LETTER FROM A FRIEND-ZONED LOVER
“Tejuade, has I write these letter to you my luv, I am very sleepi but your beautifl face will ……” Adelani read the inked words and saw no need to inform her that he had sleep-written the message, that would turn her off, he noticed the errors and without giving it any thought, shriveled the paper, again.
Wiping off the balls of sweat playing right down his temple, across his nose bridge and making right for his lips, he got off the chair to open the second hand of his wooden window. When he looked out he saw the little stars gazing right back at him straight from the horizon, he smiled upon remembering the night luck gave him a seductive grin, when Tejuade for the first time noticed him; the night of Isutuntun festival, village women had in the heart of the village danced, molested their own buttocks and had gone too far in purnishing their waists.
He headed back for the cane chair his grandfather had cherished all through his adulthood, adjusted the atupa and poured some palm oil on the saucer shaped surface. He dug into his leather school bag and brought out his English notebook, tore out the twin sheets at the middle, closed the book and placed the sheets on the book, just as immediately as he stretched his legs to comfortably retry the task he had placed upon himself, his left leg hit the basket containing the cans his mother uses in making moi moi, the sound of metals kissing one another diffused through the whole house and he heard footsteps made towards his room.
“Delani, ire e ti to sun , ehn? Emi lo mi n se lo ganjo oru ? ” his mother hissed in a dialect that took Delani years to wash off a little bit from his tongue.
“Maami, ise amurele awon akeeko mi ni mo n maaki.” he knew lying was bad, he would later confess to father Jonathan on Sunday, speaking soberly while the white man would nod his head and at intervals, sip his always-steaming coffee.
“Too, o ku ise oko mi, sugbon boo wa ni ariwo pangolo ti je? Se o fe fi aisun tie ji gbogbo aba sile ni?” She questioned again, but this time in a voice void of anger.
“Ema binu maami, ese mi lo gba basket egbe eni mi. E lo sun pada, mi o ni disturb yin mo” he pleaded, praying silently in his heart that she would just give up the interrogation and go back to her room.
“Ewo a tun ni dereestorbu abi bo lo a ti wii , elebo e ku le. Mo pe ko to sun o, o kookan la ji o” she turned back, holding the wrapper tied right across her chest, like it would fall any moment.
“Mo ti gbo, o daaro” he made back for his seat after he had already packed the cans back into their designated abode, then he started writing another letter.
” Oloju irawo, Tejuade mi owon.
I know you would be surprised upon reading this letter. I want you to know that I am regretful that it got too late before telling you all these, aso o ba omoye mo, omoye ti rin ihoho woja.
I would have gone to the grave having lived everyday of my life in pain and remorse if i never got to tell you that i for long had hoped that there would be a chance for me to tell you that I had loved you from the very first day you walked into the class when we were in Standard two, the earth stopped spinning that instant and every breath in me left and went straight into your grasp, I felt the urge to walk up to you right at that moment and just stay glued to your front, enjoying the peace drawn from the ocean of your tempting yet blissful smile, but I just couldn’t, I was too shy, drowned in my low self esteem. We all had heard a lot about how wealthy your parents were and that you transferred to our school from the most expensive private school in Lagos because of your father’s transfer to the oil company in our small village. I felt totally inferior and knew that moment I caught the sight of your incomparable beauty, that I was out of your league. after all, I was just the son of a common cassava farmer. I hid behind your shadow every walk to the cafeteria but never had the courage to speak to you.
I should have made this confession that night but I didn’t want to scare you away, I loved your bright smile and didn’t want it mutating into a frown. That night of Isutuntun festival will forever be engraved on the platter of my heart.
When you had fell and I ran to help you up, I was the first to see your fall because I actually had my eyes on you from the very second you walked to the village square in your perfectly cut oleku dress, the dazzling heels I am indebted to (for making you slip and trip which is why we got to talk), your exquisite suku, which I had successfully suppressed the yearn to run my fingers through each wavy cornrow.
Tejuade, we were friends for so many years and yet I messed up all the chances I had to proclaim my love for you, I have no excuse but I want you to know that I wasn’t so sure you would have loved me back, I cherished our friendship so much that I knew sacrificing how I felt is the best decision I ever made; I couldn’t stand the thought of losing you as a friend, that was why when you told me that you were going to give Olasubomi a chance to make you fall in love with him, I had lied to you that the tears from my eyes were as a result of the flame from my mother’s kitchen, when you asked what was wrong with me. I hugged you that night before you left for his father’s duplex promising myself that I would murder every thought of loving you, but It was just an attempted murder, the fire of your love refused to die, it became even an inferno and I have lived everyday regretting that I let you go, willingly.
I know this is wrong ; sending you a letter through your best friend on the eve of your wedding, I am not only a coward but a shallow minded guy, yeah, I know the train of thoughts going through your head, I am sorry but I love you so much. I am not right for you and though as hard as it seem to accept, Olasubomi is the best man for you, he has the ability to treat you right like a gentleman should, he is rich enough to take you to the diners and restaurants you have always loved, you two look perfectly fine together and I am happy for you.
My salary is not even enough to pay your monthly hairdo, so stop wondering why I did something this stupid, I made a wise choice not telling all these afore your engagement with him.
Tejuade, though the journey we walked together was the most pleasant of all, I know I have to let go definitely and I leave on a journey to somewhere far away in a week time; I want to stay off your nose.
Have a blissful marriage.
I love you.
Tejuade would read this letter after Yemisi had given her and would cry out her whole heart, regretting too that she had concluded over the years that all he wanted from her was just friendship and hid her love for him too, then Yemisi would console her, pat her back occasionally and tell her it’s not too late to make things right.
Tejuade would sleep on the eve of her wedding hoping that decision she made about the next day, was a good one.