Maitama and Asokoro

I’m Igbo… my lover/boyfriend is/was Hausa..

I swear I loved him with all of my heart, body, and mind..

a week ago he said he couldn’t date me anymore, that we weren’t in the same…

he left the words hanging.. leaving me to fill in the blank..

..religion? (He’s Muslim and I’m Christian)

..tribe? (He’s Hausa and I’m Igbo)

..class? (His father is a prince, mine is… well, I don’t know – but I trump that because my uncle was Senate President)

..wealth bracket? (He’s rich, and I’m struggling not to fall into poverty – but it doesn’t matter because I’ve never asked him for anything. I pay for his gas when we go out. I insist.)

He told me he loved me… I still think he does..

but at the same time.. he thinks I am inferior to him.. not worthy of him.

It is possible to love something with all your might and still condescend to it.

Especially when that ‘it’ is eight years younger than you and a willful, wild, seventeen year old.

I’m nineteen now, but that’s how old I was when I first knew I loved him.

I was seventeen, and he was twenty-five.And there were no two people more suited to each other in the world than we.

But I’m not enough. No matter how hard I tried to please him, to be his fantasy and still be true to myself, I was never good enough. Because I didn’t wear a hijab, because I wasn’t Hausa, because I didn’t dream of summer in Dubai and Oman. I was Igbo… and therefore, I was just wrong.

There was this other girl. Omani. They went to college together. They dated. He loved her I heard. He would have married her, except… the irony still makes me shake with grim laughter… her family wouldn’t have him. He wasn’t Omani or Saudi you see… and though she loved him equally, his dark skin repulsed them, and they wouldn’t suffer him to marry her.. or see her ever again for that matter.

They starved her. Locked her in a room. Flogged her, and sent him away, a dog, with his tail between his legs, scuttling home to Nigeria, his princedom flung in his face like piss and leaving a sharp, sour tang.

To them he was nothing.

To him I am nothing.

Sometimes I think he hates me for not being her. Sometimes when we make love I think he sees her face, superimposed on mine. I think for him my skin lightens and my face is framed with softly curling hair that blows about with the currents of the air.

I think he still loves the girl he met at school in faraway Scotland.

And I? What do you think I make of it?

When I am with him I close my eyes…. and let the hopes and dreams of my heart take me. We fly away, and for an hour, maybe two, I can forget that the man that holds me in the darkness hates me. I can forget his cruelty. I can forget all the things he has done to me or said to me. Because for an hour, maybe two, he is mine.

Sometimes I look down at us from the ceiling. Sometimes I stare into my face and try to read my expression. I watch his back moving as he thrusts. I used to wonder if I would ever escape or be happy. I watched the scene unfold, inhumanly, away from my body because I couldn’t bear to be in it. Watched him shudder, come, and push me away in sudden, sharp rising anger. I watched myself, naked, and cold, huddle, curled up in a ball on the far side of his bed, on his orders, facing the wall and not making a sound. I watched myself freeze, watched him sleep. I saw myself inch closer to him, desperate to be warm and feel loved, saw the unfeeling me work my way into his arms and fall asleep.

And then he woke, and hit me, over and over again. Then he pushed me away from him and threatened to put me out of his house naked like a dog, if I came near him again. I heard myself sob silently on the far side of his bed, felt my heart break over and over again.

I have seen the pictures of her with him. He held her, kissed her, cuddled her; all expressions of love a lover could make to his beloved.

He tells me he’s not the type to cuddle. But I have seen the pictures. The ones he refuses to get rid of. The ones he displays proudly.

There are no pictures of him and me.

Just my memories, and his; when he chooses to remember them.




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  1. ynot!

