At the time of writing this, I have been battling with an annoying cold/flu for 5days.
Being sick sucks!
And it sucks even more when you, had just taken the flu shot the week before to prevent getting sick.
That for me, highlighted one of the things I truly wanted to focus on this year.
Letting God have his way/allowing his will alone to be done.
I got the flu shot expecting to alter the happenings in my favor but nope.
That’s how life is.
But it’s funny that through sniffles and coughs, I am thankful for much.
God– This sounds like a cliche one but boy am I thankful for God. If only for taking the tears out of my eyes, I am thankful.
I closed out 2014, broken.
Unable appreciate love and life, I asked that this year, his will alone be done.
He has had my back, directed my path and opened doors I never expected.
He has kept me and you and for that, I am thankful.
Sanity of Mind– there are so many out there that have the things you and I pray for but have no sanity.
Insanity (no link to the grueling workout routine which I am NOT thankful for btw) doesn’t mean madness like in the last Nollywood movie you watched per se but it means I can still appreciate life.
Some have the money and they are watching their backs, have children who hate them, or family members that want them dead. But me?
I’m thankful for where God has me and where he is taking me.
Peace– I am thankful how much of this I have now but also using it to challenge God for more.
My relationship with God– I am thankful for this relationship more than most.
God is faithful and he does some amazing things. I have felt myself growing in him and I’m happy to be back serving in his house.
I have been accused of trying to “over religiousize” my life decisions but I fear not, he will do what he promised to do.
My Job– thank you. For the paycheck, friends made and the lives I have been able to touch. Lord, I thank you.
My Gift– by my count, WhatTheHeckMan has been around for a little over two years. In that time, I have written 23 series and a total of 143 posts. I don’t know where these stories come from. I’m not even sure how it is that I write them but God gave it to me and for this i am eternally grateful.
With my gift of writing and creativity, I have inspired people, motivated people, educated and challenged people. That for me is purpose related and I am thankful for the opportunity to be a vessel.
WhatTheHeckMan– it started off as an outlet to the get over a toxic relationship. But it led me to all these fabulous ones. I have formed and solidified some amazing friendships through this platform. The engagement and the fun we have on here, makes me feel out of this world.
The Comments– I am thankful for this section on its own because you guys may not believe me but you don’t know how much, how important your comments are to me.
I read them over, they make me happy. Even as I write these stories in the darkness and isolation of my room, it gladdens my heart to interact with you all.
I feel connected to the outside. To you, to your feelings on these things I create out of the blue. I thank you for validating my weird thoughts and storylines. Thank you for tolerating my weird twists, story lines and cliffhangers you love so much! 😊😊😊
Above all, thank you for growing with me.
Now to the people I love and I am thankful for.
My father– you are a man of integrity. A man with such a big heart. Inspirational to me in more ways than one. Daddy, I love you.
My mother– Amazing. My relationship with my mother has come leaps and bounds this year. And she has been soooo solid for me.
Never letting me fall or get too down. I am thankful for her following her dreams as they have inspired me too.
My mother is my angel and she’s a Dr. now! Awesome you say? I have to agree. 😊
My siblings– every year, I thank you guys for being worthy siblings.
For never letting me feel like a failure. You are all living lives on the path to greatness. Thank you.
I pray God will continue to grow you and uplift you. I love you sooooo much!
F.M.S– Thank you. Thank you for being the best friend I could ask for. We have had our ups and downs, battles about who’s efo is better but you are just immense to me.
I am thankful for your life and all the amazing things God has done and will continue to do with you.
And now, in no particular order
Being B– Thank you for chasing your dreams. I thank you for always being there. To listen, to pray, to motivate, to annoy me. Thank you.
The Saturday Morning show is a HIT. You’re still the right kind of annoying tho. 2016 project?
Can you be fixed??? 😂😂😂
Nn– the only human being that can call me at 2am and want to have a full conversation and I’ll allow it.
I have seen you grow so much this year and I thankful for you and everything God does with and thru you.
Keep on being awesome. Keep touching lives. You are truly beautiful inside and out. Live it.
Zuliha– I am most thankful for the heart God has given you.
It works and it feels the great things God has deposited into people and in the world.
I am thankful for your pure “naivety”. It shows that through everything you have been through, with how many times you have been scheduled to fail, you have pulled through and God will do more amazing things with you.
Oya stop smiling, it has do abeg.
The Nigerian god– loyalty. It is always important to have that person that will go to bat for you always. That’s this guy.
He found love and is not annoying as fuck! But he has a good heart and I am thankful for it.
Itafe– you are such a voice of reasoning and a peaceful person. I am thankful for being able toobserve and be inspired by you.
Thank you Fagbon!
Dr. K– Inspirational. In many ways. You have helped align an amazing 2016 for me. Thank you.
Chi-ekene– the belief, the patience, the rotund laughter. Thank you so much. It’s refreshing having you in my corner.
The Lucky 7– Brothers.
No man is an island.
These men, they remind me to never forget where I can from.
H-Nam:- my annoying realist. I am thankful for those real perspectives. I don’t always seem like I appreciate it but believe me I do.
The Bar– Art. Thankful for those heavy days. The safety provided for self exploration and growth. Your staying true to yourself.
O-Akin: you always seem so surprised at the end of each story. Cracks me up!
S-Oke: editor of life. Thank you for the late turn ins, the random requests. The feedback.
The friendship. You’re just super dope!
WhatTheHeckMan Crew: I thankful for all do you for various reasons but off the top of my head
Ife– for alway being annoying. Never commenting but still supporting.
Mhorackz– your expectations of the art, drive the art to better levels. Thanks
Sinmi– Where are my NBA babies????
9jamadea– lol shortest comments. But secretly with a ton to say. Love it.
Feli Feli– thank you for your dedication. And welcome to the family.
Chy– you gotta stay closer to home (the blog). It’s fun at the house.
And everyone else that comments, shares, retweets and such. You all have given me so much life in 2015.
I am thankful that I have the presence of mind to be thankful for the things God has done for me.
I pray thanks and celebration will never depart from our lips.
What are you thankful for?
Family, life, health, food?
Share with me and have an absolutely fantastic Christmas!!!
This was not one of those situations where saying a bit was enough.
I needed something big.
As I weaved through traffic, I was consumed by trying to figure out this thing and not so much guilt.
The guilt for what happened would eventually come.
But for now, I need these danfos (buses) to get out of my way and I need the Lord to come my way and save me.
As I turned the corner about 16 minutes from the venue, I finally figured out the first step.
I reached for my phone sitting in the cup holder and dialled his number.
He picked up on the first ring.
“Bro, please tell me you are outside”
He asked as I heard him make his way out of the room.
I cursed as I switched lanes and replied,
“Bro, I’m almost there.
I can’t explainnnnnnnnnnn”
Sayid was always the calm influence, he stopped walking, presumably now outside and in a “safe” space.
“Everyone thinks you got cold feet and bailed.”
I cursed again.
“Wura has been crying all morning and some people have been panicking.
How far away are you now?
I glanced at the dashboard clock and said,
“12 minutes max”
Get here as fast as you can. Your clothes are here.
I’ll inform Wura and the rest of the gang.
Hurry up bro”
The phone clicked and I dropped it on the passenger seat.
I heaved a huge sigh.
Part 1 cleared.
A respectable lie.
Oh don’t judge me! You’ve told a lie or two before.
Well isn’t that a lie.
My palms were sweaty as I put the car in park.
I hopped out and Sayid was right there waiting for me.
Some late guests were still arriving and making their way into the church.
I was scared.
Worse than the time I got arrested back in Canada. This one terrified me.
What was supposed to be the biggest day of my life, was now a huge mess and it was all my fault.
I ran into the room earmarked for the groom and his groomsmen.
Flipping my clothes, it was a complete makeover.
I went from looking like a cheating average man to the guy your company would bring in to complete a merger.
I was wrapping up the knot on the tie when I heard a knock on the door.
Without turning around and losing anymore time by walking to the door, I said,
The door opened slowly and Wura walked in.
“Diji, where the hell were you?!
I was worried sick!
Did you get cold feet?”
I walked over to her and placed my hands on her shoulders and said,
“Babe, I was robbed last night at gunpoint.
They took the car and threw me in the back. They took my phone and used my car to rob others.
They eventually drove me all the way to Mowe (a city 30 minutes outside of Lagos)
They kept me there with them all night. I begged them and told them I was getting married today.
It was only God in his mercy that allowed them to let me go.
I rushed here as fast as I could.”
She looked so concerned as she said,
“Oh my God!
Baby are you okay?”
“Im fine love.
I just need to hurry up and wife your beautiful self up!”
She smiled and I said,
“I love you baby.”
“I love you too”
“Now go back out there so I can come and make this official”
She beamed as she hurried away in her elegance.
I was a lucky fool.
I looked at myself in the mirror and whispered to myself,
“God please help me”
What was I to do?
Oh how I wish I knew.
Being married wasn’t as difficult as people have always made it out to be.
Between Wura and I, we began to come up with our own systems of doing things.
Communication was key and I honestly feel like being responsible for another allows us both of us, to do a bit more.
One of the things I loved about Wura as my wife was her effortless ability to drift within her roles.
From Marketing Guru to Home Manager; she was always on top of things.
Trying to make sure I was always happy and I truly appreciated her for it.
But there was something lingering in my chest.
Remember that guilt that I spoke about?
Yeah, it was consuming me. Preventing me from being happy with Wura.
I always wondered, “what if!”
What if she found out?
What if I got tempted again with Bimbo?
To be fair, it had been a month since I spoke to or contacted Bimbo.
We never even processed that night and what might have truly happened.
It was in the past and I wanted to keep it that way.
I was married now, with a new life and new approach. No need going backwards.
But I knew I had to let go of the baggage weighing on my heart.
It was 3:44am.
I lay there looking at Wura as she slept peacefully next to me.
How was she going to take what I was about to say?
Would I still keep my wife, my happiness?
My friend once told me that holding the truth from someone was down to human arrogance, to decide if someone deserved to be in the know.
I was scared and starting to doubt myself again.
I gently tapped Wura.
She didn’t move.
I almost took that as a sign to ignore it and just forget it. One more night to manage living a lie.
But something in me caused me to touch her again, and this time she slowly woke as I said her name,
She said as she woke up and cleaned her eyes with her left hand.
“What’s wrong babe”
I sighed and said,
“Nothing. I need to talk you about something”
She seemed more awake now as she said,
“Okay babe. Talk to me”
I almost chickened out but it was like I heard a voice in my head that told me to go on. So I did, I said
“Wura, I want to start by saying I am sorry.
There is nothing you did to cause this. This is all my responsibility.
I want to ask for your forgiveness more than anything.”
She looked puzzled as she tried to keep calm.
“Babe, talk to me. Whatever it is, we can work through it”
If only she knew, I almost wanted to say that it was impossible to just overlook.
And working through it?
Well that would mean a tremendous amount of work and trust.
I turned to my left and looked at her as I said,
“The night before our wedding.
I lied about bring robbed and lost. I went over to Bimbo’s house to talk.
And we ended up having sex. When I woke up in the morning, I was running late.
