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We had just welcomed the night sky when Abisoye ran to my house… she brought news… Akinyele had returned…. after 5 months. She wanted me to be prepared, for she was certain he would call on me in the morrow.
The morrow came, Akinyele never came. He went about his business… as if he has erased whatever was or could be.
But I wanted answers… I was certain I deserved them… that they would somehow lighten the heaviness I feel in my heart.
So, after 8 months of dead silence… 3 months after Akinyele returned, I sacrificed my pride for answers and I took another trip to Baba Agba’s compound.
I found Akinyele, like I knew I would….
I asked why he left so suddenly… without a word
I asked why he couldn’t simply tell me it was over….
I asked why he disappeared for many months and why he returned and carried on… still without a word.
I told him I did my best … I asked why he chose to leave… why he wouldn’t let me in
Akinyele said he was sorry… that he was a coward. He said he wanted to reach out… to explain, but he didn’t know how… so days became weeks… and the weeks became months
He says he feels bad for how it ended… that he was sorry he hurt me.
My heart dropped… yet the heaviness remained. I was hurt… I still am, and I told him so. I’m also angry, angry at the way he discarded all that we shared, I wanted him to hurt as much as I do, I wanted so badly to hate him…
But instead, I told him I understand why he left… that I waited for months, holding on to the hope that what we had was strong enough to survive.
I told him I would never understand the dead silence… at least not in this life time.
I told him a word… just a word while he was away would have reassured me.
He said he was ashamed when he returned… that he was very sorry.
Akinyele sounded like he was sorry, yet his apology was not enough… it didn’t make me feel better… just angrier. So, I turned my back to him, and walked out of his father’s compound. Without a backward glance… I left… leaving behind a piece of me.
I told Abisoye of all his words… of his apology and my anger. She asked what kind of answer would make me feel better, but I didn’t know. She said no answer or explanation will lighten my heart… that in fact, some answers are better left unknown.
She took a long look at me… and said “I know how much Akinyele hurt you, but one thing you’ve learnt from all this is that he is the kind of man to isolate himself and disappear when storm comes. Life is full of storm, my friend”
“Would you stay with a Man who would leave you in a storm or do you deserve better?”
For many days, I thought of nothing but Akinyele’s apology and Abisoye’s words…
I thought of how his disappearance made me feel small… smaller than my pint-sized body and how disposable I feel. I thought of the world I built for 3 years, of how his silence had pulled it down.
Then I cried…not for him… but for the heart that loved and lost… for the girl that loved One and missed out on Thousands.
Then I cried… for him… for the man who gave up on someone who would have never given up on him.
And then I wept… for a love lost.
For many weeks after, I reminded myself of who I am…. and of the values dear to me. I reminded myself of how much I like ’me’ and how much love surrounds me.
So, I bade farewell to what was, to what could have been and to what would now never be, hoping that soon… when my heart bleeds no more, the realization that I deserved better would lighten my heart.