By Demola Adeleke
My first year in college exposed me to the ridicule we, the blind, go through when in love. As a new student, blind student, many people wanted to be friends with me, perhaps to learn about my world and also render some assistance. Yes, I made a few male friends who were ready to pack my shit supposing I have a leaking ass-hole but the girls were just all over me, and interestingly, they seemed more accommodating and affectionate.
Although, I was aware that it was more of compassion than attraction, but I just enjoyed the tenderness of their palm around my wrist and their voice all over my eardrum. I was 22 at the time, way beyond my teenage days, and because my girl and I just broke up barely before I was given admission, I kept watching out for whom I could entrust my heart to and would keep it safe for me. And because I’m a human being with emotions too, I fell in love with a girl. The love was basically born out of the attention she gave to me, the care, hugs and all, I relished every time she was with me. You know the feeling you get when you’re fond of someone? Yeah, that’s it.
I wanted to take our friendship to the next level. Maybe it’s needless you know the girl is pretty, so it’s only logical that she had lots of admirers. I was game to try my luck, so I called her one afternoon and told her of how she’d made away with my heart and left me longing for her. After all my love rhymes and talks, she uttered nothing definite, only chuckled slightly and gave some reasons why she didn’t want a boyfriend yet. After a while of conversing with me, she left and bade me goodbye.
I was pained, I felt a little broken, but her reasons for not wanting to keep a boyfriend were genuine, so I consoled myself and muffled the feelings in me. Life went on and I was doing fine, but I noticed a novelty, my friendship with the girl had declined. She seldom came to me, she seldom said hello, she seldom greeted me, she seldom helped me like before.
Her avoidance was becoming really apparent, so I was obliged to talk to her and find out what was wrong. I tried pumping out words from her but she kept assuring me that all was fine, that she’d only been busy with some stuff. In order to be sure, I asked her if she was angry I tried courting her and she answered ‘no’, saying what’s there if I wooed her. So, I imbibed all she told me and moved on with life.
Few weeks later, I had a taste of ridicule. Through some friends, I learned that the girl had informed her friends about what I told her earlier and expectedly, I became their laughing-stock. ‘Imagine all these blind people, once you’re helping them, they will misuse the opportunity and start talking rubbish’, that was the statement she made.
I never thought I would recount the above experience but today, I’m doing that. You see, it’s true that the society may mock you or perceive you as being weird if they ask who your boyfriend/girlfriend is, and you point at a blind guy, but you need not to make our rejection a trauma for us.
I’ve got emotions as well, blindness didn’t cast away my feelings. Once you are around me and you keep coming around, I’m bound to start liking you, then maybe love, and that’s because we, often times, appreciate people, not by their looks, but their care and attention towards us. So, when I tell you I love you, don’t make jest of me in the midst of your friends and make me feel like I came to the wrong world. You can always say ‘no’, probably because I’m blind, and you’ll ashamed to have a blind partner, but can you just do it considerately? Remember I never wished to be blind, fate, devil or God made it so.
You see, it’s true that the society may mock you or perceive you as being weird if they ask who your boyfriend/girlfriend is, and you point at a blind guy, but you need not to make our rejection a trauma for us.
And since that time, I experienced the ridicule, I’ve been more of a flirt than a lover-boy. Please don’t scold me, my past experience turned me to such. Oh, I almost forgot, there was this exam we wrote, the girl was seated beside me in the hall, and in spite of what she did to me, I still gave her answers to some of the questions she found perplexing. I even doubt if she already knew I’d learn about how she mocked me because I didn’t confront her, not at all.
Anyway, I was made to believe I could fall in love again last year when I met Susan. She loved me so much and couldn’t hide it, so I gave it my very last shot and our commitment sufficed the relationship till April 1st this year. But today, we’ve gone our separate ways. Such is life, no lost love is worth grieving for.
If you think true love is hard to find, then it’s even harder to find as a blind Nigerian. I’m gonna take a chance again, but that’s when I’m done struggling to be a man.
Meanwhile, I’m not advocating love out of pity, it’s only the 10th episode of my chronicles.
I’ve got emotions as well, blindness didn’t cast away my feelings. Once you are around me and you keep coming around, I’m bound to start liking you, then maybe love, and that’s because we, often times, appreciate people, not by their looks, but their care and attention towards us.