An Open Letter to the Damsels… (The Epistles #10)

“There is nothing like the truth, there is what you think, what the other person thinks and what the world remembers.”
-Unknown

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Dear Damsels,

Ssshhh…I have a secret to tell you (I hear you girls love secrets). It is from the deepest and darkest parts of my soul. Henna. Yes that one. Ever had something confuse you? You can’t really make up your mind. That is my predicament on henna done on nails. At the start, when newly done it is exceptional. Then time happens. The fading starts. Something about that process bugs me. Who is with me on this one? Anyone? Compare it to love (you could substitute it with interest. I hear some of you are non-believers. Whatever tickles your fancy). Sends chills down my spine just thinking about it. You?

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Atrocities. The world is full of them. Friends with benefits. Is that a frown? The scum in the society coined that word. Did I hear an Amen? Can I address it now? Is that a yes? Either way, according to the urban dictionary they define it as, ” Two friends who have a sexual relationship without being emotionally involved. Typically two good friends who have casual sex without a monogamous relationship or any kind of commitment.” Yeaaayy!!! No. Someone asking for me to be lynched?

From a guy’s point of view. It is an agreement made between two consenting adults devoid of feelings or attachments. I recently asked a friend of his opinion on the matter. This is what he told me, “Teiya think of Fwbs this way, I go borrowing salt from a neighbour, I am in no way obligated to serve them the food once it is ready.” (Hahahaa…that definition cracked my ribs. No. We are not laughing? You don’t find it funny? Someone has already volunteered a lighter. Pardon my manners).

Let us be done with this guy. Leave him be with his obnoxious mindset. Wait up. Please don’t go. Please. What kind of human would I be if I didn’t go seeking a girl’s opinion (hear it from the horse’s mouth). I posed to her the question. Why do girls give in to this fwb thing? (kindly, put some gusto into the next lines. That fire in your belly should be present. If it is your kind of thing, get on your feet and preach). A girl will like a guy. The guy will seem not to be interested in anything past friendship. So when the suggestion for fwbs comes along she grabs it. Why? Because the girl still has hope that in some strange way this will make the guy fall for her (there was a sparkle in her eyes. This baffled me).

Ladies, men are creatures apart (I hear in some quarters they are spat on and referred to as dogs). After extensive soul searching I found the reason why men love the concept. Imagine living in a rental house without having to pay the rent, the electricity and water bill(tough economic times. Even the government can’t finance its own budget). Is that a smile? No. A frown. Disgust even? My darlings we did not write the rules. We simply follow them. Is that fair enough?

In conclusion, apparently sex has to have a meaning to you. You just don’t do it for no apparent reason. Sorry ladies but the sentiment is not mutual. You cannot use sex to make a man fall for you. Sad state of affairs. Anyone still want to lynch me?

Regards,
Teiya Oloilole.

Teiya Oloilole

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An Open Letter to All Parents… (The Epistles #9)

It takes a village to raise a child.
-African proverb.

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Dear Parents,

You know those things that you just can’t let go of? They keep nagging away at your conscience. Why an open letter? Because, some may not like what I have to say (plus, I want people to rant *evil grin*). The reason for the letter? A discussion (some will call it an argument. It is all about perspective) with my mom. You heard right. At the end, I realized that someone had to serve it to the parents really cold.

I see the guns already drawn. If I am going to get shot could I at least get a second to plead my case? Landmines. You have heard of them. Right? Explosives ready to go off. A bad situation just waiting to turn worse. We are sitting ducks. That is why I seem to have taken issue with parents. Just to clear the air. This is not a personal attack on any particular parent. Actually, my issue is with parenting (kindly get your dictionary. Heck! A man about to be killed cannot possibly be expected to do all the work). Who are you? What authority do you have to address us parents? Who gave you the right? You think I don’t know that you will question my credibility. I am speaking from the position of being someone’s child and on top of that from my post To New Beginnings you can clearly fathom that I am a new uncle. Let us call it a situation of the wearer of the shoe knows where it pinches most.

Allow me to jump right into it. The sex talk. I told you I was going to be blunt. It is almost non-existent, either it is not being done at all or it is being done wrongly. Why is this? It seems that no one really wants to take it upon themselves to do it. We have all witnessed the blame games. The parents at home claim that it is the work of the teachers to teach the kids on these things. The teachers in turn are like why can’t the church do it? The church quickly hides behind religious ideologies that limit their scope on the issue. Back and forth the blame is thrown. Funny thing all these groups of people in one way or the other are parents. 

