BN Prose: Love Has No Rules by Dami Dokunmu

Posted on Tuesday, January 29th, 2013 at 9:34 AM

By Dami Dokunmu

His palms are sweaty. His eyebrows are too thick. He says my name wrong. He’s too short, I’m taller than him in my highest heels. I hate his hair, he never cuts it, he never combs it either. He listens to music too loud. He exercises too much. He spends too much money. A lot of it on me. Again, I stumble on the list of bad things. That’s what I’m supposed to do to forget him, remember all the bad things he ever did, all the things I hate about him. I can’t remember where I heard this, probably from one of my friends. They all had endless (often conflicting) advice after I left him, this seems to be the only thing that stuck. It’s not working though.

When I start to think ‘I hate his teeth’, then I remember, I loved the way he kissed me. Slow or fast, it was always perfect and he always knew when. He says my name wrong, but I love it. I love the way it sounds in his Hausa accent. I love correcting him and making fun of him for it. I love that it’s different from the way everyone else says it.

My highest heels are 6 inches high. He’s tall enough. His body is perfect. Toned but not overly muscular. His skin is very soft. His hair is the thing that attracted me to him.  All good style and perfect skin, but his hair is a mess. The contrast intrigued me. Still intrigues me. His music is my music. We listen to music too loud. He turned me into a runner and running changed my life and my body. The last thing he bought me was a ring. Plain and silver. It wasn’t a promise ring or an engagement ring. It was just a ring because I love rings. I loved that. My ex was too afraid to buy jeweleryso I wouldn’t get the wrong idea about his level of commitment. He isn’t my ex. The only reason he ever has for doing things for me is that they make me happy.

I twist the ring and reach for my phone to call him. Then I remember, I don’t have his number anymore. I deleted it, then he deleted me off everything you can delete a human being off. Now I had no idea what he was doing. What is he doing? I always knew. Always. I have no more pictures or videos or memories, because in my anger I didn’t think I would need those things. But I do now. If only to prove to myself that it was real. We were real, he was real.

I remember the last day. I wish now that I knew it was the last day. We had gone to dinner and had lazy sex and watched re-runs of Friends that I loved and he hated. We were lying down and he was holding my hand and just as I was laughing at something Chandler said, he said ‘I love you’. My heart actually stopped beating. I was suddenly very scared because I know he meant it. I wanted to rewind and erase it but I knew he wouldn’t let me. ‘Ekene?’, he turned me around to face him. I didn’t want him to see my eyes because I knew he’d see the fear. ‘Ekene, it’s okay. We’ll still be fine. Nothing has to change’

I smiled. ‘I know, stop overreacting and you know you’re lying anyway’, I said turning around and putting his arm around me. I knew then it was over. I know he knew too because in that moment, we were as close as two people could be physically but there was already a depth of space between us. After an hour, I got up to get dressed. ‘Aren’t you going to stay?’ ‘No, I have to go to work really early tomorrow, you know how I hate leaving from here’. He watched silently as I picked up all my bits of clothing from the floor and put them on. I leaned over to kiss him. ‘I miss you already’, I called out as I left. I waited until I was in my car to let the tears fall.

He knew the deal. I was honest. It would all be perfect as long as he didn’t fall in love with me. We could be exclusive. We could be whatever, just as long as he didn’t fall in love. For a while, it didn’t look like he was going to. At first I planned things meticulously. We could never talk on the phone for more than 20 minutes. Then one day he kept hanging up every 19th minute and calling me back, so I relaxed that rule. Then we could only see other once a week, but I was sick one week and he came to take care of me and that rule went. Then no sleepovers, but one time he came over really late and after the kind of sex we had, it seemed unsafe to let him drive home. Eventually I relaxed and we talked for hours, all night sometimes. Sometimes we lived together for weeks and sometimes we didn’t see each other for some time and it all worked. It was so effortless. Until…

I feel like I should explain. Why is love the deal-breaker? I don’t know. I’m 28 years old and love has always ended anything that meant anything to me. My dad walked out when I was 4. His last words to me were ‘I love you’. When I was 17, my first boyfriend said he loved me and then broke up with me 2 days later. I still can’t explain why. And so it started. A series of ends that started with ‘I love you’. What I hated most wasn’t necessarily the end of the relationship. It was the fact that I was everything to someone in one moment and then we were  barely friends the next. The older you get, the more impossible it is for your ex to be one of your best friends. I couldn’t stand it. He knew all this. I told him really early on. I wanted everything except the love bit. He seemed fine, he had never been in love and didn’t get why he would start now. Until he did.

