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Caleb Somtochukwu Okereke: You Will Fall in Love Someday

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LoveThis is your story.

This is your song.

It is abandoned roses on the dresser and reshuffling of your playlist-so the John Legend songs lounge far below the Phyno- after every break up. It is staring at greeting cards and trying to remember when each was given and by whom.
Tunde, who used to spank you before you let him inside you, gave the black with purple edges; Fun-he called it. Late, who you later discovered was gay, gave the pink one.
The others have similar stories clipped to them, similar because they all remind you of things that never lasted, like Christmas when you were a kid and the holidays.

It is clearing BBM Chats and hoping the men who are yet to come would be better – not because you know, but because you have been taught that one must always be positive about the future. It is a cheerless face and shadily carved eyebrows, necklaces worn without pendants and lip-gloss smeared hastily. It is tangled and depleted wigs, laundry done sloppily; missing Lipton coloured smudges on the underarms and tea stains on white.

It is light heartedness on issues regarding love; flippant and frivolous, jesting and unserious. It is “Love is not for me” and “Must everyone marry?” “I am okay being single “and “I’d just go and adopt one baby”

It is worry blended with concern in minimal electricity-it does not mix properly and each part manages to show- not for yourself sometimes, but for others. For your Mother who came from the village twice last month to ask when she will change baby diapers; for your single friends who update their display pictures everyday with engagement rings and similar status messages-I have found the love of my life; yay! He proposed!

It is unease that, soon they would worry it is only Aso Ebi you buy and not wedding gowns.
It is ambushed dreams and conked out promises, forgotten dates at Lagoon restaurant and the not-too-interesting moments when hormones get in the way and you ogle a stranger at Park n Shop – or touch yourself while listening to Ed Sheerean on nights your flat mate is out of town.

It is tiptoeing down the tile stairs of one hotel on the Island after a fling with a person you just met. It is “He is sexy” and “My nipples are too hard, they need to be touched”

It is guilt and shame, self-reproach and remorse. How did it come to this?

Last week, you saw Ugochi, your classmate from FUTO at Terra Kulture. She was with her ‘lover’, a bespectacled man with wood coloured face, broad shoulders and a pointed nose, like the pictures of eye-catching men your flat mate saved on her phone from drop box.

She was excited to see you, she asked how you were, how work was and the expected questions one asked another he had not seen for a while.

She smiled when she talked about her holidays in Brussels two years ago, and Miami the year before, about how the “Oyibo” people were too nice, in the certain overt way that almost seemed like pretence. “You should see Florida, it’s heaven on earth. Babe wants us to go there for a holiday again this August sef”

She smiled too when she introduced you to her lover, because she sensed you would be pleased; she knew you would be. He was her prize, her trophy (You do not want a man to be that to you) she showed him off and the confidence with which he shook your hands told you that he was comfortable being her prize.

You had frowned; you did not tell her that vacations were not trips to be embarked on singly, that it was not a piecemeal and that there was need for a second party. Or, who would grasp your hands when the nights got cool on Miami Beach and who would accompany you on long walks? Who would take pictures of you -a busy Brussels’ street-still behind you; undo your bra to daub sunscreen on your back?

Nwanyi Oma, tuck that frown in your pockets, I have a message for you.

You will fall in love someday. You will fall profoundly and without manacles, with a lucid peculiarity from the others that you almost would not recognise it as love.

You would call it friendship and companionship, before very close friends and then intimate friends.

It would be the first “Hey” on Facebook and then long midnight calls interspersed with laughter, random texts at the office signed with a –With Love- the first physical meeting at Golden Tulip and then more texts at the office this time signed with-I love you.

It would be the raucous voice in your head counselling you that things happened too swiftly, that you were not thinking properly and that your brittle heart was not ready for hurt again. But it would also be the modest voice telling you to let go and live, like a flippant teenager, with least care of repercussions, to simply live.

It would tell you to take showers with him and dance to Birdy in his Mainland apartment, to not recall the hurt, to overlook the many things that could happen and focus only on the things that were already happening. It would be warm, like bath water on a rainy day; not too hot or too cold, this love, it would be comfortable.

