Tuesday, 24 April 2007

Tainted Beauty

Today was one of those bad days. I cried because I remembered. It all started when I decided to write a poem for some one's blog, it was a topic close to both our hearts. Anyway, I wrote about us. I wrote about you. I wrote about the difficulty you had in accepting that men had passed through my bed before you.

We were in the 2nd year of our relationship and we were having one of those rare "home alone" days. Out of the blue you asked me "how many guys have you slept with?". "Why?" I asked, raising my head from your chest. "We have been together for almost two years, now you ask me, what difference does it make?"

I didn't know then, but your idiot friend Gbovo had told you that his brother and I had had a Little something going on. What is his own. The idiot just wanted to poor sand in my garri abi? Because I didn't give him time of day. Hiss hiss.

"I just want to know what I 'm getting," you said. So I told you, from my first experience till you, I didn't leave anything out. You didn't say anything, you just listened. Seun, by the time I had finished, I swear you had this look of disgust on your face. I know you tried to act unperturbed but it wasn't working. I could see it in your eyes that my beauty was tainted.

I was distraught, I called Labake and told her what happened. She chastised me. "Guys think that they want to know but they don't, you shouldn't have told him". The phrase bolting the barn after the horse had bolted sprang to mind.

Over the next few weeks, your attitude towards me changed. You were distant, cold, rude even. I took it all. I wanted to give you time. This double standard jarred me but such was the way of the world. I didn't want to know all the girls in your past. I accepted that our life together started from the moment we decided to be together. Why couldn't it have been the same way for you? You were lucky that this happened before the car incident, you wouldn't have had a leg to stand on. But never mind that

The final straw came when I called you and asked if you could pick me up from your house, I had gone to drop something up for your sister. You actually hissed and then told me you were chilling at Gbovo's house and that I always assumed that you could drop everything when I snapped my fingers. What the fuck? I took a cab to Gbovo's. I didn't know what I was going to say to you but I couldn't take it anymore. I rang you when i got there and you came down, I told the cab to wait

I didn't even say hello "Seun, I don't know what is going on in that head of yours. Where you not the one that wanted to know. eh? So what is it you want me to do now? Apologise for living my life? Well those things you feel I should be ashamed of are the things about which I am most proud. These are the things that made me who I am. Those experiences are what made me into this woman you claim to love so much. Fix up or fuck off because I am tired of this shit.

My cab was still waiting, I turned to enter the cab and I heard you laughing. I turned around and you were almost in hysterics. I paused too see if there was method to this madness. "Tinuke, you are priceless. I needed that. I guess I was wallowing in self pity for my bruised ego." Don't go", you said as you held my arm "I am not saying sorry because it was the only way that I could really have reacted but I'm over it now. You paid for the cab and we went inside.

You were over it. But once in a while, I saw that same look in your eyes. It always followed a late night call from a male friend or me bumping into a male friend when I was out with you. But you did try and rise above it. You guys and your egos.


Saturday, 21 April 2007

Caught Red Handed

Wow, today has been a hectic day, Labake found out that Yemi was cheating on her. Oh! You don't know, Labake and Yemi finally got together. I know what you are thinking, "about fucking time", abi? After their "we are just friends rubbish". Anyway, they have been together for about 8 months and Labake called me crying that Yemi had been cheating on her for the whole time they were together.

I always thought that Yemi was an idiot but I didn't realise that he was stupid as well. Apparently, Labake went to his house and let her self in with the key he had given her only to find some girl cooking in the kitchen wearing one of Yemi's shirts. Yemi was not home and the poor girl seemed as surprised to see Labake as Labake was to see her. Needless to say, Yemi got a shock when he got home. I hope they sort it out sha but Labake is livid.

I haven't spoken about this incident since it happened but I can never forget it. Don't get me wrong, I forgave you but it was hard to forget. Funny, it seems so irrelevant now. I would forgive you anything just to have you back. But I am getting ahead of myself and I can feel the tears building again. If you were you would probably be frowning at my tears.

It was a house party, I can't remember whose party it was, we went separately, you with your friends, me, with mine. I had arranged to hook up with you there and we were going to spend the night together. Another night at some random hotel. We could have gone to one of our friends' houses but you always hated that idea.

