It was a bright sunny day, everything seemed fine to Simi, she walked with a certain gait in her steps, thinking of all the endless possibilities life has in store for her. At this stage of her life, she had absolutely nothing to worry about everything seemed to fit in perfectly except one glitch in her "bucket list"; she assumed she would be happily married by now and when she closes her eyes at night, she feels a certain sense of panic; "what if I never meet the right guy", "what if I become an old spinster, alone and miserable", "what if..." and more "what ifs...", she goes through this cycle till she finally drifts off.
But on this day, she felt good, probably out of denial or just the fact that she had chosen to accept her lot, either way, she breezed into her office with a huge smile on her face and greeted everyone with extra joy. Just as she was about to settle into the day’s work, a young gentleman steps into her Office and unknowingly to them this was about to become a new chapter in their lives.
"Good Morning, I was directed to see a Miss Adeyemi, I have to make some enquires" Akin said. In an effort to act like she wasn't impressed by his looks, Simi kept her face as bland as ever but she had taken note of how good Akin looked and liked what she saw. "Welcome Sir, please sit down, I am Miss Adeyemi, what can I do for you?". After several minutes of talking about the benefits of her Company's Insurance Policies, Akin seemed satisfied and promised to come back the next day.
Even though Simi tried to block out the image of Akin in her head long after the brief interaction, it kept coming up at strange times. The next day, she took extra care in applying her make-up and choosing her outfit for the day but kept convincing herself that she was not doing it because of the fact that Akin will be coming back that day. At the end of the day, she had stopped lying to herself, Akin never showed up that day and she felt disappointed, all the make-up for nothing :(.
A week later, Akin’s image had already started dwindling and she was getting back to her normal state of mind, she was just about to step out for lunch when she heard a soft knock at her door, "Come in", she said reluctantly, she was quite hungry at this point but the hunger vanished when she saw who it was, "Hello Miss Adeyemi, sorry for not coming back the next day as I promised, I had to travel, can we carry out the necessary transactions today?". "Sure, you don’t have to apologize, I even forgot we had an appointment the next day" Simi lied.
After an hour, the transaction was completed and it was time for Akin to leave, unknown to Simi, Akin has been thinking of how to ask her for number, even though he was a ladies man for some unknown reason he felt shy and unsure of himself around this lady, he was being absolutely careful not to mess things up but he knew that this would be the end if he doesn’t make a move now, besides it will either be a "yes" or a "no", where is the harm in that. With this pep talk, Akin summoned the courage and said "hmmmmm...I hope you don’t take this the wrong way, but I would like to have your number and keep in touch with you outside your Office, maybe we can go for lunch sometime, that is if you don’t mind" Akin said (his mind kept hammering; please say yes!!!). Simi was taken aback, she knew she was fine and attractive but she never thought he had an interest in her since he was behaving all business-like from the onset, she was already dancing azonto in her head, but she had to play it cool, "Well, I don’t really like giving strangers my number but since you are now our client, I don’t see any harm in having lunch with you, you can have my number, it’s 080...". She didn’t have to call it out twice, Akin as a sharp boy had stored the number quickly. "Thanks Simi, I guess I can call you that now, I will give you a call later, enjoy the rest of your day" Akin said with a huge smile on his face, "You are welcome, alright later then" Simi said , feigning disinterest despite the butterflies doing Etigi in her tummy.
A year down the lane, a "harmless lunch" had led to a serious relationship, everything seemed perfect, Simi had met Akin's family and friends and everyone seemed supportive of the relationship. She had already envisioned her three kids having Akin's handsome smile, even though he hadn’t proposed yet, they had talked about marriage a few times and they both seemed to be in tandem with spending the rest of their lives together until the 2nd of February, 2015; that day will be etched in Simi's heart forever.
As usual, Akin dropped her off at work and promised to come and get her later in the day. The day proceeded relatively well even though for some unknown reason she felt funny, she couldn’t shake off the feeling that something was going to happen that day, she prayed about it for a bit and forced herself to concentrate on the day's tasks. At 6:30pm, she was already getting worried, she had tried Akin's number several times but got no response, she decided to take a cab home instead since it was already getting dark. She got home and continued trying his number, at this time she was already panicking because this was not her usual Akin, he always took her needs seriously and called if he was going to be tied up in the Office. Just when she was about to call his elder brother, her phone rang, it was Akin calling she felt so relived, she started talking as soon as she picked up, "Baby, thank God you are alright, I have been trying your number all day and got so worried, are you still in the Office, I hope all is well?" She gushed out. There was silence at the other end of the line before a strange male voice said, "Hello, am sorry, I picked up this phone at the scene of an accident, it has been ringing all day and I didn’t know how to pick up and inform the caller about what happened" the stranger said. At this point, several thoughts were running through Simi's head and all she heard was the word "accident", "Am sorry, did you say accident, where is Akin? is he in a hospital? what's the name of the hospital? is he alright?" she asked hysterically, "Am so sorry, he died while we were rushing him to the hospital, his body is presently at the morgue in Maitama General Hospital" the stranger said, "I am currently in the hospital, I can wait for you to come down before I leave" he added.
At that moment everything seemed like a dream to Simi, she clearly imagined how Leonardo DiCaprio felt in Inception, she was praying someone would tap her and bring her out of this nightmare. She couldn’t remember how she was able to call up Adaora, her best friend, to take her to the morgue or even remember how Akin's siblings came to meet her staring blankly at the man that she had come to love like the air she breathes, all she could think of was their last moment together; "Why didn’t I hug him tighter", "Why didn’t I tell him I love you more often", "Why did we even quarrel over trivial things last night", "why, why, why...." and all she got in response was silence, it was too late, her Akin was gone forever.
The pain was unbearable and she thought there couldn’t be more pain until she saw his coffin being lowered down into the earth several weeks later, her life as she knew it had ended and she hadn’t gotten the opportunity to show Akin how much she adored and appreciated him, she assumed since he knew how she felt, there was no need saying it. Now it was too late, the words she never said and the hurtful words they said in the heat of anger will hunt her forever.
"Say what you feel, when you feel it, and how you feel it"