Uncommon Stories

The World doesn’t need another lecture

In 2017, for the first time in long years, I met someone who if given the chance, I could not improve a single thing about her.

There was no; it would’ve been perfect if she was a few inches taller, I wish her jawline was more profound and her face more/less oval, or she was more intellectually capable of holding conversations.

No, she was so perfect that I couldn’t have done a better job creating her myself! She was my Jason Deluro’s It girl, she ticked every box.

Trust a brother to dive in with his best foot forward, and, as Aphrodite and Venus will have it, she fell for a brother’s wit!

Yeah, you know all those questions we talk about every day on the internet as first date questions? The ones about Genotype, hobbies, etc. Y’all ask those? Cause I don’t, or better still, I didn’t until I lived the lines I am about to share with you.

My genotype is AS. And in the typical primary school classroom where almost everyone is AA, I was one of the few that identified as AS. The point is, it never really bothered me and it still doesn’t, and I’ve always worn it around my neck. 

I just know that I have to be more careful selecting a life partner but how many 23-year-olds walk up to a fine girl and seriously be thinking “Yea, That’s my wife”

You did? Well, I didn’t. From my days in secondary school, whenever you say a thing you didn’t like about a girl on your radar, you will always hear someone mockingly ask “Do you intend to marry her?”

So I jumped right in on this one just like in the good ol’ days. First date questions? Flung out of the window.

We jumped on this ship, set the sail, and at the bidding of Aphrodite, Zephyrus blessed us with its wind.

The ship sailed, beyond my or anyone else’s imagination. It was the most blissful year of my life, and with all due respect, it was the best I’ve ever had and the last real one I’ve had since.

I lived every single moment Drake had in mind when he said in Find your love, “I took a chance with my heart and I feel it taking over.” My heart indeed took over with the silent hope of a forever together.

Then Zeus out of envy for anything being that perfect and it wasn’t his Olympus throne punctured our sail with his lightning bolt, and Poseidon didn’t spare us his turbulent tides.

One faithful afternoon, she came to visit me at the hospital, where I was working as a Lab technician whilst waiting for my NYSC call-up letter and met me in a damning position. No, she didn’t catch me cheating. 

As an AS, I was a walking control sample for my genotype tests. I either pricked my thumb or have a nurse help me collect some of my blood samples to be stored in the fridge, she walked in on me doing the latter. 

She was first worried that I was sick and out of righteous anger started asking me why didn’t I tell her I was sick.

So sweet!

Last Last na everybody go chop breakfast

I assured her that I was fine and casually told her that I am AS, and as Albert Einstein, offered to show her how the genotype test works.

How naive could one person be!

Something changed. She wasn’t her usual cheerful and happy self throughout her stay. I kept reassuring her that I was fine and there was absolutely nothing to be worried about.

A couple of days later, she came over to the house, slipped an envelope into my hand, and went to what was the farthest corner of the sitting room away from me to cry.

That seemingly light envelope weighed like a ton with my head bobbling with wild guesses of what could be inside:

Could she be pregnant? Well if she is then I am glad it is her and not anyone else. Whatever it is she’s not happy about it…

I finally gathered my thoughts and opened the envelope, and how I wish it was pregnancy – She is AS.

My heart was shredded to pieces, and I was sapped of every iota of energy in me. Life is cruel became real.

Apparently, after that day at the hospital, she was in denial of what was and decided to run another genotype test with the silent hope that it will come out differently this time. Well, it didn’t.

Hope is a miserable thing

We faced our new reality squarely and said to each other we should put an end to this. A brave decision, but how I wish we were that brave and that it ended there.

Barely a week later, we went back on our words, and a pattern developed:

She would come to the house; we would tell each other depressing truths about why we shouldn’t be together, curse the living hell out of an unfair life, comfort each other, make out, and promise not to do that again.

It continued that way until the day I wanted to do something with her phone’s browser, she left a tab open and it was about Bone marrow transplant.

As heart-melting as that was, I decided to put an end to the madness.

I wish I can tell you I was able to do that, I wish I can tell you I was the hero of this story but I wasn’t. I took the path of least resistance, I continued the madness and soon became the madness, and the pattern continued.

The unlikely hero of this story was my Call Up letter. I got posted to Kano and the distance meant that we were able to keep to our bastardized promise more often.

I read somewhere:

One of the most irritating conversations I’ve had is with people who lecture me on how to behave. Most of us know pretty much how we should behave. It is the execution that is the problem, not the absence of knowledge. I am tired of slow-thinkers who pound me with platitudes like I should floss daily, eat my regular apple, and visit the gym[…] We need tricks to get us there but before that, we need to accept the fact that we are mere animals.

Now, this was the same me that has been stoic and brutally honest whilst telling a lovey-dovey couple that their compatibility test came out negative because, for all I care, to prevent the evil of bringing another child with the sickle cell disease into this world to suffer is a noble cause.

The table turned, and I cowered.

I stopped reading self-help books for the same reason, Apostle Paul wrote in the book of Romans 7:15

For I do not understand my own actions [I am baffled, bewildered]. I do not practice or accomplish what I wish, but I do the very thing that I loathe [which my moral instinct condemns].

Every self-help I’ve read is like a regurgitated copy of the last one, repeating the same old clichés of Napoleon Hill, Norman Vincent Peale, etc, of the 1900s.

Every problem of self-control is not a problem of information or discipline or reason, but, rather, of emotion.

Reason evolved to elaborate emotion, not override it.

The world doesn’t need another lecture, save us the platitudes.

Ikechukwu Emeka, a trained Biochemist and thinker

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