Trapped In An Insane Time & Body

This is dedicated to Rianat, Teefah, Bintu, Lola, Olamilekan, Tola, Folasade & Kehinde. To everyone who helped me in one way or the other in other to keep floating. To fellow sane madman finding clarity. and To myself.

This is me in November of 2020

Part One: Prelude To This Madness

I have always wanted to live without the hassle of wanting to be seen or acknowledged by myself and some other random strangers who don’t give a damn about who I am. In sincerity, I have always wanted to vanish without a trace. And 2020 came as the perfect time; a time where a sane madman like me could live in an insane abysmal period.

In December of 2019, I had made the necessary preparation; like the letters that would be sent to my close friends, and a number of others whom I had told I would be leaving the “usual world” but didn’t take me serious. Aside those, I had successfully become a ghost on Facebook since November. That meant there was less insanity that my mind was processing.

As December of 2019 proceeded towards the end, I became extremely anxious. A couple of friends had asked me if I could really vanish, if I could really leave this “usual world” without it haunting me. So, I was caught up amidst the thought of wanting to stay longer, maybe into January of 2020, and that of vanishing the next second. It really got to me that I felt I was losing out on myself till the point that my conversations with my close friends seemed like a farewell.

Around 1:00am of January of 2020, I remember switching between the note app on my phone and WhatsApp, and sending Teefah, Lola, and Bintu their respective letter. While Lola’s letter was a carefully written letter that professed my love, Teefah and Bintu’s letter were quite the opposite. Their letters were simply to tell them, abruptly, that I would be leaving and they shouldn’t bother finding me because I had lost myself to the point that I didn’t want to be found.

When it was 4:00am of January 2020, I was done with all I needed to do, and I began deactivating my online presence. It started with Facebook, then Messenger, and then Twitter. WhatsApp came last because I was hoping the merry of new year would keep those three awake and I would read their responses before deactivating my WhatsApp. But it seemed they were all going to have the shocking expression I wanted them to have on their faces.

After my short sleep around 4:30am, I had woken up at daylight as a fulfilled and free person. There was no anxiety about attending to messages, neither was there the need to think sadly about some news story appearing on the timeline. Coupled with the barring of incoming calls on my sim, I was sure, especially with Teefah, Lola, and Bintu, that they would try getting across to me, and maybe get petrified when they couldn’t. I didn’t want to believe that I was happy that they were petrified by my sudden disappearance, but I was happy that I was free from all of the madness. And I could use the solitary period to heal.

Then the thought of running away from home creeped into my mind. Maybe my healing required me to be alone with myself or maybe it is relevant to my penance. So, the excuse to give my parents in other to be away from home was simple and not farfetched. I had told my parents that I needed to stay closer to where I would intern to complete my Fate Foundation AEP scholarship. And I left home on the 5th of January, 2020 searching for healing, love, and other paraphernalia that amount to Existentialism.

Part Two: Love, Butterflies & Heartbreak

At the beginning of 2020, I set my goals for the year. And one of them was finding love. But maybe my problem wasn’t finding love after all, because it had always been present. Maybe my problem was acknowledging my feelings in their early form. So, in pursuit of love, I had sent Lola her letter, the very first letter professing my love to someone after my bittersweet experience in 2013.

I never really processed the turning down from Lola until Brymo released his Album in April of 2020. It was one of the tracks, “Heartbreak Songs are better in English”, that really got to me. Then I remember how we had written a poem, Frozen Feelings, together and how the poem became a reality that haunted me. Despite the turning down, Lola was the first person that I allowed into my haunted house in 2020. And our conversations in that haunted house, often times, had been around why the solitude, why dissociate yourself from your friends?

Why? A question I couldn’t give an appropriate explanation except that my sanity needed to shift back to its form.

Part Three: A Reluctant Adult in an Insane Body

I reached my greatest lows ever in May of 2020. It was one traumatic experience that I thought I wouldn’t really recover from. In the past, when I reached my lows, Bintu and Teefah had always been there to talk to and talk me out of it. Though my conversations with Teefah had always been salient and what she regarded as one of our usual conversations, but it was beyond that. I had always run to them, Bintu and Teefah, to find solace.

