Monday, August 18, 2008

For Rebecca

Clustered around papers, I remained on the carpet in the walk-in closet reminiscing all afternoon. The huge round hat box which housed my memorabilia sat stoically in between my tucked and folded legs bearing the depression made on its circumference. Apart from the dent, the box looked relatively new even though it’s a possession of a decade. It keeps secrets of the past, laughter of the present and memories for the future. Each content painted entrance scenery of past events ravishing to the eye and I simply allowed the memory of yesteryears transport me with joy.

Aaron’s letters was to bring me to the end of the journey. I chose them because his words were encouraging and strengthen to the soul. Aaron, who had been a very tall and brilliant white boy in college left sweet notes on my dorm bed once a week. In a subtle way, he professed his fondness of me but more than often his words was geared towards how he wished I could see myself in his eyes. He spoke like Confucius but with fundamentals principles from the Bible. I was never to settle for second best and should I come across difficulties along this path called earth, I was to listen to that still voice within me. His letters takes me to a warm and good place but my story is not about Aaron.

Amongst folded letters, I searched for the familiar yellow papers with the fading musk odor which use to be Aaron’s cologne but instead I found Jacob’s letters. Jacob and I grew up on an Island in New York and we attended the same church. As youths we engaged in every fun activity we were allowed and as time wore on my mother’s words came true. “Girls and Boys can never be friends. One will always want more” Jacob did.

In despite of his one sided “love”, our friendship continued. We cried, laughed and shared good memories. Jacob went far away to college while I went to college in the next state. His thirty or sometimes twenty nine page letters came every month. One for each day of the month and this went on for two years. We both came back home after college to find our Island too small for me. Jacob and I hung out but things were different. For me, he was boring and he in turn did not appreciate my newly acquired prefix and suffix in grammar.

‘Abeg, I am tired jare’

‘What was that? What is ‘a bag? And who is Jerry?’’ he would ask

‘Sorry, I meant I am tired’

‘Then just say you are tired’

A year after college, I moved out of the island but we kept in touch. He was sad and a little withdrawn but like every young lady just out of her teens, I was not going to be responsible for someone’s happiness. He asked me out again but I told him to forget about me. Besides I had already heard the speech from my grandmother “Mo omo eniti iwo ‘n se, Ma ba won fe enikeni ti kin se omo ile wa. A kin se be ni ebi wa”[1]

Jacob is Puerto Rican, and it is better not to start what i can’t finish. Well maybe if I had known my grandmother would die the year next and it wouldn’t matter to my parents who I marry as long as he is a man, I might have been more sensitive but God always knows best. You will have to forgive me again; but this story is also not about Jacob. It is about Rebecca.

You see, memories are like connectors, it leads us to down the chains to other events that are to unfold. Jacob’s letters opened the door to Rebecca’s. Like Jacob, Rebecca also grew up on the island and she is my best friend. She called me one day to see if I could come to the island because she had something to tell me. We picked the place and set the time we were to meet. I walked into the restaurant and saw her by the window with her eyes closed and fist clenched. She was praying. I hope this is good I thought. Her welcome hug lingered which made me a bit uncomfortable. “What is the matter” I asked

Rebecca is in love with Jacob. She had been nursing these feelings for four years. “I want to know if it is okay for me to tell him. I want your support but if by any chance you still like him, I will face reality and let it go”

“Tell him” I said “and if you must know, we never kissed him.” I smiled to assure her

Two years later, Rebecca asked me to be her maid of honor. Friends from our Island think it was a grave mistake I accepted. Rebecca was also advised to stay away from me. “You should be careful; you know her history with Jacob” Even my mom said “Do you think its wise? that would have been your life”

A year after the wedding, Jacob and Rebecca asked me to be godmother to their unborn child. I believed God cosigned on it because he was born on my birthday.

