There is an Igbo proverb that says:"The woman carries the burdens of the world on her shoulders". When I first met Chukwudi, thats when I realized how strong and determined I could be. As I said earlier, Chukwudi is an honest guy but he was one of those guys that was constantly hanging out "at the passenger's side of his best friend's ride". He was always happy to come second. Never first.He had lots of ideas, but instead of implementing them himself, he would always be happy to let his friends do the hard work and then he could just take whatever crumbs they gave him, and believe me, he was just happy doing that. I would not say he was lazy, but I think he lacked confidence in himself.
Anyway, that's how he was when I met him, rolling with the big boys, and he had lots of good friends too because he was such a loyal friend. I recognised this very early on in our relationship and that is why I constantly pushed myself just to show him that one could do anything if we set our minds to it. The funny thing is, I actually never wanted to study abroad, I wanted to study in Nigeria because I could not bear the thought of leaving him. Somehow, I knew he needed someone to believe in him. Anyway, we were so in love, we did the whole "indian movie" love story, we shared a lot of wonderful moments together. The only reason I decided to go was because Chukwudi convinced me that that would be the best thing for "us"(Oh Lord!). He always said Nigeria was not meant for people like "us", Nigeria did not fit "us", especially him, he had big dreams, that one. I must say, in one way, I understood what he meant. He was always reading or listening to music, dreaming away. The day I decided to study abroad, I had asked him, "Chukwudi, if you had the chance to study abroad, would you do it? would you leave?" His reply:" I would go immediately, I wouldn't even think about it!"
"So you would leave me?" "Look waffarian, if I had the chance to leave this country and live a better life, I would, and you have the chance. Even if you don't want to do it for yourself, do it for me. Think how different our lives would be, you could study, work and save money, and then I'll come over and join you. Imagine! by next year, we'll be together again, and we would have left this country!". Yes Oh! Because na so e dey easy! hahahahahha make I laugh small.Thats how I left Nigeria, to become a poor student, that had nothing other than the fact that Chukwudi's dreams weighed heavily on my shoulders.I was one of those "proper" students, you know, the ones that live in the hostel all year round, including christmas. If anybody knows that of kind life, na African "scholarship" students. Not those students that their parents "fixed" scholarships for them because they work in the ministries or embassies, thus, even if their parents are rich, they still enjoy government funding, Mba, I am talking about real sufferhead. The ones that actually applied, sat for an exam, and God knows how, got a scholarship. The ones that after they buy their monthly food, they can go to the cinema once. They are in campuses all over the world. Na dem know wetin real sufferhead be.
Anyway, that was the situation. During my first summer, I worked on different farms, I pluck tire, and I saved the money I got in a bank account. The money I did not save, i bought "boxers" and "t-shirts" and sent it back to Chukwudi.(hahahahahhahahahahah, abeg, make I laugh again). The small money I got from my parents, na Nitel dey chop am. Those days, to phone Naija na "try your luck". Infact, sometimes, i dey get real operator self wey i dey gist with small. The best city to phone those days na Lagos, even if you try 20 times, at least once, e must to go through. Benin.........rarely. Warri? hahahahahahahhaahhahahahabeg, no vex, wey waffy girl remember all those times wey we dey pile ourself go one of my friend's uncle office cos "from there na better connection", laugh wan kill me!
So all my extra money was spent calling Chukwudi who was hardly ever there. Even after calling repeatedly and leaving specific days and times, he never made the effort. He was busy chasing other people's dreams. That was how that year ended, I wrote letters about how much i had saved, sent pictures, called diligently. That same year, Chukwudi finished from the university. He was now officially free to start chasing his dream. That same year, I travelled to England, to celebrate "surviving" that horrible year, and also because my cousin had promised that I could use his phone as much as I wanted to call Nigeria. I was so excited, finally, I could talk "properly" to Chukwudi without my friends hovering around, we could re-evaluate our plan, I wanted to know how much he had saved, etc. I called him immediately I landed. The way he answered the phone sent chills down my spine. I knew it was over. Our time was up. He did not say anything bad or hurtful to me, it was the way he said my name, the way he talked, everything. I did not say anything, I just knew, he was still talking when I gently put the reciever down. I cried. For a long time, I cried. That was the last time I spoke to him, untill I met him again that early morning(See "I am hustling" post). I later found out that he had opened a business in lagos with one of his friends(i am not going to say what kind of business just incase, but it is something that is thriving seriously in Naija now) the year I travelled and about that same time I was in England, he was basically sitting on serious money. He was spending money like water. Yes my people, that is what had changed. That is the difference I heard in his voice that day. It was "new money" that was talking to me. All these years, I never knew. After 8 years,I find this out. I was ready to leave my home, work, do anything for him and him, he did not want to share. Simple.
So wey una dey talk say i dey harsh for dat "I am hustling" post, laugh wan kill me! Why i go pity am?and by the way, this was my first love oh!(baby girls, i sure say una know wetin dat one mean)