The Betrayal of Unspoken Disappointment




If love be personified, Tunde would be the body and Tomilayo, the soul. They fit each other in a perfectly practical way. Their relationship was all encompassing, filled with plans not dreams, dance and excitement, opinion and politics, friends and family, passion, and spontaneous love making. They shared a love making that was full of adventurous discoveries. It was fun and memorable. That would be one of the things they would come to reminisce often about their relationship when time and distance tested them. They were sure of their plans until it happened that Tomilayo had to travel to the United States to complete her education when every day strike at the University turned out insufferable. She and Tunde spoke about it and he encouraged her because of the “great” opportunities that lay ahead of her. She couldn’t be bothered about any opportunity that didn’t include being with Tunde but he managed to convince her.

Life at the United States of America wasn’t as grand as the television shows painted it and all Tomilayo wanted to do was come home to her mother, her father and her love but Tunde found words to encourage her at every disappointment. But when it came down to living the reality of the harsh world of the United States, when Tomilayo struggled to buy groceries, when she couldn’t keep up with the apartment rent, when she couldn’t even afford a text book, and the only seeming option was to use her plum African breasts and hour glass figure, which the Americans so craved, to get what she needed. In that situation, Tunde eluded her sanity and she gave in. It was only after she had given in did she remember her promises and the life she and Tunde had vowed to build together. After all, it was only a matter of time before he would join her in the United States. But now she has betrayed their relationship, the simplicity of it, and the joy of it.

When after days of being alienated from reality, weeks of sleeping with eyes wide open, months of no word at all and years of depression, loneliness and desperation set in with Tunde, he realized it was over eventually. So when his time came, as he had planned with Tomilayo, to travel out of Nigeria, he chose instead to go to the United Kingdom, at world’s end from where he knew she was. So when a mutual friend ran into Tomilayo on the streets of Baltimore, she was embarrassed to be named in the same sentence with Tunde. That wouldn’t go down well with her white boyfriend so she walked out on her old Nigerian friend. It wasn’t until she got home and realized how badly she must have reacted to him after years of not seeing each other that it dawned on her that the mode at which she had solely decided to cut Tunde off was unforgivable. Yet, she found words with force to write to him in a mail explaining and apologizing for her silence and she hoped he would reply his mail. She hoped he still kept that email address.

Now, at world’s end, Tunde reads her email. There was no expression on his face, no words to write in response. He deleted it. For all she knew, he could be dead and she wouldn’t even have been there to cry at his funeral.

3 thoughts on “The Betrayal of Unspoken Disappointment

  1. Sad how situations make us forget what used to be a lifeline for us. But i always wonder, if you cant advance cant you return home? What must you sacrifice to fare well in the white man’s land?

    1. Nigerians in diaspora always feel caged in most cases rather than looking at surviving in the white man’s as an option. My sister wrote a book of her own experience and titled it “Satisfied Victim”. Ironic

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