Anyway, where was I? Oh yes, you were partying with your friends and me with mine. After a couple of hours I'd had it and I wanted to leave. I couldn't find you, I searched all over. I decided to go and find your car. It took a while as it was parked two streets away. You were in the car but you were not alone. The passenger's seat was pulled back and reclined and there was a girl Kneeling in the front, giving you a blow job. I saw red.

I yanked the door open and literally dragged the girl of your car by her hair, the poor girl looked so frightened. You came out of the car and I slapped you as hard as I could twice and then walked off. I was steaming. The nerve. You didn't even play far away. Right under my nose. It wasn't until I was almost back at the party that I realised that I was holding a big chunk of the girl's hair in my left hand. And it was her hair because she didn't have a weave.

I mellowed. Shit! I hope I hadn't hurt her. I wasn't angry at her, I was angry at you. I didn't even know this girl. I urned around and walked back towards the car. I didn't have to go far, I saw the girl as soon as I turned the corner, she was brushing her hair and her mascara was smudged. She saw me coming and backed away, I guess she thought I was going to hit her. I paused. "I'm sorry, I didn't mean to pull out your hair" I said. "I'm sorry too", she said. "I didn't realise that Seun had a girlfriend, he never said"

In the conversation that followed, I found out that the love of my life had slept with this girl at least 4 times. Lucky for you, you were not there, I would have kicked you in the balls and put us all out of our misery. Anyway after we talked, I said goodbye and she apologised again. Strange, I actually liked this chick. She was really sincere and sweet. I could see why you liked her.

I bumped into her about 10 months ago. She had heard, It seemed like every one knew. She didn't say anything, she just hugged me. I tried to fight back the tears to no avail. I cried on the shoulder of my man's other woman. Go figure eh?

You had to beg for three months before I forgave you. I'll let you in on a little secret, I knew I was going to forgive you even as I watched another woman go down on you but I wanted you to suffer, You certainly deserved it. Boy, did you pull out all the stops to get me back. I don't know how many girls ,if any,you cheated on me with after that, but I never so much as smelt another woman's perfume after that.

I hope Labake and Yemi get back together, He is an idiot but he loves her. It is so obvious....
Just as you loved me.


Friday, 20 April 2007

Our First Hurdle

The tension in the car on the way back from Uncle Femi's was incredible. The silence was killing me so I reached out to switch the radio on. "Leave it", you snapped, "I need to think. We pulled up to mine and you still hadn't said anything. I opened the door and turned around to look at you but you stared straight ahead. "Erm, Goodnight then" I said as I got out. Silence. I shut the door, you sped off so fast that I could see the smoke from your tires.

I was confused, I had never had reason to doubt your feelings for me till now. This was an entirely new experience. Did we just break up, what happened to all the love we claimed to have for each other. Is that all it took to test the strength of your love for me? You didn't call me to say goodnight. You always call. That night, I tossed and turned until I finally fell into a restless sleep.

The next morning, I woke up to find that you had text me at 4am. "Good", I thought, "at least the prick couldn't sleep either."

"We are raising our kids as Muslims, right?" was what your text read.

What the fuck? When Uncle Femi said talk things through, I am pretty sure this was not what he meant.

I sent you back a text "wrong, they are going to make their own minds up"

You replied "That is ridiculous, children need guidance, you cannot seriously expect them to choose their own faith"

I replied "Well, at least my suggestion requires a compromise on both our parts"

Almost immediately you replied "obviously we need to talk, I'll pick you up in an hour."

And so I waited, an hour passed and the two. I called you twice, no answer. I gave up trying. Late in the night, I received a text from you; "I'm outside". I was starting to think that my baby was on crack, no apology, no explanation. "Idiot", I thought, you can wait for yourself downstairs". I most certainly am not getting out of bed.

I got out of bed, I walked down the stairs and headed to the door. "Hi" I said, "Hi" You replied. Silence. Then you started talking ....

