I remember the day as though it was yesterday- but it’s already five years down the line. To be specific, it was in the year 2011. I was standing in front of her hostel in O.A.U wearing my favorite red Tees and ripped jeans. I had informed her the day before of my proposed visit but she tersely warned me not to bother. I went ahead anyway because I wanted to resolve the unending conflicts between us. I picked up my phone which was already beeping a warning red light because my battery was low and called her. My ears ached from her outburst “I thought I asked you not to come over? What the hell what are you doing here?” she hung up immediately and refused to pick my calls. I looked up at the pink drapes that lined the window of her room. She was on the 5th floor and I couldn’t risk taking the stairs without confirming her presence. I called her sister and she immediately hung up when she heard my name.
That was the second time I would visit her while in school. The first was a little bit weird because it was our first meeting ever since we started dating a few months ago. I was shy and so was she. We sat under a tree and ate the snacks and yoghurt she bought. I was smiling like a little schoolboy the whole time. Don’t blame me, I was in love.
She finally came out after leaving me to the mercies of the cold harmattan wind for some forty-five minutes.
“What do you want?” She asked with a stone hard face. “You’ve just a few minutes and as you can see I was making my hair before you came.”
That’s when I noticed her puffy hair tied in a red scarf. She still looked beautiful with her oily face and half-done hair.
“Can we at least sit down?” I asked while gesturing to the same tree we had sat the first day we met. Then, the flowers were lush and red but now, the harmattan breeze had shriveled their lushness and all that was left was a skeleton of what was once a beautiful tree. Just like our love.
“No” she curtly replied.
At that point, I didn’t know what else to say. All the words I had previously rehearsed grew wings and flew away at the sight of her cold countenance. I fumbled with words that didn’t seem to make any sense. I have no idea how she had such a hold on me.
“We can make it work” I finally said.
“Don’t you get it? We are not compatible”
I shifted my weight from one foot to another while looking at those brown eyes that held no warmth as they used to. Who had she become? The song ‘You’re not the girl I used to know’ by Darey began to play in my mind.
In about ten minutes, she said she wanted to leave and I pleaded, “Would you at least walk me down to where I will get a bike?” This, she vehemently refused and turned her back to me.
Without a doubt, I knew it was really over.
We were not always like this. We used to be best of friends. I still remember how we would stay up every night talking on MTN extra cool for long hours. Such days of bliss! The fun didn’t last so long as she got admitted to the ivy league university and little things I did began to irritate her. We would quibble and quarrel consistently until we grew apart.
Why do relationships get sour after ‘I love you’ is involved? Why do things that meant nothing when we were just friends become objects of irritation as soon as we start dating?
The ride from her hostel to the school gate was short. I remember shedding a few tears. I don’t know if it was because of the official break-up or because of the cold breeze, either way, I shed tears. I was sad because I gave it my best. I did everything humanly possible. I went the extra mile to make it work and used my last money to pay her the visit but it all ended with four words; ‘we are not compatible’.
That faithful day marked the day she died to me. I slowly got over her afterwards and have since moved on with my life. Her mum is still my good friend and we talk nonetheless. While her sister refers to me as ‘the guy without a dull moment’ because of how bubbly I was around them and her younger brother calls me Chief Owonikoko because of my baritone voice. I will never forget the memories she left, but as for Mimi- she is dead to me.
Written by Emar Ogar.
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