I SAW HIM AT THE PARK, I FALL IN LOVE WITH HIM
WRITTEN BY: OLATOMI ABIODUN
While trying to explain to the driver that I left my wallet at home, she came to my rescue and quickly paid the money to avoid any further embarrassment from the already livid driver. I was bemused by her action and I gladly thanked her for coming to my aid.
We parted only to meet again in a lecture hall. It was then I got to know that she is my coursemate, and a beautiful friendship started. She was everything a man could want in a woman. She was all shades of awesomeness.
The lady who showed me what true love was. She showed me the joy of having someone who you truly loved. We were best of friends. We were so close, our coursemates thought we were dating.
Oh, well. I wanted that, too… I mean, I always wanted to date her and have her all to myself, but I was scared of what she will say… I was scared that she would not reciprocate my love.
What if she thinks I’m trying to play her, What if she stops being friends with me… No, I can’t afford to lose a friendship like hers.
She was the epitome of beauty. Smart, ambitious, industrious, and most importantly, caring. She was the kind of woman I fantasized about spending the rest of my life with.
The last person I see before I sleep, and the first person I see when I wake up, my forever partner. The person I want to go on the journey of love with. The only one I want to grow old with.
But, I was just too scared to let my feelings show.
So our friendship only ended at the “bestie” level. People actually thought she was the love of my life… What can I say? She was the love of my life, but I didn’t know if she felt the same way about me.
After our convocation from the university, as if fate was on my side, we were posted to the same state to serve our fatherland.
I was posted as a teacher to a secondary school, and she was posted to a reputable accounting firm as a junior accountant. Though we will be far from each other, we always found a way to see… At least three times a week.
I read books and watched tutorials on how to woo a lady… Crazy, right? I know. I’d feel so motivated after watching such videos, but when I come to see her face I’d be so awestruck, my tongue gets tied.
I love her. Heaven knows that I do. But would fear let me show? No.
I didn’t know how to tell her that I truly loved, and wanted to wife her. How do I tell this woman that I want her to be by my side, in my quest to conquer the world?
The day we did our POP, I promised myself to propose to her… I even bought a ring. I practiced what I saw in a video so many times, just to make sure I didn’t do the wrong thing.
I decided to call her and ask to meet. Before I even failed her number, her call came through. She sounded excited as she said, “I would love us to meet in the evening. I have some good news for you.”
My excitement matched hers as I told her I wanted to see her, too. She agreed to meet at our usual place later in the evening.
That evening immediately she saw me, she hugged me and with joy written all over her face, she said, “I’ve been seeing a guy. We met at the form where I work. Guess what? He proposed to me, and I said yes… Your girl would be getting married soon!”
That evening, I felt like the whole world stopped. It hurt so much, I thought someone reached inside my chest and pulled my heart out. The wall was closing in, I felt the darkness settling over me.
I came back to reality when I heard her voice, “So bestie, what is the surprise you said you had for me?” As she softly slapped my chest.
Wait. I couldn’t tell her that I loved her anymore. All I could do was be happy for her, “nothing special babe, I just want to tell you that I have gotten a job” I replied ruefully.
“Wow… That calls for a celebration, this is a double celebration”, she said giggling. My heart was crumbling, but I gave her the best smile I could muster…
On 24th May 2016, I will never forget that day. It was her wedding day. My one true love was taken away from me, and there was nothing I could do. She was kissing someone else, and I had no right to stop them. It hurt so much, I had to lie about being sick to excuse myself.
That night, she called me to ask me if I was fine as she was told that I couldn’t wait till the end of the wedding because I was sick… After a short, and sweet conversation, I wished her a happy married life. I hung up and cried myself to sleep.
Day turned to week, weeks to months, and months to years.
Over time, it felt like I died. I wasn’t myself anymore, nothing really excited me. I tried to date someone else in a bid to forget her, but it didn’t work. I could not love anyone else… There’s no one else for me.
Three years after her wedding, I received a phone call from a strange number,
“Hello… Is this uncle Adewale?” A female voice asked calmly from the other end.
“Yes… Please who am I speaking with”, I inquired.
“This is Excel, Gloria’s younger sister”, she replied. My heart skipped a beat as her name was mentioned, “Oh! Good evening ma’am.
How is Gloria?” I asked, still surprised that her younger sister would call me.
She sobbed, “We lost her, she died this morning during childbirth. We are just glad the baby is alive. She died immediately after the baby came because she lost so much blood” and broke down in tears… I couldn’t believe what I just heard. No, not my own Gloria. Why did this have to happen?
Watching her be with someone else was better. God, why did this have to happen?
On the day of her burial, I wasn’t myself. I couldn’t control the tears that were freely flowing from my eyes. I lost her twice.
Looking at her beautiful oval face for the last time, “I love you and I am really sorry I couldn’t prove it to you till you died” was all I could manage to say…
The next day, I went to her family’s house to pay my last respect.
After a while, her diary was brought out by her younger sister, “Gloria said when she dies, I should read this diary to the world.”
While Excel was reading through her diary, I got to know more about her pain and some of her past experiences in relationships. When she was alive, she always didn’t like talking about it.
Then in one of the pages she wrote, “From the day I saw him at the park, I fell in love with him. I don’t know if this is stupid but I think it was love at first sight. He was perfect, my dream man. I love the way he was calm and collected despite the drivers shouting.
I was elated when I got to know he was my coursemate. Our friendship was the best thing that has ever happened to me but I wanted more than friendship. I wanted to be his woman, I wanted him to be mine and mine alone, but he never popped the question.
I saw the love in his eyes, but I never wanted to rush to conclusions. He might just love me as a friend. Day after day, I tried to pop the question but I was scared, I was so scared of what he would do so I kept it to myself.
I love him, I love him and I love him. I wanted to lay my head on his broad chest as he sings sweet love songs to me. I wanted to kiss those beautiful lips of his and tell him how much I cared. I wanted to be his woman, fighting and conquering the world with him but it seems we were never meant to be together.
Dear Diary, when you see him, tell him how much I waited for him to pop that question. Tell him how disappointed I was that he didn’t. Tell him I would love him till my every last breathe”
After she read the last line, I broke down in tears like a little kid. Everyone present was bewildered by my action, “I lost her the third time”, I said as the tears kept pouring over my cheeks.
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WRITTEN BY: OLATOMI ABIODUN