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The relationship between myself and I is a love-hate one. I love myself, I absolutely do but there’s this lady, her name is ‘I’, she resides somewhere- I’m not sure where but I think it’s either my brain, my mind or my body. Sometimes I think ‘I’ is my shadow but then she lingers even after I can see no visible shadow. ‘I’ is more than the physical or tangible, in fact the fact that she’s not tangible makes her more powerful.

‘I’ is annoying, she annoys me to no end because she is too dauntless and daring and adventurous and she lands me in trouble all the time. Are you looking for bad advice cookie? That’s ‘I’. And she nags so much I find it hard to ward her off so to make her keep shut and have her off my case, I just go along with it… bad decision.

I want to lose weight so I try to cut down on food portions and avoid ‘bad’ food and even when I see a super juicy and cheesy chunk of junk, I direct my mind away by myself, but not ‘I’, ‘I’ redirects me. She comes with this super therapeutic voice and goes ‘do you really want to do this to yourself Hafsah? Do you really not want to indulge in this piece of edible luxury? You only live once you know’ and she is sooo good like an expert siren, I usually end up trailing her demands.

And later when I’m drowning in the guilt of it, she sits cross-legged on a plush chair by the side of the grey cube room that’s my mind and smirks to herself. She’s usually writing on a notepad- that’s one thing myself and ‘I’ have in common- and I think she’s scoring herself. By now it will probably read: ‘myself’ 7- 10834893 ‘I’.

‘I’ doesn’t like letting go of people so even when I have a crush on a guy and I want to move on, ‘I’ pushes me to just check his Instagram page one more time for updates, ‘It helps with the healing process’ she says. But she’s lying because I end up stalking him for three more hours….unhealthily.

‘I’ is (am) a hoarder. Like when she tells me I need stuff I don’t need. She’s like ‘Hafsah we are going to need this in the future, keep it’ and the future comes, and it goes and we never need it but we’ve kept it.

And she even hoards memories, some good ones- I must give her credit- but she hoards even the unnecessary, bad ones and that makes her hold grudges like an expert in the field of grudge keeping (there’s a pun lying here somewhere).

For example there’s a family gathering yeah? And I see that cousin and I’m approaching her because I want to catch up and… ‘I’ actually stops me. She says ‘remember when you were 4 years 7 months 1 week old and this cousin flicked a lit up match at you and it burned your arm? You still want to talk to her after THAT?!!! And the memory comes back anew, I feel the pain of the matchstick sizzle on my arm and I make a 360 turn away from the cousin. ‘I’, you are here on banned from interfering with my family life ever again.

When I learn a new song (which is usually some few lines), I don’t like letting ‘I’ know. Because when she gets hold of those lines, God in Heavens! It takes the whole spirit of the Earth to make her stop endlessly chanting them like a breathing mantra. And it annoys me because it’s stuck in my head every moment! But ‘I’ enjoys it. She just loves tormenting me.

You think you have naysayers? Mine resides within! This lady is my worse critic. Everything I do is subject to judgement. I can’t try to look pretty in front of the mirror, ‘I’ will start dissing me. And if so help me God I try to dance or worse sing, ‘I’ contorts her face like she’s smelling poop and grimaces, I’ll have to shamefully stop. That’s why I don’t like taking pictures because ‘I’ calls each of them ugly save one or two. Because of that, I may take 100 pictures and two days later, I’ll delete the lot to one or two. The ones approved by ‘I’. I hate her guts.

I know you are thinking I should let go of her and I’ve thought about it but even as I’m typing this right now, she’s in here laughing her heads off (wickedly) because she knows she’s here to stay. She knows she’ll outlive me, because I know that house, my mind will breathe and exists even after my body gives up the ghost.

And I can’t mute her because in between it all, she drops the most amazing writing and story ideas. She’s my perfectly ever-engaging muse. That’s where our love relationship comes in. I love her for the endless supply of stories she provides. Ever wondered why my stories are usually sadistic? Well….

And she’s my gossip partner, who else will I laugh about my boss with? Most times when you see me laughing to myself, it’s myself and I sharing an inside joke. And she spins the most romantic stories when she’s on her monthly’s. And she can be sweet in a mean way. She comes up plenty horrible ways to get back at people many of which I thankfully forcefully dismiss.

‘I’ is (am) a creative fellow, sometimes mean but usually to me and generally, there’s not a single dull moment between ‘I’ and myself.

