Of course you knew I’d write about you. We all know that I sorely lack the core life skill of verbalizing my emotions, so this was the only way.
Here it goes:
Within the first week we met, you had already given me a nickname: Rib cage. At first, I was like “um, famz, don’t know you like that…”. However, this presumptuous nickname turned out to be prophetic. Through the years, we’ve been as close as Siamese Twins that actually share body parts. We have laughed ourselves to tears, cried together, shared very long, reassuring silences, and escaped sleazy Lagos creeps together. I actually feel like you’re my little sister, because it feels like I’ve known you all my life. You’ve been there for the big moments and the mundane ones, the happy moments and the tragic ones. You’ve been there to hold my hand, or just sit with me in silence because you knew that was all I needed.
We’ve had soooo many top moments, I don’t even know how to pick which ones are the best. This list is my lame attempt at picking the best moments:
- When we were at my cousin’s wedding, and that “merchant” walked up to us to give us his self-advert and business card. We stood in silence for about 30 secs and watched him leave. Then we laughed so hard, that we literally started “sharing” tears. For months after, this joke would have us laughing for at least 5 minutes.
- The fact that I have a video of you on my phone, in which you are twerking and singing Nigerian gospel songs
- The time we hung out in my room and rapped the MI2 album from start to finish (actually, this happened multiple times)
- The time you made me watch that stupid The Orphan movie, and I refused to leave your room for three days because I genuinely thought I was going to die
- The time we spent all day listening (and dancing) to one song: Salute
- When we traveled from Atlanta to Lagos together, and you let me crash on your lap for the entire 12-hour flight
- Nobody knows me as completely as you do, and you never hesitate to let me know this. This summer, when you gave me the best analysis of my life. I spent days re-reading those texts, and alternating between loving you and hating you for knowing me SO well
- The fact that we’ve forever corrupted any word that has ‘-dis-‘ in it
- When we discovered the blessing that is Phyno
- When you give me gist in full Igbo, knowing fully well that you’re going to have to repeat it because I don’t understand your language!
- When we were stuck in Lagos traffic for over 1 hour, but we didn’t care because we were too busy singing Burna Boy’s songs at the top of our lungs
- When we are both in Nigeria, and we tune in to Africa Magic and run the most hilarious commentary over the phone
- On my 19th birthday, when I walked into my room and you had set up candles, a cake, and my favorite Nollywood clip of all time! (We swear we’re a married couple. Smh)
- When some guy was trying to talk to us by following us, and you turned around and shouted “WHAT?!”, which made him scamper away like a stray cat (I’m STILL mad about that. 3+ years later)
- “Do it for your people, oh Mandela”
- When we sing along to Surulere Remix, and you let me have Wizkid’s part, while you take Phyno’s part
- The time we had the deepest conversation in some noisy Joburg club
- Whenever you finish your drink and you pass the glass to me because #ice
- When you got into Amherst, and I screamed so much, I almost lost my voice
- When you told me you got selected as a TEDx speaker, and we had the most ratchet, Beyonce-inspired meme celebration on Facebook
- When you made me a video that made me ugly cry on my birthday
Sigh. There are sooooo many more. But I’ll leave it there- 21 for 21, you know?
Happy happy birthday, Ribby. I don’t know that love is truly unconditional, but the way you love your friends and family certainly comes close. I love how I can come to you in whatever form, because I KNOW that you will completely accept me. You are really one of the best things about my life, and I thank God for bringing you to me. You inspire me everyday with your passion and your courage to go against the grain and truly BE. I am so proud of the incredible woman you are and I can’t wait to see the amazing things you do next. You know that I’m your number one fan, and I’m always rooting and cheering for you. I love you so much, Chimax.
Allllll theeee kisseeeessssss!!
PS: This is NEVER going to happen again. So frame this and put it on your wall.