The estimated reading time for this post is 4 minutes
I was once told that love is a choice.
Greetings from #peo. It really has been a long time. Thanks to part3 MBBS exams in the University College Hospital, the University of Ibadan. Yes, I thought of writing a ‘Behind the Scenes’ for this exam too. But, let’s just say some forces stopped that from happening. This exam was tough. No use trying to form hero. Thank God for God. I’ve heard many of my friends in other courses ‘hail’ medical students, talking of our textbooks and many exams. In as much as I can’t deny their existence, I also like to remind them that their courses come with ‘job hazards’ too. When I heard two friends of mine recently finished with first class honors, I also ‘hailed’ them. They did well, very well.
*note: my friends, my ex-classmates. Finished. From the university. Fellow friends still in school, studying medicine, keep up the good fight. We all have our unique paths.*
Love is a choice.
Some choose. Some have the choice forced on them.
She recently had to travel a long distance, longer than she had ever done. She knew finding a comfortable seat was important but she decided not to be bothered even though she was still recovering. Seeing him settle down comfortably into one of the seats brought back memories. He was once adorable. He had on a Yoruba top and a black trouser.
Her fantasies had been centered on him since she was sixteen years old and he was her tutor in the advanced learning centre. He was not much of a talker. Asking her out was him driving her to a restaurant instead of her home on the other side of town where her parents awaited her return. At first, she was frightened, unsure of his intentions and what was expected of her when he took her to one of the rooms. After, he asked her to take care as he drove away from the gate.
He had a headset on. Nodding slowly, his eyes were closed and his arms gently folded in front him. She thought of going to him. That’s how it always starts. He was never the one, again, to initiate the revival. Not after that first time at the restaurant. He opened his eyes, looked around as if he could feel someone’s eyes on him. He looked till his eyes found hers. She was not sure if he smiled before closing his eyes again. She was trapped. It was going to happen again.
They went out often after that. Till she gained admission. Till she graduated. They became an item. Right.
First time he hit her, she laughed. He must have been joking. Of course, he did not really mean she could not go to her friends party instead of going with him to see a movie. She went to the party, came back late. And drunk. Again, he wasn’t much of a talker. His belt with the arsenal emblem did the talking close to her ears and eyes. Makeup was just a bit heavy on her face the next morning. She had moved out her stuff to her sister’s place. Offering no explanation. At least, she had not shown up pregnant. Protection had been totally agreed on and adhered to between them.
He did not call.
Two weeks later, she was back in his house.
He said nothing
When they finally arrived at their destination, he got up and walked out of the luxurious bus. She saw him glance at her. She followed him. It was a conference and participants were allowed to choose their lodgings and roommates. She saw he had no roommate. As she registered, she chose room 234. Standing in front of the door, she reminded herself again that she could not go back to him. She was not supposed to. He was a beast. He could kill her. Entering, she heard him turn off the tap in the kitchen and turn towards the door. Not taking her eyes off him, she dropped her luggage and walked towards him. Convincing herself had eventually not worked out.
The beatings seemed to have a pattern; repeated, recurrent pattern. Her sister’s house being the interphase between them. Her sister once locked her up and went away with the key in a bid to stop her from returning. Her love for him broke the door and she went to him. Yet again. The next time, her sister met her at the door, close to lifeless. She had simply told him she did not want him wearing a native dress to the next conference meeting. Well, she also purposely burnt the intended cloth while ironing it. She recovered early enough to still manage to attend the conference. And see him settle into his seat and put on the headset. Conference was to last four weeks.
The conference ended and she went straight to her sister’s place. He had not beaten her. Not physically. She had been going back and forth with him for 16years. She stayed a month with her sister. Left to see him briefly to give him the report.
Unmarried and pregnant. At 32years.
Her sister shook her head when she heard about the intending marriage. Somewhere in the great beyond, her parents cried.
Some choose love at first, then, they have it forced on them.
Choose right. Or don’t choose at all.