Thursday, 19 July 2007

Love Seun

Okay, I know my letters are getting heavier and although there is nothing I can do to lighten things up, I do want you to remember the happy times as well as the sad. So I dug deep into my memory and found my one claim to being a romantic.

I remember it clearly, I was at Tosin's and the girls were making fun of me for lacking a romantic side, How much more romantic can you get? was my argument, I chose love over family. But I understood what they meant, In the romance department, you beat me hands down. You were always the one with the grand gestures, the sweet, albeit sometimes embarrassing displays of affection.

So it began.....

Stage One:

Find a restaurant that had at least one slow/non existent night in terms of takings. Book the whole restaurant. I was lucky; It so happened that Tokunbo's then girlfriend (and I use that term very loosely) had a brother who had just opened an Italian restaurant on city road and business was really slow... Good for me, not so much for him.

Stage Two:

Find a guitarist and singer that could play Eric Clapton's you look wonderful tonight. We both loved that song and in my mind, it was our song. I found a guy on oxford street and he played and sang beautifully, asked him if he knew that song and he smiled. Talent booked.

Stage Three:

Think of something that doesn't make it look like I plagiarised my romantic gesture from some cheesy Meg Ryan or Julia Roberts movie. I had the restaurant make a heart out of tea lights and then spell your name in the middle of it in tea lights. Love Seun

Stage Four:

Get you there without suspecting a thing. I enlisted your big mouthed friend Gbovo and begged him not to say anything. Surprisingly he went along with it. He got you there under the pretext of an old school friend's engagement do.

The Night:

You walked into the restaurant and your face registered confusion when you were met with an empty room and just me . The tea lights caught your attention and your face lit up as you started to get the picture. I walked to you, took your hand and led you to the table. Dinner was exquisite. The wine was perfect and the company... Well the company was second to none. After dinner, Luke, the musician, came out and played our song.

After the music, we sat there and we talked until the manager politely told us that his staff would like to go home now.

The next day, when I was recounting word for word the events of the previous night to my friends, I revelled in the knowledge that they could never call me unromantic again. All that was missing from my romantic, somewhat cheesy night was the horse and carriage and I did try and book one :-)

I realised though that being romantic comes naturally to some people and others (me) have to work at it. I think I gave it a good shot. Don't You?



Tuesday, 17 July 2007

Cold Feet

Our families still were not talking, it was ironic that they were arguing because they were in agreement. Things were getting harder for us, sometimes we argued about it. Okay, I argued, you listened. I think I was just a little frustrated. All little girls dream of getting married; the white dress, the smiles and joy, their father giving them away.... Funny, my dad wouldn't even talk to me, let alone give me away. Thoughts like these plagued me from time to time and it made me shut down. You understood though, you were patient, even though I know I was making it harder for you. I want to say sorry. I am sure sometimes it felt like I had signed up for a war and surrendered when the going got too tough.

Another thing that plagued my mind was the fact that there was a 1 in 4 chance that we would have a child with sickle cell. Was I setting myself up for a life of heart ache,was I condemning you to life that may bring you more misery than joy? I wished I could have talked to you about these things that plagued my mind but I didn't want you to think I was giving up on us, I didn't want you to think I had lost faith, I felt so alone.

These thoughts were not always there, they started when I changed churches, The first service I went to was a thanksgiving service, There was a lady that I was drawn to, in the course of her testimony I found out that this lady had been in the U.K. for less than 2 years and that although she was 38, she had just had her first child. I was drawn to this woman for a number of reasons.

She looked like she was holding her grandchild. not her first child

She was smiling but her eyes told a story of sadness and despair.

On this joyous occasion and with her first baby in her arms, Her partner was noticeably absent.

So intrigued and drawn to this woman was I, that I laid in wait for her after the service. I did not know what I was going to say to her, only that I needed to hear the beginning of her story, if only to assure myself that it wasn't like ours. I needed to find out where her partner was, why was she celebrating such a blessing on her own. And so I waited, it was another 30 minutes before she resurfaced.

"Excuse me, sorry to disturb you, Can I have a word with you! , I started, still unsure of what I was going to say

"Of course you can" she said,

I looked at the baby in her arms, she was the prettiest little thing, dressed in white.

"aww", I cooed stroking her face, "Isn't she just the cutest"

Her mum laughed, again I was struck by the way the smile stopped short of her eyes, not like she was false or humouring me but like those eyes were incapable of smiling ever again.

"I am sorry to pull you away from your celebrations," I began, "but I need to hear your story,"

"whats your name?" she asked, "Tinuke", I replied.

"Tinuke, Where you not in the service? " I nodded

"Then you have heard my story"

"Not the full story, I need to know why you hold this precious gift in your arms and yet you still seem sad" I said, very aware that I might be crossing the line.

"I think that what is the issue here is not so much my story, but how it affects you, am I right?" I nodded.

And she started to tell her story, Seun I won't betray this woman's trust because although I want you to understand why I withdrew from you, It is not my story to tell. At the end, there were tears streaming down both our faces. I shared my own story with her and as I was about to leave, she said something that would shatter the little bubble I had placed us in. "Love, my dear is a good foundation but as important as a foundation is, there are other things that you should place equal emphasis one.

All the thing that I had heard, the horror that she had experienced, the sadness that she had been forced to grow accustomed to, I knew that I didn't want us to go that way, where we one day hate each other, my children are going in and out of the hospital so much so that I decide to keep an overnight bag on stand by just for efficiency sake, where the love that we were so sure would see us through is now such a distant memory that neither of us can remember why we got together in the first place.

I started having sleepless nights, and for the first time in our relationship, I felt like i couldn't talk to you. So I started shuting down, arguing about the most insignificant thing because I couldn't tell you what was one my mind.

And then I came home from work that day, there was a yellow post it on the door

"Tinuke, why so sad" It said, there was a smiley face on it with the smile upside down.

I walked in, there was another one on the wall at the beginning of the hallway. "I know there is something wrong"

and the next one a little further down read "and you don't think I can fix it"

and the next one "because I know you know that I would give it my best shot"

and the next one "and if I can't fix it, then maybe I can do the next best thing"

and the next one "the thing that comes most naturally to me"

and the next one "be there for you when you need me most"

and the next one "because",

By this time, I was outside our bedroom door and on the bed was my angel, with about 40 yellow sticky post its which all said "I love you". Oh did I forget to mention that the post its were all you had on.

Oh, I don't think that I have ever laughe d as hard as I did that night. I laughed and cried and cried and laughed. You didn't ask me what was wrong, you just held me. As I was about to fall asleep, I realised that I had something that lady didnt have, I had you.


Saturday, 14 July 2007

Finishing What I Started

Papa, I haven't abandoned you, even though I know it must seem like I have. My letters are fewer and farther between, but as our story unfolds, it is getting harder to rake over these memories. I started something and I have to see it through. Bear with me.

Love Always