Broken Mirrors by @Yholar

Untitled

I smiled at the mirror today.
I liked the curve of his smile.
It had a mischievous tilt. His smile reached his eyes. T
he smile of a man who enjoyed his life.
A man who lived to the fullest.
A man who was an accomplished liar.
A man who lived firmly behind his mask.

I grinned at the mirror this morning.
I like his grin.
It was the chuckle of a carefree man.
A man accustomed to riding the winds.
A man living by the seat of his pants.
A man gifted at hiding his fears.
A man who whitewashed the dark walls of his heart.

I laughed at the mirror this morning.
I liked his laugh.
The mirth echoing through the empty house.
It was the laugh of a heart-throb.
A man basking in the adoration of others.
The laugh of a confident man.
The laugh of a man hollow inside.
The laugh of a man wishing he wasn’t him.

My mirth exhausted.
I frowned at the mirror.
And I liked my frown.
It was the frown of an honest man.
Brows furrowed, eyes intensely staring into my soul.
It echoed my insecurities.
It spoke volumes about battles with fears.
Raging demons battled ragged angels behind the stern stare.
I saw it all.

I cried at the mirror this morning.
Spilling delicate tears.
Watery colorless silent rose petals
Washing a soul clean of fears.
Heightening the awareness of aloneness.
I liked my tears.
A raging flood of dew drops.
Thunder storms carried by a gentle breeze.
They were tears of a man afraid he would not amount to much.
They were lubricants trying to help the square pegs into the round hole.
They were good tears.

I cut myself in front of the mirror this morning.
I bled very red blood.
I liked my blood.
It was the blood of a man blessed with a curse.
It was the blood of a man who could see his blindness.
It was the blood of a starving man in a larder stocked with food beyond his reach.
I like my blood.
As I watched it slowly drip into the sink. My eyes gently closed.
A curtain of darkness sweeping over my consciousness.
I like my blood I think again.
As I fade into the dark.

• • •

A PENNY FOR YOUR THOUGHTS?

N.B. The project goes on with next Friday’s story.

You can still send in your own true beneath the smile stories to obafuntay@gmail.com

You can subscribe to the blog (at the right column to follow the project, if you are viewing with your mobile, just scroll to the end of this page to subscribe)

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Beneath The Smile, Continues.

Hello people,

Before we dive into today’s story, #BeneathTheSmile is back and would run in its category, every Friday.

You can view past stories, here. (Yes, just click ‘here’.)

The project aims at looking beyond the smiles of the next person, to see what’s really beneath, what’s really going on? How people really need help and won’t bother saying anything about it but would rather cover it up with a façade of strength, with a smile.
It’s time to look beneath the smile and lend a helping hand. People are going through real things, these are their stories.

We hope that you’d be kind enough to leave a comment. Your feedback is important to us.

Today’s story was sent in by an Anonymous reader.

This is her story.

Please Read.

The ‘Beneath the Smile’ Project.

behind-the-smile
As I walked through the pathway that leads to the library, I began to engage in a one-way communication with myself.  Oh how people seem to see an independent, intelligent, flawless girl. I smile, I raise my head high, I answer questions in class, people bring their assignments to me, people seek my opinion, and people call on me to intercede on their behalf.

They all seem to see a girl who posses so much strength and vigor, a girl who has little or no problem, a girl who has had it good. I smiled and said out loud unconsciously; engrossed in my thoughts “little do they know that it is all a façade of strength”. I let them see what they want to see.  The real truth is, beneath that smile, is a tear. A tear? No! TEARS! I carry so much hurt and pain in me; I was abused by my most trusted uncle. Till date, no one knows this, except of course till now that I’m writing about it.

How can I tell people, that my psyche has been tampered with? How can I bring myself to tell my parents that the person they have put so much trust in has lured me to his bedroom, had his way with me and took my innocence away from me. No! I cannot tell, I will not tell! I have bottled this up for a long time; I have learnt to smile through it.

I live in fear, fear of the unknown, fear of letting those who have put so much in me down, fear of living outside of me. At home, they see a perfect daughter and sister, one whose intellectual ability is highly commendable. Oh yes! I’m smart, I’m intelligent, I’m clever I’m… yes, I’m all of it.

But beneath that intelligent girl is a girl who struggles. Beneath that smart girl is a girl who feels dumb. Oh, beneath that girl that is full of life is a girl that is “dead”. Indeed I have succeeded in putting up this façade.

I have created a room within me, a cocoon that envelops me. I’m locked in. I have a built a wall, one that shields me, one that keeps the pain and hurt concealed. I sighed, raised my head high, put a smile on my face while ascending the steps that leads to the entrance of the library, there! I saw a friend, Jessica descending from the stairs and Jessica remarks calling my name
“Hello the ever smiling Betty, how are you doing?” … “I’m very well thank you”

I said showing my “32” sets of teeth Jessica remarked “of course you are, as ever” and she walked past. I shook my head and between breaths I muttered as I walked into the library “if only she knew that I’m not well, that I’m fighting a constant battle with me”.

• • •

A PENNY FOR YOUR THOUGHTS?

N.B. The project goes on with next Friday’s story.

You can still send in your own true stories to obafuntay@gmail.com

You can subscribe to the blog (at the right column to follow the project, if you are viewing with your mobile, just scroll to the end of this page to subscribe)

Her Story, XLI by @Uber_pweedy

Thanks for waiting. In case you missed the preview, find it here, so you know what to expect. If you are not sure what Beneath the Smile is about, please check the preview out.