It would be your flat mate’s “Oohs” and “aahs” when she notices how much you smile these days, her “I never thought you could love again O” and her “Gist me, who is he?”

It would be him too.

It would be him leaving roses at your doorstep on weekends and restacking the Nicholas Spark titles into your personal library. It would be “Babe, we are discussing The Notebook at our book club this weekend, I’d love if you could come?” and you sitting somewhere in Victoria Island in a room full of books and cheerful arty people.

It would be his soothing voice curled into a question “Have you heard John Legend’s new track?” and your “I stopped listening to John Legend for a while” It would be his “Why?” Your shake of head, and his rushing to the home theatre to play John Legend songs.

It would be butterflies the first time you make love, butterflies and sunflowers, butterflies and sunflowers and hibiscuses. Butterflies and sunflowers and hibiscuses and How to get away with murder and everything beautiful and that mattered to you in this world.

It would be his church on Sunday, be your not telling him you haven’t been in church since your last failed relationship. It would be “Perfect submission, Jesus is mine; this is my story, this is my song” and the eureka moment in which you realise you love him and not because of anything he did or did not do. Not because he paid for dinner dates and let you borrow his car for six weeks, not because he was eye-catching like your flat mate described.

You do not love him as you’ve loved others, in a way that was tied to their actions, you rather love him as you loved toys growing up, merely because they were toys. You love him simply because of who he is, and this is most important, most rare, this is how you know, you’d love him for a long while.

It would be you, waiting for him to leave, to stop replying your messages and change his numbers, probably move out of his apartment too and leave a sticky note on the mahogany front door-Left town, Love or Had to run home, XoXo- Because it’s what people did, they got tired of you. Perhaps your jokes became putrid and your make up shoddy.

But, It would be him staying, for months to years. It would be “My Mother is having her 70th birthday this week; I want you to meet her”

This is your story; this is your song;

For now, it might be sour tales and bad tasting memories, it might be fabrications knotted into promises and snuffles drowned in your pillow. It might be poignant moans when your flatmate is away and recurring reminders of your inadequacy, like a chronic cough caught in cold weather, persistent, draining you, and refusing to leave.

But the beautiful thing about the future is, it only gets better, not because it’s the future and we can box it as a place of positives, or because tomorrows are always better than today’s. Not because we translate its uncertainty to mean good things, its silence to mean nobility, and its popularity to mean satisfaction, but because it has to get better, there is no other choice.

We cannot settle for less, you cannot settle for less, Sugar, you will fall in love someday.

Photo Credit: Foto.com.ng | Nsoedo Frank

aleb Somtochukwu Okereke is a writer and literary blogger whose works have appeared in Sun and Vanguard Newspapers, Kalahari Review, New Black Magazine, Hamilton Stone review. His first Novel was published by Bahati Books UK in 2016 and you can follow him on Instagram @caleb_okereke

50 Comments

  1. Tolu

    April 6, 2016 at 6:33 pm

    Uhm…beautiful write-up. Love is a beautiful thing.

  2. Ore

    April 6, 2016 at 6:48 pm

    Amen.

  3. anita

    April 6, 2016 at 6:48 pm

    I had to comment, this is my first time ever to write something since visiting bellanaija for years. ur article touched me in the deepest way.this is so amazing I can’t fully explain with words.I’m. a Christian so I don’t believe in sex before marriage.anyway love like this will be so amazing.

  4. Oma

    April 6, 2016 at 6:52 pm

    Hmm, i dont know what to say, or even how to feel about this beautiful write up,
    I have never been in love. I have loved, but i have never felt the same things others have described when they talk of being in love. Sometimes, like Asa sang i say to myself perhaps “Somethings are not meant to be” Perhaps falling in love is not for everyone. But this piece is telling me to wait for it, that it will come. I will wait patiently.
    Thank you Caleb.

