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Everything Changed After That Phonecall…NK Inspires



In times of tragedy, God gives strength, NK Aniebo shares her story with Bella Naija Contributing Editor, Wana Udobang

It was 12am on the 12th of November 2005, I had just woken up. I was supposed to call George (Papi) back, but I was so tired from my boring day job that I didn’t even realise when I fell asleep. I picked up my phone, and realised I had already gotten about 3 missed calls from him. I smiled, coz in my head, I could already hear him having a go at me “olowoorimi, (that’s what he called me) you don’t spend time with me anymore since you got this your job, now a working woman, you don’t have my time right”. I did speak to him last night though, not as often as we normally do but yesterday we spoke for at least 2 hours. He said he was going out with some friends, there was a party in town and he hadn’t been out in while…and tonight, I wasn’t going to stop him.

7am, my friend and I had a cuppa, getting ready to leave for the airport. I suddenly received a call from Papi’s friends…I mean there wasn’t anything new about his friend calling me…I spoke to them all the time just like he spoke to my friends all the time. We had been together for about a year and had kind of sewn our lives together, so woven that our worlds revolved around us. He completed the gaps in mine, and I had become his olowoorimi. But there was something strange about this call from this particular friend at this time of this day. I picked up and immediately asked him if Papi was ok, almost ignoring his formalities.
“NK, there’s no other way to put this to you so I’m just going to say it…Papi died around 7am this morning” I asked him “ are you joking”? He said “I would not joke about something like this”. The phone slipped off my hands as I fell on the floor and started screaming according to the pain that I felt; my voice never actually quite met how much pain I was feeling but then I was just screaming. The girls in the house all woke up, rushed to my side, holding me and asking me what was going on. I remember grabbing Chinyelu’s top, crying, and asking her why? And even begging her to ask God why? For the next thirty minutes, I did not say anything to anybody but cry. Eventually, I said Papi is dead. Everybody fell on the floor and started crying – including my friend’s baby boy. We found out later that day that he had died in a car crash on Lekki-Epe expressway.
He was buried on the 18th of November, I was not present for the burial because I didn’t know if I could handle it.

The days and months following Papi’s death were dark and I questioned God everyday. I often asked him why he was punishing me for loving Papi so much? I mean our God is a jealous God right?… Sleepless nights, nightmares, tears and more tears. I lost my job, I cut everyone off; I stopped talking to his mum, his friends or anyone that remotely reminded me of him. I took out all the things he bought for me; the jewellery, the teddy bears, the cards, I even had his own chain, the one he said he never took off; He said I should never part with it…Well now I had to…my friends kept telling me this was too drastic, asking me if I was sure I wanted to do this.

We had our song you know, Jill Scott’s “the way you love me” I stopped listening to that as well, thinking about it now, I still don’t listen to that song. All his text messages were eventually deleted; a bit too drastic they said, but for me it was the way I knew. I mean there is no right or wrong way to deal this, I just did it the best way I knew how to, and I guess it worked in a way. I locked all my physical memories in a box but in my heart the memories stayed, and that I could not get rid of.
I kept hearing those words from people, you know those clichéd “you have to move on” speeches…I remember thinking with such anger “how dare you tell me to move on, like it is that easy? Easy for you to say, you can never know, until you experience it” I hated seeing people smile, sad as this may sound…I had become a sadist, “what’s there to smile about? How can you even be happy?” but a part of me was so drained from the days and nights of tears and anger that I needed to be freed of the bondage that I was drowning in, that I myself, did not even bother to try to get out of. I had let my demons take me deep into the dark, I needed myself again…I needed to learn again how to laugh from the heart, how to be truly happy for others and how to let others come close to me again.
As it turns out, there was no other way but through God. He had blessed me already with a strong support system-my friends and my family. They helped me hold the broken pieces of me, with unconditional love…They were strong for me, when I was weak, they cried with me, laughed with me, prayed with me, sang with me, preserved my memory of him with me… they would often bring back memories of him, ask me about him and how it felt to be so in love…They knew how happy I was whenever his name came up, and they would sit and listen to me go on about him for hours, and laugh even when they didn’t understand the private jokes that Papi and I shared.

