Inspiring: The Pains of not telling him.


We talked about the weather, politics, economy and I kept opening my mouth to say things which seemed to stay trapped between my teeth.

I wanted to tell him that I think we are the answers to each other’s questions -the questions we are both too afraid to ask.

I wanted to scream and tell him that he had been so selfish -that in making the decision to go, he did not even think about what it would mean for me.

I wanted to tell him that with him, I feel complete; that somehow, he fits into the jigsaw of my life even with its distorted pieces.

I wanted to tell him that the moment I first met him was etched in my memory, almost as if it had been carved in stone; that time in those coffee-coloured eyes, I saw my destiny.

I wanted to tell him that seeing him this time felt normal, as if nothing had ever changed, as if everything around us had changed. We had changed but we together had not. I wanted to tell him that until he came along and completed me, I had no idea I was incomplete.

I wanted to tell him that without the relationship and romance between us; I was reminded that he was my best friend. I wanted to tell him that this time when we were together, I never noticed the silences between us, perhaps because I was too busy having conversations with him in my head.

I wanted to tell him that I could not believe how normal seeing him felt, how I knew that when he looked at me he saw through the make-up, the smokescreen, the illusion; he always saw me. I wanted to tell him that it’s not that I could not live without him, I could. I can, I do; I just did not want to.

I wanted to tell him that any thought of his unhappiness, made me unhappy. That I would rather he be happy with her than be unhappy for my own satisfaction. I wanted to tell him that I wanted that small piece of metal on his finger to act as a solid space between us so that if one of us tried to get on it, we would just fall through the hole.

I wanted to tell him that when we looked at each other, I wanted him to just close me in his eyes and keep me there. I wanted to tell him that I hated him for going and taking with him my dreams, the imagined moments of Sunday mornings, drinking tea and reading newspapers, of caramel-coloured children, of travelling the world, of just living a life of him.

I wanted to tell him that he is the answer to all my questions.

Instead, I kept silent. I played the part I was there to play and had this conversation with him in my head. Yet in my head, I could not find the response I wanted him to give me.

About author

Kemi Wale-Olaitan

Kemi is a retired broadcaster from the service of Federal Radio Corporation of Nigeria; while in service, she had her interest in women issues and had interviews with several notable women in the course of her duty as a producer in the service of the Federal government. Her interest in broadcasting was informed by her creative writing prowess; she has been very active in creative writing since her undergraduate days, and she has written a few fictional works in form of short stories and novel. Some of her short stories have appeared in anthologies of Short stories. Kemi was also very active in the establishment of the Women Writers Association of Nigeria (WRITA) and she served on its first Executive Council.

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