I wanted to tell you but I was torn between telling you and ruining your special day or keeping it.
But I am tired of keeping it. I wanted to start the rest of our lives with honesty and this has been eating me up inside.
…whatever you decide to do now, I completely respect.
it was my mistake and even though I can promise it will never happen again, whatever consequences come my way, I am prepared to face.
I just want you to know I am deeply sorry and I love you”
She was crying.
She just stared at me and kept crying. It was extremely scary because I couldn’t tell what she was going to say next if anything.
I just waited.
After a few minutes, I said
“Wura, please say something.”
The crying was replaced with sniffles as the tears dried.
She looked at me and said,
“Diji, it’s okay. We will talk more about it in the morning.
I can’t think right now”
I couldn’t believe it.
It almost felt like a joke, a very expensive one. But true to Wura fashion, she turned over and closed her eyes.
A few minutes later, she was breathing calm and sleeping away.
I couldn’t sleep.
This was a Yoruba woman, a true believer in what is right, sleeping next to me.
The rest of the night till she woke up for work at 6:45am, my eyes stayed wide open.
No sleep whatever.
I couldn’t risk closing my eyes and waking up on the other side.
That morning, as we got up, Wura greeted me and we quickly went about our preparations for work.
At about 7:15am, I was ready to start heading out the door as Wura followed closely behind me.
Normally, I would get in my car in the driveway and back up to either to leave for work or to move so she could leave.
We had a one car lane driveway.
As I reached my car, I didn’t attempt to give her a hug or kiss like I normally would before leaving.
As I opened the door to my car, I turned and said,
“Have a great day love. I’ll see you when I get back”
She smiled and said,
“Have a great day Diji but I won’t be here when you get back… I need some time alone”
There was no use fighting it.
No use trying to change her mind.
Wura was not easily swayed and trying to force her to change her mind would only make her more upset.
I lowered myself into my car and I slowly backed out of the driveway. I waved at her.
She lifted her hand and waved back.
That was the last I would see of her.
Three months went by.
Wura had been living with a friend of hers on the Island.
She had sent her friend to pick up some things when I wasn’t home.
Basically, we were separated.
I didn’t tell anyone about us being separated except Sayid.
He was the only one that truly knew what I was going through.
I had tried repeatedly to reach out to Wura but she blocked all my efforts.
I knew she was clearly sending a message.
She wanted to be left alone.
That evening, I met up with Sayid for drinks at a place near his house in Ikoyi.
Mid way through the conversation, he asked
“Do you think you guys are done?”
I feared the answer to that question as I replied,
“Bro… I don’t know”
He sipped from his drink and said
“…I think you need to know.
You have to earn her trust back if you want to stay married to her.
Leaving her alone won’t work forever. You have to aggressively show her you are sorry and ready to be better.”
He was right.
He was almost always right.
But where would I start from. I feared the vulnerability of begging her and being turned away but I wasn’t considering that I had just violated her vulnerability by my act of cheating.
Something needed to be done. And fast.
In an attempt to lighten the mood, Sayid switched the conversation to soccer.
He laughed as he said,
“You better go and fight for your wife since your team Arsenal can never seem to fight for the title”
A huge smile covered my face as I prepared to reply,
“….Abeg shift, all we need is a few more good players and we are ready to….”
My phone started to ring.
It was an unrecognizable number.
I reached down and Sayid said,
“Who is it?”
I shook my head as I said,
“I don’t even know”
I slid my finger across the screen and said,
The voice on the other side was short and concise.
“Hello Diji, it’s Bimbo.
We need to talk”
“BEHIND THE WRITER”
IMPORTANT NOTICE:“Behind The Writer” edition #2 is BACK. Basically, I will spend that piece answering questions all of you have for me during the week of my birthday in
So PLEASE LEAVE YOUR QUESTIONS IN THE COMMENT SECTIONS BELOW.
AS MANY AS 10 per person.
I’ll pick the TOP 25 and answer them for you all in that piece!
I’M DOING THIS SO ALL MY READERS, SUPPORTERS AND WHOEVER ELSE IS LEFT CAN GET TO KNOW THE WRITER A BIT MORE AND UNKNOWN THINGS ABOUT ME. You can also email me your questions at email@example.com
ASK ANYTHING. ANYTHING.
I LOOK FORWARD TO IT!!!
I made Sayid come with me that evening as we drove to Bimbo’s house.
I didn’t tell her he was with me but I wanted him there incase anything funny tried to go down.
I could sit here and lie to you but daughters of jezebel are everywhere and men can be so weak; sometimes.
Sayid was convinced that going to her house was a bad idea.
But I considered the fact that if I allowed her to come to my house and Wura ever found out, I would for sure be dead.
I wanted to get this over with.
We pulled up and I asked her to come and meet me outside.
As she walked outside, she noticed Sayid was in the car with me.
I rolled down the window as she said,
Sayid smiled and replied,
“Bimbo toh baddest!
Na you dey avoid us o!”
She laughed and said,
“you know thats not true o. Hows everything?”
“We thank Allah.”
Their greetings ended and Bimbo asked if she could talk to me in private.
I stepped out of the car and we walked about 15 feet away from it.
Bimbo started by saying,
“Thank you for coming in such short notice.
I really wasn’t planning on calling you.
You made your decision in getting married to Wura and I respect that… so this not an attempt to break you guys up or anything.
….I just wanted you to know that I am pregnant.
Before you ask, you are the only one I have been with since I moved back to Naij.
And I took multiple tests before confirming it at the doctors this morning.
I’m not expecting anything from you but I thought you deserved to know.”
I was in shock as I just stared at her.
She looked at me and said,
“Dj, are you okay?”
I gathered myself and said,
“Yeah..ya. Thanks for telling me.
I just need a moment to think”
Slowly, I turned around as she walked back into her apartment.
When I arrived in the car, Sayid asked me what had happened,
“She’s pregnant bro”
I answered as we turned onto the road.
I nodded as I said,
He said nothing else.
And his silence said it all.
I dropped him off and he told me he would swing by the next day.
The drive home was silent.
I kept thinking to myself.
This was bad.
It was for sure going to break Wura and I.
I cheated once and now that one time produces a child.
A part of me wanted to scream so loud but I would just look like a mad man on the streets of Lagos.
I just wanted to get home and hide under my bed.
And never leave the room.
As I pulled into the driveway, I noticed Wura’s friends car.
Oh maybe she came to pick up some stuff for Wura.
I sat in the car for a few minutes as I gathered myself before heading inside.
As I opened the door, I turned the corner to my right to the living room.
There were suitcases sitting in the middle of the living room.
And Wura was sitting on the couch behind them.
I looked at the boxes and then at her, speechless.
I didn’t even reply. My first reply was,
“Are you leaving for good now?”
She looked down at the ground.
My heart began to race.
How could this be happening today!
“Wura, are you leaving me?”
She looked back up at my scared face and said,
I’m coming home.
We have a lot to talk about and work through.
I’m not leaving my marriage.
I’m coming home”
I heaved a sigh of relief.
Hurriedly, I rushed over and gave her a hug.
She was reluctant to hug me.
She looked at me with a half smile and said,
“Diji, we have a lot to work on and deal with.
I am not giving up on my marriage especially over things that happened before we said our vows.
Does it hurt?
Hell fucking yes.
But God heals and I’m willing to work and let you earn my trust if you are willing too.
I honestly thought of running but what good is that…Trials will always come.
But one thing is for sure, I am not giving up on this union and my vows to you before God and man.
… I am also not giving up on our family”
My eyes grew big,
My ears a bit wider.
I thought I didn’t hear her right.
So I asked,
She smiled and said,
I am pregnant Diji”
My face suddenly dropped and I began to cry.
I just sat there and cried.
My heart was happy but I was terrified.
How could this be happening right now?
Life was dealing me a cruel blow and it was going to hurt even more.
Only a short while to go before the skies parted for the sun to arise.
You could hear the crows and their morning call.
In homes around the area, you could hear the moving engines that are people, as they prepared for the new day.
The keys clanked on the front door as I let myself in.
The cold from the Harmattan morning froze beneath my nails.
“I should have worn gloves.” I thought to myself as I dropped the mail on the receptionist desk. I was the first one here most days.
It was the safest place.
Cliche, as most people claim it as the home of their safety but it truly was that for me.
I have always had a questionable relationship with the church; or God.
But the events of the last few years have been truly humbling.
The way things moved or transpired, I continue to be amazed by how quickly it all changed.
And how everything I thought was not what it was.
I turned on the lights in the main auditorium.
Glancing at the huge wall clock behind me, the time showed 6:48am.
A few paces, and I was back to the technical department where I handled the visual display for the first service on Sundays.
Tuning things in preparation for the welcome chaos that was Thanksgiving Sunday, I realized that it was now 7am.
I needed to check if my brother, Dimeji, had woken up to get my sons Matthias and Tomas ready for church.
He was notorious for not waking up on time, the type to set 5 consecutive alarms to finally wake up.
I tapped my pocket and realized that I had left my phone in my car.
The keys to the church were sitting on the other end of the auditorium. I considered walking all the way across to grab them before going outside but I decided against it.
Figuring that if I left the door slightly open, I would make it to my car and back before the door could shut.
The phone was ringing as I walked back to the auditorium and then I heard it.
I looked up at the door, as I walked slowly, praying that somehow the door hadn’t shut itself.
By now, I’m sure you know how that went.
It was locked.
And there I was with my phone to my ear and then I heard Dimeji say on the other end in his slurred wake up voice,
“…What’s up bros?”
Get them ready ”
At that moment, the feeling of being stuck out in the cold was all too familiar.
I had made another wrong choice again but this time, someone would let me back in.
The last time I made a decision this big?
Well let me just tell you the story and you can decide how big your #WhatTheHeckMan would be.
“E gbe epo wa”
Roughly translating to “bring the fuel”
Voices piercing the skies laced with anger and discontent, in the familiar pandemonium that is Lagos. People gathered on the side of the street as the yelling continued,
I didn’t immediately run over to offer my help.
The truth here is that through my time living in this state or even country, I have usually avoided situations like this.
There is an unwritten rule in the state that is home to one of the largest economies in the world; “mind your business”.
I turned to the right and headed towards the quickly assembling crowd. I moved my phone to my pocket and began pushing my way through the crowd.
“E file na”
“Leave him alone”
The angry crowd beginning to douse him in petrol, getting ready to torch him for some crime.
I quickly gathered that he was alleged to have stolen a woman’s purse.
Neither the purse nor the full story were confirmed missing.
But in the streets of Lagos, you are guilty till proven otherwise.
“E fi sile”
Translating to leave him alone I said.
“Maa fun yin l’owo”
I yelled at the top of my lungs. A few things make Lagos and it’s inhabitants popularly known as Lagosians tick.
Money sits atop that list, never troubled.
My last statement caused some of the parties involved to slow down.
The man was drenched in petrol and all that really was left would be the unfortunate presence of some form of a lighter.
“Let the man go, I’ll give you money for the purse”
I repeated myself as they began to let go of the man.
