The First Time We… Said Our Vows

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THE FIRST TIME WE… SAID OUR VOWS

First time

“Choices”

by @0toxic

_____

My dearest Abim,

There will always be finer women
There will always be smarter women
There will be women sexier,
As there will be women more motherly

If I ever chose to,
(And this does not mean I ever would)
I could find another woman I’d deem
More suited to me than you
I can find a woman who loves me
Even more than you do
One who I find more lovable than you.
The irony though, is if I were to choose
To embark upon that quest now,
And found a woman whom I thought
Was more suited to me than you
I would soon find yet another
Who seemed even more suitable than her

Yet, I choose you

For love is a choice
A decision
A commitment
And after considering many variables
Such as our friendship
Steady and true
And the way our hands fit
Into each other’s
And the way your voice
Resonates with my heart
And my spirit
And my very soul
And the convenient fact
That our genotypes match
And also because my loving you
Comes entirely naturally
Even when my head tried to fight it
My heart already chose you
It was only common sense to follow through

And so I chose you

Regardless of your shortcomings,
Or your flaws
Regardless of the ups or the downs,
Regardless of sickness or wellness
No matter what else may be offered,
For no matter how long

Only on the condition of death
Will I let you go
And even then,
Never in my heart

I make the choice to love you
And only you

Abimbola, I will always choose you

Yours Forever,
Tokini

_____

My Tokini,

You were always the creative one. Poet. Artist. Musician. Thespian. You may never have been master of any of those art forms, but having all of that myriad of talent balled behind your beautiful personality made you out to be the most charming man anyone would ever come across. It’s funny though, how you tried and tried to charm the socks off of me. And failed. Drama king that you were, I don’t know how you ever thought the antics you displayed- the spontaneous romantiques, the unnecessarily boisterous shows of affection- would win me over. I was the realistic one. The no nonsense one. The one who couldn’t be bothered with your type. And there you were, doing everything wrong to win me over.

But that letter changed everything.

Oh, I saw through the bullshit that was flowery words and a bundle of figurative expressions put together to make a girl weak in the knees. But then again, we’d already established the fact that I was not that type of girl. The go-weak-in-the-knees type of girl. What did it for me was how through the My heart beats for yous and I will die for yous, I could see the practicality of choosing you, based on the words you stated in writing. The promises you were making which I could hold on to. It was how I could take that letter for what I first saw it as: a binding contract I could always hold you to.

Nothing had changed. I was still the stoic; you, the boisterous. And we fit. You were in your element when you brought out all that charm and wit again at the wedding. For the first time, you ‘performed’ the words you had sent me in that letter, up-staging me. You had to wait until I was done with my drab, straight-from-the-books vows before dramatically shushing the priest and then wowing our audience with your performance. The letter had read like they were vows, I just never expected you’d go all Hollywood on me at my wedding. I was not impressed. These were your vows to ME. I, not the blasted audience, should have been impressed. Frankly, I would have been most impressed if you’d just stuck to the bleeding script and not gone firing on all your loose cannons again.

But you were you. And I am me. We were different, yes, but we fit perfectly. Your bullshit and my no-nonsense like the repelling, yet forever attached ends of a magnet. The practicality of us; this was what held me the most from leaving when you so earnestly broke those vows. I should have expected more from you after that display at the wedding but if anything, it made me expect less. Much less. You were, after all, all about the talk.

How could you bring another woman into our home and so wantonly disregard my opinion on account of hers? You chose her countless times over me. Breaking your vows again and again. What ever happened to “I choose you and only you”? Where did all the promises go?

Bullshit.

She and I constantly fought for your attention. Outwardly, we bickered like school kids over who was right and who didn’t know anything but silently, we waged war upon each other, each fighting for the cause of who knew you better and who loved you more. Yet, somehow, it did not feel like victory the day I walked in on you telling mama off on my account.

“She is my wife, mama. She is me. If you cannot accept that whether you like it or not, she is your daughter, then maybe you should go back to your husband’s house and leave her own for her.”

That woman. She had the look of an obstinate goat chewing on the naira notes that should buy its feed and remaining petulant to its master’s display of dismay. You weren’t getting through to her. Yet, every word you said that day stung my very soul. No one should speak to their mother that way, least of all on my account.

I will never know what went through my head when I dashed towards my then arch enemy, crumpled at her feet, wrapped my arms around her legs and began weeping like a baby. Through the film of the tears in my eyes, I saw what appeared to be a mixture of shock, incredulity and utter confusion in your face. It was the first time you ever saw me weep.

