“It is over, Edith.” That was all he said, or maybe, all I heard.
It was December 31st, 2020, and I had gone to see my boyfriend, Chike. I wanted to cross over to 2021 with him. I had always dreamt that he went on one knee and asked the question that all my friends said “yes” to in 2020.
The ladies I know got engaged or married last year and I spent my entire savings buying Asoebi. I made Chike my prayer point. He was the only man in my life and I was a teddy bear in loyalty to him. I arrived at his apartment that afternoon, but he wasn’t at home. His keys were not at the usual spot, so I called him.
“Babe, what’s up?” he sounded excited.
“I’m at home, and your key is not where it should be.”
“Shit, I’m sorry. I rushed out and probably forgot to keep it. But I’m on my way.”
Chike returned home, looking rather excited. It must be the euphoria of a new year, I thought, but I still asked.
“What’s up? You seem excited.”
“Me?” he asked, struggling with the blender. “Maybe it’s just excitement.”
I prepared coconut rice and fried plantain for dinner. It was Chike’s favorite, and I had my reasons for making it. He always smiled, putting those beautiful dimples of his on display whenever I served him coconut rice. Chike was an extraordinarily handsome young man. He was dark-skinned, tall, and slim with hard, tanned abs. Most Nigerian Ladies visited Shiloh to pray to God for a spec like Chike. I remember Natasha told me that I had caught a golden fish when I met him.
“I know,” I had said to her on that day.
I set the table. Power went off, and he turned on the generator. It was already 10 pm. At dinner, he poured us a drink.
“To us,” he said and raised a glass.
“To us,” I replied, not sure of what he meant.
“We’ve been in this relationship for how long? 4years? I am sorry for keeping you thus far without a serious commitment…”
It seemed like he was going to propose. Those were the same lines most guys used in the proposal videos that I watched on Instagram. I was blushing already, waiting for the part where he would ask the question…”
“Edith, I cannot be in this relationship anymore. I want to let you go because marriage won’t work for us. They say that when you find a woman, you’ve found luck, grace, and success, but with you, I’m stuck at a place. Nothing seems to be moving. I love you, I really do, but sometimes, what we love is not always the right thing for us…”
He kept talking. I wasn’t listening. He was in front of me, but I couldn’t see him. It felt unreal. Then he said, “It is over, Edith.” That was all he said, or maybe, all I heard.
Often, several brand owners tend to focus on doing things that do not matter to their clients, while abandoning the ones that matter.
The story of Edith and Chike is a depiction of the relationship between brand owners and their clients. Clients, which Chike represents, can choose to abruptly end what seems like a beautiful relationship without a solid reason.
They call you and announce that they no longer require your services, or even dump you for a substitute service or product provider, and brand owners, just like Edith, end up wondering where they went wrong.
Do you think they wake up and decide? No. They always think it through. They make such decisions because they no longer see the positive effect of your services, so they “dump” you.
The question is – what can you do differently to keep them or even keep the thought of leaving off their minds?
It’s a new year, return to your drawing board, restrategise, and think of ways to serve your clients or customers better. If the plan is not working, change it, but don’t change the goal. Life is what you make it, so is your brand.
Feel free to engage us at De Critic, and let your brand take flight in the New Year. You can reach us here +2348119832176 or firstname.lastname@example.org.