One man looked at me, unwilling to give up this opportunity to right the wrongs life had put him through. He said,
You know him? Is he your family?”
I almost smiled at his weak attempt at resistance. I reached into my suit jacket and pulled out my check book.
The lady in question and her defence team now shifted their focus to me.
It really was a smooth transaction.
She claimed to have items worth 400,000 Naira inside her purse, if you factored in her iPad and her phone.
A check was written up and I handed it to her.
She thanked me and left.
The man in question, rose up and began thanking me for saving his life.
I told him it was God and not my doing but I couldn’t watch him be tormented like that.
He continued to thank me.
I asked him where he lived and he said,
After negotiating with a cab driver and paying him, the man was on his way.
I wasn’t entirely sure he was innocent but he didn’t have the purse with him for starters.
And who deserves to be burned to death over what was potentially fake leather.
I took off my suit jacket and opened up my car, placing it on the back seat. I grabbed my phone and it began to ring.
“Babe, where are you?”
I could hear the stress in her voice. Who knew that planning ones glorious day, could bring so much preparatory stress.
I looked both ways before I crossed the street as I continued talking,
“I’m just walking into the place to check on the drink order and give them the deposit”
She sighed on the other end of the line as I opened the door into the building.
The receptionist greeted me with a smile and paused as she waited for me to finish with my phone call
“Babe, why are you just getting there?
You were supposed to be there an hour ago. you know we still have the rehearsal at 7.
We don’t have that much time”
I nodded as if she could see me. She was tense.
I was too but someone had to always level us out.
That was how we worked.
I smiled and reminded myself not to say “calm down”, unless I was looking to stare death in the face and prepared to lose.
“Wura, I’m coming.
I know you’re stressed. I’ll be there soon”
I could tell she rolled her eyes.
There was a way she always did it.
“Just hurry up!
I’m having to deal with all these people myself and it’s too much”
She hung up before I could respond.
I knew I had to get home as quickly as I could. Wura wasn’t one to “crumble” under pressure but if you know weddings in Lagos these days, you would know that pressure doesn’t even come close to what people go through.
It had been 3 years since I started dating Wura. The next day, our wedding day, would mark the beginning of the 4th.
And ultimately the rest of our lives.
Wura loved me.
I state that by itself because I want to emphasize it.
The woman loved me into my bones. To the places I never knew love could reach.
I had promised myself to never return to the place of vulnerability that love exposes.
Wura did it.
She found her own way to take my heart away.
Cliche again but she did and I had to find a way to pay her back.
Starting with returning to the rehearsal hall on time.
On my drive back, I got a call from a Tobi. My medical school buddy from Canada.
He was calling to inform me of his safe arrival back home.
I was pleased to hear his voice because Tobi introduced me to Sayid, my best friend, almost 12 years before.
Fresh into school and the cold days in Canada, Sayid and Tobi kept me connected to home.
Tobi had gone to University of Ibadan and introduced me to Sayid who had attended the University of Ilorin with me.
I never actually knew Sayid while at University of Ilorin, he graduated a year before me but we instantly hit it off.
It was always a great time around him from the music, to the stories and the constant laughs.
We grew close very quickly.
When I pulled up into the rehearsal hall’s parking lot, Sayid met me outside,
“She’s pissed bro”
I pressed the car remote to lock the doors as I walked towards the entrance.
There she was, ever so beautiful, even in her frustrated state.
“I am sorry baby”
as I approached and flashed a smile at her.
She tried to fight her smile but she soon started smiling.
Inside, I was relieved because Wura had the tendency to go over the deep end if she felt slighted or disrespected.
The rehearsal was pretty painless.
“Stand here, walk this fast, look here… who will have the rings?”
For two hours and then it was all done.
There were some refreshments provided to the wedding party and other friends present before we all set out.
The guys were staying with me at my father’s house in Lekki while the girls stayed at Wura’s aunts house in the heart of Victoria Island.
I was the last one to leave.
Walking back into the hall, I headed all the way to the front.
I took my position as I scanned the room, in less than twenty four hours, I was going to be marrying the woman I loved right in that spot.
A quick flashback to where we had been as my eyes welled up. I quickly dried them as I began to recite my vows.
“Wuraola, you are the essence that gives my life purpose
Through loving you, I have discovered what life can be in many ways
To have someone in your corner
To listen to your troubles and your fears
There is something about the way you love me
That makes me want to be a better man
I am lucky to have found you
I can’t promise to always know
But I promise that I will never stop at okay
I promise to love you with all of me
To protect you
Be your friend
And everything you need me to be along the way
I am thankful to God that I am about to embark on this journey with you
Thank you for loving me too”
There was a level of honesty to that piece.
It still brings tears to my eyes as I think of them.
But those were the words that rang true for me. Wura gave me a new purpose in love and I wanted her to know it.
I lingered around for a few minutes and then headed to the car.
As I sat in the car, I reached for my phone and noticed I had two missed calls.
I didn’t recognize the number, so I listened closely to the voicemail.
“Hey Diji, it’s Bimbo.
Long time, I know you’re getting married soon and I was just hoping we could talk before.
If it’s not possible, I understand.
I will just like to have one proper talk with you before you go off into the sacred land.
If that’s okay with you.
I’m staying at my place on the way to your house. Let me know if you can stop by.”
I listened to it twice.
Her voice still ringing between my ears as I placed the phone down. I hadn’t spoken to Bimbo in almost two years when I had called to let her know that I was proposing to Wura.
Bimbo and I had been together since before I went to Canada for medical school and we continued our long distance relationship.
Bimbo and Wura were completely different people.
Everyone that knew us, thought that I would marry Bimbo. The stars looked aligned for it.
We started out as kids and grew into full fledged adults. But life and it’s unpredictability happened and we broke up.
A lot of the things that happened between us could have been avoided; better communication I would say.
But Bimbo and I broke up and ultimately started dating other people.
When Wura came along, I was dating somebody else but we started out as friends.
Once that relationship ended, it was easier for us to start.
But I don’t think I ever stopped loving Bimbo.
Sometimes I had to convince myself that loving her was the wrong choice.
I rationalized the decision, but I always felt something was missing.
That night, I shouldn’t have gone to Bimbo’s house but I did.
I knocked on the door and a few seconds later, she answered.
No, she wasn’t dressed in anything sexy or seductive. It was just her.
The way her smile brightened my heart, I stepped in and hugged her.
There was a warmth that emanated from her.
It wasn’t just physical.
Suddenly, I started to feel like my coming there was a mistake.
I still had some feelings for Bimbo.
We began talking and catching up.
She told me that she had just gotten a job working for a law firm on the Mainland and she was happy to be back in Nigeria.
I felt my heart skip a beat.
Having to live so close to the woman I sometimes feel I should have married?
It wasn’t all rosy between Bimbo and I, our families for one did not get along or make any attempts to understand each other.
So we were always swimming against the current.
Hours had gone by and before I realized it, it was a bit past 2am.
Not a single bone in me wanted to leave.
So we kept talking and at one point, Bimbo suggested we watch our favourite movie together “The Usual Suspects.”
When I was in Canada and she moved to work in Tottenham, England; we would stay up late watching movies via FaceTime.
It was the first time in many years, that we actually sat down to watch a movie together.
Mid way through the movie, she turned over and whispered,
I smiled and asked,
She looked down and said,
I smiled and she smiled too.
Enough was said.
I slowly yawned as I struggled to get my eyes to open.
Scratching the side of my face and my beard, I twisted and turned.
A long stretch and I was awake.
What would happen next would change everything. I looked to my right and someone was sleeping next to me.
I was confused.
Where was I?
Then, it began to come back to me. I was at Bimbo’s house.
Did I sleep there?
I hoped to God that it was still early enough, I began to search for my phone.
Noticing it on the bed side cabinet, I reached up to get it. As I pressed the side button, the 46 missed calls did not stand out to me as much as the time did.
It read 11.52am.
I was a dead man.
I let out a squeal, waking up Bimbo as I cursed under my breath.
Oh, this was bad!
Bimbo slowly woke up and said,
“Dj, what happened?”
Standing at the foot of the bed cutting this dejected figure, I said
“I am fifty two minutes late to my own wedding”
She looked at me puzzled and reached for her phone to confirmed the time as she sprung out of the bed.
“What do we do?”
I began to reach for my shoes on my side of the bed when I noticed an empty condom wrapper, right next to my left shoe.
I reached down and picked it up. Holding up, I looked at Bimbo and then back at the wrapper.
Swallowing hard and slow, I asked Bimbo,
The look on her face said it all.
I just wanted the ground to open up and swallow me whole.
“BEHIND THE WRITER”
IMPORTANT NOTICE:“Behind The Writer” edition #2 is BACK. Basically, I will spend that piece answering questions all of you have for me during the week of my birthday in
So PLEASE LEAVE YOUR QUESTIONS IN THE COMMENT SECTIONS BELOW. AS MANY AS 10 per person. I’ll pick the TOP 25 I like and answer them for you all in that piece! I’M DOING THIS SO ALL MY READERS, SUPPORTERS AND WHOEVER ELSE IS LEFT CAN GET TO KNOW THE WRITER A BIT MORE AND UNKNOWN THINGS ABOUT ME.
The lights were blinding. My eyes slowly adjusted to the lighting in the room.
Empty but for the wall clock.
The lights filled the room and and the only window was behind me.
I could hear cars in the distance from what I presumed was the freeway.
My mind raced as I tried to understand my current situation.
I tried to turn to my left, the strap holding my right hand down pulled me back mid air.
I looked down to my right, my right hand was trapped.
Buckled under the straps, my hands and feet kissed the cold of the leather.
I didn’t bother trying to wrestle out of the hold.
My deep sigh rang out into the room as I remembered being taken away.
The back of that ambulance.
My eyes suddenly began to well up.
Why did she do that to me?
Why would she let them take me away?
This place was familiar.
It felt familiar.
I remembered the buzzing sounds of the fluorescent lights. The footsteps in the hallway, the chatter behind the doors.
My mind collaborated with imagination of the world beyond the walls.
I smacked my lips as I wetted my tongue.
I could taste the drugs on my tongue.
And I could hear a voice, gracing the halls with a song.
The door opened and a lady walked in.
The lights seemed to dim as she walked in.
Her foots steps stopped by the bed side and I heard that familiar coarse voice as she said
“Rise and shine Anita”
I looked to my left where she was standing as she flashed a smile.
Her teeth trapped her lollipop stick as she said
“Time to eat. Your session is thirty minutes”
She strapped me down across my pelvic area and slowly released my hands.
I sat up straight and said
“I don’t want to meet with her today”
She walked around to my right side of the bed as she talked
“You have to. She’s coming a long way and she’s here to help you”
I looked at her and asked
“How long have I been here and what day is it?”
She smiled and sucked on her lollipop and replied
“You’ve been here 3days and its Monday”
I muffled my words as I sucked down the chocolate pudding that came with my lunch. It was the best part, believe me.
“So that means I should be getting released today”
She looked startled and said
“Why would you think that?”
I responded by saying
“…because you are a 72hr hold facility. So I should be released soon”
“She giggled and said
“Oh dear. You’re here on a 5250.