I missed him so much. But I couldn’t stay and admit I love him too. I couldn’t let the feelings make me crazy. The feelings always made me crazy. Paranoid. Unattractive. Till the end where whoever I was with completely hated me. Could not remember the person they fell for. Even if this hurt, I wanted him to remember us perfect.

But I missed him so much. I miss him so much. Missing him is a worse feeling than when it ended with everyone else. Anyone else. I don’t understand it. I wonder what he’s doing.

The sound of my doorbell wakes me.

I open the door and he’s there. I wonder if I’m awake or dreaming. He looks rough.

‘I miss you. I really do miss you. I have never felt like this before and this? Us not talking because of some stupid rule?…’ He puts his head in his hands. ‘It’s been a year’, he says taking my hand and pulling me towards him. ‘it’s been a whole year. Heck, it’s been over a year. That’s longer than you’ve ever been with anyone. I can say it or not say it, but I miss you’.

I don’t believe what he’s saying. They always say things like this, but he’s holding me and I’m crying because I didn’t think it was possible to miss another human being so much and I wish he’d called, because now that he’s here I can’t think about him not being here. I’m so scared my feelings will destroy us but I’m more scared that this is a dream so I hold him tighter. ‘I know how crazy you are’, he says as he strokes my hair, ‘but you know how bad I am at fighting, I’ll ignore it until you’re normal again, I promise’.

Because I’m scared to move too much, scared to end the moment, I pull him down to sit on the floor in front of my door. So we sit there, just holding hands until he says it again ‘I love you’. For some reason, I’m not scared this time.

Weird.

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  • 65 Comments on “BN Prose: Love Has No Rules by Dami Dokunmu”

    Comments
    • Nero January 29, 2013 at 10:01 AM

      good storyline

    • Retrochic January 29, 2013 at 10:13 AM

      this is very very amazing, i love this story so much, mayb cuz it reminds me alot of myself, the character is so like me, love is really a crazy thing at the same time a beautiful thing

    • Annie January 29, 2013 at 10:14 AM

      Wow…..nice story, very nice…i hope she realizes that he might be good for her, sometimes we are scared to stay, scared to be loved,sometimes we even do not bliv when some1 says they love us, cos others have said same words and never meant it, but it comes a times in our lives when we give people a chance to prove they are for real.. May true love find us and may we love back too. Amen

    • temitope January 29, 2013 at 10:17 AM

      nice write up……………actually, most girls go through this including me. Its just so weird, one minute we re professing love to each other, the next minute everything goes wrong and you re even barely friends………i’m going to be 28 this year with multiple heart breaks,still single, but i ve not given up on love, I’m simply waiting for the one God has chosen for me.

    • naijapose.com January 29, 2013 at 10:20 AM

      Cool. The sound of your doorbell wakes you from your reverie or sleep? You did more of telling not showing …. lazy sex, I was suddenly scared, I missed him much… wish I could have read these between the lines instead of telling me. You have a creative mind and you deserve accolades for this piece. Well done Dami

    • temitope January 29, 2013 at 10:20 AM

      @annie: a big amen to that!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    • linda January 29, 2013 at 10:20 AM

      Pure love will never return to the giver void. Lovely story line.

    • Missy January 29, 2013 at 10:26 AM

      Wonderful Dami. So proud of you. The level of depth and ‘relatability’

    • Missy January 29, 2013 at 10:26 AM

      *is just… I have no words.

      • awed February 4, 2013 at 9:57 PM

        exactly how i feel

    • nmbw January 29, 2013 at 10:45 AM

      Our past has the potential to shape; make or mar the person we are today. It takes the individual to determine how past experiences affect their life today.
      Good thing you’re now open to loving and being loved again. Love doesn’t have to signify danger even though it’d done so in times past.

    • R January 29, 2013 at 10:47 AM

      :’(

    • Billionair in Dollars January 29, 2013 at 11:01 AM

      Nice one… Bella Naija you are the best when it comes to stories.

    • ME January 29, 2013 at 11:09 AM

      Solomon, I love you please don’t break my heart.

    • Eno January 29, 2013 at 11:20 AM

      Awww! lovely story!

    • Stella Kashmioney January 29, 2013 at 11:30 AM

      Wow. Lovely story. Loved it.

    • Teris January 29, 2013 at 12:01 PM

      nice! nice! nice! nice! nice!!
      i love this piece… in fact, i’m going to save a copy. ni-ice.