Mama’s white flag was sent waving when she reached down, pulled me up and held me to her bosom. You could not have understood what had gone on that day. At the time, even I didn’t. An allegiance was formed and your words were replayed back to me…

I make the choice to love you and only you

When ten years later, you stood proud and ended with that, again upstaging me with my simple vows, I was more tolerant of your performance. Especially with our small audience of two, who you were doing an excellent job of entertaining with your loud gestures and over-the-top voice. They may not have seen the significance of the words but they felt the love. I felt the love. I saw less bullshit to see through by this point. Much less bullshit.

No matter what else may be offered,
For no matter how long…

When you came to this part at our twentieth anniversary, with much less gusto and much less conviction, all I could see was the bullshit. Thick, dark, smelly, disgusting bullshit that was too much to possibly see through.

It had taken you many, many years for you to convince me that perhaps, not all men were lying, cheating dogs. At least, not my man. And then you had, in one fell swoop, disproved your entire theory.

The episode of Hauwa in our story was a short, dark interlude which many times I wish I could just package neatly and ship off to the farthest reaches of my memory and never again remember. But it happened and I have a daily reminder in the form of Andi.

Choosing to take in the evidence of my husband’s indiscretions and raise him as my own is a decision I have never come to regret. I knew what it felt like to lose one’s mother at a tender age and Andi was not deserving of that punishment for crimes he did not commit. Crimes I had come to accept my complicity in. I could defend my actions of four years previous all I wanted, but I had come to admit to myself that when I vowed that I belonged to you,

To have and to hold from this day forward…
…to love and to cherish

I had broken my vows by locking up shop just as much as you had when you strayed to Hauwa’s honeypot. Of course, this did not absolve you of any guilt. None at all. I may have played a part in driving you into another woman’s arms but I did not also give you the directions to get there. That was all you. But forgiving you was a choice I had chosen to make long before you ever even committed any offences. Same as choosing to love you…

In sickness and in health,
Till death do us part

Bald headed, withered-bodied and causing you to pause every few moments so I could spit over the side of the bed into the waiting pan, I witnessed the beauty of you nursing me – and our love – back to full health. Our thirtieth anniversary vow renewals couldn’t have had a more apt venue than a recovery ward.

There was no more bullshit. We had laid ourselves bare before each other and found ourselves out of the deepest darknesses… together. I had been ready to let go and move on, but you refused. I… We… could never have beaten the cancer if it hadn’t been for you. Being there, supporting, praying, caring and mopping up the bullshit that had caked over our love over many years.

And then when you were done, in your usual dramatic fashion, you went and died yourself. After not allowing me, abi? Well done, Tokini. Well done o.

Tonight, I will perform the vows you made to me. As always, the audience will be just our children. You’ve been gone eight years now but I refuse to stop celebrating our love. Death may have separated us but I have chosen that never…

Will I let you go…
…Never in my heart

It suddenly occurred to me early this morning that in over forty years, I had never replied that first letter. And so, here I am now, doing you that courtesy.

You were a talented man, Tokini. A good son. An excellent father. A beautiful lover.

And I am so glad I chose you.

Yours forever,
Abimbola.

****

The First Time…We special is proudly sponsored by SureGifts.com.ng

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Just a dude with a mean, wide creative streak made up of many, many strokes looking to express himself as diversely as possible.
Comments
  • Avatar
    Afoma

    Oh my God, my heart! This was too much of an emotional roller coaster!! And oh so beautiful. AYYY Mr Toxic, na you ohhhh.

    February 14, 2014
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      Lol. Thank you Afoma. I loved your piece too. I'm just glad you allowed your words be betrothed to me ^_^

      February 14, 2014
  • Avatar
    ayamfish

    For a welcome-back piece for me, this is breathtaking. Now I know what I have missed.

    A story well 'storied'.

    February 14, 2014
  • Avatar
    chocoholicgirl1

    *crying*oh my goodness , this is too much! I thought nothing could beat this morning's post but this, THIS IS EPIC. Someone bring a mop, the water works are about to start!

    February 14, 2014
  • Avatar
    megzy

    This is lovely too sweet :'(

    February 14, 2014
  • Avatar
    trollsaddist

    troll is back!
    olatoxic had to last!
    just look at that!

    February 14, 2014
    • Avatar

      Gheun. See rhymes. Lol.

