Freshman year 2004.
First it was Paul and Bayo and at the same time Ladun and Vicki.
And then Bayo, Ladun, Vicki and Paul.
And then Vicki and Paul.
They had more similar interests apart from taking the same major.
He played the sax in the choir, and she was an usher.
He was daring, too sure, strong willed, too playful, silly, too smart, annoying … dang! You were annoying!
But it makes her heart smile now because he always knew when he had misbehaved
And he knew how to retrace his steps and make amends.
Back at her home almost everybody knew (of) him
It seemed to folk at school like they were involved
The questions, the stares … Who would blame them?
But they both knew better and had deeper.
Deep enough to make any potential partner green with envy!
It was genuine giving as it was just so natural for both to give each other
To the point where they formed a bond too strong.
He just had your way of making her bare all: plans, thoughts, fears.
He would ‘brag’ publicly that he was ‘the one person and guy who really knew Vicki.
Then they would exchange roles when she gave him that glare to make him start ‘confessing.’
His past, his present and his hopes for the future.
Vicki knew Paul, like the back of her favourite hand.
Sophomore year 2005
Both would take turns to exchange views, listen and advice each other.
He was in the habit of skipping classes and would cheekily show up after a while, too sure that she had saved him the lecture notes.
And he was always right.
As time went on, they didn’t even need to talk as much.
Friendship became clairvoyant.
In just a year and a half, it felt like they had been childhood friends.
Too good to be true.
And then it happened.
March 18 2006. They had a major misunderstanding between them that did much damage.
Even malice? Paul and Vicki?
And in her rage Vicki discarded every potential memento she should have kept.
His letters, his notes, his texts. what a shame.
Third year 2006
They eventually reconciled but nothing was the same.
They had drifted too far apart.
Nevertheless they kept things friendly and eventually made new friends.
And they would keep accusing each other jokingly but with a mutual understanding.
Fourth year 2007
She resumed on September 10 2007 fresh from the summer holidays.
There was a lot of excitement in the air, noise, laughter, hugs.
She even had with a new haircut!
And then came crashing news: Car, run over, school … senseless bits.
Paul was dead.
Days turned to weeks, weeks to months and it’s been 336 days of total silence.
Silent tears, unended conversations, unexecuted plans.
It keeps dawning on her, still not fully but in bits that he truly is gone.
Some sort of denial. She only rarely talks about it with a few friends, in prayers, in conversations.
Now and again, she finds herself wondering but she still can’t admit it to herself.
Today I sit here as my heart and my mind just connect with my fingers in an uncanny unison transforming my thoughts to words.
I hear a lovely sound from a saxophone and my mind is going, “Those instrumentals would have got Paul’s attention.”
I see new gadgets and I’m like, “Paul wudda had one of these … AGES AGO!”
Final year is just at the corner
And again, you are not.
I am slowly coming to terms with your death, and those words stung my soul as I released them.
Time and again, I read your emails (awash with joy I kept them)
Ah! You were not around long enough to feel this SIWES/Facebook fever (hmm! did u just say u don’t have time for that?)
I would have forced you, duh!
Before I go on imagining what would have been, I’ll let go and be grateful for what was. And what has become.
Paul Adegboyega Obayomi,
you were an inspiration, you were a driving force.
Your focus and your dedication were second to none.
You were a standard! You had it all (you wish, short man!)
You were here for a reason and sadly, a season. I would be greedy if I wished you were here for a lifetime.
But in your short lifetime, in our brief meeting you touched and taught me so much.
I’m eternally grateful that our paths did cross.
I miss you Sax.
I guess you must have figured that I’m called Vicki, but that’s the closest I can expose of name. Thanks for your time. Looking forward to reading comments from you every time you visit my blog!
BY Brown Sugar
From YADA May 2009
Brown Sugar blogs at http://missbalance.blogspot.com
Image from: cyliafitandfab.blogspot.com