My head was hurting like hell, my throat was so sore I could barely swallow a thing. Santiago, my good friend was over at my apartment to pick me up for the day. Seeing my condition he asked that I stayed home and rest the day out.
"Hell no!" Trust me to have said that. "I just got back from Abuja," I said to him.."Four days straight, lounging. I have work to do, I have deadlines.." I said in a bid to fight the urge to stay home. Isn't that what I say all the time? 'Noooooo! No rest. I have work to do, work to do..' Oh dear!
One hour passed and it began to feel like I got better with a shower. I was even able to sit up and put some makeup on, cover those unsightly blemishes that appeared even more face-wrenching in my sick condition.
I got dressed and told Santiago I could drive myself to the studio. He didn't think I should, but I did anyways.
You know, I was already halfway across town to Sossick's when I realized this was a wrong decision and I really should have stayed home. But I forged ahead, my pretty little head hammering away with headaches, my temperature rising out of control.
Studio session was great! And it lasted a lifetime. We didn't get the perfect work inspiration until 9pm and it was worth it as always. But then that meant I was going to leave the studio late and drive all the way back home at a crazy hour of the night. At this time, my headaches had doubled up on hammer speed and my eyes were shooting fireworks through my contact lenses.
I hadn't had a thing to eat all day except the cereal Santiago had forced down my throat in the morning, and a roll of gala that I couldn't fight off the temptation of eating. I love my gala.
But I didn't care about the headaches or the hunger at this point. 10:45pm.
All that pain was overshadowed by the amazing sound of the new music Sossick had just produced richoretting through the speakers. It wasn't a waste of time afterall! Yaaaayyy!
Time to drive home.
Here's how you know God is keeping you from trouble, on purpose.
I had driven a long-little distance away from the studio when I realized I must have forgotten my ATM card in the studio. 3bank accounts, only one ATM card all in the name of "Eva, thou-shall-not-overspend"- I couldn't imagine the thought of not having any ATM card at all. So I drove back, picked it up and head on again.
Could this have been the 8mins that saved me from something more life threatening?
Over time, I have gotten myself accustomed to driving at night, at the wrong hours, by myself. Did that automatically make me feel safe, or make it feel right? No. Not in this lifetime. So here I was, cursing under my breath through the seemingly unending traffic at 11:15pm along Okota-Cele roads, my head caving in with each bang of pain, my body shivering through several bursts of heat from my blood. I felt super sick! This was Flu + Fever + whatever else made me feel like shit!
I was held up in traffic caused my impatient Lagosians for almost 25mins before I hit the free road. I was like "Whoooop whooop! Can't wait to get home!"
And as I cruised along, my thoughts began to shift from my headaches and the fever to memories of my Ex.
For a while now, 5 days or maybe 6, I have thought about my Ex. Sometimes in passing, other times more intently.
We had had a nasty breakup, lifespan of almost 5months now and I was already over him. Or I tried to make myself believe I was. Truth is, I never really got over him. Never stopped caring, never stopped having flashes.
I have had the better part of 5months to evaluate why things got so bad, what I did wrong, how I could have been better - for myself, for him, for us. And trust me, I have done quite enough of beating myself up about it. I was wrong, in a lot of ways. I accepted that feat. I prayed to God about it. I told myself I had moved on.
Well, maybe I did.
For the most part, I hadn't written him an annonymous letter, or sent a text, or stalked his internet space- Facebook, Twitter.., like I normally would have. So in my mind, Whooop! I was good.
But here I was, driving in the dead of night, thinking about my Ex and smiling to myself as I saw his face like clouds in my head, his smile, his perfect white teeth, his curly hair, his eyes...
Then ----- Screeeeeeeecccccchhhh!!! BAM! BAM!!!!
Flash of light, my voice yelling "Jesus! Oh Jesus!" The car swerving out of my control, my tiny hands holding onto the steering, the handbrake, the gear - all at the same time!
And there I was, my life in front of me in a second. It happened so fast, I literally thought I was going to die. I felt blood rush to my head as I instinctively raced out of the car and into the street, which was filling up with people gathering to see if I was ok.
Fear gripped me. I began to say quick short prayers of thanks to God. Then my emotions crawled through me, shaking me up and breaking me out in tears. The area boys were milling towards me now, trying to offer help of any kind. I heard a woman say "Ha! O ma se oooo". Then the police. These guys always have a way of showing up don't they? Or did God send them?
Everything happens for a reason they say. Was this another ploy from God to stop me from meeting something even more serious than this accident? Or was this what had to happen for me to get the courage to place a call through to my Ex? Cause that's exactly what I did!
The policemen were kind enough to wait with me in the middle of the the street while I waited for the towing van. 20mins out and I was on my way again, continuing this journey home- only this time, sitting in the passenger seat of a rickety towing van with Santiago's wrecked car hunched to its rear.
