have mine. Very wrong mentality at that but I had to realize the hard way.
Maybe she really wanted me to be hers and I didn’t take the plight seriously. I guess I’ve broken her heart one too many times. No doubt, I did her wrong. I realized my wrongs and I felt ashamed. So ashamed that I’m afraid of apologizing.
I’ve always wanted to tell someone about this, so I put it in form of a story.
Writer: IBRAHEEM BASHEER
University of Ilorin, Kwara State, Nigeria