All Sisters Brother

When I asked Shae to tell me her story, she said I wouldn’t understand. And really, even though I can understand her story, I think I can understand why she would think I cannot understand. Even I cannot understand my own story.

It’s very complicated. Rocket science is easier to understand, she said. I smiled when she said that. I smiled because I don’t know what rocket science is and I am already ill-disposed to it because of the way people talk about it. They talk about this rocket science guy like he is the devil’s own creation, Lucifer’s firstborn. I am sure rocket science is angry with humanity already. Dear rocket science, this is me tendering an apology on behalf of the universe. This me is saying we are sorry. Truth is, most of us don’t even know what you are, we just assume that you are difficult. But then, maybe that’s the difficult part of you; your unknowness. The fact that we know exactly nothing about you.

It’s very complicated. Rocket science is easier to understand, she said.

Thankfully, I have time and I think I can understand complex structures, I told her. Eventually, I realized that Shae’s story really is a complex story and I am not even sure I understand it all. But then, there is no rule that says you must understand the whole story to enjoy it. Till today, I don’t get half of what Orwell was trying to say in 1984 and I enjoyed the life out of the book. I have read it twice. The same goes for Frankenstein. Shelley did a good job but then, I guess she was writing for a different age. But then, it’s still a lovely book, one we will forever be grateful for.

Before Shae read Static, I knew I was going to write about her. I knew because one of my uncles is a Babalawo and he had called the day before and told me that that which I was waiting for would come. I did not believe him because this same uncle of mine had told me many things before that turned out to be false. So I just smiled and thanked him. But then, Shae came.

Ok. That’s a lie. If you believed that, you really do not know me.

I knew I was going to write about her because even before she read Static, she already said ‘unrequited love’ was a topic she liked. The moment she said that I knew I was going to write about her. And so when she messaged me hours later and told me she had read the post, I shot my shot. I asked:

Why unrequited love?

It’s mostly easy to relate with.

You’ve been in love with someone that didn’t reciprocate before? (I love that word ‘reciprocate’. It reminds me of the word ‘reciprocals’ and ‘four figure tables’ – the demons of secondary school maths. Where are you guys now?! I conquered you!)

Yeah. Sadly, I have.

Seven months ago, Shae fell in love. Then, it was the most beautiful thing that ever happened to her. Now, that love had become something that could sit comfortably with sadness in a sentence of just three words. Thing is, when you are in love with someone, you don’t think of sad futures…especially if it’s your first love. You have never been hurt so you are still a novice in the business. You don’t think that a day would come when your lover would say things like, ‘I am no longer feeling it’.
You think of happy things. You think of sitting on the green grass together and watching the sun set. You think of counting the stars as you hold her hand and crack her knuckles. You think of sending her early morning messages and goodnight kisses. You think of these beautiful things. You even think of marriage, that thing that puts you and someone in an eternal bond. Till death do us part.

You never think that it can end with you reading Static and thinking of that person as you read the post. You never think a day would come when that same person that inspired so many love poems and goodnight kisses would inspire a long blogpost on unrequited love.

I asked Shae if it was a boy or a girl and she laughed again.

Funny question. Boy ni oo.

Don’t mind me. This is 2019. We have to be asking these questions.

Then I asked her to send me just ten lines about the boy and what happened between the both of them. He’s not worth ten of my precious lines, she said. And just then, she begins to send a hundred lines.

Seriously though, the wound is still fresh in my heart so I’d rather not talk about it. But how dare he love other people when he was my heaven on earth?! Who does that?! I wish I didn’t even know him. I wish I didn’t develop stupid feelings. But it’s all good. That’s how we learn.

I smiled when I saw this and shook my head. How can a guy who did this to you not worth ten lines?
Is love selfish? Well, it depends on your definition. And my definition is quite simple.

Selfish: sel-fish: when you want something for yourself and yourself alone.

If this is your definition too, then we can conclude that love is selfish, right? When you get married to someone, they are yours. They become your property. You don’t want anybody else to look at them with the corner of their eyes. You don’t want anyone else to take them on a date. You don’t want anyone else to hold their hand for too long. Even if such a person is a family member, you begin to get suspicious. You want them. You love them. You own them. This sounds pretty selfish to me.

