I fell in love with Feyisayo slowly. Well, I’ve never been one to ‘fall’ in love so maybe that’s the way romance worked for me. I had been in about 5 relationships before Feyisayo but only 3 serious ones. We met at NYSC Orientarion Camp in Iseyin, Oyo State where we both served. I remember that hot October afternoon like it was yesterday. Possibly, because of all the drama that ensued.
I had not noticed her immediately but instead I had my eyes on her friend, Onyenachi. Nachi was a beauty to behold with her very striking features. She was tall, possibly 5 10″ which I had even imagined would suit my 6′ 2′ frame perfectly. She had dark skin and was what you would call a black beauty. Her slim body made a her look like a model, a healthy one though and it was absolutely impossible not to notice her as she walked. Nachi and Feyi were having a conversation with one of the soldiers on the camp about where to go to register, hand in their Call up letters and get their numbers for the year. I was behind them and listening in because I, too, was lost. The soldier pointed to an office and we all walked towards it. I was keenly observing them as they walked. They seemed so close so I guessed they must have gone to the same University.
We got to the office and there were so many forms to fill. We sat down and started filling them out. At some point, we were asked for our passport photographs. They accepted mine and Feyi’s but rejected Nachi’s because she had smiled in hers. It was then I saw a side to her that was ‘scary’ to put it mildly and promptly repelled me. She got angry and went on a loud rampage asking why they would reject her photo. The man who had rejected it calmly told her to approach the many photographers outside, take a photo and then come back, promising her that her space would be kept for her.
This had not pacified her at all and she became even louder screaming,
‘This is the problem with this useless country! All these unprofessional people who do not realise that they are offering a service!’, she spat.
All through, Feyi had tried to calm her down to no avail. The man got angry at her outburst and told her to walk out of the office. She did but not before calling him a ‘useless man’. Feyi went to the man and starting apologising on Nachi’s behalf and even at some point knelt down asking him not be mad anymore. Her attitude did the trick but Nachi still had to take another passport photo. At that point, I was drawn to Feyi. She was so soft spoken and appeared very gentle and humble in comparison with her hotheaded, though beautiful friend. From that day, I looked around for her but never saw her. She was in a different platoon and this made finding her harder.
Four days into camp, I spotted her. I promptly left the ‘guys’ with whom I was having drinks and suya and rushed off to speak with her. She turned out to even be better than I had imagined. She was trying to adjust her khakis at a tailor’s in Mammy Market, the general hang out zone in the camp and it was there we got talking. She recognised me so that made things a bit faster. I found out that she and Nachi had in fact attended not only the same university in Ghana but had also gone to secondary school, FGGC Shagamu together. They had lived on the same street in Opebi since they were both really young and so were ‘practically sisters’, she said.
She seemed a bit shy, looking at the floor and fiddling with her phone as we spoke and never for once did she set her gaze at me. I was attracted to her personality more than I was to her physically. She was good to look upon but was not as pretty as Nachi. She was curvy and about 5 7′ compared to Nachi’s 5 10′ frame. However, what Nachi lacked in character, Feyi had in surplus and at my age, I knew I would pick character over looks anytime, any day.
That day was the beginning of what became a very solid, strong and loving relationship. We grew so close and spent every spare time together. We would sneak out into town together, sometimes with Nachi who I found out was not so bad afterall, just too headstrong for a woman in my opinion. I believed a woman should have a meek and gentle spirit, someone you could be sure would be submissive and not try to control you. That was who Feyi was. She was very humble and respectful to all around and took all the ‘rubbish’ Nachi would never condone. Our love grew…strong.
Feyisayo and I had a good relationship. We were both so in love. Thoughts of her constantly filled my head. She was everything to me and I made that perfectly clear to anyone who cared to listen. She was my queen and my angel and my everything. She treated me likewise. She always doted on me and listened to me. She was very gentle and submissive and her soft voice made her sound even more so.
I had served late. I finished from Obafemi Awolowo University in 2005 but went straight to the US for a 2 year long masters programme and then did a work placement for about 9 months before returning to Nigeria. So by the time I was to serve, I was already 27. Feyi was 23. She was going to be ready to settle down in marriage in about 2 years. I just wanted to secure a good job, get a nice apartment in a nice area, save some money and then, I would be ready. Two years was therefore, just perfect for me.
She was posted to First Bank in Marina and I was posted to Afribank which was just 5 minutes away so I made it a point of duty to drive her to work each morning. I lived in Ilupeju so I had to drive back into Maryland and then Opebi before making the return trip back to Ilupeju, then Jibowu and then Third Mainland Bridge then into Marina. Her parents felt I was bothering myself and that they could arrange for her to get dropped each morning by their driver or she could get on the staff bus from General Hospital (Ayinke House) in Ikeja. I had assured them that it was no bother whatsoever. Little did they know the great deal of joy it brought me to see Feyi each morning. Feyi too was good to me. We usually met up for lunch each afternoon but she insisted on bringing packed lunch for me at least 3 times a week because ‘it was too expensive to eat out every afternoon’. I did not mind but her gesture further proved to me that she was a real woman, not like the money loving ones who would squeeze a man till he was dry.
