Archive | January 2014

Truth Teller

almost always

I read somewhere that to copy something is a great form of flattery… My own version of Betty’s “The truth Teller”. Please read and let me know your thoughts.

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“…So what is your problem with Enitan?” Mrs Odumosu asked Kolade her twenty-nine year old son as they finished their dinner. He had talked about Enitan for more than a year now and each conversation had him grinning wide and laughing and his eyes lit up in ways she had not seen before Enitan; each conversation had her more convinced that Kolade loved Enitan, that he adored the young woman. Today however, they ate quietly and their conversation some how had no story about Enitan and his feelings for her. She had wondered why he had not said anything about his plans for her and if he wanted to take their budding relationship to the next level and her desire to see her son happy and settled with more children that would call her grand-ma made her impatient besides she could sense that something wasn’t quite right.
She liked Enitan although she thought the twenty-three year old lady talked a lot and was always excited the few times she came around. She brought so much energy and light into their somewhat quiet life. She was like a lantern. She liked that Enitan didn’t seek to pretentiously impress her like the other two girls Kolade had brought home during his university days did. She didn’t lie about knowing how to make amala nor did she pretend to love changing Amanda, Tanwa’s six months old baby’s diapers the last time she visited but she made a mental note to teach her how to turn amala, it was Kolade’s favourite. She liked how happy she made her son. She knew he loved her more than he was willing to admit and she wished her husband were still alive to explain to her why Kolade had refused to get married. He was the one who usually had all the answers, he was the one Kolade was more comfortable with…The one Kolade listened to more…
“She’s tells all the truth mum” Kolade answered. At first, Kolade loved the honesty, he still did although he didn’t admire it as much as he did when he met her. He loved how he could trust what she said. He loved how she wasn’t like the usual girls he dated who said ‘yes’ when they actually meant ‘no.’ Enitan wasn’t afraid to share her true feelings for him even when she was unsure he felt the same way. She felt the honest need to share all of her truth weather you needed it or not. He loved that about her but it was almost equally what he feared most about her.
“Ah” how is that a problem my child? isn’t that a noble trait in this your generation where everything is sugar-coated and everything is an illusion of what they really are? are you not favored to find a girl whose words you can actually trust? Mrs Odumosu responded. She had feared that Enitan had the same genotype as her “AS”son or that she had removed her womb due to abortion when she was younger, she didn’t expect Kolade to accuse to young girl of “telling all the truth”
“Hmmmmn” Kolade sighed deeply as he wished he wasn’t as pessimistic as he was about Enitan’s type of truthfulness but he couldn’t help the nagging thoughts. What if he is unable to satisfy her like she wants to be satisfied after they got married?
What if things are not as rosy as they are now years later? He was confident of his love and commitment to her but what would she do when she meets someone better than him? what will happen in those times when they both consider letting go? would she do him the honor of lying just a little bit, of concealing some of the truth at least?
“I wish it was easy as you’ve put it mum, what will happen when the passion dies and the love grows cold, what happens if she has doubts? What happens if I can’t make her as happy as she makes me? As happy as she should be? Would she stop telling all the truth there is about our relationship then? With Eni, I would be the custodian of plenty truths. Wouldn’t such knowledge eventually kill me?  I said I trusted her truthfulness mum, it is her love that I’m not sure will last forever..”
“..But at what point do you know where you draw the line? How can we determine the boundaries in which our lies can be cherished. Wouldn’t the very people we seek to protect accuse us later when the truth grows into the light and refuses to be held back in the dark room of ignorance? Sweet lies and honey colored shades are not the foundations upon which lasting relationships should be built. Bitter truths give freedom and nourish our relationships more that we have sought to understand all-though they have the capacity to hurt initially..” Mrs Odumosu continued explaining as she remembered how Just five years ago, she almost lost her daughter Tanwa when she  found out that she was adopted. She was disappointed that she had not been honest about the circumstances surrounding her birth and it had created a huge vacuum in their relationship as it had in her academics at the time. Mrs Odumosu wasn’t even sure which part hurt Tanwa more; the part where she wasn’t initially told or the part about being adopted and she still regrets loosing her daughters trust. Her daughter who opened the door for her other three children to come, the daughter she was most proud of. Her husband had suggested that they keep it from the other children until Tanwa was ready to tell them.. Kolade still didn’t know that the blood connection he often said he felt with his best sister wasn’t entirely real.
“I guess we all deserve to be lied to mum, even if it is a little…”
“hmmmmn…” Mrs Odumosu sighed as she hugged her only son deeply and decided to stop pressurizing him to marry Enitan the truth-teller now. She would wait until he was ready to handle the truth, until he was ready for the consequences and joy’s of love and commitment and she prayed it would happen soon.
‘I guess I agree with you today son. May The Truth set us free and may His strength find expression in our weakness..’ Mrs Odumosu finished as she got up and took the plates to the kitchen.