The project aims at looking beyond the smiles of the next person, to see what’s really beneath, what’s really going on? How people really need help and won’t bother saying anything about it but would rather cover it up with a façade of strength, with a smile.
It’s time to look beneath the smile and lend a helping hand. People are going through real things, these are their stories.

We hope that you’d be kind enough to leave a comment. Your feedback is important to us.

Today’s story was sent in by one of our readers @Uber_pweedy

This is her story.

Please Read.

The ‘Beneath the Smile’ Project.

behind the smile

Hey 🙂

I’m Ibukun and I’m from a family of 5, I have 3 lovely siblings and we have all been healthy and happy for as long as I remember but in 2009 my mom fell terribly ill. It was so bad that we had to go to Egypt for her treatment after several failed attempts to treat her here in Nigeria, there was nothing they didn’t say my mom had!! Fibroid, ulcer, kidney problem.

When we returned from Egypt she was getting better, then, I was in my 200-level, my mother’s case got really bad, she lost so much weight, every time I called her from school she always sounded down. It killed me every time I spoke to her. I prayed, I cried, ’cause I did see the pain she was going through. One time, when we were on break, she came to get me from the airport and I didn’t recognize my mum, she was so dark and lean! :(. I didn’t want her feeling bad, I held back my tears but I was broken, she went to so many prayer houses and was on so many diets, she didn’t eat so many things, she was so uncomfortable.

But God finally revealed the problem through an elderly woman who so loves my mom, she told my mum that there was a group of people who didn’t want her to be successful and happy, who wouldn’t want such a loving woman to be happy? We have been battling with her health since 2009. The pain she felt back then, has reduced a lot but I believe she is on her way to perfect health. I still thank God she’s alive ’cause I don’t know what I would do without my mommy she is still strong enough to carry the four of us on her motherly shoulder, and I know that God that has kept her and has revealed the problem, will keep being with her and restore her to perfect health.

I recently graduated from CU and while I was there I had ups and downs, I was never a first class candidate but I was alright lol! I dropped heavily in my 3rd year, I was distracted by a lot(boys inclusive *sigh), o well! I had my 1st ‘F’ ever and this made my dad say really awful things to me, our relationship has always been shaky and all but dis kinda added ‘pepper to the wound’! I did try my best to avoid another F as the previous one had brought my cgpa to a 3.56 but I had another ‘F’ and my dad said and I quote ‘I will not come for your convocation if you do not make a 2’1‘. I read, I prayed, I did work hard but I still didn’t finish with a 2’1.

Convocation came and my Dad was absent, I was terribly hurt, was sad through out, you guys cannot begin to imagine how sad and embarrassed I was… I mean, who does that?! I couldn’t believe he didn’t come and since then, my heart towards my father has been pretty cold but I have been praying to change, but his actions do not even help, he’s a very vulgar person and things get to me, easily. I want to get along with him, but his recent actions and lots more keep ringing in my head, I have prayed and still praying, that God has mercy on me and change my daddy’s heart and tongue.

• • •

Don’t just read, say a prayer.

A PENNY FOR YOUR THOUGHTS?

N.B. The project goes on with Tomorrow’s ‘His Story, XXIV’ by an Anonymous writer

You can still send in your own true stories to obafuntay@gmail.com

You can subscribe to the blog (at the right column to follow the project, if you are viewing with your mobile, just scroll to the end of this page to subscribe)

Her Story, XL

Thanks for waiting. In case you missed the preview, find it here, so you know what to expect. If you are not sure what Beneath the Smile is about, please check the preview out.

The project aims at looking beyond the smiles of the next person, to see what’s really beneath, what’s really going on? How people really need help and won’t bother saying anything about it but would rather cover it up with a façade of strength, with a smile.
It’s time to look beneath the smile and lend a helping hand. People are going through real things, these are their stories.

We hope that you’d be kind enough to leave a comment. Your feedback is important to us.

Today’s story was sent in by one of our readers who has asked to stay Anonymous.

This is her story.

Please Read.

The ‘Beneath the Smile’ Project.

behind the smile

*sigh* I absolutely suck at writing, but I had to do this.

My childhood was a very fair one, we were not absolutely broke and we were not at the top either. Sometimes, we struggled, sometimes, we didn’t, I mean financially. My parents were not fighting but, my dad never really stayed with us, for work’s sake. Growing up, I never had serious prayer points. I guess my “most serious” prayer point was new clothes and shoes and stuff. I didn’t even see the need to pray about academic excellence. I still don’t see the need for that.

Okay, my story, I was raped at age 17. *sigh* I still can’t explain how fast I got over that, but honestly, my parents still don’t believe… don’t believe that I’m over it, not like I ever discussed it with them after the incident. It was in the summer of 2010 and it happened, when robbers attacked my house, I just got back from church. Apparently, I prayed before I was raped… prayed for God to have his way and avoid the act. I wouldn’t say he refused, or I didn’t have enough faith. I mean, you’re about to be raped… what sort of faith could even exist at such a time. But you know, God can’t be blamed, so I’ll still say my faith wasn’t enough.

For a while, I doubted if God really did exist… if Heaven is real, or if Hell is something one very stupid person came up with to scare her children. I honestly didn’t believe in any religion for a while.