    • Omonike Odi January 29, 2013 at 12:12 PM

      Good work Dami.

      www. omonaikee .blogspot.com

    • ruth January 29, 2013 at 12:16 PM

      rili nyc

    • SexyHotMama January 29, 2013 at 12:38 PM

      I love you My Sexy Papa. I really do!!!!! I was this girl. I never let anyone love me. I Shut them out, I always felt like they would leave eventually and not like me anymore and would start pushing the buttons to find out what button would push them away. or that someone else would come and they would always put that person or choose that person before they chose me. Its what I thought both my parents did. I never believed anyone when they said they loved me. I to be honest thought I would really love someone apart from when I have kids!! I have never let anyone love me and I love the person back simutaneously. Because of fear. Funny thinng is all the guys save a few bastards have treated me like a queen. Anyhow I love this guy now and I am so grateful and scared that I have been able to feel this way about someone!!! Thank You. I love you. You know who you are.

      Oh Yeah I love the Prose. loool #OnPoint

    • Tee January 29, 2013 at 1:12 PM

      Weird but highly realistic…you could feel the writer’s confusion, insecurities, fear, worries, everything. Excellent piece.

    • Annie January 29, 2013 at 1:14 PM

      I can SO relate to this…it’s almost surreal. :(

    • florence January 29, 2013 at 1:35 PM

      awwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwww. Love story……………. I luv u Ogaga, pls dnt break my heart………..

    • mp January 29, 2013 at 1:36 PM

      excellent write up

    • SexyHotMama January 29, 2013 at 2:06 PM

      post my comment!! lol

    • SexyHotMama January 29, 2013 at 2:06 PM

      I love you My Sexy Papa. I really do!!!!! I was this girl. I never let anyone love me. I Shut them out, I always felt like they would leave eventually and not like me anymore and would start pushing the buttons to find out what button would push them away. or that someone else would come and they would always put that person or choose that person before they chose me. Its what I thought both my parents did. I never believed anyone when they said they loved me. I to be honest thought I would really love someone apart from when I have kids!! I have never let anyone love me and I love the person back simutaneously. Because of fear. Funny thinng is all the guys i have dated treated me like a queen. Anyhow I love this guy now and I am so grateful and scared that I have been able to feel this way about someone!!! Thank You. I love you. You know who you are.
      Oh Yeah I love the Prose. loool #OnPoint

    • oluchy January 29, 2013 at 2:09 PM

      Love is funny, comes with other things. l believe u just live for the moment, love the person with all so that you don’t say l wish that l did it like this or that. @ ANNIE u r rite, it can be scary at times. JUST LIVE YOUR LIFE N BE FREE cos that is what l am doing now, it gives u joy n peace of mind. BN, thanks 4 this lovely piece.

    • Wale January 29, 2013 at 2:23 PM

      Nice story… Reads like the 50 shades series

    • missagbo January 29, 2013 at 2:28 PM

      I love this piece..am in. Love and not scared to love..

    • Priscy January 29, 2013 at 2:43 PM

      Gosh..dis is just like my story just dat I still have not let my guard down. I have not truly, completely fallen in love because of the fear of heartbreak. I have sen what my friends have gone thru for their bfs and still dey end up cheating on them and leaving them for someone new. So I learned to guard my heart not fall hopelessly in love. I hope when I choose to love completely, I won’t be disappointed

    • Inebaby January 29, 2013 at 3:20 PM

      Nice story. loved it so much and it feels good to be in love! Sometimes its scary but you gotta be free and open, put in all your best. That is what matters most cos it gives you so much joy and happiness!

    • la belle January 29, 2013 at 3:23 PM

      I missed him so much. But I couldn’t stay and admit I love him too. I couldn’t let the feelings make me crazy. The feelings always made me crazy. Paranoid. Unattractive. Till the end where whoever I was with completely hated me. Could not remember the person they fell for. Even if this hurt, I wanted him to remember us perfect.——-wow i can so relate to this, love always made me feel crazy, i become paranoid and i feel really unattractive especially when i start developing feelings for the guy, i just withdraw into myself and push the person away. i’ve never had a relationship that lasted more than a year. the last was just for 7 months, may God help me. i am so scared of love because i feel that nobody ever truly loves another person, so i build this wall around my heart fearing that they will be disappointed when they come close and see that i am not lovable