Rereading Jacob’s letters on the carpet in the walk-in closet that hot afternoon made me realize why Rebecca cried the night I shared those letters with her seven years ago. I misunderstood her tears for silliness because she always was the mushy type. I wished I had known then that it was because she loved him.

For Rebecca, The days of Jacob will seize to be mine
For you Rebecca, I tore his letters. Although he wrote them for me, he is living it with you.
For my dear Rebecca, Thank you for holding to our friendship.

[1] Know the child of whom you are, and don’t marry anyone that is not from our country. We don’t do that in this family.


Shubby Doo said...


Shubby Doo said...

What can i say but giving up the letters after they had been read was the right thing. He belongs 2 Rebecca. Despite the fact that God co-signed on the deal...the narrator must learn 2 live outside their world... @ trust in the fact God knows best :-)

onydchic said...

That's sweet.

Naapali said...

ope o! one hour and I am number #

naijalines said...

Beautiful, generous spirit...and the way women should relate to each other about the men in their lives.

Reading your story made me smile cos an X of mine had his first child on my birthday.

"There's no getting away from you is there? I just won't be allowed to forget you", he said. LOL.
His wife is a really lovely person and of course his son is beautiful!

OluwaDee said...

5th! not bad.

OluwaDee said...

Rebbecca is a good friend n so are you.

Most girls would bear a grudge, even if they agree to you dating their X.

archiwiz said...

Is this a true story? Its very good...And the two girls are true friends to each other.

Parakeet said...

Hmm...that's life you know. He was dying for you and she for him. Perhaps if you guys had communicated more then sometime may have been then. Then again you were young so I dont expect much to have happened by way of communication.

But eh you do keep things o.

Rita Esuru Okoroafor said...

"...memories are like connectors..." how true.

If only matters of love were straight-forward...

Nice one.

Diamond said...

this was sweet...
I dont know if I would have torn the letters up though... but I guess at some point you have to... tear up those things you got from love interests in the past... hmmmm

Writefreak said...

Nice one!

That's such a generous way to live and to be honest i think it's the besty! And i think tearing the letters were a fantastic idea, afterall no need clinging to memories that could damage the relationship!

Afrobabe said...

Christ girl u gave me goosebumps…don’t even know what to say, just imagining her pain reading those letters….you are a good friend love, very good friend…more than I could ever be…love ya loads.. I feel like I speak for Rebecca.

N.I.M.M.O said...

What is it gaanni?

She didn't marry him, Rebbecca did.
Obviously, she didn't love him, Rebbecca did.

Which friendship? Rebbecca is living the life she should have lived.

And I hope her name is not Leah.

Esmeralda said...

brings to mind the movie "my best friend's wedding" only with better feelings.

Anonymous said...

Nice one, easy read, by i have a feeling you are telling the whole story like you ommitted some parts

bumight said...

this reminds me of how one of my guy friends used to write letters to each other after high school. we wrote through our siblings every other day, sometimes 4 pages long.
I never got to keep the letters though, now I wish I had.

Standtall said...

Where is ma comment?

This is wonderful!!! We should really learn that some discord worth it not.

Anonymous said... usuall....some deep stuff here...allied u never cease to keep me intrigued...but babe how far with the whole month's disappearance now ahnahn? mo miss e gan o..

ki lon bubble?

fantasy queen said...

a selfish me would want to keep those letters and reread them on those days that i feel gloomy, a selfish me would develop feelings close to love when she says she's in love with he who used to kiss the ground i walked on, a longing that i could be his, just so no one else would know how much loving he had to give.
a selfish me would never hold my godchild in my arms without thinking 'she could have been mine, all this could have been mine'
i guess thats why they're very few selfish me's around.

Uzezi said...

One of the things i respect and admire most about you, is your writing skill. I wont tell you the others.

funny at you saying u might ve considered Jacob if u had known granny would be gone a year later.

im happy they are happy and you wont be an issue between them.

and giving up those letters is like saying; that part of ur heart that i held, i've let it go.

u r sweet.