"Listen, Your uncle gave me a lot to think about, things that we had consciously avoided, probably because we didn't want to rock the boat. I don't know the answer to any of the questions your uncle asked us yesterday and that scared the shit out of me. On my way here, I was going to tell you that I think we should see other people, figure out if this and all the sacrifice it entails is really what we want. But then I saw you and I realised that there will always be a million things I am unsure about. The one thing that I am certain about is my love for you.

The tears that had started to fall when you said you wanted to see other people automatically ceased. That was one of the things that amused you about me, my ability to cry on cue. Or as you called it "my manipulation of your emotions with my everlasting supply of tears" I cleaned my face and looked at you, "so what are you saying, do you want to stay together or not?" I asked.

"Of course" you replied, "That's what I am trying to say. Tinuke, I can't live without you, all this other stuff is important but it will sort itself out. Its not like we plan to get married anytime soon anyway, you are 21, I am 24. We have all the time in the world to figure things out."

That was how we put religion and its complications back in a box that would remain closed for another year. I think that it is amazing how I remember all this stuff in such detail. Don't you?


Coming out of the Closet

I had dinner with a colleague from work today. And before you ask; no, he is not interested in me. In fact, he's more likely to be interested in you, if you know what I mean, Anyway, we were talking about gay priests and the contradiction in their sexual orientation and their faith. The conversation became quite heated and we decided to let it rest.

It took me back to our own troubles on religion and faith. It was about a year and a half into our relationship, we were talking on the phone and I suggested that we go and see my Uncle Femi. Uncle Femi was the oldest in my dad's family and more importantly, he was atheist. I rationalised that if we wanted to amass family support, he was the best place to start. You agreed.

I called uncle Femi the next day and asked if I could come and see him, he said to come round in the evening. When you came to pick me up, you were in a suit, Seun you looked so good in a suit. Anyway, I burst out laughing; "Uncle Femi has met you a million times, why the suit?" I swear you almost blushed.

I loved you for making the effort, but I couldn't help taking the piss out of you all the way to my uncle's house. As we pulled up in front of his house, we both fell silent, this was it. No more lying, no more sneaking. We were coming out of the closet.

"Uncle mi", I hugged my uncle and knelt down before him. "Jide jo, since when do you kneel down, abi you are pregnant?" he said eying you suspiciously. "No oh!" I said, quick to dispel any such thoughts. All of a sudden I just burst in to tears, Uncle Femi was perplexed but I just kept crying. You knelt down beside me, put your hand in mine and started to talk.

"Uncle Femi, I love your niece, I have loved her for as long as I can remember, She loves me too. We want to be together. In fact, we are together. We have been dating fro over a year now." Uncle Femi raised his eyebrow but said nothing. You continued.

"Tinuke's dad is a pastor, her parents will never hear of her dating a Muslim, much less marrying one. My parents will agree with them, they are devout Muslims. But Uncle, surely it should be our choice, if we are prepared to take the chance, why should they stop us?"

Our parents will use religion to try and stop us, but they have another weapon, the fact that the both of us are AS and more than likely to have sickle cell kids. We know the risks and we have accepted them so that we can be together."

"Uncle, we came to you because your are the eldest and most open minded. We came to you because we are tired, tired of sneaking around, tired of hiding the love we feel, the love we feel should be celebrated. That is why Tinuke is crying," as you said this, you frowned at me and I knew you were thinking "cry baby, every small thing you will cry", I turned to
look at uncle Femi. "Uncle," I said, help us, we don't know where to turn". I held my breath as I waited for him to respond.

He looked at us and shook his head, "my children, I am flattered that you decide to confide in me, but I have to agreewith your parents. I don't think you kids have thought this through. I am not trying to patronise you but I feel it is my duty to ensure that you understand just what you are letting yourselves in for.

  1. Where are you going to get married, your seperate parents will want a lavish muslim/christian celebration, there will be arguments between them as a result. Trust me I know
  2. How are you going to raise your kids, I know you are still young and have probably not thought that far ahead but these are things you need to think about, are they to be raised muslim, christian, atheist, what?
  3. Is one of you going to give up your faith, do you think that it is possible to have two faiths under one roof?
  4. What if your child has sicke cell, have you thought about the impact this will have, the commitment, the worry?

