I Need.

Erioluwadamiloju Shodayo
4 min readJul 27, 2022

You. A drag. You.

If You Think It’s Love — song by King Princess | Spotifyopen.spotify.com
Listen to If You Think It’s Love on Spotify. King Princess · Song · 2019.

September

I have a “Damn, I’m probably god” moment every once in a while. This is one of them. I admire the nearly creaseless slim blunt I’ve just rolled — despite my freshly installed four-inch nails.

I’ve rolled all the four blunts we’ve had today.

It’s a little after four o’clock, too. I know because the golden hour alarm rang not too long ago. I set it to go off every day, back when the golden hour meant something to me, back when taking pictures meant something to me, back when I started to think this city might mean something to me.

She, however, has managed to mean so much more than anything ever has to me.

March

“Oh, you’re one of those people?”

godkeepmefromclawingmyeyesout.

I pray on the inside that all this extra human interaction will end soon. That it’ll just be me and my friend, soon.

“What people?” I tilt my head to the side and can’t help it when an eyebrow goes up. Why does her skin shine like this? Even through my misgiving?

“The people that take pictures of the sky…?” It sounds like she’s asking more than telling.

“The blooms against the sky,” I edit her statement. I edit everything, especially when it doesn’t actually matter. “Yes, I am one of those people.”

Late food delivery upsets me, but being scrutinised — especially on the wrong bases — upsets me more. Yes, I do, in fact, take pictures of the sky, but the flowering trees were the real focus of the pictures Ije saw me taking.

She sniggers. It sounds like a chuckle, though. Maybe it was? Am I just embarrassed enough to think she must be doing nothing but laughing at me? Now, I desperately need the blunt I came here for. But Blaq is so occupied by the couple — one of them, anyway. I’m tolerating the other one right now.

I should learn how to roll.

‘That’ll be dumb: you have nowhere to smoke besides here,’ my ever present mental critic whispers to the rest of us.

“You look good these days,” More scrutiny. This time with her eyes, too. “Let’s see if you keep it up long.”

Uhm … thank you? My brain recommends that reply for some reason.

I don’t speak unless spoken to. I try not to.

“Ladies are meant to be seen, not heard,” My mother would always tell me with a little stutter on ‘not’. These days I wonder if there was reluctance because even she didn’t believe the words coming out of her mouth. “And if there’ll be any talking, a lady should be talked about for good.”

So, I don’t speak unless spoken to. I try not to. Especially on days like this: days I feel pretty enough to be talked about — my mother’s daughter; days I’m flustered and can’t tell exactly what about. I overthink everything, but at this point, I’m overthinking overthinking.

I was just spoken to, though. Right? She did … speak to me.

I should go inside now: wait alone till my friend is ready to help with why I came here. That’s what I’d normally do, anyway.

But I stick around and humour her.

“I doubt I can keep it up,” I reply a little too truthfully than I intended. “I have a lot of spare time now that I don’t have to be anywhere by 7 am. I refuse to wake up two hours before that — not to get dressed properly while it’s still pretty dark. I’ll probably stop looking good as soon as we resume physical classes.”

Another maybe chuckle. But this time, I think I can see the smile in Ije’s eyes. What beautiful eyes.

Hi, guys

Those who follow my newsletter know that there’s more to this story, but I won’t be publishing the rest on here. Not any time soon, at least. In fact, the only reason I decided to put this up here is for ✨diversity✨ (yes, I write fiction, too; pls employ me). And doing it was such a fight against myself, I lost three months to a battle that capitalism won anyway the moment Naira ‘crashed’ to N710 to $1. I’ll tell you all about the dreadfulness of being a young Nigerian later — probably on my newsletter first. So, to read the story of how I fell for Ije (and more exclusive stuff that would probably earn you the title of my friend), check out and subscribe on Revue where a new dispensation is about to begin. Right now, though, it’s arrivederci!

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Erioluwadamiloju Shodayo

On growth and neuroses. She/they. Libertine. Anxious person on the journey to self-discovery.