We are keeping you for 14days”
I stopped, my mouth full of baby carrots
I looked at her standing by the door
She looked at me and said
“Because you made suicidal and homicidal comments. So we have to watch over you and take care of you”
I snarled back and said
“Homicidal comments at who?!”
My tone shook her as she stepped back and said
“Your mother, I believe”
I cursed under my breath.
This woman wouldn’t let me be.
I heard the keys clank on the metal door outside and then it opened.
My hands were still loose as I sat back and waited for her to arrive.
She smiled at me as she pushed up her glasses
She pulled her chair closer and said
“Good morning Anita”
I nodded and replied
“I don’t want to do this today”
She scribbled on her notepad and said
I rolled my eyes and turned to the left as I said
“I’d just rather not”
She asked again
“You know everything we talk about in here is confidential, right?”
I sighed and nodded as I replied
“Look, you want me to talk to you and then what? We have been here talking for days now and all you do is write and then you go away. You’re probably going to put this information somewhere my mother will find it”
She sat up straight and said
“I’m only here to try and help you. I don’t work for or with your mother. I just want to know what has caused you to see the world the way you do.
So can you tell me a bit about what happened between you and your mother”
I stared straight ahead and then I looked at her and said
“You may not believe me like the last person I told”
She again used her index finger to push up her glasses and then said
I laid back down on the bed and began.
“I was 13 when my dad died. About a year later my mother started dating another man.
At the time I didn’t understand it fully but as I got older, I realized she needed her happiness too.
So I tried to support it.
Things took a very painful turn when her new boyfriend started to rape me”
I paused for second and tears filled my ducts.
I swallowed hard and then I continued
“I wasn’t sure what was going on. My mother never had the sex talk with me or advised me about anything really.
Best put, my mother and I were roommates within the home… she did her thing and I did mine.
I was first put in therapy after my dad passed because my mother thought that something was wrong with me.
I had always felt an animosity from her. Somehow she believed that my father loved me more than he loved her.
It was a really dark place to live in.”
She continued to scribble things on her notepad
I shifted in my bed and continued talking
“My school had a seminar around sexual exploitation and child trafficking.
It was then I understood the depths and the power of rape.
They explained how it was affecting my mental health, my relationships, my self esteem and even my trust in men.
I began to think of ways to talk to my mother about it… did I mention my mother was an alcoholic?
Whenever she got the chance, she would drink.
I always thought she was trying to drown something deep inside her… anyways, it took me about 3weeks but I finally summoned the courage.
That evening, I had returned from dance practice a bit late, about 9:30pm.
I remember walking into the house and greeting her.
She didn’t say much back to me.
She had been drinking.
I went into my and almost talked myself out of it.
It took me a little while but I finally came out and spoke to her.
I was shocked by what happened next.
She turned on me.
She told me that i was too young to know anything and that I was trying to ruin what she and her boyfriend had.
She basically accused me of lying”
“Your mother did?”
the psychiatrist lady asked
I nodded and said
I am not 100% sure but I guess she talked to him because for about a week after that day, he didn’t come into my room.
But then he returned.
And that night he was more aggressive. I couldn’t walk.
So that evening after dance practice, I went to speak with the older brother of a friend who I knew was in gangs.
I told him I wanted a gun. He joked and then I told him I was being raped.
He offered to take the shot for me.
I got the gun that night.
And when he came into my room the following night. I shot him.
And then I took 45 pills.
Somehow I woke up in the psych ward under evaluation.
I haven’t seen my mother since. For almost 10 years.
She just went off the grid.
The whole time in the psych ward, my mother never showed up.
The social worker came and I was told that my mother revoked her parental rights and I was now a ward of the court.
I wasn’t sad that I shot the man but to be honest, my mother shot me twice”
I looked at the psychiatrist and said
“Are we out of time yet?
The lady smiled and said
“Don’t worry. Today I’ve got time.
You can go on if you’d like”
For someone so used to bottling things deep inside of me, this felt good to release.
She never came back.
And a placement wasn’t found for months.
While I waited, there was government testing done and I was picked.
The day I left the facility was the day I swore to never come back. Obviously, as you can see, that dream didn’t come true.
I vowed that day to get my revenge on my mother.
She changed the course of my life.”
It was clear she was intrigued by the story
“Is there any way I’ll be able to get out of the straps.
Maybe go for a walk. Its been days in these things and I’m only out for showers.
She seems unsure but she said
“I’ll see what I can do.
I’ll say something to the on call staff once we are done here…
So tell me… How has living without your parents and working for the government been?”
I smirked and said
“I’ve seen and done things. I’ve seen lives snuffed out of men with no regard for the families that they leave behind.”
There was a serious look on her face. It was a mixture of surprise and fear or maybe concern.
” is this where you’re going to ask me if I ever killed anyone?”
She paused and said
I smiled and laid back down. The smile disappeared from my face as I said
On my breaks from duty or assignments, I thought I could stay with him.
One night even with all my training, he overpowered me and raped me.
Somehow I think my handler wanted me to kill him.
They basically handed him to me on a platter.
It’s funny because I was out. I had told them that I wasn’t going to be a part of it anymore.
I was traveling back from Sudan when they cornered me and then I was left with two bodies.
I took care of it but I was back in.
Before I agreed to take on missions, I had clarified that above everything, the person I wanted to get to most was my mother.
So after many years of working with them and no success I was about to quit. They roped me back in.
What I don’t understand is how she got to me first though.
How did she find me?
It doesn’t make any sense but then all of his doesn’t make much sense to people”
The psychiatrist lady sat upright and placed her folder down on the floor right next to her left foot.
She looked at me and said
“Anita, I have to ask you an important question.
Are you open to it?”
I turned my head to my left side and said
She smiled back and said
“In your file, it says that while you were in the facility, when you were 14. It says that you were diagnosed as having PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder” and Schizophrenia.
Those are heavy tags to live with, how do you feel about that?”
I sat up straight and said
“Here we go!
Now you’re going to think I’ve been making it all up!
This is why I never want to talk to shrinks!
They always act like I’m lying.
This is pointless”
She motioned with her hands as if to say “calm down”.
With a soft tone, she replied and said
“Anita, I’m not here to judge you. I’m here to learn about you.
So I can help you”
I chimed back.
The session was pretty much done at this point as I was starting to get really angry.
She leaned back and said
“I’m sorry if that upset you.
It was certainly not my intention. Before I leave, can I ask this?
Would it be possible to have a session or two with your mother to see if some repairs can be made to your relationship?”
I sighed and said
“I know there are some difficult feelings between you two but I feel like with time and work, they are things that we can work through as a team.
How does that sound?”
I smiled and said
“I’d like that.
Maybe finally my mother and I can talk after all these years.”
“So no animosity?”
I shook my head and said
Hate consumed me. I’m tired of it”
It had been about a week since that session.
They had moved me into another room. It had more things in it.
I was now out of isolation and allowed to mingle with the other residents.
I was out in the resource room when my name was called over the public address system.
I rushed over to my room and a few minutes later, at about 2pm sharp, there was a knock on the door.
The door slightly opened as the psychiatrist, Theresa, walked in.
She smiled big and said
“Hey Anita. How are you today?”
I replied and said
“I’m okay. You?”
“Very well thank you.”
she responded and continued to say
“…So I just wanted to confirm before we start today’s session, that it’s okay if your mom joins us?”
I smiled and nodded while saying
“Yes. I’m looking forward to it”
She smiled and said
“Thank you. I’ll be right back.”
I looked around my room and smoothed the edges of my bed. I was wiping down my desk when there was a gentle knock and a quick open
Standing behind Theresa was my mother.
The woman I went as far as joining the centralized government’s taskforce to find, was right here.
She found me.
It was bittersweet.
I ‘m not sure about how I still felt but I think a part of me was very relieved.
After all these years, to sit across from her.
She timidly walked in approached me and gave me a hug.
“Oh my daughter, how I have missed you”
It was a long hug. A cold one.
We separated and sat down in our seats.
Theresa started by saying
“Thank you both for coming. I am happy this is getting under way. I hope we can all benefit from this as a group and even as individuals.
Anita, anything you would like to start with?”
She smiled and looked my way.
This time, I didn’t smile.
She tried again and said
Is everything okay?”
I still said nothing.The puzzled looks on their faces was priceless.
It was silent for a few minutes and then I turned Theresa on my left side and said,
“Can you please give us a minute alone?”
She gathered her things and went out of the room.
I stayed silent and then I said
“Why didn’t you believe me back then?”
I looked her straight in the face. The cold in my face.
I just stared at her.
Then she broke the silence
“Anita, you were young and naive. You didn’t know what you were saying”
No change to my affect, I calmly said
“So you’re sure that was the only option. Not believing me. Your own daughter. You know how much that experience broken me. How much it took from me?
Affected my life and my relationships.”
She smiled and said
“Anita, there comes a time when you have to stop blaming others for your misfortunes.”
You think I enjoy this? You think I loved living this pain?
The sense of worthlessness, that I don think I’m worthy of ta=
You’re mistaken and this was a mistake.”
I snapped back.
Before I could finish, my mother got up and headed for the door.
“It seems this is not going to go anywhere and maybe I shouldn’t have come.
I wish you all the best.”
I got up and said
“Mom, wait, what, I’m sorry.
Can we please talk?”
She turned around and walked towards my outstretched arms.
I hugged her with my arms behind her back.
I removed my right hand and placed the handkerchief on her nose.
Holding the back of her head with force, I pushed the piece of clothing onto her face.
A few seconds later. She was out cold.
Laying lifeless on the floor of my room.
I walked to my door and opened it. I peeked into the hallway.
I rushed back and grabbed my already packed back from under the bed.
I pulled her by her shoulders and out into the hallway.
I had to get to the garage as quickly as possible.
The cameras were going to get me but I was about to get out.
I ran to the door that led to the stairs. It had the “Emergency Exit Only” sign on it. The kind that would trigger if you opened the door without knowing the code.
The door was unlocked already.
Down the stairs I dragged her and minutes later, into the parking garage.
The night shift crew usually started at 4pm and worked till midnight.
Their change was coming up. The afternoon staff was about to do their rounds and they would have noticed that I was missing.
In the garage, there was a running van.
I ran towards it and jumped in the drivers seat.
Slamming my foot on the gas, I drove the van till I was by the door.
I hopped out of the car and yanked the door back into the building open, I dragged my mother out of the building and i pulled her to back of the van.
When I pulled open the double doors of the van, there was a big black box.
I climbed into the back of the van and dragged the empty box to the edge.
I stepped out of the van and lifted my mother into the back of the van.
Folding her body into the box was hard but I dumped her in there.
And then I squeezed the rest of her body in.
I locked the box with the padlock and I jumped out of the van.
I rushed into the drivers seat and drove towards the exit.
There usually was a guard there but there was no guard that afternoon.
As I pulled up, the gate slowly opened and I drove out.
This was my city.
I weaved my way through the growing rush hour traffic and about 35minutes later, I was by the water side.
The same place Hazim had brought me back then.
I parked the van and left it running.
I jumped out as I slid some gloves on my hands. I yanked the van’s rear doors open as I climbed in.
