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Vanessa Onyema: People Always Leave

Vanessa Onyema



dreamstime_m_30435408I loved One Tree Hill in my early teens.

It wasn’t a fairy tale kind of series. It was real; so real that you thought you were watching a reality show. It told life as it is. At the end or beginning of each episode a quote was narrated by a character, most times it was from Lucas Scott.

The quotes were so inspiring that I always wrote them down in my book. I read them to myself daily. Of all the quotes I memorised, one stuck with me forever: ‘people always leave’

Peyton Sawyer said that she believed she was a troubled girl. I believed I was like Peyton. She had metallic rock albums arranged alphabetically in her room. She had a podcast. She was a fluid artist.  She was blonde, but never dumb.

I saw myself in Peyton because we both believed we are supposed to be alone. I struggled with my writing for months, I wanted to write something that means something to someone. Like when you go see a really great band live for the first time and no one is saying it but everyone’s thinking it. I wanted to write that feeling, but I can’t.

There was no mental space to think, or be productive. I blamed myself; is it me? Am I the reason people always leave? Am I the reason all these things keep happening to me? Maybe I’m just destined to be alone.

Everyone moved forward, maybe the way I saw it, but I didn’t. People call it depression; I should probably sit in a shrink’s office and bare my thoughts, but I am an African. Time doesn’t heal all wounds, we learn to live with it.

In those troubled moments of mine when I didn’t believe I deserved happiness. I lost a real chance to be happy, I lost an opportunity to pick myself up. Maybe I thought I deserved it all.

People are going to disappoint you, I get that, I kind of expect that but, what happens if one day you wake-up and realise you are the disappointment? What happens then?

You move on…

You dust yourself up, hang out more often and discover yourself.  If you have the means, travel. Eat your favourite kind of food, read a good book, share a nice laugh, make every second of your life count because there is no second chance at life. We all have one shot to get it right.

The best gift man was given freely – oxygen. So whenever I want to wallow in self pity, I remind myself constantly that I am still breathing.

Peyton Sawyer said people always leave… But sometimes they come back.

Photo Credit: Birgit Reitz Hofmann |


  1. Mg

    August 14, 2016 at 7:42 pm

    I am a big fan of One Tree Hill… I also liked the quotes at the end or beginning of each episode, they were quite educative. I feel ur piece Vanessa


    August 14, 2016 at 8:28 pm


  3. Darius

    August 14, 2016 at 8:36 pm

    Whenever I want to wallow in self-pity, I do some soul-searching and I go on a journey of self-discovery. It always helps. I have made a conscious decision to always be happy, with or witbout friends. My lonely days are over.

  4. Meena

    August 14, 2016 at 9:10 pm

    People always leave
    So always make the times you spend with them count. Live everyday as it comes.
    I Find myself more productive at low times….., in as much as frustration tries to set in, I dust it off through positive thinking.
    And yes, music helps as well

  5. Yesss

    August 14, 2016 at 9:36 pm

    I loved one tree hill it was so realllll

  6. Tosyn

    August 14, 2016 at 10:04 pm

    Am actually watching one tree hill and Peyton is my favorite character because her life is like the end she left also.

  7. Stanleychijioke

    August 15, 2016 at 12:41 am

    For me…. I didn’t watch one tree hill when I was a teenager, I recently discovered the series through the help of a friend. Am currently in season 3….. The series have really thought me a lot about life…. I so much love Lucas and I do write down those quotes but am kinda like mouth in real life……. Would recommend the series for my kids when the time comes…. I knw it’s far but I’ll definitely recommend it for them

  8. GraceOfGOD

    August 15, 2016 at 7:42 am

    @ Vanessa Onyema

    Good morning Madam, THANK YOU so much for this PIECE. I needed it RIGHT NOW. May GOD bless and protect you in JESUS name I prayed, amen. Have a GREAT day 🙂 🙂 🙂

  9. Baymax

    August 15, 2016 at 8:01 am

    I loved One Tree Hill because of Peyton Sawyer. Was sooo glad Lucas married her instead of Brooke. Saw myself in her too.

    I stopped watching after she left.

    People always leave. True talk

  10. Ebun

    August 15, 2016 at 10:51 am

    I’m i the only one that likes Brooke? Yes she might have been the bad girl ish type but i like her like that. Yes people always leave, thats why i’m a geminian, other people will fill in the void…

  11. miss bond

    August 15, 2016 at 6:00 pm

    thank you very much my best friend and sister..I needed to hear this..great piece

  12. Ozyy

    August 16, 2016 at 1:37 pm

    I miss one tree hill, now i am singing the theme song.

  13. Miss E

    August 28, 2016 at 10:04 pm

    First comment ever! I totally relate with this post…. thanks

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