Sunken Ships: He’s the Reason I Started Making Playlists for People

August 5, 2022

Sunken Ships is a Zikoko series that explores the how and why of the end of all relationships — familial, romantic or just good old friendships.

*Disclaimer: Alex* is gender nonbinary and uses they/he pronouns. Thank you*

Alex* had bumped into Femi* at every summer lesson they attended. So, it was natural they became friends. From friends, they started dating. Now, they haven’t spoken in years. Here’s Alex’s story: 

How did you meet him? 

Alex: I don’t remember the exact way we met, but I do remember we kept meeting at various summer lessons when we were in primary and junior secondary school. When I got to SS1 in 2012, I stopped attending them. So that put a halt to our conversations. 

Then, I graduated and didn’t get into uni immediately, so it was back to summer classes by 2015. Guess who was right there? If you meet someone that many times, you’re bound to be friends or at least talk to them. So, we became friends.

What was the friendship like? 

Alex: Being friends with him was pretty easy. We could talk about anything from our parents to depression and even our crushes. It helped that he liked the kind of things I did. We liked the same music and books, things people constantly thought I was weird for enjoying. 

He was also extremely protective of me. Yeah, he spent a lot of time trying to scare me by convincing me to watch horror movies, but no other person was allowed to. He teased me in a way similar to how you acted with a younger sibling, and I found it funny because I was a year older than him. 

How did the dynamic change?

Alex: He was a great friend, and I didn’t want to ruin it. That’s why I didn’t tell him about my crush on him. I listened to him talk about the people he liked and the ones who liked him while seething with jealousy. 

In 2016, we both entered uni, and I got into a relationship with another guy who broke up with me a day before Christmas. I don’t know if that’s what made him confess he’d always liked me, but he did. He even made me a playlist, which is how I started making playlists for people. 

Any reservations? 

Alex: Yeah, but I thought it’d be messy. I thought dating would suck, and if we broke up, I’d lose my friend. I agreed anyway because I liked him. We started dating properly in the new year.

What was dating him like?

Alex: Soft. He always wanted to make me happy. We would always go on dates even though we were broke 100-level students. 

He was very intentional about showing up for me. His school was far from mine, but he still came to see me every weekend. He thought I was brilliant, and everything I said was genius. I almost believed him. 

Sounds amazing so far

It’s just he was a very sad boy. Sometimes, he’d just close up without telling me what was wrong. And whenever he went silent like that, I knew something bad had happened. But all I could do was worry and expect the worst. 

He was passively suicidal, so his silence could’ve meant death. But we’d never gone off for longer than a week before. 

RELATED: Sunken Ships: I Didn’t Expect Our Relationship to End This Way 

So, what happened? 

Alex: Three months into our relationship, he did the disappearing thing again. A couple of days passed, then a week, and suddenly it’d been three weeks, and I hadn’t heard from him. 

He didn’t use social media, and he had only one friend. Whenever I called the friend, he’d refuse to tell me what was happening. I couldn’t even leave my house because my parents wouldn’t let me leave the house.

While worrying about Femi and trying to understand why he’d disappeared for so long, I met this guy who told me everything I wanted to hear: how I deserve someone who won’t treat me that way. He was writing me poetry and all that. So one day, I kissed him. 

When Femi eventually reached out to me, I told him I kissed someone else. I broke up with him. It felt too much like cheating. 

How did you feel after the breakup?

Alex: I don’t know. I didn’t feel as different as I thought I’d feel. While talking to this new guy, I was already subconsciously letting go of the relationship with Femi. It wasn’t until the relationship with the other guy scattered that it hit. It became two in one. I thought I was going to die. 

Did you ever reach out to Femi again? 

Alex: No. I couldn’t. We haven’t spoken in years now, but I don’t think I want any form of romantic relationship with him still. I’ve currently changed as a person, and I don’t want to be hate crimed by someone I used to love. I want the memories I have of him to remain good forever.  

RELATED: Sunken Ships: She Chose Jesus Over Me

Any regrets? 