Kafo said...

wow okay i have to ask
is this real
because if it is
it is wonderfully written and you are a gem

if it isn't
it is still wonderfully written

AlooFar said...

Allied, what kinda blood runs in your vein? I like the way you put your stuffs together. Are u from outerspace?

The Life of a Stranger called me said...

awww, so sweet. Nice love story. The Love may have been unrequited, but in the end two hearts found each other.. nice..

Waffarian said...

Great story. With an open heart, we can always enjoy the happiness of others. I wish more people would let go of suspicions and misgivings and enjoy the beauty of life.

rayo said...

sometimes itss hard to do stuff lyk this but i gues there's a certain joy at the end of d day. is this true?

Allied said...

@ Shubby Doo - yes you are first. The narrator does live in her world but time to time, both her world and theirs collide. She has learned to distance herself from the husband and just be a great friend to the wife.

@ Onydchic – Thanks

@ Naapali – You are number three my Doc.

@ Naijalines – LOL, he can never forget ur birthday now can he?

@ OluwaDee – I am glad Rebecca and I did not have to go that route

@ Archiwiz – Yes it is.

@ Parakeet – yes, communication is the key, but I guess I should have known but like I said we were young

@ REO –No, matter of love are never straight forward

@ Diamond – Thanks my dear. I had to tear those letters oh; it was too mushy for me to keep.

@Writefreak – There was no need clinging to those memories at all, I have other letters I can entertain myself with

@ Afrobabe – Lol. You do speak for Rebecca – she never let a month pass without telling me how much I mean to her.

Allied said...

@ NIMMO - Her name is not Leah... but Leah married Jacob now although he did not love her like Rebecca (ahh, when was the last time you went to church?)

@ Esmeralda – LOL, really? I guess my life can be a movie

@ Anonymous - You are right – I did omit some part but they are necessary – I already told the koko of the story

@ Bumight – lol, you are one of those… 4 pages long ke? I hope it was not written on those higher education papers.

@ Standtall - Thanks! 

@ Chari – Nothing is bubbling oh... Sorry for the month disappearance ise yi fe pami

@ Fantasy Queen – Don’t be hard on ur self dear, you know we all have that selfish side but you are a sweet girl. I can tell

@ Uzezi – Thank you oh!! But please tell me the others now.... I need my head to swell once in a while.

@ Kafo – It is my story and thank you. Rebecca is a wonderful girl and that is why it ended up the way it did.

@ Aloofar - Lol – no I am not from outer space unless it is a new nickname name for Ogun state


@ Waffy – It takes two. If Rebecca did not have her personality, I think the story would have ended differently

@ Rayo – Yes, it’s true

NigerianDramaQueen said...

And then you come to my blog and say things like "remember me when you get discovered..."
This story was beautiful. Short, but layered with subtle complexities.
The letters reminded me of this couple on Oprah who have written letters to each other every day of their marriage...they are old and gray and still writing letters. Crazy huh?
Oh how I love letters. The best gift anyone can give me is a letter...I save all the letters I get in a shoe boxes...but hold on, this was supposed to be about Rebecca...
Pray tell, is Rebecca real, imagined or somewhere in between?

~Mimi~ said...

awwwww thats so sweet!

Omosewa said...

Wow 30 page letters, thats deep yo, lol.

Nice story, its cute that you share your bday with your Godchild.

Im around, no motivation...

Have u watched any movies lately?? Im watching this and laughing

mwaahhhh and update!

ablackjamesbond said...

lol @ NIMMO's comments...

well written Allied. Touching too. I respect Rebecca...I respect u more.

Meanwhile, was wondering if you would like to do a sequel to my last post. Pleaseeeeeeeeeeeee.

Writefreak said...

Waiting for your next update o!
Ps: you just won an award on my blog! Go and see it!

Adekunle Shobowale said...

Totally love the way you string your sentences together.