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THIS is a true story of my cousin who was involved in a relationship way back when I was a teenager. She was on the very weighty side when she met her boyfriend. To say she loved him would be putting it very mildly. Figuratively speaking, she worshipped the ground he walked on . Their relationship could be described as a one – sided love affair. She was in love. He was in business-the business of using and dumping. The flat nosed boyfriend ( of blessed memory) could barely stand the sight of my dear cousin, literally speaking.

Till date, I still wonder why she chose to be with him in the first place. They were both graduates and doing quite well in their individual fields. However, financially, my cousin was doing much better. She owned a brand new car while the boyfriend rode in a fairly used car.

Since some of us were much younger to understand fully what was going on, my cousin, in trying to be discrete, chose to keep the abuse away from family and even close friends. She went through the proverbial hell and high water all by herself. Sad!

Two years into their relationship, things began to gradually get out hand. The guy obviously got tired of putting up false appearances and began to publicly humiliate her. The first glimpse we had of the abuse was when we attended a wake keep ceremony of a distant relative. We had all gathered but noticed our cousin’s car was neatly parked in a corner but there was no sign of her. Despite the beehive of activities- dancing and drumming, there was simply no sign of her. On sighting her boyfriend, we decided to inquire about her whereabouts.. Reluctantly, he pointed us to her parked car.

Worried, we walked towards the car and to our shock, our cousin was locked up in her own car. When she saw us , through the tinted glasses , she tried to manage a very weak smile. Young, as we were, we asked her why in the world she should be locked up in the car when activities were going on  outside.

Unable to bottle up her emotions anymore, she opened up and said, ” Ikechukwu” ( not real name) said I should remain in the car.”  Simultaneously, we all screamed “why”?

Till date, I still shudder to recall the incident of that fateful day .  she said Ikechukwu had told her to remain in the car because he was ashamed to be seen with her in public because she was too fat !

We pleaded o, dear readers, we pleaded with my cousin to come down from the vehicle and join family and friends, who love her so much, but tearfully she refused.

Her excuses, were, ” Ikechukwu would be mad, he would be too upset, I just can’t afford to make him think I’m disrespecting him , I love him too much. He will be really mad if I ever considered disobeying him.  I just want him to be happy.” Chai!

As committed family members, and as teenagers who felt so pained by the abused woman our cousin had become, all we could do was stand by the car with her till dawn! We had no choice. The family’s rule back then was, when one of us is hurting, we are all hurting.

It was also the family tradition that we all travel to our country home to spend Christmas. It was usually fun. It affords us the opportunity of meeting up with old friends and family members that had not been heard from for years, even decades especially those in diaspora. We were seriously looking forward to a fun time as so many activities were usually lined up. It also afforded us the opportunity of showing off our new clothes, shoes, hairdo, false lashes and false polished nails, just name it. We were going to show the rural girls that there was a clear difference of being  city babes!

On arrival, the incident awaiting us was going to flush down all our plans right down the drain.

We got to hear that our cousin had arrived days before us and was in her room.

We all ran to her frantically knocking on her door because of the excitement. On opening the unlocked door , to  our shock we met her lying on her bed and crying her eyes out. As a matter of fact, on sighting us she cried louder . What is the problem, cousin dearest, one of us managed to ask. One word, she said, “Ikechukwu” .

We were simply blown away. You mean you guys are still dating? After the way he treated you in the past, we all wondered. The abuse  and maltreatment of two years? He is ugly! What do you see in him? Questions were just pouring out in torrents and one by one, we were able to calm ourselves in order to hear what he had done this time.

She narrated how he had dumped her for another girl using her weight as an excuse. To further worsen an already bad situation, he brought home the new girl and warned her never to contact him.

If we thought that was the worst that had happened,  we were criminally wrong. Our nightmare had a second part to it. Our cousin dearest, implored us this time to go begging him to take her back! Promising to shed weight, get him a car, hide herself during outings if that would make him happy. In summary, we found ourselves, on Christmas eve, pleading with a very reluctant guy to take our cousin back. After we had stooped low to massage his already bloated ego, he threw all our pleas right back in our faces, telling us to go back and encourage our cousin to move on because he had done the same.

Fast forward to the present, our cousin, is today married to a seasoned journalist, a fine , tall , dark and handsome man. They are blessed with a beautiful daughter. Years ago, they relocated to Canada and we couldn’t be happier for her. Her husband, our sweet in law  is so crazy about her that comparing him with her past was like comparing apples and oranges. His love for her we can safely describe as “sent from above.”

Sadly, Ikechukwu, died two years after their break up , he died in an auto crash  whilst travelling to pay the bride price of his fiancée. May his soul rest in peace. No one , not even my hurt cousin  wished  that for anyone, God forbid. All my cousin did was muster the courage to move on. He hated her for no reason. Even, when you don’t have feelings for someone, there are ways to diplomatically let them know without necessarily hurting them. My cousin was his ex and perhaps trash? Today, in Canada, she is another man’s treasure.

One man loses sight of the beauty he once saw. Letting her go, he has love no more.

Another man finds adventure in her eyes. He longs to wipe the tears that torment her inside.

One man had her love but he didn’t know how to cherish.

His love became blinded and he allowed it to perish.

Another man takes notice of her smile, her warm heart and soul.

He treasures her and vows not to let her go.

One man forgot the good times and let the bad times outweigh

He was overpowered by lust which caused him to stray

Another man has hope for a new beginning, new love, a new start

With his sweet ways, he wins her over, he wins her heart

One man’s ex is another man’s treasure

That’s life, so it seems

She won’t give up on love because real love will heal anything

What one man let’s go, another man will hold on

New love will open once the last love is gone.



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