I have seen many movies, heard many stories and even read many novels where long distance relationship was the thematic preoccupation. In many of the cases, it is the male that travels out, as in our local Nollywood where a guy from Asaba would move to Lagos or Malaysia to look for greener pastures and spend years there before returning to his village sweetheart. In some of the stories, the guy comes back to realize, albeit disappointedly, that his sweetheart has married another man after waiting for years to have him back, coupled with family and societal pressures. In other cases, it is the girl that waits, only for the boy to return with a white sissy and start acting all classy and posh for his erstwhile lover whom he now considers to be below his standard. Note that Nollywood makes coded statements about these two scenarios: the guy who left for Lagos comes back to find his lover married; while the one who goes to abroad returns with an oyibo woman despite being waited for. Sounds funny right? Yes! And my friend explained that “for Nigerian girls, Lagos is long distance relationship while abroad is not.” Did I hear you laugh?
Well, back to the matter. Now, in all of these stories, I also find it hard to see reasons with the woman who became impatient and had to marry or the guy who disregards his village heartthrob and comes home with an oyibo woman. I find it hard to agree to their excuses that they no longer feel the relationship, that it went sour, that the other person no longer fits into the picture of who they dreamt of and so on and so forth. I didn’t quite agree with what I had termed “flimsy” because as long as I was concerned, old love remains the true and original love. How wrong I was.
I recently had a firsthand experience when my lover of six years (from our university days till present) paid me a visit in Lagos, from Abuja, after one year. Yes, one whole year since we last saw in January of 2019 when I visited her in Abuja. Somehow, life happened and we found ourselves unable to see each other in the remaining months of 2019 but we were sure to maintain a very sound communication even though there were periods of heightened disagreements that were later resolved.
So she finally succeeded in paying me a visit this New Year and all the longings I had managed to control, all the excitement of seeing her vanished the moment we saw. I didn’t feel any adrenaline rush, no butterflies in my tummy and no fire in my head to show that I’ve missed her. She, on the other hand, felt all those. She was super excited to behold me again. She was all over me. But I was cold, very cold. She noticed and became withdrawn after several failed attempts to get me to tell her what the problem is, now we have discovered, through my orchestration, that there are irreconcilable differences we cannot tolerate from each other and the relationship is currently on its last, speedy ride to disintegration.
What happened? Life happened. Nollywood happened. And now I have found myself in the shoes of those characters who try to explain why the relationship won’t work anymore. I just pray that someone out there hears me, that someone forgives my past ignorance and understand me. I don’t have much explanation. I’m simply not feeling the love anymore because I have just suddenly realized that old love is not always the only true love, the only original love.
This article was written by Ifesinachi Nwadike