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What I’ve Gone Through In The Hands of Women

‘No Woman, No Cry’

-Late Bob Nesta Marley

Why are you so bookish, Ben? Don’t you see that all work and no play makes Jack a really dull boy? Your friends…Uche, Sam and Peter all have girlfriends. You know that don’t you?. And here you are, only married to your books. Man, learn to wise up! The words echo in my ears spoken by one of my classmates, Prince, during my second level of Senior Secondary School Year.

After three months I decided to look into what had Prince advised me about. I have always had a soft spot for Miriam and she was the girl I had emotional connections with. Although she usually approached me for solving problems in Mathematics, I looked forward to a time I would ask her for a relationship since I always deeply fantasized about being in a long-term relationship: a relationship that materialized in marriage.

Unfortunately, owing to my consolation in avid book reading and being facially deformed, I apparently did not see the need of being in any serious relationship. Nevertheless, I summoned the courage to approach Miriam. I wanted to talk her into being in a relationship with me. Not surprised at all, she declined my rather informal proposal.

Going back memory lane, I used to know of a certain Elsey Farrington, a classmate of mine in my elementary school years. While I was being ‘rejected’ by fellow black male and female pupils, she stood by me through it all. Elsey was not perturbed by my deformed face; she carried me along in all that she engaged in---Getting to have me play with her friends as to introduce them to me, sharing with me what she brought from home---some edibles like the U Cookies. She really made my day remarkable when I celebrated my 6th birthday in school. Being the class captain (Primary 1A, as it was assigned), she helped me readily distribute foods and drinks to appropriate quarters---teachers at their Staff Room Office, the office of the Headmaster and his team, then the class in general. It was a day I will always cherish.

However, not all was roses and honey! I had no idea that she will abruptly leave school and and return to the United States. When this disheartening event occurred, the year 1990, to be precise, I had no means of contacting her. No phones, emails, access of fax machines and other message-friendly communicating devices. She was gone forever. Even to this day, I try searching for her