Feyi was not like that. Once when I had invested a lot in a business and was broke, she had sensed it and had offered to pay for my fuel for the week using the pretext, ‘my dad says I shouldn’t go with you if I can’t pay for the fuel at least once in three months’. It was hard to say no at that point but being the person I was, I’d rather have starved than take the money off her. However those little things made my love for her soar. She was Little Miss Perfect to me soon to be Mrs Feyisayo Biodun Daniels. Nothing could have sounded better…
I really can’t place my hands on how it happened or when exactly it started but Feyisayo changed from the sweet and loving girl I fell in love with and loved into someone I didn’t recognise nor know how to handle. Her change was drastic and unexpected.
She got retained at First Bank but I was lucky to get a good job in EFCC which is what I really wanted. She liked to hang out with friends but only if I was there. Her normal response to people’s invites would be, ‘If Biodun is coming, I’ll be there’. I used to urge her to go without me but deep within me, I felt proud when she used to say, ‘baby, there’s no way I’m going out without you’. She was a very introverted person who could easily be mistaken for snobbish. She was totally dependent on either me or Nachi to act as her ‘support’ when we went to gatherings. Nachi, however, had travelled to England for her Masters so I was the only friend she had left.
I became very busy juggling business deals with my regular 9-5. Our regular Saturday hanging out reduced. We had to depend on phone to communicate as I had to do a lot of travelling around the country. I thought she took it well. She never complained which I thought was unusual for a woman. Most girls I know would have had started nagging but she was always so understanding. On our anniversary, we had planned a dinner which I cancelled at the last minute because I had to seal an unexpected deal in Abuja. It was too good to miss out on and I could not trust anyone else to represent me. I had braced myself before making that call to Feyi to cancel the date. I had a carefully planned speech.
‘Baby, I’m so so sorry I won’t be able to make it on Friday. Something came up…’ Before I could finish the sentence, she caught me off with, ‘I understand dear. You have to do what you have to do. We can always have that dinner some other day. Just make sure you call me sha’, she said with a laugh in her voice. I was stunned. I couldn’t believe my luck not just for that situation but with the type of understanding wife I would have, the type who wouldn’t nag and stress me out if I had to make business trips often. I was elated. God had indeed given me a perfect woman, I thought to myself.
I called her on our anniversary as I promised. We spoke everyday so when she said ‘call me’, I knew it meant ‘call me every free moment you have’. That was exactly what I did. From 12 midnight up until the afternoon, I would sneak out of meetings to make quick calls just to let her know how sorry I was that I could not be there and how much I loved her. She dismissed all my apologies and sounded happy. At about 10 pm, I got back to the house I was staying in Abuja and rang her again. The background was noisy so I asked her where she was.
‘Oh Im just hanging out with friends’, she replied in her usual soft tone.
It took a while to process that information. Not that it was a big deal for her to hang out ‘friends’ but I wondered why she did not tell me of her plans when we spoke earlier and who these ‘friends’ were. It took all my strength to do it but I decided not to push it and act like I was controlling her. So I talked with her for a few minutes and asked her to have a good time.
That was the beginning of her going out and hanging out ways. From cinema to bars to clubs, Feyi became someone else before my very eyes. Her occasional partying turned into an every weekend affair. She then started making long distance trips. Her nameless friends were either getting married in Ilorin or their grandparents were getting buried in Enugu or their dads were turning 60 in Abuja. I started hearing stories about Feyi’s wayward ways. The first person who was bold enough to tell me was my brother, Deji. For the information he gave me, he got beaten up badly. I don’t know what came over me. I pinned him to the wall and punched him over and over again till my sister called my dad to come and wrench me off him. That was not before I warned him never to repeat such words again. I guess I was angry because my worst fear was being confirmed and I just could not accept it. I could not!
It did not take long for me to quit the lies I was telling myself. I discovered that Nachi, whom I had labelled ‘bad’ was actually better. She was just uncouth and loud but definitely more decent. Feyi had become as good as an aristo girl with reports of her escapades with married people filtering into my ears on a regular basis. She bought expensive things that I knew her First Bank salary could not provide and from my knowledge of her parents, there was no way they would churn out N150, 000to buy an iPhone 4 for a girl who had a Blackberry and an iPad for a girl who had a functioning laptop and a desktop in her room. She started buying designer bags, claiming they were gifts from her boss for her excellent output at work. It broke my heart to little pieces to admit it but I had come to the realisation that Feyisayo had turned into a monster. I was determined to make things work. I blamed my busy schedule for her straying. Maybe if I was more ‘there’, she would not have done this, I reasoned. So I thought to work on myself and make my relationship work. I just could not let Feyisayo go.
