“How long are you going to stay in this room for?” The loud deep voice of my roommate Chris rang over my head again for the umpteenth time! When would she ever get that I just want to be bloody left alone! Right now, I would kill for a place outside this room, heck outside the country in a very far away island, anywhere that could offer me isolation.
Laying in my mess of a bed, lights all turned off is the only near-to-comfort I could get. Life had knocked me down pretty bad this time and I have little or no energy left in me to fight back. I have lost this one, and I’m not ashamed to wallow in this defeat. All I wanted was a love that would last forever; I didn’t think that was too much to ask for.
“You’ve been in here for the past week now, how long more Didi, ehn?” Chris’s screamed again, “FOR AS LONG AS I WANT!” I screamed back at her, lifting my body a bit so I could look right at her face maybe she would get the clue, this time for real. We stared at each other for a second, “I just hope you know you made the right decision, you both were not meant to be together and that’s nobody’s fault” she turned around and slammed the door behind her.
“We were not meant to be together?” The audacity she has. Deep within I knew she was right, I was in denial but that was all I had at the moment and I wasn’t letting it slip away, oh and the memories, those were what has kept me sane these past days.
Knowing and Loving Teyi was one of the best things to have happened to me in my young adult life. Given the constant gbas gbos adulthood comes with; he was always the light at the end of the tunnel. Teyi and I had attended the same University but we barely ever said a full sentence to each other. Teyi was a friend to one of my coursemates Bunmi back in school; we were only just in each other’s presence when Bunmi was involved. It’s funny how life evolves and I’m in constant awe of it.
After school, I had started working at a firm in Lagos. It was my first week and I was trying out different eateries during lunch time, hoping to find the best by the end of the week. I’m too much of a foodie to settle for just anything. It was day four of my food quest and my colleagues had gushed about this restaurant that I was eager to try it out. While paying for my order, a loud voice hovered over my head “What energy drink do you have please” I couldn’t care less at that point, my food was a top priority, yet I couldn’t help but notice the alluring body fragrance of this individual, I didn’t have to think twice before turning and there he was, Teyi!
He looked at me like he was trying to remember my face
“Diekololaoluwa, right?” Ugh! the way my full name rolls out effortlessly from his mouth.
“And you said it in full” giving him an impressive look
“I always remember unique names”
I joined him at the table he was eating at; for individuals that had barely spoken to each other before, we had such a smooth conversation. I told him about my food quest and he found it ridiculous yet a fun idea and suggested we tried restaurants on the island during the weekend. He was that spontaneous with making plans. I couldn’t say no to food, could I?
“How do you know when you are in love” I remember asking Chris one evening months before I met Teyi, and just like everyone else, she gave me a cliché answer (or so I thought at the time) “You just know when you are” she replied. Boy was she right.
My feelings for Teyi grew so spontaneous yet naturally at the same time. Our friendship wasn’t one I had dreamt about blossoming into a relationship. Unlike my previous “situationships” where I was already envisaging our ‘first fight’ in just the talking stage, ours was just pure with the right feelings falling into place. These feelings were new to me; it felt so right and peaceful. I was happily making long phone calls; the Didi I knew never liked phone calls. I was a completely new person and it felt perfect. I knew I was in love, truly “you just know when you are”
Teyi asking me to be his girlfriend had to be one of the most blissful moments I had ever experienced. I remember being in such a foul mood a few days before, he had decided that we went to a park that night so I could ease off the stress, I reluctantly agreed because all I really wanted was long hour’s stretch of sleep but it was Teyi, he was the best at convincing me. He had set up a mini night out picnic with little yellow bulb lights, he made a playlist of our favourite songs and the icing on the cake was the variety of foods from my favourite restaurant at the time. It was all I never knew I needed at that time. Later that night he brought out a little note that had “10 reasons why you should be my girlfriend”. I had always imagined how, when and with who I would be having my first ever relationship with and that night surpassed all that I had imagined. Of course, I said Yes!
The ray of light from the corridor sat directly on my face, I was jolted back to reality, Chris was at the door again. This time she had her ‘bitch-resting’ face. She was mad at me, I could tell. “Kunbi wants to speak to you” she stretched forward her phone and walked out. Kunbi has been my bestfriend since forever, she was my childhood friend. Kunbi relocated to the United States a year back and just like Teyi she was very convincing.
“Really Didi? Please explain to me the jargons Chris is telling me. Did you and Teyi breakup? And she is saying something about you not leaving your room for the past week. Make all of these make sense Didi”
All that made it out of my lips were tears, I cried for a while. She was quiet for those minutes and allowed me to cry. “Okay just breathe, take your time and tell me what happened”
“Kunbi I feel so drained at the moment yet it feels like there is so much hurt I haven’t released yet”
“Wait, did he cheat?”
“Ughhh, No! Kind of wish he did now, maybe I would feel a bit better. Remember I told you he had a cousin who is a doctor?”
Teyi and his cousin Kevwe who is a doctor had come to see me at my apartment one evening, amidst our conversation; Kevwe had chipped in that they were having an outreach at the hospital that weekend, where there would be screening, blood donation, medical educations and all the ‘shebangs’. Teyi had suggested we volunteered to donate blood, I thought it was a great idea since I had never donated before. The weekend was here, and I was pretty nervous, I mean we were talking about needles and blood drawn out of me geez. The nurses had taken our blood to test for vitals (HIV, Hepatitis, Blood Group, Genotype etc) to confirm eligibility to donate. When we were done and our blood results were handed to us. I was waving Kevwe bye while Teyi was in the car waiting, I got in and noticed a change in his countenance, looking through the test results.
“Didi, I thought you told me you were AA”
“Yea? Why?” I was looking at him with a stink eye
“But it says here that you are AS”
“What do you mean?” I snatched the paper out of his hand. I couldn’t understand what I was seeing. There had to be a mix up somewhere, I was too sure, I had seen AA in my result during my medical examination for my youth service
“I don’t understand whatever this result is saying, we might have to go back in there now and do another test” I stuttered; obviously tensed.
I tried out so many hospitals, it was becoming crazy at this point and every single time it was the same result “AS” How??????
Teyi’s genotype was also AS, he had been in a relationship prior to us meeting that had ended due to genotype, so he was very deliberate when he was pursuing a relationship with me, I had genuinely thought I was AA until now.
“So who called off the relationship?” Kunbi asked
“No one specifically, we just struggled for a while trying to make sense of all that was happening, and it was better we gave ourselves the space for now, which obviously means us breaking things off”
Teyi and I were (rather are) still so much in love but we aren’t selfish people (sometimes I wished that we are). We were not going to continue the relationship knowing fully well the consequences of doing so. He had experienced the horrors of sickle cell anaemia when he lost his younger brother to it and he vowed to never subject any of his children to such cruelty.
We’ve both decided not to get in touch with each other until we had healed adequately. “I don’t know when that time would be Kunbi, knowing that he would never be mine and he would be resting in the arms of another woman in the future, shatters me every second. “How would I survive this heartbreak, Kunbi, how?!” I said with tears rolling down my cheeks again.
Time Didi, time heals us all, she said. This too shall pass.
Editor: @adelekeore IG