I guess I would have been a “keep your virginity till your marriage” kind of person but, whatever… right now, I’m not a slut but I honestly don’t mind having sex. It bothers me not. But sadly, all the “boys” that claim to like me actually don’t… I mean, you have sex with them and then, they care less about you. I have not felt loved at all in my life. I don’t even believe my female friends like me. Sometimes, I think I’m a burden to everyone and so I just try to excuse myself from their businesses. Most times I look for an escape but, I have none. My escape for now is music because I don’t even know what I’m good at, what I love doing, I don’t know my talent, I don’t know myself.

My dad still does not stay with us… P.S my parents are not separated. I have an ewwwy relationship with my mum, and this is because I’m fucked up in every way. She does not have to do anything to annoy me… it hurts me to say that my own mother irritates/pisses me off most times. Please don’t misunderstand me. I really do love her but, that feeling is uncontrollable. I mean, i just find myself… Pssst, never mind! I try to take that feeling away most times but then, nothing happens.

I don’t even get myself, sorry this is more like nagging and shit… tolerate this “ME”. I have a lot in my head that I can’t comprehend by myself or even get out. I just go moody a times and I try to have that one man conversation that brings a bit of healing but nothing… my dear, nothing. I have no one to talk to because I can’t get this nothingness out of my head… so what is there to talk about. My friends complain when I go all quiet and moody and shit, but honestly, it can’t be helped *sigh* I don’t mean that I’m a very moody person, I mean… I have extreme mood issues. When I’m happy, it’s usually on the positive extreme, and when I’m moody…. negative extreme.

I probably just need a shrink. I mean, someone i don’t need to tell anything but can tell me what exactly is wrong with me, what I don’t know is wrong with me, what I need… blah blah blah.

I’m not smiling right now, so, this is beneath my straight face. 😐

• • •

Don’t just read, say a PRAYER. Go ahead. Encourage another. Pray.

A PENNY FOR YOUR THOUGHTS?

N.B. The project goes on with Tomorrow’s ’Her Story, XLI’ by an Anonymous writer

You can still send in your own true stories to obafuntay@gmail.com

You can subscribe to the blog (at the right column to follow the project, if you are viewing with your mobile, just scroll to the end of this page to subscribe)

Her Story, XXXIX

Thanks for waiting. In case you missed the preview, find it here, so you know what to expect. If you are not sure what Beneath the Smile is about, please check the preview out.

The project aims at looking beyond the smiles of the next person, to see what’s really beneath, what’s really going on? How people really need help and won’t bother saying anything about it but would rather cover it up with a façade of strength, with a smile.
It’s time to look beneath the smile and lend a helping hand. People are going through real things, these are their stories.

We hope that you’d be kind enough to leave a comment. Your feedback is important to us.

Today’s story was sent in by one of our readers who has asked to stay Anonymous.

This is his story.

Please Read.

The ‘Beneath the Smile’ Project.

behind the smile

March 31st, 2011
I was in a class, my phone rang, I checked th caller I.D and it was my dad. I ducked under the table (as a boss) to take d call…

Me: Hello Daddy, how are you? 😀
Dad: Your friend is DEAD!
Me: huh???????
Dad: Yes, Imoks just died.

I was literally speechless, my hands went numb, my whole body seemed to shut down. Next thing I remember was tears freely running down my face and everyone in class asking me what the problem was.

Let me make things clear, Imoks was just a friend/family friend/church member. He was really involved in church work, my guy slept, breathed and spoke the word of God. He exuded some sort of aura that only comes from constant communication with God. The same goes for his mom who’s a minister of God. Imoks died as a result of his crisis (Sickle cell anaemia).

Let me explain: I’ve always been a happy child, always laughing, very cheerful, and intelligent and a deep thinker. As a little child, I could ‘see’ things, whenever something was going to happen in my family, I would be the first to foresee it n SHARPLY inform my mum so she can pray about it. well that ability has disappeared though :(. First of four (4) children and I’ve e got just one sister. While growing up, we weren’t so rich, but we were well taken care of. My parents have always shown us more than enough love and done everything possible to provide for us.

My baby sister is one of the best things that has ever happened to me. She can be troublesome and mischievous (attributes I possess as well), still one just can’t help but love her. Unfortunately she was always quite sickly. She’s not ‘SS’ oh. Sometimes she would be admitted in the hospital for days and the hospital bills cost a lot, the emotional and physiological strain it was having on my parents couldn’t be over-emphasised. Because I’ve always been too mature for my age, I could see it all.

January 4th 2009,
we were getting ready for 1st sunday thanksgiving service and my baby sister had done something to irk me (as usual), I was already planning how to teach her a lesson (as I always say), my parents have never condoned me beating my younger ones sha, but all the same I still planned to beat her. I was running after her in the sitting room, she was laughing and screaming. Next thing I heard was my dad’s voice calling my name. In my head I am like ‘Daddy loves my sister more than me, he’s obviously coming to her rescue’. Well I went to his summons, I marched into his room fuming. As I entered the room, I saw d LOOK on my parents face, look of pain, suffering, my parents were both in tears, I couldn’t understand what they were crying for.

Then my mum said ‘Your sister is HIV positive’ *echos*

My head still spins everytime I remember those words.

I cried!!!
I still cry!!!
I cry cause my baby sister has done nothing to deserve such, I cry cause of the plenty drugs she has to keep taking, I cry cause of the pain it causes my parents, I cry cause I am scared for her future…
I just cryyyyyy… and I am crying as I write this 🙂

I don’t need no pity, neither does my baby sister. My parents have pulled themselves together and they stay fighting it together. It has made them hold steadfast to God and His word and as for me, I don’t know where I stand.

