Ingen kärlek förlorad

Respekt är en underbar egenskap men det är inte kärlek. Beundran är inte heller kärlek.

Vi behöver alla någon eller flera personer som älskar oss

Ingen kärlek förlorad

Av Adeola Aderounmu

Screenshot_20170923-115501.png

Lucy lever i Zambezi, fram tills nu i alla fall. Det är här hon tillbringat hela sitt liv. Hon föddes här och det var här hon blomstrade. Hon är en mycket vacker kvinna. När folk talade om henne sa de, att kanske är hon en gudinna.

Det fanns en konstnär i staden och han var övertygad om att gudarna tog sig tid att forma henne. Han sa att Lucy skapades till fulländning.

Ända sen hon var en liten flicka har det alltid funnits en beundran för hennes skönhet och hennes personlighet. Folk håller oftast med Lucy. Nästan alla hon mött i sin omgivning respekterade henne.

När hon lämnade sitt hem för City College i Mongu visste hon redan att respekt och beundran inte är ersättning för kärlek.

Vi behöver alla någon eller flera personer som älskar oss. Så när Lucy lämnade college började ensamheten i hennes liv yttra sig.

Alltjämt fortsatte hon att kämpa vidare, med den beundran och respekt som andra människor hade gentemot henne. När hon är ensam, frågar hon ofta sig själv ”vem ska tillfredsställa min själ”?

Respekt är en underbar egenskap men det är inte kärlek. Beundran är inte heller kärlek. Det var inte svårt att finna ett jobb när hon tog sin examen från Zambezi Universitet.

Hon var en lysande kvinna och med hennes typ av skönhet stod alla dörrar öppna. Men trots det, när det handlade om kärlek och att tillfredsställa sin själ verkade hon vilsen. Ingen visste om detta utom hon själv. Hon visste att hon inte var perfekt som konstnären antytt.

En dag väntade hon vid busstationen. Plötsligt skiftade himlen till molnigt och det började regna kraftigt. Inga bussar kom på grund av regnovädret. Lucy började gråta. Hon grät inte för att det regnade eller att ingen buss kom, hon grät för att ovädret liknade ett porträtt av hennes liv. Hennes liv var också molnigt. Hon var ensam på busstationen och det fick henne att gråta ännu mer. Det var inte första gången Lucy grät.

Hon hade läst många noveller och kände till våndorna hos många karaktärer i tragisk litteratur men även i en del romantiska böcker. En gång läste hon en bok där det fastställdes att personer som begått självmord ofta var de som vägrat gråta, eftersom de förnekar sina känslor och sin smärta.

När människor gråter känner de sig stärkta och det inger ofta hopp om att kunna fortsätta. Hon lärde sig gråta när hon var ledsen eftersom att tårarna sköljer bort sorgerna.

Lucy var så bortsvept i sina tankar att hon nästan inte la märke till bilen som parkerat precis framför henne vid stationen. Någon hade stannat för att hjälpa henne.

Mannen visste inte att Lucy gråtit. Han trodde det var regndroppar på hennes ansikte. Men han kände igen Lucy och därför stannade han för att hjälpa henne.

Tack Paul, du är snäll, sa hon. Det var ingenting, svarade han.

Paul tittade närmre på Lucy nu när han kunde se henne tydligt i bilen. Utanför hade regnet gjort det nästan omöjligt att se hennes ansikte.

Är du okej? frågade han. Lucy började gråta igen. Paul gav henne en näsduk och hon torkade sina tårar. Han var chockad. Fram till det ögonblicket var han en av dem som trott att Lucy kunde få allt hon önskade sig i livet.

De pratade en stund och även om Lucy inte talade om tomheten i sitt liv, visste han från den korta konversationen de haft att vakuumet i hennes liv var enormt. Paul tänkte nästan högt. Så en människa kan vara vacker, ha ett bra jobb, vara beundrad och respekterad men ändå vara ledsen.