Alex: I regret losing my friend. I wish I could still talk to him about certain shows because we have history, and he’d understand why things make me feel the way they do. I wish I could tell him I watch horror movies now and send him some theories about my favourite musicians, but I can’t. I don’t miss our romantic relationship; I just missed our friendship. 

I genuinely wish I never crossed the line from friend to lover with him. He truly was one of the best people I had in my life. He made it easy for me to live every day. I really regret losing my friend. 

RELATED: Sunken Ships: We Should Have Been Friends Before We Dated

Join The Conversation

Bring a friend.

You'll like this

August 13, 2022

The subject of this week’s Sex Life is a 25-year-old queer woman who owns half a dozen sex toys and wants more. She talks about her sex toy curiosity, the trial and errors before she found the perfect ones and how she navigates sex with people. 

Love life image with a lesbian couple
July 15, 2021

Ella, 23, and Adaora, 21 have been dating for eleven months. Today on Love Life, they talk about navigating a relationship after Adaora ran away from home, learning how to set boundaries and their future plans for each other.   What is your earliest memory of each other?  Adaora: My first memory was when we first […]


Now on Zikoko

December 5, 2022

It’s hard to talk about 2012 (the year the world was supposed to end) without discussing the dissolution of one of Nigeria’s most impactful creative marriages: Don Jazzy and D’banj’s Mo’Hits Records.  Seven years after breaking onto the music scene with D’banj’s Tongolo, Mo’Hits Records had become a household name, gotten recognition from international heavyweights […]

Recommended Quizzes

What are you like in a relationship?
February 7, 2020

Your taste in music can say a lot about you, and this time, it’s going to reveal what you are like in a relationship. So, pick a few of your favourite Nigerian love songs, and we’ll let you know if you’re typically a distant, passionate or unbothered partner. Here you go:

November 30, 2019

With No Nut November FINALLY coming to an end, we’ve decided to mark the torturous month with some more horny content. After quizzes that guessed how many people you’ve slept with, how good you are in bed and who you’ll sleep with next, this one will guess when next you’ll get lucky. Take it to […]

October 10, 2019

2019 is certainly Burna Boy’s year, but, if we are being honest, so was 2018. Since his transcendent mixtape, Outside, the afro-fusion star has refused to get his foot of our necks — dropping a string of fantastic singles and then capping it all off with his career-best album, African Giant.  So, in a bid […]

More from Ships

November 22, 2022

Among the things Douglas* wished for on his 24th birthday, finding love was not one of them. When he met Susie* in 2021, everything seemed right, even though she’s an unemployed student. But she agreed to date him if he promised not to treat her as his dependant.


Trending Videos

Zikoko Originals

September 13, 2022
Vs The World is a Zikoko original video series that follows best friends Astor and Hassan as they take on the world.
August 23, 2022
Zikoko Ships is a Zikoko Original series where we invite two people who share a relationship to play the Zikoko card games
December 14, 2020
What happens when a group of chatty young Nigerians talk about things they're passionate about? You get Nigerians talk. A show that discusses very familiar struggles for the average Nigerian. From relationship deal breakers to sex education with Nigerian parents to leaving Nigeria, be prepared for a ride.
November 2, 2020
'The Couch' is a Zikoko series featuring real life stories from anonymous people.
October 26, 2020
A collection of videos documenting some of the events of the EndSARS protests.
June 22, 2020
'The Couch' is a Zikoko series featuring real life stories from anonymous people.
June 22, 2020
Hacked is an interesting new series by Zikoko made up of fictional but hilarious chat conversations.
June 4, 2020
What happens when a group of chatty young Nigerians talk about things they're passionate about? You get Nigerians talk. A show that discusses very familiar struggles for the average Nigerian. From relationship deal breakers to sex education with Nigerian parents to leaving Nigeria, be prepared for a ride.
June 2, 2020
Quickie is a video series where everyone featured gets only one minute to rant, review or do absolutely anything.
May 14, 2020
Isolation Diary is a Zikoko series that showcases what isolation is like for one young Nigerian working from home due to the Coronavirus pandemic.

Z! Stacks

Here's a rabbit hole of stories to lose yourself in:

Zikoko amplifies African youth culture by curating and creating smart and joyful content for young Africans and the world.