    You check’d out my spot, Ms Sugabelly. Thanks!
    You asked for my opinion on ‘Foreplay and the Nigerian man’. Using my other alias, tetuila9ja, I made a contribution on that topic here http://www.nigeriansinamerica.com/articles/2352/1/Is-Foreplay-Un-African/Page1.html#submitcomment
    It’s nice to hear (read) from you.
    I also think your clothing line, Barcelagos, is very urban. Wishing you the best.
    Hope to hear from you often
    tony.anekwe@gmail.com (mail & gtalk)
    ynotdreeltetuila (yahoo chat ID)

  2. funke

    you know lotanna, as i much as i feel sorry for you and sympathasize with you, all i can do is laugh. yes he may love you, but fathers who rape their daughters also love them. so which kind of love are you looking for, the one that beats you? that wishes you were someone else? that is taking out his frustration at being rejected on you? even if he wanted you, you think his family would? its a cliche, but love is patient, love is kind, love does not hit people or wish they were someone else, love takes you as you are and helps you become a better person, most of love, love can never break a person down.

    i don’t know how you think having sex with this bafoon is a remotely smart idea. if you ever want to talk, ask pea for my number. but you know what, im sure your school has counselling services.

  3. Ugo Daniels

    After reading i cant help but feel something is defintely wrong somewhere. HE NEVER LOVED YOU!!. Thats the naked truth and i felt it immediately i started reading. We’ve got so many rich folks around us that treats their ladies right…i know coz i’m one. In as much as the age thingy aint nuffing much, i still suggest you look for smeone closer to ya age cos of different opinions and viewpoints on issues….here age’ll definitely play a crucial role.

    He’s a bastard for raising his hand against a girl so young…typical aboki man…thats wat they tell them in mosque yu know. They have every right to punish their wifes when they go wrong…Is that something you want??

  4. In my head and around me

    Sugabelly, I am kind of confused. In one breath, you claim you are one to watch and in another you tell us of how you sold yourself short to this Hausa dude.

    You sound stronger than this. The relationship should have ended when you started feeling like he thought you were not worth his love.

    My main confusion is that you KNEW. Why did you let him scar you? I am certain that out there there is a guy who will give his eye’s teeth to have you look at him.

    I’m not going to cuddle you and tell you everything is alright. You are the writer of your destiny. Write people like this away. I’m watching you.

  5. Moody Crab

    Babe..o gini? Why would such a beautiful girl like you put herself through such? Mba! Enough is enough. Get rid of that guy osiso! He does not deserve you at all. You are a Princess in God’s sight and you should be treated like one. I can’t believe someone this young is carrying such a burden!!

    Please, I know it is hard but leave this beast….leave him for your own sanity, ok?

  6. Jarrai

    Girl this is sad…made my heart tug. I hope you’ve left him, put all the memories in a box and drowned then in no mans land. This relationship is bad bad bad……girl find your self. Never ever love someone who things you are not worthy. You were made in Gods Image, how is that not worthy. A real man knows a woman is priceless. This guy is nothing compared to you. Please, let him go.

  7. Sting

    Y are u punishing urself mamee? We are worth as much value as we give ourselves, royalty or not. U have to value urself girl. I understand though. Keep ur head up, this too shall pass.

    When this is over, and the pain is gone, take time to discover ur true worth and learn to love urself. U are worth more than u’ll ever know.

  8. sugabelly

    @soupasexy: Thanks, I’m trying.

    @funke: I’ll talk to you sometime. When I’m ready.

    @ugo: Maybe he loved me once, I have no idea now. At this point I don’t even know if the friendship we had before was real. Maybe everything we shared for a year and a half was all an elaborate ploy to get into my panties. Well good for him, it worked.

    @inmyhead: Everyone has their weakness, their nemesis. This man is mine, but he cannot make me any less of the person that I am, even though sometimes he breaks me. Yes, I KNEW. Just like every other girl in the same situation KNOWS. And I did try to leave him more than once, but I also LOVED him. And that’s not an easy thing to turn your back on, no matter how beastly the person is. *Monkey no fine but im Mama like am* – There’s a lot of wisdom in that saying, and I never understood it until now.

    @MoodyCrab: I’ve left him, or am trying my best to. It hurts horribly, but at this point I’m not sure which will hurt more. Being with him or being without him. At least being without him comes with the benefit of sanity, so maybe that’s better.

    @naija sutra: Perhaps that is the ONE thing that he said or did that hurt me the most. Because I SWEAR, I never imagined it was going to be an issue. But I should bloody have known.