Förvisso ignorerar många personer rollen av materiell skönhet och kläder för att täcka mörkret och tomheten inuti den mänskliga kroppen, tänkte han.

I Zambezi finns en man som inte kan avsluta sina uttryckssätt utan att använda ett ordspråk. Paul tänkte på denna mans många ordspråk, ödlor ligger alltid på sina magar, så vi inte vet vilken av dem som har magproblem.

Han gav Lucy en kram och deras vägar skildes åt.

Under månaderna som följde började Paul besöka Lucy.

De uppträdde som om de inte var attraherade av varandra. Paul var den stora skådespelaren här. Han tyckte att män bör dölja sina känslor eftersom han ansåg att det vara ett tecken på styrka. Lucy var mest glad att hitta ett sätt att gå vidare i sitt liv, i en positiv riktning. Paul hade visserligen redan en kvinna i sitt liv när de möttes. Hennes namn var Stella.  Men hur som helst mådde Lucy bättre i hans närvaro.

De talade om många saker, en del minnen från sin uppväxt och om att nu arbeta in den kommersiella staden, där den fjärde största floden i Afrika har sitt ursprung.

Lucy träffade också nya vänner genom Paul. Dessa afterwork och helgsällskap hjälpte Lucy att glömma en del av sina problem. Det fyllde vissa luckor i hennes liv. Flera av de personer som beundrade henne var inte längre på avstånd.

När hon mindes hur en oväntad regnskur främjat hennes möte med Paul, värnade hon om det ögonblicket. Hon bestämde sig för att köpa en bil, så hon inte skulle vara i behov av någons barmhärtighet en annan regnig dag. Hon kunde redan köra. Lucy blev lycklig. Hon kände att hon kommit ut ur sitt skal.

Det var definitivt ett steg i rätt riktning när andra personer inte längre bara beundrade henne, utan också visade henne kärlek genom att ha konversationer och göra saker tillsammans. En del personer hon talade med berättade om sina resor och äventyr.

Lucy blev inspirerad och bestämde att även hon skulle resa. Hon hade alltid haft möjligheter att resa men aldrig tagit dem. Nu när hon lyssnade på berättelser om Paris, Berlin, London och Stockholm blev hon motiverad. Hon lovade sig själv dock, att hon inte skulle resa långt. Hon hade lärt sig på geografin om Afrikas olika platser och säsonger.

Jag ska se min värld i Afrika innan jag ser resten av världen, sa hon till sig själv. Inombords bestämde hon sig också för att finna kärlek och att inte släppa taget.

Lucy blev en flitig resenär i sökandet efter balans och uppfyllelse. Zambezi var varmt och hon ville uppleva vintern i nedre Afrika. Hon spenderade många veckor i Harare och Johannesburg. Hon reste även till Accra på grund av guldet och täckte en gång sitt hår i Cairo. Med tiden hade hon ett flertal bilder, kartor och souvenirer från västra, östra, norra och södra Afrika hemma i sitt arbetsrum.

En dag kom hon hem till Zambezi och hittade ett meddelande från Paul i sin brevlåda. Hon kom just från Kapstaden där hon spenderat sin semester. Han ville träffa henne igen så Lucy och Paul möttes på caféet runt hörnet. Paul förklarade att hans långa förhållande med flickvännen tagit slut.

De kom inte överens som de önskat. De hade en del problem och hade kommit överens om endast en sak: att avsluta förhållandet.

Det var en sorgsam händelse men de kände båda två att det var bättre att göra det nu, än att försöka få det att fungera till varje pris.

De hade inga barn än. Han var 32 nu och hon 28 så de har fortfarande sina liv framför sig.

Vet du, saker är inte alltid som de tycks vara, började Paul konversationen. Han fortsatte, vi gör alla misstag och vår passion kan vilseleda oss.

Vad är det du försöker säga? avbröt Lucy honom.