She was in a rush.  She was in an extreme hurry trying to unmangle the mixed up chatter of instructions in her head of what to buy and what to do and who to call and what to say and what to cook and… long what to’s.
She hardly slept the night before and had to leave home early the next day because the curtains are not in the right colour and the carpet which was purchased months ago had the wrong pattern and it could be overlooked but that was the same pattern for the custom-made sofa fabrics so… Oh and the gown for the second dinner was an inch too lose on the top and an inch too tight by the knees, bride could fall while walking. Somehow, brooms and packers for the brides house had been conveniently forgotten and oh!  Match sticks and ingniters, with coals please, you know, for incense.
Her brain was buzzing with a long list of instructions as she manuovered through the market with the expertise of one who went only once in about 4 months. She hadn’t taken her bath, she felt uncomfortably sweaty, she hadn’t even brushed and the long hijab was whooshing all over her. She cut through lanes and somehow always ended up in the vegetable place. She sighed in frustration and turned back through the same place she came from. Her sister was in full bridezilla mode. The ugly kind.
She finally located the place where the nuts and screw people where. She needed screws because some screws for the bag hanger were missing. She opened her wallet and got a wink by emptiness, no cash.
She sighed in frustration and opened her mouth to ask to transfer, but how could they, they barely have a standard wheelbarrow.  She decided to try her luck still.
“Please um!. Please do you accept transfers?”. She asked in a small voice. She felt suddenly so nervous
 and stupid.
The old man with the screws turned to his counterpart,  a young man selling shoe polish and brushes. ‘Ka gane me take nema?”. Old man had no idea what she was proposing.
‘Transfer? As in can I transfer to your bank account?’.
Young man caught the word ‘bank’ and hissed. “
You want me to keep my money in the bank so they can use it to fund Buhari’s election?” He said in Hausa. ” You people think you are wise but you are the ones being fooled”.
She left without the screws, afraid that maybe a screw in her head was loose.
She quickly hurried to the ATM ignoring 30 missed calls from her sister, mother, her Aunt and her sisters friend.
She waited on the line for ages before it was her turn. And then the card decided it was comfortable inside the ATM so it stayed in. Frustrated,  she left the card inside noting to file a complain after her self-promised 24 days of hibernation after the wedding.
She had just exited the bank gates when she caught sight of him. She had just concluded that her day could only get worse when she saw him, she couldn’t have been more wrong. Her sister had always said she’ll meet her ‘the one’ during her wedding. She was right but not in her wedding.
He was standing on the opposite side of the road looking all shades of manly gorgeousness. She knew it then, in the marrow of her bones she knew she had to look no further because if the way he reacted to the sizzle of tension that sparked for those seconds their eyes clashed was any indication, he was also suckered. Then she felt the pull.
It was an unexplainable force of attraction like a hand slowly luring her forward towards the half of her soul. She was oblivious to the world around, to the people passing and life moving- they all were mere blurred edges in her story. The light was his smile as he edged nearer to her too, the moth was she, both to each other.
And then it hit her, from nowhere. The car tried to screech to a halt but it was going too fast and the lady in long hijab was deaf to it’s honks.
She felt nothing but a sense of somethings presence.  Or someone.  She tried to pry her eyes open, she knew he was beside her where he was meant to be but caught only a glimpse of those dark intense and very familiar eyes before the pain took over racking her every sense and she could feel her soul depart.

I live in phases. I phase in and phase out. 5 years ago, I started my blog. It was my not-secret diary. I write stuff that mattered to me. It was liberating… but that was just on one part because on the most rewarding part; people read.

People actually read my scribbled thoughts, my thrown-together muses, my detachable imaginations and they appreciated it. Some even sent DMs to express their appreciation for reading my diary (weird when I say it like that) but I was happy I wrote.

Then I stopped, I had phased out of open diary writing stage and moved on to the next ‘thing of interest’. Looney human.

Anyway my loyal and ever-willing blog hadn’t seen an update for 2 years plus and yet, it never gave up on me. Thank you blog bae, I’ll be more caring now In Sha Allah.

So after reading tnene.com, a blog kept by a fellow lawyer who had contacted me about liking my write ups some 4 years ago my motivation came back and I found myself DMing her about hers. Check out her blog, it’s insightful… very.

I just hope this is a phase I can maintain. I intend on making the posts short and sharp.

So, all my poems, short stories, worries, crazy thoughts, perspectives, humor, satirical writing and anything writing from now on (to the duration of this hopefully forever phase) will be on my blog.

Do keep up with the escribbler and let me know what you think always.

See you (more).