How did I get over this? The truth is even till today, I am not sure myself if I got over it. I have indeed moved on, I am happy, I guess I could go a day without thinking about him but he definitely still lives in my memories. I still compare him to every guy that I meet; I look for that thing in this new guy that would remind me so much about Papi, and use that as a reason to be with this new guy. After 2 failed relationships, I realised I never even dated them for the right reasons anyway. Now, I decided to stop trying so hard and just let it be. So I trust in the one who gave me Papi in the first place and hope that one day he would send me someone that would love me even more than Papi did ( if that is ever possible coz as far as I was concerned if love had a limit, Papi certainly went over it). I still burn candles on the 12th, and the 18thof November; I find my strength in the love I once had, because now I know that this kind of love is not a norm and a lot of people will give anything to experience this even once in their lifetime.

I learnt a lot about myself and life in general. I stopped adding value to meaningless things, and I learnt to appreciate every single human being in my life. I believe that there still exist that one man that is capable of feeding your heart with all its desires, taking you back to your childhood days and making you the princess in your favourite fairy tale. So to every young woman who has lost the one they loved…Pick up your pieces, live and love each day, as if it were your last…


  1. jessica

    October 28, 2008 at 10:20 pm

    first comment..woot…nonetheless, an amazing and inspiring story

  2. Odie

    October 29, 2008 at 12:21 am

    That was inspiring on so many levels

  3. savinchi.roma

    October 29, 2008 at 3:40 am

    What is the colour of love, what do you see, what do you feel … I love you (what is that, some will say).

    The above experience is a true defination of what love is, a deeply rooted feeling that becomes an embodiment of one’s soul.

    A feeling so deep, one not easily subsituted with the next available option, love beomes me, it becomes you.

    It turns two into one, two hearts fading till they become one…

    The heart beat of love for love.

  4. Chinyelu Nweke

    October 29, 2008 at 11:20 am

    Nk… WOW…. U’ve definately come a long way… and in a really short time too… from not wanting wana to put ‘Olowoorimi’ up to this… WOW… My darling, thank you so much for sharing your story with the world… I know this will help you and a lot of other people, including me… I still remember that day… I actually forgot Mariam was going to the airport, you know… everything exists in demi-blur apart from my vision of you on the floor with my kitchen stained top in your hands and your head buried somewhere in my embrace… Damn… That hurt… I remember telling you, before the call came through, when you came downstairs that I needed to call him… It’s almost time again this year… I’m definately lighting that candle with you… I love you girl…ALWAYS!

  5. Efe

    October 30, 2008 at 12:54 pm

    This is really touchy…. NK i cant even imagine wat u went thru, but i am sure u are healing fine now. just take ur time before going into another relationship and i am sure that God would definitely give u someone who would love you more than papi did.
    By the way this story is really nice!

  6. Anuli

    October 30, 2008 at 5:31 pm

    Its times like these that help us grow and mature in the things that life throws our way, I am most especially impressed on how you have allowed God to look after your heart and help you heal, your story is indeed an inspiration to everyone who has lost anything, from loved ones to emotions to the will to live, just like Nk, we all can start over again if we just let go, and let God, I’m sure Papi will want you to move on…so keep on keeping on..Jah Bless!

  7. Nneka

    October 31, 2008 at 12:56 am

    Oh my…. this comes close to home for me. My sister was in your shoes 5 years ago. Even with that I cannot say I totally understand what you went (and are healing) through, but I remember asking those same questions, asking, “God why?”. Isn’t it amazing how circumstances do not change the fact that He remains God, and a loving, dependable one at that. I have you in my prayers. Let joy completely come through to you.

    Lastly, I thank God for your wonderful friends and family.

