Continued From: http://www.kanoonline.com/cgi-bin/YaBB/YaBB.pl?board=chit-chat;action=display;num=1066508958
Friday evening. The last quarter of the year. I was looking like a complete Hausa gentleman in my Kaptans, everything white, including the cap and sandals. I had kept aside my normal t-shirts and jeans, shirts and trousers for a cultural outfit to honour the Friday as the tradition has it. I was waiting in the common room at the hostels. I had ealier sent for her thru' her good friend, Halima. It was some twenty minutes . I looked at my watch. She had not yet surfaced. I was wondering ?what was wrong before I heard her thin voice slightly above the whispers of the winds:
"Good greetings", she reluctantly spoke inaudibly.
She was putting on a white frock with a thin veil that elegantly covered her shoulders over to head.
"Sit down. You are looking extra-fine." I complimented, ignoring her greetings.
"I did not ?see you for sometime, where have you been?", she asked. She continued before my response "I came to your office several times but they always said you were'nt on seat".
"I have grown a little busier than neccesary in the past days , we traveled every morning, I and my boss." I answered. ?
I was itching ?so immediately she sat down I continued:
"My goddess, why did you do that to me?"
What? She asked, apparantly bewildered.
No! my goddess, you know I can go to every length, I have searched the records of the Chemical Engineering Department in the university you said he passed thru' but did not find that name you mentioned!
"No! my goddess, you should have known we do not need this for our relationship to blossom. We are already committed to each other. This cannot in any way develop the relationship but rather ?inflict a permanent wound on it. No! My goddess you need to understand that relationships have life. Our union is far greater than myself and you. If we allow it ?die we are allowing a better part of our life to die recklessly. We are killing a life on its own! Can't you see?! You cannot just suppose I should express to you more love by telling me more lies. No, ma goddess. You will only destroy further the trust that binds us...."
"Okay stop it" she cut in.
"The self righteous. Why do you think I should tell you lies?".
I really was shocked by that abrupt cut in, because she had never reacted to me that way before.
"What I told you was the sole truth and nothing short of it. It is better we learn to decouple and get over it all, if not, you are in for a big shocker"
Decouple? I was really shocked the more, because she had never put it that mildly.
"Why do I have to tell you lies?" she repeated, "for your more love?" she asked again.
My heart sank and was seriously short of words. Where on God's earth has she gathered this guts to speak to me in this tone. The bewilderment quickly turned to my ?belonging. She was growing furious.
"Ma goddess cool down, this is very important..."
"What important? It is the truth and nothing but it. To lie to you about what?" she was swearing.
"Okay, my goddess tell me something." I called her attention.
"Do you love me?"
"No I don't love you". She said looking at me hard in the eyes.
"Ma goddess do you like me?"
"I don't like you"
"Okay tell me anything good, ma goddess, ?tell me anything gud bout ma self."
"There is nothing gud bout u". she said standing up.
"You, ma goddess what is wrong with you?", I shouted at her as everybody in the common room turned looking at us. Her voice and body was shaking as she began to weep unbridled.
I really cannot remember what moved me to tears too, but I knew I was ?feeling too deep for our relationship. Everybody was looking at us before she rushed into the hostels leaving me in the common room under the scrutiny of some crowd's eyes, in my traditonal Hausa attire.
It was a real knock out.
The most pathetic scene of my life.
I shamefully moved out of the room making my way out of the campus. It was a real knock out!!!
I was walking, carried away by my thoughts as I heard a deep screech, though I successfully dodged, but ?the motorcycle really hit me on the arm. The motorcycler stopped but I told him to leave since I knew deep inside me I was on the wrong.
The weekend was boring and I was restless all thru' . I had grown worn out . Signs of distress and weariness were shown all over me. Many ppl kept asking me what was wrong but I couldn't bring myself to tell them because I believed we have shared much with her to the extent that no one could really grasp the density of my problem, as such I concluded that nobody could really advice me right.
Anytime I closed my eyes I would see her face turning into a mask, her eyes turning into ?a pair of holes on a seemingly white blanket. Then the hard sound of her voice saying "Decouple", saying "I do not love you" saying "There is nothing good bout u". ?
I was standing in the third floor in our office building the following Monday morning when I spotted somebody like her exactly, in a lab coat moving toward the biological sciences laboratory. The laboratory is a little distant away from our office building. I rushed down almost running, to meet her before she enter the lab. I could'nt have shouted her name because to my tradition shouting out her name would breach all the rules of civility, decorum and courtesy, as such I had to increase much, my pace.
I met her before she entered.
"I am heartily sorry." I said, without waiting to greet.
"I pray that you forgive me". I added.
"No. I should have asked for your forgivess", she said.
"I am the one who wronged you", She said, looking quite surprised that I made the submission first.
