Crimson Sunsets- A Look at Juvenile Infatuation In Hindsight

Truth Rating: 63.83%

As I sat on my student-sized mattress, once again spiraled in the labyrinths of my thoughts; taking a retrospective glance at my juvenile years. I plunged deeper, allowing a sudden feel of uneasiness lance through my body. I intuitively knew I had struck that cord and exhumed that memory. I had exceeded the threshold and there sure as hell was no turning back. All I could see was her face fast-fading into the far horizons.

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Our paths intersected in my first secondary school and I got to know her barely after few weeks of my resumption. Of course, we were in different classes initially but after the first terminal examinations, the class order was rearranged by function of intelligence and we got to be in the same class.

By raw instincts, I knew she was gonna make it to my class. Apart from the fact that she had a resume which spoke volumes, she had a charm which I thought was enough to magically transform her grades and push her up the ranks. In my first year, as expected, I was just a lad trying to shatter his sibling’s academic records and soar to the acme of excellence. For this reason, I wasn’t ready to dine with distractions.

But things started taking a different turn when I reached my second year; I felt I could simultaneously kindle the embers of distractions and tend to my academics. It took a while to see that person that was worth it as well as satisfy my steep benchmarks. But then, I didn’t have to look so far for she was just a seat due east from me, I went for her and it didn’t take too long before my heart fell in sync with the fast moving pendulums of affection. “I must have really scouted well “, I said to myself. She was intelligent, friendly, possessed a kind of smile that obliterated sorrow from ones heart; and most especially she was a paragon of beauty. Although I was (emphasis on was) one very shy person; I started out with establishing a friendly connection between us.

I recall her being the narrator of ‘super-story’ series to me every Friday after she must have watched it the night before. Slowly, the quite solid foundation was built and I intuitively felt I had the green light to proceed. Day by day, the affection grew exponentially in my heart. We continued this way till third year and by then, the love bonds in my heart were already stronger than the foundation beams used for the Eiffel tower in France. I am not certain on how she felt about me all this while; but this was love in its unsullied form for me.

Throughout this period, her lifestyle became utopian to me. I happened to love everything about her. In fact, things got so bad that I started plummeting in my terminal grades that It took serious reprimands from my parents to put me back on track…I didn’t care anyways, all I wanted to do was be around her; to see her smile and see those pink lips and that beauty that even angels gathered to gossip about. While all these complex series of reactions were going on in my within, I surprisingly remained relatively stoic on the outside.

Some weeks later, we went on a terminal break and couldn’t let go of my thoughts for her not even for a second. She happened to be my all then. I eventually mustered enough courage to shyly ask her out one particular Thursday midnight. Although her reply wasn’t definite, the mere fact that she didn’t immediately hang up on me suggested great hope. Each time we spoke, I felt this unalloyed form of inner utility; the one no math textbook could give me. I know I was the personified version of ‘callow’, but one thing was as constant as the cardinality of the holy trinity; I was sinking in the quicksands of love and I knew it. Although no stone could depict how I truly valued her, I called her Azurite, an unconventional gem stone of copper origin.

I kept on this way and we became reasonably close and our closeness made its way round school in no time. I remember vividly how I feigned anger whenever I was teased with her name and how my heart felt the stark contrast. I also recall perfectly how we usually ‘browsed’ on the field every evening during holiday coaching and how her mere sight made my heart waft incessantly in its lonely place.

Few months later, we concluded our third year examinations and we had this very long break. On a blissful Friday, she eventually acceded to my request; and believe me, nothing was more important. I spontaneously began to radiate happiness at home and everyone thought I was overjoyed upon my completion of exams. I found this time really amazing because of how long we spoke on the phone; this also coincided with the time the “magic-number” promo was trending in my country (whereby you have unlimited time to call just one number). I am certain we were one of the reasons that promo was short-lived because the only time I remember hanging up was when my device got unbearably hot.

