Dear Ganiyu

Not so dear Ganiu Jelili,

Forgiveness is more than saying sorry.

No regrets for me, I won’t waste my time regretting; what it will only do is hurt me and make a bitter sweet tinge about the end of our four year love affair. There were few highs and so many lows; basically all lows, but I won’t take it away from you that at first sight I thought maybe I would never find a better lover than you.

We started as friends, you were close to my late boyfriend and when he died, you offered me a shoulder to cry on. I fell for the warmth of your embrace and I decided not to face my fears. One of my fears was the manner with which you always lurk in the shadows; that worried me. My head said it was timidity, my heart said humility. I wanted to go with my head but my friends and families prevailed and we started living together. The honeymoon period was as short as the few seconds after you said “I do.”

You had a special talent of making questionable friends. Your bald friend that came to visit us sometimes ago had blood stains on his shirt and lips, you said it was nothing. There were always questionable magnitude of money in your friend Dessy’s bags and I questioned you, you gave a dozen excuses and said you’re not one of them. In fact, your area bros that robbed his avenue empty was arrested and you went to bail him out. All these things didn’t add up! Robbers came to raid our home and took away our food and cough syrup, yet you brought out your money to give them t-fare.

You never bought me flowers; you never gave me the honour of holding your hands. Sometimes you treat me like a child that didn’t matter and so many times I thought I will never be able to live after you. I thought you were a good man: I wanted to believe you’re a good man, but it baffles me that a good man can be comfortable in the company of rouges, derelicts and ex-convicts. Now I doubt you were ever a good man, you found it easy to ignore my pain; you would always pass the blame to someone else.

In agony and strife I suffered this abusive relationship for four years. Remember when my cousins got killed in the garage incident and you went dancing at your friend’s birthday turn-up; worst of all you were gumming body to this woman I can’t really single out. It hurt me more than you know, and I doubt you ever loved me at all. My nephew got shot and my niece got kidnapped by those gangsters up the street and all you did was blame our neighbour. You never comforted me, your inactions brought more clouds above me. You were more concerned about how people in the neighbourhood saw you, and not who you are in the house.

Your niece that lives in the next town, who is married to Raji, comes here often and she’s looking all fresh and nice. He never beats her; in fact he takes so much care of her that at one point I was tempted to replace you with him. But now that is history, I have someone else much more matured than Raji I have hooked up with. And I really do not care whether you cry or not, glad you accepted my leaving in good faith. I owe you no favours.

I’m glad the four years of abuse, misuse and devastation has ended. Really glad to know Mo’ud would take care of me; honestly I’d rather take my chances than wait for you to get home drunk and beat me all over again. In the twilight of our living together, you deliberately removed the cut-out from our electricity fuse and you drained the fuel in the generator just to punish me. Ugh, you thought it would make me meltdown and crawl back on all four for you, but you’re wrong. Maybe you should know, my new boo is a fighter, he’s not a wanton weakling like you and be sure when he sees the marks and bruises of your torture on my body, he will come for you and I cannot vouch for you not being sent to prison for it; my experience with you reduced me to less than human. Forget the people I’ve been with before I met you, I gave you my heart and you threw it to the gutter; I’m left with a bitter after-taste, you took my submission for granted.

Forgiveness is more than saying sorry. Don’t bother to apologise for any mistakes, it’s too late: It won’t clear the cloud over the dark days, it won’t bring back all the money I made from my palm oil selling business that your mistresses stole without you budging, and it won’t bring back my cousins and my nephews. It definitely will not bring back any emotions I ever had for you or the admiration my family members had, when they thought you were a breath of fresh air.

Now my crying has stopped, I will wear a smile and walk in the bright sunshine. They may forgive you for the right reasons, but I will never forget you; for the wrong reasons.




(Nohimat is every Nigerian that is saying goodbye and Goodluck to the outgone Ganiyu)

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