Happy New Love

An indiscretion. A small indiscretion.  A secret voiced. She buried her face in her hands. Then mustered courage to dial again. Things had started to go downhill after that night with Nengi.

“Who are you chatting with? What’s so funny?”

She had shown her the chat. That’s what friends do.

chat

Nengi and Soba giggled like little girls playing house.

“You like him?”

“Oh, he’s just a friend. We’ve been friends like forever–”

“But you like him?”

“Never really thought about it. Yeah . . . I think he likes me too.”

They giggled like little girls playing house. They had moved on to other important things like purple lipstick, Ankara tops, and fast food.

And then Nengi had told Ebiere. And Ebiere had told Ibinabo. And Ibinabo had told Sotonye. And Sotonye had told Miebi. And Miebi had told George. Like a Chinese whisper, by the time the story reached Karibi, she did not recognise the monster they had created.

“So you’re seeing someone else?”

Fear squeezed her heart as Karibi towered over her, three days later. His apartment had two rooms and no place to hide.

“No, you’ve got it all wrong.”

He whipped her with his words. Like a koboko, they left bruises in their wake. When he paused, they reverberated from the walls and lashed her from head to toe again.

Explanations followed. Mollifications came next. She stroked his ego until he purred. Then she brushed it, until it shone brighter than a brass plaque.

“I want you to cut off all contact with him.”

“Wh . . . what?”

“Three people can’t sleep on the same bed. I’ve never been comfortable with your closeness with  . . .”

“Dayo.”

“Whatever.”

Her wedding was three months away. Her friendship with Dayo had spanned twenty of her twenty-six years. The enormity of the files she would erase did not escape her. Her first bully. Her first Voltron, defender of her universe and her honour. Her first bicycle ride. Her first crush. Her first kiss. Her first relationship expert. Her first cigarette. Her first driving lesson. Her first interview. Her first job. Deleted.

Her marriage showed promise in the beginning before the accusations and jealous fits. He responded that way to her questions about his late nights, alcohol, and phone calls he would not answer in her presence. Then along came her baby girl and peace at last, peace brokered by her forbearance.

She was still in her pyjamas when war broke out. Every day, his rage churned like magma waiting to erupt. Two and a half years later, one black eye later, she closed the door quietly on that chapter of her life.

But fate is a wheel that seeks to make amends. Time is a bridge that links the dots of our lives. Nengi brought the news two days ago.

“You’ll never believe who I ran into today . . . Dayo!”

She was braiding Asikiya’s hair.

“Mummy, it’s too tight.”

She applied some hair lotion to the spot, “Better?”

“Soba, Soba, are you listening to me?”

“Yes I am. Please pass the beads.”

“Here, take. He looked sooo good and he’s doing well.”

She talked about school fees, house rent, and office politics, but Nengi wouldn’t let up.

“Do you want his number? No? Okay, his card is on the table.”

“Throw it in the bin.”

“What?”

“Throw it in the bin.”

After two days of wondering if Dayo had asked about her, if he wore a wedding ring, if, if, if, she dug in the bin through banana peel, slimy cereal, hair extensions, and day-old amala, to solve the riddle of her sleepless nights.

Would he forgive her four-year silence? He’d once told her that she was the only one who could listen to his silence—silent road trips to nowhere that she had not endured but enjoyed. However, her silence had been cruel. She had turned off the light and ripped the socket from the wall.

0-8-0-3-4-5-5-5-0-4

“Hello?”

Her heat beat so fast she thought her ears would explode.

“Hello?”

“Soba . . . Soba, is that you?”

She began to weep.

***

Dedicated to you.

Because your heart was broken. Because we ate popcorn and cried as we watched Dear John, and cheered as we watched Diary of a Mad Black Woman. Because even though we said good riddance to bad rubbish, your heart betrayed you with longing. Because at night you groped for a touch that you forgot was no longer there and when you remembered, you circled your pillow instead.

To all those who loved but had to let go of love, Happy New Love.

***

While we’re all in top gear shooting for the moon and beyond this new year, I’m mindful that our relationships can trip us on the way. Healthy relationships whether platonic or romantic, are a solid base for take-off, don’t you agree?

©Timi Yeseibo 2014

Design: ©Timi Yeseibo 2014

Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Timi Yeseibo and livelytwist.wordpress.com with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

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61 thoughts on “Happy New Love

  1. This almost brought tears to my eyes. I felt sad for those who live through the “woulda, coulda, shoulda” musings of love permanently lost, and the overwhelming heartache from longing.

