Uyi and I have been online acquaintances for more than a year. We exchanged messages every now and then, and with the passage of time, our chats increased in regularity. Gradually, we progressed from mere online acquaintances to friends, albeit friends who were yet to meet. He called me a lot, and I could sense a yearning in him, a need to get closer on an intimate level with me. But I was dating someone at the time, a fact I let him know, and I did my best not to encourage any amorousness. I maintained my distance emotionally from him.

However, my emotional detachment did not affect our budding friendship. And so, when my boyfriend began to mess up, with cheating scandals trailing him and souring our relationship, Uyi was the one who provided a willing ear to listen to my heartache. He was very consoling, telling me things like how he thought I was too good for my boyfriend.

Eventually, my boyfriend and I broke up. And I called Uyi. He was as usual comforting, said all the right things and encouraged me to stay in touch more, that he’d be there for me during this difficult period in my life. Subsequently, we started talking more, as he’d call me often and we’d stay on the phone for hours. In the wake of my breakup, it felt nice to be made to feel like I meant that much to someone, even if it was just platonically.

And that was the only way I saw me being with Uyi – as platonic friends. I was too scarred by my broken relationship to even consider getting with someone else. It wasn’t because it was too soon after I’d become single again to get romantically involved with someone else, no. It was simply because I didn’t feel that trusting of guys to consider any commitments, fleeting or exclusive.

And it was nice that Uyi didn’t seem to want something romantic between us.

Or so I thought.

One night, a few weeks later, he called. His breathing was very loud and raspy over the phone, and I asked what the problem was. He said he was asthmatic, and was experiencing an attack. The news stunned me. This was the first time I was hearing that he had asthma. I was immediately concerned and began enquiring about the state of his health, how serious the attack was, and what he or his parents were doing about it. After weathering my questions, he began speaking introspectively; talked about how he may not make it through the night, and how he was tired of this life, and was searching for a reason to hold on. He went on to say that I was the best thing to ever happen to him.

“I love you,” he finished in a low teary tone.

There was some silence at this moment, during which I contemplated how awkward this had suddenly gotten for me. Now feeling self conscious and not liking where this was headed, I began to speak words intended to lift his obviously flagging spirits. I told him to stop thinking the way he was, and told him nothing was going to happen to him that night and for a very long time to come. I completely ignored the declaration he made, and thankfully, he didn’t bring it up again until we ended our conversation.

The next morning, he called to thank me for the things I said to him, that my words had helped immensely with getting him through his health crisis.

Then he said in a low, emotion-laden voice, “I miss you.”

Not again, I groaned. I replied, “You can’t miss me.”

“Why? Why can’t I miss you? I miss you.”

“You can’t miss me,” I reiterated in a firmer tone, “because firstly, we spoke just last night. And secondly, we’ve not even met. What can you possibly miss about me?”

“Well, my attack last night had taught me that life is too short to hold back any feelings that matter,” he said. “I love you, Kennedy.”

There it was, that L word again. And the utterance made me no less uncomfortable than it did the night before. I didn’t have anything to say to him, so I mumbled something about having something to do and asked him to call back later.

He buzzed me a few times during the course of the day, but I was genuinely occupied and couldn’t take his calls. When I eventually picked his call, he sounded angry. Royally pissed. He dived straight into a diatribe, accusing me of always leaving him hanging and shutting him down.

“Do you not consider my health condition?” he railed at me, his anger scorching my ear through the phone. “Do you? In spite of my health condition, I’m trying to get close to you, and this is what I’m getting from you! Don’t you care how your behaviour is affecting me? Don’t you know what you’re doing is affecting my health condition?”

For the second time in two days, I was stunned afresh. Had this guy just tried to pull the health card with me? Had he just tried to emotionally blackmail me into reciprocating his feelings? Was this what the dating game had come down to – manipulating emotions into existing?

Very coldly, I responded that if talking to me would endanger him, then perhaps he should consider his health condition and stop interacting with me. Even if I were stupid enough to let myself get guilted into getting romantic with him based on a consideration for his health, such a relationship would never last. Feelings, the chemistry between two people, are meant to develop naturally, whether for a quick shag or a lasting commitment. They are obviously not real when they are coerced into existing. I hung up that phone call with no intention of carrying on with Uyi. I mean, I couldn’t deal. I just simply couldn’t.

Written by Kennedy

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  1. Francis
    March 08, 07:46 Reply

    Wish I had your will power. E for don help me dodge wahala wey I enter in the past. ?

    Is this recent or months ago? Has he tried calling back?

    • kennedy
      March 09, 08:40 Reply

      happened recently….he reads and doesn’t reply my messages

  2. grass
    March 08, 08:08 Reply

    I’ve always wondered how you miss someone yo haven’t even met,i mean, that’s like saying i love the feel of a vagina when I’ve never considered even digging it… some guys need sense

    • spy
      March 08, 09:17 Reply

      Only difference here is emotion is an abstract phenomenon and does not need physical contact to happen.

    • kennedy
      March 09, 08:46 Reply

      as in ehn…the matter jes taya me

  3. Mandy
    March 08, 08:20 Reply

    Hahahahahahahahahahahaa!!! Chai! Health condition toh bad. Nothing boys won’t use to get a shag. And make no mistake about it, Kennedy, that’s what this Uyi is looking for…a shag. No one wanting something serious would stoop to using his health issue to get a man.

    • Colossus
      March 08, 11:02 Reply

      Actually, it’s more than a shag. He stuck through for more than a year, the friendship only meant more to him than to Kennedy. He is emotionally delicate, in a more advanced nation, he might even be placed on some sort of drug.
      I believe it’s wrong to term this as just his need for a shag.

      • kennedy
        March 09, 08:24 Reply

        ur just seeing this from a romantic stand point…am not a kid…this here is manipulation…dude doesn’t talk to me anymore

  4. bruno
    March 08, 08:28 Reply

    lol. the romantic in me was expecting some huge romantic payoff at the end… I wasn’t ready for that plot twist. ???

  5. Illuminatus
    March 08, 09:17 Reply

    You can miss someone you never met IRL. You guys have been chatting and gotten quite close. He could be implying that he missed having you around to talk during the night. That kinda thing. It isn’t wrong. Or is it?

    Now, I don’t know what he’s fixation with his health condition has got to do with you two. Even if he has terminal cancer, so? That part wasn’t meshing at all.

  6. spy
    March 08, 09:19 Reply

    Such dilemma. This here is real “breathless love” LOL. It can be exhausting being in such a position.

  7. Max 2.1
    March 08, 09:44 Reply

    Hnmmm.. Seems incomplete.. I thought Uyi was gonna commit suicide or do something crazy, that would’ve made the story more interesting.

    • Pink Panther
      March 08, 10:06 Reply

      See your life? Just see how you’re letting the devil use you

  8. Geeluv
    March 08, 12:55 Reply

    Haba Max…. they’ve been on for a while before the health ish came up. So I think that was just a mistake or probably he didn’t get the message from Uyi Royally… ?

  9. Lorde
    March 09, 00:50 Reply

    Health condition ke, I’m even too angry to laff, how dd he even relieve hs asthma, Heck, how em take carry phone, dial your number, waited a few seconds while it rang, and still had breath to talk that kin “im tayad of life ” talk, and not die during any of these times.

  10. kennedy
    March 09, 08:14 Reply

    @Lorde my thoughts exactly……dude even told me that there was a time his family thought he had died from an attack n they almost took him to the morgue….thats not love biko its pure manipulation plus he is too telemundo-ish

  11. KingBey
    March 09, 12:50 Reply

    I will just keep sipping this green tea ?

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