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25, letters,

Letters To July II

Random Photo From Graduation 
Dear Muyiwa,

I sat across from you at a fast food restaurant, I had the first bite of my fried rice and declared it horrible and a waste of my money, you said your donuts wasn’t any better. I struggled through my rice while you managed to eat half of your first donut which you quickly washed down with coke. I asked when you started drinking coke, you said you weren’t sure when, but you are trying to stop taking it.
How the tables have turned, I remember when I was a ‘coke addict’, I used to smuggle it into campus (hope you remember our campus had a strict policy against caffeine) in old yoghurt drink containers. Every now and again you will bring me a bottle and lecture me on how it was bad for my health. I stopped taking coke about a year ago and now I am the one giving you lectures on the ‘evils of coke’. This makes me think of how different we are from when we first met a few years ago, different yes, but the same people in so many ways.
On the day we met we had an argument about the dress code of our university, I was of the opinion that the formal dress code prepared us for life after university and you believed that it stifled creativity, that people were not given the opportunity to express themselves through their clothes. It is ironic that you pay attention to the details on your outfit and you read GQ Magazine to keep up to date with male fashion trends while I long for a job where I can express myself through my clothes and not be confined to a set of rules. Maybe we rubbed off on each other. In swapping opinions we questioned our stand on life ideas and we became true to ourselves in the process.
You have to remember the first poem we wrote together, it was about stars, the moon and the activities that happen in the comfort of the night. That was a first for me, I had never written with anyone before let alone taken my writing seriously. I really enjoyed the process of writing with you that we had a short-lived blog where we shared poems we wrote together.
That day, while we nursed our horrible meals, I had my first honest conversation in months. That was easy because there is no judgement, no reservations, I can be unapologetic about all the crazy things that go on in my head. It isn’t one-way traffic where I dump all my crazy and you just listen, you share too. It is honest exchange of burdens, this is one of the many reasons our friendship is important to me.
We don’t get to see or talk often, because I am horrible at texting and you live two hours’ drive away, so I look forward to the rear occasion when our paths cross and we can talk and share a horrible meal.

P.S I am looking forward to us writing again.

2017, 25,

Letters To July I

Dear Kike,
Why don’t we have any cute photos together? I realized this when I finally sat down to write this letter, we have one that we took at my graduation but I don’t think it counts. When next we see we will have to rectify this.  
Kiks, I am writing because I miss you, I miss having you in the same time zone – now I have to look up the time whenever I want to text or call and it is stressful. I miss painting our nails to match our moods, black nails for weeks we were unhappy, red nails for weeks we were excited and all the colours in between, my brain can’t remember what each colour stood for.
Every now and again, I am transported to that summer we spent together. It was the summer you graduated from University and your mum’s latest shop attendant was discovered to be stealing so she was fired. You became the shop attendant and I became your assistant. We sat in the shop and talked about your budding relationship with “B” and how my relationship with ‘’Do Not Call’’ was doomed, you never failed to rub it in that you were right.
My grandpa died that summer. The day he died we went to see ‘The Avengers’, it was the movie to see that summer. I got home late and my mum was furious, she kept saying “your grandpa is dead and you are out seeing a movie”, she said this like a broken record. I was sure my mum was losing it that night. We spoke to my grandpa that week and we planned to visit soon. I wasn’t ready to deal with my mum so I apologised reassured her that he was alive and went to bed, but I couldn’t sleep that night, I could hear my mum sobbing from her room, I was at a loss on how to comfort her.
My uncle showed up the next morning with red swollen eyes to break the news to us, I cried and couldn’t stop for hours. I couldn’t bring myself to make anything to eat, so I walked to your house which was a street away from mine and you fed me rice and fish and let me cry. You didn’t say any of those annoying things people say to comfort you when a person dies.
I told you how creepy it was that my Grandpa died around 7:00 pm and that was about the same time we got home from the movie to my furious mother. You know in the Yoruba culture you don’t tell a woman her father is dead if a man is not at home and my dad was away that weekend so the burden of telling my mum fell on my uncle’s shoulder. I asked you if I will feel it too when my parents died, if I will know the exact moment and have the luxury to mourn in private like my mum did. You didn’t have answers to my questions, you just sat there and let me mourn, you suggested that we should paint our nails black. So walked to the salon not too far from your house and we did that, you walked me home after we got our nails done, told me I will be just fine and you were right as always.
The summer was different after that. My mum didn’t want to leave my grandma by herself so we drove up to Ilorin every weekend. I wasn’t excited about leaving the house for the shop anymore, but you never failed to check up on me.  When “Do Not Call” broke up with me that summer because I was too moody, you told me it was his loss while we had yogurt drinks at your mum’s shop.
I am sure you remember all these events, but I am not sure I ever thanked you for that summer, I am not sure I ever told you how much all you did was important to me. You kept me from drowning and I am always grateful.  
There are so many life updates I have for you but, I will keep them for another letter or maybe share them with you in person. I am counting down till the next time we are in the same time zone so we can finally take cute photos.
Love Always,

P.S. You should need to read ‘’Stay With Me by Ayobami Adebayo’’.