It has been a while since I wrote a short story. Heck, for a while I thought I had lost my ability to write. So you can imagine why I am so excited about this piece. Plus, it is loosely based on the life of one of my best friends. I won’t call it a comeback piece before y’all start to expect a short story every week 😉 I really hope you guys enjoy “The Art of Letting Go.” Read. Comment. Share 🙂
“Are we going to do this now?”
“Damn right we are!”
I looked at Banke. She was serious. To be honest I wasn’t ready for her tantrums today. I mean, it’s Church for friggin’ sake!
“Banke, let us talk about this when we get home”
“No we are not. You were outside through out the sermon. Where did you disappear to?’
I was on the phone with Salewa. That is the truth. But there is NO WAY I would tell Banke that. She will flip.
“Banke. Get in the car. People are looking at us”
“Is that not what you want, Chike? You keep hiding things from me. Keeping secrets. Making me paranoid. Do you derive joy from pissing me off. Or did I force you to be in a relationship with me? Did I tie your hands Chike?”
Banke’s voice was getting louder. She does this every time. She always makes a mountain out of a molehill.
I enter the car and wait for Banke to enter. She enters after 5 minutes and slams the car door.
“Banke. You need to stop this. Why do you feel the need to constantly undermine everything I do. Relationships are supposed to be based on trust. If you don’t trust me then what is the point?”
Banke smiles and shakes her head. She pulls out her phone from her bag and starts playing candy crush.
“So we are in stage two now abi? The silent treatment stage” I was getting angry at the situation. I know I was gone through out the sermon but still, it doesn’t give her the right to shout and talk down at me.
“Where did you go through out the sermon” Banke is looking straight at me. I can see her trying hard to hide the tears.
“Please don’t babe me. The sermon was for an hour. You left just as the sermon started and came back during offering”
“I have told you I am not a fan of your church and your pastor’s long sermons”
“So why did you come?”
“You said you needed a ride. Plus you have asked me to come for the past 3 months. I did it for you”
” So it is my fault abi?” Her voice was getting louder again. “You think you are doing me a favour? You have been distant Chike! I don’t know what I have done wrong. All I have done or tried to do is love you. To be there for you. But it seems like all you want to do is ridicule me and make me a laughing stock in Lagos!”
“Laughing stock? Are you serious at all. What is this about?” Now I am pissed
“Who is Salewa?”
“Yes. Salewa. Or you wanna feign ignorance now abi?”
How the heck did she find out about Salewa. Don’t get any ideas. I am not cheating on Banke with Salewa. I am not that kind of guy. I am a good guy. It’s just that Banke and I have grown apart. She doesn’t get me like she did when we started dating 2 years ago. Now she wants us to have date nights and have Sunday brunch with her folks. I don’t want that. She wants to get married and I am not ready for that kind of commitment and worst of all, she is saving herself for marriage. I thought it was cute initially but now it’s just torture. I can’t keep buying Vaseline every month.
But Salewa. Salewa is different. Met her at a networking event she organised. She is a guy’s girl. Down to earth. Sophisticated. Sexy without trying too hard. Very independent. Understands boundaries. Knows how to hold a conversation. Oh and did I mention she is a great kisser. Yes we kissed one time at the club. Nothing serious. Very harmless. She understands I am in a committed relationship and there is no pressure.
“Chike! Answer me!!!!” Banke’s voice brought me back to reality
“Salewa is just a friend”
“Hmmm. A friend you made out with at the club on Friday abi? Fareeda and Ese saw you guys at Truth.”
“You always believe everything they tell you without asking me. You choose them over me. I don’t understand you at all. You don’t trust me and it is not fair”
“Are you really trying to take me on a guilt trip? Really? You want to do this now”
“I am not taking you on a guilt trip. I am just saying my mind”
“Do you want out, Chike?” Banke starts to cry.
Crap! I try to hold her but she pushes me away.
“Chike. Please don’t even try. Do you want out? If you do just tell me now. I am tired of calling and asking where you are and what you are doing.”
Slightly panicked, I ask “Is it because of Salewa because-”
“This is not because of Salewa or Rita or Kikelomo.” She cut in, “This is about how you don’t bother to know what’s going on with me. You say you are busy but you always out every night. What happened to the Chike that always called? That made me the centre of his world? That made me feel special? The Chike that always took me out and needed me. Did I do something wrong? Am I choking you?”
“It is not you. It is me”
“Wow. The oldest cliche in the book” Banke gets her handkerchief from her bag and wipes the tears from her eyes
“I have evolved. I am not the same guy-”
“Stop talking. You are making it worse.” She looks at me with hurt in her eyes “It was nice knowing you. I hope you find what you are looking for Chike” Banke grabs her bag and opens the car door.
“Let me at least drop you at home” I felt terrible. That is the least I could do
“It’s fine. Danfo still dey Lagos. Have a nice life”
I watched Banke get out of my car and walk away. I am supposed to be happy. I am supposed to be free. But I feel empty.
I feel blank.
Have I let a good thing go?