Med en subtil röst fortsatte Paul, du vet, det finns ett uttryck som säger att vi alltid ser andra människors problem mer än vi ser våra egna, jag tror det är så sant.

Är inte det en av de mest anmärkningsvärda ironierna? La Lucy till. Fortfarande undrande vart denna konversation skulle leda.

Jag har låtsats att jag inte har några känslor för dig.

Men när Stella bröt upp med mig, eftersom hon märkt att jag varit frånvarande i hennes närvaro sen jag mötte dig, insåg jag hur viktigt det var att uttrycka mina känslor för dig. 

Lucys såg för en stund vilsekommen ut. Men hon lyckades samla ihop några tankar.

Jag är ledsen att höra detta Paul. Det är verkligen rörande och jag är djupt gripen av dina ord. Jag vet att vi har varit riktigt nära vänner.

Du har alltid talat väl om Stella men jag visste inte att du varit distraherad i hennes närhet.

Jag kommer ihåg att du berättat många saker som inspirerat mig. Du sa till mig att livet är för kort att leva utan kärlek.

Du sa också till mig att vi bör paddla våra kanoter tillräckligt hårt, så att vi fortfarande ror när stormen är över.

 Jag tog dina råd på stort allvar och jag vill tacka dig för det. Jag uppskattar dina känslor för mig.

Trots att jag hade en del känslor för dig i början, förstod jag att du var upptagen och mitt mål var att inte blanda mig i ert förhållande.

Lyssna Paul, Lucy lutade sig mot honom. Du vet vad vi båda sa om livets oförutsägbarhet.

När jag reste till Johannesburg i februari mötte jag Vincent. Jag tycker mycket om honom. Han dyrkar mig. Han respekterar mig men mest av allt älskar han mig och jag älskar honom också.

Vi tillbringade de senaste två veckorna tillsammans i Kapstaden och han planerar att hitta ett jobb i Harare så vi kan vara nära varandra. Vi planerar hitta arbete utomlands.

Paul blev illa till mods. Hans ansiktsuttryck blev sorgset.

Lucy drog snabbt inspiration from sitt eget liv. Hon kunde även använt inspiration från de åtskilliga böcker hon läst, när hon vände sig till Paul en sista gång.

Ge det lite tid, kanske hittar du någon ny. Ditt hjärta kommer läka och du kommer gå vidare med ditt liv, sa Lucy

Paul var inte en novis. Även han visste sedan tidigare att alla människor måste lära sig att ta sig igenom sina egna bekymmer, sina egna lidanden. De måste lära sig att övervinna sina rädslor. Det kan behövas tid och lite hjälp men de måste lära sig.  

Det bästa sättet att lära var genom verkliga upplevelser.

Farväl Paul, jag måste gå nu. Ta hand om dig själv och vi ses någon gång.

Paul var nära till tårar men Lucy visade inga känslor överhuvudtaget. Hon gav honom en kram och gick.

(Från Boken, The Madrilenian av Adeola Aderounmu)

aderounmu@gmail.com

Translated by Louise Holmberg

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The Madrilenian And Other Musings of Adeola, A Book Review

The Madrilenian and other musings of Adeola will provide a delightful read. The book is a collection of short stories and essays.

The Madrilenian And Other Musings of Adeola

By Adeola Aderounmu

COVER_ADEOLA

The Madrilenian and other musings of Adeola

The Madrilenian and other musings of Adeola is a collection of short stories and essays. The titles in the book are:

No Love Lost

The Madrilenian

The Dream

The Kings Are Mad

The African Woman

Why Men Should Cook

Paying It Forward

Spanish Lullabies

 

No Love Lost is a story of a young lady, Lucy, who seemed to have all a young woman could dream of. However there was a vacuum in her life because she has not experienced true love.

One rainy day, she met a young man named Paul whose presence in her life became a stimulant to finding her way. In the end it was a twist of fate for both Lucy and Paul. While Lucy eventually found love, Paul’s relationship with his long term girlfriend-Stella, hit the rock.