    • Mz_Danielz

      April 7, 2016 at 2:19 am

      Good luck waiting for love. I just need a very wealthy guy that is handsome, generous and supports my dreams Biko. I’ve psychoanalyzed myself, I do not possess the falling in love gene.

    • my foot

      April 7, 2016 at 12:01 pm

      you feminist, now you need a “very wealthy guy”, who will support your dreams, who is generous…

      what did your parent raise you up to be?
      Your type cant contribute nada to any reltionship/marriage but to be a parasite feeding on the host

      Equality my foot

  5. Exotique

    April 6, 2016 at 6:53 pm

    Awwww. This touched me. Wonderful use of words. I was captivated, not just by the sense the article made, but the way it beautifully played out. Great work, Caleb

  6. Duni

    April 6, 2016 at 7:01 pm

    Wow. Wow. Wow.

  7. Halima

    April 6, 2016 at 7:18 pm

    I have been in love before and I must day it’s a sweet thing. In fact, the feeling is so great. It’s like a force. The issue is when you have been so heartbroken it’s difficult to trust that love again. I don’t know about anyone else, but it’s difficult for me. well, with this write-up, I should try to change my attitude a lil. I might fall in love again. Thanks writer.

  8. Oge

    April 6, 2016 at 7:23 pm

    This really touched me deeply, I know someday I will love and be loved genuinely! Thanks Caleb.

  9. Vann

    April 6, 2016 at 7:37 pm

    Thank you so much Caleb. You had me at that Nicholas spark bit. We hope to fall in love, remain there and not fall out.
    LYA!

  10. Californiabawlar

    April 6, 2016 at 7:39 pm

    I loved this, it is was sweet. Howeverrr comma

    REBUTTAL: maybe you won’t

    Below is the transcript of an NPR show I once listened to. The point of the segment was actually different (so I left the ending out) but the story itself definitely left its mark even over 2years later.
    If you have the time, enjoy my ‘comment’ aka article 😀

    According to Aristophanes, there were originally three sexes – the children of the moon who were half-male and half-female, the children of the sun who were fully male, and the children of the earth, who were fully female. Everyone had four legs, four arms and two heads, and spent their days in blissful contentment. Zeus became jealous of the humans’ joy so he decided to split them all in two. Aristophanes called this punishment the origin of love because ever since, the children of the earth, moon and sun have been searching the globe in a desperate bid to find their other halves. Aristophanes’ story though is incomplete because there was also a fourth sex – the children of the dirt. Unlike the other three sexes, the children of the dirt consisted of just one half. Some were male and some were female and each had just two arms, two legs and one head. The children of the dirt found the children of the earth, moon and sun to be completely insufferable. Whenever they saw a two-headed creature walking by, talking to itself in baby-talk voices, it made them want to vomit. They hated going to parties and when there was no way to get out of one, they sat in the corner, too bitter and depressed to talk to anybody. The children of the dirt were so miserable that they invented wine and art to dull their pain. It helped a little, but not really. When Zeus went on his rampage he decided to leave the children of the dirt alone. They’re already [bleep], he explained.

    Happy gay couples descend from the children of the sun. Happy lesbian couples descend from the children of the earth. And happy straight couples descend from the children of the moon. But the vast majority of humans are descendants of the children of the dirt. And no matter how long they search the earth, they’ll never find what they’re looking for because there’s nobody for them, not anybody in the world.

    – Simon Rich

    • Mr. Egghead

      April 6, 2016 at 9:04 pm

      @Californiabawlar . . .True that!
      Some people will never find their missing half and not because there isn’t anyone for them, but because they are too irregular for anyone to fit into.

      There will always be those who will never experience this amorphous thing called love.; to lay your head on your partner’s chest and hear the lub-dub of a heart that cares about you. To have someone who is #TeamYou all-day-every-day. Someone you can crack dry jokes with and not feel ashamed or embarrassed because you know they genuinely love your company regardless of what you say. Someone to listen to your bothersome ramblings about who did what at work.
      To truly experience the endorphin rush of love, you have to fall into it and embrace the uncertainty. Alas, some don’t have enough insurance to take that risk.
      Love is truly God’s second best gift to man but I know some will never find it

      So, @op, you will NOT eventually fall in love someday.