Even though Bintu didn’t stop sending emails which I would read and reproach myself consequently, Teefah, on the other hand, I later learnt would put call through occasionally with the hope that it would get through.

I never thought for once that my mental health would take a toll on me in 2020. I thought I had outgrown it because Bintu had talked me into accepting that reality for three years. I thought I could really figure it out on my own, that maybe all of what’s happening was a charade, and it was me over reacting to little things. I thought one could only have one greatest lows, and after I had failed a test consequence of going blank in the exam hall in 2019, I thought that was the height of it. But I was wrong, that was only a prelude.

It had started in late February of 2020, after my Birthday. On February 24th, I had made a post on Facebook and Twitter just to celebrate my birthday. And also release the link to download “Twenty Something Letters”, a letter I had written to people who matter the most to me, a letter I had written to seek forgiveness, though indirectly, from my friends whom I felt I had offended with my sudden disappearance.

After the post, a number of comments came in which I didn’t respond to, and a number of messages which I left unattended to. I had left the media space because I wanted that sanity, and it was one big mistake to have returned after an approximate of 2 months. I never realized the impact it had made on my mental health till I started feeling the persistent urge to resurface online. Despite fighting it through, I broke the first rule by activating my sim to allow incoming calls again.

Then one evening in March, Teefah’s call came in. I was gulped by anxiety while I stared at her number before the ringing stopped. I thought she would call again, but she didn’t. I didn’t know what to say to her if I called back, so I barred incoming calls on the sim again and slid my phone in my pocket. It was a frizzy evening, and I pocketed my hands in preparation for the journey home.

“Teefah is going to get angry… very angry”, I remember telling Abiodun, my friend whom we stayed together.

But it haunted me as days progressed without putting the call through. Every time I wanted to dial the number, I had always chastened myself and would often time leave my phone to take a walk. Then one evening, I called her with a new number that I had been using since January. It rang but there was no response. I tried again and she picked at the first beep.

“Hello! This is Malik…”

There was a long silence that followed before she disconnected the call. I saw that coming and I decided to let it slide with the night. At that moment, I felt abashed, because I felt I had wronged her and Bintu. So, to avoid her raging voice, I sent her a message on WhatsApp. And gradually, I was the one bringing down the defense I had put up against my mental health.

Teefah, having being friends for over 7 years, was one whose tenacity was frightening. Despite that I wished our conversations could go back to how they once were — the chit-chat that doesn’t make any sense to a random sane person, and the short voice notes that only a few seconds could be heard and the rest would be hum and in whisper. But no, she made me understand the second I was trying to push conversations.

“You can’t just go away like that, come back, pretend everything is fine and we would just pickup from where we stopped!

“It’s not done that way… even if our conversations are going to be how it used to be, you have to give it time.”

“How long should I wait?” I remember asking, and her response was sharp.

“I don’t know. It’s not for me to decide”

While I was trying to grow my way back with Teefah, the distance between Bintu and I grew the more. We had gotten into meaningless arguments and I had always ended the call with indifference. Often times, before disconnecting the call, I would hear her soft sobs and I felt the huge ache in my heart. I wanted to tell her it was not my doing how we had grown to be this apart, but I didn’t have the courage. While I was trying hard to make my way back into Teefah, I was trying hard to outgrow whatever “thing” Bintu and I had.

And then in April, the reality struck.

I had resigned from my Job as a remote Website and Social Media Manager when my mental health had started having effect on my productivity. Even that my boss was willing to give me a leave, I knew what I needed was a complete breakup with my work. I didn’t want to let the team down again as I had been doing for some days before.

When this reality of my mental health struck, the two people I usually ran to for conversations were not available. Though, they were within reach, but I could not place the call, neither could I send that WhatsApp message. So, I resorted to writing my emotions out. And I started with a poem, “Note to a ‘Depressionist’ Writer”.

Sequel to my resignation, I had spoken to Olamilekan, about my job and sanity not in sync. About why I wanted to quit my job and sought the help of a professional for my mental health issue. And despite that I wasn’t really financially stable at that moment, he advised me to quit. That the world itself was going through a tough time and I could use that time to regain my sanity.

