Of ghosts of erstwhile lovers (1)
I’ve always been your easygoing girl-next-door kinda girl. Lazy some say, but let’s just say I have a wide comfort zone ; ). One of the perks of being laid-back was that i never really had the drive to pick a fight or be mistrustful of other people. I found those things energy-draining. Whenever people made statements like ‘don’t trust anyone’, I felt they came from another planet.
Fast-forward almost three decades into her life, and your girl-next-door has ‘hired’ a friend to help investigate her new ‘love interest’. When did I become this person that gets a panic attack because someone saw someone in her man’s car? Hey, before you judge me, let me give you a background story.
The first blow life dealt me in the area of trust was subtle but numbing. It was sometime in 2011, during my NYSC. Orientation camp was thick with ‘relationship fever’. Every girl wanted a boyfriend. Single girls, married girls alike. For the guys, it seemed they all had a common goal; to get in between as many thighs as possible in the three weeks that camp lasted. As for me, I wanted no part in all that frenzy, I hated every minute of camp! I couldn’t get past the dirty toilets, the boring lectures, the endless military-style marching, oh the endless marching! And don’t even get me started on the ‘illiterate graduates’. Grammatical errors flew left, right, centre like missiles during a war. What sort of graduates are our Nigerian Universities churning out? My heart bleeds for our education system. But I digress.
How I met this guy on camp, I honestly do not remember. Was he in my platoon? Did I randomly bump into him? Did I see him with a book and ask to look at it? It seems my brain simply refused to store that memory. Anyway let’s call him Johnny. He came around and warmed his way into my heart. Suddenly camp didn’t seem so bad after all. I even started to catch the relationship bug, but I had a criteria any potential ‘camp boyfriend’ must meet; it’s either he schooled abroad or he had a Masters degree. Why? Just because.
Johnny schooled in Malaysia, so even with his not-so-good English laced with misplaced Ls and Rs, I entertained his presence. We remained friends even after camp, and started to date a few months after we met. I wasn’t in love with him, but his persistence won me over. My instinct told me I had no business dating him, but I always told myself I was single and bored, so I stood to lose nothing. Little did I know i was setting myself up for the seed of mistrust to be sown in my life. I should have listened.
Things went well with Johnny. There were occasional dates and visits. I went with him to his church most Sundays. After every service I would throw a tantrum on our way home, but the next Sunday, yours truly will get dressed again and wait for Johnny to come pick her up. You see, it was a few months to the 2011 general elections and I found services in Johnny’s church rather political. Every service felt like being present at the manifesto of a political party. In retrospect I wonder if my tantrums were justified. But once again I digress.
My cousins and friends liked Johnny. It was hard not to like him, with his calm endearing nature and all. I never really nursed thoughts of him being ‘the one’, but I got very comfortable with him. Comfortable until a certain name ‘Joyce’ started appearing too frequently on his phone. Comfortable until I noticed his phone was always on silent mode when I was around. Comfortable until I noticed Johnny’s phone that usually lay carelessly around his living room was now always hidden in his pocket. I decided to do some investigation on his Facebook profile, and I was able to match the name to a face. I confronted him, and was told some cock-and-bull story. Naive as I was, I believed him.
I got to work early one beautiful Wednesday morning and decided to browse through my Facebook page while I waited for my colleagues to arrive. The first thing I saw on my timeline were photos Johnny had put up of himself and Joyce hand in hand, with that smirk typical of new lovers plastered on their faces. Wow, i certainly didn’t see that coming. STRIKE ONE!
I moved on after Johnny, met and fell in love with this amazing guy, Uzo. He was the perfect gentleman, mature, and did I mention tall, dark and handsome? We had our little disagreements of course, but these were nothing to be compared to the good times. It should have been the perfect relationship. Perfect if I wasn’t constantly nursing the fear that someday Uzo would pull a ‘Johnny’ on me. Uzo handled my mistrust with a lot of maturity, and we got along fine till I got a job elsewhere and had to move to a new location. Neither of us put in enough effort to make our long-distance relationship work, and we eventually drifted apart.
I moved on with my life, new city, new job, new toasters; the good, the bad, the ugly, and the dude that dealt me STRIKE TWO! He belonged in a category of his own. Let’s call him Abel. Ah, where do I start from with this one!?
Our meeting was boy meets girl at the bus stop, they connect instantly, share a cab, and then…
To be continued… una too like gist
DISCLAIMER: This may or may not be fiction…