And while I sat there, I picked up my phone and called my Ex. Amidst tears, tears that formed from not knowing why I was still alive and how so fickle life really was, tears formed from the rush of blood to my face with the shock of the accident, I told him - I Love you.
"I was thinking about you when I crashed", I said through sobs and a running nose. "I love you. I'm so sorry I do.."
"Are you ok? Where are you right now? Are you safe?" - He was asking.
"I'm fine, I'm fine. I'm in the towing van now tryna get home."
"Yes," I said. Then just so I made sure he heard me, I said again - "I Love you"
Did it really have to take me crashing the car and almost dying to tell the man I loved how I felt. To face my fears of a bad breakup and goodbye-forevers. To acknowledge the fact that even if my head said I was over him, my heart still beat a nanosecond faster than normal for him. *sigh*
I pulled up to my estate gate in the towing van and there he was, waiting for me! My baby - that's what I would have called him 6months ago. I had to fight the realization that he was currently my Ex. But that didn't matter. He drove the distance to get to me at long minutes after 1am just to make sure I was ok.
He was right here! All I did was place a call to him and he came speeding down to be with me.
I am not at this point trying to say he loves me still, I am not in anyway saying his coming over is a sign of signs.. All I know is he came! Less than 40mins after I placed a call to him, he was right here. That's faster than the Nigeria Fire Service!
He held me, looked into my eyes.. My knees wobbled under me. My headaches seemed to be far off as they gave way for happy thoughts to sieve through my fuzzy shocked brain. He hugged me. He stayed a little while longer to make sure I was fine and settled in.
I looked down at his feet and the biggest smile that could part the red sea enveloped my lips. He was wearing slip-ons we had bought together, "His and Hers"
I was wearing mine too! In this moment, On this night. What are the odds, that we both would have been wearing our "His and Hers" slip-ons on the same night. I refuse to call that a matter of simple coincidence! Or was I just overwhelmed with emotions that I was connecting the dots with everything? Was I just overjoyed at seeing him again that wearing the same slip-ons we had bought together, which long months ago would have been so regular suddenly felt like snow falling from the skies in Nigeria? *sigh*
It reminded me of a lot. Times we shared together, times we laughed, times we were happy... And times we were sad.
Then we had to say goodbye..and I broke down in his arms crying..not cause I was sad. But because I held his hand and it was the most perfect thing in the world to be alive.
I'm alive now. Yes, Dear Satan, can you beat that!???
God has got me. My life's purpose isn't accomplished yet. God is still at work with me. He loves me. The car I was driving was a little car, it could have tipped over. I could have flown out of the car through the windshield, big Eva hair first. I could have lost a hand, bumped my head, had a concussion. I could have died. But I am here, to face another day, many more years.
So while I am here still, able to type this.. I would like to say thank you to you for being here as always. Friends, Family, brothers, sisters, colleagues.. Fans. I love you. I couldn't express that enough.
And to my Ex.. Whose face I saw in the last moments of what seemed to be the end of my stay in this Vanity filled world...
"I am sorry, again. For everything. If I could take it back, I would. I would take back every moment I made you sad, every time I disrespected you. I would take back every time I pushed you so hard to the wall that you felt like you couldn't control your anger.
I would take back everytime I bought you a gift to apologise for my wrongs or cover up my neglect.. I'd replace those material things with an unending beautiful love filled with praise and adoration.
We were so good to each other, yet so bad. We lost such a beautiful love and I was too impatient with you.
You were here for me, gave me your time, your love, your attention- placed me high above other women..
I was selfish, sometimes. I let the hurt and the fear of losing you take control of my emotions till I eventually lost you. I made you so mad sometimes, Damn I made you mad! OuucCH.
I didn't have to look death in the face to realise this. I have learned a lot in the past 5-6months of being away from you. I am a better person.. I am better with myself, my works, my art, my music..everything's changed.
We may be apart now, but it doesn't change what we had.
If I could do it all over again, I would- only this time better. Today I have learned not to think and worry about what you did that hurt me, but to acknowledge what I did that coulda made you do what you did.. And how I can be better from there.
You looked so handsome last night. And your smile! Oh your smile could shatter a thousand shield glasses held together. I miss looking at your face. I miss you. If time and chance never bring us together again, I want you to remember "I Loved you once, I Loved you twice, I loved you more than Beans and Rice".
God bless you always!
*PS: as you share this on Twitter/Facebook/Friends/Links/Emails.. Abeg abeg, I take God beg you..nor do make he reach my mama and papa hand. I couldn't bare to tell my folks I had an accident. They'd lock me in their house for the rest of their life! LOL.
Thanks for reading.