It’s me. I was wondering if I could have a minute of your time. I’m sorry for having to communicate this via a letter. I was hoping we could talk about it, but we wouldn’t have the time. I can’t remember the last time we had the time to have a good talk about serious issues. Talking about serious things has become a sort of luxury for us. We have the time to talk about every other thing except serious issues affecting us. Well, I have improvised a medium to communicate this to you. I hope you have the time to read it to the end.
I surmise you would have garnered a clue for the essence of this letter from the subject. No, I am not breaking up with you. I still love you. I think. But sometimes, I think love is just not enough. I feel what we share may be heading for the rocks. You know, like Titanic heading for the iceberg. Who would have thought it, that something so strong and beautiful could ever disintegrate?
So without much ado, let me go straight to the purport of this letter.
1. We are perfect, but not perfect for each other.
I know our friends adore us; they literally worship our relationship. They tell us how they envy our love. They send us pings, confessing their admiration for our recently uploaded BBM profile pictures. They enter our DMs, telling us how they appreciate our tweeted quotes on love. They like our pictures on Instagram and Facebook. They see us at social gatherings on weekends, holding hands, and they tell us how much that inspired them.
Our families – oh our families. They can’t wait to hear when we’ll be tying the knot. They know we are meant for each other.
Our colleagues at work keep talking about how much we call each other during working hours. Our love must be so deep, they say.
Maybe they are right. Maybe they are wrong, but you and I know we are in a strange place.
I like cuddling while I sleep. It makes me sleep better, but cuddles are not your thing. You would rather spread on the bed. It makes you comfortable. I don’t like how you spread.
I like preserving left over foods in the fridge. You don’t like frozen foods.
I like the Rose air fresher for the room. It makes me happy. The smell makes you vomit. You prefer a scent of lavender. I hate lavenders.
I love visiting friends on weekends. You would rather sleep at home.
I was brought up in an Orthodox church and would want to continue there. You were brought up in a Pentecostal and nothing would make you leave.
I don’t like your short hair. I prefer a woman who keeps long hair. You don’t like my little pot belly. You wish I worked out more.
I don’t like onions in my soup. But onions in soup, is the soup to you.
I prefer texting. You prefer calling.
So you see, we could be perfect in the eyes of others, but we are not perfect for each other.
2. Our career paths.
Remember when I got this job at the big auditing firm? You were happy for me, but sad that it took most of my time. I had to be out of the house before the cock crowed and wouldn’t be back until midnight. Sometimes I slept over at the office. I convinced you everything would be fine. The job was paying well and we needed the money. I promised to look for a more convenient job after five years.
Well, just as the five year ultimatum was closing in really fast, you informed me you got an irresistible job offer at that Multinational. Your dream job.
You know what your job description entails, right? You will literally live on the road. I know I was happy for you when you told me about the job, but you and I know it won’t augur so well for our relationship in the long run.
3. Our chastity resolve.
When we started dating, we resolved to remain chaste until our wedding night. We knew it was the best thing to do. Or so we thought. We did not want our skin fusion to muddle up our real feelings for each other. We also did not want to offend God.
We held on for so long, kept our sides of the bargain.
Until that night.
I know we did not actually skin-fuse, but what we did, was close enough. Ever since then, we have continued in the act. We may not have skin-fused, but how long can we hold on until we finally do?
I stumbled on your diary the other day. I read your entry for the 5th of November. You said you were unhappy. You were unhappy about what we have been doing.
It made you want more.
It made you not want more.
You were not sure what we were doing. But you continued.
We should not have to live that way.
4. Our backgrounds.
You are from the North. I am from the West.
I know we already talked about this, even before we started dating. I know we agreed this wouldn’t be a problem. In fact, it hasn’t been a problem. We have circumvented everything that could have been a barrier. For example, our language of communication. We have settled for English. Well, we had no choice. It was always going to be English.
One other thing that could have been a barrier was the blessings of our families. But our families know we are dating and they are cool with it. Their paramount concern is our happiness. Wow. That should settle everything, right? But it hasn’t.
Being from different worlds has far reaching consequences than we could imagine. Have you considered the future? Our children? Our children’s children? I have.
When we have children – if we have our children, how do we want to raise them? Your Northern values are different from our values in the West. Should we super-impose our respective values on our children? Or let them choose which one to follow?
If we let them decide for themselves, there could be a conflict or friction in the home, especially when some of our children decide to follow one parent’s values and the others decide to follow the second parent’s values.
How about the language thing? Will our children also speak just English? How long before they forget their roots? What becomes of their own children?
A friend told me about his cousins who were raised in America. They have lived all their lives there that they aren’t sure if their parents’ country is Nigeria or Africa.
I know this is a long call as it relates to us, but I’m sure you get my point.
5. Wait. There’s a knock on the door.
No, “There’s a knock on the door” is not one of the 100 reasons why we can’t work out, Silly. I’m saying there’s a knock on my door. I think my neighbour is out of cooking gas.
Hang in there whilst I go lend him my gas bottle.
Oh. It’s not my neighbour. It’s the courier service delivering a letter to the wrong apartment.
I think I should give this letter to him to deliver to you before I change my mind about sending it.
I shall forward the concluding part of this letter to you on a future date.
*Addendum: I have just quickly scanned through this letter and I realise I did not refer to you in any pet name, save for Silly. I am sorry. It just feels weird that, for a long time now, we haven’t called ourselves those “mushy mushy” names we used to when we started dating. And me addressing you by any of those names in this letter would be plain hypocritical. You know I still love you, right? But maybe, ………………………………………………