Letters to Myself: Old flames die hard

Dear Akintunde,

By the time this letter reaches you, I expect that you will already be over the feelings described in this letter. From the ashes of the old, I already see tendrils of the new springing forth from the dark loamy soil of your heart. But still, the lessons that I seek to bring to you in this letter are poignant to guide you before you try love again.

You still love her, at least until this point when you read this letter. You may have buried what you felt for her under 6 months of to-do lists, self-imposed isolation, excessive eating habits, multiple projects, unusual silence and inordinate exuberances. At a point, you deceived yourself so well, you thought you had it all covered.

But all it took was one call and like a zombie coming to life, long-buried emotions broke through the concrete slab of unspoken emotions, letting in the air of life. And in your heart, you knew, through the cold, one-word responses, that you really wanted to call her that special name you coined. But you didn’t. Mind over matter, like my previous letter said.

Things may have ended on a bad note, but she soon loosened you up enough to pay better attention while she spoke; she was always the talker, you were the listener.

Then she asked if you had a girlfriend. In the curtest manner, you replied in the negative. When she asked why, you brushed it off with that hard guy laughter.

It’s been a while you spoke, so catching up was a thing to do. You asked randomly when she would finish school. She jokingly replied, asking if you wanted to marry her. Your heart leapt saying, ‘Yes’. But your lips stayed glued.

As the conversation trailed, your heart kept screaming from the cavity of your chest. You felt your mind losing its grip. Your tongue, like a horse, was straining at its reins, eager to be let loose.

But you overcame. You let your voice trail. Then you cut the call. Let her think you ran out of credit or the network failed. Either way, today was not the day you would let go of your feelings. You come from a line of strong men and women, Agunbiade’s and Boniface’s. Emotions are not things to be wasted. That’s what you tell yourself.

This is what I’ll tell you. One day you will explode. One day, the turbulence within will become the mess outside. Like an internal combustion engine, you’ve turned the heat of your emotions, love, anger, hatred, disgust, envy, into the fuel that drives you. So far, you’ve done a good job.

But the heart is not a tireless engine. As long as you don’t give vent to the caged screams, as long as you don’t let things go their natural course, it will eat you up.

While it lasted, it was good, and you gave it all you had. It ended, not your fault, but don’t let it eat you up. Enjoy the fact that you gave it all you had while it lasted. She met a better version of you than the one before her, and the person after her will meet a much better version of you. But there will be nothing left to meet if you don’t let go of false hope.

Yours sincerely,

Ifeanyi Boniface,

your Alter ego.

To read the previous “Letter to Myself”, follow this link.

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Analyst/Emerging Tech Lead, Tech Hive Advisory | AI Ethics & Governance Researcher

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Akin Ifeanyi Agunbiade

Akin Ifeanyi Agunbiade

Analyst/Emerging Tech Lead, Tech Hive Advisory | AI Ethics & Governance Researcher

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