    • cindy January 29, 2013 at 3:40 PM

      Gud work dami

    • nnenne January 29, 2013 at 3:52 PM

      nice story. love! love!! love!!! after my ex broke up with me on my birthday in 2009, i never let my guard down but last year a guy finally broke all my defences and i fell helplessly and if i may add hopelessly in love with him. fast forward 6months later, that which i feared most happened, he broke up with me on account on a 7yr rlship he has with one Miss Perfect in the US(i made sure i asked before i committed myself to him and he swore he has no other gf). i’ve been messed up for over 2weeks now!! Tears has been my constant companion and the pain i feel in my heart won’t go away no matter how hard i try. i wish i have a distraction (as in another guy) but i don’t. i have told myself henceforth, no more love. Love is the last thing on my mind now. i was better off when i wasn’t in love. love has been mean to me since as long as i can remember so for now, i’mjust going to live my life and when i meet another good guy, i’ll go with the flow but will keep my love with me. i can’t die before my time because of love biko!!!

      • Oluwasegun Samson January 31, 2013 at 11:16 AM

        Nnenne, i feel your pain cos ve bin there. You cant blame yourself cos you gave ur best but then he messed u up with his lies. Nothing to worry about cos karma will serve him big time. Carry on with your life and please give love a chance its the best thing ever. xoxo

      • yellow lily February 7, 2013 at 6:57 AM

        Wow your story reminds me of myn!!! After falling completely and hopelessly in love as well, he left me for a woman in the US. (his ex). The sad tin is not the break up. The saddest tin is the loneliness after. I have been indoors for the last 2 weeks. Finally stopped crying but my heart is still heavy!!! My whole life revolved around him so i have no other close male friends. God is my comforter.

    • Madam the Madam January 29, 2013 at 4:29 PM

      Excellent write up. I truly enjoyed reading this and was cheesing at the end.

    • ifybabe January 29, 2013 at 4:40 PM

      hmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm, was carried away. nice story

    • Dee Mist January 29, 2013 at 5:07 PM

      hmm! D fear of loving…

    • anonyyy January 29, 2013 at 5:44 PM

      is it me or was that story about 2 guys?

      • sunki February 5, 2013 at 12:30 AM

        it’s all you

    • whats January 29, 2013 at 9:03 PM

      Yup this is so me…..I pray that i would be able to find someone that understands me and my fears and still loves me that way…it is well…

    • beeess January 29, 2013 at 9:07 PM

      I love it!

    • Tomasina January 29, 2013 at 9:20 PM

      i love this story. my heart was actually beating, thinking he was gone forever. Dami, this story needs a prologue and epilogue plus part 2.
      Wonderful story

      Don’t stop writing Dami.

    • O.T. Dubois January 30, 2013 at 12:16 AM

      I LOVE THIS! I actually had to blog about it. It definitely grasped me emotionally.
      guesswhatimnotdoing. blogspot. com

    • naomi January 30, 2013 at 5:38 PM

      i cant believe i actually got misty eyes reading this article.i can totally relate with this article becos it reminds me so much abt myself,apart from the side where she ends up being with who she ‘missed so much’. lost my dad,lost loved 1s n guys who i thought i could love to the end of time.i have no love left in me,am drained but can only hope that God proves to me that there’s still 1 guy left on earth tht can love me for me.hearing a guy tell me he loves me,makes me run in the opposite direction.its tough n reali HARD.

    • Amaka January 30, 2013 at 8:05 PM

      BEAUTIFUL !

    • titi January 31, 2013 at 5:44 AM

      smiled and cried at the same time! amazing :)

    • spicykenny January 31, 2013 at 9:18 AM

      Wao! nice write up! im glad iv found ma luv and no fear in mie. its all about finding ur better half! den straight to d altar! wink

    • divea January 31, 2013 at 1:11 PM

      beautiful

    • Nago January 31, 2013 at 8:44 PM

      I can so relate to this writeup. Nice one Dami! I loved my 1st real bf so much and he said he loved me like crazy so i never believed he could ever break my heart, fastforward 6months later, he needed space (few days to xmas 2008). Ever since, i put up a wall that was so difficult to crack and surrounded myself with backup plans. I’ve tried to protect myself so much that i havent had a relationship last up to a year. Once i detect any telltale sign even if its subtle i let go. Its hard considering i’d want to get married soon bt i worry it wont be out of love, it’ll be more of compatiblity.