A part of me still believes ‘It is well’ and another part just can’t understand ‘WHY?!’
I mean my baby sister was barely 10 when it was discovered that she had HIV. Isn’t she too young to be made to suffer?

So when I received the call that Imoks was dead, I wept both for him, and for my family, I don’t want to receive another call saying that my sister is dead. Noooooo!…..Imoks had faith, he firmly believed in God and still he died of Sickle cell anaemia. I am not doubting God but its hard for me not to.

Well to God be the Glory, my sister is hale and hearty except for occasional bouts of sickness. My 2 brothers don’t know what’s going on, even my sister doesn’t know, all she knows is she takes her medication (my parents told her they are vitamins 🙂 ). I thank God for the life of my parents, they keep a smiling face but beneath their smile…

As for me, I school abroad and everytime I get a call from my parents, I dread them telling me something bad has happened. People find it extremely easy to open up to me and tell me personal things, they all think I have it easy. One guy told me recently that I’ve always had it easy. I just smiled. Because only I know how heavy my heart is…

Beneath my smile is a 19yr old, who is seeking answers..
Who doesn’t want to be told that his baby sister is dead or anything like that.

Enough of my story… Thanks to @ObaFuntAy for this ‘Beneath the Smile’ project. Until now, I’ve NEVER told anyone what exactly is in my heart. I can’t even explain how much liver I had to chop  and ‘ciking’ I had to do to myself before I could write this and all I ask for are your PRAYERS.

God bless you all 🙂

• • •

Don’t just read, say a PRAYER. Go ahead. Encourage another. Pray.

A PENNY FOR YOUR THOUGHTS?

N.B. The project goes on with Tomorrow’s  ’Her Story, XXXIX’ by an Anonymous writer

You can still send in your own true stories to obafuntay@gmail.com

You can subscribe to the blog (at the right column to follow the project, if you are viewing with your mobile, just scroll to the end of this page to subscribe)

Her Story, XXXVIII by @ladyingenous

Thanks for waiting. In case you missed the preview, find it here, so you know what to expect. If you are not sure what Beneath the Smile is about, please check the preview out.

The project aims at looking beyond the smiles of the next person, to see what’s really beneath, what’s really going on? How people really need help and won’t bother saying anything about it but would rather cover it up with a façade of strength, with a smile.
It’s time to look beneath the smile and lend a helping hand. People are going through real things, these are their stories.

We hope that you’d be kind enough to leave a comment. Your feedback is important to us.

Today’s story was sent in by one of our readers @ladyingenous

This is her story.

Please Read.

The ‘Beneath the Smile’ Project.

behind the smile

Ever felt like you’re alone in your own world? Ever felt like no one would understand no matter how much they tried?
Ever felt like something is wrong?
Ever felt you haven’t done enough?
Ever felt like giving up cause you think you can’t do it, you have given your best already?
Ever get this empty feeling like you don’t matter?
Ever felt like no matter how much you try it doesn’t get better?
Ever felt like losing hope because no matter which way you go it’s not working?
Ever felt like you’re not living you just exist. Ever felt like your dreams are more than you?
Ever felt like time is running out and nothing is happening?
Ever felt like you’re only talking it and never living it?

Well I felt all of these and much more. I felt I didn’t know which way to go cause no matter which way I went I just got stuck. I try my hands on so many things yet none gave me joy. I was confused cause my life no longer made sense to me. It felt like I was losing it and there was no one to turn to. It felt like there was absolutely no one to share this with. It felt like my troubles were eating me up. It felt like I had so many people around yet no one. It felt like everyone was running and I was standing wondering which way to go. It felt like this and it felt like that. I couldn’t even find the words to describe those feelings. They just came and when they did I just felt numb. I felt empty. I felt down. I felt indifferent. I felt lifeless.

All of those emotions and more were things I felt at a stage in my life that I couldn’t explain. I am sure you might be wondering why all of these emotions for a young girl like me. Well this is the story behind all of those emotions.

I am the second child and the first girl in my family. I lost my mum when I was ten. It was the worst thing that could have happened to me because I was not even with her when she died. I didn’t get to spend her last days with her. Prior to her death I had spent the whole of my jss1 first term holiday with her. It was horrendous having to see her in the condition she was. My mum went through a lot of pain and I had to watch all this without being able to do anything. She was diagnosed with a lot of diseases, some of which I didn’t even understand. She died while I was in school. Immediately after her death, my dad fell ill. It was like he couldn’t be strong for us so we had to be strong for him.

I lost my dad exactly 55 days after I lost my mum. When this happened, I felt so much pain that I couldn’t even cry. The pain was beyond tears so I just bottled up all of the tears. I did not cry and the tears were transformed to bitterness in me. I was bitter for as long as I could remember. I did not understand life anymore. I had lost my best friend in the whole of the world (my mum) and then I lost my dad too. It was just too much to bear.

I never talked much about it. I kept all of the bitterness in me. I was always sad though I always smiled (how ironic). The devil used it as a tool many times to keep me depressed. I would just be playing with my friends, then we would start talking about our parents and then I would just be saying “my uncle this and my uncle that” never “mum or dad”. It was very sad. It was really eating into me. I kept asking God why he had to take them. I used to feel unloved and I was always looking for love. It was always a battle to believe someone would ever love me for me. I just felt like there was no love for me anywhere. I used to feel rejected.

