IBK’s JOURNAL (Entry 34)

IBK’s JOURNAL (Entry 34)

April 6

I said goodbye to Tomi (my boyfriend) a couple Sundays ago. He’d been on call at the hospital for two weeks, so it’s been falling on me to visit and it seems like he will be on call for the foreseeable future. He is an hour and thirty minutes away, so it’s not too bad to travel. But I swear, a lot of these drivers are mad on the road. I don’t like vehicles moving at great speed and it doesn’t help that there are corners that the drivers don’t slow down to negotiate. I keep praying that no vehicle on the other side is stupid enough to overtake at the bend. It doesn’t also help that I have a fear of police and there are a few checkpoints on the road. The Nigerian police are irrational and if they are out to get you, they will get you. And that just makes me panic internally when I see them. It’s like seeing a stray dog coming towards you, you don’t know if it has rabies or not. Best to just steer clear.

There have been a few changes in the place where I work. I work in a feed production company as an after-sales care person. Basically, I’m to take complaints involving poultry health and try to help solve them for the farmers on our feed. The sales rep I work with is also a vet doctor and he’s been pretty useful in helping me acquire knowledge. He is one of those people who prefer to do things themselves so most times, he takes charge and I kind of let him because I’m not confident about my veterinary skills. Of course, its counter-intuitive because it means I won’t develop. That has been solved because he has been transferred to another state and I’m the vet in charge of the city I’m in now. Yay.

I’m nervous AF. I’ve started brushing up my knowledge and all that, but I’m worried about the mistakes that are inevitably coming. What if there’s a customer we are desperately trying to win back and I keep drawing blanks on how to solve the situation on ground? And I draw blanks a lot. It’s like my brain deliberately clamps down on the neural pathway to the answer I know that I know. Whelp.

The shuffling of staff is welcome though. I think I learn better when I’m pushed into the deep. I slink into the background whenever I can especially in this vet thing. It’s also good because the regional manager has also been sent elsewhere. I have had some minor run-in with him. Once he was pissed at me for coming late (my fault) and another time for not reporting to the doctor I work with on a situation at a farm (also my fault) and a third time for wearing a dashiki and jeans to work. I find it hard to say the dashiki one is my fault. I guess it is. My excuse is that I was never given a real dress code or even a uniform and really, I would be visiting farms. A simple dashiki and jeans fit the setting. What really got me miffed is that he asked me to get down from the vehicle, that I wouldn’t be working that day.

Hopefully I can leave a better impression on the incoming regional manager.

***

My parents have been talking about me getting my Masters out of the country. This is good news, really. And yes, I know I should jump on the opportunity, but there are a few complications. For one thing, I have someone I love here and I’m in no mood to test if the love can withstand a million miles of ocean. And I kind of shelved Masters and stuff like that for like five years down the line. I never liked studying for vet medicine and I’m in no mood to jump back into that just a year after I finished school. I also feel like I should at least try and see what Nigeria holds before I start packing my load to go elsewhere. Yes, I know this country is a cesspit of backwardness and I should leave as soon as possible. But my gut tells me to stay a little bit. I’ll admit my gut is also thinking of my boyfriend, but even if that was removed, I’d still like to try.

I will tell my parents that after I finish NYSC, that I’d very much like to wait. I am a grown man so they can’t force me to go where I don’t want to, right?

***

Tomi’s birthday was during the week in March. The weekend before that, I gave him his present. It really wasn’t much. I just tried to let it be as thoughtful as I could because broke niggas make up for their brokenness by being sweet. He was having space issues with his phone, so I bought a memory card for him. I didn’t stop there however. I got songs that made me think of him or had some memory attached to it and put them on there too. I wrote down the songs with some footnotes. I also got him a Bluetooth mp3 player for his car. He said he liked it, but I don’t know… I feel like a bad boyfriend. Maybe in the end, it’s because what I gave him was something I’d like, not what he’d like (I realised this just as I gave him the present). A friend I told how I felt told me I was overthinking it.

The day of his birthday came and I ordered pizza for him. Would have been a cake but at this point I was wringing out my pockets. Then the tone of our conversation changed. You don’t spend months constantly texting someone and not know when something is amiss with the way they text.