“Was it not because of this sanity that I left the media space in the first instance? How then did it find its way back to me?”

I wanted to ask Olamilekan in one of our conversations, but I couldn’t. I didn’t want to bother him so much with my ongoing. There was a lot he was pushing through as well, and I didn’t want to be that tension dragging him back. So, I tried putting all of the fragments that made me up together, at least till my first conversation with the counsellor.

Then MANI came.

It had been in a phone conversation with Olamilekan where we discussed organizations that helped with mental health. He had suggested some organizations before I settled down for MANI. Having scaled through that, another war I had to fight within my walls was the courage to reach out. I had always had the notion that only weak people reach out for help. Besides, I never really believed I had a mental health issue, that it was just me exaggerating. So, there was no need finding help.

But it grew worst by the day. I got angry by the littlest of things. I had conversations with Teefah and Bintu, but it had always been the usual, “Hello; Hello, how are you doing; I’m fine”. Even that Bintu was sensitive enough to figure out something was wrong, I hid behind the facade that I am fine because I didn’t want her to be my vulnerability again.

The day I finally decided to have that conversation with MANI was after Adekunle read the poems in my jotter and asked me what was wrong with me. I felt attacked because Adekunle wasn’t the friend that I am usually free with. Though, we had business deals, but I wanted it to remain that — no poke nosing into my private life. Though, Adekunle later withdrew with his persistent questions, but he ended up being the red flag that I needed. That if I do not want people to see how broken I am, then I needed to seek help.

The conversation with Sa’ada proved to be a turning point that I needed. It never really started on a significant note, but that all what the conversations centered on were what Bintu had talked me into accepting for three years made it significant. And for the first time after a long while, I was drawn to where I felt peace was, I was drawn to home, to my mum and my siblings who feared my recluse.

Part Four: Home is Where Peace Is

Malik and Rianat

Home is where peace is, so they have said, but home is also where the heart belongs.

It had been about five months since I had left home, and Rianat always made sure she put a call through at least twice a week.

“If one does not call you, you will not even bother to call. Is that how busy you have been?” That was how Rianat and I always started our conversation before I would move on to ask about her business, my siblings, and other things that needed to be discussed.

My dad on the other hand never called except it’s extremely important. It was never no love lost, rather it was a reality that men’s hearts aren’t as feeble as their female counterparts. And that we need not call every now and then to let the other know that he cares. When it came to Kehinde, we always picked up from where we left after he had passed his urgent message, the very reason why he had called.

My longings for home became intense when I had my second session with Sa’ada. It was a Thursday evening. I had stayed indoor for most of the days because there was obviously no place to go. Besides, I wasn’t an outgoing person, so it didn’t really make a difference.

I remember Sa’ada asking me what I did to pass time whenever I felt lonely. And I remember how the lines of poems had flowed in, how I had channeled aggressions and emotional imbalance to my poems. But I told her nothing. As much as I knew I needed help, I was hoarding the vital information that could help me. And Sa’ada probably noticed this because it came to the point she didn’t force our conversation that evening.

“Malik! Tell her everything… everything that’s reducing you to a sane madman. She’s not Bintu neither is she Teefah and you’re not emotionally attached to her.”

I had fought and beat up myself emotionally to always restrain myself whenever it came to that extent. And one way or the other, in a bid to regain the tempo of the conversation, Sa’ada asked if I stayed alone or with my parents.

I was taken aback by the question. Of course, she couldn’t see my countenance because it was a phone conversation, so every silly expression was easy to show.

“No. I don’t stay with my parents”

“Do you stay alone then?” She had furthered.

“No. I stay with my friend.”

That evening’s conversation with Sa’ada ended with her suggesting that when I start to have so much that my head is processing, I should take a walk. And I promised I would do that ahead of our next conversation, but I lied.

When we were done, I remember calling my mum that I would be coming home and I could hear my siblings fret over the phone.

“This strict brother is coming home again!”

