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While the names and certain details of the characters are fictional, this story isn’t.
I thought if we ever got to talk about everything that happened between us, I would get some closure. Eventually, we did talk about it, but it didn’t have the effect I was hoping for… I still love him.
I met Ikenna at a friend’s party. He was not the regular tall, dark and handsome guy – only taller than me by a few inches. We had an interesting conversation and I thought “Hmm not bad”. I had already friend zoned him in my mind self. Then we went from seeing movies together to him picking me up from work almost every day, even when it was not convenient for him. He was the first person I wanted to talk to when anything important happened to me and our love for music was something of a fairytale. He made me smile so much… Even thinking about it now brings tears to my eyes.
My emotions were in a turmoil. I had never felt like this with anyone else in my life (P.S. he was the 12th disciple in my line of boyfriends and situationships). We were hugely attracted to each other and this made my celibacy mantra even harder, but he respected that. When it felt like we were about crossing my invisible threshold, he was a perfect gentleman about it.
I always thought my mum’s senses worked in overdrive. That’s the only way I can explain how I got home on the weekend and she spontaneously starts talking to me about how I should not even think of marrying anybody that is not from Oyo state… No, Ikenna is from the opposite side of life… Imo State. I simply smiled and nodded. I was going to have a word with daughter number one. She usually overrides mumsy anyway. As soon as I mention he is from Imo State, she starts begging me not to go down that path. In her exact words, it would not be worth the effort building camps in the family over someone I had only known for three months.
I thought “Well everything happens for a reason”, and there was no better time for me to be going for my masters’ degree anyway. Hopefully the time away would do me some good in letting go of whatever I felt for him. The week before I travelled, I had been out with Ikenna and we had one of the best times. Right before he dropped me off, we had a long talk and he pretty much took out a knife and cut his heart out for me to see. I just stared at him blankly thinking “Sweetheart, there really is no future between us.” For some selfish reason I held back. I did not reject him but I didn’t want to make a commitment to him. What if he met someone else? What if I met someone else? He was hugely disappointed and I felt him shrink back almost immediately. I felt the space between us and I took the pieces of my heart to school.
I was certain I was over him. The year abroad had done me a lot of good. I made awesome friends and had a truly inspiring experience. Then I came back and I saw him. It felt like I had been away for just a day. All the feelings came rushing back and before long we were back where we left off. I noticed he was a bit different though. A lot more honest with me that’s for sure and that was when I knew I loved him. The distance and the time had not changed anything. More than anything I wanted him and I was ready to damn the consequences…
“So Esther… I’ve been meaning to tell you… I’m getting married…”
He told me how he loved me and how he would always love me. He told me I would always have a part of his heart but he knew we didn’t have a future together… I felt my own heart constrict… I cried (No joor not in front of him)… but Lord I cried. I didn’t tell him I loved him. I couldn’t tell him because it would not make a difference anyway. I simply told him I cared for him and I wished him all the happiness in the world. I am jealous of his fiancée because now she has him for the rest of her life. She has my happiness and I’m left with this story and my memories.
My heart is broken and I don’t know how to fix it. I am slowly going into depression and I can’t get a grip. If this is what love feels like, I never want to feel it again.
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