I asked if there was anything wrong. I’m upfront about these things. Very expressive. He gave answers like “am I not responding when you text me”, and that’s basically Evasive Action 101. I asked why he was grumpy and he said work had been stressful. I tried to take his word for it but unfortunately whatever it was that was affecting the way he was texting was stressing me out too. I hate when I’m stressed. I start to sleep a lot to escape, I clench and grind my teeth till I have a headache and my masturbation goes into overdrive.

I avoid things that trigger stress in me unless they are unavoidable, like exams (*intense shuddering*). In this case, it was him that was stressing me, and he is avoidable. I initially muted him, planning to respond only when spoken to. Doing this was new territory for me, but as someone who tries their best to shield or prevent transfer of negative energy to the people I care about, I didn’t think it was too much to ask the other to do the same. And I think I need to learn to do this if this is how he behaves (this isn’t the first time he is acted like this).

The bad thing is that constant engagement with my lover keeps me attached to them. If it dips considerably, I might as well break up because even rekindling things won’t take us back to the way things were. I’ll probably have to learn to keep that in check. Funny enough, he could revert back to “normal” only to bring up what was bothering him months later and I’d just be wondering which kind of ogbanje I’ve gotten myself attached to.

***

My younger brother has travelled out of the country for his Masters. When he was still in Nigeria and I told him I would miss him, he chuckled and said that we don’t see each other often enough to miss each other. I told him that it was true, but there’s something about knowing it’d require visas and plane tickets to see your brother that’s sad.

After he left for Berlin, I cried a bit. Lasted a minute. I’m such a sap. And I think I was the only one who cried. I tried not to but my face started twitching in such a painful way, I felt I might as well get it over with. Ah well.

He got there safely and seems to be settling in slowly but nicely.

***

So, Tomi and his acting weird and stressing me out… He eventually talked. There was a reason (big surprise). And for me, it kinda sucked, because yes, I had been a bad boyfriend but unwittingly.

Remember that love language brouhaha thing I earlier talked about. Well, apparently, I bagged myself a boyfriend whose love language is gift-giving and I’d failed woefully (according to him) in that department.

He has actually done quite a bit for me and I should have known, and I think I did know, but I assumed he understood why I was not getting him the occasional gift. Why? Ya boy is a corper living on minimum wage and then some. If a thousand naira leaves my hand at a go towards something unplanned, I get jittery. And for the past two months, I’ve been hard up on cash. I’ve got just enough to see me through each month, and unfortunately, it’s also barely. For example, NYSC hasn’t paid allawee yet and I have had to borrow money.

He felt that if I wanted to, I could actually get money to get him a better birthday gift and he cited me being able to raise money for expensive games as an example. Oh, and I don’t think he liked what I got him either.

He asked me why I waited till it was his birthday to buy him things. He said even the Bluetooth player (which is no longer working by the way along with the memory card) was something I had said I’d get him for ages but never did until his birthday came. And that he had gotten me stuff just randomly and he didn’t feel appreciated and that he was beginning to feel like he was doing more in that aspect. He asked why I waited till his birthday before I got him things.

I said I’d do better and felt that would be the end of things, but writing this now is actually making me realise I have buried a lot of misgivings about the whole situation. We will probably have to have another conversation. Or maybe I need to reread how the conversation went. I don’t think it helped that I was at home and I couldn’t allow my being upset show because my mum would keep asking what the matter was. So, I just wanted the issue to die.

Update: I talked to him again and all is right with the world, I think. I would also like to say it now that I personally believe his feelings about the matter are very valid especially because he actually does and has done a lot. Also, allawee don enter. I shall be popping bottles in the club tonight. Haw, haw, haw.

Written by IBK

For timely updates of IBK’s entries, do visit his blog on Medium: IBK’S JOURNAL.

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11 Comments

  1. Kelvin
    April 07, 10:09 Reply

    Hey pinky, please kindly drop SIMBA’s email address for me to reach him, he’s Abuja-based doctor

  2. Mandy
    April 07, 10:15 Reply

    There’s something I find bewildering about people who don’t express their hurts and upsets to their partners in their relationships, especially, when that partner is the cause of that upset. How do you expect to get rid of that hurt or to move forward or to get things sorted out if you don’t talk to your partner about it? I don’t understand the need to stew and sulk or let the hurt to marinate before you talk about it. This isn’t even about being expressive. It’s about simply tabling an issue the moment it has affected you adversely so you can move forward.
    Anyway, I’m glad you and your man are cool again. But you should try to tell him to improve on letting you know promptly whenever you do something to upset him. We don’t all have Professor Xavier’s powers of mind reading.

