Day Fourteen: Someone you’ve drifted away from

Yo Habz,

It’s been a long minute. I don’t know how it happened and who stopped reaching out first. All I remember is that it’s been almost a year of no serious talk and well, I sorta kinda miss our goofy conversations. Writing this, I just realised that most of the people I could/can really connect with were brought to me by the Internet. You were gift-wrapped and sent to me by Mark Z and I remember getting a bit excited by the request from ‘one cute boy’, as I had explained to Mata. See, I was even more intrigued by the French spelling of your name, for I’ve had a love for the language since time immemorial. I later learnt that France was your place of birth and bombarded you with the most horrible of French phrases in history.

Unlike the many Facebookers who add you and never share a word, you were different. Maybe it was because I always had my FB chat on too. (Side-note: It’s been over two years since I last used that. Wow!). Anyway,we got talking and went through the usual politeness of getting to know each other’s locations and what we were doing in life etc. You were so cool to talk to and it felt great to have a full conversation with a guy and not get bombarded by endless compliments… at least for that moment. I was back home in The Gambia and wasn’t very addicted to the Internet as I am now. As such, what we didn’t get on chat, we made up for in inbox messages. I felt I could add one more person to my rather short list of male friends, even though we hadn’t met yet. I mean, we talked about everything… well, almost!

A couple of months later, I shared the news of my scholarship and you thought I should reject it. By then, I had started receiving subtle compliments from you and you felt I should move to the West for school. I remember you being paranoid about the idea of living with Arabs for five years and wasted no time in making it known. If you had your way, I’d move over to where you were and get better schooling. The deal was set and that move probably worked best for our interactions. With few classes in my language year, I spent almost all the time on cyberspace to ward off boredom. We moved on to talking on the daily and it was interesting how we never ran out of something to say. More beautiful was your ability to get me laughing so hard, my flatmates sometimes thought I was losing it. Silly does not even begin to describe it all. A few months ago, I stumbled upon our recorded Skype conversations and couldn’t believe how crazy we usually got and I missed you.

I remember my first birthday after meeting you. We’d been chatting the evening before and you managed to keep me on there till midnight. You begged me to pick up your call that one time and had your family sing me the happy birthday song. The surprise was beautiful because all through our conversation, we never talked about my birthday and I thought you hadn’t taken note of the date. Let’s just say I went to bed that night, shining all thirty of my teeth. If I was abruptly awoken from sleep and asked to say what your passion is, I would easily blurt out ‘MUSIC’. From the first day, you talked about your love for the art and eventually got to share some of your songs. I loved some of them and wasn’t quite impressed with the rest and I was honest about this. You reminded me so much of Akon and I was looking forward to seeing a Gambian brother make a similar or even bigger breakthrough. I ended up listening to some of your work that didn’t get to the studio but loved it even more when you’d sing directly on Skype. It was always a tough feat to get you to do that, but you know my coaxing skills are on another level, at least with you! So, I always won.

Somehow, other issues came up and I found myself shutting down slowly. We talked less often and sometimes it took phone calls to get to me. You’d also started talking to my best friend and she shared news about you. After a long break, we hooked up again and you had grown even better with your music. I spent a good amount of time listening, comparing and taking notes and I was really glad that you were on the rise. While you were amazing in your own right, you’d always set it aside to tell me how amazing I was. Heck, you even coined the term ‘Jamazing’, for you thought it was the most appropriate for me. *Insert blushing emoticon*

I haven’t really done much to push you forward to the next step, but I have always tried to give my honest opinion about your songs. I’ve also prayed often that you get the record deals you were looking for, while working on your weak points. I couldn’t wait to see you go farther and live your dream, for I know just how much it meant to you. We were both the same in the sense that our mothers were not very comfortable with the career paths we had chosen, but we followed our hearts. I am almost at the finish line of the first phase and would have loved you to get that far or even farther by now. I know you will, no matter how long it takes, for you’ve still got the passion in you. I’ll keep my fingers crossed for you and hope to see your first album very soon! You know you still have to record the Valentine song you wrote for me right?

It’s been ages since we last talked but I know you come here often and will read this. When you get here, remember that ‘theyajama’ is grateful to have known you and has you in her thoughts and prayers. Hope to talk soon too. I miss the madness!


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