The box was obviously now heavy.
I bent down and I pushed the box towards the door of the van.
I got down and dragged the heavy box to my desired spot.
There was a shovel sitting by the stairs that led to the water front. I grabbed it and began digging.
My arms worked as I dug away.
I could feel the sweat trickle through my braids and down the back of my neck.
My palms were sweaty beneath the gloves as I dug away.
There was an anger within me each time the metal from the shovel split the dirt.
I remembered every night with my legs wide apart as my mother’s lover violated me.
I remembered those cold nights in training camp where I actually missed her voice. I remembered the sound of the voice of the social worker as she told me my mother gave me up.
I remembered killing a man.
And another man.
I remembered dying.
Long before I realized.
She let me die. I remembered the way my heart raced as I opened up to my mother about rape.
I remember how she looked into my eyes and pulled the trigger.
And then I heard a noise.
It was a muffled sound coming from the box.
She had woken up.
I stood there heaving as I stopped digging.
I went closer to the box and right when I was about to open it, I heard another familiar voice.
I turned to my right and at the top of the steps was Hazim.
He had a smile on his face as if to say “well done partner”
As he drew closer, I asked
“How did you do it?”
He smiled and said
“It doesn’t matter. What matters is that you got her. But I have to ask, did you really have to go through all this to get her though.
I know you knew that we had found her when she called you on the phone that day.
So why all this”
I smiled and said
“This was all a smokescreen”
I moved the shovel to my left hand and continued
“It was a distraction to my original plan.
Revenge was always my top priority but I wanted it to feel natural. She was always going to run from me. So I had to make it impossible for her to see me coming.
I was miles ahead.
Being taken into the psych ward was all part of the plan.
And her not seeing me coming, makes it even sweeter”
He smiled. Oh I loved the smile on his face.
It showed that he respected me and the lengths I went to exert my revenge
Then he said
“Well, I’m glad you are getting what you have always wanted. Since I met you, its all you’ve talked about.
Here you go”
Hazim handed me an envelope.
I collected it and peeked inside. it was the same gun, I shot my cousin with.
I smiled and I said
“Thank you Hazim.
Truly. For everything.
You are a true friend”
He came closer and he gave me a hug and a peck on the cheek.
He straightened his suit and said
“Are you really going to go through with it?”
I smirked and said
“What do you think?”
He rolled his eyes and said
“I don’t even know why I asked.”
as he turned around and began walking back towards his car.
“Leave the van.
Someone will be here to take care of it soon…”
He was about 4ft away from me when I said
He turned around and
I shot him.
Right in his head.
I walked over to the box and opened it.
There was my mother.
Shivering at the sight of the gun in my right hand. She had just heard the shot ring through the early evening sky.
I smiled and said
“Mother, can I ask you question?”
She didn’t respond. She just continued to beg
“Anita! Anita!! Anita!!!
I’m so sorry for everything… Pl..plea…pleee..Please let m…
Give me a chance to make it right”
My face suddenly became serious.
And then I asked
“When you had sex with him after I told you he raped me, did you heard my cries in your ears and in your head?”
She was still begging. I yelled
She continued to shiver and said
“Anita! I’m sorry!
Please I’m sorry”
I looked her in the eyes.
I could touch her fear.
I could feel her desperation. I could taste her tears from where I stood.
“Anita, I’m sorryyy…y..y.y..yyyyy…!”
She went silent as life slowly abandoned her to the chaos that filled this world
And I whispered
I walked over to Hazim and dragged his body to the body.
It took me a few minutes but I forced his well toned frame into the box.
Both bodies in the box.
I returned to digging.
I turned to the left and blood was flowing onto the dirt from the corner of the box.
After about twenty more minutes, I walked over to the box and with all my strength, I dragged it to the hole.
I dropped it in hole.
I walked back to the van and opened the passenger side door. On the floor was a can of fuel.
I returned to the hole and bent down to open the box. I dumped most of the fuel all over the two bodies and set fire to it.
I dropped the can next to the hole and I walked back to the top of the stairs.
I sat down on the bench and lit myself a cigarette.
The smoke from my mouth sailed into the sky as the dark smoke from the hole filled the sky.
I smiled and kicked my head back.
One of the things I learned early on from working with Hazim was to always stay far ahead of your target.
Because if you let them get too close, you might still take them out but they have the chance to get to you.
Hazim was too close.
And I could eventually have become his target.
Call it paranoia but I would rather not take chances.
The sun was beginning to set over to my left.
I gazed up at it and puffed out another smoke.
A smile covered my face.
It had been a rollercoaster ride and I drove that shit without my seatbelt on.
Oh what I would pay to see the look on your face RIGHT NOW! (Please remember to tweet #WhatTheHeckMan #SanmiSaturdays once you are done commenting! Thank youuuuuu!)
I bet you didn’t see that coming.
Well, it’s WhatTheHeckMan, so what do you expect besides the unexpected.
If you enjoyed this captivating and sometimes scary series, PLEASE LEAVE ME A COMMENT BELOW.
But before you do that I have one question I’d like you to answer
I was scared and my voice was shaking. The blood on the phone dripping down the side of my face.
My mind was scaling through a million options and my heart was beating out of my chest.
Then in the calmest voice, my mother said
“Anita, how was your flight to America?”
I was startled. Mind fucked!
“Mom are you okay? Is everything okay?”
She didn’t even pause on the other end as she replied
“Yes but I’m a very upset you didn’t tell me you were leaving. I was worried and then the university you’re going to in Arizona called to let me know you were on your flight.
I hope everything went smoothly..”
I couldn’t believe the words I was hearing.
Here I was over looking two dead bodies having been picked up by random people, and I was speaking to my mother about a university I had never heard of after running away from home without telling her.
What the actual heck man.
“Mom… The university is okay.
They gave me a scholarship, I couldn’t turn down”
I lied as I turned my body around to see if anyone was watching.
This was insane and this was even taking into account what I had been through since I landed.
She prayed for me and asked that I call her frequently. She reminded me that I was all she had and she wanted the best for me.
“Please be safe Anita.
Don’t let any men distract you on your goals. Focus and be safe in America”
If I could laugh, I would have but there was nothing funny.
I looked at my hand covered in blood as I lowered the phone. I stood there and just stared at the bodies.
“What was I supposed do now?”
My mother calling me all the way from Sudan?
I still couldn’t believe it. I felt like I was in a movie where you’re screaming the answers at the character but they still don’t get it.
I was freaking out but something needed to be done. I didn’t know how much time I had in the open before someone would show up.
I walked around the car slowly and surveyed the area. I was standing by the passengers side door in the front when the phone rang again.
I looked down and the number said
I clicked the answer button and placed the phone by my ear as a man said
It was a new voice. Not one of the ones I had heard before.
At this point, any information I was getting was better than nothing.
i nervously dragged out my answer.
The man on the other end said
“How are you?
And how’s your mom? She sounds like a very pleasant lady….”
I interrupted and said
“What is going on?
Why are you talking to my mother?
Why am I here and who are these bodies?
What is going on? Can somebody give me some answers?”
The man chuckled and said
“Wow…. wow….. (laughs)
Slow down there Anita. All your questions will have answers soon enough.
But for now, I need you to walk down the steps to the water side..
There is a black box in the corner to your right.
Place both bodies there and leave them….”
He paused and then said
“The police will come in about 30 minutes. So you don’t have a lot of time”
He was gone.
There was no voice on the other end anymore.
I tried to redial and it wouldn’t let me because the number was unknown.
I cut a frustrated pose and moaned as I made my way back to the rear of the car.
It was still hard to look at those bodies.
Two young people, they couldn’t have been that much older than me. 26 or 27 maybe.
I leaned in and touched the forearm of the female. It was still warm suggesting that they had only recently been murdered.
I pulled her out of the trunk, sweating as I dragged her down the stairs towards the box the man had mentioned.
It was a big box but it seemed like they knew both bodies would fit.
Carrying the body of the man was harder.
He was a bit bigger, more muscle I figured.
I lowered him in the box and I started crying. What had I gotten myself into?
All I wanted to do was leave Sudan and find a better life out in America. Here I was stashing bodies of people I had never met and talking to my mother who I had run from.
It was all so confusing and overwhelming to me.
The tears started to stream down my cheeks.
I couldn’t wipe them off as my hands were covered in blood.
I slumped on top of the box and seriously became consumed by my feeling.
The sense of powerlessness I had both times I was raped, washed over me.
I wanted more.
I didn’t want this. I didn’t know this.
I had no control over this.
I cried for a few minutes and then I woke up.
Cleaned my face with my elbows, alternating the sides.
I climbed up the steps and back to the car.
Here I was in the middle of nowhere, with a box filled with bodies and I knew no one.
I thought about calling 911 for a brief moment and then I thought, how would I explain myself?
I closed the trunk and turned around.
Behind me, a police car was pulling up with it’s lights flashing.
The car stopped and both officers jumped out with their guns drawn and I heard shouts of
“Hands where I can see them!! Put those hands up!”
I froze and lifted my hands up.
The fear of getting shot almost paralyzed my senses and I just stood there with my hands to the sky.
“On your knees! With your hands on your head!”
The officer on the driver side, yelled at me.
I slowly dropped to my knees and placed my hands on head.
I will not lie, I was shivering down to my panties.
Something in me wanted to run. Like I knew I couldn’t outrun the police but I would just run into oblivion.
But they approached me and a few seconds later, I was in handcuffs.
They didn’t read my rights, nor did they ask me any questions.
I was led into the back of the squad car and both officers stood outside.
Minutes later a black car with tinted windows showed up. The TSA agent from hours before was now dressed in a suit.
Another man was driving.
They both came out of the car and shook the officers hands.
I turned my body from my seating position to get a better look.
Then something crazy happened, both men in the suits that just arrived, walked down to the waterside and grabbed the box.
The brought it back to the car that just arrived and placed it in there.
The TSA agent guy, hopped into the car where the bodies initially were and drove off.
The second car followed closely.
The officers returned to the car and got in.
I immediately launched into them and said
“Whats going on?!
You know those men, killed those people right?
They brought me here!”
I was about to start crying again.
That threshold you hit where your frustrations are uncontainable and you have no option but to cry.
The officer in the passenger seat laughed and said
I stopped as they both looked at each other and smiled.
The officer driving, looked in his rearview mirror and made eye contact with as he said something that would not only stick with me but would later give me a sense of what was really going on. He said
“Just do your part and don’t worry about the rest”
About twenty minutes later, we arrived at an apartment complex. The officers took me through the back and parked.
They both got out and removed the handcuffs.
The driver opened the trunk and pulled out an envelope.
It was one of those big brown ones.
He handed it to me and said
They turned around, entered the car and drove off.
I opened the envelope and it had a set of keys, my documents and some money in cash.
I looked around to see if I was dreaming.
Up the stairs I went and I stopped in front of apartment 648.
I opened the door and what I saw shook me to my core.
There were pictures of me all over the world on the walls, there was mail addressed to me on the kitchen counter, the whole place was furnished!
It looked like I had been living there for years.