But then something changed. I no longer feel all of those things. I am now a hundred percent sure that someone cares. Someone greater than my imaginations. Someone my mind can’t understand or comprehend. Someone my mind drifts to when I feel all of these. He said to me I will stand by you when no one’s there. I will love you till the end of time. It might not seem like it but I am working out something great in you and through you.

You are perfect, He says. You are the most precious amongst my treasures. The very hairs on your head I know. You are engraved on my palm. I know your very make up. Those days when I’m down, I lay on my bed cover myself up and have a good cry but at the end I smile ’cause I know this person cares. I smile knowing there is hope. I smile knowing I have a friend who is greater than even a brother. I smile knowing I’m not alone.

He didn’t promise that I won’t fall but he said he will be there to catch me when I fall. He dint promise that it will be easy but He said, He will be by my side through the tough times.
He didn’t promise me a smooth road, but He said He’ll carry me through the rough ones. He didn’t promise me the whole world, but He gave me Him who owns the whole world.

Sometimes I cry at the thought of the love He has for me because I don’t understand it. Sometimes I’m afraid I can never love Him like He loves me.
Sometimes I’m afraid I will always let him down.
Sometimes I’m afraid I’m not up to the standard.

But at the end I remember,
He is not looking for a perfect person,
He is not looking for the person who has no wrong,
He is not looking for the person who has a hold of everything. All he asks is for a heart to believe Him and then trust Him. A heart to love Him not by itself but by His own love.

That’s all he asks.

That He, is God(father, son and spirit) and He is the smile beneath my smile.

• • •

Don’t just read, say a prayer.

A PENNY FOR YOUR THOUGHTS?

N.B. The project goes on with Tomorrow’s ’Her Story, XXXVIII’ by An Anonymous writer

You can still send in your own true stories to obafuntay@gmail.com

You can subscribe to the blog (at the right column to follow the project, if you are viewing with your mobile, just scroll to the end of this page to subscribe)

Her Story, XXXVI

Thanks for waiting. In case you missed the preview, find it here, so you know what to expect. If you are not sure what Beneath the Smile is about, please check the preview out.

The project aims at looking beyond the smiles of the next person, to see what’s really beneath, what’s really going on? How people really need help and won’t bother saying anything about it but would rather cover it up with a façade of strength, with a smile.
It’s time to look beneath the smile and lend a helping hand. People are going through real things, these are their stories.

We hope that you’d be kind enough to leave a comment. Your feedback is important to us.

Today’s story was sent in by one of our readers who has asked to stay Anonymous

This is her story.

Please Read.

The ‘Beneath the Smile’ Project.

behind the smile

My story isn’t a story of strife or anguish
My story isn’t a story of blood shed
My story isn’t a story of loss of a loved one

My story is a story of pain and fear.
Fear of the unknown.
Would I ever be good enough? To anyone?.
I sob as i ask myself.

I try, I swear I do… but nothing is enough, nothing has ever beenn. I write this not this day, with tears burning down my cheeks and streaming like a waterfall while hearing the hurtful words in my head, not by strangers, not by enemies, not by passers by but by those who bore me. ‘You’re a dissapointment to this family’ and ‘I’m dissapointed in you’ are interchangably the stars of the show once the hurling begins.

Each year I always try and delve into something, anything at all that’ll make dem proud but I fail harder each time I try. First of all, I was the best of the best when it came to school work, academically I sas unbeatable, unstoppable, best in all 14 course-works (subjects), 1st position for 8 yrs straight meaning it took me 24 terms to realize that I wasn’t good enough and all  those fancy prices and stuff did them no good, made them no proud so I started doing it for me and it was a downward spiral.

That decision I regret forever.

Then I started doing sports. I have at least a medal in each sport. I do competitions and all and yet again, I was unstoppable, it became unfathomable swimming, running, ballet, gymnastics, even started playing table tennis and then when I hit the track, it was like love at first flight … yet, the hurtful words kept coming ‘I am dissapointed in you’. Sometimes honestly ’cause of those words I look into the mirror and all I see is a constant failure and a laughing stock, a laughing stock because I keep getting up to try again. My musical career was forthcoming and on the rise, at this point I could do no wrong, that’s what I thought, I was coached by the great pastor Kunle Ajayi and I rendered a solo for the General Overseer of the RCCG and all I wanted was a ‘I’m proud of you’.

But then…

It never came, it never ever and it hurts more than anything in the world. it’s not a shocker the next words that came. The series continued nd then an additional phrase was attached to the usual, they started complaining that I’m good academically and domestically useless while in actuality the only thing I was taught to do while growing up was to do the dishes. I fought tooth nd nail to get it right and lo and behold I did, all that was in my head was ‘Nothing could go wrong this time’ and to my disbelief day-after-day, night-after-night, I still hear the words ringing out loud ‘I’m dissapointed in you’ and I’m like I literally became a ‘super-hero’ to keep all this together yet the ‘dissapointing me’ was still forth coming.

I became above all a social outcast whose only mode of fun was visiting people and actually sleeping over which is after I’ve done some work around so they’ll look at me and be proud of where I’m from. I was labelled all sorts for my anti-social ways ‘omo pastor’ and stuff like that. People call me childish till tomorrow because I do every single thing mummy and daddy ask me to do and they find it weird, too weird that they just conclude I’m immature all in this quest to get that ‘I’m proud of you’ . It hurts sometime, but nothing on earth is as hurtful as those words my father would say.
In the quest of being a perfect child…I may not have figured a lot of things such as how to make them proud and how to stop that sentence from coming out, but I’ve learnt a lot and now I figured after so many years that I was on the wrong quest. Stuffing my pillow on my face while the tears penetrate through my pillowcase while I hoped for some miracle to happen that my pains are soaked away, I wonder who I really am I wonder what kept me good this long? I ask myself so many questions, that’s the Quest I am on…
…to make me proud and to make God proud.