"These are questions you need to ask each other, and from the vacant looks on your faces, I can see that you have not done this. Love is not enough my children, it is not enough. Go and think about what I have said, come back when you have talked things through. In the meantime, I will keep this to myself. Okay?"

We both stood up, my knees felt numb. You took your hand out of mine. I took this to mean something significant. We both thanked Uncle Femi and left, So much for coming out of the closet, we were right back where we started, only it was much more serious.

I better go before these memories overwhelm me



Thursday, 19 April 2007

Getting Drunk

Another hectic day at work, I bought a bottle of wine to help me unwind. i am only going to have a glass though, don't want to get drunk.

Getting drunk, that is something I definitely should not do often. Do you remember that October night when I went to Mofe's birthday? There was so much alcohol that before you could say Jack Robinson, I was drunk.

Being drunk gives you a kind of clarity and confidence that sobriety cannot afford. At that moment, on that night, all I wanted to do was be in your arms. So I called a cab, gave the driver your address and sat back. My heart started to pound as we pulled into your street. Was I crazy? It was 4a.m, your parents were around! Your sister was around! What was I thinking?

It was too late to turn around, even if I wanted to. By the time I paid the cabbie, I only had £2 left in my purse. So I rang your phone. You answered on the second ring. "papa, are you awake?", I asked. "well, I am now, whats the matter baby?" you answered. My voiced seemed to have gone on holiday. I knew you would be livid. All my confidence fueled by pinot grigio melted away.

"Erm, erm, baby, don't be mad", I started. "What is wrong, just tell me", you replied, clearly worried. " "Look out of you window", i said. You looked, You hung up. I sat on the pavement. A minute later, you came up behind me and pulled me up. You placed a finger on my lips indicating that I should be quiet.

We walked up the stairs. The stairs seemed bent on giving the game away, creaking loudly with every step we took. When we got to your room, you locked the door, got into bed and faced the wall. I sighed. This was a mistake. I undressed, wore one of your tshirts and turned out the light. I got into the bed and turned away from you. Just as the silent tears began to fall, I felt your arm around me, and your mouth move close to my ear. You whispered "I love you baby, but sometimes you are silly, goodnight" I smiled through my tears and fell asleep.

The next morning as you dropped me off home, you told me off for taking unnecessary risks. I understood. but at that moment, on that night, I just had to be in your arms. I f I had known that your arms weren't always going to be mine for the taking, I would have cherished every moment I spent in them much more.

I should go to bed, I have been writing this letter for too long


I'll Never Forget Paris.

I signed up for a London to Paris bike ride to raise money for Cancer Research. 300 miles! You would be so proud of me, I practice 3 times a week.

Paris! I haven't been back to Paris since we went. Those 3 days were the best days of my life. It was our first anniversary and you said that your house was empty so we could have a lazy weekend together alone, for the first time since we'd been together. Most people would have turned their noses up at the thought of spending an anniversary, especially a first one at home. But I was ecstatic. I couldn't wait.

I told momsi that I was going to Dublin for Dolapo's graduation and she didn't bat an eyelid. I knew she couldn't cal aunty Dupe to find out if I was there because they had fallen out a while ago. The lie was set. Bring on the weekend!

When I was packing, you sent me a cryptic text 2Don't forget to pack you passport", ah ! since when do i need a passport to go to my boyfriend's house, see me see wahala. I called you but you didn't pick up. OK. So I packed my passport.

30 minutes later, You sent me a text that you were downstairs and I said bye to my parents, guiltily pocketing the £200 they gave me to give Dolapo. Well.... I was already a liar, I might as well ad thief to my many sins.Instead of your car, you were sitting in a cab, obviously we were not going to yours.

As soon as I got into the cab, you kissed me. Every time you kissed me, my heart melted. I put my arms around your chests and held on tight. 20 minutes later, we pulled into Waterloo station, I looked at you and cocked my head "Paris?" I asked. You nodded and held my hand as we walked to Euro Star.

