Thursday, April 12, 2007

TEENAGE LOVE LETTERS

This is the entire except of a post by Reuben Abati in Nigeria Online and it was so interesting I decided to reproduce it on my blog. (Adaure did give me a pointer or directions to finding this article in her most recent post) I did get a couple of these kind of letters years and years ago and my response was very much to that of the lady in question. Does anyone still write these sort of letters anymore these days? LOL!! THE FULL EXCEPRT CAN BE FOUND HERE.


AUTHOR: REUBEN ABATI
I was riffling through my old things the other weekend: Secondary school note books, undergraduate files and somewhere in my notebook for PhiChemBi (pronounced FI-KEM-BA): Physics, Chemistry, Biology). I'd come across a true relic from the past: a love letter I'd written to the first girl I was supposed to have loved. How the letter survives till today is a comment on my personal habits. I don't keep diaries - I've always thought that only mean people do - but I never fail to keep documents. Letters, ordinary notes, office memos are carefully hidden away somewhere in my unending file of documents. My wife says it is junk but as it happened that weekend, I encountered a document which recalled past memories. The keeping of junk probably has its uses after all.

The letter in question is not an ordinary letter. It is the first letter I'd ever written to any girl. It was also written in a particular style. As secondary school students, we had our own way of doing things. A form three student ñ as we then were ñ who was just being introduced to the mysteries of science and agriculture, invariably felt that a love letter was a good forum to show off his erudition. Every love letter was scrutinised by one's circle of peers. For the writing of this particular letter, I had no fewer than 10 advisers. The letter kept going back and forth with each person, adding his own line. Our objective was simple: that the girl to whom is was addressed should fall head over heels in love. We had high hopes that the letter would do the trick. You probably also once wrote such a letter.

In this joyless existence, love is one of the emotions that we experience as human beings, growing up as members of the community of man. We use the word love, even when we do not understand it. We believe in God without seeing Him. It is the same with that thing which every young person calls love. But as we grow older, we become wiser. We are forced, by circumstances and experience, to realise that love is not merely what the Holy Bible says it is: I mean all that stuff about how love does not covet etc, but that the act of love entails the realisation, the struggle to survive, the preservation of the self in the midst of vicissitudes, and the inhumanity of man to man, is the truest act of love. We all fell in love, I suppose, as an initial act of fun, one of those rites of passage. These days, we are wont to look back and chuckle. I am chuckling still. Here, then is my beginning: love is like this first letter: an emotional disconnection with reality, a question mark: it is as follows:


At school, July 10, 1978
My dearest, sweetest, fondest, fantastic, extra-ordinary, paragon of beauty a.k.a Bose. I hope this letter meets you in a fabulous state of metabolism, if so doxology. My principal aim of writing this letter to you is to gravitate your mind towards a matter of global and universal importance, which has been troubling my soul. The matter is so important. Even as I am writing, my adrenalin is 100 per cent on the Richter scale, my temperature is rising, the windvane of my mind is pointing North, South and East at the same time; the mirror in my eyes has only your divine image. Indeed when I sleep, you are the one in my medulla oblongata, and I dream about you. I went out to sea in my dream, and I saw you: surrounded by H20 and you in your majesty rose from the abdomen of the sea like Yemoja, the avatar of beauty. Oh, Lord be with us! We are thy servants.


As you can see, I am in a serious dilemma. And I want you to take my matter seriously. At this junction, what our Lord said on this matter is germane. He says we should ask, and we shall be given, we should seek and we will find, and that we should knock, and it will be opened unto us. I am this 10th day of the seventh month in the year of our Lord, one thousand, nine hundred and seven eight, asking, seeking and knocking at your door. My prayer is that thou should open so that thy servant can enter. I want to wake up in the morning and see only your face.

I want you to be the only sugar in my tea, the only fly in my ointment, the butter on my bread, the grey matter of my system, the oxygen in my head, the planet of my universe, the wall clock of my room. The conveyor belt of my soul. I pray that you realise the gargantuan nature of my predicament. If you refuse, my life will be like tea without sugar, like a snail without shell, a Xmas goat without a horn; in fact I'd become an orphan. In fact I'd kill myself. What is life if I can't wake up in the morning and behold your face? You model of pulchritude, patiently created by God on a Sunday morning before he went on a deserved holiday.