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Almost Always

For a long time I would imagine that we’re still together and free to be in love and my dreams will offer me the opportunity of telling you the things you cannot know while I am awake. My appreciation for sleep and the temporary visits to you it provides me will soon increase. My sisters will accuse me of sleeping too much. They wouldn’t understand the initial uselessness of my conscious hours without you. At the time they accuse me it would be out of well meaning and misinformed pity. Faith wouldn’t have met her husband Misoma then and neither will Itohan be able to understand what love means at that time. I would probably always love you. I would still be able to draw your smile and search for it on the faces of the nice guys I meet. The sound of your voice would almost always be the soft music playing faintly like the song which is about to end but hasn’t ended in the background of my mind. I would still be able to sing our song, I may even teach it to my son who will most likely not look like you but may behave like you. I would wonder if I unknowingly trained him to be like you.

For a long time, I will shun people who are like you, I will accuse them of trying to steal your place; a place that isn’t still yours to take. I will think of days when happiness was all we knew and cry with timid hope then cry and laugh at my foolishness which will permit me to cry some more. I will cry different tears and occasionally they would stray from their path down my cheeks into my mouth and I would taste the saltiness. I would constantly miss the flavor you brought to my life. Sometimes I wont be able to taste the tears, their stubborn paths may lead them to roll down into my ears. Remember when I told you tears could speak, I was writing a story about timid dreams and Toke my main character after nights of sexual abuse would feel as though her tears were calling out to her. She would feel her tears have a message for her. However, in the story, she would not be able to understand them. She would never be free.

Last week I put some make up on as I continued my journey away from us. I wanted my face to conceal all the emotions I easily wear on my face. I wanted to be less the passionate woman I am, I didn’t want to be in love. I constantly tried to go back to the moments just before I met you and beg for a chance to choose a different fate. The week before that I just wanted to be beautiful naturally. No masks, no hopes, I simply paraded the blemish out there, the dark spots and budding acne for all to see. My big nose no longer mattered. My beautiful eyes could tell the stories I wasn’t ready to share. All my heart did was miss you.

He would meet us when he meets me. I would want to share our silly jokes with him because those are all the jokes I know. I would realize how futile the effort would be but still get mad that he cannot say the things you would have said then I would apologize and hope he’d understand that a part of me will most likely always have your name on it which he shouldn’t try to take away. Some-days he would let me love you, most days, he would be jealous because I would love him but I would sometimes sub-consciously demand that he wears the shoes I bought for you and we would quarrel like you and I used to.

Those times, I’d compare the happiness I felt with you and the type I feel with him and feel ashamed that I still compare knowing how different the circumstances are and how very different the love will be. When he annoys me, I will let you console me. He will let me let you console me. Some-days I will beg, other days he will make peace and we would return back to loving each other. He would understand how unnecessary it is to fight what is alively-dead.

On many occasions I’d forget you. I’d forget how sad you made me feel and the depths of happiness you made me experience..those times I would be so caught up with too many responsibilities and fulfilling dreams I dreamed with you. I may not think of you in days but somewhere down the road when I go with my cousin to visit her former neighbors to invite them for her wedding, I’d hear someone call your name and memories like flashes will flood my head. Somewhere there’d be a street not fully named after you and I’d try to look away while I drive by but I’d steal a glance anyway and merge that nano second with memories that match while I take you out of that moment and give you some of the bear hugs you were famous for.

Someday deja vu would greet me at the parking area of a certain airport while I go to drop of my daughter who is off to college. On some-days a random person will look like you. Sometimes they will be older, sometimes they would be thinner but they would all remind me of you. Some-days I would be angry and strong, other times I would be thankful and strong but regardless of the alternating emotions, I’d be strong because I would believe in the powerful force that binds us.

Few years later, I would be directed to your grave. The hostile breeze will mock me and the bored grasses that sit on the stone where your remains are would welcome me. I would wish I was strong enough to have watched as they put you to rest and I would water bored grasses with tears of bitter sweet emotions and freedom as I think of you and all that could have been. I would wonder if our love was the end of you.

I would demand for freedom to leave you at last and love you forever. Freedom to make memories of you without you with word pads and wild imaginations. Freedom to cross the waters we couldn’t reach.

