He drew a deep breath and looked into her eyes. He saw love in her eyes. He drew back his head, and the magic was gone. He had always thought he was a romantic, but when things had started to heat up, he realised he was not fit. Fear covered him like sweat, and the tremor behind his heart made him conclude he was going to screw everything up anyway.

“What’s wrong?” She asked him.

“Nothing. I was just . . .” His voice trailed off.

“You were just what?” She drew closer to him on the bench, using curiosity as an excuse to move closer. He could here the small palpitations of her heart.

“I was just . . . nothing.” He said. But he could not look into her eyes. He simply stared into the blank night, squinting, like he could see through the darkness if he really tried.

She didn’t say anything. She just sighed, and drifted away from him on the bench. She wanted to be drawn out, just like him. She wanted someone who could take a bold plunge and sweep her off her feet. She wanted her Harlequin hero. Not that she was a fantasy girl. She didn’t desire perfection. All she wanted was someone who could dare to hold her in his hands, look deeply into her eyes, and say sweet things.

But he didn’t fit that description. He was one of those stupid boys who wouldn’t touch a girl for fear of having an erection. He would understand, much later, that the erection was not the problem (in fact it was a strength). The problem was with the fear. Always the fear.

Fear’s not good for romance.

Not good.





Dear Emeso Pius

First things first: I like you. By likeness, I don’t intend to convey a fleeting acknowledgement of our common humanity. Nope. By likeness, I mean accepting a genuine attraction based on nothing, but shared moments of naked communion. Maybe I should say ‘I love you’. But that’s too weighty, too burdensome, too patronizing. And of course, the thrust of this open letter is to convince you of love; my love. So why should I try to ping when I don’t have BIS?

You see, sometimes, I wish I was a good poet. I wish I was so good with words that I could paint as a damn good painter does. Then I would write you a poem. I would pontificate on your round jolly face, which defies the conventions of oval beauty. I would play with the texture of your fair skin, and represent it as glittering gold, shining even in the darkest days. Sometimes, I wish I had a musical voice, like that of Bebe or Cece. I wish I could draw my voice so long and minutes would stroll by, and I won’t lose my breath and have to take air in deep gasps. Then I would write you songs; cool songs, slow songs, sad songs; and we would hold hands in Dance Studio, and our sweaty bodies would move together, in controlled spurts of bliss and then, rapturous release.

But Heaven has seen my heart, and has not granted my wishes. I write bad poems. And the judges at Project Fame would boo and curse if I stood before them. Oh! How much I have prayed and fasted and waited for these wishes to be granted; but Heaven is steadfast, resolute and dogmatic. Heaven says no. Heaven has left me incapable of sentimental expression, and has instead given me a burden of physical brains and mental bones.

Dear Emmy, I can’t write you poems or compose songs for you. What I have are words on blank surfaces. Words that I hope can come alive and spring from its blank surfaces and hop into your heart. Words that I hope would convince you how much I like your pretty, smiling face, and your persistent, I-no-go-gree disposition towards life’s brick walls. Some of these words include that you should not be bogged down by the past. You should not rewind memories and make them templates for your future. We all make mistakes; we’ve all been stupid and dumb and made idiotic choices. The difference between the great and the horrible is that while one learnt from bad choices, the other dwelt in them.

As you well know, we have ten new courses to read within two weeks. So I don’t really have much time to write out everything on my mind. But always remember that life’s finest things always come to those who work and wait, to those who love and give, to those who are not afraid to come out of darkness and embrace the light; to those who keep believing, even in grim times.

Now I feel I can say this: I love you.

From a friend who wants you to start to think.


Dear Rachael Wanogho,


I can’t remember the first time we met; but I like to think that there was snow dripping off the Ekehuan clouds on that day. I remember thinking, very early in our first year that . . . that you were the most beautiful girl in the world. The thought didn’t last though. I guessed I moved on, or maybe I just didn’t have the mental intelligence (like I have now) to comprehend the simple but intimidating nature of your fine face.

It dawned on me early in life though that physical beauty was like a passing cloud. I don’t want to stand on a soap-box, but what stays true, and what has defined the greatest women in history is not the quality of the pancake or eyelashes, but character blended with the desire to attain. I don’t know if you have these things, but . . . let me tell you a story.

I was enjoying Play Station with a very good pal in the hostel (of course he was thrashing me), when the power was interrupted. He grunted in disappointment, and I breathed a sigh of relief, content with the thrashings I had received. There followed a silence . . . silence as thick as morning fog during harmattan. I broke the fog.

“Which of the girls in our class do you think would become highly successful?” I liked to ask people these sorts of questions. It rattled you, and made you want to think, as when you are inside an examination hall trying to crack the code of a crazy question.

He looked at me, his chubby, handsome face suddenly serious and thoughtful. We were lying side by side on his bed like relaxed lovers.

“That’s a difficult one oh!” He said, after pondering in silence for a few seconds.

“Well you’ve got to try. Which girl in our class do you think would become highly successful?” I liked to repeat questions when I was having this kind of discussion.

“Most of them are  . . .”

“Not going to toe a career path?” I interrupted him.

“Yeah, I think so. But there are still a few ones who I really think are going to make it big.”

“Tell me.” I urged.

He mentioned some names.

“Why did you include Rachael?” I was particularly interested because I had thought of the same name while I was engaged in my own quiet brooding.

He fell into a short silence. “The girl is independent. She carries herself differently. And I think she has the drive to achieve stuffs, to become relevant and important. I don’t see her as the kind of girl who would want to depend on a guy.”

I remember this conversation very clearly. I remember the solemnity on my friend’s face; the way he said the words he said, and the solidity of his speech – he was sure of what he was saying. And trust me Rachael, I felt the same way.

We are not great friends, I know. And truth be said, we may never be. When we leave Ekehuan, barring some random pokes on Facebook, we may never keep in touch. But the distance of our friendship does not diminish the quality of my thoughts about you. I think you are a great girl, and someone with great potential for ultimate leadership.

Time is limited. I have to get back to Professor Sambe’s avalanche of assignments, and I don’t want to waste your time also, because I know the academic work in our finals is as heavy as the cross of Calvary. But remember, dear friend, you are like raw gold which common men don’t appreciate until it passes the test of fire. When you totter on the slippery grounds of tribulations, rise up again. You can fail, but ensure you fail forward. Life’s storms may come, but plant your feet and stand firm. And whatever happens, never fall into despair. Cling onto hope, and whatever gives you the assurance of tomorrow’s brighter offerings.

Take care.

From a friend who believes you have a fine face.


P.S: A very good friend of mine Ivy Obenga Mefia, a 300 level student of the Department of Theatre Arts and Mass Communication needs to undergo surgical operation for a displaced retina. She needs 400,000 naira. All we need is 400 persons to give 1000 naira as soon as possible. You can make your donations to these account numbers. First Bank: Obeng Ivy Mefia, 3035937987 and GtBank: Obeng Ivy Mefia, 0130695842. Or you can call Richard on 08034349405. Mahatma Gandhi once said: “the simplest acts of kindness are by far more powerful than a thousand heads bowing in prayer.” And remember, no one has ever become poor by giving. No one. Thanks. God bless.