Letter from an Admirer | an epistolary story by Jedidiah I. Oligbinde

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Dear Ifẹnla,

You do not know me much; but we’ve met times without number. We were neither friends nor acquaintances. I would rather say we were passersby. I see you when going for lectures and when coming from class. But all the while, you’ve never given me a second glance. When our eyes met and I thought that was the right time, you always looked away—first.

I remember the day I sent a brother-friend to you, to help speak to you for me. You were polite enough. You smiled at the right time and nodded at the proper time. Afterwards, you told him, “Thanks but no thanks! I’m not interested in your friend.” Those were your words. My heart broke when my friend returned. He didn’t have to tell me the outcome after all—I was there all along. He was looking as if he just failed on an important mission. Of course you are more than important. I assured him to wait for a good time.

I saw the way Devlin looked at you. I have known his type all my life. Don’t think “Yeah right, you will say that!” It has always been my duty to deal with the likes of him. But then, you don’t want to hear me say that, right?

I remember the day he invited you to that party of his. I did all I could to warn you from him. You just looked right through me as if I wasn’t there. You told me you didn’t care what I thought. At this point, you already knew who I was – through my friend – and knew about my feelings for you. You simply did not want something that’d hold you bound for ages. You were not ready for anything permanent yet. You were still young. All those were your words.

Of course, I knew I didn’t come directly to you. I sent someone else. This time, a sister-friend and you took her words to heart that day. I almost had you, but you quickly shut your heart to me. You told her you were going to think it. But then, from where I was standing, I could hear your words as if you’d whispered them into my ears. “Let me make her think I take her serious.” And so, that was how you hardened up the second time.
Unknowing to you though.

So you went to that party with him—Devlin. And there you lost your innocence. They devoured you like predators. You did not know there was drug in your drink. So trusting were you. After their evil deed, they my love seed had been planted in your heart. I tried to warn you about Devlin—I really did. My quiet voice had become a constant companion for you. The lust of the eye, the lust of the flesh and the pride of life held you. They robbed you so much you reveled in the temporary pleasures they brought to you; dumped you for dead in a desolated place. It was dark and no one was seeing them; but I saw it all. For the love I had for you, I overlooked it all. I cried. Yes I did. I cried for the innocence lost to naivety and stubbornness. I cried because you were not willing to give yourself to me. Your willingness to them was what did you in.

I sent someone to come your way and take you to the hospital. You recovered, but your heart was damaged. Who else but me is to mend your broken heart? I tried my best. That I did. I sent you the sunlight in the morning and the stars at night to stare at. I sent you the moon in the evening to make you see that Hope is my middle name. By then, you were already letting go of the past.

I enjoyed those times we met sparsely. They were the very essence of all my sleepless nights. We walked, spoke and discussed. You even shared some of your fears with me. And then just like in a flash, you suddenly distanced yourself from me. You said Devlin was back and he had apologized. He told you he wasn’t aware of the assault on you. And you believed him! You asked why he did not check up on you at the hospital and he said he just recovered from the beating he got from your attackers. So you fell in love with him all over after seeing all the pain he bore on your behalf. And that was how I lost you again.

I did not give up on you. Never have I! The thought never occurred to me. The person you became was seven times worse than who you used to be. You totally became wild and untouchable. You insulted and sent away my friends who tried to bring you to me. The last I saw of you – I vividly remember: you were very hell-bent to go away with Devlin. I died all over again!

I’m still here waiting for you. I know what fear has done to you but I love you still, and far more than you know. Please give me a chance.

Yours for Eternity,
Emmanuel.

———-
Jedidiah Ifeoluwadamilola Oligbinde is from Ogun State of Nigeria. She graduated from Obafemi Awolowo University where she studied Law and proceeded to Lagos Law School. If Jedidiah is not writing, encouraging people, or planning, you can be sure to find her conceiving and birthing ideas. A lover of God, she’s a Shofar ready to blow.

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