The rains had fallen the previous night. The only signs of this were broken twigs and leaves strewn about, muddy puddles everywhere and the cool air. In the sky, there was a rainbow; I hadn’t seen one in years. As I dressed up to go to work, I remembered that today is my ex-boyfriend’s birthday.
I sat down on my couch which my friend Adesua calls ‘legendary’, because after changing houses in five different states, it was the only thing I carried with me out of all the beautiful and expensive pieces of furniture I had. Whenever Papa came to see me before he passed away, he loved to sit there and reflect.
I remembered the trauma I went through when Olumide and I broke up. Adesua tried to comfort me during those times. He was my first boyfriend. During those times, I actually did lose my dignity. I begged him to take me back, haunted by the fear of the unknown but he rejected me. I gathered my shattered pride and moved on. I decided not to look back, even though the tears from my eyes flowed like a stream.
I prayed for him on that couch. I started to stick something special for myself every day on a small board I got. It was mostly to remember how wonderful I am and to never forget that. This act has taught me to embrace my imperfection and celebrate my strength. These days, I feel no anger or regret towards him. Rather, I have started to love people more while creating a consciousness of self-respect.
It was getting late. I had to be at work before nine. I had written the previous night something special about myself. I stuck it on the board. This act also gave me courage to call Olumide two years ago to wish him a happy married life. He was shocked at the maturity I displayed and how happy I sounded. I had changed.
As I was about to start my car, I smiled and said, “Olumide.”