Starting and Finishing

Starting and Finishing

I had a camp crush.

Oh, Sorry. My apologies. Let me give you a little background information first…

I did my national youth service camp in a distant northern Nigerian state – A long, long time ago… Like, a really long time ago!

Background information over.

So, yes…

I had a camp crush.

You guys know how camp works now… 3 weeks of exhaustively routine activity. The least I could do was have a camp crush. Cut me some slack here.

Dark, slim and really pretty, she wore braids (well, almost all the girls in camp did…),  was extremely reserved and refreshingly well-composed (refreshingly, because a terribly huge percentage of the camp girls were just plain razz). She was in platoon 3 (I was in 2…) and she happened to be one of her platoon’s two ‘sub-commanders’ (I really don’t know the army lingo for that, but she was one of the two people leading her platoon’s parade group, apart from the platoon commander).

A year older than me, (well, more than 95% of campers were older than me… don’t be so quick to judge), she studied accounting in one of the most popular schools in Nigeria (and no, I wasn’t stalking her that badly – they usually announce the names, schools and birthdays of the platoon commanders on parade day).

She was a decent girl. Funny thing is, I don’t recall her name. How embarrassing.

Anyways, I always encountered my camp crush in a number of places throughout camp. And her behavior was always consistent and impressive.

Just the way I liked it.

But here’s the thing…

I never spoke to her. Or approached her. Or even heard her voice.

In my room (sorry, extra-large hall) of over 210 boys, only 1 guy knew about my camp crush. I think his name was Segun. I told him towards the end of camp . And I did so because he was in her platoon, and in my ‘grand scheme of things’, I needed him to help me do something.

A few days to the end of camp, I wrote a letter.

It was a simple letter… If I recall properly, here’s part of what I wrote:

“Hi there,
You seem like a really decent, well-behaved and quiet-spirited young lady (maybe a little too quiet sha)…
Keep it up.
BTW, your about-turns are really terrible. You should consider turning to the left instead of right for a change… 🙂 ”
– Truly, A distant admirer. (then I wrote the last 3 digits of my NYSC number.)

I sealed the letter with a stapler (heaven knows where I got that stapler from…) and gave it to my ‘alarina’ to help deliver it to her. So, he did. Well, I never really asked what happened, but he said she read it and smiled.

Later that day, my buddy, out of curiosity, asked me a question…

“if you like her, why not go talk to her?”

And my answer was simple…

“Well, I don’t like starting stuff that I can’t finish”

And that was it. I was over my camp crush.

Seriously, as much as it seemed like it, this wasn’t me chickening out or something…

The thing is, honestly, I already had someone back at home, and as much as the idea of getting involved with another girl might have, frankly, been fun (tsk tsk, men), it wasn’t really worth my time. Mind you, there was really no moral-high-ground-standing here.

It was just plain logic.

I think we’re all called to finish the things we start. And start the things we can finish. Along the way, things might not turn out as planned, they might turn out better, or worse… or maybe not even work out at all. But I think it’s still worth putting in the effort.

So, yeah, the lesson for today is really simple – start what you can finish. Simple advice.

Afterword: Yes, if you wonder what happened to my camp crush, well, nothing much. I have a video of the entire camp, and every ‘once in a blue moon’ when I watch the video, I always show anyone who cares to listen, who my camp crush was…

*pauses VLC player* “Yes, that’s her! That’s her!!!