    • Niyoola

      April 6, 2016 at 10:31 pm

      I absolutely love Simon Rich. His New Yorke pieces re ah-mazing!

      Pls CarlifoniaBawler, don’t come n pour Cali desert sand in our chilled garri water of Love.
      #comeandbegoing

  11. G-girl

    April 6, 2016 at 7:41 pm

    I am really moved.I really hope to love and be loved one day

  12. Vann

    April 6, 2016 at 7:46 pm

    Thank you so much Caleb. You had me at that Nicholas Sparks bit. We hope to fall in love, grow in love and not fall out of love.
    LYA!

  13. A. b. d

    April 6, 2016 at 7:55 pm

    I refuse to be discouraged, dou it hard, lot of disappointment & heart break around.

    I can’t settle for less, I wouldn’t settle for less!!
    Tx Caleb ( e-hug for you )

  14. Adey

    April 6, 2016 at 7:57 pm

    Thank you, i needed this.

  15. Angie

    April 6, 2016 at 8:18 pm

    Such a nice article. Had me day dreaming. Well, unfortunately for me I love but will not let myself fall in love. It’s too scary and will not be that vulnerable again.

  16. nonnie

    April 6, 2016 at 8:28 pm

    …But it would also be the modest voice telling you to let go and live, like a flippant teenager, with least care of repercussions, to simply live.
    …But, It would be him staying, for months to years
    …But the beautiful thing about the future is, it only gets better,
    …but because it has to get better, there is no other choice!

    oh how i love the “Buts”…!!! kudos Caleb!

  17. Eve

    April 6, 2016 at 8:36 pm

    Thanks Caleb. You wrote this with me in mind

  18. Kiiki

    April 6, 2016 at 8:47 pm

    Thanks Caleb. Beautifully written. Biko, love find me oooooo. I want to fall in love too.

  19. Truth

    April 6, 2016 at 8:50 pm

    Will I ever experience what it feels like to love and be loved? True love these days is like a fairy tale. Only a handful of people experience this incredible feeling. I wish I’d be among the chosen.

  20. Akanke

    April 6, 2016 at 9:07 pm

    Emi ke… even before this article I know I am gonna wait. But thank you for the article. God just don’t let me give up. Being single is fun sha. I can oogle guys and just day dream and make up cute scenes in my head. The horse my Prince is riding on messed up. He for don reach. I hope his legs won’t hurt when he finally arrives. Thanks for trekking for me my Prince!!! ?.. that’s how mad I have become. Singletostupor!!! I am fine ☺

    • Oma

      April 6, 2016 at 10:29 pm

      @Akanke, you made me laugh out loud, i like your imagination girl! “hope his legs won’t hurt when he finally arrives” LMAO!

    • Jay

      April 7, 2016 at 1:38 am

      Akanke Ololufe… I’m here now. Although i didn’t trek, i arrived on a pegasus. where are you now?

    • Koffie

      April 7, 2016 at 8:36 am

      Akanke, you’re my namesake. Only extended family call me Akanke when they’re hailing me sha. But it’s nice to see another who uses the name on a daily.

  21. Rahama

    April 6, 2016 at 9:37 pm

    Made me cry. One of the best articles I’ve read on BN of late.

    Love the flow and the optimism. However for me I choose to believe love is dead. To hope is to expose myself to hurt. After all the broken promises, dreams and all I’ve decided to hide my heart.

    Love may never find me. I’ve made peace with this probability . If it does I will be pleasantly surprised and chide it why it took its sweet time coming

  22. Osasodia1

    April 6, 2016 at 10:50 pm

    Yes this is my story… this is my song…am happy n blessed.
    “The best happiness is to love and beloved” I will fall in love someday, somebody.
    Good job Caleb…keep it up.

  23. May

    April 6, 2016 at 10:52 pm

    ?????