She eventually started dating Abdulazeez Bamgboshe, the son of the oil tycoon, Alhaji Olayiwola Bamgboshe and broke up with me without explanation. All she had to say is that, ‘it just isn’t working Biodun and it has not been for a while’. I was devastated. I almost lost my mind. I tried begging her parents to make her change her mind. They responded that there was nothing they could do. I thank God for my family who stood beside me throughout those horrible days. My mom physically packed my load from my my Allen Avenue apartment and transported me back to our Ilupeju home. I had lost so much weight and almost lost my confidence as a man. I had thought depression was a western concept but those days, I felt what it meant to be depressed.
Nachi heard about the whole episode and kept calling from the UK and sending me comforting BB messages because the news of my drastic weight loss spread like wild fire. Apparently, they had stopped talking months back because she noticed Feyisayo’s wayward ways and called her to order in her usual brash, no-nonsense manner. Feyisayo had told her to ‘rot in hell’ and Nachi decided to cut away from her. We got closer and closer over the weeks.
Nachi had calmed down considerably and was doing very well at school. She had joined the youth organisation for poverty stricken Brazilian children and was channeling her energy to good use. I ended up falling in love with Nachi. She had not stopped being so blunt but in my opinion, it was better being with a real person than a snake. Three months into our e-friendship, Nachi finished her Masters and got a job with an NGO in Lagos. I was planning to ask her out officially as soon as she arrived to take up the job.
On the Saturday of the week Nachi was due to arrive, Feyisayo came to my house (I had since moved back to Allen). She looked a bit chubbier than I had last seen her. She had come in a taxi and has soon as she saw me, she paid him and walked up to me. She was crying. She begged and begged as I watched on, expressionless.
‘I was mad, I was a fool. I had been shielded all my life so the first chance I got to taste of freedom, I misused. Please forgive me’. I stared at her and despite all the hate I thought I would feel, all my emotions could register was pity. I pitied her so much. It was common knowledge that Abdulazeez had dumped her. He was never going to marry a non-Muslim. Everyone but Feyisayo and her family knew that and the news of his impending marriage to daughter of another Muslim billionnaire mogul was all over town.
I should not have said the words I spoke to Feyisayo but I could not help myself. At that point, my pity for her had transformed to the need to make her feel the hurt I felt when she dumped me.
‘Feyi, it was over between us before you announced it to me. I refused to see it. I refused to accept it because I loved you. It hurt me then but little did I know that God had better plans for me. His plan was Nachi whom I love with my whole existence.’
She instantly stood up, paced about the room and without warning flung the coke bottle sitting on my table at me. Thank God for a good reflex as I had ducked and narrowly avoided getting badly injured. It took all my willpower not to lay my hands on her in rage. I had never been so close to beating a woman in my life, not even my ever stubborn younger sister. I physically carried her out of my apartment as she screamed and screamed expletives at me. I threw her out and ordered the gateman never to allow her entry again.
The next day, which was just before the day Nachi was to travel, Nachi called me crying and asking what I had done. She was mad at me that I had not stuck to our plan of speaking to Feyisayo’s parents first about our growing friendship. Apparently, their families had a huge row after Feyisayo gave her account of what hsappened at mine to her parents.
I found and still find it hard to care about how hurt Feyisayo must have felt upon learning that her ex best friend and her ex boyfriend are about to be in a serious relationship. The only person that gave me any concern whatsover was Nachi who was being made out to be a backstabber by Feyi and her parents. When their daughter was sleeping around, no one fought for me. When their daughter disgraced me about town, no one spoke on my behalf. When their daughter began dating a rich man’s son, no one pleaded for me. Why now, should I care?
It’s been two months since Nachi returned to Nigeria. Thankfully, she has gotten over her feeling of betraying Feyisayo. I know there is an unwritten rule that you never date anyone your friend has had a mere crush on not to talk of dating but this is a different case. I believe Nachi and I were meant for each other from the day I met her. I was moved by Feyisayo ‘good nature’ which was all a lie.
Only a woman with Nachi’s striegnth could have handled this mess. All our ‘friends’ have divided themselves up in different camps. Some support Nachi and I whilst others are staunch Feyisayo supporters. All I care for now is Nachi’s peace of mind. She has done no wrong, absolutely none. Feyisayo and I had broken up for months before we started geting close. They had even stopped speaking so technically she owed her no allegiance. Feyisayo has an entirely different story about our break up. People are free to choose whom to believe. The truth, however remains clear. Feyisayo Adelekan is now a thing of the past in my life…
That’s all people (for now)