The early days at home had been more of a solitary confinement of my body that finding peace for my soul. Occasionally, when my mum noticed that I was all alone indoor, she came to my room and started discussion. She never really knew what was going on with me, but she was sure that wasn’t her Malik.

While this went on, finding comfort in that solitude, I started spending more time alone, mostly in room and go out occasionally to take my daily prayers and at night to take a walk.

Then one evening in May, I had finished saying my Ishai prayer and was about to take a walk to process some of these belligerent thoughts when his call came in. To be candid, as much as I expected he would call, it still came off as a surprise when we finished talking and he ended with,

“I just want to check up on you, and ask if you’re doing well with your session!”

That night, though Olamilekan would not have comprehended how much of a relief he had brought to me with that call until December when I told him. I killed the idea of taking a walk and saved myself from the usual backlash that came with getting back home late. The call that night was instrumental to my eagerness to my next session with Sa’ada.

But as they say that your demons can’t lurk forever except you want them to, so also mine. I felt I was feeling less of their influence when I finally accepted the reality that I had to find a way to live with this, brushed off my ego to speak with Bintu, kept hope that Teefah and I would mend ways quicker and writing Sadness as a sweet delicacy, the final poem of “At The Threshold Of A Sane Madman”, a chapbook published under my pseudonym, Olanrewaju Akin, detailing my experience of mental health, love, pain, heartbreak and rejection.

At The Threshold Of A Sane Madman

Going back to the “sadness as a sweet delicacy”, I remember being hypocritical about the poem and I remember how O-Jeremiah had reshaped the way I had written it even though it was not directly.

sadness as a sweet delicacy

ask me how sadness tastes, and

i’ll tell you to eat my mother’s delicacy.

It is cooked in her heart and is

sweet as the lemons.

every night, we long for it in her eyes

his indifference, and the lifeless embrace.

and we hate how we cannot unmake

the nights when

the delicacy is served in our dreams.

she walks in when the window pane

shines the lone ray of reflection,

i have come to serve your meal,

and unlike every other night, it is heavy

on the tongue but tastes

like the lemonade.

is it his tender touches that scrape your skin?

or his words that pulverize your hope?

or his heart that’s so loud, but doesn’t speak to you?

or has that woman masked him again?

tell me mother, what is on the menu

this night?

she drops the fork and plate,

you now cook this meal better than i do.

I had published it under the pseudonym, Olanrewaju Akin, because I was afraid of the conversations that would ensued from my friends, especially Bintu, after reading the poems. I had always evaded the conversations because I didn’t always have enough strength to accommodate someone playing a pity party on me. I needed not someone showing care, I was just better the way I was, or so I had presumed.

Part Five: Grief is Brief

“Hello, Mr. Kolade Ademola Malik!”

Most times, when she calls starting with that, it means Adeife either wants to say something important in a joking way, or she simply wants to go cruising. Either way, it is always the case of passing a serious message in an unserious way. But that evening, her tone was different, and like she had made it clear that night, she felt I needed to know that she had started her countdown and I should cherish every moment I had left with her.

I lost every ounce of strength in me that night, and I felt it was my world crashing down on me!

Adeife and I got back talking around September. Even at that, our conversation wasn’t what it used to be — the late night calls and the soft giggles escaping into our ears from the phone receiver.

Earlier in June, I had approached her when I wanted to start Bit & Bits, a newsletter that is focused on telling stories that are reducing humans to sane madman. And she had agreed to be one of the contributors on the basis of writing her letters under a pseudonym, Bintu.

Along with Lade and Sommy, we had started Bit & Bits on July 14 and stopped sending letters to our subscribers shortly after. I couldn’t say there’s a specific reason to that, but maybe we had exhausted all of the sane energy left in us.

I had started taking Adeife into account when she wanted a break from writing her letters. I wanted to ask her what happened in-depth, what she had been going through, I wanted her to be free with me like in the past, and be someone whom she could call to discuss her worries with, but in all of my approaches, I had made it clear that whatever brought us together was Bit & Bits and nothing more.