I walked into the bathroom and stood in front of the mirror.
Staring at myself, I whispered “What The Heck Man”.
I wasn’t confused anymore.
I was just lost.
At that very moment, I didn’t know who I was anymore.
That time of the year is coming up again. For the “Behind The Writer” edition of 2016, I will soon start gathering questions that you want to answer.
If there is anything you want to know about The Wordsmith, I’ll answer in my piece while sharing things about myself that you may not already know. Thank you ALL for your continued SUPPORT.
I am always humbled by the positive comments/criticism. Remember I started writing so girls could like me, today, I like who I am and who my art has allowed me to connect with.
Bigger stories, New Perspective and endless moments of screaming #WhatTheHeckMan.
“Anita… Anita…. Anita!”
I looked around and noticed the whole classroom staring at me.
“Were you day dreaming again?”
My group member Neida asked me with quizzed look on her face.
I quickly got up, pulled my skirt down and rushed to the front of the class.
About twenty minutes later, our presentation in my Public Policy Management class was over.
It was the final one of the semester and our signaled the end of that class.
I was making my way to my car and my mind went back to the class.
Very frequently, I would get lost in thought about all that happened since I moved to the United States.
It had been six months since I last heard from the airport agent, the driver or the man on the phone.
I was living in my place, and had begun my journey towards completing school and just trying to forget all of that
My bills were always paid on time and I just went about my life like I had a guardian angel watching over me.
I walked into the Panda Express and waited in line as I scrolled through my Twitter page.
When it was my turn, I ordered half and half with kung pao chicken and some orange chicken.
I walked out the door and into my car. I pulled into my parking spot a few minutes later.
I fiddled with my keys and I opened my door, I almost dropped my entire plate of food as I noticed the TSA agent man from months before, sitting on my couch.
I was still clearly shaken up when he rose from his seat and stretched out his hand as he said
“Hello, my name is Hazim.”
Shivering, I shook his hand.
He smiles and said
“How have you been?
Well I hope… Sorry I scared you but I need you to come with me”
Eat? Was he crazy?
I placed the food on the table and we headed out the door.
He drove and said nothing.
It was bright and sunny outside as we pulled into the back of a popular strip club “Sinnamon”
We walked through the door and there was a man sitting by himself in a booth.
I walked behind Hazim to the man.
The ran stood up and stretched out his hand and said
“Anita, nice to finally meet you”
My eyes grew big!
I knew that voice! It was the man that called me that first day after I spoke with my mother.
He smiled and sat down
I sat down across from him and Hazim stood a few feet away from both of us
“I know you have a lot of questions but the answers will come if you are patient and you stick to the program”
He slid over another envelope and said
“There is a gun in there. There is a car parked outside, go the car and head to the address you find in the car.”
I looked at him and said
I’m not doing anything!
I am not going anywhere! You have had me running and watching my back for months with no answers!
I need fucking answers!”
He smiled and said
“Anita, just do as we ask.
You are only a small part of the picture. Just let things move smoothly”
I was getting more confident as I raised my voice
Ever since I have been here, nobody has told me anything.
How I got the apartment, the school, who you are!.
he motioned to me with his hands to keep my voice down
“Okay what would you like to know?”
“First, why me?
What am I doing here?”
He leaned across the table and quietly said
“You came to us. Don’t you remember?
You picked us, not the other way around”
I was so confused.
What did he mean by I came to them?
I had never met that man before.
This was all just one big scary puzzle.
Hazim led me out through the front and there was a car running
I walked to the car, it had the Uber sticker on the dashboard.
There was an iPhone sitting on the pod, it beeped with a customer requesting a ride.
I accepted it.
About 6 minutes later, I arrived and a man walked out of the house and into my car.
He opened the back door and entered the car.
I turned to say hi and the sight I saw was one that evoke pain.
He said my name first
And then he smiled
I turned back forward and noticed the envelope I had placed on the passengers seat.
I reached for it and slid my hand into it.
I turned around one more time to make sure it was really who I thought it was.
“Anita, how many years has it been?
How did you get to America?!”
I didn’t need to reply. I didn’t owe him a reply.
But he owed me his life.
I pulled the trigger.
I shot him.
Part 3 will definitely be OUT ON OR BEFORE Saturday! I PROMISE!!!!! 😘
I have clothef myself in an identity that is not befitting
I carry your name
But when you call me by the names I claim
I fail to answer
Have I become comfortable in knowing about you
But not knowing you
Knowing you enough to find myself in you
People know me as a son of you
But am I really a bastard to you?
I just took a selfie
In the place of worship
I remember the outfit of that day
But the sermon
There is a war going on in
My daily struggle to fight the hardship
But my current dilemma is whether or not I should post it
My order just arrived
It is so easy to save
To attend that rave
To be lost in the new wave
But all efforts to convince me to give to your house are in vain
I’m too tired
You’ll go through 5 timelines to get the full gist
But bible reading continues to be met with fuss
Everything else in my life is on cue
But I’m only consistent in prayer to you when I need you
Who am I without you
The world may see a somebody
But without your favor and grace
Well who is anybody
This thing that has led to a collective insanity
We have lost ourselves in the attempt to get others to like us
Two hours of make up
A nice shape up
To hide the real work
Papering over the cracks
The scratches on our wall of character
We want more
More of the acceptance of the world than of you
Will he like me
Will she want me
The real question should be
Do I want him
The alarm goes off
I’ll drop down to the floor and strengthen my biceps
But my spiritual muscle is weak
I’ve been leaving myself defenseless
Against the trials of the world
The struggles untold
I’m holding onto a history that’s faded
Our correspondence is outdated
I’m like a lost child
I don’t call
I’ll be in your home and I won’t open my mouth to greet you
But when I need a ride to the next level
I begin to shout
Oh what have we become
Masks hide who you are
You highlight what you what the world to know
Advice for the broken
Sermons on Youtube
Gossip in private
Malice married with rage
Who are you?
A leader to the Lord
Or a leader of the lost
You claim to want to bring men closer to God
Yet you judge them as they attempt to know said Lord
Are you inviting them to his house
Or ultimately turning them away instead
Girls like men that serve the Lord
I know that
The end times says there will be a lot of false prophets
Not everyone of them will be wearing suits and ties
Many on Twitter and Instagram living lies
Carefully crated quotes and bible verses
Words like a sweet smelling savor people inhale
But they do not exhale the quality you sell
You know you know the Lord
So the women want to know you
Some reflect the Lord
Because they align with what they want to
Today there are men that claim to be of God
But you sit there licking your lips and your shirt is off
Vanity or leading to lust
Your voice is the gift from God
Worship on Sunday
Hands lifted up
But the rest of the week
Your melody is that your hotline isn’t blinging up
Like shopping through the clearance rack
Today Christians pick and choose
Abide by that
Oh that? I’m never guilty of that
The kinds of Christians majority of us are today
Know enough about the Lord
But fail to be challenged in his ways
Tested by his law
You compromise his words and his teachings
At work you’re silent
But your spiritual rights keep being taken
Now the household of Christ seems confused
Some conform to the world
And you agree too
His words are clear
But we try to manipulate the word to accommodate our sin
You and me
Are we completely submissive to his will
Many Christians today are like you and me
Probably going to read this and have it minister to you
But post this or share with your friends
Well that’s something you may never do
Who am I to blame you
I’m just as guilty as you
But who are we fooling
Your bio says “child of God”
He’s still smiling down
But you’re clearly ignoring the call
Someone asked me recently what my purpose was. Simply put, this is it right here.
Well a key part of it. To use my words to inspire and empower people.
It took me years to embrace it but I am a writer, a believer, a work in progress and a child of God. There is sometimes a fear in saying that out loud on social media or in certain quarters out of fear of being judged, ridiculed or sometimes not even believing the words.
When I wrote Part 1 of Convenient Christian, I was actually sitting in a church at the back and it was probably my first time in church for about 3 or 4 months. And to be perfectly honest, I only went because I was beginning to have problems in certain relationships.
One thing I am still thankful to God for is that he can still convict me. Like I do certain things and immediately, I can tell I shouldn’t be doing it or I should be fixing that. Do I ignore his voice sometimes, yes but I am glad he hasn’t gone completely silent.
Recently, I have seen a wave of “new age ministers”. The beautiful and handsome ones with all the right quotes and bible verses for you to retweet or screenshot but I then asked myself, how many of them are truly reflecting God?
It is one thing to know of God but another entirely different thing to be known by God.
You give “great advice” to women, your fan base increases, then the message now involves your looks and it’s no longer about the message. You are doing a disservice to the household of God.
Drawing them in, only to eventually regress them.
I thought I had it figured out.
The vanities of life.
Yes, I cared about my pictures on Instagram, who liked me or wanted to invite me to their party, who was following me on Twitter, how big is this blog.
I got so lost in all that, I didn’t realize when I began to lose myself.
There are core values/assets in you that should never be compromised. The situations may change but who you are should be grounded.
There is a word in this piece for you. Have you found it?
Did you let it minister to you?
I am not a preacher. Nor do I believe that I am in a place to judge anyone regarding his or her relationship with God but this came to me.
There is so much of me in this piece; the constant struggle to balance it all. But more work needs to be done.
So I challenge you today to search your heart and find where you need him most and where you need to do more for God.
I challenge you to be a blessing to someone else today. This relationship with God shouldn’t be built out of convenience.
Whole heartedly serving him should lead to a life of convenience.
It’s the Wordsmith with #WordsOfWednesday on #WhatTheHeckMan
It’s 4:58am and I just finished reading what most guys would consider that dreaded “essay” text from someone I actually care about.
In that message, I referred to a thought that I shared last week.
I rolled around for a bit and then visited this document. I have treated it as a living document, occasionally returning to add and remove things as I have processed my thoughts.
Sometimes you recognize that sharing your thoughts verbally can take value away from what you’re trying to communicate. So I write.
This is a personal documentation of thoughts and feelings unique to me and might be relatable to some but it is never written as an absolute.
I was accused of being selfish for not opening myself to a “relationship”, and I obviously said “What The Heck Man”
Enter Game Changers
Savagery is on another level now.
There was once a time. A time when if a relationship failed or was broken, everyone would automatically default to it being the man’s fault.
Today, there are mercenaries that move around taking anything within their sights.
Daughters of Jezebel are now regulars in various households.
Behind those inviting smiles and soothing eyes, you will now find deadly “secarios”.
I was out of the country having a conversation with a friend of mine.
In case you were wondering, we were talking about women and I mentioned the wave of recent engagements between the people that I knew.
I was going down the list when I mentioned a name that changed the course of the entire conversation.
The girl in question had just been proposed to by a guy I know very well. His bride to be?
Well she was the star of the new show,
“How To Get Away With Cheating on Your Fiancé”.
Apparently, the girl and my friend have been “involved” with each other for a few years. Occasionally meeting up and “working out” together whenever she was in town.
Get this, her relationship was 2years old. Her engagement was in October.
This conversation between my friend and I took place in December. Their last “workout” you ask?
Well that happened two weeks after the conversation I’m telling you about.
Some people don’t even fear God sha.
