This week, I have been reflecting a lot on the impact of loss and how we tend to celebrate our relationships with loved ones more when they are gone than when they are alive. To illustrate this, I have written a short story below and titled it “Can I call you later?”.  

Deja was always late to events, but today, she was determined to get to this event on time.

It was an event that was certainly going to showcase her brilliance and potentially change her life. I mean she knew she was brilliant, but this was her opportunity to share it with the world.

Deja had written thousands of poems and rehearsed it in her head, but she never thought that she will ever be given the opportunity to take centre stage with the limelight on her.

This was all thanks to her brother and confidant who had shared every tear, every heartbreak, and every important moment with her. From childhood into adulthood, he knew what she refused to acknowledge; that she was a star.

confidant and brother
…thanks to her brother and confidant who had shared every tear, every heartbreak.

He often told her, “you’ll be famous one day and I’ll be there to say I told you so”.

When she wrote her last piece, she had locked it away hoping that no one would see it. She just couldn’t overcome this imposter syndrome that had her doubting her brilliance and capabilities. But Derele was not one to relent.

“Please, can I read it?” NO!!! Deja exclaimed.

But she forgot that D2 as she tenderly referred to him, knew her every hiding place.

He got hold of the piece and he knew this time round that it was too good to be locked away in some cupboard. He shared it with a friend who knew a friend that knew a friend and so the story began. She was finally going to be on the centre stage.

“This is me”! She thought and allowing herself a minute to take it all in.

D2 was going to be waiting for her at the event and she couldn’t wait to tell him how grateful she was to him for pushing her. She reflected on her way to the event about her relationship with her brother. No one got her like he did, he had been her rock and advocate, but she was always the shy one and had never truly thanked him for everything he had done for her.  

Her phone rang and it was Derele.

“Hey bro, what time are you getting to the event?” Derele’s voice was low and a little fuzzy.

“Deja, I hope you can hear me, I am really sorry I may not be able to make it tonight. I am still stuck at work, and you know how it is with my job. But I know you’ll break a leg”.

Deja felt this sudden flush of anger and disappointment.

“What do you mean!!! She screamed to him on the phone. Every time you let your job get in the way of really important things. You know what…. can I call you back later?!”

anger - musing pam
Deja felt this sudden flush of anger and disappointment.

Still fuming, Deja turned her phone off and decided to stay focused on what she was about to do. This was all thanks to Derele but his job was far too important to him. He missed birthdays and important family events and quite frankly, she was sick of it.

Deja was determined to teach him a lesson this time around that he needed to learn to make the time for those who were important to him.  

Deja focused all her energy into her performance of the poem and signed an eye staggering book deal afterward. Derele had not been there to see this, and it was all his fault.

She wasn’t going to share it with him because he didn’t deserve to know. Little did she know that Derele had been on his way to the event to surprise her when he made the call. He never made it there as he had been involved in a car crash that took his life instantly.

Her last words to him, “can I call back you later?”. Her last thoughts, he didn’t deserve to know. What guilt to bear, what heaviness to carry.  

Death has no specific appointment, it comes like a switch.

Pamela Shodeinde (Musing Pam)

Deja never told Derele that he had made her life worth living and had helped her to kick the “imposter syndrome” she had battled with her whole life to the curb.

He would never know because her rage had not allowed her to see that in the moment. In death, everything suddenly became clearer, but he would never know.  

 For many of us, we have been in situations like Deja where we lost a loved one who and never got the opportunity to tell them how we truly felt about them.

I suppose what I am hoping you will take out of this is that every opportunity you get, never leave a person you love in doubt of what you feel for them.

Death has no specific appointment, it comes like a switch and in many cases, we aren’t given the opportunity to say goodbye. There are many relationships that can be fixed but resentment, anger clouds our judgement. It only becomes evident in death that maybe there was something there that was worth savaging.  

Let those who mean something to you know it and feel it without any shadow of doubt because one thing that isn’t promised to us is tomorrow.  

If you have enjoyed reading this piece, please like, share and most importantly, comment below as I love reading your thoughts and reflections.


5 thoughts on “CAN I CALL YOU LATER?”

  1. Macauley Coker Asin

    Lessons of life, counsels for great relationships, the need to appreciate the ones you love and indeed show in practical terms such love when it actually matters most, are learnt through write ups like this. It is truly appreciated and thank you for it.

    Lots of people have had regrets that perpetually hurt and hunt them because of lost opportunities to show and express that love to someone they truly love and share harmonious feelings, simply because they did not do it when it actually should have been expressed for several reasons intended or unintended and in split moments, the news came that the loved one is no more.

    Your piece simply counsels us all that we should continually show and express our love to our loved ones irrespective of challenges or daunting reasons not to do so because YOU NEVER CAN TELL WHEN NEXT THE OPPORTUNITY IS FOREVER LOST AND THE END PRODUCT, PERMANENT REGRETS.

    Another take away from the write up is, settle differences while the opportunity subsist to do so because like a flash, the other party is gone to the great beyond.

    Once again you are well appreciated and God bless you richly with more wisdom, knowledge and understanding to continue to write for the overall benefit of humanity.

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