Beneath this smile used to be a frown (with wrinkles sef) lol but then things have changed(a bit)…Beneath this smile is an Overtly confident young Overachiever with big dreams she plans on achieving..

Beneath this smile is an emotionally deficit lady with a bigger smile from the heart.

Beneath this smile is someone who took something so harsh and made a positive life out of it.

Beneath this smile is ME.

It took me more than 19 years, 17 medals, 3 honorariums’ for me to realize that nothing on earth is more rewarding than hearing God’s voice with the heavens’ open with his voice in a baritone saying ‘This is my daughter in whom I am well pleased”…:)

What’s beneath your smile?

• • •

Don’t just read, say a prayer.

A PENNY FOR YOUR THOUGHTS?

N.B. The project goes on with Tomorrow’s  ’Her Story, XXXVII’ by an Anonymous writer

You can still send in your own true stories to obafuntay@gmail.com

You can subscribe to the blog (at the right column to follow the project, if you are viewing with your mobile, just scroll to the end of this page to subscribe)

His Story, XXIII by @wandeSPICE

Thanks for waiting. In case you missed the preview, find it here, so you know what to expect. If you are not sure what Beneath the Smile is about, please check the preview out.

The project aims at looking beyond the smiles of the next person, to see what’s really beneath, what’s really going on? How people really need help and won’t bother saying anything about it but would rather cover it up with a façade of strength, with a smile.
It’s time to look beneath the smile and lend a helping hand. People are going through real things, these are their stories.

We hope that you’d be kind enough to leave a comment. Your feedback is important to us.

Today’s story was sent in by one of our readers @wandeSPICE

This is his story.

Please Read.

The ‘Beneath the Smile’ Project.

behind the smile

I swear to tell the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth.

*Steps into court dock* lol

This is a tell all….Yes… Everything.

Err… I don’t even know where to start. But this piece was gingered when I stumbled on this blog-site somehow. I spent about 3hrs reading everyone’s story (about 15 of them) and tears kept flowing down my eyes no matter how hard I tried to keep them back. The tears weren’t only because I was touched by what other people were going through, and still managed to put up a smile as a façade, but also because memories of mine kept coming bit by bit, and then I decided to write mine.

I’m not much of a writer, so pardon me if this isn’t written in a right “story-line”. Anyways, wandeSPICE, as I’m being called, is a name I got myself in 2006 while I was supposedly a student of OAU ife.
Wande, a short of Akinwande, my first name. And SPICE, an acronym for Special Person In Christ’s Eye.
“Just because you know my name, doesn’t mean you know me… just because I smile, doesn’t mean I’m happy… you think you know me? Think again… you think you know my story? Guess again”
Growing up for me was just like any normal kid, showered with love and care from both parents. They weren’t extremely rich, but they made sure we were comfortable.

My first challenge was growing up to have bow legs… yeah, my both legs were really bow, that I was told the bows were almost touching the ground, imagine. Hence, I had my 1st surgery at age 4, at the then best Orthopaedic hospital, Obafemi Awolowo University teaching hospital (OAUTH), and with the then best orthopaedic surgeon, Doctor Rufai on my case, so we were rest assured everything would be fine. As I was told, although I still remember vividly when the 1st leg was operated on, It went well and all, but before the second one, which was also to be done that same day, the doctor asked for a short break, but didn’t come back as at the time he said he would. As that was still the era of no mobile phones, locating him was hectic. Somehow, a nurse just came to suggest a club house, that he could possibly be there.

Lo and behold, our dear doctor Rufai was found there. After apologizing for not showing up early that he lost track of time and all, he was brought back to the theatre where I was, I remember my mum being sceptical about him doing the surgery that night, for possibilities of him being drunk, or trying to rush up the surgery to get back to his friends at the club house or something. But he claimed he was a professional and all, knowing what he was doing. All the nurses were telling her to calm down, that he’s the best and bla bla bla… and so he did the surgery on the 2nd leg. When I woke up after the operation, I remember my mum telling me she was worried, because the surgery was faster than the 1st one, and as such, she feared her premonitions were coming to pass.

But sha sha, we forgot about it. Time came for the POP’s to be removed… when I started walking back, it was discovered that the left leg was perfect, but the other (the 2nd 1 that was operated upon) was thinner and shorter than the other. And gradually, it began to go back to being bow. I can’t really remember, but I guess my mum would have been screaming “I said it, I knew that guy was drunk” and all of that. But in all of that, I wasn’t even all that worried (abi what would a small boy like me know as at then) but I knew my parents weren’t happy, my mum especially, Talking about suing and all. But my dad, the no wahala person (I love him die) talked her out of it, I’m sure he made her see a million and one reasons not to.

In short sha, another surgery was arranged, and yet another… after 3 surgeries, my right leg sha is yet back to normal, although a lot better, so I still thank God. In all of this, I still have that pain within me that the carelessness of 1 doctor somewhere did this to me, and so I decided to be a medical doctor. This leads to another challenge.
I forgot to add that I was brilliant growing up. I was always amongst the top three in my primary school, but then, in secondary school, I became unserious. I wasn’t failing, but I cared less about studying, simply because there was no position grading system, so I felt like there was no competition, as far as I didn’t fail any subject. I got used to this, and I started to jerk backwards in my academics.

