March 15, 2016.
Opeyemi, you are the only girl to grace the beautiful pages of my diary. What a lucky girl you are! No – no. What a lucky guy I am to you have you in my diary, in my heart.
I do not know why I’m writing this letter. I do not even know if it’s a letter. My primary school teacher, the one that left that ugly scar on my chest taught me that a letter must have a purpose. But I do not know whether this letter has any purpose. I guess am writing this because it rained and because I miss you.
Did it rain in Lagos too? Do you miss me? It rained here in Ogbomoso and whenever it rains, our neighbours throw their rubbish on to the streets, waiting for the rain to wash it away. Of course the rain will wash it away. The thing is just that, it washes it into the gutters and then everywhere becomes stinking and then erosion takes over our roads.
But apart from this dirty behaviour of our people that comes with the rain, something good comes with it. I remember the day I met you. I remember because it was raining then, many years ago. I can still see the picture in my mind-eye now of you standing, shivering in the rain. And then I see myself coming, holding your hand, placing my small umbrella over your head and walking you to your hostel. It plays in my head like a MarkAngel Comedy. I remember how I disobeyed Mama’s rules and removed my sweater for you and allowed myself to shake miserably in the rain the way our neighbour’s chick shakes whenever it develops Koli. I remember how hard I prayed that the rain would not stop and that we would never reach your hostel because I wanted to remain there with you forever, in the rain, holding your hand under the umbrella.
The rain also brings back other memories; both good and bad. Like the one of the day the boys stole your Maths note and left it outside for the rain to beat. I remember how hard we worked day and night, writing the note from SS1 to SS2 third term because you always joined your notes together and because our silly Mathematics teacher, Mr. Bobo refused to understand the fact that you could survive on textbooks and borrowed notes. It was not easy then. Mr Bobo just decided to deal with you – with us like that because you said NO to him. Silly man.
I remember the day he asked you out, telling you to see him after the lesson. How we both went and how you entered and I eavesdropped at the door as he said he loved you and that he would die for you. And then you would later tell me he made to touch you. What a silly man he was. We were not surprised when he was sacked after the runour circulated that he had impregnated Fijabi, our class harlot.
The rain also brings back that memory; that special memory of the day we departed, the day we all put an end to secondary school education. I remember how you cried hard, your head on my laps; how I stroked your hair gently and sorrowfully. I remember how people laughed when they saw you crying, the same way my sister laughed when I told her I was dating a Lagos girl and how she laughed even harder when I told her you were going to study Theatre Arts in University of Lagos, the one one man wanted to change to M.K.O. Abiola University. I should also have chosen University of Lagos but Awolowo refused to let me go ad insisted that I attended his university.
I remember all these things because it rained and because I have good news for you. I am coming to Lagos next week to see your face, to see your smile, to hear your voice, to touch your hair, to hold your hands. I am coming to Lagos, Opeyemi to see you after these years of nothing but Facebook ad Instagram Pictures.
I am remembering all these and I am coming to Lagos simply because it rained here in Akintola’s town. And I guess my letter has a purpose now, though a silly one one might call it. I write this to tell you I am missing you and to ask: Did it rain in Lagos too?