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Mary-Claret Anyanwu: You Never Promised Me the World



I was the last person on a long queue and it looked as if I was never going to get to work on time. I remembered what my friend told me about hitching rides and I decided to give it a try. As fate would have it, yours was the first car I waved down. And you stopped.

I got in and the conversation started. That I thought you gorgeous at first sight was an understatement. I fell in love with your beard immediately and my fingers itched from me forcing them still. All I wanted to do then was to reach across and stroke it. I imagined how silky, smooth and soft it would be and how it would feel between my fingers. I imagined the silky soft strands caressing my check, accompanied with your smooth voice. I noticed the tiny scar beside your lips and felt a quick quiver down my spine. I closed my eyes and imagined my lips softly trailing down the scar.

Physically, you are the opposite of what I’m usually attracted to – tall and big. It still amazes me how I fell for you. You are not my spec, but you took my breath away. I felt the chemistry and that was enough for me.

You never did promise me the world, but I promised myself to be true to you, so you would give me the world on a platter. You promised to be real to me and you asked that I be real to you.

You said that we were in this together. You said you love the fact that I was being myself. Truth be told, being myself is the only thing I know how to be. I never pretended to be who I was not. I asked if it was okay that I was tripping for you. Again, truth be told, I lied, I was not tripping; I was on the floor already. You said it was okay, you smiled and said that we were in it together. And I remember that was when I reached out and touched that beard, and it was exactly as I dreamed: soft, silky and smooth.

You won’t believe how I felt the day you opened up to me. You were so vulnerable. You told me commitment wasn’t your thing. You said it was the fault of your pasts relationships. You said you did not know how to commit, but you were willing to try. Or rather, I made you promise to try, so we could make us work.

Then began the slow withdrawals. The calls that never came, the missed calls that were never returned. The promise to return calls that were never fulfilled. I made excuses for you because I believed you were really trying, and I thought my complaints would be misconstrued as nagging. I thought it would scare you. I didn’t want to scare you.

From the unreturned calls, you graduated to standing me up. I continued to make excuses for you. I told myself that if you saw how I was willing to stand by you and work this shit out, that maybe, just maybe, you would sit up. I held on to the positive side of “just maybe” and refused to see the negative side. I refused to see the nights out and the road trips without me. I refused to note the times when my name ought to have been mentioned, but it was never. Or the places where my presence ought to have been felt, but it never was. I watched you flirt with other people right in front of me; I told myself that it meant nothing, that they meant nothing. It was just you being you.

I watched you make out time for them, but none for me. I watched you give them a preference that was never given to me. I watched you decorate them with accolades that were mine, or ought to have been mine.

My friends told me to kick you out, and there was wisdom in their words. My blind faith, my love, my unending loyalty, was being abused, and I was letting it go. I remember how they told me, “Don’t take shit you know you can’t swallow.” I perceived the wisdom in their words, yet I refused to see it.

You know how they say that there are two categories of people you cannot advise: the woman in love and the man with the money. Well, I had already fallen into one category.

I remember our conversation on the rooftop that fateful day. How I blurted it out. How shocked you were that I had gotten to that stage. Again, truth be told, I myself wasn’t even aware I had gotten to that stage. I didn’t even know where the words came from, but when they did, I felt a heavy load off my chest. Because they were the truth. You never reciprocated, but I did not care. I just did not care. I thought that for all that matters, I had you, and that was enough for me. At least I thought it was.

I wanted to see you, I really wanted to see you. But you kept playing me around. I all but grovelled, and then I snapped. I remembered all the sacrifices, all the leaving work on time just so we could hang out, all the outings with my friends that I missed because I chose you over them.

I remembered all the times you stood me up, the unexplained missed calls, the calls you never returned. I remembered all. I remembered the receipts from the pharmacy, with unexplained items, items you must have been used with them. I remembered the flirtings that happened right in front of me.

I should have listened, not to what you said, but to what you did not say. Because that which is left unsaid is the truth. I should have listened that you never said you were going to try with me, rather I was the one who made you promise to try. I should have realized that I was the one who inputted exclusivity, because you never did, you never promised same. I should have realized that you never promised me the world, I only promised myself to be good to you so you would give same to me.

I don’t know if you will ever read this. I doubt it. Reading is not one of your strong points; but in case you do, know that this is me letting go. This is me moving on, and hoping someday, somehow, I will forgive.

Photo Credit: Dreamstime

Mary-Claret is a Legal Practitioner and a writer. When she is not lawyering, she writes. She uses writing as a therapeutic means of escaping her introverted nature. Her Instagram handle @Ulu_nnah


  1. Bowl

    July 17, 2018 at 8:26 pm

    Baby girl, even if he gets to read, it will still mean nothing to him. I bet you wlll never take the the lead in this kind of matter again. Leave the hunting for men it’s theirs by election.
    Let them do the asking .
    In any case , experiences like the above temper you to,a better person !

  2. Physio Tinu

    July 17, 2018 at 11:01 pm

    The beards show she was self-deluded.. How can beards be “silky smooth and soft”? At best, Naija beard gang be crinkly and velvet. Except of course he was of another race.

    • Rabiatu Ajibike Omalichanwa

      July 25, 2018 at 6:40 pm

      Have you ever seen or touched a Fulani or Shua’s hair?

  3. Anon

    July 17, 2018 at 11:03 pm

    Abegi, can someone summarize this dissertation for me? Thanks…

  4. Baymax

    July 18, 2018 at 8:13 am

    Girls will never learn.

    He told you from the beginning but you believed you’re special, a unicorn different from other girls. You thought your goodness and self-sacrificing love would overwhelm him and change him.

    Sorry to burst your bubbles. You cannot change a man, He’s the one that would make the decision to change,

    You can’t call him “yoruba demon” or “scum” o. He didn’t lie to you or deceive you. He told you the truth from the beginning. He showed you by actions.

    Another girl would read this article and still believe her case would be different.

    Girls will never learn.


  5. adeola

    July 18, 2018 at 4:38 pm

    This is a beautiful piece. You had me all the way.

  6. zezefranzy

    July 25, 2018 at 2:53 pm

    I felt this, nice one

  7. Precious

    July 25, 2018 at 3:08 pm

    My friend has turned correct writer oo. Really nice one Chi. Thumbs up.

  8. UGONNA Okoli

    July 25, 2018 at 3:36 pm

    Nice write up…. so well articulated

  9. Abigail

    July 25, 2018 at 3:52 pm

    This was an intriguing piece I was spellbound all through.. Great stuff!

  10. Chizzy

    July 25, 2018 at 5:07 pm

    Nice one Chiamaka, really captivating

  11. Segun Abisagbo

    July 25, 2018 at 5:17 pm

    THis is really beautiful

  12. Chidiogo

    July 25, 2018 at 10:34 pm

    Wonderful piece

  13. A. B. John

    July 26, 2018 at 11:33 am

    Beautiful piece. Well done Amy

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