Please Bose, let me be your Romeo. Make me the Adam to your Eve. Shakespeare said it all: if music be the food of love, play on. I want to emphasise, universally and responsibly, that you are love itself. You are the metaphor, oxymoron, thesis, antithesis, irony, gerund, conjunction and the adverb of love.

At this juncture, let me also say that geography of your body is a permanent allelluia. Not from your body, ammonia, urea and iodine- you are too beautiful for that, what I see in your body is milk and honey. At this juncture, brevity is the soul of wit. A stitch in time saves nine. Procrastination is the thief of time. An opportunity once lost can never be regained. Make hay while the sun shines. All that glitters is not gold. The journey of a thousand years begins with a step. What God has put together let no man put asunder. To be a man is not an easy task even if God's time is the best. But time waits for no one. A man without love is like a fish out of water. I know you are a sagacious girl. If you like the veracity of what I am saying, please fill the attached form and let me have it pronto. The mark at the bottom of this page is a kiss from me to you.

I remain
Your beloved, faithful, loyal, One and only admirer.



The attached form, which has become brownish with age, is itself a study in youthful naivety. It contains such questions as what is your name? Age? Do you have a boyfriend? If yes, please state why? If no, please explain? Do you love me? If no, state why. If yes, doxology. What is your hobby? Which is your favourite food? Mother's occupation? Father's occupation? Are you from a polygamous home? Is your father rich and handsome? Is your mummy also a paragon of beauty like you? What do your parents want their son-in-law to become in life?

I could not stop laughing. Imagine the kind of things we did as small boys. Asking a girl to fill a form! The questions and the idea of it strike me, in retrospect as plainly stupid but at the time, writing such letters to unsuspecting girls was the centre of our world. I confess that I was a consultant in the matter. All my friends wanted me to help them write their love letters. And whereas they succeeded with their letters, my own letters never brought any results.

This particular one (I must have written over 30) was never sent. What happened I recall, was that there was a change of strategy. The consensus was that I should speak to the girl directly. I was scared! My friends insisted, however. I was coached for days without end. Whenever we wanted to put theory to practice, my heart would beat so fast that I became tongue-tied and I'd develop instant fever.

One day, I finally found the courage to do it. It was a disaster. I went up to the girl, sweating profusely:

"Excuse, I want to tell you something" (this took at least 10 minutes)
"Yes"
"I think I am in love with you. I want the two of us to...(this took not less than 20 minutes, the sentence was completed with a sign, indicating boy-girl relationship)
"No, I don't want," the girl replied.
"Why now?" (another five minutes)
"I don't know"
"Okay, thank you." (less than one minute)

And I took to my heels!

8 comments:

  1. I attended an all girls' boarding school up north, had no such luck with filling forms.
    But Ihad my fair share of toasting.

    teenage luv was alot of fun.

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  2. Heeya, fond memories are forever remembered. Imagine how scared and nervous he must have been approaching da girl. sori mate. shit happens.

    But now, i bet he's grown into a smooth talker with girls. It always happen like dat.

    Just one failure and yu become perfect in dat same thing, takes determination and a strong sense of change.

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  3. This letter never ceases to amuse me. PhiChemBi - yep, it was called that in the day...

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  4. Haha! Great post! Love Reuben Abati. I read him every friday and sunday!

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  5. LOL! Sweet memories are made of these, I cant stop Laughing!

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  6. This is a hilarious one! Calabar Babe thanx a mil for stopping at my blog and for comments. I appreciate them all.Something like
    this happened to me too back then in Secondary schl. But its all gud now. Take gud kia of urself and stay blessed!!!

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  7. @Omohemi: It sure was a lot of fun.

    @Ugo Daniels: Speaking form ur experiences huh? (smile)

    @Ababoypart2: Its amazing - i missed out on the Phi & the Chem. Was a purely arts student.

    @Mr Fineboy: He is a great and prolific writer.

    @Klara: It is a well constructed letter. Too bad Bose didnt get to see it. (smile)

    @Freelance: My pleasure.

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  8. haha! ok i am going to look for some crazy love letters i got and post. god bless

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