Did you express your love to him, in any way possible?

Yes. Because I thought it was the right thing to do.

Shae wanted him, the guy we would henceforth call Solomon. She loved Solomon with her everything. He was her heaven on earth. Whenever they were in church and the pastor said, ‘Halleluyah somebody! God is smiling at us from heaven.’ She was not seeing God, she was seeing Solomon smiling at her. She would smile back and blush within. It was love. It was true love. Or maybe not, in retrospect – since Shae now calls that love stupid feelings.

I have realized in my sojourn in the planet of romance that with every love lost, there is a lesson learnt. And here I think is shae’s lesson:

From now henceforth, every boy must remain in the friend zone (even if I love him like I love to eat). She used the word ‘henceforth’. Henceforth is a word I use only once in a month, or maybe twice. Shae used it here like a Babylonian king in the days of Daniel would use it. From now henceforth, whoever does not bow to this graven…

You are sounding like a friend of mine that said ‘I have loved and I have lost. I am now a Yoruba daemon.’ So you are no more open to love?
I am a human being so I am. If love will wait.

The human being part got me laughing. I told her to send a voice note so I would be sure I was not talking to a robot named Bumblebee.

So if I fall in love with you now and I declare it, what will be your response? I should wait and suffer the consequences of Solomon’s act?

No. We’d be friends until we are both sure it’d yield tangible results. I ain’t got no love to waste.

Once bitten…

I asked Shae if she enjoyed the relationship while it lasted. To her , it was interesting. She had always told herself that the first guy she would date would turn out to be her husband; that was the goal. That was the reason she was ‘patient and boyfriendlesss’ until Solomon came and tickled the sleeping dragon.

Was he a church guy?

Yep. I am only into church people.

No traditionalists?

For now, no.

It is funny, this world that we live in. The same one who pulls the strings of our heart sometimes turn out to be the same person to turn it into a shell of broken promises. My conversation with Shae started on a happy note but as we went on, I could see that Solomon taught Shae some really angry lessons and she is now stronger, so strong that I may have to wait forever if I am in love with Shae. We will first have to be friends or maybe brother and sister first, and then friends, and then close friends and eventually, lovers…and that is if she eventually loves me the way I do. See what unrequited love can do.

But he wasn’t exactly your boyrfriend?

He was, for like a month.

He was in love for a month and then he stopped being in love?

I stopped actually.

Was there another girl?

Yes. Other girls. He is the kind you’d call “all sisters brother.”

Oh. I understand. Majority carries the vote. This really is rocket science.

You see. He still texts me but has one fine bae now. And according to the book of Shae, he who finds a wife stays away from other people’s DM. Therefore, he’ll be on mute till we meet in eternity.

Mute? That bad?


This world is dangerous. Now I’m thinking about all the guys that must have loved you that you didn’t reciprocate the love to.

Too many. My personality attracts guys. Halleluyah somebody! Which is a good thing considering how most girls are but I am an expert at making things stay under control. So I am guilty as charged.

A pause.

I am listening to Passenger as I type this and he is saying cos nothing lasts forever…even love? In a final moment, I asked Shae,

So eventually, he was worth more than ten lines, Shae. You really loved him.

She was quiet.

It was not a question so I did not expect an answer. Sometimes the most difficult thing to do is to admit that we love someone, especially someone that does not love us back. And I understood her quiet because sometimes, unrequited love can only truly be expressed in the emptiness of words. And because, in the end, love is a burden.

Do you have a captivating story on unrequited love to share? Send me a mail @ or contact me on whatsapp 07037147081

0 thoughts on “All Sisters Brother

  1. Michael, I like this: “And I understood her quiet because sometimes, unrequited love can only truly be expressed in the emptiness of words. And because, in the end, love is a burden.” Love is indeed a burden. “For God so loved the world…” But if channeled the right way, it’d be a happy burden to bear. Anticipating more write-ups on unrequited love. Well done brother.

  2. And in the end, you choose to bear this burden. After one heartbreak, after two, you tell yourself you won’t bear it anymore, but then, she zooms in and makes you discard your resolution. Love is a maze.

    This is beautiful, Michael. Like, beautiful, beautiful.

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