A concerto of goodbyes in 5 parts.

I was moving to a new country, and I had to say a lot of goodbyes in the last 2 months. Here's a reminiscence of some moments I remember.

1) Yinka.

It was a humid Sunday. We had lunch at Ivory Bites in the afternoon, and we came home talking. I think we mostly talked about my moving plans and other miscellaneous topics. What I remember most clearly is the walk we took from my house to the junction in the evening. I was taking note of his facial expressions and walking style. I stood with him while we waited for a bus that would take him to the park. When the bus finally came and he boarded, I wanted to shake his hand, but I hesitated. Instead, I said "Oya nau", a Nigerian way of saying "Good Bye." I wondered what he was thinking and feeling, I stood there until his bus departed. I wanted that moment to sink deep into me.

2) Jerry.

I remember how I wanted to make it to Lagos on the 5th of June for his birthday party and dinner. I couldn't miss it, since I knew it was the only chance I had to see him before I traveled.  I had just spent hours that day transiting from Ife to Lagos, and I remember standing by the roadside thinking of an efficient way to transport myself to the hotel I had just paid for online. "I hate Lagos," I constantly thought to myself.  Fortunately, the party and dinner I had with Jerry and his friends that night made up for the inconvenience I suffered earlier that day. After dinner, we briefly talked about seeing each other for the last time in a while, after which we hugged and said goodbye.

3) Rowland.

I woke up at Rowlands' place on a cold Thursday morning. Even worse, I've had to sleep with the AC at a low temperature. I spent my last days in Ife at his apartment, as I was cleaning out mine. We managed to reflect on old times and experiences we could remember. One that particularly stood out was how we bought 200 naira plantains to boil and used salted palm oil as our sauce. Rowland was a big part of my life in Ife, so it is good that we spent some of the last few days together. We went ahead to the park that morning to realize that I had just missed the first bus. We got a chance to hang out and chat a little more as we waited for the second bus to fill up. When it was time to go, he jokingly said, "Do you feel like crying?" I laughed it off, and when he started walking away, he turned back and said, "Shey you no go turn back ?" I burst into laughter because it was funny to see that we had ourselves in a slightly "emotional" situation. "We go dey see nau," I said to him, which was a funny thing to say because I was literally leaving Ife. The last words we exchanged were "Oya nau" which is a much calmer way of saying goodbye.

4) Abisola.

I've always been a big fan of those scenes in movies where the protagonist has to make "one last stop" before embarking on some type of journey or adventure. Meeting Abisola was the "one last stop" I had to make. There's always a cloud of awkwardness when you're saying goodbye to someone with whom you've had rough phases. We've had a series of "goodbyes" in the past, but this one I remember clearly. I gave her my beloved spider plant and we talked about old times for a bit. I remember telling her how poetic every moment is. The fact that I was sitting across from her in a dimly lit room with the noise of the electricity meter poking through the peaceful air was in fact poetic. "I'll be seeing you," I awkwardly said after we hugged and said goodbye.

5) Keji.

Keji and I have always had this "on and off" type of friendship. I don't know if she considers me a friend, but we've had some interesting conversations in the past. I had a busy Wednesday and it was my last evening in Ife. I was just coming back from the leasing office where I went to return the key to my apartment when I heard someone call my name behind me in a dragged manner. "Mr. Kelvin," I looked back and saw Keji. "Serendipity !" I thought to myself. We ended up chatting for a while and reflecting on some old jokes and experiences, then we hugged and said goodbye.

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