To my year one college mystery guy…
Finding words to describe the death of a loved one is overwhelming as it feels like some cold night where deep truth comes to hunt.
Losing Godwin to the cold hands of death changed my perception of certain things. It was like a string holding my heart was cut.
My ‘mystery friend’ as I fondly called him always walked up to my lonely, quiet self in class. With so much boldness he will say “why are you not smiling”, “you no dey smile?” Those words had a special strange way of brightening my face, and then after, we’ll start conversing.
It wasn’t like I couldn’t snub him, I mean who walks up to someone they don’t know and obliges them in such manner. But Godwin was different, asides his intelligence and calmness, he wore a calm spirit which he tried so hard to disguise.
We started getting pretty close that I will include his portion while cooking, serve in a cooler and send it to his hostel. He did the same for me too. We always had lunch together at the cafeteria, studied together with his friends. We eventually became so close, argued, bantered, debated… ohh! How endless the list was.
Suddenly after a long holiday, our department rep announced that Godwin was sick and won’t be resuming soon. Who would’ve imagined that a minor fall could result in dislocation and a serious leg injury and swellings? Every day the injury grew worse.
One faithful day he put a call across to me from his sickbed, and said; “babe, did I offend you, you cannot even call to check up”. I apologized sincerely and said I was going to check up more often, cause I mean he was so dear to me. We ended the call after filling ourselves with some good laugh.
A few days after, a bad day came smiling. Our department rep announced that Godwin was dead. He died from the cancerous leg injury.
Ohh dear, dear!!! It felt like a carpet was pulled off my feet. So much pain that as I write, it still tortures me. I almost collapsed, my colleagues had to support me back to my hostel. Ever felt so much pain that hits every fiber of your organs that you cannot move? I felt like a comatose struggling to regain my freedom from pain, but I couldn’t.
Our last conversation began to play in my head as regrets choked my heart. So he already said his last goodbye. It felt like the devil began to flog me with his words, they wouldn’t leave my head. The thought of saying I was going to check in again but didn’t kept hunting me.
Cries they say can’t bring back the dead but I wish mine did. Prior to his death, I used to think, some things could wait for later, but now, my whole orientation is reformed. It dawned on me to always do what is obtainable while I still can.
Reach out to loved ones often, forgive, pray. I know It’s easy to lose track, get carried away in your own world, but that one minute of your time won’t bite. That one minute, I wish I had to call my mystery guy and make him smile, chat and banter.
His funeral was a whirlwind of tears, if it was possible for someone to get drowned in tears, I would have, but tears wouldn’t bring him back. I thought of running to him while he laid in state and then shouting “stand up!”, hoping he will hear me.
Songs from the legendary Jim Reeves began to make a lot of sense and communicated to me.
I beat myself each time I remember I forgot to check up. A simple call, visit or text could have made a difference, but I did none. Even though death might have still knocked, I would have felt a better peace.
But like we believe, “Everything happens for a reason”. I thank my mystery guy for such beautiful memories and having a good impact on my life with his genuine friendship. Rest On Godwin.