The Madrilenian was about a boy who had a troubled childhood. Pablo lived together with his parents and 3 elder sisters in Catalonia. He didn’t get along well with his family at home and he was an introvert at school. Fortunately his social problems did not affect his academic progress, so he was able to get on with his life and later on worked as an engineer in Girona.

The Madrilenian took a dramatic twist when Pablo at about aged 30, went to Moscow on holiday. A new character who would change Pablo’s life forever appeared in the script. The Madrilenian is a story of love, hope and determination.

In The Dream I took my readers into the life of a young man called Olawale. He had a dream. But when he woke up, he had forgotten the dream. So he was very upset and unsettled for about a week or so.

How did he remember the dream? Well, he took a long, quiet walk in the forest. He went close to nature and nature revealed to him what his dream was all about. He also found a letter in the forest and in it he found out some of the basic secret of life.

The Kings Are Mad is a story where I tried to find a way to draw attention to some of the problems in Nigeria. The story can as well be a setting in any troubled African country where the economic fortunes have dwindled over the years especially after obtaining independence from the colonialists.

There were 3 major characters in The Kings Are Mad. Mama Esan is a typical trader in Oshodi whose children are out of school because her husband had been jobless for more than half a decade. She became troubled because she had no permanent place to sell her wares and the downturn in the economy destroyed her business.

It was a similar fate for Chinedu who came from the East to seek better fortunes in the West. In the beginning, things were rosy and bright. But since 1993, things have taken a turn for the worse and he could hardly take care of his family. He was divided in his thoughts-whether to go back to his village or to do illegal business to patch his wretchedness.

The third main character in The Kings Are Mad was Bawa. His family was involved in business and this took him to the West quite frequently. Sadly he found his way to the terror network.

In the end he became a confused man because he misunderstood the difference between religion-which is a man’s relationship with his creator and fighting for freedom-which is man’s relationship to his existence.

In The Kings Are Mad, we saw rulers who didn’t care about the people. They took the people for granted. We saw a people, culturally diverse and also divided in opinions so much that they did not know how to wrestle power from the greedy elites. They-the people-do not yet know how freedom tastes.

The African Woman is a chapter dedicated to the true Nigerian woman. She could also have been any other woman from any part of Africa who despite the challenges that she faced daily still managed to take care of the children and keep the house running.

The African Woman becomes even more relevant against the recent denigration of women by the Nigerian lawmakers who have refused to uplift the status of women in the country. It is about time women are given the same rights as men in Nigeria and in fact all over the world.

Personally, l wish more women would understand the need for them to stand up, unite and fight for what is theirs because in a country like Nigeria especially, freedom and rights will not be served on a platter of gold.

In continuation of the plights of women, l wrote Why Men Should Cook to clamour for support for the family as the most important unit in any society. In many African settings and even as a result of distortion of both culture and religion, many people still think that a man is a strange object in the kitchen.

Why Men Should Cook emphasized the importance of taking turns in the kitchen and how such a hobby/role can actually help a man to find peace with himself and his family. The chapter also argued for the benefits of family planning and planned parental leave.

Paying It Forward is an essay about how to start and pay forward good deeds. In the Swedish society and even in any society at all, it is quite easy to stereotype people. Here l told a few stories of how people have paid forward or appreciated good deeds.

The human race would have less problems and almost no worries if people live their lives with due consideration to the rights and happiness of other people around them

The last chapter in the book is Spanish Lullabies. It is a story of how racism has eaten deep into the Spanish society. In the 1960s or even up to the 90s, Spain may have been the haven for Africans seeking to settle outside the African or American continents.

But things have changed and Africans have been wrongly stereotyped, not only in Spain but in many places around the world. So there are limited opportunities for Africans in the Diaspora generally.

The Spanish Lullabies highlights the plights of some Africans in Spain and how their dreams have been dashed because of racism. Is it a coincidence or a direct consequence of this hatred for the African race that Spain and even Italy are among the worst economies in Western Europe?