She went ahead and said " I saw you during the weekend. I went to Kaduna on Saturday, came back on Sunday, passed through the main family house , saw you sitting at that gossip centre alone around 4:30 pm"
She paused a little. " I guess, you must have seen us also."
I answered in the affirmative.
"Okay that Jeep fronting our car was the man's car, he was the one driving it."
A sudden chill ran down ?my spine. I died a little.
"So it was not over.", I said to my self.
Deep inside me I knew it was not the truth she was saying. But I could not complain again because that would lead to another series of discontent remarks. I did not say anything, regrettably feeling a strong barrier coming between us. She was somebody before, whom I do not guard my utterances whenever I was together with. But ?as it appeared, a gap had been introduced in between us. If I want peace I must be more careful.
"Maybe I will see you after the practicals", I said turning as she moved further into the lab.
I got back to my office much worried. "I need to think this out", I said to myself. My condition was really deterioting. I was loosing grasp of things around me. I became emotionally unstable. And above all my job was becoming threatened by those new attitudes. I decided to apply for a simple one-week casual leave that would allow me a breathing space to be able to review my life entirely.
I called Yankari Game Reserve, Bauchi State and made arrangements for accomodation. I left that evening.
It'd been seven months ?since the beginning of the crisis. I thought she was not solemn when she said she was marrying. I did not take her serious. I would only say to her "dear, no, you have to wait for me to prepare more, since you know I have a lot of ppl around me and would want to be certain they get the best of treatment when they come to my wedding. And my intention is to do everything singlehandedly without expecting anything from any relative or parent, spare me sometime, it is hundreds of thousands of naira project. You know I have taste.", I would joke it out.
That fateful evening, when I said so, she smiled and said "No. it is not you I am marrying; It is my dad friend's son; preparations are ripe as they have even disscussed with his elders ."
It was very easy for me to dismiss it as a tease since being me a member of the extended family it was something I would have known had it happened so. When we met the following day she repeated the same thing most emphatically. She went ahead to tell me a little story bout d guy. I still did not take her serious.
I tried to find out from other cousins that are more closer to her but my conviction was re-affirmed.
I started wondering why she should tell something wrong just like that. Thus my conviction was, she was maybe doing it to see how far my commitment to her was. Though there wasn't any reason as I saw it that should make her doubt my sincerity. But yet I decided that I would increase the measure of my commitment so as to gain more surety. Ppl say ladies never get satisfied, they need convincing everyday.
We continued like that as she always affirmed the truth that she was getting married to another person entirely different from me, "some time next year." As she put it.
I reached a conclusion one evening after I have checked the profile of the person she said she was marrying ?and to my surprise there was nothing like the name of that person in the department&#8217;s record. It was then I made up my mind to just confront her seriously with my findings and reassure ?her further that she didn't ?need such lies to fill in an imaginery gap.
Now, I have tried to straighten out things but yet with each move we moved faster into another chain of crises that affect me mentally spritually and physically. How on God's earth could I continue to live without her?
It was clear she did not want to admit to me that she lied. ?what do I do?
Okay if I say I would go ahead and continue that way, there wouldn't be anyway I would be free with her again. And that would be another sure way that would bring more crises and heart rendering agonies.
And above all how is our future ?going to look like if in anything she did she tell lies?
What is the way out?
Then my reflections again.
Then the pathetic scene was recreating itself. The mask, the two holes in the blanket, the words as they rang in my brain: "D-E-C-O-U-P-L-E",... "THERE IS NOTHING GUD BOUT U".
I threw my self into the bed sheet shading tears.
The week ended and there seemed no solution, not even a thought-out from me as I was sure there wouldn't be any truth from her even if I decided to confront her with the issue again. It was a real knock out!!
Monday came and I got to the office. She came looking for me. When we saw, I could perceive she was very keen about my disposition as it was obvious I was distressed seriously. She asked as to why I was looking worn-out. I said it was nothing since I knew she knew and she ?knew I knew she knew. She did not stay much. She left.
So my life went in distress for another two months. Then oneday, she came into my office. She was looking a bit unstable. She asked me whether it was true that Adnan got married in ?the previous weekend or not. I answered in the affirmative.
Adnan is another elder, distant cousin of ours, we were working in the same organisation then. He was far my senior both in office and at home. He is like 20 yrs older than me. He was the organisation's secretary, an administrative staff, while I was a technical staff. He had divorced his wife sometime last year and now he got married to another ?young woman just last weekend.
My goddess stood ?a bit hesitant and submitted that all along she had never tought he divorced his wife until one day when she visited him in the staff quarters and saw just one young man in the house. "And now they are saying he married another woman". She said and stood thinking a while.
I was wondering why she was so curious about Adnan's marriage again, why she once visited him at home only to discover that he had divorced his wife. My thought earlier was he was her cousin, they only greet ?but were not that close for her to even visit him.
