“I am seeing someone.” Lotanna spoke.

I watched as the other girls on the table squealed in excitement- except for me.

I could feel my heart crumble at this news and all I needed right now was for the ground to open and swallow me up.

You may wonder, why the ugly reaction from me? Did I have feelings for Lotanna?


There was only one reason why I felt this sudden crack in my heart.


Or maybe anger.

Or maybe anxiety.

Or maybe bitterness.

Or maybe… feeling forgotten.

Here we were, four best friends from law school, sitting in the middle of Drumstix restaurant during our office lunch break.

Their office lunch break. Because I was unemployed.

Lotanna, Ebun and Saratu were my three best girls from our Nigerian Law School. Law school was the beginning of our journey of life together as sisters. I was an only daughter of two in my family, so these girls were my world.

But the question remained… was I theirs?

When the results of our Bar Final Exams came out, I was the only one in the group that failed and had to take resit exams. Alone.

I passed my resit exams and was called to the Nigerian Bar. Alone.

By the time I was starting my NYSC camp, the girls were receiving their NYSC certificate.

By the time I was done with NYSC, Lotanna began working in CBN, Ebun was married and pregnant, while Saratu was engaged to her boss. 

That was six months ago.

Now, sitting in the middle of Drumstix, I was reminded again that I was the black sheep in the group. The forgotten one. The one that was always and will always be left behind.

A failure.

No talent. 

No money.

No job.

No man. Not even close.

No hope.

I was stuck in the middle of nowhere. I could not go back in time to fix anything and I had no idea where I was headed.

And Lotanna announcing that she finally has a man meant one thing; I would be alone for a long time. A very very long time.

Lotanna had always been my companion whenever the girls were busy with their men and family.

Now that she had someone, I just knew how the story was going to go. No one would have my time again. 

The girls were all two steps ahead of me in life.

And what hurts the most was that I had to be happy for them. I was. But being in their circle triggered more hopelessness in me. 

It made me feel like that one lost sheep God had forgotten existed. And I was all alone, surviving. Not living.

“Ruth?” Ebun snapped her fingers in my face, bringing me back to reality.

“Are you angry with me?” Lotanna asked me, guilt written all over her face.

I picked up my water and scoffed, “No. Why would I be?”

“So you’re okay with me dating your brother?”

I spat out the water from my mouth and began choking. On water.

My what?

“Wait. You and Josiah are dating?” I asked, still not believing my ears.

The pressure… is getting wesser.

Everything was just happening in MY FACE. I couldn’t even take a break.

There were one million questions I wanted to blow up in Lotanna’s face. Since when? How? What? What do you see in him? That ugly goat? That annoying fish? Chineke.

But all I could say was, “What matters is that you’re happy.”

Now, I didn’t just want the ground to swallow me up, I wanted it to bury me alive so that no one would know I exist anymore.

After lunch, Ebun pulled me to the side to talk to me alone.

“It hurts, doesn’t it?” She asked me in concern. “To feel left behind.”

She noticed. Finally, somebody noticed.

“Not really. I mean-”

“You don’t have to deny it, Ruth. Being in denial will only worsen the pain.”

“What do you know about pain?” I questioned her. After all, she had everything I didn’t have.

“I had a dream last night. You were standing in a queue with a bunch of people holding their baggage in their hand.” She touched my shoulder, giving me this concerned look, “And yours was the heaviest.”

I looked back at her, trying to sink in her words. 

“Only you know what’s inside yours.” She added, “But I heard God say you should let it go. Maybe then, you can find the answer you’re looking for.”

She squeezed my shoulders before leaving for her car. 

I stood in the same spot, holding onto my heavy heart. My heavy baggage.

Soon, little droplets of rain began falling from the sky. As the rain increased, so did my cry. 

Suddenly, there was an outpour. Both from the sky and from my heart. I could not hold back the agony in my chest. I let it all out because it hurts. It just hurts.

But the worst part of it all, it was hard. It was hard to let go. Let go of everything that piled up the baggage in my heart.

I wanted to fix everything. I wanted to keep applying for the jobs. I wanted to keep swiping on the dating apps. I wanted to keep trying new things. Even though not a single one has worked out for me.

My brother would always tell me that I had internal boxing gloves on the inside. That I was always so hard on myself.

For once, he might be right.

When I woke up the next day, I had the urge to get up and fight. But then I remembered I was no longer one of God’s strongest soldiers.

The fight, the battle called life, did not belong to me anymore.

“What do you want me to do now?” I stared at the ceiling, “I can’t just put my life on hold while the world is moving.”

Change your routine. Your heart is not calling for a man or job, its calling for a change. I heard a voice say in my heart, the same voice that told me to “let it go”.

If I was going to surrender, I’ve got to listen to the stillness of my heart. 

As I began to listen to the stillness of my heart, there was an old saying I began to embrace more: 

Life is ten percent what happens to me and ninety percent how I react to it.

For many years, I did not learn that I could put my emotions into a box. Just because I felt the sting of loneliness or anxiety at night did not mean that they defined my entire existence. It was only an emotion I felt in one moment, I did not have to carry it with me the next morning. 

But then it wasn’t just one night.

It was when I watched my brother go on dates with Lotanna.