And then, her break grew to the point that she was unreachable for days, and on days when she was reachable, it was always at the wee hour of the night and sometimes it was just a long beep and no receiver at her end. And on nights that she did pick up, our conversation had always been, “Hello; hello, how are you doing? I’m fine, I just want to check up on you!”

As much as it battered my heart that we had reduced to that, I couldn’t bring myself to the point of accepting that I was hurting someone who wanted me to be a friend she could talk to without being judged or pitied. I hated myself for that, for pushing her away till the point of her grief bringing me back to her. I wanted to reproach myself, perhaps by showing the so much empathy that I had denied her earlier on. I wanted her to giggle wildly over the phone again, and on nights when her complications caught up with her, I wanted to be on the list of whom she would put a call through. Maybe to tell it out or find succour.

I wanted to be what we used to be before and more, and came October and the call that was going to bring us back and closer than before.

It had been a long day at work and I had dragged my weary body home. Often as the norms, I would surf the internet while rolling from one edge of the bed to the other, and chuckle softly at funny memes whenever I came across them.

Then her call came in.

I was reluctant at first to pick it because I was too tired to get involved in another exacerbating conversation that night. But on another note, of which it was the reason to pick up the call, was the fact that I had been expecting it for some days, so it made no sense ignoring a call I’ve been anticipating for days.

“Hello!”

It took a long while before her tired voice came on the phone. One could extrapolate that Adeife was exhausted but she had just deemed it fit to put the call through. She never really started on the note that whatever she was going to tell me would change my mood. Even though she paused intermittently to catch her breath, she still composed herself and gently dropped the words.

“My complications are getting worse.”

One word at a time. She needed not go any further for me to understand. It was a naked truth staring at my face and I was aroused. The seconds that followed was me trying to process the news she just broke to me, but I didn’t want her to notice I was emotionally imbalanced. Being that, emotionally imbalanced, was the last thing I felt she expected from me. Definitely, she had told me just so she could find succour and words of encouragement from me, and being otherwise would have been unapologetic.

“When did this start?”

“I have wanted to tell you early this year!”

“But why did you not tell me? Why?” I managed to say in the most comforting voice I could use.

“You never gave me the chance!” She rebuffed, “This year started with your childish disappearance and when you came back, it had always been one silly argument or the other.

“I didn’t want to be a pain in the neck and that’s why I left you to yourself. But I think you needed to know that’s why I had put the call through.

I couldn’t describe the emotion surging through in me when she disconnected the call. Maybe I was angry at myself for pushing her away, or maybe I was annoyed at myself because I became so selfish that I didn’t see the need to listen to her, or maybe I hated myself that I was instrumental to how we had reduced to common strangers. Maybe all those, but what I was sure of that night was that, I grieved her and as well hated myself.

As every night passed and I got through to her, we talked about many things. I remember her calling one night when her complications grew worse only to tell me she wanted to get married to me and I remember the wild laughter that filled the air afterwards. She knew she needed to say it and I knew I needed to hear it. And truthfully, that night, I realized that I missed those days we talked about these things late into night.

When she dropped that call that night, I told myself, I wasn’t going to let any day pass by without at least making it memorable for her. That, I assured myself is the least of things I could do to cover up for my acts.

And while all of these went on, as days passed by, I listened to her long podcast that always put me to sleep every time I listened to them and in turn write her poems, poems like “This evening, what is grief?”

This evening, what is grief?

This evening, grief is a god;

it made artists out of men,

colors out of pain, and handed us

brush to paint our loss on acrylic medium.

Grief is when she says to you,

I’m fine. The doctor says I’m fine.

And you do not have to miss me

Because I’m only going for a short while.

Grief is a pointless visual communication,

It is the goodbyes without the tears and

The elegy she has written before

Walking away from the madness.

Grief is a reminder that the dead also

had a dream to fulfill — live, and that

our bodies gallop in the dark

when it rustles in the orchard.

This evening, grief is anything

But the lone moon hanging in an ice blue sky.

Part Six: Living in Denial

After we came back to being friends and more, I always get mad at Adeife when she says she wants to do something for me before she moves on. As much as I want her to do something for me, I don’t want it to be like a memento. I don’t want to get caught up in another cuffs of memories lurking in my head. But Adeife is strong-headed, she apparently won’t listen, especially when it involves brushing off my ego.

