It was a bright Sunday morning. I could hardly get up from bed as I was too engrossed with my thoughts on my bed. I was actually daydreaming about a guy I had a crush on. He was the only guy I’ve ever truly loved in my entire life. His name was Obinna. I still continued in my imaginations about him when I heard a knock on my door. It was my mother. We were the only souls living in the whole flat at Liverpool road, Apapa, Lagos, except my younger sister, Jessica.
I was born into a family of nine. I was the second to last born. But all my siblings were married and lived with their families in their respective homes except Jessica and I, who still lived with our mother. Our father died a few years ago from diabetes and it was a very painful ordeal.
I opened the door for my mother. She stood holding the door knob with a towel wrapped around her chest. “Rose, are you alright?” She asked with a surprised expression on her face. “Yes mother, miguo”, I greeted her in urhobo language, for we belonged to the urhobo tribe. “And I’m alright mother” “Don’t you realize you are late for service?” She said without replying my greeting. “What!” I exclaimed looking at the table clock on my bed stand. It was 8:35 a.m. and service starts by nine. “Okay mother, I’d hurry up right away”, I said. “You better do”, she replied.
I hurriedly took my bath and slipped into a maroon colored dress with bag and high heeled shoes to match with it. I had a thin gold necklace on with my hair beautifully styled. I put on a light make-up and looked at the mirror and the dress gave me a perfect silhouette.
At twenty one I knew what I wanted and how to get dressed for each occasion. You’ll describe me as supremely beautiful. Averaged height, sleek, fair complexioned, long dark haired, round faced and pointed nose; gap toothed, full hips and straight legs with graceful curves. I was like a magnet to men because of my extreme beauty.
I wore my wrist watch and it was time to go. When I arrived at our place of worship, I caught sight of Obinna outside. We actually both belonged to the same religious group. “Cinderella”, he called me. “Hello Obinna, good morning. “Good morning”, he retorted. He looked debonair in a black suit he wore. Obinna was a young man, beautiful in form and appearance. He was tall, dark,muscular and well built. He rode the latest Toyota Jeep and also lived at Apapa, a short distance from my place. Lots of girls flocked around him. And this was an obstacle to my dream, which was to have Obinna as husband. But I was a girl of persistence. And I had strong hopes that he’d be mine. Anything short of that, I knew would be a disaster to me because I was absolutely in love with, and totally obsessed with him.
Later after service, I and Obinna met again “You look really beautiful today”, he said. “Thank you very much”, I replied. “So can I have your number?” He asked. “Yes you can”, I said and heartily gave him.
I walked back home that day smiling. We both called each other subsequent times for a long timeafter that and I became anxious of when he’d ask me out.
But this was taking long and patience was not one of my virtues, soI decided to tell Obinna how I felt about him. I told him I’d like to tell him something confidential and we agreed to meet the following day. We both met at his friend’s house the next day evening. We sat facing each other. I felt a knot in my stomach when it was time to speak up. He sensed this and said “Rose please be free to tell me whatever you want to. Are you okay?” “Yes”, I answered. “Give me your hands”, Obinna said and I put my hands in his. “Look at me”, he said again.I did and he looked deeply into my eyes.Gosh! His eyes were the most charming I had ever seen. He was devastatingly handsome and I was held spellbound. “Ok, em,em”, I stuttered, breaking the long silence with a shrug and my right hand at the back of my neck. “Did you kill someone?” he inquired. “No, I can’t do such a thing”,I answered. “Okay, so tell me please what it is and do not be shy”, he said. I finally mustered up the courage and spoke up slowly. “Obinna, I, I love you very much, more than I’ve ever loved any man in my entire life. And I’m convinced that no woman would ever love you the way I do. I would love to be the mother of your kids too”, I ended, with my face looking down. He paused briefly and said “Now I understand why you were shy to speak”. His elbows were on his knees and his hands were up, locked in each other under his chin as if he were considering some thought. “Rose, for how long have you felt this way towards me?” Obinna asked. “It’s almost two years now”, I replied. “And are you sure this is not infatuation?” He inquired again. “No Obinna. That would be an insult to my intelligence. Of course I’m in love with you”, I answered. “Do you find me sexually attractive?” he still asked. “Yes I do”, I retorted. “Well, I do find you sexually attractive too”, he said. “You see”, he continued after a slight pause. “I’ve always found you attractive Rose, since we’ve been friends. However, my feelings towards you have not developed into love yet. We will need time to go out and get to know ourselves better. And then we’ll see how things work out for us. Is that okay?” He asked. “It’s okay”, I retorted. Later on, he escorted me down the road where I board a taxi home that night.
But Obinna, still, was not returning my love the way I expected of him. And this tormented me each day. I cried most nights on my bed with strong tears because of this unrequited love of his. And I prayed to God always, to make him mine.
Some weeks later, Obi and I met in a restaurant. He disclosed to me that he had a serious heart problem that had been disturbing him and that he was just discharged from the hospital a week ago. He said his doctor told him his life might be limited due to the heart problem. “So would you be happy if I die?” He asked jokingly. “I’d prefer to join you in death than to live with it”, I replied. “Are you pulling my legs?” He inquired. ”I’m serious”, I retorted. “Hmm,encouraging. But you don’t have to do that for me”, he said.
