It’s Not You, It’s Me

Covenant Chimnonso
5 min readDec 18, 2019

You think your problems started the day he broke up with you. They actually started the day he sent you that first message on Facebook. You don’t remember so much now, but you recall it was a reply to your Facebook story; a picture of you in a hot gown, with flattering lighting and a considerable portion of your ass pushing out.

His reply wasn’t ignorantly lustful, like that of the twelve other guys whose messages you had left on “read”. His was a thoughtful remark, one that seemed mature enough to warrant an answer. The words were laced with flattery, but it wasn’t so obvious as to be discarded as a lie.

“you look very pretty”

It was a simple compliment, but you thought it was profound. Maybe it was because he was one of those Facebook celebrity writers you really admired; maybe that was why you thought his reply was particularly profound. You reply thanks, and in the following days, you both kick off a pseudo-relationship that involved exchanging correspondence, asking about each other’s day and if the other had eaten. Nothing spectacularly overwhelming.

“do you study at MUNIBEN?”

It was the first time he’d asked any question that was not about your health, your day or your nutrition. You type yes, followed by your course of study and level. He says wow, and goes on to inform you that he graduated from that same department with a First Class. You make a mental note to crosscheck, but you discard the thought — someone who expresses his thoughts on Facebook with such strong command of language and display of a neat thought process was definitely a good student.

When the conversation progresses, you realise you both stay in the same city and share common interests. And as the days go by, the time you spend chatting with him increases. Within three days of back and forth communication, you learn about his work, his relationship history and his sexual experience. You take note of how honestly he shares all the information with you and that inspires you to share some stuff about yourself as well. Life is give-and-take.

You tell him about your academic struggles and he offers some salient tips on getting around particularly stressful hurdles. Then you figure it’s okay to share your relationship struggles with him. You tell him about your ex and what you thought was a relationship but turned out to be a torture cell.

You reveal all the sexual, emotional and psychological abuse from the monster you thought you were in love with, and he responds with a really thoughtful statement about how many broken boys start dating girls without really healing. He then commends you for breaking off the relationship and promises that you’d find someone who’d love you for who you are. You express your surprise at his way of reasoning, noting that you never imagined they still made men like him. He says “well, responsible men are everywhere. You just need to find them”.

It’s too good to be true; all of this is. You text your best friend and tell her about this guy who sounds like he would never hurt a fly. She notes that he’s cute and could easily be a chick magnet. You mention that he’s single because he’s almost always too busy with work, according to him. Your friend notes that you’re probably falling in love. You retort that it’s not possible as you’ve learned your lesson.

Days pass and you both go back and forth. Once, he tells you he really likes you and would like for you guys to be friends. You ask him what that friendship will entail, he remarks “just like buddies. I would have asked you out, but I think you deserve more attention than I can offer now”. You say “okay, cool” and he asks you out on a date of sorts.

When you first meet him, you notice he really looks good. Standing at about 6'2, he’s bespectacled and looks well-fed, a geeky aura about him and he dressed simply with a rich perfume that suggested he didn’t care much for clothes, but he did well for himself. He buys you ice-cream and you both share a medium-sized pizza and see a movie together. In between activities, you share thoughts and ideas and somehow, the conversation borders on sex.

“well, I’m not a freak for sex. But I don’t say no to cookies”

At first, you don’t make sense of the sentence. But you imagine he’s probably not going to pressure you for sex if it came to that. After the meeting, he invites you over to his place and you say okay. By now, you have grown confident in his presence and didn’t see any wrong in going over to his place. He hails a ride and you both hop into the car for a 45-minute ride back to his place.

At his place, he makes you comfortable, offers you a drink and lets you watch African Magic on his television. By the time you’re ready to leave his place, you’re pretty sure if he asked you out, you’d say yes without thinking it twice. He doesn’t make any move on you or asks for as much as a hug. But you desperately want to hug him.

When you tell him you’re ready to leave, he hails you a ride and walks you to the door of the Corrola. Standing there, hesitant at first, you hug him tightly and kiss his cheeks tenderly. He blushes and shuts the door after you.

“travel safe, let me know when you get home”

Two weeks later, he asks you to be his girlfriend. He says he’s unsure about dating someone at this stage of his life, but that he really likes you and didn’t want to miss out on the opportunity to date you. You say yes. After all, isn’t this what you’ve wanted since you first met this guy?

He calls you ‘baby’ for the first time after you say yes, and you run off to break the news to your friend. She’s excited but expresses the need for caution. You remark that this guy is different, special. She says “aren’t they all?” and you reply “lol… It’s not like that”. You imagine that this is love and not in desperation for attention. Maybe that’s why you missed all the signs. Maybe that’s why, when he sent his first message, you didn’t see the red flags.

Maybe that’s why when you first had sex with him, it was the best experience you’ve ever had. Everything about it, from the way he asked for permission to kiss you to the way he tenderly touched you between your legs and nibbled on your nipples, was special. Like he was.

Maybe that’s why, when he broke up with you, you excused it as a necessary event. You didn’t consider the fact that his reason wasn’t reason enough.

“I’m sorry I asked you out. But this will not work. I’m really sorry, but it’s not you, it’s me.”

You read the text over and over again, trying to make sense of the words. You try to no avail. You turn off your phone and cry yourself to sleep. When you wake up, your head is burning and there is a sharp pain in your sides that feels like hot steel knife plunging down your lungs. You wonder why bad things happen to good people.

Then you cry yourself to sleep.

Chimnonso

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Covenant Chimnonso

Multidimensional storyteller. Documenting where it matters. Traveller, not tourist.