What should be done? Who will save the situation? I also have questions. Something surely needs to change. Gamblers. I think little by little without their knowledge parents have been sucked into this gambling menace. Why? How? You ask. Conduct a survey. Get people to answer a questionnaire. I am willing to bet that the findings will show that most parents are gambling with their kids’ lives when it comes to this issue. They send them out to the world (having taught them zilch) praying and hoping that the kid learns whatever it is on their own and betting that they don’t fall into any pitfalls. Gambling on another level I tell you. At the end of the day if the kid survives the parents are stoked like they just won the lottery.

I am not a parent. How am I to blame? The self-righteous trying to absolve themselves. The times have changed. Things are not how they used to be before. The really clever ones have already seen the twist I want to bring and they are already mounting a defence. I get it. Today, it’s not like before when kids were literally raised by the whole community. You were caught by a senior on the wrong and they administered punishment there and then with paternity and maternity being a non-issue. Don’t get comfortable. Just because things are different I don’t think parenting stopped being a societal responsibility. Adopt to the change and get back to carrying out your duty.

To my second issue. Recently, parents were up in arms. A news report apparently painted the picture that they were to blame for the rising numbers of abortions. How are we to blame? They are beyond themselves in disbelief. First of all, parents nobody said the blame falls squarely on you but a big chunk of it does. How? Why? Your personal views on early pregnancies to start with. The society’s views. Have you felt the stigma out there? Now, for a second put yourself in their shoes (pardon me I know am asking too much of you). Do you feel like you have much of a choice? In some unseen way I feel that you force their hands into taking action (‘it is outright murder!’ Mom said. ‘That is debatable,’ was all I could come up with. A debate for another day for sure).

Are you in anyway trying to justify immorality? Remember the gun wielders? They really want to be done with me. I am not justifying anything. I accept that sometimes we can be stupid. We engage in acts (that some were left to discover on their own) that for the most part land us in a mess. Hold up. So I find myself in the mess. Maji yamemwagika na hayazoleki. If I had an assurance of redemption (currently, there is not even a glimmer) don’t you think things would be different? No one is perfect. Most of us have come this far due to second chances that were afforded to us.

Enigma. Growing up there is this statement that was peddled around, ‘This is not the right time.’ Lately it seems it is never the right time. To get into a relationship. To start a family. To get into marriage. To chase after your dreams. To start living the life you want. When is the right time? Anyone with the answer kindly tell us.

In conclusion, I will echo my earlier point that parenting is a societal responsibility. Anyone still want to pull that trigger? Cheers.

Regards,
Teiya Oloilole.

Teiya Oloilole

In Search of Redress…(The Epistles #7)

**If you are reading this post for the first time, this post is the third in a series. To read the first post in that series click here. To read the second post click here.

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Dear Rayya,

Don’t take this letter the wrong way (your words, remember?). I have been thinking, long and hard on whether it would be appropriate to respond to your earlier letter. Of course, there is also the issue of gathering enough guts to go against your wishes (but that is not important, or is it?).

I have also been in consultation. With who? You ask. Some of my friends. To be honest, the advice I got from a number of them has me worried. About what? Their sanity to start with. The rational ones told me to let it slide and not respond. ‘Just let it go,’ they said.

The others, had a different opinion. They said I had to hit back. Never back down (that is a quote I presume, right?). You have to show her who is the man between the two of you (I swear those are their words not mine). I told you their sanity is in doubt. So here I am responding to your letter (does that make me insane?).

It’s hard between me and you. Life is not a straight path. I like to imagine ours is even worse. It is like walking down a winding road on a gloomy day with not even the slightest hope of sunlight. Don’t mistake me for a pessimist (heck! Even the Everest was conquered eventually).

I told you I have been deep in thought. About what? You ask. Us. The future. The consequences. Hope these thoughts also cross your mind (in your stubbornness you might deny). I even had some thoughts about me and you and forever (as one thought, just to clarify).

Emotions. I hear they cause some sleepless nights. Lately, someone accused me of not harboring any emotions (vile accusation. In my defense). Am I like that? Be honest. In case the verdict is guilty, in the words of Frank Ocean, “A sad man may not cry in front of other men,” (can you then imagine an emotional man. He may not even give off an aura).