In general the book-The Madrilenian and other musings of Adeola-should provide a delightful read. The book will be officially launched in Sweden on June 18, 2016.

A release is planned for Nigeria later in the year and the book will be available on Amazon Kindle amongst other planned E-book release.

May the glory of Nigeria come, soon!

May the human race keep walking the earth, shoulders high!

aderounmu@gmail.com

No Love Lost  

One of the remarkable ironies of life is that we see other people’s problems more than we see ours. Life is short and problems don’t disappear. If we paddle our canoes hard enough, maybe we will still be rowing when the storm is over. Life is just too unpredictable

NO LOVE LOST

By Adeola Aderounmu

Adeola Aderounmu

Adeola Aderounmu

Lucy lives in Zambezi, until now anyway. This is where she has known all of her life. She was born here and this is where she blooms. She is a very beautiful woman. Some people spoke about her and said maybe she is a goddess. There was an artist in the town and he was convinced the gods took their time to mould her. He meant to say that Lucy was made with perfection.

Ever since she was a little girl there has always been an admiration for her beauty and her personality. People generally agree with Lucy. In her neighbourhood almost everybody she met respected her.

When she left home for the City College at Mongu, she already knew that respect and admiration were not going to be substitutes for love. We all need someone or some people to love us. So when Lucy left college the emptiness in her life began to manifest. Still she continued to pull through with the admiration and respect that folks have towards her. When she is alone she often asks herself: who will satisfy my soul?  Respect is a wonderful quality but it is not love. Even admiration is not love.

Now a working class lady, Lucy almost gave up on love. It was not hard to find a job when she graduated from Zambezi University. She is a brilliant woman and with her kind of beauty, she can open any door. But when it comes to love and satisfaction for her soul, she seemed to be lost. No one knew this but her. She knew that she is not perfect like the artist had insinuated.

One day she was waiting at the bus station. Quite unpredictably the sky turned cloudy that morning and it started to rain heavily. As it rained, Lucy started to cry. The buses were not coming because of the heavy rain. But she was not crying because of the rain or the buses that were not coming. It turned out that the weather gave her a picture of her life. She thought that her life was cloudy inside. She was alone at the bus station, and then she cried even more.

This is not the first time Lucy cried. She has read a lot of novels and she had known about the travails of many characters in tragic literatures and even in some romantic books. She learnt to cry when she is sad because tears wash away sorrows, so she thought. Once she read a book where it was stated that the men who committed suicide are often those who refused to cry because they did not give in to their feelings and pains. When people cry, they feel refreshed and often that gives them the hope that they can carry on.

Lucy was so carried away in her thoughts she almost did not notice the car that had parked right in front of her at the station. Someone had stopped to her help get to work that morning. The man did not know that Lucy had been crying. He thought it had rained over her face. In addition it was too dark to make clear observations. The man recognised Lucy though and that was why he stopped to help her.

That weekend Lucy saw the man again as she took a walk down the street. Thank you Paul, you are kind, she said. It was nothing he replied. But on this occasion Paul noticed something unusual about Lucy. Are you alright he asked? Then Lucy looked at him and started to cry again.

Paul gave her a tissue and she wiped her tears. But Paul was shocked. Until that moment he was one of those who thought that Lucy could have anything she wished for in her life. Lucy did not speak about all of her emptiness but Paul knew from the short conversation they had that the vacuum in her life is enormous.  

Paul was almost thinking out loud. So people can be beautiful, they can have good jobs, they may be admired, well respected and still be sad. Indeed many people often ignore the roles of physical beauty and clothes in covering the darkness and emptiness inside the human body.

In Zambezi there is a man who cannot finish his expressions without the use of proverbs. Paul thought about the day the man had a conversation with him. He remembered one of his sentences: lizards are always lying on their bellies, so we don’t know which among them have stomach problems.

