Peace, Hope, and a Cool Glass of Water

Dear run-away friend,

The journey began with us—two tiny souls. I was fifteen and you were thirteen, do you remember us? Our paths crossed when innocence was still innocent. I was that young senorita from El Paso Texas and you were that African girl from Nigeria; just two tenth graders with no plans but dreams. And once the bell rang, we’re out of Mrs. Butterworth’s class—I called her Mrs. Butterfinger, does that ring a bell? Once we were out, we get my brother, Josh, Silhouette, Antisha, Brandon, and we head off to Taco Bell.

Every day of the week we went to Taco Bell. We would sing to Avril Lavigne’s records as we walked home. We would part ways at our famous white gate and I never left you until you’ve crossed the street and you never left me until you’ve seen me head off north. Here’s to us dear friend!

Here’s to those days when I couldn’t make-up my mind about the Sanchez brothers. I loved them both equally and we spent months trying to figure out who the better choice was for me. Here’s to us lighting up the hallways of our school on fire. The building was no match for our energy. Here’s to those days when I figured you were in love with soccer boy from Argentina and we would go to all his games just so you could see him.

But here is the ending of it all; I wish you hadn’t given up on me. I wish I hadn’t disappointed you by making you walk down that stage alone to receive the high school diploma we swore we would work hard for together. But girlfriend, you have to believe me when I say this; I had a lot of demons to fight at eighteen and I wished you’d pushed me more than you did.  I wish we still spoke like before because now it seems like you’re the smart one in college, but my ego has never been too big…

I bet you don’t know this but after high school things with my mom got worse. You know how it was but this time everything was different and I was alone—I’ve always been alone but I guess I was fine. She made me feel stupid, insecure and worthless.

Many nights, I went to bed in tears and some nights, I absolutely didn’t know what to do with myself. I got so depressed to the point where I tried to commit suicide. Yes, I tried it, I picked up that pocket knife and I pressed it down my left wrist until my veins popped out. My hands, they didn’t shake, I was so damn sure that it was better if I was gone out of the face of this worthless earth that I was forcefully dumped and denied the joy of living… but it didn’t work just like I’ve tried many other things in life and they didn’t work. I am so scared to think about those nights when I was all alone hospitalized for weeks.

After that passed things were okay for a while but you know me, I’ve always been a troublesome child and trouble always found me no matter where I hid. It all started again. One day I looked at myself in the mirror and I didn’t see Deanna, I saw a fat, chubby and useless soul. But I was only one-hundred-and-four-pounds. I stopped eating and even when I ate, I would run to the bathroom afterwards and dig my fingers inside my mouth down my throat and spill out all the food I’d ate.

Do you remember Marco? Yes, him, we’re still together. Somehow, he stuck by me after you left. He truly is the real MVP and he deserves a trophy because I could have any guy I wanted but the problem becomes, could he handle all what I came with? My baggages and scars and tears on my pillowcase that threatens to overflow on his?

Mom and Marco got along fine until they got into an argument and now my mom hates him and won’t accept that we’re still together because when I got put in the mental hospital, yes, they thought I was crazy. My mom found out that Marcos knew about me cutting myself but he didn’t mention it to her because I had promised him that I was going to stop but I didn’t… I don’t know why. I just didn’t stop.

But it’s okay; I live with my dad now. I can’t deal with the staled air in Memphis, it’s suffocating and I’m afraid I won’t be able to breathe there. But I have a best friend who helps me with my depression, his name is Magneto. He’s the best. When I’m down, Magneto listens to me and when I’m sad, he barks at the troubles that come to hunt me. He protects my sanity. But that’s basically it dude, my life, it isn’t that much interesting.

But why am I writing to you? Why do I feel that you need to drop that important thing you might be doing when you read this and know any bit of my sad life? Why?

Here girlfriend, you were lied to and I’m sorry. I was never that happy girl you knew, I was just good at acting and when I didn’t win an Oscar I got pissed off and everything exploded into a massive tantrum of chaos and hospital bills. But I want you to know that the only thing I’ve ever wanted in life was to be fine! I deserve to be happy, please say you agree. I don’t want to fight anymore. I don’t want to smell that hospital stench that makes my head hurt any longer. I don’t want to hide inside these clothes of shame.

I agree, somewhere I lost it—my true purpose in life but here I am, my hands are up, I surrender and give all my burdens away and I send them off in this letter for them to never return back to the sender.