Now I know as a woman or even as a man, you’re probably sitting there and saying these exact words
“Not everyone is like that”
On one hand, I agree.
But I also disagree.
I have always said that not everyone is “bad” but I am a strong believer that if you alter the situation, you can influence people into doing “very very bad things”.
Trust seems to be a lost concept to a lot of people.
And trust should be one of the cornerstones a relationship should be built upon.
Everyone has those uncles. The “overly strict” one that thinks he is your father.
The “pervy” one that asks you to hook him up with your friends.
This uncle probably has a kid or two out of wedlock and is known as the womanizer of the family.
The “charmer”. He is the one your mom loves dearly and wishes your dad could be more like but she’ll never admit.
Fortunately and unfortunately for me, I have and had uncles like all those I listed.
A fusion of all those personality types.
The older I’ve gotten, I have become more aware of the influence of family on the man I am.
So carefully and closely examined all the men in my family. Dad’s side and mom’s also.
None of the men on both sides were married only once.
And some even had kids out of wedlock.
No judgments passed on any of them but it struck me.
I started to think “what if, as a family we have a hold that needs to be broken”
This contributes to my panic. Even my father was unable to fight the bug.
So what makes me different?
Before you jump in and start calling that a cheap excuse, it’s only an excuse now but you if were the woman I was divorcing.
So I actively pray about it and my steps are carefully selected.
I do not want to make the mistakes my fathers made. I want it to be my wife and I all the way.
So I need a woman who understands that my family is my reality and it is imperative that I change the narrative.
I will not fall. And I need someone willing to stand with me as I challenge God to make sure I am not just one Ikenne/Ofada man with a broken relationship.
So far, I’ve touched on two things unique to me but also somewhat detached from what you can argue to be my reality. So let’s get a bit more serious.
You remember when you were still living at home.
Probably with a curfew from your parents and them annoyingly micromanaging your life and warning you of adult hood.
But you couldn’t wait till you got to adult hood. Just so you could get away from them.
Remember how you now hate paying bills and actually almost have the best time when you go back to visit said parents?
Ever wanted something so bad, you nagged your loved ones to get it for you. You truly want it. Begging, negotiating, praying or even as far as writing God or Santa a letter pleading your case.
Then you wake up on Christmas morning and there it is!
That thing you have wanted for so long!!!!
In your hands!
As you open it, you realize that it’s not that great. It’s too small, too big, not flashy enough, not what you wished you rolled your one time offer from your parents on.
It’s just not it!
Well me neither, what was Christmas in house?
The point I want to convey in all that though is that you can sometimes want something so much that you lose the excitement for it when it gets into your hands.
EVERYONE and their choir leader wants a relationship but not everyone needs one.
Today, you find 21yr olds tweeting about relationships while 26yr olds are retweeting and hoping for the same.
The 30yr old is knowledgeably watching and hoping.
But for most people, the relationship happens and fails quickly because it is what they “want” and not what they need.
I spoke in detail a few weeks ago about “Needs vs. Wants vs. Availability”. Check it out.
My point is this, it is such a craze now.
Everyone wants one. Like an iPhone and so you don’t feel special in having yours.
There is so much more that needs to go into the human capital side of things.
Strengths, dreams and qualities that need to be built and worked on.
Like build yourself to be the best version of you before you have to become a builder of someone else.
Many people today run into relationships to hide the work they need to do.
Stay within you and grow within yourself.
You cannot build a sky scrapper from the top.
And the elevator that makes the ride from top to bottom, touching all floors of the building, is often put in last.
I truly wish that people would try to negate the public influence and perception while focusing on themselves.
The relationship will eventually come unless you’re a horrible person but even those ones get relationships, so just chill.
And make sure you’re ready when it comes around.
In the game of soccer, you can be watching a 33yr old heading towards his decline as a professional athlete and on the same pitch, a 19yr old making his debut.
Even though the 19yr old has speed and strength, you will continue to hear the commentator refer to this thing called experience when discussing the 33yr old.
You cannot put a physical value on experience.
Experience is the best teacher they say but I don’t entirely agree. Sometimes being close enough to someone else’s experience is the best learning opportunity.
Some people have been doing this relationship thing since they were 16. Ten plus years in the dating game and everything is still not figured out.
And yes, things get better along the way but how are your experiences making you a better partner?
Are you just going through the motions and not immersing yourself in the process? Such that your body may be weak but your mind/heart is seasoned and well aware of what it needs?
“Bad Cake Day”
I appreciate the opportunity to reflect on my decisions.
I thank God that I am able to sit back and own my stuff but also hold myself accountable.
I am often told that I beat myself up way more than I need to but it’s just the way I am.
My last relationship left a sour taste in my mouth.
I read something about karma the other day and I couldn’t help but feel like the “punishment” that was my last relationship, was karma visiting me.
It was here to collect on all my mistakes with interest and it cleaned me out.
I once heard that a guy can break ten hearts and continue gliding through life but the moment his heart is broken once by one he loves, he’s lost to the world.
That may be me.
I am sure I was served a slice of cake that I have force-fed someone before and it fucked me up. Only difference now is this, I’m not out to collect hearts, I just don’t want to be invited to that table anymore.
Somehow that perspective makes me a horrible person of some sorts.
I have broken a heart or two and maybe my last relationship was “payback” but it certainly taught me that a lot of work needed to go into me.
I needed to invest so much more into my human capital before trying to cash out on the ultimate relationship with someone.
Selfish. Coward. Fearful.
Those are some of the terms that have been used to address me in light of my decision to tread lightly.
“I’m not your ex” is the classic line I get.
Yes, they are often right. But here is how I rationalize it.
If a spider bites you, do you run from all spiders from then on?
“The Man, The Relationship”
“It doesn’t have to be perfect”
“have you ever considered that you’re perfect for me”
“all I need is you and I working at it and I’m fine with that”
I often find that some women have this belief that as long as you’re with them, you automatically alleviate some of the personal problems/issues you had before.
My working on myself and growing with you are not parallel with each other.
It is believed that your holding out either signals a lack of ambition with regards to being with her or just avoidance.
But I have come to a place where I hold true to my values and I will not be swayed by someone’s expectations of me.
I am the only one that knows when I am punching at 50% and that may be appealing to you but I know there is so much more to me.
And I want to do what it takes to unlock the rest of who I can be. So you as a woman, may be comfortable with my 50 but I am not comfortable giving just that.
I need to be the best of me.
And no I don’t think the best of me comes from being with someone. Relationships are hard work.
Not horrible but taxing and if you are not at the top of your game, you will lose out.
And then who gets hurt?
Take Volkswagen for example.
The put an “average” product out in the market and people swarmed it. Down the road, a recall had to be made costing the company billions and the CEO his job.
The product was good enough but it wasn’t the best it could be.
Most women today, in my opinion, do not focus on the man.
The idea of the man is good enough for them. As long as he fits the bill for what I need, I’m okay.
Well the issue with that love is that people evolve and my 50% that was more than good enough for you in year one, may not be good enough in year 3 and then what?
I Need God, I Want You
I am a firm believer.
Let me stop there.
Okay one step further. I am a firm believer that God should be present in all your endeavors.
Now I know I fall short and sometimes blatantly ignore his teachings and warnings but I know that this love thing will not be possible if he’s not involved in it.
Learning about him and how he wants us to love influences my day to day.
Like loving someone unconditionally, understanding patience, forgiveness and so on…
The biggest truth though is this, everyone should have a man deeply rooted in his core values, enough that if the wind of change rages with life’s struggles, his foot will not be moved.
A man that is God fearing but also has a stronger relationship with God than the one he has or is building with you.
Many want the man but they should be seeking a man who seeks the “other man”.
Find a man that knows God.
Not knows about him but knows him.
This is the part that I think many falter at. The planning phase is now.
Strip everything to the bare bones and build now.
Treat it like a care bear and build your bear.
I’m not saying have crazy expectations like expecting me to have more than the one pack I have right now.
Or be able to bench press you.
I’m saying let his heart be pure.
Let him truly know God. Support that process from a place of love.
Both of you seeking God together only has upsides.
If it is meant to be, he will help solidify it.
And if not, you will both still have an understanding of God and what he wants for both of you.
You know what’s funny, a solid relationship with God soothes most of the worries of all the points I made above.
So you see why this last point is the most essential?
Life will ultimately test you two and a man, who doesn’t know to run to God, will run away and ultimately away from you.
This is where I stop. I’m open a dialogue and feedback.
Let’s chat. Leave a comment below.
It’s now 6:37am.
Time for sleep. There will be reactions to this but for now, let me go and find sleep.
Who knows, I might wake up to another “essay”.
NEW SERIES STARTS ON SATURDAY!!!!!!!! SHARE AND BE HERE!!!
It’s my Words on a Wednesday. #WordsOfWednesday on #WhatTheHeckMan.
It was 7th grade and a few weeks before my birthday. I had convinced my parents to throw me a party.
This beautiful Monday morning, I was sitting in my seat during class and uncomfortably waiting for the bell to go for lunch.
Something was off.
Something had been off since we came back from Navir’s birthday party. It was my first encounter with Indian food and for whatever reasons it didn’t sit well with my system.
I felt like I needed to go but it felt like nothing was there.
I was so pressed.
There was no way I was going to ask Ms. Daniels again. I had already asked to go twice and I knew she wouldn’t let me go.
My reputation had preceded me before I arrived in her class.
As she rounded up our American History lesson, I did not know that a defining moment in my identity was about to occur.
History in the making as some would say.
My stomach turned and growled, it was unhappy with me and I knew I needed to make it to the bathroom.
You can relate when I say, I continued to glance at the clock and the seconds just wanted to take their fucking time.
At one point, I felt like I was using my mind to control the minute hand on the wall clock.
Everything moved slower.
So I would look away and try to distract myself with the hope that time was moving along.
After what I thought was a few minutes, I looked at the clock.
Only two minutes had gone by!
I cursed under my breath.
Ms Daniels heard me and said
“Ashton, do you have something you would like to add for the benefit of the class?”
I frowned at her as the whole class turned towards me. I replied
“Nope. Nothing at all”
She turned and continued the lecture.
I heard a voice say
“You really have to go huh?”
I turned and it was Sandra.
I shyly smiled and whispered
“Yeah but you know she ain’t letting me out.”
She nodded, smiled back and said
“Hold on we only got a few more…”
The bell went off.
Everyone got up and began making their way out of the classroom. The halls quickly filled with students heading to fill their expecting bellies.
I was looking to drain mine.
I sat still as the room cleared but Sandra didn’t get up either.
It was now Ms Daniels, Sandra and I left in the room. Sandra looked down at me as she stood and said
I shook my head in the negative.
Her eyes grew wide and she tried to hold back and embarrassed smile.
It had happened.
All over my clothes and my seat.
I was not about to walk into the halls with that entire thing going on.
What Sandra did next would birth the friendship that we have now had for years.
She walked to the door, peeped into the hallway to see the traffic of students.
She returned and handed me her sweater and told me to wrap it around my waist.
I did and followed her out of the room.
Clean break into the bathroom; success!
About 10 minutes later, I heard a knock outside the bathroom stall.