The issues of building and crossing bridges. Rest easy. The other day I looked at some designs. Looks easy. All I need now is the right material. I have it covered on that end. We will meet halfway (these days it’s all about equality).

In conclusion, you left me a challenge. I did not even take the easy route. I came up with a poem. From where? How on earth? From the confines of my being (despite the accusations). Here goes:

My dear Rayya,
You shine like the moon,
Your sheer beauty,
Makes my heart race,
The look in your eyes,
Enchants me…

A few cliches later you have to give me some credit. At least I tried. You can call it a working progress. Hey! We are also a working progress. Love.

Regards,
Michael.

Teiya Oloilole

To Whom It May Concern…(The Epistles #6)

I know what it feels like…nothing really matters.
-Mr Probz

Dear Stranger,

Pardon the title. I am lost for words(to just gather the courage to write this letter is taking everything I got). My conscience is torn to say the least. One part is urging me forward. The other is frowning pitying my efforts that to understate it sees as foolish. Do I leave it here before I pour out my heart out to you? What if we are meant to be? Or am I just infatuated?

Have you ever found yourself at a crossroad?(I know you have. So I hope you understand where I am coming from). When did it start? How did I know it was you? How long has it been since? Foolish questions those ones. Don’t ask them please. How should I know?(if you woke up in a den of lions, what would be more important staying alive or figuring out you got there? Priorities).

If I was not the girl I am today I would have already said something. But we are who we are. Besides someone said to me in this part of the world these things are the other way around (team renegades. Yeayy!! ).

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All along I have been giving you subtle hints (Are you blind? Pardon me going off the handle there. Its just…). The other day I was in that flowing dress you said I looked beautiful. For a second there the world belonged to me. “I like you.” I should have said those words sooner. Three words. It’s like my whole existence is hanging on the balance and those words will rescue me (actually I am yet to decide whether the words or you will save me. All in due time).

The other day. Yes just the other day. In a moment of weakness I almost told you. Instead we talked about bitter (okay sweet) nothings. The moment never came. Or could it be there is no perfect moment? Lord give me a sign (and don’t forget to grant me strength. Just in case).

What are you afraid of? What could go wrong? Again you ask all the wrong questions. In my mind a million and one things could go wrong. What if this feeling is not mutual? What happens then? What if it is mutual? Will things change between us?

Can I possibly get a heart of stone? ( any craftsman out there up to the task feel free to send me your inventory). The way my heart beats around you only serves as a reminder that its still fragile. I am not sure I can handle rejection. Broken hearts. Tears. They scare me. I am terrified, if only you could hold me in your arms.

You are a bad sport. Always seeming to be in a rush. I love being around you. Listening to you talk is like watching the sunrise. The feeling just cant be captured correctly by words. What is happening to me? Could I be going nuts? What are these feelings flowing through me? Why cant I fight it?(is anyone out there seeing the flares I am sending out? Come to my rescue).

I probably should stop now before I say something I might regret later. Hopefully you will get the message. Don’t torture me any longer. Make it look normal like it came from you (Ill owe you). In case you didn’t catch it. I like you.

Regards,
Your Crush.

Teiya Oloilole

In Retaliation…(The Epistles #5)

Dear Michael,

Don’t take this letter the wrong way. I finally got around to reading your story about us. Loved the title…A sunset bore a rather illicit bond (don’t get ahead of yourself yet. There is a lot I was not smiling at as I read your article). I am not going to bash everything you said but rather I will try to set straight some of the issues you raised.

You at least remembered what I was wearing on that first day (Aawww, but that does not atone for the growing list of events you keep forgetting. I am not keeping score just that we women tend not to forget these things). Sorry about the handshake. But I thought you knew. General knowledge. Where do you live kwani?

What I thought about you that day? You ask. That question will have to go unanswered. A girl has got to have her secrets. (Plus, I don’t kiss and tell. Don’t get any sinister ideas now).

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Time seemed to have surely stopped that first night. You did make me get home quite late that day (bad influence, told you this letter will not be all rosy). And those thoughts of yours. You had better tame them and do it fast. Otherwise we are going to have a problem.