  24. Chioma

    April 6, 2016 at 10:54 pm

    Beautiful!

  25. BlackLotus

    April 6, 2016 at 11:55 pm

    Wow! It feels like this is talking personally to me. I will not lose hope; love will definitely find me.

  26. Osaretin

    April 7, 2016 at 1:41 am

    * In Dbanj voice* Don’t get it twisted love is a beautiful thing 🙂

  27. Asher

    April 7, 2016 at 1:56 am

    It’s an absolutely beautiful piece (except for the subtle premarital sex suggestion) but I don’t just like its gender bias (however done consciously or unconsciously) Ohh kimon! Na only woman dey love? is it only women that yearn to love and be loved? I’m a 30year old guy and for the life of me (by the way I don’t really know why I used this “for the life of me” I just hear it every once and again in movies and it just feels appropriate using it here.. Hehehe) I Have Never Fallen In Love Before.

    I want to experience that type of pure, sincere love where in her presence every other person is an unrecognizable blur. The type of love that makes every other voice sound like white noise when she’s speaking to me. Yes… This is the type of love I desire and yes I am a man. I think the article is lobe-sided in this regard- emphasizing on a woman and her desire for love and has erroneously suggested that men don’t desire same. I would have loved to go on ranting and ranting but who e go epp.

    I’ve liked a couple of ladies down the line… But I don’t just want to like..I want to love. I want to reason with my heart and make seemingly stupid(non – harmful) decisions because of love. I want to let go of this overt – objectivity and just subjectively fall hook line and sinker in love. I know this “it’s eating me up kinda love” is only a phase that all relationships pass through and it’s not perpetual but yes, I still want to experience it. We were all kids once- it was a phase. We still have memories of fun – kiddy things we did even as adults. So I think it’s okay to desire something that I know is going to give way for something more permanent :falling in love for choosing to love.

    #rantover.

    • Koffie

      April 7, 2016 at 8:56 am

      I also thought it was gender-biased. I want to fall in love, I want the toe-tingling, mumu-button, heart-fluttering kind of love. But more than that, I want to be loved…unrequited love is the absolute worst.
      If we’re being practical though, not everyone will be loved back. Leah in the Bible for instance, I’ve thought about how she must have felt. Her husband expressed anger publicly at her father for giving him ‘the wrong bride’. She, as a newly-wed, watched her husband go back to another 7 years of service to get her sister’s hand in marriage. That must have hurt. God comforted her with many sons but even that did not impress her husband or win him over even for a day. The way Jacob’s face must have lit up when he finally got his desired bride, Leah must have thought “in all the seven years of our marriage, he’s never looked at me like that”. To have to watch him fall over himself with her sister and wonder what was unappealing about her own self. Their father must have thought he did Leah a favour but he did her a great disservice…better to be on this “Love is an illusion” train than to love and not be loved back while the one you love loves another who happens to be your sister and lives under the same roof with you. A school of thought believes Leah must have had a deformity of some sort or was a dark girl but I digress.
      So no, like Leah (maybe not as pathetic as her case), not everyone will find that type of “I can do anything to have you” kind of love, not everyone will have a man ready to sacrifice 14 years in labour to win them over (please don’t labour for 14 years, I go don old fa), not everyone will experience butterflies (so much so that we force ourselves to believe they exist only in movies).
      Where was I? Yes, I want my soulmate; the one who’ll never tire of my company, who will not use the vulnerability that is love to manipulate me, the one who will not ask me to explain my jokes cos he doesn’t get it ati be bee lo.

    • Blazing

      April 7, 2016 at 4:27 pm

      I sight you tony benson…may love find us AMEN

    • Asher

      April 7, 2016 at 5:02 pm

      Looool!

      @Blazing Ahhh ahhh… Awon monitoring sheeepirit ooo. Yeparipas!!! Palzon cannot hide on the hinternet again.

  28. Mirian

    April 7, 2016 at 4:59 am

    Most beautiful piece I have read in ages. Marry me, Caleb!

