The clock on the wall says it’s 3:58 a.m and, Dotun, famed for having nupital ties with sleep, has been unable to do just that – sleep. After tossing and turning in bed for about 3 hours, he finally gave up the chase for slumber and sat up, staring at the wall, but his mind was lost in thoughts. “Why can’t I stop thinking about her?” He wondered. “Okay, that question is ridiculous. What I should be asking is when will I stop thinking about her, or, how can I stop thinking about her? Goodness! I can’t even sleep, she invades my dreams!” He said exasperatedly, and climbed out of bed. With no clue on what to do at such an ungodly hour, he began to pace from one end of the room to the other. Then, an idea popped into his head. “Why don’t I write her a letter? After all, handwritten letters will never go out of style. Moreover, I don’t think I can say all these things on my mind to her in person.” The room was dark, because he never slept with the light on. So, he walked towards the switch on the other end of the wall beside the ceiling fan knob and flipped it on, then walked back to where his desk was. He strategically placed his desk here – facing the wall, away from the window and backing the bedroom door – to avoid distractions while he was studying or working.  He stood with both hands resting on the back of the chair, contemplating whether to go ahead with his grand idea of writing a letter or not. The clock in the Catholic church two streets away struck five times, and that seemed to jolt him out of his indecision. So, He drew out the chair and sat. There was already a pen and paper from a list he had been writing the day before. He picked the list up and glanced through: 

  1. Roll on  (Nivea men)
  2. Tissue paper 
  3. Black face cap  (to replace the one. . .
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He didn’t get to the fourth item before squeezing the list and flinging behind him out of frustration. The poor sheet of paper landed soundlessly on the rugged floor. “How do you do you tell a lady that you’ve loved her from time immemorial, when she sees you as ‘just a friend,’ and now, she’s about to get married?” He wondered, with his head inbetween his two palms in a yepaa pose.

“Write man, write.” He advised himself then raised his head, picked up the pen lying on the desk, and made to write in his journal. He paused and chuckled when he remembered that just this week, his cousin, Henry laughed him to scorn after finding out that he kept a journal “as a guy.” “That mumu can snoop sha oo.” He thought, and shook his head.Dotun write and stop stalling,” he chided himself. 

Sigh. She left me. Okay, that phrase is a bit harsh, and makes it seem like it’s her fault when, it’s obvious that I’m the jerk here. Ahh… Amara… How I have loved her all these years, but she has never known. Well, she doesn’t know, because I have never told her and ofcourse, she can’t read minds! Henry is right, I dey do like ogbolo. Every time I have the opportunity to tell her how I feel, liver go just fail me. Goodness! It hurts real bad to love with all your heart and it all lies there – in your heart – trapped. Now, she’s getting married. What do I do? I could still summon courage to tell her, lest I die one day with this burdensome secret of mine, but then I don’t want to ruin her wedding and risk being seen as the-jerk-who-ruined-my-life. If a whole superhero like Barry Allen couldn’t tell Iris he loved her, then who am I?  A jerk! That’s what I am. For eight years I watched her like a hawk; through all the ups and downs, bad relationships and heartbreaks, bloomage, family drama, graduation, engagement, and now, wedding. So, I’m just supposed to write her a letter saying goodbye, and forget about her? How will she interpret it? How does one even start writing such things? Sigh. This is hopeless. This life sef is ironic; the people you love don’t love you in return, those who love you, you have no interest in, then there are those doomed to live and die in the ‘friend zone’! I. Love. You. Amara. I wish she would read this. I wish she was mine instead of his. I wish that wedding will not hold (don’t be selfish! She deserves to be happy). I wish… oh for Christ sake! I need to quit wishing these wishes. Loving from a distance hurt like hell. Debbie has the hots for me, but I no dey give that one face. It’s Amara I see in all the faces. It’s only her voice…her touch that can take me places (in my dreams!)… Okay, I’m done with this.

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Dotun’s pen rested on that last word and he hit his left palm across his forehead repeatedly, accompanied by mutterings of “Jerk! Jerk! Jerk!” And in that state, he rested his head on the desk and fell asleep, finally.  Yes, somethings were meant to be; saying goodbye to her was not one of them. The church clock sounded again, six times, this time. 

Susan Nwaobiala
Author: Susan Nwaobiala

Susan Nwaobiala is currently a year-three Literature major in the University of Ilorin, Kwara, Nigeria. She reviews books, writes contents for blogs, is interested in mental health, and likes to interact with people through her bedroom window.

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