You are crazy. You know that. How many times do I have to repeat that? Repetition is poetic. I am no poet but I’ll say it again. You are crazy. Did you have to bring up the elephant in the room? Don’t even try and feign ignorance on this one. You know the religion thing.

Seriously? I keep telling you constantly it never ends well. It is such a touchy subject. You think everyone will understand? Most will not understand. They will go for our throats and blood will be the only thing they will be after. What about love? You ask. They will not give a hoot if we take it and stick it up where the sun doesn’t shine. (Why start a fire you cant put out? Please don’t I beg of you).

That ending of your story sounds nothing like me. Did you come up with that? Or who did you hold that conversation with? (Kudos, if it the first one). But you know what? I kind of agree with you. There is surely a bridge for us to cross. And currently there is no bridge that has been built. Each one of us is standing on either (you are supposed to come towards me. You are the man here. Or we will meet halfway? I am yet to decide). Let us see if a madman can come up with a solution? (That is not an abuse just putting a title to my earlier reference of you).

I know you will be tempted to respond to this letter. Please don’t. Not even by writing another story or a poem (though would be fun to see you try the latter). Don’t stir the pot. Love.

Regards,
Rayya.

Teiya Oloilole

Back To The Future…(The Epistles#4)

Dear Me,

As I sit to write you this letter (Actually type. But don’t hold your breath). I cannot help but wonder. What will you be like? Twenty years to come. Will you be a true representation of me? Will you still hold the same values I do now? How much will you have changed? Will you still have my smile? The list is endless…but hope you will have overcome my current photophobic tendency (Something about saying cheese before that camera click totally escapes me).

To pressing matters. They say you can’t predict your tomorrow let alone your future. If that were possible, this letter would have been a long list of things to do in anticipation of our future (Pardon the plural there but I am doubtful of how you will turn out. So its safe for me to assume you will be a totally different person. You get it).

On that matter you are on your own. But what you are doing currently will determine the future? You ask. Well, I am doing my best. I try to watch what I eat. I ensure I remain healthy. I am currently in school racking my brain so that you may have a bright future. Education is the key. Someone said that. To what lock I am yet to find out. You can clearly see how much I am doing. And there is even more. Hold up!! It is too early for that victory dance. You never know how it will turn out. This life is just f…full of surprises.

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To a lighter matter. Do you want to end up as a bachelor all your life? Forget I even asked that. Do you even exist. Anyway, I decide how our future turns out to be. It’s tough out here I tell you. Looking for a companion for us. Just recently, this beautiful creature. A stone’s throw away from me. I could smell her perfume. Her eyes. This thing she had done to them(She must have used eye pencil. FYI, it is used for beautification). Black and sexy. I think they even had glitters. Talk to her. I told myself. Here goes nothing. She looked at you warmly. She possibly can’t say no to your charms. Grow some balls my guy. If you chicken out, she will think of you as a loser. These voices inside my head. Long story short, it was sad to watch her walk away, having said absolutely nothing ( It was heartbreaking even. Whether it is worse than rejection we will never know now will we?). Don’t panic. We will hopefully not die sad and alone. When the right now comes along I will be sure not to pass up the opportunity. How will you know she is the right one for us?  You ask. Apparently I will know. Don’t ask how.

I could keep on ranting. On what? Well, on the type of music you should listen to. The kinds of clothes you should wear. The way you should walk and talk. The… Let me stop myself. You probably will not be anything like me.

In conclusion, let me say I hope you will be proud. Proud of the choices I will have made. Proud of the things I will have accomplished. Proud of the chances I took and those that went by. Proud of the man you will turn out to be. I beseech you never to look back in shame to the man I am today. And when you talk about me, be proud to declare that I am the man that made you who you will be.

Regards,
Teiya Oloilole.