It started when I sent her a copy of a short story I wrote and being someone who reads a lot, she had perused it that same night and started prosecuting me on the love life in that story. If Adeife knows nothing about me, she knows when my fictional story meddles with my reality.

“Who is Omolabake?” She had asked, “and why on earth would you love someone for that long without letting them know?”

While I was preparing my argument over WhatsApp on how Omolabake was another character in the story, she put a call through. She knew it was easier for me to come up with strong argument over WhatsApp than phone conversation. And so I acceded and told her who Omolabake is.

I met Omolabake some years back, almost a decade, and we have been friends afterwards. We had grown from just random to being intimate, or so I had presumed, and this intimacy had bred love in me. But every time, I have always lived in that denial, that this my so called heart is not for love.

While I got acquainted with Omolabake, I cared for her alongside. And in my every bit to deny myself the feeling of that love, I had sought a love-like relationship somewhere else, but it never ended quite well for me. Either I got rejected, entangled, or realized that what I felt with that person was not really love, rather I had submitted myself to that person because I was lonely. Either way, it made me realize the more intimacy that I nurtured for Omolabake.

“Send me her number over WhatsApp as soon as I dropped the call” she had said it in a tone so commanding that I do not know how to defy.

“You know one thing that’s worse than a rejection?”

“No, I don’t” I replied.

“It’s regret. The regret that’s going to muffle you because you are afraid to tell her how you feel despite you two are so close.”

As much as I didn’t want to buy her idea of the regret, it’s one truth I can’t push aside. Lately, I realize the regret is catching up with me when I occasionally would leave her message unread for some days just to tell myself that I don’t care. And the inner voice telling me it’s not love, that it’s a feeling that is going to subside as time passes by. Here’s five years after, and not that it didn’t subside alone, the love grew effortlessly.

“Don’t worry! I’ll help you with it. Consider it as a gift from me to you” Adeife had ended the conversation that night on that note despite my plea to not talk to her about it.

Part Seven: Sometimes, regret doesn’t breed hate

I have always read it somewhere that never ask a girl out when you are lonely, because you may end up regretting the break up if not done mutually. And that was what happened between myself and Tola.

When I reach my greatest lows in May, apart from seeking professional help, I had become so lonely that I desperately needed to speak with someone so badly, and Tola came just at the right time.

She had come to substitute the frequent late night conversations with Bintu, and she had done it so pretty well that when I sent her that message of mutually breaking up with her, I felt I had offended her in a way that she couldn’t forgive me. I had send her a letter over WhatsApp and expected her to be mad at me, but her calmness and how she handled it made her revered.

Hi Tola,

I don’t know how to put this, but it’s just right to affirm to you again that you are such a wonderful someone. The kind of radiance that you show is unparalleled and it isn’t an understatement to say anyone who has you is quite a lucky somebody.

I know we have known each other for more than a decade, and have been friends for years. I know we have had a chemistry going on for some months and I want to tell you again that it is one of the best things that happened to me this year.

I have had issues with myself that I deal with personally. Earlier this year, I had sought a medical help for it. And most times, the help played a significant part in my becoming human. I know all of these is sounding like a parable, but trust me, you’d understand.

If I may ask, Tola, if you knew me beyond the surface, beyond this Malik that’s maybe calm or gentle, beyond this mask that I wear, would we still be cool? I am not trying to be judgmental here, I just want to tell you that you are adorable and beautiful in your way, and your kindheartedness deserves someone better than I am.

I know all of this may be hard to take in. And I know you probably would be asking yourself a lot of questions, like what exactly is going on with me? Or what exactly did you do wrong? Trust me, it’s never about you. You have been a loving person, but I realize that *love doesn’t change a sociopath*.

Before I made my intention to you, I told myself I am not going to let what happened in 2018 repeat itself. But it seems I broke this promise. I know you’d see me as an unserious playboy and you’ll want to be mad at me. You have every right to be mad at me, for your time, your heart and you whole. I just want you, if possible, find a place in your heart to forgive me.

