*ASUU was at their best again, this time, the strike was to be about 6 months long. Weeks before, my Uni started an internal strike so I was home doing practically nothing when my dad decided to send me to an IT institution to learn how to be a programmer. I would arrive as early as 7:30am for lectures that weren’t going to commence until 9am, leaving home early was the only way to beat Lagos traffic.
Asides from the security officers, only about 5 of us were that punctual. As I am wont to do in places I’m not used to, I would **jejely sit at the lobby without talking to anyone, well, until I became gist mate with ESO. I really can’t remember details of our first conversation, but it was about football. It was April 2006 and the world cup (Germany 2006) was approaching. Like many other guys, he was stunned at how passionate I was about football. And as if that wasn’t enough, we were both fans of Manchester United!
So the endless gists before and after classes continued until I concluded the modules I had registered for. While I was enjoying all the attention and considering taking another course, ASUU called off its strike and I had to return to school. This was the genesis of our long telephone chats, mind you, he was doing all the calling but I made great conversation so no complains. I have to admit that I’m not so good at calling people, I just don’t understand why.
Ok... so 2006 goes by and nothing serious happens. Let me tell you a little about myself...
I’m very book smart (ask my grades, they’ll tell you) but when it comes to love and matters of the heart, I just seem to test positive to A-S-S (acute slow syndrome). Growing up, all that mattered to me were my grades; boys were just not worth it. The mindset was that if you do well, you’ll get a good job and all the boys would be running after you, after all no man wants a dullard for company. So I dedicated all my time to studying, I liked staying home, either watching TV or reading. My mum would sometimes force me to attend birthday parties; I just never liked all the noise.
In retrospect, I’ll say as regards boys/guys and relationships, I was just slow. A guy would send me cards/notes saying he cares blah blah blah, as long as he doesn’t mention LOVE, this brain of mine would not decode he’s stylishly asking for a relationship – no be my fault, if it was Edgeworth Bowley box, I would have understood it in a flash.
This was the case with ESO. For over a year the guy was calling me and I was enjoying it. The only thing I knew for sure was I liiiiiiiiikeeeeeeeed him. We shared this verbal intimacy that was unrivalled. I had never felt like that before about anyone. At some point he chided me about my attitude and I stupidly said I wasn’t attracted to him yada yada yada... I was such an ignoramus. After my birthday in October, he stopped calling and that was when it hit me.
Uni was on holiday and I had time to just sit and think. I was missing him so much, I had become used to running things by him, we would discuss endlessly about things that were going on in our lives – me about school and him about work. It took my cuz knocking my head back into position for me to truly understand it – I was in love with ESO... I had been for quite some time but I had been too naive to know what to do about it. This wasn’t rocket sciene yet it had been difficult for me to decipher, that part of my brain just didn’t activate on time.
So months passed and nothing! ESO had decided to give me space. Space I had once asked for but now hated! I felt like I was being punched in the exact point a bullet had gone through. I wanted more than anything in the world to be with him; have him call me and him me at odd hours... kai, I had been a mugu!
After many months of waiting in silence and pain, I summed up courage and called him just to say hi. He sounded so cold; the conversation couldn’t have ended fast enough. Thereafter, he began to call again, we spoke more, sorted out ‘issues’ but things were never the same. His job had become his first love. We had this conversation in which he made it clear that his goals had changed.
I felt everything all at once – heartbreak, anger, rejection. I held on to hope, hope that wasn’t there.
After many months of torturing myself, I snapped out of it. Why was I even mourning something that was probably dead from the beginning? Why would I expect anything other than what I got, after all I had him waiting all the while? Revenge is indeed served cold (or maybe not). It was time to start a new phase.
I have since moved on and I’m alot smarter now. I’m more of a binoculars now... I know a guy’s intentions even while he’s still thinking about it (ok, I’m exaggerating). I have had time to discover who I really am and the things I want. I am now totally committed to being a better me. Afterall she who’s searching for Mr Right must also be groomed to be Mrs Right.
‘Searching’? I don’t even know why we use that word. It’s not like we’re collecting bio data of every supposed eligible person we meet. Anyway, truth is, I’m not searching in that sense, I’m just so sure I’ll meet someone who’ll love me enough to stick around despite my imperfections and hopefully, the feeling will be mutual.
And just in case you were wandering, yes, much as I tried, I couldn't get myself to hate him. ESO and I speak with each other thrice every year - January 1st (for obvious reasons), his birthday and mine which BTW are just a week apart.
*ASUU = Academic Staff Union of Universities
**Jejely = gently