On the Euro Star, we were that annoying couple, You know, the one that I usually frowned at because of their public displays of affection, while secretly envying their openness. We always seem to be looking behind our shoulder, never relaxed. But that Friday, we snuggled, we kissed.... It was bliss. Seun, we should have eloped.

Paris was beautiful, 2 nights of pure pleasure. We hardly left the hotel, but I didn't mind. It was over in a flash and the train ride home was totally different from the one there. Both of us silent, both of us in our own worlds.

I never told you this but that night, I cried myself to sleep. I was so frustrated; Our first anniversary, A whole year of lies and deceit. I was tired. But I loved you so much. I still do.

Thanks for Paris

Home Alone

Work was hectic today, I didn't sleep much last night. I was home alone and I kept imagining foot steps outside my bedroom door.

it reminded me of a time when my parents went to naij. Do you remember that time, Of course you do. Just remembering what happened still sends me into a fit of laughter. I went down on my knees in my bedroom to give you a blow job. Thank God you weren't moaning as loud as you usually do because my bedroom door opened.

Shit! No one was supposed to be home, In one swift motion, I pulled your penis out of my mouth, you pulled up your trousers and went into this ridiculous rant.

"Eh, I told you that it was in the corner, look, there it is" I picked up the imaginary object and hoped that whoever opened the door was buying this ridiculous act. My brother, Tokunbo, stood at the door. He stared at us, then turned around and walked out without saying anything

You were so scared, you almost peed your pants. I, on the other hand was strangely calm. It was bound to happen, They were bound to find out, one way or the other. I had pictured us holding hands, telling our families that we loved each other but you know what they say about the best laid plans.....

We both went into the lounge and sat down with my brother. The silence was deafening. It was probably 5mins later but it seemed like for ever. Then Tokunbo got up, walked towards the kitchen, turned back and said, "this guy, you wan shak star, Arsenal are playing in 5"

Until this day, ever time Toks pisses me off, and he always does, I remember how he handled that day and I mellow. Anyway, Tokunbo met some oyinbo chick a year ago and they are engaged. As you can imagine momsi was pissing fire and brim stones. But she has mellowed since us, I guess she has learnt her lesson.

Its late, I better catch some Zzs....


Wednesday, 18 April 2007

In the Park

I was just sitting at my desk, bored to tears and my mind started to wander through my library of memories. It stopped at one that had you in it.

Do you remember that summer when we were still hiding our relationship from our family and friends. That was a fucked up time. Sneaking about, pretending not to smile when I "accidentally" brushed my breasts up against your arm. Actually, it wasn't so bad. Inconvenient perhaps.

I remember that saturday, you know the one where we ended up spending the night in the park? Well, you came over to my house for our house warming, my parents were happy to see you, as they always where. Our families had been friends for years and you always seemed to put a smile on my mums face.

Its ironic, when you think about how close our families are, that they were so against our relationship. You being muslim and me being christian is a hurdle, I can't deny that. But it didnt have to be the end of the race.

Anyway, that day we had so much alcohol and we were both gragged. We hadnt yet consumated our relationship and I could see it in your eyes that you wanted to. I am sure that the lust in my eyes mirrored the lust in yours. What could we have done, we culdnt stay at mine and we couldnt go to yours. We decided to go to the park to chill.

11pm in any park is always scary but that night it was calm, everything looked peaceful somehow, as if the trees had decided to be our accomplices and turn a blind eye.

Oh, you were so cute, unsure what to do. I could see the uncertainty in your eyes, "do I try", "will she think that I dont respect her" "what if someone walks by". Then I kissed you. You smiled. All the doubts seemed to just melt away.

You kissed me back and before I knew what was going on, we were on the grass, my top off and my skirt pulled up to my waist. You were so gentle. As if you were trying to reassure me of your love, irrespective of our surroundings.

Afterwards, we just lay there and talked, When we finally checked the time, it was 3am. Shit! I knew I was in yawa. But fuck it, I asked you if you wanted to go, you said no and pulled me into your arms. And we fell asleep.

That night, I fell in love with you. I decided that I was going to fight tooth and nail to be with you and if my family didnt like it well.... I would continue this letter but the tears are beginning to fall, I know the day will come when I remember and don't cry. But till then....