I got into OAU through predegree in 2006, because I couldn’t meet the cut-off of for medicine in my Jamb, with the hope of graduating as a medical doctor 6yrs after, but something went wrong along the line. I remember vividly when my parents came to pick me up from the campus. How they heard, I don’t know. The 2-hours trip home was traumatising; my mum cried all through, and my dad was just there silent throughout.
I got home, went into my room and locked myself up for days without eating or speaking to anyone (atleast, so they thought, but err, yours truly sneaks out of his room when everyone’s out, or in the middle of the night to get food and also store up some that would last me till the next launch-out day, and I had my phone to talk to friends and all, but I was still sad and felt bad with myself though).

Anyway, after about a week, I guess, my mum came back home and slid a newspaper page through the door and said “pick the one you can do and let me know immediately”. I stared at the paper for a while before standing up to get it. Alas, it was Covenant University admission page. I was shocked! I looked through in disgust, but then what could I do? This was my mum giving me another chance. I decided Economics, at least I felt it would be a cool. So I went out to meet my parents, I told them I decided Economics. But my dad that had kept quiet all along just snapped out “are you out of your mind? You didn’t see any better course to select of all that’s there? Single Honours? I can’t waste my money on that! You will now graduate to become an economics teacher? You must be a professional!” at that point he said economics teacher, I wish I could laugh, but then I tried to keep my cool. He then said I should choose an engineering course, since CU doesn’t offer Medicine. I looked through, and I felt ICT was the simplest of them all, so I chose it.

I got my jamb form together with my younger sister (yes, she caught up with me). This made me think about my whole life. How much of a failure I was. I was gradually sinking into depression. I couldn’t study, I would just find myself crying to sleep. So after the jamb exam, I bailed out of the house, dropping a note! (just as you would see in nollywood movies). I changed my numbers, and went to stay at a friend’s. One fateful day, I called my sister to ask how everyone was and all, but I got a shocker. She told me that my mum suddenly resigned from work and packed her stuff and left the house after I did! I was broken! I knew I was in for more than I bargained!

I Summoned courage to call my mum, we both cried for a while, then she told me she moved to benin, where she knew nobody, to start her life afresh! Sounded like a joke. But it was real. I felt worse, because I knew it was all my fault. They’ve been having their own issues, but the fact that she walked out as at the same time I did. I started to pity my dad, because he was all alone. My siblings were in different boarding houses, mum’s moved out, and there I was, prodigal. I called him, We had a looooong talk, and I decided to go back home. He tried to make me see the bad in my mum for what she did, and insisted we cut her off, not talking to her again and all. I thought to myself that this man must be joking. How possible?! But I told him okay sha. He tried all his best to make us comfortable; made sure we never lacked anything. Mum on the other hand was trying her best. And we were enjoying the best of both worlds, hehee… imagine getting money for the same stuff from both parties because you knew both of them wouldn’t get to talk about it. But then, loads of pressure was on me. Family members calling me, saying stuff like “you’re the 1st child, a man, you should fix your parents’ marriage” and all of that.

In the heat of all of these, I resumed University, everywhere was so cool and all, and all I had in mind was what I’m gonna get out of this place. Make my parents happy, and just graduate peacefully.
We were 4 in a room; myself, one other 100level boy and two 300level boys. This helped me a lot, because unlike now that the 100levels are all kept in one hall, I had older people to rub minds with and all.
Back then in OAU I started showbiz with couple of friends, so when I got in to CU, I thought of a way I could implement that. I spoke to my 300level friends about it, and all I got was “forget it! CU will frustrate your effort! It can never work here”. I didn’t let all of that deter me. I still felt it could be possible. I remember my 1st Sunday in Uni, I went to chapel, and the only statement I remember from the mouth of pastor Ntia was “receive the grace to do that which had never been done, that seems impossible” hahaa… I felt like that was all I needed.

After the service, I went straight to the pastors’ office, told him about my parents and my plan to start something in CU. He prayed with me and I left. I went to my drawing board and the planning started. That gave birth to “Xclusive Awards”. I went home for the Easter break, and on good Friday, 9months after my mum left, she came back home. It was like a movie, because all I saw was dad hugging her, no stories, nothing. They went inside, and probably had their “talk”, and they’ve been living happily ever after.

Ok, back to Xclusive Awards. To many people in CU, this event had sooo many translations or interpretations. But to me, it was an investment gone bad. The 1st one I organized was in my first year. It seemed so colourful and all, but something went wrong; them bad belle people. After the event, people kept hailing me, calling me cash money and all. But unknown to many, that particular event left me broken. Not only was I disappointed in myself again that the event didn’t go as planned, but I was indebted in millions of naira. It was a tough one for me! I lived in fear of embarrassment from my debtors. I couldnt tell anyone, not even my parents. Walking around school that year, I hear people talk about me, and how rich I am and all of that, but beneath the smile lies all that pain. No one knew the true story. But with the help and grace of God, I was able to pay up a little. Then I did something crazy! I got my school fees for 200level from home, and I used it to pay up a part of my debt! Yes, I did that! *sigh*. Somehow somehow I was able to survive the session without paying my fees, as no one would believe the “cash money” wouldn’t have paid fees.

