Home Essays Essay Competition Locked Up In An Everlasting Bondage by Damilola Olorunsola

Locked Up In An Everlasting Bondage by Damilola Olorunsola

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It is an undisputable fact that everything rises and falls in
relationships. An in depth understanding of this maxim by each and everyone
would give us a better world to live in. The people we are emotionally
connected to are the ones we’ve opened up our hearts to. We wouldn’t
hesitate to do anything for the ones that have our heart and of course, we
know we have people to fall back to during our own trying times.

The ultimate desire of every human on earth is to know that they are loved,
cared for, wanted and appreciated. Consciously or unconsciously, there’s is
a refreshing feeling we all get from knowing that we are genuinely loved by
others. I am generally not the expressive type, at least that is who I’ve
always believed I am. I find it very difficult to relate with other people.
I unapologetically severe any seemingly “out of boundary” relationship
without a hearing. The hearing usually takes place in my head, I
effortlessly play the role of both the prosecuting and the defending
counsel and ultimately, the judge.

For years, I hid behind an impenetrable facade. My mother abandoned a
“six month old me” at an orphanage for reasons I’ll never get to find out.
The Orimolade Orphanage Home was my home for so many years. I couldn’t
understand why my own mother would give me up. I do not even know what she
looks like, till date. I began to feel a void in my life starting from my
early teenage years. I wasn’t the only girl of my age who grew up at the
orphanage, but I was the only girl who never got out of the pain of being
abandoned.

My mates at the home did everything they could to bring me out of my
misery, but I wouldn’t bulge. I can’t count the number of times they told
me to count my blessings and make the best out of my life, but I always
discarded their advice. I was bitter that my own mother didn’t love me
enough to put up with me, irrespective of whatever mess she got into. I was
so bitter that I shut out everyone from my life. I was a “case” at the
home, but they still loved and cared for me.

In my final year in the university, I met someone. He was the best person
I’ve ever met. I met this beautiful soul at the university library. He had
helped me picked out a book from of one of the library’s high shelves when
he saw me struggling with the shelf. Raymond had a very beautiful heart,
one I’m not sure I’ll ever come across again in this life. He had warmed
his beautiful self into my heart within a thirty minute discussion. He was
vast, intelligent and funny. He was the first person to get pass the wall I
had built around myself for so many years.

Ray was everything that I wasn’t but desired. He tried all he could to make
me relatable. I’ll never forget his ever favourite statement to me, “Dee,
it costs you nothing to show people you love and care about them. You never
know how much that means to them.” My every time reply had always been, ” I
hate no one. I don’t think anyone should think I do.”

Isn’t it surprising how blinded we can be to other people’s situation. The
most charming and social persons around us also have demons they’re
battling with. But we’re usually blind to this fact. This was my exact
situation. Ray was always the one doing the reaching out, always showing
the care and love, and heaven knows how much I loved this guy, but I hid
behind my fears. Raymond loved me, I knew it, I felt and saw it. But what
did I give him in return? I was bitter, angry at life, angry at myself,
that my existence couldn’t compel my mum to take up the challenge to care
for me. So, I shut out everyone. I didn’t want to love, neither did I want
to be loved.

I didn’t want to get anymore heartache. I didn’t want to let anyone in, I
lived in the fear that they’ll all end up leaving me, just like my mum did.
But I was wrong, oh! how wrong  I was. Raymond was different. I can still
vividly remember scenarios where I had shouted at him, where I had shown no
care for the things that mattered to him. When in reality, my heart was
rooting for him but my head was always getting in the way. I always
believed the demon in my head which tells me how no one truly cared.
They’ll always end up leaving.

Apparently, Ray had his battles. Battles he had always wanted to share
with me but which I never gave ears to. This minute I’m laughing heartily
at his jokes and the next minute, I’m giving him attitude. Raymond gave his
all. He eventually withdrew and as hurting as that was, I never made
attempts to find out what prompted his action. My heart knew I lost a
treasure but my head argued I made the best decision; mum left, every other
person will, too..

Little did I know Raymond was fighting for his life. I was so blind that
I didn’t even notice he had lost a lot of weight during our last days
together. It took a letter delivery to my doorpost to tell me how selfish,
inhumane and stupid I had been. While I thought I was protecting myself, I
was actually crushing others in the process. Raymond had been battling with
cancer for two years and the only person he had spent a bulk of his last
days with, never cared to know anything about him. I left him to fight his
battles all by himself even when he had shown me much love than I could
ever imagine.

Raymond had written me a letter on his deathbed. Yes, Raymond died. My
light died and I was stupid enough to let him go without letting him know
how much I loved him. I read the letter screaming and sobbing, I realised
my own folly but I did very late. There was nothing I could do anymore. I
lost him. I had lost once and I did yet again, only that this time it was
my fault.

Engraved in the letter were the most beautiful, yet painful words I had
ever read;
“I love you, Dee. I really do. I never stopped loving you. I only stopped
reaching out because I couldn’t anymore. How hard I fought this beast, but
I eventually lost my strength and zeal to fight. In my deathbed, I loved
you and when I ultimately ascend to my place of rest, I’ll still love you.
I hope you find peace, joy and most importantly, love.
Yours even in death, Ray.”

Loosing Raymond is my greatest regret in life. I hate that my mother
didn’t fight for me but I hated myself for not fighting for me, for not
fighting for love, for not fighting for Raymond. Things would have been
better if only I had heeded to everyone’s advice of  releasing myself to
heal. Maybe Ray would still have died, but I would have given my all and I
won’t be in this everlasting bondage I locked myself in. And who knows
whether my love would have strengthened Ray to fight longer and maybe he
would have made it out alive.

I’m putting this out just so everyone can learn from this. Nothing should
ever stop you from living and loving, irrespective of whatever pain you’ve
experienced in the past. A stitch in time truly saves nine, deal with
whatever ugly situation in your life as early as you can until it costs you
a greater joy in life. You are whosoever you’ve accepted yourself to be.
Take out time to work on any negativity residing in you, deal with the
hurt. It won’t be easy, it’ll take time but it’ll worth it in the end.

Damilola Olorunsola a 400 level student of Biochemistry at the Federal University of Technology, Minna, Niger State wrote in via damilola.o.olorunsola001@gmail.com