“I never saw a wild thing sorry for itself. A small bird will drop frozen dead from a bough without ever having felt sorry for itself.” David Herbert Lawrence

“I see no changes, wake up this morning and I ask myself, is life worth living, should I blast myself…” Tupac Amaru Shakur

Ralph was ready. He’s been ready for a long while now but he had been waiting. For what: a saviour; a miracle; a blessing? He can’t say for sure but he was waiting to see if he can get one. Now, he feels he can never get it. So he was very ready.

He sighed as he took the foolscap sheet and placed it on his wooden table in the corner of his room. January harmattan breeze seeps in but he felt no cold as if the candle on the table provides enough warmth. He writes:

“Dear Seun,

I have decided to end my life. I have been thinking about it for about a month. When you gave me that ultimatum three days ago, you convinced me that this is the only way. This is the only thing I can do that will end my suffering and your own stagnancy.

I forgive you for pushing me to this. You want to dump me if I don’t get a job before the end of next month? You have already dumped me in your mind dear. No-one gives such ultimatum without already having a back-up plan. I wish both of you luck – him especially.

In fact, I will help him by advising you so you cannot drive him to committing suicide. Appreciate the little things he does for you. The more you appreciate him, the more he will do happily. A wise woman knows the importance of speaking life into her man. If you love him: believe in him, encourage him and be his peace. Do not give ultimatums: that is blackmail and telling him he is silly and lazy.

I would not defend myself of all the veiled references your words have carried in the last four months. Your actions and intonations have told me that you believe I’m the one who chose to be without a job. I forgive you. I forgive you of slowly taking away my warmth and my life.

Remember me once in a while dear. “

He signed his name and sighed, using the back of his hand to clean the water coming out of his eyes. He had wanted to say more but he could go on anymore. He stood up and stretched himself and walked to the window. He stared at the motionless street below, hours away from its boisterous alter-ego. He got back to the table and folded the paper, wrote Seun’s name on it and stapled it. He placed it alongside other letter he had written in the new poetry book by ‘Yemi Ajala his friend, Seyi had borrowed him just before Seun’s call three days ago, but he had not gotten around to reading it. A word caught his eyes and he decided to read the poem.

I will commit suicide

Today is not my death day.
I will commit the suicide tomorrow.

I will select the toughest of noose
Or the deepest part of the lagoon.
A high calibre Israeli shotgun?
A cocktail of lethal ingestion?
Any! Living is no longer fun.

Everybody lies to me.
“Jesus loves you”.”Allah loves you”.
So this is how Deity shows love?!
“Therapy would make you better”.
Those lies work no more on this guy.

Nothing matters to me no more.
None of the isms, schisms, nor the
I just want to see once again
Little Ajoke’s eyes, smiles. So

Today is not my death day.
I will commit the suicide tomorrow.

He broke down completely and cried his gut out for what seemed hours. He slept off in the ocean of his tears. Amope’s voice, calling on him to come and buy his customary pap and bean-cake for breakfast, woke him. He remembered that her child’s name is Ajoke, a bubbly kid with a beatific smile. He smiled as he stood up to go outside. He will wait for one more day.

…Lights will guide you home
And ignite your bones
And I will try and fix you


(Author’s note: Suicide is becoming more commonplace in my country Nigeria. Something urgent needs to be done.)