I’m going to call Mr Dayo today.
I’m chilling in this alright apartment at Victoria Island. I have no serious doubts with regard to my sanity or mental wellbeing, and I’m plotting some schemes to enable me discontinue my enrolment at that soul-eroding university.
Life is good.
I call Mr Dayo’s number.
The phone rings for a bit.
Someone answers. It is a woman’s voice.
“Hello, Good evening. My name is Mayowa. Mr Dayo gave me this number.”
We speak for a bit.
I mention how I know Mr Dayo. I say we spent some time at the Psych Ward together.
It’s his wife.
The one who he said left to go live with some guy.
We exchange some more words, and then she says something that completely suspends my thoughts.
“Mister Dayo is dead.”
Mister Dayo is what?
It takes me a while to process the implication of that statement on all of the things I was initially planing to say.
“He died late last year.”
I am thoroughly disoriented. And very sad.
I do not understand.
She says he died in his sleep. That the autopsy said it was some sort of a heart condition.
I feel so sad. And shocked.
We keep talking.
She says he got depressed when his friend died.
I recall him mentioning that.
After my time in the Psych facility- When I regained access to the internet, I googled his friend’s name. He was spoken of, as someone with a renowned reputation. Like someone I should know by name.
No results on Google.
Most likely for people in Mr Dayo’s generation, the establishment of their careers/reputations predated the prevalence of the internet. In Nigeria at least.
Dated newspapers, physical memorabilia, and collective memory are probably the places where they still exist now.
We talk a bit about their relationship.
She says his family interfered a lot. Says that was very frustrating for her.
I recall him mentioning something like that. He said his siblings were trying to turn him into a Pastor of sorts. Said he was like the black sheep the family.
I am extremely sad to hear that he’s dead.
I was looking forward to catching up, and laughing and recalling our shared experiences in the Psych facility. We spent a number of months as inpatients in the hospital. In such close quarters and insulation from the outside world, there’s little else to do but talk to pass the time.
This is so so sad.
My own life in like the past two years has been full of its own tumults I’ve had to navigate, and so calling or paying a visit hadn’t been anywhere in my plans until now.
We keep talking.
I mention that he was also pretty upset because she left. He seemed largely nonchalant about it in our discussions, but he had to be upset. He had to be.
She says she never left him. That she never went to live with any guy. That she had just one husband. That she’s a Christian. That she’s a Pastor blah blah blah.
Oh now you’re a Christian. Now you’re a Pastor.
I’m not so surprised anyway. It’s not like I expect her to be so forthcoming with tales of her affairs, while answering a call on her dead husband’s phone.
We exchange some more words, and then say goodbye.
The phone call ends.
I delete the phone number. Mr Dayo is permanently unreachable now.
I take some time to try making sense of everything.
This was completely unexpected. Completely.
This post is one in a Series. Feel free to view the other pieces here.
Image: Random stretch of Lagos countryside road.