    • A.D February 2, 2013 at 12:06 AM

      *As a writer* Very involving, the writer uses the right words to pull you into her emotions , buh just as @naijapose points out, u did more of telling wen it came to happenings and events than showing. I love the way the reader is already pulled in by the end of he 1st paragraph, perfect use of description, the characters spoke little, buh the story was still beautifully followed, Welldone dear, Welldone
      *now as a normal reader* I love love love , a whole year, she tried o, I can’t last a month.

    • GreenDiamond February 2, 2013 at 12:24 AM

      Emm I lyk how u used a year(icing on d cake)..nice

    • Rhemmi.C February 2, 2013 at 1:59 PM

      Can’t belive I am cryn readn ds. Really reminds me so mch abt myslf nd my love life. Rily scard tu love again nt cs of me bt cs parents tink am nt givn out tu d right set of guys. I love love nd I seriously luv fallin in love. Brk up wit my ex last year cs of issues beyond our cntrol I still luv him even wen I find my self in anoda rel which has its own issues nd at d verg of break up. I jst puttn my hop in God nd hop everytin goes on fyn wit me.

    • Miss plenty on her mind February 4, 2013 at 6:09 PM

      Wonderful write up! Good job Dami. I can totally relate to this and it feels good to know that I’m nt alone in this. My parents had a rocky marriage and when my dad passed on , my mum was so bitter that she wasn’t fairly treated by him and then by his family after his demise. For me, being a very sensitive child, it made me decide to stay away from men , as they were nothing but pain givers. Over the years, I had my fair share of ” toasters” but I refused to budge till I met someone whom seemed to be ” real”. After much encouragement from friends and family, I decided to open up and give him a chance. A part of me always questioned how everything was moving too fast ; in a year he had proposed and we were planning a wedding, and then, the arguments began and we finally broke up over a small issue. He moved on so fast, and the next I heard, he was getting married to someone else. Its been almost three years and I’ve nt gotten over the pain totally. I met two other pple who professed love but they obviously didn’t care enough or cudnt wait for me to make up my mind and they both moved on. In fact, I just found out that they both got married in december, before reading this post. I want it all love, marriage and kids but I’m so scared that I will fall for the wrong person.
      PS: I apologize for the length and any typos in my comment, I had the need to pour out my thoughts. Thanks

    • sandy February 7, 2013 at 6:20 PM

      @ all,give Luv a chance..

    • mofeola February 9, 2013 at 2:00 PM

      Love is beautiful!stil hoping to find nd truly be loved nd love in return dat special sum1.touching write-up by d way,I almost cried xoxo….

    • NUBIAN March 1, 2013 at 11:26 AM

      wow nice story .my first real bf was in 2010 and he left me for a gal his fada arranged for him…..he went as telling his friends dat i wasnt up to his class dat he was just helping me out.truth be told i really loved and still love him,sadly he got married jan this yr.i ve tried my hands on other rship but none seem to work.i just have d feeling dat de will always leave dat am not gud enuf …i am very emmotional so i luv quickly but wen i do i put my whole heart to it.loving as been the hardest thing i ve had to go tru with.i wish i can build a fence but i cant .i want it all love marriage kids this yr..hw possible is it*sad face*

    • Chyla April 12, 2013 at 2:08 PM

      it was so with me too, i was so scared of the word love but now i realize he must have truly meant it with me, i want him back and i wish he stays this time

    • Misola April 18, 2013 at 10:40 AM

      Wow! Powerful piece! Love breaks some deals but it’s also the most beautiful thing that can happen to anyone. It can scare the shit out of you if you’ve had it rough. Sigh.

    • temy June 4, 2013 at 4:23 PM

      nice piece.kudos to the writer. its soo funny how everyone that posted a comment has had a feel of the writer’s experience. have had my own share of experiences, been hurt a thousand times, but unfortunately, i still believe in LOVE.*face covered*

    • ANNE July 9, 2013 at 2:10 PM

      is there anything like “love”?

    • ty July 19, 2013 at 12:26 PM

      HMMMM>>>i can also relate to ds…. had a ‘sweet’ relationship wt ds guy n one day, something happened(dnt want to go into it)…but cos i wanted to remain faithful as i had always bn, i had to tel him about it…evn though it wasnt my fault that it happend but he gradually started pulling out,,,,i never knew i cld b that loving, n caring, would wake up at night to even pray for him…..hmmm,,,,wasnt easy letting go….but i found meself someone who loves me for me….not minding my past (cos he’s got his too) jst pray this works out cos me no dey fall in love easily oh

    • birdieblue September 4, 2013 at 1:29 AM

      Top 3 fave bella prose. could read this over and over again and still cry in the end.