Sometimes I would feel like an unsung song because I would be with you but without you. There would be beautiful scars that tell your story. I would wound myself trying to uproot you from the sacred grounds of my heart. I would listen for my heart beat and hear yours. Eventually I’d accept how much of you I carry along with me; and just how alive you are through me. Eventually, I’d understand that you want me to be eternally happy and I’d find courage not to fight you so often.. I would understand that you wish to rest in peace and not the quagmire that now defines us. Soon but not so soon, I would love you forever but in a way that is free to be different from the kind that we knew while I accept we can no longer be us.

Before the moon comes out to play one dusty evening, I would be free. I would be like a bird in an open cage who stays for more than a while longer after her freedom arrives. I don’t know how the story would end, maybe one day you would walk back into my life from the great beyond. Each day will bring fresh possibilities and I would stop by often, but I would make progress.

Eventually, I would fly.

Beautiful Surprise

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She is my beautiful surprise. She took my cheeks and my feet. I didn’t even know I gave her my height too. She is quiet and strong, unique like her name and driven. I am not sure what drives her yet. Could it be because she has always wanted to meet me or because she missed me? If I had loved her before she loved me would she love me differently? or does blood offer such a powerful connection that it seeks you out and finds you even before you know it. Does blood offer a strong sense of magnet, does it stand in the middle of quagmires and still finds the ability to pull and attract like genes?

The waters that separated us and the bridge that connects us offer lessons on different platforms. The bridge is held together by secrets that separated but now bind. We share life now, let the scars only be beautiful reminders not maps with which we can visit the old wounds. On a second thought I consider the possibility of traveling from my island to yours. You have changed the emotional climate Of my world it is only fair that I understand what yours is made of.

I’ve looked. I see bitterness and a valley of broken dreams. Caves of repressed passion and will power but I’ve seen beauty from the ashes, the burnt down zeal and the slightly dropping shoulders. I feel guilty. Forget me and you would have turned out greater but I am not the type to regret actions and choices, I believe the higher power utilizes them and carefully orchestrates them for my ultimate good. So I re-focus. I see the colorful future and the ability of a surprise to change, nurture and bring freedom from stereotypes and single stories. I see my beautiful surprise as the missing link to the achievement of new paradigms and cultures.

Sometimes I want to be angry at you. Why would you hide something so precious. Why did you choose amongst other options to delay this happiness. Did you really not want to be with me? I wouldnt have happily taken our diamond away; the most precious of all that would later remind you of me. As much as i wanted you, the decision would have been yours to make but at least I would have been a part of the new life we share. The new life that has tormented you into willful submission. Maybe I should be happy but did your beautiful eyes have such monstrous view of me? Why would you sacrifice her proper development for trivial issues.

My heart has stopped beating as fast as it used to, as fast as I want it to. Decades have taught my frail heart to become cold and inactive so I’m thankful for the fresh possibilities and warmth my beautiful suprise constantly offers me. I like to be the victim, the giver not  the timid father with absent years I may never be able to fully catch up with. Other fruits of my loins may not understand. I’m preserving this beauty for myself for as long as I can, then for them. This beautiful surprise will have its consequences that she adorns herself with but i am too old and too wise to care about tantrums and sibling rivalry that i know blood can dissolve.

Why dont we take it on from here. She found me, let her find you too but the finder needs to be loved. Blood streams that flow fresh with passionate red and waves of friendship transcends other relationhsips that man can form from the comfort of his mind and experiences. It surpasses the waters that seek to divide and wash. Blood is a connection that water cannot adequately form. It is God that chooses those boundaries and ties and helps us gravitate towards them. How he put me at the centre and in charge of such a beautiful soul and says she belongs to me as a result of my misbehaviour doesnt even feel like punishment. I am grateful for this kind of consequence. I am grateful that i can still be her father in my life time. I long to give her all that I am capable of and take adequate care of her. I want to be able to merge the experiences i couldn’t give her and the characters she has formed and compress time and memories with us in it for her.

Soon she would be for another. She’d decide if she wants him to be like me. i would hope she would flatter me by that but I would expect her to choose more; to negotiate a better future for herself. Later she’d bring boys that have my face and girls that call me pa and i would wonder when I became so old and soft and surprisingly I would love to be old and soft. I would love the custodian of my beautiful surprise for doing a good job thus far. I wont let such a custodian love on a strong level. I would make love easy for her. I would send her parcels of happiness, I would warn her to never hide secrets from me. Secrets I am a part of. I would shamelessly demand for the total honesty I wasn’t able to bring to the table.

I seek peace, I’m reaching out to freedom. Freedom to love and be free. Freedom to handle gifts i couldnt handle effectively. Freedom to know I messed up and courage to exploit the available right options. Help me do right by all who carry bits of me. I would need wisdom and strength to die happy and empty. Wait for me my beautiful surprise. I am trying to slowly and breathlessly catch up with you as you lead me to the heights of blood that I havent successfully climbed yet.