    Those who are able to recapture the one that got away, are truly fortunate.

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    1. For real? Sometimes I enjoy tearjerkers. 🙂

      “Those who are able to recapture the one that got away, are truly fortunate.”

      Interesting … Good for Soba and Dayo, I hope 🙂

      Thanks Nedoux for reading.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. That hurt good, maybe too good. I’m all sadly happy or happily sad, not sure which.

    You captured not a little of my pain. Misconceptions, fears, insecurities, longing, the near-impossibility of letting go and moving on….

    Good catharsis, Timi. Thanks 😦 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Quite true. But it’s hard not to want to know everything when you want that person’s everything.

        I thought I could never forgive infidelity. Now I’m not so sure. I’m stunned by how willing I am to take pain just because I want someone’s everything as much as I want them to want mine.

        We should know, Love will always want everything. Because it wants to get in everywhere, clean up everything, heal up everything, protect everything. It is a very painful thing to love human beings. They are some of the weakest and dumbest of God’s creations…if they aren’t the very weakest and dumbest, that is. But they’re priceless for all that. Sometimes I just hate that.

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        1. Tyrion, I don’t know . . . I mean, are we meant to be everything: healer, protector, etc, for another? I like to think that love is liberating not controlling.

          Soba didn’t cheat on Karibi, she merely voiced the possibility that she might like Dayo. Karibi’s response on finding out a warped version of events is revealing. Demanding that Soba delete all traces of Dayo? Hmmm, I don’t know o. If I force you to love me, can I trust your love?

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          1. First off, Karibi’s response was wrong and counter-intuitive. But it is not hard to imagine. Dayo owned a lot more of Soba than Kabiri could hope for and the frustration of how far out he was would cause him to hurt and give hurt.

            Second, Love is about trust. If you can’t trust someone with your whole self, all the talk about being in love is a lot of silly gooey-eyed nonsense. You can have a crazy attraction to them that makes you want to see them everyday and do everything but if that’s where it starts it soon wears off and everything becomes hard.

            It’s the person you’re comfortable with, that you share a resonance with, that you know “gets” you and whom you also “get” that you will end up with. Even if you married someone else first, unless you managed to build that with them, you’re going to end up heading for the one you trust more.

            Funny thing about sexual attraction: it’s extremely flexible and it follows emotions and psychological bonding, rather than lead.

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            1. Insightful as usual Ty. With the benefit of hindsight, we are left wondering what drove them to cleave to each other in the first place. The warning signs were there, as clear as the crack in the foundation that eventually drove them apart.

              But as you allude, when butterflies run riot in your tummy, passion heats up your loins, and desperation sips in, any thing is possible *sighs* anything is possible!

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              1. In romance, there’s liytle I find as annoying as gross stupidity. I learned to discern possibilities at a distance. Once I find myself getting increasingly consciouso a woman, I set on finding out why. If the reason does not get beyond the surface, it’s time to get out of Dodge. And I never try to make friends with women whom I find sexually intoxicating from the first glance. Best to start out being friends. If more develops,awesome. If not, fine.

                It does seem like it’s women who find it hard to draw lines, let things go and hold onto the right people. Not that men don’t manage to be royally idiotic in romance too, but…you get my point. 🙂

                The question should always be: “why?” Why should I trust this person? Do they recognizethe value in me? Can they relate to that value? Can I relate to what is in them?

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                  1. The heart isn’t. I know that I may be perceived as judgmental but I’ve got some living crammed into my twenty-something years and I’ve paid attention on the way. Divorce, breakups and whatnot have been a part of human history for nearly as long as humans have existed but I don’t think it is a stretch to say that it is much worse now than it has ever been. That is not unconnected with the whole “follow your heart” campaign. I think the heart is really the cart not the horse and anyone who has suffered or made others suffer because of the heart’s movements has some small worry, at least, that something is not right about letting the heart lead. The heart is too fickle to be a reliable leader in anything. And I really should know.

                    I think it is us who need to be retrained. It is us who need to reorder the hierarchy or structures. I was stunned to realize that I could go from not having even a small spark of attraction to someone to not getting enough of them although we’d been friends for a long time. I was stunned to realize that somehow you could decide who to love and who to be with even though I grew up afraid that I could never be sexually faithful because of my roving eye. I was stunned to realize that in the two instances where I gave myself up to love, I could actually turn the emotions off. All I had to do was decide to. In both cases, the reason I did not was because of a loyalty that came from a choice that I had made to be with the people in question, the obligation to give everything until there was no point anymore in doing so.

