I first started to fantasize about death when Dayo broke up with me. She had sent me a text that our relationship was not making headway and that she would much more prefer we stayed as just friends. I was devastated. I had spent the most of my teens thinking that Dayo was the one for me; believing in the fallacious remarks of liberals that age was just a number; ignoring the fact that she was about four years older than I was.
As I read the text a second time, my heart rate shot up and I started to feel queasy. I couldn’t understand why a common text could hurt that bad. It felt like it must have been when the soldiers plunged a spear into Jesus’ side on Golgotha. My heart started to ache and I feared I was going to die. But I did not mind. A life without Dayo sounded like death on its own. I started to fantasize about the death.
When I first met her, Dayo was the lead chorister for our church choir. We had just moved into the neighbourhood and of all churches, mother chose this one to worship. I remember that first Sunday like it was yesterday. Her voice like that of a professional musical icon rang out across the church hall from the speakers. Dayo sang bliss; she sang the ineffable. She made the rendition of the song almost glorious. And after service, I caught her eyes and mouthed the words I love your voice. She blushed, smiled and mouthed back a thank you.
Soon, we started a casual friendship which saw us going to mock dates at a coffee shop around the corner of our street. In time, our casual friendship started to get intimate; Dayo started to laugh freely around me, she started to feel more comfortable to rest her head on my shoulders and tell me of the heartbreaks she had had. And one day, after almost ten minutes of silence much enjoyed between the two of us, she asked me why I was hesitant in asking her out.
‘Is there something about me that scares you?’
I stared Dayo in her eyes. She looked troubled. After about three breakups in less than two months, she was not sure if she was pretty enough for a guy to love her or if she was not good enough for a guy to keep. In her eyes, I saw insecurity and doubts. But they did not cloud the beauty of her face nor the perfection with which her voice rang out, clear and strong each time she sang. I was in love with this girl but I was scared that she would not accept me because she was twenty years old and I was close to my seventeenth birthday.
‘I’m not scared, Dayo. I’m only worried that I may not be man enough for you. There’s a whole four years between us and I don’t think I can grasp the experience necessary to fill that gap…’
She put a finger to my lips and after shushing me, she replaced the finger with a kiss. We were close to her house, so she asked me to follow her home.
‘My parents are not at home’ she winked seductively. I did not really understand that she was surreptitiously inviting me to an experience that opened the chapter of our romantic relationship. Yet, I followed her into the big compound that her father had bought before he died.
Now, I look back to that first sexual escapade and the ones that followed. To how I did not very much like the idea yet enjoyed the act. I remember it all now. How Dayo slowly ripped my mind and stripped my innocence and how I have kept all of this silent.
Now, it appears that the only way to keep silent till the end is to end it all and hope for eternal peace.
About the Writer
Born in and raised in the very ancient city of Benin, Covenant Chimnonso grew up in a Christian home, amongst wayward friends and beside fetish sacrifices. He started writing in 2013 when the Academic Staff Union of Universities embarked on an indefinite strike action which eventually lasted for six months. He was just in his first year. Growing both in faith and in writing, CCBenji as he is fondly known has encountered different cultures, challenges, structures and patterns that have both built and helped shaped his narrative. His major testimony is healing from depression and pornography and low self esteem. And he makes it his life work to help others rise from these.
He’s on social media forums (Twitter, Instagram) @ccbenji116, fb.me/ccbenji116, misfitsa.wordpress.com