      February 14, 2014
  • Avatar
    babe

    Wow!!!!!!!!!

    February 14, 2014
  • Avatar
    Oma

    OMG!!!! I cried,i actually cried…..This is beautiful

    February 14, 2014
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    MPDchic

    There are tears in my eyes right this moment. This is really beautiful, when I read d topic I was a bit skeptic abt how it wuld turn out but dis …. Dis is wonderful. If I dint read sumwhere (tink his blog) dat @olatoxic is happily in love I’ll be totally obsessed wit him ryt now. Bravo.

    February 14, 2014
    • Avatar

      Lol. I'm flattered. Thank you for your lovely words ma'am *bows*

      February 14, 2014
    • Avatar
      Sirkastiq

      He's single o

      February 15, 2014
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    edgothboy

    Awesome finale. Congrats Toks for a great series. Afoma did and Julz did it for me. Beautiful stuff

    February 14, 2014
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      Thank you, kind sir 🙂

      February 14, 2014
  • Avatar
    thetoolsman

    WOW!!!!.. What have you done Mr Toxic, I asked you to surprise me but this.. this is just .. wow…

    February 14, 2014
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      Me too, I'm like Wowing here. I'll be sure to pass the praise on to my ghost writers. They're awesome… ( ._.)

      Lol. Thanks boss.

      February 14, 2014
  • Avatar
    musingsofagidimallam

    Funny how the finale is the first one I'm reading. Awesome post Tokunbo. I'm VERY impressed. Now I shall start from the very first entry in this series. Good job

    February 14, 2014
  • Avatar
    nkonyeasua

    Omgggggg! First post to make me teary in forever! This is amazing!

    February 14, 2014
  • Avatar
    biola adesemoye

    While others are crying, I can't stop smiling….this is gold Tokunbo! Beautiful and flawless. Well done

    February 14, 2014
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      Ah! Flawless keh. That's huge o. Thank you so much dear

      February 14, 2014
  • Avatar
    feyisayofunmi

    O my days,overwhelming emotional right about now@olatoxic,well done

    February 14, 2014
  • Avatar
    Dr. Salt

    Awwww,…this is beautiful Ola! This is just WOW! The way you took me through the moments is just amazing! Thank you.

    February 14, 2014
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      You're welcome ma'am. And thank you 🙂

      February 15, 2014
  • Avatar
    Feyy

    I have tears in my eyes rn. This is an amazing piece.

    February 14, 2014
  • Avatar
    jinxchrys

    If I could see you right now I'd hug you.I honestly can't describe how I feel. Truly truly beautiful. Greatness

    February 14, 2014
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      I would hug you back ^_^

      February 15, 2014
  • Avatar
    awele

    Wonderful piece, wonderful…

    February 14, 2014
  • Avatar
    Kunbi

    I shed real tears…. So emotional yet very sweet!!

    February 14, 2014
  • Avatar
    Her Magical Musings

    Okay I'm in tears .

    February 14, 2014
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    @JeSuisVivian

    OMG! OMG!! OMG!!! This… This is just… I can't, I can't believe this. You're so talented, this ïs just too beautiful, soooooooooo gooooood!!!!

    February 15, 2014
  • Avatar
    Lizzieebunoluwa

    Wow! Dear God!

    Too beautiful, too poignant, too profound, too ….

    No words!

    OlaToxic, you upped the ante.

    Welldone.

    February 15, 2014
    • Avatar

      Thank you ma'am *bows*

      February 15, 2014
  • Avatar
    Sirkastiq

    I hate this guy

    February 15, 2014
    • Avatar

      That's fine. Really 🙂

      February 15, 2014
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    @Sirkastiq

    But this is brilliant man.
    I see what you're doing sha: Using our TNC platform to show these women your poetic, vow writing ability so they'll start imagining you saying the words to them ba?

    I see right through you

    And I mean, you're single so why not channel all your mush and make them desire you?

    You're a black boiled egg

    He now even wrote from the woman's point of view so y'all will say "OMG he's in touch with our feelings"

    Well played o Toks, well played.

    This however was a wonderful job. Congrats on the series.
    May this bring you a babe. Amen.

    February 15, 2014
    • Avatar
      kophojomo

      lmao

      February 15, 2014
    • Avatar
      alberry

      Hahaha…Ur comment always puts the icing on the…

      February 15, 2014
    • Avatar

      Amen 0:)

      February 15, 2014
  • Avatar
    kophojomo

    This is a beautiful tale told through time, showing love at different ebbs and highs…

    February 15, 2014
  • Avatar
    mimiakuse

    Awesome how U dove into it straight from the beginning and just kept getting more intense, rather than starting slow and building up.
    its too awesome abeg
    *now going to cry someplace safe….

