Eric was head-over-heels in love with me. An unrequited love. He loved me so much, and I was convinced his feelings towards me were genuine and pure. He poured out his heart for me, he could have killed if I asked him to.
But there was a problem. I just couldn’t love him back. Heaven knows I tried so hard to love him, but I just couldn’t. Eric suffered with my unrequited love. But I suffered too.
I knew he was (still is) a very intelligent guy, which is what should have triggered something in me, but it just didn’t happen. If you close your eyes and picture in your imagination what tall, dark and handsome looks like, you just might see Eric.
Eric was TOO nice to me, I practically tried several times to force him to fight with me, all to no avail.
I like to argue, he doesn’t argue. he agreed with everything I said, just to make me happy. I even said complete nonsense on several occasions, just so he could ask me to “shut up”, but he had a very loving, kind, and annoying way of correcting me, without arguing at all. Whatever I said was okay by him, as long as it would make me happy.
He cried whenever I refused his monetary gifts. His monthly salary was less than the monthly allowance I used to get from my parents, still he insisted on giving me part of it. I refused most of the times, because I couldn’t collect from him, knowing I had much more than he did. His love, kindness and niceness was choking. My teenage (I was 19 when I met him) head couldn’t process it.
A part of me felt Eric was simply obsessed with me. It wasn’t his intention to make me feel this way, but I felt very guilty about my inability to love him back.
One thing though; I never took him for granted. Although I couldn’t reciprocate his feelings; I knew he was a very very nice guy. So nice that almost any woman would die to have him. But I just wanted platonic friendship with him. I wanted him to be a best friend.
This turned out to be a serious clash of interests.
I didn’t want him as a boyfriend because I felt nothing for him, but I couldn’t have a boyfriend because I was being considerate of his feelings. He wanted to spend all his spare times with me; I love and enjoy my alone times. But I let him spend time with me, just so I wouldn’t hurt him.
Somehow, I felt responsible for his happiness. I wasn’t in love with him, I couldn’t get myself to fall in love with him, I knew he was very much in love with me, and I did everything within my power not to hurt his feelings. It was a huge burden on me, taking it upon myself to care so much about someone I wasn’t in love with.
I left the country shortly after we met. He cried his eyes out the day I told him that I would be leaving in less than a month. I didn’t understand why he cried so much.
Even while in the UK, I still forced myself to keep talking to him. Not because I wanted to, but because every missed call from him came with a long text message of how he’s been depressed because I have refused to talk to him. I thought I had escaped from the emotional blackmail, but I hadn’t.
I changed my UK number intentionally to cut off communication from him. Two years later, he sent me a request on Facebook, which I accepted.
He took his time to give me details of all that had happened to him since we last communicated. He had finished his graduate program, and was earning much more in his civil service job. Poor me, I had to read the long thing, just so I could respond properly, because I was still trying not to hurt him.?
Just after I graduated in 2012, Eric started showing intensified interest again.
I could feel the disappointment in his chat. Poor guy probably thought that two years down the line, I would have come to realise that the love he has for me is rare, pure and genuine (thing is, I’ve always known). And just maybe, I would accept him.
In 2013, he told me he wanted to move on with his life. Well, I didn’t understand this because we never had a relationship, I never gave him the impression that it would ever happen.
He found a girl, they dated for a year, got married in 2014, and had their first child last year.
The last time we spoke, I told him that I was very happy for him that he found love again. I never would have been able to love him as much as he deserves. For someone who loves as hard as he does, he deserves nothing short of true love.
He is still a Facebook friend, and he will be reading this. I’m guessing he is just going to smile, and probably take a nostalgic trip down our memory lane.
He still chats me up to know what’s going on in my life, how life is treating me. Eric asks about my academic and career plans, goals and successes. He seems to be my biggest non-family cheerleader.
I smile each time I remember him, his obsessions, how he cried each time he saw me with a guy, how it looked like I was the only reason for his existence on earth.
I was flattered by his love.
Lord knows I wish I was able to reciprocate.
I believe his wife is one of the luckiest wives on planet earth. That guy can pamper and take care of a woman for Africa.?
He is a nice man, and he knows how to love… maybe a bit excessively.?
All Rights Reserved, © Nkechi Bianze.
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