                    And in both cases, I started out thinking that I could never really stop feeling how I felt about both women (for the mentally overactive, they didn’t happen at the same time o 😀 ). But the more I actually thought about the match, the reasons we were together or that I wanted us together, the easier I could handle my emotions. I was vulnerable still to emotional pain and excitement. I felt hurt when we fought or they preferred someone else. I reacted emotionally. But I actually came to realize that I wasn’t helpless. I could walk away if I wanted. The question was “why should I?”

                    Ok, I’m stopping now. This is starting to feel like some kind of thesis, lol. My point though is that we need to place first things first and the heart is an amazing last but a terrible first any day, anywhere, any place.

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                    1. You opened up about your experiences and made yourself vulnerable by sharing. Someone may read your comment and benefit from it.

                      Stories can be a great way to encapsulate life lessons in my view. There’s so much going on here from domestic violence to emotional infidelity, if you will. Every reader sees through the filters of their experience/knowledge and makes inferences. I can only hope the conclusions we draw from the story and comments help us do life better.

                      Thanks Tyrion.

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              2. Yes, ANYTHING can happen and that is why exploding emotions are always the wrong foundation to build relationships on. It’s like building a house on the wind.

                Wisdom is to find a solid foundation, to turn from anything less. Dayo was the far smarter option. But we live in a really dumb world today that thinks that emotion is the rock on which marriage is built rather than the mortar that holds the bricks together. So we keep building relationships that are doomed from the start because they lack solidity.

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  3. Hmmm…beautiful writing here. Many of us can connect with the little dots of experience you have fed us with in this story. Relationships are oxygen. We only pray they don’t become toxic oxygen that kill us off.

    Thanks for this.

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    1. That relationships are oxygen, amen! That they don’t become toxic oxygen, amen, amen!

      Thanks for being here. I have to read one of your stories soon. I’m intrigued. Btw, I’ve fallen in love with your quote, “Relationships are oxygen.” Changing my status update right away 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Read this again. As far as I am concerned, this is exquisite poetry. Or prose-poetry? Whichever, it just feels like I have eaten a sumptuous meal. Oh, what words can do!

        Liked by 1 person

  4. Hello Timi,
    I love that you respond to every single comment, how thoughtful! I hope you’ll still be able to do so when there are like zillions of us stopping by to drop you a line ;-)?
    Loved this story, I’m joining team #more on this one. I’d gladly queue up at 6am to buy your book……should you decide to take the inevitable step of writing one.
    PS
    Thanks for stopping by my blog, really appreciated.

    Like

    1. @comment, growth means change… we’ll cross that bridge when we get there 🙂
      Ah, the voice of the people, me too, I’ve joined team #more. Glad you enjoyed the story & thank you for your encouraging words.

      Like

  5. Happy New Year, Timi! Cheers to an amazing year of writing, book deals, signings, tear-jerking romance movies, conferences, a spike in earnings, a movie deal (maybe), champagne (or juice), and finally a plane ticket to escape the next winter in my case oo!

    Haha I LOVED this! And yes please, can we have some more? *in my Oliver Twist voice* 😀

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    1. Happy New Year! I’m toasting to all the above and more.
      @more, I will see what I can do… I plan to move out of my comfort zone this year, but writing fiction for my blog was not in the plan 🙂 I enjoyed writing this story as it was under 1000 words (flash fiction to some), but now my dear readers want a sequel 🙂

      Like

  6. I loved this post, it had such a sweet and sad story, missing someone after four years… I liked the fact you mentioned some movies that the two people shared, one with tears and one with cheers! I am a big believer in love, wishing like you, that everyone will have a great year and those who wish to find love, Find it! Smiles, Robin

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  7. Before I read this, I was talking to a friend about (my) undefined relationships. And this post has got me longing for something healthy. Cos I’ve had to let go of love that wasn’t healthy. Now I’m wondering if it really was love.
    I really don’t like jealous boyfriends, but sometimes we ladies induce that trait to be exhibited when we fail to face how we really feel about other guys.
    Say No to Basket-Mouthed Bestfriends!
    Lovely read. I want more! :’)

    Like

    1. Dunni, good for you. With boundaries, we still trip, not to mention undefined relationships … recipe to slip, slip, slip 🙂

      Ah, feelings can be so fickle that I think they shouldn’t drive our choices. To imagine that once we’re with the one, we wouldn’t “feel” anything for another is sort of naive. That’s why love is a decision & commitment. Perhaps Soba thought she was over her teenage crush…

      Jealousy is normal I guess, but I think Karibi went too far, trying to erase every trace of Dayo- how mean-spirited & desperate!

