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Nkem Says: There is Always That One Person

Nkem Ndem



There is always that one person who will always have your heart.

If you are thinking the statement sounds like something from a cheesy love song, you would be right. It actually is the first line of the awesome duet by Alicia Keys and Usher titled ‘My Boo’. At the time it was released in 2004, I was still a dreamy teenager …although I had already had my ‘first love’ experience and nursed a heartbreak or two already as well. In fact, I remember buying the then NGN50 pamphlet that contained lyrics to popular songs just to learn all the lines of the song. That was how much I loved the song… and of course, there was also the fact that it reminded me of Ikenna*.

Ikenna and I had met and fallen madly in love at the time I was 6. He was 8 at the time. It sounds ludicrous… who falls in love at 6 and knows it for sure…right? I remember it clearly though, the first day I noticed him.

My best friend Ngozi and I had been in class, starring out the window, laughing at basically anything that caught our interest when he strode past us on his way to the toilet. He wore very conspicuous bow legs and extra droopy shoulders. My eyes had trailed him to the boy’s privy, and before I could stop myself, I found my legs walking my short body towards the same lavatory, right after him. Honestly, I had no plan. I just stood outside and waited for him to come out. And when he did, I said hello. He said hello back and we stared at each other for a while and he walked away. Having always been shy, words failed me. I stood there and watched him walk away from him.

It was the same way I stood and watched him walk away from me exactly 17 years later after he said to me he was getting married and asked to know my thoughts on the song he chose to be played when he walked down the aisle: Omawumi’s “Love nwa anti nti.” Perhaps I could have stopped him and told him I would be different, I would be less stubborn, learn to love him the way he wanted also, that he was “the one”. But I didn’t. I loved him, but he was not my “one”. I always knew the day would come when I’d have to let him go forever, and I guess I was already mentally prepared for it.

I have since moved on. Yes, a few times I have whispered his name out of the blues and for no reason imagined what it would have been like if I had married him and his beautiful babies were mine, even occasionally stalked him on social media…but I have never contacted him or reached out. Not that there is any bitterness or loathing. No. I have never felt like my life was incomplete without him or anything that dramatic either. In fact, I always say this: If I never find love again, I wouldn’t be utterly broken really, because I already have had one pure and great one, even if we did not get a forever after. This is because I am okay with the fact that we did not end up together and I appreciate the lessons learned. He showed me that love could be magic… and with him, I learned how to love and be loved back. He made me realize that I deserved to be loved despite my imperfection, and that is enough.

I never knew how he felt about us, our past and not ending up together e.t.c, so when he called a few days ago and we had a unique chat i was a little surprised. It was weird when I saw his incoming call because it wasn’t my birthday and I wasn’t celebrating anything (Although we never talked anymore. He religiously sent me birthday messages and Christmas messages that I mostly ignored).

“Nkemka, how are you?” he said.
“Ikenna?” I asked
“Yes,” he laughs. “Who else would it be?”
“Still a joker I see” I replied laughing as well.

He had been gifted a puppy and he couldn’t help thinking of me as I was the only one he knew with an insane obsession for dogs, and he thought I’ll be the best person to name his dog. So random. I obliged, gave him some options and we caught up on each other’s lives as well. He was happy and in love with his wife. Everything was great with him. Yet also he said to me: you know I will always have a soft spot for you Nkemka. I loved loving you, and I will always love you.

I admit it was a bit weird. But I awkwardly responded: “Really? When I’m not Whitney Houston”. A lame joke, I know. But he laughed. Him making that statement did not get my heart beating erratically or anything that serious because I was over him and I also understood that his statement did not mean that he did not love his wife, or he was looking to get me as a side chick or anything that sad. I was just the “one person” for him. The one whose memory remained inside his bones anyway.

The truth is, there is always that one person who, no matter how hard you try and no matter how long it’s been, will always beat in your chest and breathe in your lungs; even if the love you shared with the person did not last forever and you know you are not meant to be together. Little things, from time to time, bring them back to your mind but you also know that you are okay, happy and whole without them. Atimes you are tempted to try and rekindle the romance, but with these kinds of people, it is just easier to let sleeping dogs lie. Sometimes, we do not end up with the greatest love of our lives, and that it is okay too.

Do you have that one person you will always love or have a soft spot for, even though you are no longer together and you have no intentions of bringing them back into your life? Share your experience and let’s hear your opinion. xo.

Nkem Ndem is an energetic and highly accomplished Media Consultant who loves to help small businesses, especially women-led, grow their online presence using the right digital strategy or transition from traditional organizational boundaries. With years of experience in Copywriting and Editing, Content Branding and Strategy, Social media, and Digital Marketing, she is clearly obsessed with Digital Communications. She is the Head of Content and Lead Consultant at Black Ink Media - an Ideation and Content Agency that excels in providing fresh, creative digital services to content-centric businesses. Find out more about her at or send her an e-mail at [email protected] Also follow her on IG: @nkemndemv, Twitter: @ndemv.