It was when I saw Saratu and her fiancé’s pre-wedding pictures.

It was when I saw Ebun, her husband and their 3-month-old baby’s cute pictures.

It was when everyone I knew had a job to go to while I was stuck at home, looking for someone to talk to. 

How was I not supposed to feel lonely or anxious 24/7.

Then I was reminded again that my heart was calling for a change. A change I had no idea about.

And that change came about one unexpected morning… on Saratu’s wedding day.

“Jesus! Jesus! Jesus!” Saratu kept screaming at the top of her lungs.

One would think her fiancé had an accident. Or the wedding reception got burnt down.

But it was for this reason,

“What happened?!” Ebun asked as all the bridesmaid rushed into Saratu’s bedroom to find her on the floor.

With eyes red and hair flying all over the place, Saratu replied, “That witch cancelled on me! My make-up artist travelled for her own stupid wedding!” 

Can you imagine?

I looked at the other girls. Some were just as enraged as her, while others tried to hide their laughter because how could such coincidence happen on your own wedding day.

Then this is where things get tricky.

“Don’t worry,” Ebun said, picking Saratu up from the floor, “Ruth will do your make-up for you.” 

Eh me? Did Ebun want to kill me? 

Doing make-up for an angry Saratu was like painting an angry lion’s face. They would eat you alive.

Lotanna agreed with Ebun. Then the other girls agreed, trying to escape getting called next. 

Ebun recalled when I did her make-up for most of her date nights before she got married to her husband. She always told me that I could be a professional make-up artist one day but the thought of throwing away my law degree for a “hobby” sounded crazy. 

At the end of the morning, I did Saratu’s make-up. My first bridal make-up. And no, she did not eat me alive.

From Saratu’s make-up, came another bridesmaid’s make-up.

Then the mother of the bride and her two entourage.

Just when I was about leaving for the church service, Saratu’s mother slipped a bunch of 50k cash into my hands, thanking me for my hard work.

I told her I was only doing a favour for a friend, but she said,

“Every work well done needs to be rewarded. Who knows? I might call you again for another event.”

And boy, she wasn’t joking.

From that one wedding, came two, four, ten more weddings. More brides called me. From traditional wedding make-up to court wedding make-up to pre-wedding photoshoots. Everything that involved a woman being in love.

As for me… oh well. Single till we die.

But it didn’t matter anymore because my change had come. I now had a purpose. I had something that gave my life more meaning.

Then I had a dream last night.

I was standing on a long queue with a bunch of people holding their baggage in their hand. Some seemed heavy, some seemed dirty. 

But in my hand… there was no baggage. 

It was something different. A make-up brush. 

It was the lightest thing I have ever carried. And my heart felt the freest than it had ever been. 

I knew I was right where I needed to be.

The following day, after I was done with another bridal client’s make-up, she exclaimed while looking into the mirror,

“Wow! Boaz was right when he told me to use you.”

“Boaz?” I asked.

“Yes. My brother. He has always been a huge fan of your works and bribed me to use you.” 

I was impressed. Especially coming from a man who was actually interested in anything that had to do with make-up.

After I finished doing the rest of the bridal train’s make-up and everyone had gone for the church service, I began to pack up my make-up items when a young man fully dressed in agbada walked into the sitting room.

He bent over to help me pack my stuffs, but I told him not to worry and just go for the wedding.

“How could I abandon the person that made my sister’s day the happiest.” He replied.

“You must be Boaz.” I looked at him and smiled, “Thank you for recommending me to your sister.”

“I know a blessed hand when I see one.” 

I blushed, “That is the most beautiful thing someone has said to me.”

He smiled, “Would you like to hear many more beautiful things over lunch tomorrow?” 

Hm. Was this uncle using style to ask me on a date? Okay now.

“Let me be the judge of that tomorrow.” I agreed.

And forever. Maybe.

Because who knows? Maybe this could be the beginning of another forever. And everything else after.

There was one truth I learnt from this entire past journey;

Just because others were ahead of me did not mean they had won the race of life. The fastest runner didn’t always win the race. 

Life… was all decided by one simple thing; chance. 

By being in the right place at the right time.

DISCLAIMER: This is a work of fiction. All characters, locations, organizations and incidents appearing in this blog are fictitious.

Follow my Instagram page @hjthestoryteller for more updates on my blog.

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  • Ene
    Posted May 8, 2023 7:35 pm 0Likes

    I love love love, and i see what you did there with the whole Ruth and Boaz, Lol, cute.

    • Husseina Jafiya
      Posted May 9, 2023 9:51 am 0Likes

      Thank you ❤️! Lmaoo glad you noticed

  • T
    Posted May 8, 2023 9:19 pm 0Likes

    Amazing story

    • Husseina Jafiya
      Posted May 9, 2023 9:52 am 0Likes

      Thank you!

  • Imaji Daniel
    Posted May 9, 2023 9:57 pm 0Likes

    , “Would you like to hear many more beautiful things over lunch tomorrow?”
    Interestingly, how the universe always work things out when we align ourselves.

    Great story .

    • Husseina Jafiya
      Posted May 10, 2023 9:16 am 0Likes

      😂😂 Epic comment.
      Absolutely, it will always work out in our favour. Thank you!

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