“Bastard! Bastard! “I swore as the door closed behind them. After a very long weekend Jeda was Finanlly leaving. It felt like that day would never come. I rushed to the window, hiding behind the curtains as I watched Uyi walk her out. He was taking her to the motor park, she had her head rested on his shoulder with his arm around her waist,while the other held her expensive weekend bag. As they walked to the executive taxi she had hired, It was obvious she was classy.
Uyi had mentioned she worked with one of the most prestigious NGO in Abuja, and at some point was even instrumental in some of the jobs he got. I too had honestly liked her, she was soft spoken, polite and very easy going. She respected my place in the house. A night before, she had even pleaded she wanted to make dinner. I was taken aback, Uyi was quick to reassure her to feel at home, but she insisted the kitchen was mine inrespective that the house was both ours.
So many thank you before she left, it bothered me because I was beginning to feel like the devil himself. How do you lovingly hug someone and then turn around and steal their man? I don’t know what bothered me more? The torture of having to see her with Uyi, or the guilt of my treachery. Uyi was going with her all the way back to Abuja, he would spend the night.
I had heard songs about heartbreak and aches but I never realised the heart could actually physically hurt. It was a searing pain that enveloped me, as images and thoughts of their bond that weekend danced around my head.
As I showered hurriedly to go to work, I bawled my eyes out. I felt so stupid and used.”Cassie you are a fool”I cried aloud, if only I didn’t love him that much, if only I didn’t move in with him, if only I hadn’t given in to his advances. If only…..They were the two most futile words in English they said.
My head was throbbing to match the dull heavy ache in my heart, the thought of going to work depressed me. How could I go to work and assume a façade of normality when all I wanted to do was lie in bed and keep crying. how was I even going to face everyone?Uyi had introduced Jeda to quite a number of corpers, many of them ladies, who couldn’t wait to make a mockery of my misery. It was my fault entirely, I should have known better, getting involved with an already taken man, it brought nothing but misery, torment and unhappiness. I thought I could cope, “I m so stupid”I cursed bitterly, but I was done.
I wiped my eyes, dashed on some makeup, with a touch of red lip stick and headed off to work. it was a beautiful morning and I promised myself I would put the thought of Uyi behind me and enjoy my day.
I was in the kitchen the next day when I heard the key in the living room door. Subconsciously my heart leaped in delight, “he’s back” From the kitchen I could even smell him. He smelt like fresh cotton from the mill. I stopped myself from rushing out to meet him, I wanted him to come to me first. Instantly my heart started to pound, I had planned how I was going to react and what I would say to him when he returned, but now I wasn’t so sure anymore. I heard him go into his room which I had cleaned and arranged properly after the scattered mess he and Jeda had left behind. In a minute he strolled into the kitchen bearing a big bucket of my favourite ice cream, Blue Bunny. I looked up at him and with Frank and open eyes, gave him a sweet smile contrary to what I had planned.”Good morning”, he said as he bent to kiss my lips but I gave him the cheek.
I was still dressed in my pyjamas, it was 1st October so a public holiday.
“morning Uyi, I didn’t expect you would come back so soon”I lied, trying to make my face emotionless. I was putting in considerable effort to be lighthearted with him.
“I should have been here earlier but I said I must go buy you this ice cream, the shop didn’t open on time so…..”
“sit down and have breakfast”I cut him short calmly.I wasn’t in the mood to have that
conversation with him that moment. I saw his face change and then after a bit of hesitation he smiled gently dropped the ice cream next to me and went to sit at the table in the sitting room. I joined him at the table minutes later after I had put away the ice cream in the small fridge, and served us the yam porridge I had made, fully aware he loved porridge yam. he made no comment as we ate in companionable silence . Finanlly Uyi said”I sincerely want to thank you Cassie for being so accommodating with Jeda, she felt completely at home, she liked you soo much. I know it wasn’t easy but you completely welcomed her”he sighed with satisfaction as he took a sip of the fresh orange juice I had served.
“ it’s not like I had a choice, the house was as much her boyfriend as it is mine”I said calmly eyes fixed on my food plate I didn’t want to look at him.
“Are you mad at me?”he lifted his eye brows and reached to touch my hand on the table but I abruptly snatched it away.
“Why would I be mad Uyi?, I ain’t mad, I just got smarter.”I said calmly as I poured him some more juice. He nodded in silence, stared blankly at the table like he was lost in thought then he said ”Okay say everything you want to say Cassie, dont bottle it up, it ain’t healthy.
You have something to say to me, say it now and let’s put this matter to rest” He stared at me as he spoke. As usual he wanted to push me to a corner and make himself the victim. I wasn’t buying it
“Yes I have something to say Uyi”I exploded”I’m sick of it, I’m sick of your manipulation, I’m sick of your lies, I’m sick of being your lap dog, I’m sick of all your nonsense”I was fuming.
“Really!! Lies? Did I ever lie to you about Jeda, I was sincere with you from the very beginning, so don’t go painting me the treacherous one”he retorted back.
“okay thank you, so now I’m Finanlly awake,and I’m sick of it,” I replied.
“You want me to give up a relationship of three years for something I m not even sure of?” he fired back.
“I never asked you to give her up”
“Yeah so what’s all the tantrum about then?” he asked calmly.
“Nothing Uyi, it’s just me being stupid as usual, but I guess you have said all that you needed to say, so now, we are clear on where we both stand”
I packed up the plate and stormed out of the leaving room. I was furious. I must have read the wrong signals all this months. The guy was heartless. Men were such free loaders. Did he forget all the beautiful things he said to me? “what a bastard!”I cursed
He joined me few minutes later in the kitchen as I was doing the dishes.
“Do you think I was wrong Cassie?what was I to do?, should I have let her catch the drift?”his voice was calmer now, he was trying to turn on that charm that swept me away always. I considered for a moment then turned to him with eyes bright with anguish
“No Uyi, you were right, Jeda is really nice, and I liked her a lot.she doesn’t deserve it, but neither do I, but you have just said it….We know ourselves dimly, there’s probably no future in this. Why give up something tangible For little scraps? it was your right and your duty to think of yourself first, because that was what it was all about…”
“No Uyi please let me finish” I was trying hard to fight back the tears, he moved closer and tried to hold my hand in sympathy but I withdrew ”You did what you had to Uyi and it’s okay, but I’m exhausted, I’m not asking you to give her up I would never do that, but for your sake, hers and mine, you must make up your mind . Whatever you decide it’s fine by me…I ll always be here for you…….”. a tear or two dropped
”But this toxic thing we have going on…..cos that’s how it feels right now…has got to stop. untill you make up your mind alone….With no interference.”
I walked away, leaving the dishes unfinished, not giving him a chance to respond. I knew Uyi too well, all he needed was five minutes and then he would start making me feel like I was the tormentor and he the victim. Men always look for excuses to blame women, I wasn’t going to give him that pleasure, we must confront what must be confronted. I wasn’t sure anymore if he was even worthy of me. I had invented my everything into the relationship, time, money, body and soul and he had called it nothing. I however loved him sincerely, and no matter how much I lied I couldn’t tune that off. I was forever going to care for him, weather he choose me or not. I would respect his choice.
To be continued…………………….