  29. Duoku Floremma

    April 7, 2016 at 7:14 am

    Caleb!!!…This piece is so sweet like hot spicy dripping chocolate or buttered butter in bread. i feel like drowning in the word,Awwwn…This is my song.Ilove.

  30. demashi

    April 7, 2016 at 8:09 am

    Beautifully written prose.

  31. Noms

    April 7, 2016 at 8:14 am

    Well written.
    I’m so emotional right now. I have never given up on love despite of the pain loving has brought me. This article here has reassured me to believe, that love will find me again.
    “You would call it friendship and companionship, before very close friends and then intimate friends” this sequence is currently on without the pre-marital sex thingy and just being hopeful…

    “It would tell you to take showers with him and dance to Birdy in his Mainland apartment”,Caleb, you had to add this, shey? Love is not superficial or materialistic abi,lol

    I get your drift wella.
    Nice one and I hope you are a good lover yourself.

  32. Ch

    April 7, 2016 at 8:23 am

    I will fall in love someday

  33. fontail

    April 7, 2016 at 9:10 am

    Beautiful write-up! love the flow of good use of English words. Amazing!!!! you made me Fantasize. I am going thru a healing process but don’t think i am going to EVER allow anyone into my life anymore. I am Hurt beyond measures. need God himself to come down and comfort me. poor me! bad thing happens to good people. I have never been lucky. Sorry to the all the guys who have missed a hard working,beautiful,caring,loving lady with a good conscience . I am only 27 and I am going to focus on how to develop myself with all the training, go for masters and love me,me,me. Thanks Caleb. don’t think there are guys like that anymore. Correct me if I am wrong.

    • Asher

      April 7, 2016 at 1:27 pm

      Take it or leave it, there’s a vacuum within you as a woman and I as a man that even 20 master degrees, 11 PhDs, and 25 international awards can’t fill. We were all created with a vacuum that only family, love and companionship can fill and this vacuum can’t be filled by earthly acquisitions particularly because this vacuum was created waaaaay before we came on earth. The fact that by self appraisal, you’re a loving, hardworking woman with a conscience should also hint that there’s a guy (guys) like you too- Because for every weight of evil, there’s a corresponding weight of good -Everything balances itself out in one way or the other. God wouldn’t just allow the devil to express and enjoy itself through all the stupid, and heartbreaking men you’ve met without also expressing Himself through all the good hearted, disciplined and loving guys out there too. I don’t know your spiritual inclinations- But if you were a christian, I’ll advise that you believe in God’s word-Jeremiah 29: vs 11, assures you of how God is committed to making things work out well for you eventually (your love life inclusive).

      In essence, choose to believe in the good that’s still outthere, rather than in the bad that you’ve experienced.

    • fontail

      April 10, 2016 at 8:16 pm

      …Aww! Asha,you are sweet! your Words are so touching. thanks dear. God bless you.

  34. Lulu

    April 7, 2016 at 10:40 am

    This is beautifully written, very captivating from start to finish. I was tearing up reading this – nostalgic tears, sad tears, hopeful tears and a smile at the end of the piece. Still recovering from a broken heart so i’m still not past the ‘never listening to love songs again’ phase. I’m also in the ‘Jesus is my man’ phase. LOL!

  35. ijedimma

    April 7, 2016 at 2:55 pm

    Folks tale from east to west…..love is beautiful

  36. Dworldsgreatest

    April 8, 2016 at 10:07 am

    Tears just came to my eyes. thanks for this. I needed to see this today cos i’m at the ‘shriveled emotions, defense mechanism, can’t be tripped’ place right now and its scary.

    Thank you

  37. deedee

    April 10, 2016 at 7:58 pm

    Can’t wait for the peace , not unspeakable and comfort that the “He” my monday well packaged man” (bible say decree a thing and it shall be estabilished ) my 1+1=1 …. Where ever you are locate me and let the glory of GOD be on you ….that when I see you I know that someone great has been assigned to locate me in JESUS NAME .

  38. lady

    April 14, 2016 at 4:23 pm

    nice, nice, nice

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