My name is Mide, and before you ask, I am 26, petite, and the kind of person with a 5, 10, and 20-year plan. The type that didn’t start anything without a to-do list but also the type to fall in love with a particular man with lazy brown eyes and lanky legs who didn’t know what he wanted to become, someone who “was open to trying new things.”
One who would tell me he was so proud of me and at the same time tell me nothing that inspires the same response from me. Someone that just wanted to “take one day at a time.” How ridiculous.
People always asked why I was with him. The thing is, he needs me. He needs me to keep his life in order. He needs me to push him to want more and dream far. Without me, his life would be directionless- or so I thought.
“I applied for the writer’s fellowship for you,” I said one afternoon to my lover as he walked me to my car. “Writers fellowship?” he asked. Seun. His name was Seun. Seun had a glass face so that he couldn’t hide his emotions. You could see it when he was angry, excited, and even sad, and now, it was confusion that was written expressly.
“Yes, I came across a writers fellowship while surfing the internet and thought that it was something that you would like, so I applied for you,” I said in faked nonchalance. He scoffed and said, “Surfing the internet is something you rarely do. If you came across something, it was because you searched for it” then he paused and sighed.
He looked weary when he started to speak, “Mide, I love you, and I am so proud of you…” here we go again “… but, I need you to trust that I can take the initiative, I can make my own decisions” I laughed out. I couldn’t hold it back. He smirked, “You think that’s funny” “No” Actually, I am tired of this. “You know what? Yes, I do. Seun, you are 28, living in the same one-bedroom apartment you have lived in since I met you two years ago. Still working the same bank job and patching up with little freelance writing jobs here and there.”
I paused to catch my breath, but I was not done, not even close. “Every time I ask, you say you have time to figure things out. Time at 28! I am done making excuses for you. If you want me to spell it out, I am done letting you sit around.”
“Letting me sit around?”
“Yes! I can’t keep telling my friends and family that you are a promising young man, especially when I… I can’t see it. The least you could do is appreciate when I make these moves for you.”
He laughed, “For me? or for you?”
“What do you mean?”
“Because I am good, Mide. I can afford my basic needs. I have enough to survive on and enough to give. I take care of you to the best of my abilities. EVEN when you always look down on my efforts, I act like I don’t see it because I always thought that perhaps you would see that I am doing my best….”
“Your best? you are not even doing an average job.”
He scoffed again, “You know what, Mide? I am done being your little project”. He walked away, and that was it. That was it for days, weeks, months, and now, a year. I told myself I would never try to reach out to him because, he was wrong. He was wrong.
Then, why does it still bother me now? a year after? Why does it bother me, even when I am with my high flyer boyfriend? Why does it bother me to see that he has finally finished his book at his own pace and was still at his banker job but looked happy?
Why does it bother me so bad? Sigh.
Maybe after all this while, he didn’t need me after all. Maybe, it was me who needed him to be something I made. Maybe, maybe it’s best this way, me with my highflyer boyfriend, and him with his bank job. Two people finding fulfillment in two different ways, different aspirations, and see, maybe that’s okay. Honestly, maybe that’s okay.