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Tuesday, August 2, 2016

Story Of The Day (Long Distance Relationship By Ifeanyi Igbo)

she stopped answering my calls. at first her
phone would ring nonstop while i sat on the
edge of my seat listening to her caller tune, and
expecting her voice to break through the
melody but it never did.
the caller tune eventually got replaced by a
robotic, monotonous voice telling me the
number i was trying to call was not available.
some nights, i swear i could feel a weariness in
the robotic voice as if it was tired of repeating
"the number you are trying to call is not
available" over and over again.
she had not been on Facebook and her other
social media accounts in a long while and in
between sending her messages on all the
accounts, I had dug deep into her archives and
learnt a bit about her online history, like the
day she joined Facebook: April 3rd 2009.
her first twitter post: December 16 2011. her
Google plus account which she opened but
never used describing herself in the profile info
as a chocolate addict and obsessed with babies.
and that's truly who she was, she had big
feelings about the little things.
one evening after work, while nursing a beer
with Stanley, my old friend, I let slip that I'd
been trying to communicate with her.
his eyes grew wide, startled.
"that's crazy", he said, his right hand holding
the glass of beer paused in mid air.
"its almost a year, you should move on".
"I know", I mumbled.
"and I know its not really our thing down here
but perhaps you should consider seeing a
shrink or something", he continued.
"I will", I replied noncommittally, "by the way
did you hear what the president said about last
night's bomb blast in Maiduguri, ridiculous
ain't it?" I asked, effectively changing the
nothing could hold Stanley's mind as strongly
as news issues.
after the drink i drove home and took the long
route which passed through her house. i knew
she was no longer there but i slowed down
while i drove past her gate. in the old times, she
would have burst out clutching her bags and
entered the car blessing me with a smile and the
feminine fragrance she carried with her.
"how was your day", she'd ask
"it just began", I'd reply with a smile.
there were days too when she blessed me with
the silent treatment, ha, but I was just content
knowing she was with me and we were going to
work things out. its all a memory now, yet
more than a memory.
its 2:00am and I can't sleep. I turn on the radio
and tune in to what seems to be a music request
show. the presenter, a caramel voiced lady, calls
out a number for those who want to call in. on
impulse, i grab my phone and dial. I'm
surprised when i get a busy dial tune, it makes
me wonder how many people are awake by this
time in the city.
I try the number again and it rings for a while
and just as I'm thinking of dropping the call i
hear the pick up beep and her voice floods into
my ear.
"helooooo, thanks for calling kiss FM, what's
your name and where are you calling from?"
"I'm Leye, calling from yaba", I reply
"welcome leye, what song do you want me to
play for ya and who are you dedicating the
song to"
I close my eyes and try to think of a song, I
open my eyes and it hits the clock.
"time after time by Cyndi lauper"
"oh niiiice, so who are you dedicating it to?"
"is today her birthday or is today a special
celebration for her?"
"not really, just because"
"okayyyyy where is chioma?"
"she's not here"
"but where is she?"
I cut the call. I'm not sure she'll understand.
nobody does. I go to the window and stare out.
the city is speaking a language of empty streets,
moonlight kissed rooftops and the wind's sigh.
the world is a scary and beautiful place at
2:00am and its so hard being in a relationship
with someone who is six feet under.

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