  1. AceOfSpades

    September 23, 2017 at 8:25 am

    Have your heart = True love yeah? Now…..
    True love is a myth. If you’d stayed long enough together, you’d begin to see things you don’t like in each other and then you start unfeeling those feelings and that person won’t have your heart anymore unless maybe you gave him your virginity sha and that too is subjective.

    People just like to believe someone will always have their heart because there wasn’t time for the feelings to wear off because it eventually will wear off or circumstances made them go apart and they didn’t take long enough to start unfeeling. Most people in marriages for decades on decades only have tolerance left not love.

    • Mrs M

      September 24, 2017 at 10:15 pm

      Cynic much???

  2. Rubby

    September 23, 2017 at 9:11 am

    Ayaya.. Tell me about it.. Like a song writer put it.. The one that got away.. That one, that one person.. That makes u feel like no other.. Buh u know I agree with @aceofspades if we continued that relationship.. We may end up hating each other…this love thing even in marriage, is this way and that way..

  3. Grace

    September 23, 2017 at 10:05 am

    Nkem you need to write a novel! Seriously, I will be your proof-reader! You know how we roll ?

  4. Ezinne

    September 23, 2017 at 12:53 pm

    Nkemka! Lol.. I can relate. When I think of him, I smile, my heart smiles. I want to reach out but I know he belongs to someone else, and I another. The last time I heard from him, he sang to me “when will I see you again?” By the three degrees. I smiled and smiled till my face hurt. He’s my that one person. And I appreciate the love we once shared. But I have found happiness with another. Isn’t life beautiful?

  5. Anonymous

    September 23, 2017 at 4:28 pm

    Oh my! This accurately describes the situation I’m in right now. I’m a female Yoruba student and I’m in love with a smart Igbo lawyer who not only makes me feel like a bubblehead but also has a way of making me speechless. We’ve been in contact for almost a year now, texted on and off all year long and have spoken a number of times. Our convos are usually very awkward and we disagree quite a lot; nonetheless, I love him! and I’ve loved him for 5years now and yeah, he ‘likes’ me too. Point is, he wants me to do the chasing but I’m used to being chased. Things aren’t rosy between us right now and until he makes a major move, I’m gonna die with my love for him

  6. Her Grace

    September 23, 2017 at 4:56 pm

    The feelings I have for the supposed “one” have turned brotherly. So brotherly I can’t imagine even kissing him. I didn’t think I could love someone else like I did him, but I met someone else who has almost proven that wrong. Well…… We aren’t together anymore and I honestly hope he isn’t my “the one”.

  7. northern lights

    September 23, 2017 at 6:28 pm

    Falling in love at 6 and 8?,i can’t even remember my life b4 14….

  8. Meee

    September 23, 2017 at 7:06 pm

    Lovely article Nkem, but I agree with AceofSpades. In my opinion if you have ‘someone’ you will always love you either never stayed with them long enough to see their ugly side or you were torn apart by circumstances beyond your control. Love is not all that butterfly feeling in your tummy or all those romantic scenarios shown in movies and books. It’s so much more deeper than that. The ability to see your partner at their lowest moment/worst behaviour and still love them despite that. So all that ‘you will always be in my heart’ is all an illusion abeg.

  9. LL

    September 23, 2017 at 9:53 pm

    I’m seriously in this situation right now and to make it worse he called me out of the blue recently. I love my husband very much and I’m happy. I never feel I should have married him but I really miss him and know he has a part of my heart no one does. It bothers me to the point that I have to keep praying about it and this week has been too tough. I think it’s this way because I decided not to stay friends with him and there are parts of my peculiarities that only him has been able to reach. This dating thing can be dangerous oh. Falling in and out of love is not as easy as the movies make it seem. It affects life decisions…

  10. cj

    September 23, 2017 at 10:52 pm

    y do I have to find ur story of having an emotion for d opposite sex @ 6&8 awkward! am I being old sch or wot ?cos @ dat age,I hadly know mysef..has times changed so rapidly too dat children are. dz emotional?jst asking pls!

  11. aj

    September 24, 2017 at 6:30 am

    wow Nkem you are young o! lol anyway…I do have someone that is near and dear to my heart. But distance and other factors are separating us. I love him so much and it would really hurt me to see him with someone else. But i’m preparing myself for the inevitable.

    • Mawi

      September 24, 2017 at 8:10 am

      Story of my life right now. Sigh….

  12. mimi

    September 25, 2017 at 10:42 am

    same thing happening to me now

  13. Coco

    October 21, 2017 at 3:37 am

    I do have that one although I know we’ll never end up together due to circumstances beyond our control but he is one of those people I cannot help but look out for. Like I say we don’t choose who we fall in love with but we choose who to be with

  14. Ozi

    June 5, 2018 at 12:00 pm


    There’s that someone.

    Many ‘someones’ sef.

    Which is confusing.

    I just think we can love different people in different ways.

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