I love romance. But the harsh realities of my relationships have never really indulged my fanatic belief of romance. My best friend, Chuka once told me, “Look, you need to give up your empty dreams of idyllic romance which never come to pass. There are lots and lots of guys whose thirst is real, why tie yourself down in a boring relationship when you can sample all the treats you want?”
I had no answer to Chuka, because in a weird way, I knew he was right. Nevertheless, I waited for Mister Perfect.
And so, one day in mid–September last year, I was walking to one of the banks on campus with Chuka.
And then, I saw him.
Till today, I still wonder how such a seemingly perfect encounter could eventually turn out to be such a disaster. He was the embodiment of all I had been dreaming of for years; it was like the gods had seen the desire of my dreams and sent him forth as the perfect answer to my deepest yearnings. He was almost as tall as I am, dark, slightly built, perfect white teeth revealed in a smile, with a cute butt on full display. My heart did several flip flops as I saw him walking out the bank gates at the exact same moment Chuka and I were walking in.
He and Chuka exchanged a warm greeting; it was apparent that they were friends. I simply stared mutely like a moron. Chuka made the introductions. His name was David and he owned and ran a luxury boutique quite close to the campus. He was at the bank to collect some cash for restocking his store.
I could barely conceal my eagerness and excitement till he had taken his leave. A few moments after he had left us, I blurted out, “Jeez, Chuka, who is that guy!”
“Hmm, don’t tell me you’ve already fallen in love o,” Chuka said with a laugh.
“Abeg, I just asked a simple question. Tell me who he is joor.”
“I won’t tell you who he is, you know why? Because he is not good for you.”
I rolled my eyes. “Since when did you become my personal adviser? And did you hear me talk about going into a relationship with him? Just tell me abeg, who is he!”
“Ok, ok. If you wish, please don’t eat me alive.” He threw up his hands in mock surrender.
Then, he told me all he knew about David. What I heard increased my curiosity and desire to get to know him more. Afterwards, I rushed home, searched for his profile on Facebook, added him to my friends’ list and sent him a message. I waited for almost half the day in a frenzy of anxiety and apprehension. And then his reply came: ‘I’m sorry for my late reply, I just saw your message. I am happy you added me up because I had earlier searched for you on Facebook, but to no avail. Here’s my BBM Pin …. Please add me and let’s hook up.’
Reading the message over and over again, I was caught up in the throes of ecstasy. I was sure that my long and painful search for Mister Right had finally ended. I had found him and my wonderful sojourn into the depths of love had just begun. We connected on BBM and began a series of back and forth chats, eventually meeting up at his place. He was the perfect host, a captivating combination of wild and charming. We kept seeing each other for a few more weeks, and then the university was shut down due to the lecturers’ strike action. As other students left for home and the campus was rapidly emptied of its usual bustle of activities, David asked me to move into his place with him. I cooked up a lie for my Mum about some skills acquisition program which would last for a few months. She bought my story completely and I gladly moved in with David.
All went well. David and I were extremely happy. I had never known such joy to be with the man I loved all the time, waking up beside him and going to sleep beside him, in between showing him love in so many different ways.
However, a few weeks later, the first cracks started to appear in our otherwise idyllic existence together. Looking back, it’s ironic that it started with a relatively minor issue. I had earlier on in our relationship asked him his age, and he had told me that he was twenty-nine. That made him six years older than I was. I didn’t really mind this age gap despite the fact that I had never dated anyone that much older than I was.
And so, I was helping him search for some documents when I stumbled upon a document that had his real age on it. He was actually thirty-three. I didn’t mind this, but what really stung me was the blatant, bald-faced lie he’d told me. I however decided not to confront him with the issue as I sensed he was not really comfortable with the issue. But then again, he was not so uncomfortable that he didn’t resist the temptation of beating me over the head with the age stick. He had this extremely annoying habit of scolding me and starting with, “We are not age-mates o…” I found that totally awful.
And then, the sheer ignorance he frequently displayed! Yes, he was a high-flying businessman who ran a very successful boutique outlet, but I didn’t think his schedule should be a reason to be so ignorant. It was so bad that we eventually found it impossible to relate on any topic other than which dude was screwing which. He showed a shocking lack of knowledge to matters of national or international import; he knew the name of our president, and very little else. Anything beyond this quickly left him with a feeling of intense boredom. On a snide note, I felt sure that this was due to the towering stack of Nollywood movies he spent a massive chunk of his time watching at all possible hours. I was initially unwilling to write this up for Kito Diaries, but then I realized that he was most probably never going to read it.
Anyway, they say love conquers all, right? So I tried to overlook his deficiencies and inadequacies and stayed with him.
But then came his jealousy. It was consuming and on some instances, uncontrollable. I was practically barred, whenever we were together, from talking on the phone with any other man apart from my father. He always felt I was hiding things from him and would quiz me endlessly for hours. I eventually discovered that all this stemmed from a deep-seated insecurity. But I loved him, and I was determined to make things work out between us.
Ironically, for one who was so jealous about my life outside our relationship, it came as quite a shock to me when I got to find out about David’s cheating ways. I discovered this by pure accident, the day he returned from one of his numerous ‘business trips.’ I somehow stumbled on a message in his phone which indicated that contrary to what he told me, he had actually gone traveled to partake in a wild orgy. I was devastated. I felt shattered and crushed and used, it hurt so bad. I can still remember the feeling of having something I cherished so deeply, something I’d clung so fiercely to, collapsing around me before my very eyes.
When he saw that I had found him out, he angrily warned me never to read his messages ever again. Over time, I saw unmistakable signs that his wild ways were getting more blatant and more brazen by the day. Everything came to a head one day when I came back unexpectedly from an outing and saw John, a close friend of mine in the house. David hadn’t known that John and I were friends. He also hadn’t expected me back home on that day and had therefore decided to have a swell time in my absence. They were both in a state of near-undress. I watched with disgust as they struggled to throw their clothes on and leave the house. Alone and without a word, I packed my things and moved back to the campus, before David would return with more lies and apologies.
Afterwards, I was an emotional wreck. I felt battered and used. I was angry at myself for having fallen so deeply for someone who least deserved my affection and devotion. Looking back, I realize that I emerged the better for it despite the scars. I got wiser, stronger and more mature, and I found the strength to extricate myself from a toxic relationship. David still calls to apologise and plead for another chance at our relationship, but I am seriously over him. I wish him well. I have overcome my anger, I have tacked the entire experience as a mistake designed to help me make better choices in the future.
Written by Obatala