It was also during this period that I wanted to change my school; wanted to advance to greener pastures academically; but the mere thought of leaving her debilitated me to the very fabric I was composed of . The admission into my new school was pretty late so I still had an extra term to spend before moving finally.

For some reason, we practically avoided each other during this period because we both were unusually devoted to our books. We probably were too busy trying to make names for ourselves in senior school. However, during the Christmas holidays, we talked as usual and it was then that we promised to remain faithful to each other in spite distance. Some weeks later, I journeyed to the middle belt of the country to further my education.

Exactly seven hundred and fifty-nine kilometers from home and 55 minutes by flight was Abuja and my new school wasn’t too far. I adapted to the Northern environment relatively quickly, was not doing badly academically and of course, it was a co-educational school. During my first 2 terms, I used to look forward to going home where I would have time to share with her gists from the North.

Prior to then, I always went with the saying that distance made the hearts grow fonder; but distance in my case was tearing to shreds what remained of my affection for her. There was no more zeal to call her and the ebullience on my part seemed to have faded into oblivion. Not that I particularly preferred anyone there; none exceeded little crushes.

Day by day, the feelings were literally swept away until there was almost void in my heart. I tried consoling myself with those memories we had together; but it was like I got my brain formatted; I could only recall fragments and not a coherent whole. She tried to revamp the relationship during holidays but it turned out that I always had intensive home lessons which practically robbed me of time. Whenever I occasionally searched my soul as to why this was happening to me, two answers always showed up: I hadn’t seen her for close two years and that I might have been hypnotized by the girls of the north.

A couple of months after completing my final exams, one Wednesday afternoon, I received a message from her which she tagged as important. At night, she made it clear that she was fed up of everything and was wanted to call it off. My exact words were “sure, okay”. I made no effort to ask for her reasons before acquiescing to the request. There was obviously no point in trying to fight a lost battle, I thought.
For some weeks, I thought I could conceal the little sadness in me by trying to forget that she ever existed and this served the intended purpose but for a short period of time. When the effects wore out, I considered another relationship which only lasted few weeks and left me twice as depressed. I regrettably found out that I literally exhibited a circular motion with zero resultant displacement.

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It was only when I drank from the wells of wisdom that I yanked back to my senses and probably broke free from the massive hypnosis cast on me by the girls of the north. How would I have let such a gem slip from my hands? I had series of questions I personally couldn’t give answers to. This is probably medication after death; for I am almost sure she is happier with someone else. I equally have moved on; but sometimes, that forgotten corner of my heart finds a voice and my mind reverts to juvenile mode once more.

Jigsawed Origins

Truth Rating : 76.63%

Every fibre of her feeble being echoed songs of debilitation but she was utterly indifferent to their call. Her tired body was the least of her worries as she had just descended a flight of poorly-constructed steps and had been walking on a reddish-brown path for what seemed close to an hour. Her body was screaming “stop” but it seemed only her mind was with her on this; this in turn aggravated the deposition of lactic acid to her muscles.

It was February and the chilly dust-laden winds from the Sahara formed dense fogs on the road and blocked out visibility almost completely. The rustle of the leaves never failed to break the dying silence she needed to think. She just had an appointment with her doctor in effect to the issue with her husband whose last wish as at the time was another child. From his perspective, the timing of such an event was absolutely wrong because he just got retrenched from his workplace for a crime he knew nothing about. He depended solely on his meager savings and his wife’s paltry income to sustain the family.

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Myriads of thought raced through her mind as she moved slowly to the bus stop. To further worsen the situation, she already had a child who was only a few months old and still relied heavily on breast milk. They must have allowed the exuberance of nascent marital life lead them to such dead end. Left to her, she would have succumbed to abortion as clearly exuded by her husband’s actions; but it took the re-assuring words of the doctor to talk her out of such heinous crime. “I am going to have this baby” she said to herself.

