Many who judge the people that commit suicide do not just understand. They were not in their shoes, going through the debilitating memories, the soul-crushing moments of quiet solitude until the pain, the anguish, the sorrow reaches a crescendo which sees them keeling over. Yes, they don’t understand.
Of course I probably wouldn’t understand too if not for her. She opened my eyes to hell on earth. She killed me.
Flashback to my second year when I met her. I saw her and knew I was hooked. She was perfect. Five-foot eight inches of well-structured physique passed me and I rushed to her. Like a powerful magnet she drew me to her. One thing led to the other and we exchanged contacts.
Suffice it to say that we started dating and during the time we dated, everything about me changed. To the worse. I hardly read, spent extravagantly and it was always on her. I even shunned the company of my friends.
This continued for three years. Then one day as I came back to the room I was sharing with my best friend Michael, I got the biggest shock of my life. Michael showed me her Facebook post. She was married! I felt as if I was shot straight at the heart. I couldn’t breathe.
The next thing I saw was Michael with a bucket of water, his face a mirror of concern and my body drenched including the sofa. I remembered the post again and felt hot tears cascading down my face. I thought back to how Angela—that’s her name—completely devastated me. I had used the money my parents gave me to start up her boutique, thinking that in a few months, she would realise the money and I would then start up my own business. She took the money and absconded. I never saw her again. All my efforts to reach her were fruitless.
As wave after wave of memory assailed me, I dialed her line for the umpteenth time but as before, she didn’t pickup.
Few months later, I left that city with its bad memories to somewhere I was unknown. There still couldn’t get over the trauma. It was then that the idea of suicide came in.
I went to the remotest village in the state, found a nice stream and dived in. I couldn’t swim. As my natural instinct for survival kicked in, I fought against it determined not to come out alive. Slowly, I felt myself float on the edge of consciousness. Then darkness.
But I was not fated to die. She saved me. And wanted to know I would do such an atrocious act. Not knowing what to do, I spilled my guts to her. She told me all I wasn’t in the mood of hearing.
I followed her to her place after much insistence. There, she gave me food and promised to check on me regularly. I left her place feeling surprisingly light. Maybe it was because she just listened to me and didn’t make any judgements. I don’t know. All I know was that something changed in me.
Over the next six months, we saw regularly and she really was a bundle of strength. At her encouragement and with her financial aid, I started writing software filling a lifelong dream. In a few months, I relocated to Abuja where I opened a company, NazTech Limited, named after her, Chinazom.
Ah! So much had transpired, but this particular Christmas is special. We are getting married. Yeah, you heard me right. After thinking that I had no reason to live again, I now have someone who is willing to move mountains in order to see me happy. What a world!
You might be wondering why I told this story. The reason is simple. You have another chance to things right. Do not give up. Decide to try again even if the prospects look bleak. If I could get another chance, why can’t you?
As we celebrate this season, know that it is a time of rejuvenation, of second chances and of hope. Be determined, be happy, be hopeful, and never let any Angela of any kind take that happiness and joy of Christmas away from you. Because it is a season of REBIRTH.