He gave Lucy a hug and they parted ways.

Over several months that followed, Paul was visiting Lucy. There was no attraction between them because Paul had a woman in his life. But with his company, Lucy felt better. They talked about many things, some memories of growing up and now working in this commercial town where the fourth largest river in Africa took its origin.

Lucy also met new friends through Paul. These after-work and weekend companions helped Lucy to forget some of her problems. They filled some gaps in her life. Some of the people who admire her are no longer at a distance.

When she remembered how an unexpected rain facilitated her meeting with Paul, she cherished the moment. Then she decided to buy a car so that she does not have to be at the mercy of another man from the town on another rainy day. She already knew how to drive.

Lucy is happy. She felt she had leaped out of a shell. It was definitely a step in the right direction when people not only admire her but showed her some love through conversations and doing things together. Some people she spoke to talked about their travels and adventures.

Lucy became inspired and she decided that she will also take to travelling. She had always had the opportunities to travel but she never took them. She felt that it was a lot of hassles but now that she had listened to the stories about Paris, Berlin, London and Stockholm, she got motivated.

However she promised herself that she will not travel far. She learnt in geography about the different places and seasons in Africa. I will see my world in Africa before I see the rest of the world she told herself. In her mind she also made a decision to find love and never to let it go.

Lucy spent some of her weekends in Harare and sometimes she is off to Johannesburg. She also travelled to Accra because of the gold at the coast in Ghana. Once she was covering her hair in Cairo. Now she has a handful of pictures, maps and souvenirs from the West, East, North and South of Africa in her study at home.

One day, Paul left a note for Lucy. He wanted to see her again. Lucy did not understand. She just came back from Cape Town where she went on holidays. Zambezi had been warm and she wanted some experience of winter from the bottom of Africa. Lucy is a woman in search of balance and fulfilment. She came home to Zambezi and found the note in her letter box.

Paul’s relationship with his long-time girlfriend had fallen apart. They did not get along as they had dreamt. They had a few problems and they both agreed on one thing only: to end the relationship. It was a sad occurrence but they both felt it was better to do it now rather than trying to make it work at all cost. They have no children yet. He is now 32 and she is 28, so they still have their lives ahead of them.

Sometimes things are not always what they seem. We all make mistakes and our passions can mislead us. One of the remarkable ironies of life is that we see other people’s problems more than we see ours. If people stop pretending, maybe they wouldn’t have to run away from their problems. Life is short and problems don’t disappear. If we paddle our canoes hard enough, maybe we will still be rowing when the storm is over. Life is just too unpredictable.

Lucy met Paul at the coffee shop down the street. She was sorry to hear Paul’s sad story. Paul’s heart was obviously broken. But he cannot blame it on Lucy. Lucy did all she could not to be a distraction. They are close friends, true. Still there was neither attraction nor intimacy between them. Lucy was missing something in her life but her head was clear about what she wanted and desired.

In her mind, she knew that Paul is confused. He has just broken up with someone he had spent a substantial part of his life with. Lucy is quick to draw inspirations from books, stories and her own life. So she said, give it sometime maybe you will find someone new. Your heart will heal and you will go on with your life.

She continued: When I went to Johannesburg in February, I met Vincent. I like him a lot. He adores me. He respects me, but above all he loves me and I love him too. We spent the last two weeks together in Cape Town and he’s planning to find a job in Harare. Apparently 7 months after their first meeting Lucy and Vincent have concluded plans to move to Harare as expatriates.

Paul is not a novice. He too had always known that people must learn to pass through their own troubles, their travails. They must learn to conquer their fears. They may need some time and a little help but they must learn.

The best way to learn is through real experiences.

Goodbye Paul. I must go now. Take care of yourself and we’ll see sometime.

Paul was close to tears but Lucy showed no emotion whatsoever.   

She gave him a tight hug and left.

aderounmu@gmail.com

(c) Adeola Aderounmu 2014