My first boyfriend and I’s relationship lasted 29 years and 2 months and like most relationships it was an adventure filled with valleys and mountains. If I were to create a book out of this relationship it would be titled, Perfectly loved by an Imperfect soul. My first boyfriend set the tone for all the relationships I would have with the opposite sex.
Our lovestory is one that evolved from idolization, revelation, acceptance, and reconciliation. There was never a day that I questioned whether my first boyfriend loved me and while I can't speak for him, I am confident he also never questioned the love I have for him.
He was not a man of many words, in fact I’m struggling to remember the number of times I heard him say ‘I love you’. He didn’t have to say it because he showed me his love.
Was it the times he would go to the store to go get me sanitary pads when Aunt Flow was in town. A task my brothers refused to do.
Times when he would sit down and help me take my hair out without grumbling.
The time he drove to campus to drop off a large tin of powdered milk (one of my comfort food).
Our super early morning calls at 3-4am, when I was coming back from my side job, we would chat until I got back home and he never complained that I woke him up.
The way he expressed his mood based on how he would call my name. BB was his regular and on an exceptionally great day he’d say Ah-by-by. (LOL I don’t know where he got that from).
How he let me get to know him, and answered any and all of my questions about his life, upbringing, journey, and reflections along the way
How he never ever made me feel like I was inadequate.
How he spoke well of me to his friends. I only found out after our relationship ended.
Like all relationships we hit some rough patches. There were moments when I felt he wasn’t giving himself his 100% and I would challenge him to step his game up. There were times when I would tell myself we needed to breakup and I couldn’t do this anymore. Don’t get me started on the ultimatums I gave him as well…I never went through with any of them, because he had me wrapped around his finger... We’ll have a fight, both express our pain points, take time apart (2-3 days max) and we’ll be back at it again. We played our love game so very well, and thankfully our relationship only got better with time.
My first boyfriend created a space where we both were able to respect our individuality. We spoke openly and honestly about what we felt and how we felt. I think this was what really helped us heal and become become best of friends. When something was going on in my life, my boyfriend was the first person I told. I’ve never had a moment when I felt “oh no, he must not know or find out about this.”
Our love wasn’t one that needed to be on display. Only people close to us knew the depth of the bond we shared, and we didn’t mind. When people wanted him to do something or needed something from him, they’ll all come to me and ask me to talk to him. My friends knew there was only one person who had my button and that was him.
One day I was on a call with my first boyfriend and I had to run some errands, he had struck up a convo with my girlfriend who was visiting and so I left my phone at home and went about my business. When I got back they were still on the phone and I was amazed. We joked that they’d now become friends and when the call ended, my girlfriend turned, looked at me and said “Pearl, I see where you get it from.” Till date, that is still the greatest compliment I’ve ever received.
One of the last convo I had with him was me challenging him to put in the work to repair some of the relationships in his life since he expressed he wasn’t happy with how they were. I shared with him that it’s NEVER too late to start over. I said you know what WOO them! I said relationships go through phases and there are moments when you have to do the heavy lifting until the other person can catch up.
My last voice message from him was of him saying “Hello BB, Ba wo ni, mo ko ni kin gbo voice eh..i’m doing ok..i thank God…” to translate,“Hello BB, How are you? I just wanted to hear your voice, I’m doing ok…”
My first boyfriend helped me define the woman I am and still becoming. He helped me create a blue print for what Love is , what Love does or doesn’t do, and HOW Love shows up. He would always remind me that “Love is meant to be enjoyed, not endured.”
Death broke us up some months ago. While I am navigating this wilderness and coming to terms with my new reality, I still am so thankful because he was a man with a good heart. I have never known a Love like his, and don’t think I ever will and that is ok with me.
To my first boyfriend aka Daddy, aka Ayo dot. I pray you continue to rest in peace.
I miss you every day
Your baby girl