I don’t want to be a ghost who roams around because although her body has been burrowed deep in the sands of the earth, her mind has not been laid to rest.

I want peace, hope, love, happiness, and a cool glass of water…



14 thoughts on “Peace, Hope, and a Cool Glass of Water” by Ufuoma Otebele (@ufuomaotebele)

  1. Aderonke Daramola (@Shovey)

    Bearing it all is enough reason to have peace, love and hope…

  2. namdi (@namdi)

    Ufuoma Otebele secures her place in our hearts with a new and fresh piece–and I’d say, timely too. Just when you think you know it all, you are reminded that ‘Peace, Hope, and a Cool Glass of Water’ may just be all you need.

    1. Ufuoma Otebele (@ufuomaotebele)

      I’m smiling from my house to the end of the universe :-) it’s a pleasure to get such a wonderful comment from you @namdi

  3. Ezeama Chijioke Desmond (@Chijy)

    This was really touching. You’re one of the very beautiful writers we have here on Naijastories.com. Keep it up

    P.S: ‘….. spill out all the food I’d ate’
    I was thinking that should be ‘eaten’, shouldn’t it?

  4. Really emotional stuff. Good job.
    ‘Staled’? Stale, I think.
    ‘My baggages and scars and tears on my pillowcase that threatens to overflow on his?’ Don’t really understand that sentence. What are your ‘baggages’? And what are they doing on your pillowcase?

    1. Ufuoma Otebele (@ufuomaotebele)

      @robby yes you’re absolutely correct it should have been “stale air”

      read from this line, “I could have any guy I wanted but the problem becomes, could he handle all what I came with? My baggages and scars and tears on my pillowcase that threatens to overflow on his?”

      I hope it’s clearer now. She feels no one can handle the scars with translates to the baggages that she has and also, guys run away afraid her tears will overflow to his end of his pillow.

      Let me know if it’s better now. Thanks for reading.

  5. O-Money (@Omoniyi-Adeshola)

    @ufuomaotebele, wassup! I’m glad you still doing good stuff. you’re miss consistency, wai.

    This felt like a tear-jerking conversation, a whispered one…done half in hope and half in shame. it felt really personal.

    the 2nd and 3rd paragraphs were my simple gems

    see this lines “Here’s to us lighting up the hallways of our school on fire. The building was no match forour energy.” pure beauty. the word play.

    and the title, unique!

    I missed your stories.

    1. Ufuoma Otebele (@ufuomaotebele)

      Omg!!! @omoniyi-adeshola where in this universe have you been!!!

      I miss your poems!!!! Since you left I stop writing poems all together because I used to follow your lead.

      I’m so happy to have you read one of my stories it’s been too long!!!!

      Yes, I’m literally shouting!!!!!!!!! :-)

      1. O-Money (@Omoniyi-Adeshola)

        Lmao. the pleasure is mutual!

        this is for you, adapted.

        The dusty path snaked before me
        Through rude, green thickets;
        Little leaves hung in the soft air
        Like drowsy flies;
        Farther on, a slim hibiscus
        Drew me down to her on the warm grass.
        “How sweet is loneliness!”
        My jaded heart said.

        Then, suddenly, in a curve of the road,
        Red full lips!
        A luscious body, swaying,
        Sweet spirit, kind soul
        She marched with sensuous legs,
        And gay strides displaying!

        A swift flame leapt in my heart;
        I burned with passion;
        I was tainted with affection;
        I wanted to swoon in the wind,
        To tear the silence with gay music,
        And to trample the untamed green bush
        Until it sobbed and bled of joy…
         
        Yes, love had found me out.

        1. Ufuoma Otebele (@ufuomaotebele)

          I just died!!!!! @omoniyi-adeshola I don’t want to wake up.

  6. Vincent de Paul (@vincentdepaul)

    Emotional. Touching.

  7. Folakemi Emem-Akpan (@Folakemi)

    Poignant, sad, beautiful, soul-bearing, emotional, touching, heartbreaking. Peace, hope and a glass of cool water. That’s all I need too.

  8. Omena (@menoveg)

    Please wake up! Peace!! Wakie wakie!! Who will now write all these beautiful stories????

  9. Its a very beautiful piece. it reminds one of those days growing up – the good, the bad and the ugly stuffs; friendships – those that were true to it and the fake ones. What a life that we live in. And truly, I believe – all we need is Peace, Hope and a Cool Glass of Water…

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