    @jarrai: I’m trying to put him out of my mind, but how do you erase an entire year and a half of your life? We have mutual friends that I would rather not see because they remind me of him. And it seems everywhere I turn there are signs of him clamouring for my attention. Plus, in a week, he’ll be here. And then I will have to face my demons.

    @sting: I honestly do not know how to ‘love myself’. It has been pointed out to me many times over the past year, but I don’t know how to go about it. How does one “love themselves”? I have no idea.

  9. tout noir

    This is heart-breaking, indeed. I share your pain. I have known love that went bitter-cold. When this happens, Life becomes a cold dark winter in Antarctica.

    Six things:

    1) Don’t EVER allow anyone to tell you that you shouldn’t feel the pain. It’s a painful experience and pain is part of healing. Memories of pain will serve as a reminder when you’re whole again (and you will be whole again, sooner than you think). It will be a red smear on your door; a wicked man bearing death will never enter your sacred heart again because you have paid with the blood from a broken heart and he MUST pass-over. It’s law.

    2) Time is your friend. No heartbreak pain, no matter how strong, can outlast time. It might take a few weeks or a few months but it will go away and then you’ll look back and be glad.

    3) You should have probably seen the warning signs. No Hausa man, especially a prince, will marry an Ibo girl. I truly HATE to bring this up but Biafara’s wounds have healed only on the surface. Underneath is a festering sore threatening to break out, oozing dirty pus. It’s a two-way street too. Most Ibo parents would rather commit suicide than watch their children marry an Hausa. I am Yoruba so I have the luxury of observing from the “sidelines”. Even then, my mother will die from heartbreak and post-traumatic stress if her child comes home with an Hausa.

    4) Arabs are even more racist than whites. In most of the middle east, to be black is to be cursed (There are still black slaves in Sudan and what do you think Darfur is about? Arable land is just a convenient reason for the West). It’s no surprise the Omani family kicked him out.

    5)That poor troubled dog will make the worst kind of husband; he’ll be both the slave-master and the chains. You won’t know how luck you are to be rid of him until this season of pain is over.

    6) Finally, a fact: you are stronger than you know. One day, I’ll share the horror stories of the women in my life and you’ll see why I always believe the sun will surely rise after the darkest night.

    Stay strong sister. You’re too fabulous to let that experience crush you. ‘

    xoxo

    Afrohomo
    http://afrohomo.blogspot.com/

  10. Anon

    Using a fake email addy, seeing as you have a penchant of screenshooting and posting comments that oppose you.
    Only heard of you today when you trended on twitter for ‘exposing’ mustapha audu. I felt sorry for you until I came across the line where you said you were being fucked by one his friends while he fucked another girl and You. Were. JEALOUS. That didn’t support the ‘helpless victim of a cruel monster’ theory so I thought I’d check out earlier posts on your blog too.
    After reading this one, I’m wondering why you didn’t delete this post before announcing to the world that the dude raped and molested you.
    Cruelty, maybe. Sexual abuse, yes. Taking advantage of a young and impressionable girl, definitely. But this post shows that you also partially allowed him to do those things to you, so as to impress him and make him love you. There’s another post on here where you talk of him, you and another chick in a threesome you agreed to and you detail your feelings and reactions to it. How are we to feel sorry and come to your defence when you ‘accuse’ him of gf swapping and the other stuff?
    I’m not one to judge but the help you needed was not to be saved from a monster, it was to grow and face the reality that the dude didn’t love you.
    You were being taken advantage of, I agree, but would you be ‘exposing’ him now if he somehow began to love you after all that?
    To erase ambiguity, if any of what you alleged is true, he and his friends should answer to the law for what they did to and or with a seventeen year old but you also need to be real about it; you loved him and allowed him to do those things to try and make him love you.
    I feel for you, Sugabelly, but not totally in the same way everybody else does. The evil you need help to overcome, has your very self included.
    On the other hand, your art and your writing are amazing. I’m sure you have your reasons for what you’re doing my opinion might be off but I know for sure that your talents don’t deserve to be choked out by all this drama.
    All the best.

  11. Iremide

    I dont think she is asking for sympathy at least not this grown up sugabelly, maybe her 17 year old self needed help, like she rightly pointed out she needed self love. All this drama i think is to finally give her closure


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