It was already dark outside when I shut the blinds and switched off the lights.
I picked up my phone and sat on the bed.
I couldn’t get you off my mind all day and I didn’t want to go to bed without playing back memories.
Yesterday I was on Whatsapp, playing back all your voice notes and reading our play-work-play chats.
Tonight, As I hopped into bed and tried to regulate the air conditioning, I went to Facebook messenger. It was my first time there in almost a year. I wanted to read your messages; our chats and bring back memories of the early days of our friendship. Everything came rushing back.
‘hey, I’m presently in London for a few days. Be back on Friday. Will send you a text then to confirm my attendance. Cheers!’
It was my first message to you on Facebook. And your response, just like the several others I’ll receive from that day in August 2007, was quintessential Tosyn.
‘Thanks dear. And glad to finally hear from you. Was wondering if you were a figment of my imagination. LOL. Abeg buy Kilishi come back oh… Oh wait, you said Jand right? Drat!’
I spent last night lost in your messages, our conversations in my inbox, on messenger, and on Whatsapp. I’m sorry I couldn’t lay my hands on our BBM chats. I’m sure they’re archived somewhere and I just didn’t do enough to locate them.
And the messages brought back memories – I can’t claim to have been one of your closest friends. I don’t even think I was that good a friend. But I could tell from all I read; all I recalled; and all I thought, that I liked you and your work from the first day I read your prose; from the first time I heard a CON.tra.diction song. I remember interviewing you for Encomium Magazine at the eatery on Opebi road. I remember our search for a manager and publicist for your music; and all the times you slid into my DM to say thank you for a mention in my column and we’ll both end up washing each other.
See, there’s this message from July 9, 2008 I couldn’t stop reading. I couldn’t.
It was our first conversation in four months.
‘Hi madam. Been a while! You just crossed my mind now and I thought to holla. How’s it all going with you? Please have a wondrous day ahead…’
‘Hey, the great Ayeni or Ayeni the great. LOL. I’m good. Doing a lot of writing (novels) these days. Hope you’re well?’
Novels? That sounds great. But, whatever happened to CON.tra.diction? I hope you find time for her too soon. God be with you.
I thought you would never ask! LOL. As you might have noticed, I do a lot of stuff. And I actually enjoy doing all that stuff to be honest. I always worried how I could find the balance, and of course CON.tra.diction was being ignored majorly. What I am doing now is being my personas. Tosyn is the writer, and the one who likes to party and all that. Hazel is the business one. She runs s.h.a.r.e and SPEECHgirl and These Genes. And then CON.tra.diction is the music persona.
I am writing novels so that CON.tra.diction can also write her music and she has been writing so much lately, it’s really amazing. Then she is going to the studio this month, next month and after that hopefully, will get to work with ID Cabasa, but working with Kaka (Christy Essien Igbokwe’s son). Have you heard the song they did together? His mom can still SANG! I’m telling you. We shot a video that we didn’t like so we’re scrapping it and starting again. The thing is though, she really needs a manager, or someone she can bounce ideas off, and so on cos I really can’t do that!
So, with these few words of mine, I hope I have been able to convince you, and not confuse you that CON.tra.diction will not be allowed to die before she has even been born.
I was reading and laughing and screaming and laughing all by myself. The short messages, the long ones. The formal conversations, the silly ones. The cold ones, the warm ones. Everything.
Then I dozed off.
It wasn’t long before you showed up. Dreams can be funny-silly. And this one didn’t let me leave with any specific details. But from the muted visuals still playing in my head right now, I can tell we had an interesting conversation.
I’ll tell everyone I saw you again, and we had a great time. And when they ask me where we met, what you said, or what we did, I tell them all I have are images. After all don’t they say a single photo speaks better than a thousand words?
And if anyone asks further I’ll ask them to check their Whatsaap, their BBM, SMS, messenger, or DM. There they’ll find your voice, and enough memories to last a lifetime.
Can’t wait to see you again!