It was Sandra in the boys bathroom.
Over the stall, she threw me a pair of shorts and a shirt from the gym class.
I don’t know how she got it but boy was I glad she did.
It took me about twenty minutes but I cleaned up and headed back to class.
I had missed lunch.
As I walked into the room, I noticed that my seat was not in my spot.
With a curious look on my face, I quickly scanned the room and noticed my seat in the back of the classroom, far away from anyone.
As I took a few more steps into the room, it dawned on me that I left marks on the seat.
Some kids noticed me and began covering their noses.
Then the whole class took notice and burst out in a collective series of laughter.
Sandra was the only one that didn’t laugh.
Even Ms Daniel’s couldn’t help herself and I couldn’t even blame her. If I was in the position, I probably would have done the same thing.
I stood there in shock. I thought I had made a clean break but I guess not.
I would become the laughing stock of the class for months and you know that 13th birthday party?
Yeah it happened but only a handful of people showed up.
My reputation and name had taken a hit but this one was easy to come back from over time.
But it sucked.
Nowhere near where my life currently was though.
I wanted to scream.
I wanted to punch Wyatt and to be completely honest, I wanted to strangle Stephanie.
“You knew the whole fucking time?”
I yelled at Stephanie.
“You knew why I was slaving to fucking call you?
And you didn’t answer you piece of shit”
Everyone in the small waiting room glued his or her eyeballs at me.
I was so angry.
“Ash calm down.
You’re causing a scene”
Stephanie said to me as she motioned that I keep my voice down.
I think that only fueled me even more.
It’s annoyed me the more.
Who the hell did she think she was?
Thinking back to it now, I think it was all the frustration that had come from worrying about Raquel’s situation that caused me to go off.
I just spewed all my anger out.
“Causing a fucking scene?
I have been carrying this heaviness in my heart trying to warn you about what you may or may not have and you’ve been treating me like a fool.
Fuck you and this fucking scene!”
Wyatt stepped in front of her and said
“Can we talk about this in private?”
I scanned him from top to bottom and ignored what he said.
I turned around to look at Raquel who had her hand on my shoulder.
She was rubbing it in a circular motion and whispering that I calm down. I could feel myself heaving and breathing really hard.
The four of us walked out of the waiting room and into the hallway.
We reached the end of the hallway and Stephanie spoke first
“Ash, I didn’t answer your call because I felt guilty. I thought you wanted to get back together and I was guilty about how I left.
And Wyatt and I started getting serious.
I’ve been swamped with work and all… I am sorry I was avoiding you and I’m even more sorry that it was something this significant and I couldn’t be there for you.
I’m truly sorry”
I had been angry for so long that I didn’t’ appreciate the apology in the moment.
But the words hit my ears and then my heart.
I eased up a bit.
My shoulders dropped a bit. The feeling of anger began to fade as I looked at Raquel and back to Stephanie.
“It’s whatever now.
I just wanted to make sure you knew your status and you were being safe.
That’s it. I was trying to get you back or anything else.
I was genuinely worried that you may have gotten something from me…”
“Ash, I’m fine. I got checked out less than a month ago when I went for my annual checkup and I’m clean.
But I truly appreciate you worrying about me… It’s comforting”
I was relieved in a way.
I guess on some level I still cared. Besides, us breaking up should never be a death sentence for her.
So I asked what was the obvious question
“So what are you guys doing here?”
The answer was had me speechless.
Wyatt responded and said
“I’m the one that’s positive”
What The Heck Man!
My mouth opened by itself and I just stared.
We all stood there frozen.
The tension in that circle of four of us was palpable. You could touch it.
You could hold it.
But I bet nobody would ever try to experience that again.
It was awkward and real.
What Wyatt said changed a lot.
Stephanie obviously already knew but that frankly blew all our minds.
Thankfully the doctor came with good news to interrupt us.
Raquel was not HIV positive.
We both let out a sigh of relief but the niggling question was there. How did Wyatt and I become the positive ones?
Through the process, there have been dark days, tolerable days and “okay” days but never hopeful days.
The only friend that I felt understood my situation was Sandra.
So she was the only friend I had that knew what I was going through.
During our freshman year of college, Sandra came out to her parents as “bisexual”.
She was immediately ostracized and pushed out.
Her parents ridiculed her and suddenly, she was the laugh of their community and extended family.
But she fought through and maintained her identity while learning to love herself alone.
Sandra got it.
Raquel? Not so much but she was trying.
I decided to give her space after the test ordeal, so she could decide what she wanted going forward.
I came over to Sandra’s that evening and I sat on the kitchen counter sipping from a glass of wine as she prepared dinner
“the shock on all our faces was evident.
I was blown away”
I said as I took another sip from my glass
“Like Steph is clean and Wyatt is the one positive.
So I naturally started thinking, how did I get it?
Who have I been with that he has too?
Because I for sure have not been with him. No offense to the gay community.”
She smiled as she slid the lasagna tray into the oven and said
“Like, I was stumped because it’s just weird you know.
And Steph being clean?
Like I could have sworn I got it from her. She’s the only one I went raw with.
Man, I’m just mind blow.
I’m just trying to make sense of it. And so far, I’m at a loss. “
I paused as Sandra turned and said
“Ash, come here. I got something to tell you.”
She motioned at me as I got down from the counter and followed her into the living room.
I sat on the couch and placed my glass on the coffee table.
I straightened up and looked at Sandra
She seemed uncomfortable but still present.
I noticed her swallow hard and then she said
“Ash, you and I have been friends for many years. And I love you dearly.
You have always been a rock for me.
I want to thank you for always sharing with me but I think it’s time, I tell you something’s about me”
A look of seriousness came across my face as she continued
“You have been with me through some of my toughest times and been a rock for me.
So I am sorry for coming out late with this.
I hope this does not affect our relationship. Because the last thing I would ever want is for us to change how we are or for me to lose you entirely.
But Ash, I am HIV positive..”
No matter how hard you try. You cannot imagine how my face looked.
“And I gave it to Wyatt… but this was before I knew my status”
I couldn’t put the words together?
One of my best friends
How had she been carrying it this long and in treatment and I didn’t know?
I truly felt like a failure.
But if you were wondering Sandra and I hadn’t been having sex.
We had always been really good friends but nothing more.
When Stephanie and I broke up, we got closer and had sex a few times.
But then realized that we would be better off as friends.
I was suddenly covered in anger.
“How could you have known and not told me?
Even after I told you about the girl carrying a baby for me.
You are wicked, Sandra”
I got up as she began to cry and I was crying too.
It had come from the unexpected place.
The last place I would have looked.
I felt like I had been kicked in the gut.
“You and Wyatt?
Oh my fucking gosh. And you weren’t going to say anything after all the times I have brought up his name and said I hate him?
I got up and along with my heavy eyeballs. I walked out of the door.
I couldn’t believe it.
I had gone to Sandra for everything.
Hope, security, companionship and more hope.
Dumping my heart out to her, all my worries and even my pains. Yet she knew this whole time.
She knew every step before I even knew.
I was broken.
I completely detached from the whole world.
The drama that occurred from my fallout with Sandra really got to me.
I was emotionally drained and tired.
I didn’t know whom to trust anymore.
I continued to keep to myself., just going to work and coming home.
The friend you trusted turning out to the creator of your problems.
Weeks began to pass by and then they turned into months.
My emotional life was dead.
Social life was non-existent and I was losing connections with people.
One day, I heard a knock on the door.
I looked through the peep hole and it was Raquel.
She smiled as I let her in.
“Ash, your place is a mess.”
I picked up clothes and I apologized
“I’m sorry. I haven’t had anyone over in a while”
She ignored what I said as she tiptoed through the living room.
Stopping behind me, she placed her hand on my bended back and I turned.
She moved her hand to my face and said
“Ash, are you okay?”
I looked down to the floor.
I wanted to cry
She then said again
I looked up at her and said
“I’m okay. Hanging in there.”
“This is hard and I cannot imagine how you’re feeling but I need you to pull it together.
It is 2015 and being HIV positive is not a death sentence.
I know there are unique things you have to experience but we will be here to go through it together”
I looked at her for more of an explanation. She smiled and said
She smiled wider as she said
“I just came from the doctor and the baby and I are doing fine and perfectly healthy.
You and I have already made one healthy kid. And he or she is going to need their father. We don’t need any more but we have work to do.
Work for and on us.
But what I am trying to say here is, I want to be with you if you want me.”
I nodded as my eyes began to swell. She rubbed my face and hugged me.
Just like that, I felt a piece of me being put back together.
She let go and walked into the kitchen as she said
“Have you eaten?
Let me make you something.”
She opened the refrigerator and it was empty.
She flashed a questioning look at me and suddenly we both broke out in laughter.
She told me to head into the shower and she was taking me out to eat.
I looked at her for a few seconds with a big smile on my face.
Before I have to come and shower you”
I laughed and headed into the bedroom.
It was going to be a long road to us being okay and functioning properly but I had her with me.
With her, I wasn’t alone.
I reached my beside and my phone lit up.
It was Linda.
Slowly, I grabbed my phone and hit the “ignore” button.
My FreeFall had just been halted.
I wasn’t about to knowingly jump off another cliff into the unknown.
Getting to be with a supportive woman in Raquel meant the world.
I knew my status; I was positive but going back into the hole that got me here?
I walked back into the living room and Raquel was looking at her phone.
I stood and smiled there like someone in love for the first time.
She looked at me and said
She asked with a smile on her face
I walked up to her and said
Stigma can be overwhelming.
It is a social construct but powers that affect the emotional, physical and social aspects of people’s lives.
Being HIV positive is certainly not a death sentence in 2015 but there are many things that come from it.
The way people perceive you, interactions with you and some limitations once may have.
I highlighted Raquel’s initial reaction to Ash’s news.
Most people would act the same.
It can be scary but we can still be present for those who need us.
It is not just HIV. Skin cancer, mental health issues, emotional and spiritual problems; they all need that support system.
FreeFall highlights some of the issues that come post heartbreak.
The need to fill a void.
Sometimes the void is filled with things that we know are unhealthy for us in the long run but temporarily satisfies needs.
For Ash that was sharing his body for some, it is their safety, their heart, their dreams.
A relationship should not define you.
You should not lose yourself because of a failed relationship or situation.
Sometimes we fall.
It can be healthy and humbling to be dropped from a place of comfort or pride.
Back down to earth
The fall can be important to your growth but the people that catch you can be just as important as falling.
Always have a safety net of people you can really trust and ensure that they can hold you up.
You never want to fall and expect to be helped up by someone who is already broken, it won’t work.
Ultimately, there is a lot in the FreeFall series.
Be kind to people. Do not judge them because of their situations.
I hope you enjoyed the FreeFall series.
Please FIND OUT WHAT YOUR STATUS IS TODAY.
Knowing is always easier than regretting.
Till the next series, it’s been The Wordsmith of the handle for #WhatTheHeckMan
I love you all. LEAVE ME COMMENTS!!!!! SOME OF YOU HAVE BEEN SLACKING LATELY. 😂 (Don’t point fingers at me! I’ve apologized 😊😊)