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.
This week’s Sunken Ships subject, Angela*, talks about how her relationship with Tito* was built on arbitrary decisions. Throw in their age difference, recklessness, Angela’s fear of breaking Tito’s heart, and some ghosting; we have a Sunken Ship.
How did the both of you meet?
Angela: I’ve known Tito for exactly one year. We met on a random evening when my roommate and I were trying to buy some food for dinner. At the shop, we saw a friend with someone I’d never met before. So, we got introduced.
When we all got what we needed, I followed Tito and my friend back to their house. Rain was falling, but my roommate and I had drank a little, so I was feeling impulsive. Plus, their street wasn’t too far from where I lived, so if I changed my mind halfway, I could go back home with minimal effort.
The major reason I followed them home was because I wanted to talk to Tito. She looked so cool with her piercings and partly shaved head. She seemed like someone I’d get along great with, and it wasn’t a complete lie. By the time I was leaving their place though, she’d barely said a single word to me.
Angela: The only time Tito spoke to me was when she asked for my snap. So every day since I left their place, she kept sending me snaps. Low-key, I was annoyed because, why didn’t she talk to me? What was I using her snaps to do? I eventually started replying out of boredom, and we got a snap streak going.
The next time we met was about two weeks after. It was at a party, and she was walking around with my friend because she’d drunk a lot and needed someone to watch over her. I think she was actually fine but thought my friend was attractive. Knowing Tito now, that’s the kind of stunt she’d pull.
Anyways, my friend and I ended up watching over Tito, and as the night went on, we danced together a bunch of times. Then, we kissed. There had been no discussion beforehand, but I blamed the alcohol, music and my loneliness. I shouldn’t have done it because we didn’t know each other, and we were in public, but I did it anyway.
What happened after the kiss?
Angela: We both went to our separate houses. It’s not like I’d fall in love with someone because of one kiss. We’d barely spoken more than three sentences to each other. She was just a mutual friend I kept a snap streak with.
Angela: Another two weeks later, she sent me a message that they were around where I stayed and wanted to say hi. I was bored and needed some company, so I agreed.
We talked alone for hours about everything from life to exes, school, work, money, etc. Having her alone made me realise how fun she is, and we didn’t realise it was getting late. They were about to lock my gate, so in the spirit of randomness, I asked her to stay. She did. She never left.
What d’you mean she never left?
Angela: Okay, she did leave and I’m being a bit dramatic, but she only left to shower and change clothes. It became a thing. She’d come to my room every night, we’d go on a long walk together, and she’d sleep over. Then, I got her a sponge, amongst other things, and she brought some of her clothes. That’s how she moved in with me.
You’re joking. Very Abuja-man behaviour
Angela: Everything about Tito and I’s friendship was random. Us sleeping together and with the same people, us living together, etc., was just a combination of random decisions and love.
Angela: Our falling in love was bound to happen. None of our friends were surprised when we told them. She’s kind, sweet, funny, caring, protective and reckless. A stellar combination that’d knock the socks off of any woman, and I realised how lucky I was to have her.
I don’t take care of myself a lot. Instead, I focus all that energy on caring for other people, but Tito brought me back to myself. She helped me be selfish and cared for me when I was too tired to take care of myself. She loved me and worshipped the ground I walked on. I was in my princess era with her.
Angela: She’s a year and some months younger than me. Now, it’s not illegal because we met when I was 20, and she was 18, but the age difference bothered me a lot. A whole lot.
It seemed like we were at completely different stages in life. I was rounding up university, and she was in her second year. I had a job, and she did a bunch of not completely legal things like dabbling in fraud and helping people move drugs around.
I’d say some things to her, and she wouldn’t get it, and it’ll make me realise how different we were. It didn’t allow me to take her seriously a lot of times. I’d only ever been with women older than me. This was different and not entirely in a good way.
Was it just the age?
Angela: It felt like she didn’t take life as seriously as I did. It’s okay to have a little fun once in a while, but it seemed like she always wanted to have fun. There were situations you’d expect her to be serious, but she never was. It was exasperating, and I constantly felt like a terrible person for reminding her she had to take things seriously.
I’d battle the guilt, we’d argue, have fantastic sex, and we’d try to move on. But the same issue will come up again. I was tired, and I didn’t realise how much until school closed because of the strike in February.
What happened when school closed?
Angela: We don’t see each other anymore because we live in different states. She called a lot, but I started finding the calls annoying. I got a job, and she’d be calling me in the middle of a meeting or while I’m trying to cook or do some housework.
I found myself avoiding her calls a lot, which led to me ignoring her in general. I wasn’t replying messages or keeping in touch. She started dating someone, and her girlfriend tried to reach out to me. We were all friends so it wasn’t shocking, but I didn’t know what to say. I didn’t start ignoring her on purpose.
I’ve never broken anyone’s heart before, and I’ve never wanted to because I don’t like when I get my own heart broken. But I realised not talking to her meant I was breaking her heart. Yet I don’t know what to say to her or how to say it.
Would you ever talk to her again?
Angela: Yes, but I plan to put it off for as long as possible. I’ve not figured out the words or how to say. She loves me a lot, and it’ll hurt to tell her all these things. I’m low-key hoping she’d read this and get some closure. I’m a coward who does terribly with confrontation.
What about when school resumes?
Angela: It’ll be very awkward. I don’t even want to think about that, but I’ll try my hardest to avoid her. She has a key to my room and can take her stuff when I’m not there. So it’ll be easier for her to move on if she hates me. I’m okay with that.
Do you still love her?
Angela: Yes, I do. But love isn’t enough. I need security, assurance and someone who takes life as seriously as I do. I can’t get that from her, and that’s okay.