Never Go into a Relationship

Never go into a relationship trying to change someone.

Isn’t it funny how nuggets of wisdom descend upon us when we can finally feel the thorns that make us bleed? Some are mere pricks; a swift sharpness that easily dissolves into life’s hum. And then there are those that cause indents so large, we wonder how in the world we’ll manage to fill up the hole. I’m staring at one. A massive monstrosity of hurt that no amount of ice cream can appease.

Never go into a relationship trying to change someone.

No one bothered to tell me that before vows were exchanged; warn me of the warning signs that I’d clearly missed. No one tried to pull the wool, the blindfold, the rose-tinted glasses, and shades of affection from my eyes before I uttered I do and would do absolutely anything for him. I waltzed on in my daze of righteousness – I was to be his saviour, you see – and no one halted the tape to drag me back to reality.

And so it was. 4 weeks, or was it 40 days? The 4 is all I remember because those were the strikes I got.

“That’s one strike, Sab,” he said, a slight snicker lacing his threat. His eyes shone in the way they did when he had a surprise for me: 100 roses; a trip into town; a new dress; candlelit dinner.

“One strike, Sab,” without a hint of what that meant. And I didn’t ask. It must be a new game, I reasoned. We were the players despite me not knowing what the prize was.

I got my answer when we reached 4. He hadn’t stopped at 3 because it was a sacred number, so he bumped it up and left me with 4 deep strikes neatly placed on my back. I was tied, locked, and hung as the searing heat rose from the rods he firmly struck me with. 4 strikes and I was out.

I awoke in a bright white room, wrapped in white sheets, and I marvelled at how pristine heaven was. Untouched. Pure with only the pain of my stripes to mar it.

Never go into a relationship trying to change someone.

I was meant to be the cool breeze that  dampened his heat; calm him to a re-birthed version of himself. His eyes had shone, and my eyes should’ve seen the air of change had grown still long before my 4 strikes were up.

Never go into a relationship trying to change someone, unless that person to change is you.

© LaYinka Sanni, January 2014.

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