2016… (The Epistles #3)

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Dear God,

‘Enlarge the place of thy tent, and let them stretch forth the curtains of thine habitations: spare not…’ –Isaiah 54:2

It’s a wrap for the year 2015. I am grateful for this far that I have come and I am reminded always that it is so because of your mercy. As it is said the end of anything is always better than its beginning (the irony). When it comes to the end of a year, I always have this bittersweet feeling.
There is the weight of the New Year filled with uncertainties. I start off my years with great expectations of all the great things I am hoping to achieve within the course of that year. The fear of failure nevertheless is always there lurking in the shadows like a thief.
Okay, enough of my rantings about how my years start. I wanted to express my heartfelt gratitude for yet another year (I am a year older but secretly wishing I could be young again!! (Pun intended). As another year begins I pray for your guidance Almighty. May the year ahead be full of prosperity and blessings. May whatever endeavor I undertake be a success. Enlarge my territories this year.
I would also like in advance to say thank you. Along the way as I get to achieve milestones I may get carried away and forget to show my gratitude not remembering that everything happens by your power and not by the power of man. I also pray for strength. To enable me overcome any mountains that I may encounter along the way. And be quick to remind me that as I embark to climb these mountains not to tire from the enormous task but rather to psyche myself of the beautiful view that awaits at the top when I make it there. Also grant me the willpower to keep on going no matter how many times I slip and fall. Give me the faith to call unto you in my times of tribulations and trust in you to deliver me safely.

Oh Lord, I could go on and on. You know how man can be? I pray that you look into my heart at what is there and that you will be with me throughout this year. Amen!
Regards,
The Neophyte.

THE EPISTLES (Part Two…The End)

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Dear Former Lover,
You were a dream come true. That day years ago when I first laid my eyes on you was like a prophecy come true. I will not claim that my heart skipped a beat quite the contrary. I was gripped with fear of whether I would muster enough courage to approach you. Sorry for my crappy lines, I swear I had it at least planned out how I wanted our first meeting to go but I guess not everything goes according to plan.
The moments after that day were blissful to say the least. I had the world at my feet. Even a couple of my friends came to claim that then I had grown a shade lighter. I came to love you to bits, you never let me have anything easy and that fueled further the flame that was already there. You could say we were toxic together our worlds were colliding head on but we didn’t care to die on impact. Those tears in your eyes when I went down on one knee to this day makes my heart glow with pride.
Now to the reason why I am writing this letter before I derail and end up only reminiscing the magical memories we made (we have been through thick and thin). I am yet to return from that dark place you sent me to. How could you? I thought you would have laid down your life for the good thing we had going. I am not sure whether it’s the deceit or the betrayal that hurts the most. When did you decide we were not good enough? When did our ship hit the iceberg? When did it start leaking water? And could we not repair it before it sunk? When did you give up on us?
The future? For me it is lost. What will I do without you? I had pictured us growing old together. Me and you, old and gray (all our teeth having fallen off) our love strong as ever. I am at the bottom currently, I am drained. I don’t even know whether I have the energy to start all over again. I don’t even know whether I will do it. Do I have those thoughts if you were wondering? Yes. I wish my life would end. Save me from this misery, I consider it a heart disease because a heartbreak does not suffice to describe the agony I am going through.
I only hope that this letter of mine elicits a response from you, the others have gone unanswered. It would give me closure to hear your side of the story.
All the Best,
The Apprentice.

THE EPISTLES… (Part one)

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Dear Future Wife,
Where do I start? What do I tell you? First, a word of reassurance, I long discarded those lists that people have that they as a checklist (they are limiting just to say the least) of what their future partners should be like. It hit me that half of what is on those lists is usually inspired by photoshopped models that we grew up seeing (the fantasies being peddled around with price tags). Only condition I have is that from the first time I lay my eyes on you (till infinity thereafter) you amaze me and always arouse my curiosity.
Second, some ground rules. You will be my queen (by association) and you are not allowed to go into a war with the other queen in my life (my mum). You are never to put me in a position where I am to choose between the two of you. That said, me being your king you are to treat me with the delicacy given to a child.
Third, forget the feminism campaign being paraded all over, I hope you are honing your culinary skills. Despite the sprouting of food joints virtually everywhere (I hear they even do home deliveries). I still prefer a home cooked meal. Don’t misunderstand me, I am no tyrant expecting you to be slaving away in the kitchen on a daily basis, if it is any consolation I am also learning a thing or two, maybe once in a while I’ll prepare us a decent meal.
Fourth, don’t be a blonde. I have no intentions of ending up with just a pretty lady in pretty dresses. At least know about the current affairs and have your opinions on this and that matter. I would very much love to have someone to discuss issues with (whether we agree to disagree).
That is all for now, but this is just the first of many letters I’ll write to you before our meeting on that future date.
Yours Truly,
The Apprentice.

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