“She’s an epitome of beauty,
An abyss of mystery,
A riddle that escapes me,
If only a chance awaits me,
to show her my reasons to pursue her,
But a stranger she sees,
if only she’d give me a chance as small as it may be,
it would mean the world to me” (first poem I wrote her 14/04/12 )
The weeks that followed the phone call came with a lot of reflections,
recoveries and resolutions. I had given up on love. I love romance, but I
realized I only loved the idea of it. I have always been careful of hurting
girls that liked me. I didn’t want to be that guy, the jerk you see in
movies that was comfortable breaking hearts. I have been rejected by
girls before, I have felt the pain of losing someone you liked. But the
pain of losing the one you loved is incomparable. If it was the pain
alone, then it’d manageable, but its everything else that comes with it.
It is knowing that who you are wasn’t enough and your best efforts
amounted to nothing. It is that crushing feeling that comes after leaving
yourself vulnerable, leaving it all on the table and hoping to get a lasting
connection in return only to have it thrown back at you. With the pain
came betrayal, losing hope in the concept of love and generally having
a major shift in your entire outlook. .

Everything I was feeling now was new to me. And I knew if I dwelled in
that slump, if the pain continued to fester, I risked loosing myself. I
risked hardening my heart and painting the world black along the way. I
knew if I didn’t come to a resolve, I would loose something even more
precious.
So I set out to making some changes. I found Boys to men’s Good guy
along the way and that song became my anthem. I wasn’t going to be a
good guy anymore, love was for suckers, no one needs a knight in
shining armor anymore, so I might as well settle for the these skinny
jeans and t-shirts. Turns out beauty really is for the beast. I had given
up.

I still wasn’t telling people about it, not my mom or my sisters. Just a
few close friends. At first I was ashamed to say it out loud. Then I
realized it wasn’t just shame. Because when all is said and done, I still
wanted Na’ima to be happy. I understood why she decided to do what
was right for her and I couldn’t blame her for that. I promised to make
her happy and I wasn’t about to renege on that promise. I also knew if I
told people about it, they wouldn’t understand this. I didn’t want anyone
to think bad of her and to paint her as the villain in all this. They didn’t
understand our relationship, no one ever did.
With this realization came some peace, turns out I didn’t hate her, not
really. This pain came with something I never had, something I never
had the courage to do, I could move on now. But still, I had to make
some changes, I was determined to never get hurt like this again. So my
first resolution, I was also going to do what was right for me. I would
only accept love that was mutual. And since I was extremely insecure
and hurt at this point, I came to the conclusion that would be my
children. All that remained was to get an arranged marriage done and
work towards having kids. I would treat my wife with respect, take care
of her and always be kind to her. I am kind to strangers already, so that
shouldn’t be a problem.

In retrospect, there were signs. Signs that Na’ima didn’t really love me.
But I ignored them. I ignored and persevered until finally on a lovely
morning in May 2016, she said “I know I don’t say this often and I
probably really suck at showing it, but I love you habibi, and I feel
really lucky to have you in my life”
One of them was the first time I told her I loved her face to face, it
happened in 2014. Our relationship had been getting stronger and
stronger. So I finally decided to have the conversation I had been
dreading for over 2 years. Actually my friend convinced me to have the
talk. Seeing how I was hanging on the balance, unable to move on and
unable to be with her, he advised to clear things with her. And whatever
outcome, I could finally move forward. So I drew a plan, if she said she
didn’t love me, then that would be the reason I needed to move on with
my life.

I went to see her. Extremely nervous. We went for a ride. I was silent for
minutes, meditating trying to formulate the words I would say to her. I
finally started.
“So Na’ima, you know that I love you. I’ve known this for a long time.
And I dont care what anyone says, I know you’re the one for me and
that’s all that matters. I guess now the question is how do you feel
about me?” I said. My heart was pounding waiting for her to respond.
Even though I made my declarations, what I really wanted was to be
with her.
“Listen I really do like you. But right now I’m in a place where I can only
care about myself. I know this relationship thingy is not for me. But if I
would be in one right now, I know it’d be with you. I really hope we can
continue being friends. I don’t want to lose what we have.”
And that was it. I thought I got what I needed to finally move on. It was
clear she didn’t me see as anything more than a friend. And I did. I
successfully moved on for the next few weeks. Then for some reason,
as I replayed that conversation, what I started hearing was that “she
wasn’t ready now and she would in the near future”, there was hope.
I really was a sucker for love.

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Adam is an aspiring writer, born and raised in Kaduna. He enjoys traveling to different Nigerian states to explore the culture and meet new people. He works in community development with special interest in education, sustainable environment and girl child empowerment. He wishes to use his writing to discuss uncommon social issues in Northern Nigeria and other human interactions

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