Unrepentant me, as a risk taker that I am, I got over the whole thing, went back to my drawing board and started planning for another event, still a debtor oh, imagine. But still, I gathered my little savings, and a funny thing was that I was on my own jejely oh, people came to meet me to invest, because they felt it was a gold mine. I took their money, added to mine and organized yet another. This time, it was bigger and it swallowed a lot more money. Nigga was happy, hoping this was gonna be the big break. Hammer time! But the worst happened!
Chineke!, the event was kinda cancelled by some of the ogas at the top. Sooo many complications. Owo jona! I literally died and resurrected! I lost hope in everything! And need I add that I was still on a 1st class as at then, after my first semester 200Level, but after the whole thing, I gradually went into depression, couldn’t think straight anymore, lost the vibe for academics, lost hope in life itself, as I was face to face with everything I ever worked for, gone just like that, loads of debt, and to worsen the whole situation, even supposed friends that brought money to me to invest started coming one after the other asking for refunds. Shet… I cry day after day! You cant imagine. A 200level boy, about 21years old owing about 3million naira and not having 1naira in his account! Worst of all was that I couldn’t do my registration for both semesters in 200level cause I didn’t pay fees, which still affects me till today. Even when I was able to now clear off my fees and all, I still have registration challenges every semester. As I can’t register my courses like every normal student.
I’m presently in my 5th year only by the grace of God. I manually collate my results using complaint forms and all. I remember in my 400level during my IT, I got a call from my exam officer, and in his words, he said “wande, are you still a student of this school?” I said “yes”. He replied “I don’t think so oh, because according to my records, its like you’ve been withdrawn, I don’t have any record of you in the department”. Jesus! You can’t imagine all what went through my mind during that 1minute call. My mind raced back to my family, so many things. I ran straight to school the next day. I spoke with him, pleading and all. He then offered to help. I left school that day in tears for what I had become. He called me the 3rd day and said he had tried all he could, but couldn’t get all my results together, that most of them were missing, and so he suggests I repeat 300level! God!!! I’m sure I went into a coma and woke up all in a split second. I couldn’t believe my ears. Going back to 300level when I was meant to go to 500level. I went back to God, I prayed. Yes, I pray. I’m not that spiritual, but I don’t joke with my God. Even in my unfaithfulness, he remains ever faithful.
He answered my prayers just like he always does. I called my exam officer, and he said he’s been able to find some of my 300level results, and the few he couldn’t find, I would do again as carry over while repeating 400level, because my 400level results couldn’t be traced due to the whole attendance ish and all. Hahaa… I gathered courage and faith, and I went back to my father God, and I prayed some more. Lo and behold, he answered. We were able to sort some of the results, and hence no more repeat. Even though I now have carryovers to deal with, but I still am not repeating any class. Now, the once upon a time 1st class boy is now struggling on a 2:1 – 2:2 borderline in 500level.

I remember recently, I was talking to 1 girl in my class, shortly before the exams, asking her to put me through one course like that, and she said, “wande, what happened to you? remember in 100level, when you used to teach me maths & all”. I cried that day, because now, I don’t even think I know anything again. I just struggle to pass tests and exams.

Anyway, Back to my gbese gist. It was a crazy experience for me, as I kept on sinking more & more in debts. Bills kept increasing, & so was my debt too. So many thoughts ran through my mind. I had sooo many rich friends. The legit and illegal, all join. But I promised myself, and I promised God that I wasn’t gonna do anything illegit. Yahoo oh, with the plus or minus sef, whichever. But I will continue hustling, and I know one day, e go better. And someday, it actually did better. I had a very funny experience. I went out of school one weekend like that, and I found myself chilling at the lobby of the hotel I was in, then there was this nollywood movie showing, where things weren’t going well for one guy, and an angel appeared to him and told him it was because he wasn’t paying his tithe. It dawned on me that that message was for me. I went back to school, and somehow somehow, that same day, a classmate of mine just came up to me and said, “wande, do you pay tithes?” I was stunned! That was a confirmation. There and then, I decided I was gonna pay my tithe from my next allowance before paying my debt, as that was what I do with my monthly allowance; paying up debt. imagine. Anyway, I payed my tithe, and God blessed me. I started getting contracts, and I made money. To the extent that the next tithe I payed was for almost a million naira. I was able to clear up most of my debts. And so I went up in chapel to share the testimony, because I knew I owe God that in appreciation. But mhen, that singular act of appreciation to God turned into something else in school. People started to beef, misyarning and all sort. Some said he came to show off, some even said he came to the alter to lie. C’mon… sha sha, na una sabi.

I know I did that for my God, and he hasn’t stopped blessing me ever since, he remained ever faithful. I kept getting more contracts, and more money, and my tithes keep shooting up; some 6 zeros something. Yes, Na God!

So, going through all of that, and yet I still remained the jovial me, you see me putting up a smile every day, everywhere, but would retire to bed at night to cry my eyes out, hoping and praying. And every day, I set out in the quest for happiness. I’m not totally there yet, but I know someday soon, I will.
So, if you think your case is the worst ever, please think again, because you don’t know what the next person sitting next to you is going through. And in all situations, always give thanks to God because he knows the end from the beginning.

• • •

Don’t just read, say a prayer.

A PENNY FOR YOUR THOUGHTS?

N.B. The project goes on with this Afternoon’s story ’Her Story, XXXVI’ by an Anonymous writer

You can still send in your own true stories to obafuntay@gmail.com

You can subscribe to the blog (at the right column to follow the project, if you are viewing with your mobile, just scroll to the end of this page to subscribe)