Amidst the confusion, the chaos, and the pain, his estimated time of arrival was the last day of August but the reason he delayed for close to 48 hours still posed an enigma to most people. His birth wasn’t greeted with so much celebration like that of his elder sibling. In fact, the name given him by his parents further bolstered the fact that he wasn’t planned for and only God’s will was done

With his father’s seemingly large nuclear family and the burden of numerous dependent relatives, the pressure to secure another job intensified by the minute; but it appeared as though his cloud had no silver lining and his tunnel of hope had anything but light at its end. His wife never for once relented in supporting the family. She took to part-time teaching as a way to increase cash flow; but it takes more than one wing for an eagle to soar. Moreover, her position in her work place had been reeking in absolute stagnation for close to 5 years. All her contemporaries were way ahead of her in office rank; She instantly became an object of ridicule and an example in a prayer point people prayed against.

Then, his parents dreaded holidays because it reminded them of the school fees they were to pay in a couple of weeks to come. Most times, the minuscule fees were paid in installments and help had to be sought from supportive family friends and his mother’s colleagues at work. But in spite of being cocooned in the sticky webs of apparent hardship, the seed of contentment was sown in the hearts of these children for they seemed to understand the situation perfectly; they weren’t too overbearing.

Another thing which brought respite to their parents was the exceptional intellectual gift displayed by these children; Some owed it to the genetic transfer of intelligence from parents while others ascribed it as a way of consolation adopted by the children to their parents. They beamed like stars wherever they went. In fact, on some occasions, their parents had to change their schools to ascertain the children’s consistency upon hearing a lot of sinister words from jealous parents. Despite this, their positions in their respective classes never experienced an increase in ordinality; it was ever-constant like the density of mercury.

The family’s ship eventually made it to the calm shores of the turbulent waters of life’s vicissitudes after 4 years of battle with the raging tides. His father got a job and alleviated the burden his wife had been shouldering for the better part of half a decade.

But as he grew up, he noticed that his elder sibling was his father’s favourite and almost similar action put up by them generated different reactions from his father. Perhaps, the circumstances around his birth, the father-daughter bond, his striking resemblance with his mother or his inability to spontaneously read his books were the most probable causes. He usually got scolded and compared to his sister occasionally and most times it served as an impregnable barrier between him and things he needed from his father. All these pained him to the very marrow of his bones but he usually found consolation in his mother. Then, his family got divided into 2 distinct teams. And as the obvious underdog, his mother had no choice than to root for him against the strong family opposition.

He didn’t only inherit superficial looks from his doting mother, he also made sure he got some resilience and determination from her. These were either lacking or not prioritized in his sister’s repertoire of virtues; these virtues gave him the fighting chance that enabled him narrow the gap despite his sister’s academic giant strides.

Meanwhile, the massive concrete wall that dammed his mother’s river of promotion had been fractured at the base and the river flowed almost without restraint. She got series of double promotions to compensate for the acrimonious years of stagnation. Some years later, the family relocated to its permanent residence in Lagos which took close to 5 years to build due to incessant financial hiccups. Everything was finding its place just like pieces in a giant jigsaw puzzle. Also worth mentioning is the fact that some being later came in not only to increase the family size but also to swim in the tranquil lake of relative luxury.

Time had a profound effect on his resilience as well as his determination; he not only mastered effectively the spontaneous reading culture, he also smashed most of his sibling’s academic record. Upon seeing the numerous achievements of Team Underdog, his father had no choice than to completely obliterate the family division and encourage the children equally. With assiduous studying by both the children, they made landmark achievements and unalloyed success in national competitions; nothing pleased their father more. This invariably made the already large shoes even more colossal for the last child who is also doing fine at her own pace.

Being someone who relishes nocturnal solitude, one chilly Thursday night, he took time to playback the memories of long gone days. He sure had a story to tell now that things were as normal as snow in December. There was so much to be thankful for. He muttered a silent ‘Thank you Lord’ and instantly obeyed his drowsy eyes into the dark confines of dreamland.