      No to basket mouth friends, roger that! I wish you happiness and Godspeed in your quest for healthy relationships. Happy New Love!

      Like

  8. Nice one Timi, got me thinking about ‘old school’ love….just a romantic at heart. Anyway back to reality, loved the write up and please part 2 is required. Happy New Year dear and wishing you the best in 2014.

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    1. Lol@ old school love… foolish love too. When karibi towered over her & fear squeezed her heart, maybe she could have predicted that she’d be receiving a black eye sometime down the road *sigh!*
      @Part 2, hmmm… Thanks, Usi. Happy New Year & all the best.

      Like

    1. Soba got out of what she considered an unhealthy relationship. It would seem she’s ready for another. What next? Who knows 🙂 I’m wondering just as you are…
      Happy New Love to you too!

      Like

  9. Wow, you are good. You had so me into the story that for a second I was single and waiting for love. I was almost saying “yes, Dayo”
    Please we need part 2

    …,,,For the record, I have no “Dayo”

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    1. Lol @for the record, I have no Dayo. It’s always a good idea to set the records straight 🙂
      Single, waiting, longing, loving… ha, ha. Thank you for your kind comments. @part 2, I dunno …

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  10. you actually got me speechless with this..
    It’s beautiful as usual
    I’m tempted to tell you to make this episode 1 or a sequel to some story…and then I would have really wanted to ask, why didn’t she marry Dayo in the first place? to me he seems like her best friend..sigh# it’s so sad.
    Broken hearts hurts and it takes time to heal. But healing will come, with time, looking unto the right source as well and trusting him to grab the wheels.
    Happy new year bae!!Wishing you an exciting new year ahead and please be ready to feature on my blog o…Will you be available this week?

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    1. *sigh* because Dayo was her bestie and Karibi was her hunk-y! Besides, what do you do with 400 invitation cards?

      Butterflies in our stomachs & all the “trepidation” of romance can overwhelm our senses while a sure thing is as common as a framed picture on a wall- cherished, constant, overlooked. Only if we pay attention to it do we feel the warmth of love tingling us from head to toe. Okay, I think I just wrote a sequel, but I’ll leave that to you; you do that really well 🙂

      Happy New Year! @feature, let’s talk via email. Thanks for the support.

      Like

  11. Sizzling. Dramatic. A well-packaged tale of love. Every lasting relationship is built on love. It hurts when a partner is betrayed or less loved. Of course, there are echoes from past relationships that are sometimes useful and vice versa.

    Enjoyed the dialogue, Timi. Thanks for sharing. Happy New Year.

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    1. Nothing like young love! “Oldies” should embrace it, not the drama, but the fire…
      I must have been born holding a Mills & Boon romance novel. I love romance, I live in the “olden days” 🙂

      Like

      1. That makes two of us!
        Love the quote, we should “embrace the fire and not the drama”….very Tweetable!!
        Err….not that I am an oldie or anything of the sort 🙂
        # ever young#

        Like

  12. May those broken hearts heal,
    and unbroken ones thrive still.
    May the image of the true (s)he burst on their sight
    and the wings of love be not clipped in mid-flight.

    Really good piece (like ever).
    And hope I’m the first to comment on your blog this year. If I’m that lucky, consider it a making up for my AWOL scenarios. If not, ….no it must be! And true, I agree healthy relationships are a rock-solid runway for ascent.

    BTW, is that my mobile number you put……oh, no it’s not. LOL.

    Blissful, inspiration-laden, year ahead. Is a foray into published fiction (not) in your plans for the year? #Just a thot.

    Like

    1. Ah Bunmioke, may the wings of love be not clipped in mid-flight, amen.
      Yay, you’re the first to comment on my blog this year! No more AWOL please 🙂
      I’m beginning to like writing fiction again… publishing, yes. But only the best will do. I’m excited about what the year holds in store #Just a thot. Thanks.

      Like

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