Independent—Episode 1: Letting Go Is Not So Easy

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iNDEPENDENT

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Continued from here

“KIM! Kim! Come here right now!” I heard Iyke shout from the dining room as I fixed the strap on my wedge sandals; I sighed as I stood up, Iyke was in a snit again. It was probably about something stupid too; maybe the sugar cubes in his tea didn’t melt properly or his table mat had dust on it, or whatever. I was really tired that morning so I didn’t rush to his side as usual. “Yes?” I said and leaned against the dining table.

“What is this? Why is there still a teabag in my tea?” he asked as he gestured at the tea in question. As much as I loved Iyke, I wanted to throttle him sometimes. He could be so whinny and bossy and bourgeoisie; it was like living with an egotistical baby prince. I apologized and took the teabag out of his cup, then walked back to the room to get my things for work. “Make sure you come back early.” He snapped as I walked out of the house. I took a few deep breaths to stop myself from reacting as I had been doing the past few days. I didn’t understand what was making him so mad all the time.

I had met him two years ago in a church seminar for singles, and I felt a connection that day. I remember thinking how rare it was to find an already accomplished young man still single and searching. Plus he was so intelligent, asking the speaker at the seminar some quite insightful questions. I fell for him on the spot and although it took some manipulation and religious networking, we finally became friends. Before long, he came to declare his love for me in the Christian ‘I-saw-you-in-my-dream-plucking-flower’ way and I accepted him. I tested him to make sure he was legit though; I told him no sex till marriage and that we’d have to fast and pray on and off for three months in preparation for our wedding/marriage. He didn’t even bat an eyelid, he just said yes to everything and our relationship started.

It was the best relationship when we started, he was attentive, kind, always listened to me, bought little inexpensive gifts that I loved and he feared God. He’d drop anything to engage in a thorough prayer session and he took bible study seriously; he never even got angry, not once. Six months into the relationship, we started living together because my house didn’t quite match his tastes and since we were getting married anyway, he didn’t see a need to get me another place. Of course soon after that, I started to see those things that weren’t there before, like how fussy he was, how hot tempered he really was, how prayer bored him to sleep – EVERYTIME – and how he had a serious problem with my ‘no sex’ rule. We basically just tolerated each other at this point for appearances sake and started pushing the wedding date forward for “personal reasons”.

I decided not to think about Iyke as I walked into the office building; I decided to be happy for myself. Plus if things went well, we were going to interview new musical sensation; Tecno. I giggled; what, ‘Nokia’ and ‘LG’ were already taken? It made me wonder if the name was supposed to be metaphorical or meaningful in some way. The current trend was to use your actual name; with some letters removed or mixed up for swag’s sake. I braced myself and put on my work smile, then breezed into the office greeting people as I walked to my own office. A few minutes after I settled into work mode, my secretary brought me a file on a number of people I was supposed to interview for junior posts in my department; I didn’t want to do it, but I couldn’t say so. I was the office superwoman after all. The interview was going to start in an hour, so I prepared the basic interview questions and waited for the applicants to start coming in.

The first few people were too nervous to answer questions intelligently, the others were either so confident that they ended up in a ‘foot-in-the-mouth’ situation, or too timid to answer the questions that they already knew I was going to ask. The last two people came just as I was preparing to leave the conference room, which was already annoying in itself, and then one of them asked me to sit. Like he literally just said that; “Sit”. I found myself sitting down before I regained my senses and shot back up.
“And who are you?” I asked in my most office-bitchy voice, no one ordered me around; not even my boss.
“I’m here for the interview. Sit and ask me questions.” He said in that annoying tone again and the second person punched him lightly in the arm and shook his head. I wasn’t in the mood for nonsense that day, so I told them the interview was over and walked out. As I left the room, I heard him say something like “I’m going to get this job, whether you like it or not.” I shook my head; there were too many nutcases out in the world today.

The day dragged on till it was closing time, I was too tired to put in overtime so I just packed up and headed home. Iyke was already home and angry again for some reason. I said hi and went in to get a shower, I came out of the bathroom and saw him pacing in the room.
“What’s wrong?” I asked, expecting him to launch into one of his tirades about how bad I’ve been to him, but he just sighed and sat down beside me on the bed.
“Do you really love me, or are you just forcing this?” He asked
“Forcing what?” I asked “This.” he said pointing at the both of us in quick succession.
“I love you” I said suddenly on my guard. Where was all this coming from? I moved to hug him, but he pushed me back gently and shook his head.
“Don’t do this. Don’t try to hold on too tight to something that is obviously not going to work.”
“Iyke, I don’t………”

“Kim, you knew when our relationship expired, but you still didn’t let go. I have done everything in my power to make you leave this past few months, but you’re holding on even tighter. I’m tired Kim and I know you are too. Think about it Kim, do you really want to marry me?” He said and walked out.

At that point, I started to cry because I knew everything he had just said was true. I had been trying so hard in the last few months to make our relationship awesome again, but I was getting sicker of the whole thing every day. I changed into my pajamas and went to bed, all the while thinking about how I was going to move all my stuff back into my one room apartment and leave his house without having to see or speak to Iyke. I cried myself to sleep while asking God to heal my broken heart before morning; because work the next day meant smiling at everybody. I had to smile again.

Letting go isn’t so easy, but you always find that once you do, life is way easier and smiles come faster.

Click here to read Episode Two

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Independent_Episode Two: How To Move On With Dignity
Series: Independent — Prologue

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