I do not want to hurt anymore person, and that’s why I am trying to be all alone to myself till the time I become human again. I did really wish I would not be sending this, but some things are beyond us as human and I can’t but hate myself for letting the chemistry we had go down the drain.

Malik.

Maybe, she knew I was lonely when I approached her, because she didn’t fight the break up. She just accepted, and in few days, we grew back to who we used to be — have our random conversations and laugh off over WhatsApp. And occasionally when we met at Jumah Service on Fridays, we talked and departed gleefully.

And every time that happens, I remind myself, “you owe her, Malik. You owe her as a friend!”

Part Eight: Often times, Hope does not Lie In-between

In-between, 2020 has taught me to be grateful for the life I have lived and the ones I am yet to live. It really propelled me to accepting my reality, and there’s little or nothing that I can do to correct it. It has also made me to seek penance for my shortcomings, and perhaps be birth a new.

Hope, if any, is to be more human and if possible, find love in the one whom I have loved. And in the quest for that, Olamilekan, in one of our conversations in late December had offered to write me a consolation poem should my shot misfired. But trust me, my shot couldn’t have misfired with the amount of energy channeled into writing the letter.

Hi Teefah,

How long have we been friends? Maybe 7 years or more, if I consider those times at Secondary School that you were a Kiddo 😆. But that’s fine, either way, I want to thank you for the journey so far, and for the days you tolerated my nuances. But I am not sure if I could go on as being friends with you.

I know this will sound very odd to you when I said, I am not sure if I could go on as friends with you, but I didn’t mean it literally as cutting off my friendship with you, I just felt it would be better if I do not have to have regrets over something I could have made preparations to avoid.

You see, Teefah, when I sent you “conversations in the blue office”, I thought you were going to read it and then we would have conversations around a particular concept that I had written about you. But it seems, I was going to wait till forever before you’d read it 😒.

I don’t know how you’d feel if I told you what I feel for you is more than friendship. I don’t know if it seems odd to you, but what I do know and understand is that as much as I told myself that it would be better if I keep our friendship as it is, the more I get drawn at you. Funny right?

I have always had a problem with me acknowledging my feelings for someone, and that’s why I have always loved from afar. You see, you might want to ask me when has this being going on, and I could tell you that I can’t exactly say when, but I know that this year, after my supposed cutting people away from myself and before we got back talking, I am drawn to sending you that message, but I didn’t because what I felt is love.

I know all of this may be too much to take in, I know you may be surprised why this is coming from me at this time. I could have sent this last year, or the year before, but I didn’t want our friendship go down the drain. Despite I don’t know how this will turn out to be, but I didn’t want to be clouded by regrets.

And you might wonder why you, but trust me, I have taken into account my growth process with you and it’s something I am happy about. How we have helped each other grow over the years and how despite the misunderstandings, we still came out stronger as friends.

I want you to be involved in my growth process the more, like I would also want to be involved in yours the more. I want to build something beyond friendship with you. Like I said earlier, I do not know how this will turn out to be, but I want you to assure me that irrespective of what your response is, it wouldn’t bring my fears to reality, that we would still be the same person we have been to each other, that you’d still be able to have those random and vital discussions with me, that you wouldn’t shy away from talking to me, and sending those short voice notes that only a few seconds will be audible to the ear and the rest will be whispers and hum.

So, Teefah, I could continue to love you from afar and keep this profession of love to myself, but I have grown to adore rejection over regret. And that’s why I am doing this, telling you how I feel about you.

2020 has been a hell of a ride, and I hope 2021 will be a new phase of growth, love and mutual understandings.

Malik.

Well, I am leaving you to finish this in your mind, whether Olamilekan had the cause to write me the consolation poem or not. But what I am most certain of is that I am glad I fired that shot on December 27, and I couldn’t have been more fulfilled with my 2020 without firing that shot.

All in all, cheers to 2021 and beyond.

Thinker and Writer | Design Enthusiast | Advocate for Inclusive Digital Skills At Secondary Education Level. "I am lost, and I want to be found."