    February 15, 2014
  • Avatar
    MzBraimah

    This is beyond beautiful…. wow.. Mehn love conquers it all

    February 15, 2014
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    Abi'

    Beautiful. This is the type of stuff you read that restores your hope in men… for awhile. Your writing really is a blessing. Loving is a choice, it's never easy but sometimes it's worth it.

    February 15, 2014
    • Avatar

      "…restores your hope in men… For awhile."

      Only a while? 🙁

      February 15, 2014
  • Avatar
    girlonfire

    I loved this piece, I thot it was cute but it also made me angry cos I really don't think I'd have taken all the bs she took from the oko. but I guess love does that to u!

    February 15, 2014
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      Hmm… Perhaps.

      So err… Feminist much? *runs away*

      February 15, 2014
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        I love you Toxic so I'm going to respond to that. An inability to take BS is not about being a feminist. It is more about having a low capacity for stuff and being beyond that stage where we understand the concept of for better and for worse. WHat made her angry is what actually impressed me about the female character! Even though she was angry and disillusioned with her husband, she understood for better and for worse and stayed with him through the worse (and took responsibility for her part in it). My mother says she is worried about our generation because she doesn't know if we will be able to take half of what their generation took and we will run to divorce so fast!

        Anyway, sorry about the epistle, long story short, it's not being a feminist, it's being unable to take BS

        February 16, 2014
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          Lol. You're entirely right. I was just 'bantsing' there. Hence my running away so pathetically.

          February 16, 2014
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    So beautiful, so emotional (I just had to tell my sister something entered my eye), so very very real. What I believe love is when face with realities of life. It's all a choice. Well done

    February 15, 2014
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    Azaria

    Dear writer, marry me please.

    February 15, 2014
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      Oh my.

      February 15, 2014
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        thetoolsman

        We stay getting proposals on here…

        February 16, 2014
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          True. You especially… 🙂

          February 16, 2014
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        @Sirkastiq

        Watch him dull

        February 16, 2014
  • Avatar
    PragmaticRealist

    Now whoever wrote this is a true writer *round of applause*

    February 15, 2014
  • Avatar
    irebowale

    Beautiful piece. I'm in love with your writing Mr toxic lover man. Lol best of them all

    February 15, 2014
    • Avatar

      Mr. Toxic. Lover. Man.

      Hmm… Sounds like a nice hollywood moniker. I should probably adopt this and go be a film star.

      Probably. Not.

      February 20, 2014
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    Gosh! That's amazing!!! I love you and your writing and this is my second favorite piece from you after Rhythm in His Skin! Fantastic job on this one, the way you wrote just spoke to me! Wow! I really don't know what to say beyond fantastic job!!!

    February 16, 2014
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      *bows shyly* Thank you ma'am 🙂

      February 16, 2014
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    Arthur Bizkit

    Couldn't agree more with you on the choice ideology. Thank you for the journey into the lives of these remarkable ppl. Like someone said earlier, this is a story well storied.

    February 16, 2014
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    Cikk0

    Awesome read man. I’m a proper cynic with these things but that was goooood!

    February 17, 2014
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    nijezie

    Amazing read, we need to cage your writing abilities for a while though. Do you want to steal all these women. Chill.

    February 19, 2014
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      Well…

      Do all these women want to be stolen? That should be the question.

      ( ._.)

      February 20, 2014
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        ijebuPrincess

        I want to be stolen o! although I'd probably be like the female character in your piece and snigger every time u start with your rhymes and poetry. hehehehehe..
        anyways sha come and marry me, I'll take all ur bs.

        February 21, 2014
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    Geebaybee

    all i can say is WOW, brought tears to my eyes, a love so true…

    February 20, 2014
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    Mma

    I hate that I'm just reading this now….beautiful 🙂

    February 28, 2014
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    igee

    Mehn dis waS just awesome!!!!! *sighs* Toxic ur way wit words sha!….congrats on dis piece

    March 12, 2014
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    AfroElla

    The thing about words is,they never lose their efficacy. Reading this now,so many weeks later and the impact was still made.This is an issue I'm personally struggling with,choosing to choose,this just put it all in perspective. Thank you toxic.

    June 28, 2014
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