I was pained when he told me of his heart problem. I thought about it againlater at home that dayand I shuddered at the thought of losing him and gave in to tears. But the knowledge of Obinna’s heart problem still did not reduce my love for him. I still wanted to become his wife, even if it was only for a few years. That was how much I loved him.
We both met again some days later, one evening. We mostly threw jokes at each other. When it was almost time for me to leave, Obinna held my two hands and looked deeply into my eyes. “Give me a hug”, he said and I timidly hugged him. “I love that hug”, he said. It was the first time I and Obinna hugged each other and I felt a surge of excitement ran through me. We hugged each other again more closely and he smooched and caressed my body with passion. He then reached for my lips and we kissed deeply for long. That was also our first kiss and he found me irresistible. We soon stopped kissing and I said to him with my arms wrapped around his neck. “Obinna, tell me please, what do you feel for me?” “I feel a lot for you”, he replied. “Are you sure about that?” I asked again. “Yes, I do feel a lot for you but not fully yet”, he said. “So are we dating?” I asked inquisitively. “Of course or what do you call this?” He replied. I simply looked at his eyes again without saying another word.
We later sat down. He told me to sit on his laps.“My baby, we’ll work it out okay?” Obinna said caressing my legs while I caressed his hairy chest and arms too. “I love your hairy chest”, I told him. “Thanks, you’ll get it to see it fully someday. I love your small waist too”, he retorted. “Hmm, thank you” It was now past ten at night. We spent a little more time after that and I left for home.
A month later, Jessica told me surprisingly “Rose, you won’t believe it, I attended a wedding today and one of my friends called Franca, told me she’s dating Obinna. I also found out they’ve been dating for long. She referred to Obinna as her husband too”. My sister also told me Franca was not half as beautiful as I am, so I wondered what I lacked.
I felt greatly sad at the news and I cried for some time. I confronted Obinna about it the following day over the phone for I could not see him because I travelled to Kogi then. “Good morning Obinna”, I greeted him. “Good morning Rose. How was your night?” “My night was good and yours?” “It was fine too” “Obinna tell me please, who is Franca to you?” “Franca? She is a friend” “A friend?” “Yes, or don’t you know what a friend is?” “Okay are you dating her?” “I’ll call you back please, I’m driving now and someone is in the car with me” “And when would that be?” “When I get home” “I’d be expecting your call then” I was still seething with anger so Isent him a text almost immediately, that read:
I am not a kid, Obinna. You said Franca is
your friend but she calls you her
husband? At this point, I should know
where I stand with you. You said you
feel a lot for me but your actions towards
me shows total unseriousness with me. Tell
me please, whom do u want? Is it I or Prisca?
I was shocked to my marrow when I received a brief message in reply from him. It read:
You know what? I don’t want
any of you. Just let me be.
I couldn’t believe my eyes he said that to me so I called him immediately. “Hello”, I said. “Why are you still calling? Didn’t you read the message I sent you?” he replied rashly. “Well, you could also say it straight to me. You mean you do not want me again?” I asked. “Yes, any of you”, he said.
I hung up the phone and cried long after that. ‘What could I have done wrong?’ I said to myself in tears. I later told Jessica of Obinna’s message to me and she laughed hysterically. She advised me to leave him and not to ever call him again. She told my mother about it too even when I warned her not to do so. “Rose, please stop doing this to yourself”, my mother told me. “You are just a young girl of twenty one and you are very beautiful and intelligent. Please my daughter, take your mind off Obinna and you’ll find a better man who will love and cherish you” But neither my mother nor my sister, knew exactly how much I lovedObinna.
My whole world seemed to have crashed and ended and life felt bitter for me. I cried more and harder at my most dreaded thought of living without Obinna. My soul was totally frustrated. I took a knife and made to kill myself with it but at a second thought, I felt that would not solve the problem. It was a day of great tears for me. My eyes and face were swollen and I felt tormented to the point of death. Indeed, Obinna’s unrequited love was more than death to me. I couldn’t eat too. I thought of why I was dying to have just one man when there were many men who were killing themselves over me. But I did not love anyone of them the way I loved Obinna. Such is one of life’s mysteries.
But I felt Obinna might later change his decision towards me so I called him two days later. “Hello Obinna”, I said. “You should let me know please, if I’ve offended you in any way and I’d work on it?” “No Rose, you’ve not offended me. But I’ve got issues with me and a relationship is the last thing on my mind for now” “You are really saying you don’t want me anymore?” “Yes, anybody for now” “This decision of yours, is it about your heart condition?” “No it is not about my heart stuff, young woman” “The problem then, is it that serious, can’t I be of help?” “I’ll work it out soon” “But we can still move on or am I disturbing? And you told me you feel a lot for me and that we’ll work out our relationship. Were you lying to me?” “No you are not disturbing. And I wasn’t lying either, but I figured out you might suffer as a result, psychologically” “Now do not pretend to me please. Tell me straight from your deepest heart, without reservations. Obinna, do you love me?” “No, that might make you get the point” “Please Obi, what have I done?” I slowly asked him amidst tears and hung up the phone. I was not clear what he said in reply as I was too absorbed with the pain in my heart.
After that incident, I could hardly coordinate well again. And I feared strongly and was convinced that I would not have the heart to love any man again, no, not with the kind of love I had for Obinna. I felt like a living dead and still had illusions about him. And that was how I lived each each day with the pain of an unfulfilled dream.