  8. T&T

    November 1, 2008 at 7:24 pm

    I am really inspired by this story… and that she came a long way through it all. The blessing here is in having had a love so profound that people often do not find in their lifetimee

  9. Xan

    November 1, 2008 at 10:40 pm

    Inspirational would be saying the least…I hope you find lasting happiness

    and I guess this just shows that we need to appreciate those closest to us, cus u never know….i shudder at the thought…but amazing story.


  10. Fols

    November 23, 2008 at 5:52 pm

    Reading this takes me back to “the day” and tears fall as I type this…I have said enough(NK understands)…I have only this to add, You’re lucky to have had this sort of love…for many will never find such love…treasure your memories while you move on…

  11. Esther

    November 26, 2008 at 8:06 pm

    Beautifully written…and extremely inspirational. Brings me back to when it all just happened, and a few days later you smiled, you laughed, you tried to carry on like all was almost normal…but the pain was obviously still there…Mehn,Its a day i truly wont forget, and i sincerely thank God for you, for making you so strong to be able to carry on like you did and like u have…Love u loads….

  12. silver

    November 29, 2008 at 1:21 am

    well written NK, i’ve been through this kind of pain b4 ( i lost my younger brother on the 10th of dec. 2005), and after the shock, anger, the questions at God, and the overwhelming pain, u discover that only Him that loves u unconditionally can heal you and give u strenght. In the case of my family and I , it was the prayers of family and friends and people from all over the country and outside that strenghtened us. And even though the pain neva really goes away and there are moments wen u break down and cry (often in private), u still look around u and rememba God’s love. May God continue to heal u and Papi’s family and may he bring anoda who will love u in his own way, not Papi’s way, bcos there can’t be anoda Papi. Nobody can take the place of anoda. God bless…

  13. nk

    December 4, 2008 at 10:48 pm

    Thanks silver, God bless u more

  14. Abi Abidekun

    December 6, 2008 at 8:43 am

    your story is very inspirational and i pray Gods strength is always with you and your family and friends.

  15. silver

    December 10, 2008 at 12:16 am

    ur welcome…

  16. Amaka

    December 10, 2008 at 1:06 pm

    I came across your story and it is truly inspirational. I must admit I shed a tear or two but you truly are a woman of substance, courage and most importantly virtue. I admire your strength to move on and live each day as it comes and I pray that you continue to succeed in all your endeavours in life.
    Thanks for sharing your most private and incredible story of human strength and hope in God. I guess that’s the bottom line in this amazing story.
    To all those who read this, never give up in HIM. The Lord knows your battles and will NEVER forsakle you, even when it seeems as idf all hope is lost!

    NK, I hope you find true love again because you deserve it 😉 take good care of you xx.

  17. ginger

    December 10, 2008 at 4:44 pm

    I swear this is my story on paper!!! I read this and I wept like a mugu. My boyfriend died on the 20th of Feb this yr and i still cry ALL THE TIME (esp the 20th of every month, or when his “friends” call to “try to be the new love” of my life). Nk thanks for sharing ur story… I have something to look forward to now. Hopefully, I too will fine peace like u have. I am truly inspired.

  18. MOME

    December 13, 2008 at 11:44 am

    MY GOD!!!!!!!!!!Dis is so touch,u re a strong lady.may God grant u more strenght,am so impressed abt d way u re handling dis,surely u will find another papi again.GOD !!!!!!!!! DIS SO TOUCHING,AM SPEECHLESS

  19. NK

    December 30, 2008 at 12:29 am

    Hi Ginger,

    Hey, my condolences… im still not the expert on how to handle such things, but if u ever need to talk, you can reach out for my details through Bella, i will be more than happy to listen to you, even if thats all i can do…It will get easier, trust me. You are in my prayers…God Bless.x

  20. nadide

    April 22, 2009 at 11:48 am

    is it this is so “touch” or is it meant to be dis is so “touching” dats a taboo mate

  21. ella george

    October 11, 2010 at 7:52 pm

    ive been the n it hurts over n over again by just reading this.

  22. ella george

    October 11, 2010 at 7:53 pm

    ive been there n it hurts

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