  3. Higwe
    April 07, 10:42 Reply

    Dude : the worst mistake you can make in life- is to delay your future because of “love ” .

    Love can wait; age doesn’t .

    Life is unpredictable …you have no guarantee of tomorrow and you’re pushing your plans way further !

    I’d say take this opportunity now you have living parents that are willing to sponsor you .

    ___________

    I don’t fancy myself a relationship expert ..so do not take me seriously .

    But someone that gets angry at a struggling corper for being thrifty ….mmmh 🤔

    Love is not built on insensitivity.

    Many would cite sacrifice as the ultimate measure of love but I beg to differ …..a simple understanding of how the other person’s shoe pinches , is the ultimate measure of love for me .

    But we could always agree to disagree .

    _____________

    Don’t spend all your current alowee attoning for a non-existent sin .
    The situation of the country is as much critical as it’s dire .
    No one will lend you shit .
    I’d hold onto the little I have if I were you .

    Prendre plaisir.

    • Opal
      April 07, 14:51 Reply

      I was just about saying this. IBk, pursue your life and grow; if you have an opportunity, go for your masters. Maybe a country you have an option to stay back. DON’T suspend stuff cos of a relationship. My view

  4. Kobe
    April 07, 16:40 Reply

    So IBK the thought of your boyfriend is part of what’s keeping you from going offshore for your masters? Not worth it!
    Take the opportunity while it exists.
    That relationship can wait, it’ll work out if it’s yours otherwise… next!
    I don’t think your boyfriend is being very fair to you on the gifts aspect. You are a frigging corper for crying out loud. How much is your allowance …20k or thereabouts abi?. What does he expect you to buy for him while living on that paltry allowance…designer perfumes?
    From your description of him above, he is kinda OK financially, he should appreciate whatever token you can afford. Talk about it with him sometime sha.
    Please tell your parents that you are ready for your further studies… don’t shelve it on account of any relationship… Time and tide wait for no one.

    Cheers

  5. Malik
    April 07, 17:55 Reply

    What I honestly think? Don’t bring issues in a relationship you want to work to the jury of the internet. The mere fact that we can only judge from what you tell us, should make you wary of assuming that whatever suggestions we give are objective and right.

    But then, the key words are “a relationship you want to work”. And again, this is just an opinion. More opinions: go for your masters and don’t wait till you’d be the oldest in the class that everyone would be calling sir; have a conversation with your man about your love languages so that if you cannot speak his language or vice versa, you can start looking for solutions to the language barrier. Lol.

    That said, it was great reading you again and I’d be following closely on medium.

  6. kristo
    April 07, 20:54 Reply

    honestly,

    this is THE issue m battling with right now…m a 400lvl student ( with barely enough to cope) but Bros/sisi wants heaven and earth…

    let’s talk bout this “bottom privilege thing” ( not being insensitive or rude) BT I think some naija btms are conniving and “have the delusion of grandeur of entitlement…..

    they feel bcos they are the recipient of sexual….hmmhmmmhmm( coughs):……… they should live like leeches …….

    I’ve head some cases here in naija …nd I just grow tired….

    watch how to get away with murder …Oliver And Connor BOTH own their crib

    ever hear of cohabitation?…. splitting of checks…stuff…

    awa anttiees need to be woke jawe

  7. IBK
    April 08, 04:36 Reply

    Thanks for the comment guys!
    But I implore you, read the part about continuing my education overseas. Apart from my boyfriend I did give like 2 or 3 other reasons why I want to POSTPONE getting a second degree. Even ended it with “, but even if that (bf) was removed, I’d still like to try”.

    Keep the comments coming though! And don’t forget to follow and subscribe to me on medium. Not everything in the journal will be posted here. Gracias.

  8. Delle
    April 08, 09:41 Reply

    Your astute honesty is what keeps me wanting more of this entry, IBK. I love.

    Oh and your boyfriend is not being sensitive. Then again, people must have one baggage. That’s why they are people, I guess 🤷

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