P. E. Blue 11 months ago

Only Eliza.πŸ’–

A man waits five years for his girlfriend...Afternoon, June 17, 2017β€”the last time Eliza flashed me her sunbeam smile before she disappeared among the crowd at an airport terminal.

I still remember her green dress, her lilac scent, and her hair in a braided bun. Having a girlfriend who won the visa lottery to Canada was awesome and also heart-wrenching. As a loving boyfriend, I was supportive when I learned she had to leave. I was also disconcerted.

I had heard stories about split relationships when they became long-distance. Eliza reassured me it would all work out. We would be different. It was difficult not to believe her. We resolved to maintain contact via phone calls and video calls daily. It was hard. But I was irrecoverably in love with Eliza. I would make it work.

Year One.

Easy. Eliza told me everythingβ€”her job shifts, her new friends, the weather, the beauty and simplicity of Canadaβ€”and I listened. I shared as much as I could about transpiring events here in Nigeria. On days when we couldn't meet up for call time, we rendered accountable reasons for our shortcomings.

Sometimes, Eliza teased that she'd marry an oyinbo man, and I'd taunt her back with me getting married to an Igbo lady. Often, I prayed she was joking because if not, eh! I didn't have a job yet. Eliza supported me with wages and from her shifts.

Year two.

I got a job. The pay was awesome. I gave it back to Eliza. Attractive girlsβ€”old classmates and workmates β€”to my left and right. I kept my eyes only on Eliza.

Year three.

I applied for a Canadian visa. Denied. My mom was hot on my tail to stop chasing clouds and find a new wife. I told her politely, "Only Eliza."

Year four.

Hangout at my friends' apartment meant beer-littered tables, gamepads, and pizza. I met a girl there, Helen. I noticed she focused her attention and questions on me throughout my stay. I answered freely until she said, "I like you. Do you have a girlfriend?" She was pretty provocative. I told her about Eliza. She suggested we hang out on a date. I was stunned. However, it sounded like a nice idea after prolonged loneliness.

Eliza's smile popped into my head. I turned Helen down. She left. My friends berated me with something along the lines of "You be mumu!", "You Don mess up. You waste fine babe!" etc. I left.

Only Eliza. That night Eliza called. I felt guilty for even thinking about Helen's proposal. I told her. She'd also been pressured by her parents to forget me and marry a black American in Canada. "Should we just end it and move on?" She asked, hurt lacing her voice. "No, I want only you, Eliza." She smiled through the glowing laptop screen.

Summer morning, July 27, 2022.

I strolled out of the airport with my luggage. The sun started to peak over the horizon. And there she was, hair flowing down her shoulder. At that moment, Eliza's smile was brighter than the dawn.


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