The year was 2002. Was a freshman of Grange University in Baltimore where I studied International Relations when we met for the first time.
We were classmates studying the same course and because we belong to the same study group, we bonded. His name was Rooney Woodard an exceptionally bright kid. He was staying with his cousins in Baltimore to ease movements and to give him time to experience the city since he has never left his native country which was in Las Vegas.
What attracted me to him was his brilliance. He has a way of so solving difficult problems by breaking them into smaller, manageable sizes.
I remember him now because he was my first love, my first real boyfriend who loved and opened my eyes to a whole new world where everything and anything was possible. While our relationship lasted (which was two years) we were an inseparable pair until he left school to pursue a dream career in the US Marine Corps
I still recollect the last few weeks we spent together, the kisses in the moonlight, prom night and the romantic getaways in China Town during our fall break. The most memorable were the arguments over study subjects on History. He never backs down in an argument, just when you think you’ve had by the jugular, he’ll wriggle out of your grip and hit you real hard below the belt. Sometimes I wonder why he wasn’t studying law because he was every inch a lawyer. When I suggested that he study Law a second major, he told me that he can’t be a lawyer because he would surely cause dissension in the courtroom. For that he was very right.
The day finally came, I saw him off to the airport, after exchanging kisses and promises to always keep in touch, he left and I never saw him again!
He got enrolled in the Marine Corps and for the first two years we kept touch through phone calls and emails.
One day he got into an argument with teammate which resulted to fist fight. They were both punished for their offence by lifting a log and standing in a river whose temperature was 20oC till the wee hours of the morning. They were given medical attention for two weeks after which they were released and warned never to repeat such action again as it could lead to outright expulsion from the school
Two months later, another fight broke out in the officer’s mess. Before anybody could do anything to bring it under control, two shots were heard and two bodies lay on the ground. It was my Rooney and his teammate. The guy had pulled the trigger on him first and the shot himself to escape punishment and guilt
I learnt all this from His superior who called me the day it happened. I attended the funeral and met his parents for the first time and the tears flowed freely.
Anyways that was in 2005. For the remaining three years I spent in the US before coming to Nigeria, I couldn’t keep a stable relationship because it was hard to let go of someone you love so much.
I had to move on after some time but that is a subject for another story. Till then, I remain yours