Well, I could not go ahead and ask anything because that may lead to another crisis or she might not even tell me the truth. Then my boss called me and she said she would live since she was supposed to have a lecture at exactly two and it was already 2:15pm. I reallly was taken aback by that new information.
Now we are all in our mid twenties, I am at Kaduna , my uncle's place, where I lived most of my adolescent years, to spend some days out of my annual leave . It was also there we first met with the dream gal years back. Then she was residing with her elder sister who was married to another elder cousin of ours, whose house is exactly adjacent to my uncle's .The elder cousin then was undergoing a ?post graduate programme in USA. So she was moved from their quarters which was like 10 km a distance from ours to keep her company. That was how we all started.
I am standing infront of the flats, it is one bright summer morning. I am looking at the long landscape before me , reminiscing over the days we spent there with friends and relatives before I heard the sound of a stoping car from behind. It is she and her younger brother, they come from their quarters to speak to their sister. She alights from the car saying "Salamu Alaikum" to me. I respond back saying "Wa alaikissalamu". She proceeds into her sister's flat. While we great with her younger brother before he joins her.
It has been long since we spoke last. Some ?four solid years back. Much water has passed under the bridge since it first saw the light of the day. We had stopped seeing since then. I found it very difficult to keep looking at her face again upon all what had happened. Whenever we met, that scene kept recreating itself as such I started dodging her. I can vividly remeber the last time she came to my office I told the messenger to tell her I was busy and would not be able to see her. She had glossed over it and left, ?since then she had never tried me again.
I am standing there when they come out after some 15 minutes while her younger brother, being the driver, is moving to the direction of the car, she is moving towards me. She comes standing in my front. I raise my head:
"A'a Doctor how has it been with you? Where are you doing your house job now?"
I ask trying to be more careful in my choice of words.
"No. I am yet to graduate", she ?answers.
" I had a litle problem with my department as such I am spilling over"
" No. do not worry yourself, I believe you will make it. After all there is none in your class that is better than you. This is only an act of fate and Allah will bless it abundantly". I reassure her, consoling.
"I saw your friend, Halima, ?the other day at Malali, but it was from a distance so she only waved.", I relate.
"Yes, she is married now"
"Oh! That is great!", I rejoice.
"How bout Fatima?"
"She too is married, ?just some three weeks back"
" Now remains you, I learnt the other day, in the family house, that a certain lawyer by profession had brought all the stuffs necessary for the engagement". I casually asked.
"That man..., I don't LOVE him, we've only met two months back, and ?besides it's been long since he even called on me last". She affirmed.
"You are a grown-up now, you should have learnt to understand the nature of the alphabets that make up social relations".
"Uhm, this your english". She cuts in.
She is keeping her head down. Her face have lost its smothness giving way for some peaceful wrinkles. It is palpable that she lost some of her youthful grace, though she is still with her natural beauty. Her scarf is tied down to her jaws, bringing out more the light on her face. She hold her two hands together playing with them. She is not standing still as she is doing her possible best not to look at me in the eyes.
" You should learn to understand ?that we do not necessarily have to wait for those we love when there are those who love us". I ? speak further, ignoring her comments.
"If we insist on those we love we will never ever get those without deficiencies. As such If I am allowed to suggest, I think you marry him since he does not have any mental and physical shortcoming of whatever magnitude besides those that are normal and common to each and everyone among us as humanbeings."
"Mhm the extraordinary personality". She said in her usual flattering manner.
"No. It is not the issue of being extraordinary it is the talk of reality, what eyes can see and hands can touch".
"No. he's not been calling me since", she persisted.
At this moment her brother ?grows a little impatient and horns to call her attention. She bids me goodbye promising to come back tomorrow to discuss further. They board away in the car. I stand there watching as the car leaves. She keeps waving as if she is traveling a far. I am standing reminiscing with words from a poet friend, Diego Okenyedo:
Memories , come back, you are needed to unheal some sores
Memories, recall, come re-shattter some mended hearts
Memories, rewind, return from the oblivion you were sent
Mermories, we've forgiven but the problem is we cannot afford the luxury of forgetting.
Memories, re-call, so that we can love again.....
I feel the soft hand of my 6 yr old niece touching my hands, intruding into my thought processes.
"Uncle, you are needed, uncle Anwar says, ' Baba and the rest are all their waiting for you', so I should call u", she says.
We are suppose to hold a meeting this morning with my uncle who resigned from public service just last week and intends to give us a brief lecture on how life has been to him in his days as a public servant. I quickly trace my steps there. As I enter the sitting room I hear his metallic voice saying " ....I served for 35 solid years but true to God there is nothing we hold unto in this world that assumes any form of permanence. It is always by letting go of what we hold we come to possess something real."
Yes, Uncle suplies the pill. "There is nothing we hold unto in this world that assumes any form of permanence. It is surely by letting go of what we hold unto we come to possess something real."
Yes, uncle is right. Now I am sure I will never ever tell her I love her again.
?? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ?