I am a writer and a poet. A soul searcher and a realist. A communicator and home decorator.
Things can really change so fast that you begin to wonder why you reacted so rashly at first. That day I heard I had failed my exams, I ran all the way to meet David because somehow I knew he would understand, so I took solace in him. I saw David as a friend, but deep down inside I felt I was comfortable with him because I sensed he had been through a lot himself, even though he never told me of any till that faithful night.
Ufoma you need to be stronger than what you are. He had told me. Learn to take blows and laugh over it. Learn to fight back only when you feel its not over, and make sure to always expect the worst because the worst scenarios will always present itself. Do you know how may times I failed exams in school? But I never gave up. I haven’t told anyone this before, but I will tell you today. I am an orphan, and was raised by my uncle who made me work for him so I would be able to eat food! I can’t even begin to tell you how I survived through school because you know what? He never paid for one semester for me.
I had cried in David’s arms that day, feeling as if I had met angel Gabriel, and I was in heaven with him. I spent the night at David’s place and he was such a gentle man. He even called my father to let him know I was with him, and promised to take care of me like a sister. Father was the one who informed aunty Ejiro about my whereabouts, and she in turn informed Stanley.
That night at David’s place, we really bonded. He talked all through the night, sharing all our life’s stories till we slept off on separate chairs. We fell asleep in his parlor and was awoken first thing in the morning by my father.
Father had come to take me home, and I was so in need of his encouragement and love that I followed him without resisting.
Ufoma, you should have come to me. Father said as he drove us home. What’s the big deal in failing your exams? You can always rewrite your courses and pass them next year. Next year is just by the Conner! What would I have done if I had lost you? Did you bother to think about it? Ufoma I can’t live without you! You are my heart! When you breathe, I beat. Never forget that! When you breathe, my heart beats. I love you so much, I love you more than anything or anyone. Please do not run off again. Remember the last time you did that? You almost got raped by your friend’s stupid he goat of a husband. What if David wasn’t a good guy? Imagine what would have happened? He would have just taken advantage of you. I am just happy it happened at a time whereby the circumstance was okay because truly no guy is good.
Father went on and on till we got home. Then he took me to my room and laid on my bed with me. He stared into my eyes and told me that no man will ever love me the way he does. Deep down, I knew father was right. But why would the man that loves me most in the world ask me to leave his house? No one is perfect. I concluded. Sometimes we hurt the ones that love us, and they hurt us back. What matters most we that the love is still there, ever strong.
Ever since then, Stanley has been trying to see me. I told him I needed a break for now to focus on my exams. It was my turn to keep him in friend zone, and I was glad about it. Who the hell did he think he is? I will make him suffer, I promised myself.
I did not return to aunty Ejiro’s house again. She came over that same day I arrived at father’s place, and was in tears. She really did love me. She even took the blame for my failure.
If only I had given you time to consider going for your masters, then you would have been well prepared. I kept on forcing you down that part without considering if you were ready or not. She lamented
I told her I needed to stay with father for now, and she didn’t even argue. She only made me promise to spend some time with her later on.
A lot of time passed before I was able to heal. I had started a small study group at home, and David surprisingly made out tremendous time to be with me. We read a lot together even though he is in the medical line. His knowledge was very broad, and I became more and more proud of him. He was handsome, intelligent, caring, God fearing and above all very generous. He always came with gifts! From shoes, to bags, perfume, jewelries, dresses, and shorts. He loved me putting on shorts, or long fitted dresses. He said I looked heavenly anytime I wore those.
The house was back to normal with Isoken gone and her child now with grandma. As usual grandpa was always travelling and grandma now had company. With Isoken dead, father was now officially a widower since he never married my birth mother. His parents took the news calmly and that surprised me. My guess was that their main concern was the child, and they were glad when he was discharged from the hospital. As far as they are concerned, they already have an heir which is Efe Jr.
My maternal grand parents called to console dad, and he bluntly told them that they didn’t call to congratulate him when he got married, but they decided to call to give condolence message. My grand father gave a proverb I still remember till date. He said: When the monkey goes to the market, nobody tells him welcome when he arrives. But let him fall down and die, the person who takes its body home for a meal, will hear welcome. He added; at death you receive more love.
I saw my maternal grand mother last when aunty Ejiro put to birth, and she had to come bath the baby. She had told me not to fall for a man, but I should make sure the man falls for me. She said, any man that doesn’t call me in a day to hear your voice, must be calling someone else because many men these days are either married or engaged, and are just looking for who toil with, do not be their prey. And lastly, if a man brings in that competitive spirit of if you do, I do. And if you don’t do, I won’t. Run away! Do not marry him.
I had been reading so hard for my exams, to the extent that when it finally came the following year, I promised father that if I failed I will let him pimp my shop. But if I passed, he will let me hustle my way. I was confident I would pass, and I was sure I would build my business myself.
Jamiu was a lifesaver, he was there for Ogaga décor masters, when I was weak. He opened the shop everyday to make sales, and he made deliveries and also installed wallpapers, wall panels and Stone cladding for TV walls.
The day I went for exams, David was there. The day my results came out with flying colors, David was there to take me into his arms. On that faithful day, he proposed again, and this time around I said yes confidently.
I called aunty Ejiro to give her the good news and she was busy asking of Stanley.
But Ufoma what about Stanley? I thought he was suppose to be the one.
But I thought you preferred David? I asked her.
That was before I got to meet Stanley and get to know him. If I should compare, Stanley is just the right man for you. I am not saying David isn’t. She added. But Stanley is the best.
What she said made me so annoyed that day. Was she not he one that called me a confused woman when I had earlier turned down David? How could she even be saying such things now?
Aunty don’t you think you are sounding confused? I asked her.
Well you can ask kelvin. Referring to her husband. He feels the same way too.
But why are you talking this way aunt? Aren’t you the one that has been campaigning David to me?
Yes I know, but someone can rethink something and change mind na.
When the call ended, I was so angry. Why wasn’t she happy for me? This was surly not the kind of reaction I was expecting. So I called Ini to give her the good news.
Hello Ini. I sounded very lively over the phone.
Hello dear, how are you doing? This one your voice is sounding like this, what’s up?
I have got good news! I exclaimed.
Really? What’s up?
I just got engaged! I exclaimed again.
Wow at last! Stanley must be so happy! So it finally happened at last!
Which Stanley? Abeg I am engaged to David please not Stanley, who has time for that time waster.
David? She asked surprised. Why David?
What is why David? I love him and he loves me too.
Haba Ufoma, you are more smarter than I am when it comes to choosing men. I know David is doing well financially but is he the right man for you? That Benin doctor be like flirt to me o! You know how all these fine boy doctors are? And he come be Benin again, I fear for you o! You know say you no sabi tolerate such things.
What’s all this talk about Benin? Besides I don’t judge people by their occupation or tribe. David is a nice guy, and he has proven it in both words and actions. I love him and I am going to marry him. End of discussion! At least be happy for me gosh! Don’t forget I am twenty nine this year, and you should know how dangerous it is locking thirty and single. I must get married before thirty, I can’t afford to risk it.
Okay dear, I am sorry. I am happy for you! What matters its that you are engaged now. So when is the wedding?
Yea we will discuss that. First I need to visit his family in Benin. You know he is an orphan, and was raised by a wicked uncle. But still, we still have to go visit them.
Babe there is something I just need to tell you. First, I want to commend the fact that you have always been truthful to me concerning my marriage to Itoro. So this is the best time for me to tell you this. If you ask me about that story David told you, I will say he is lying. He isn’t an orphan, and no wicked uncle raised him. But let’s keep our fingers crossed and remember I said this.
After we ended the call with pleasantries, I couldn’t help but think of what Ini said. Why she was so trusting her guts, I don’t know but I wasn’t even considering distrusting the one man that had proposed to me a second time.
Father was the only one who was happy for me. I felt he too had doubts, I could sense it but for some reasons, he reserved them. He only told me to never give in to sex until I was married to him because that was what killed my birth mother and he did not want remises repeating itself.
After exactly two weeks of being engaged, I was loving it with all the outings that came along. On this faithful day, I was with David in his house when someone knocked the door.
He went to see who it was and then returned to ask me if I know any Stanley Ojewe .
Yes I do. Was my honest reply. Where did you see him?
He is at the door and requesting to see you. He said irritatingly.
I jumped up from the chair I sat, and rushed to the door while David followed behind.
Stanley. I stood looking at him face to face at the door.
Ufoma, what’s all this rubbish I am hearing of you being engaged?
How did you find me here? I asked looking shocked.
Is that really a question? You seriously think I won’t find my woman when I want to?
Your woman? I repeated shocked.
What do you think you are to me? He asked.
A friend of course! Wasn’t it what you said to me a year ago? And since then haven’t we just been friends.
Ufoma, if I was just a friend to you, your aunt Ejiro won’t have called me to ask what was going on. What did my sister Edirin use to tell you? That her brother needed a friend or wife? And you treat me this way after you had called asking for some space to read for your exams. How would you have felt if I had done this to you?
But you never told me you love me! I defended. What kind of relationship is that?
I am not a man of many words but a million actions. Ufoma, you yourself know I love you.
Please please what’s all this? David interrupted. The lady doesn’t love you okay, so stop all these drama. If you are man enough you should have told her.
Who is this puppet? Stanley asked. When I am talking to my woman, you keep quiet.
Stanley’s voice was so authoritative, and his tone so demeaning that David just stood still and quiet.
And look let me warn you, if you dare touch my woman, I will kill you and no one will find your body. I know how Ufoma is, and what she is, so when you are done with this stupid circus of yours, send her back to me intact and untouched.
And as for you Ufoma, I won’t deal with you now, but I will after our wedding. Just don’t forget what I said; keep yourself intact! Leave yourself the way I have kept you all these years.
With that he marched out like an American soldier just called to battle.
David just held my hand inside, and told me not to mind the he goat. Deep down I was offended he had called Stanley that, but I swallowed it and didn’t let it show.
Come jare, let’s make love. Was the next rubbish that came out of David’s mouth.
Excuse me? I laughed faint heartedly.
Yes na. Are you not my wife? He asked innocently and stupidly.
You said let’s make love like, let’s go and eat.
Is it not still eating? Its just a different kind of food. He laughed sheepishly.
Please come out of this joke, it isn’t funny.
Who is joking? He said sitting up from the chair he sat.
You better be. I warned sternly. What’s that suppose to mean? Is that how you marry in your village? Because you gave me a ring then I am now your wife? I don’t even know where you come from or your people.
But what’s the big deal? Is that an issue? I told you I am an orphan! So the two most important people you to meet are dead. What’s the big deal meeting those wicked people in the village that never cared about me. He said.
Well, we have never discussed about sex. But since it has now come up, I want to let you know my stand. I am a virgin and I want to keep it for marriage.
What’s that suppose to mean? He asked.
It means no sex until marriage.
So its because of what your Stanley said abi? You want to keep yourself for him.
How does our discussion concern Stanley? Is it not you I am engaged to? If you really want to marry me as you said, why would you be bothered about Stanley and wanting us to have sex now? This as always been my mind on sex before marriage, I don’t support it. And I must add, I am highly disappointed you do.
After I left David’s house that day, I was determined never to go there alone again. I saw another side of him that I didn’t like.
I got home annoyed and tired, and was informed by dad that I had a guest waiting for me in the living room.
Who is it? I asked father.
Go see for yourself. Was his reply.
I walked over to the living room and saw a face I knew too well and was expecting to see.
Edirin, wow quite an age! You came visiting today?
Ufoma, I am not in a happy mood and you know I hate pretense. Why did you lead my brother on when you knew you had another man?
Edirin, you could have at least greeted before the accusation. Why didn’t you call me to inform me you were coming? I would have told you to meet me up at my fiancée’s place. I replied her rudely.
Wow! Ufoma you just lost a very good man. You want to brag about that dog that engaged you? Do you know he has been asking me out? And I got to know from a reliable source that he sleeps around? He is even one of their play boy doctors! Almost all the nurses and doctors, married and unmarried have slept with him. Are you aware? She asked.
Story for the gods! So Edirin, you think I Ufoma Ogaga, Efe Ogaga’s daughter will be stupid to be engaged to a play boy? You think he could deceive me so long and I won’t find out?
That’s because you are stupid and rational! You are stupid to think that David loves you and wants to marry you. You are also stupid to say you didn’t know my brother loves you. When you see good man you no dey know? God have mercy! I introduced you to my brother and even called you our wife. How many sisters do that? When you see a man's sister doing that, then you should know what the guy wants and that marriage is almost a done deal, except you both don’t love each other.
Look Edirin, I am engaged now and that’s Stanley’s loss. So please leave me to enjoy my engagement. And of course you are invited to the wedding.
Which wedding? She gave a good laugh and went on. You see that stupid thing you call engagement ring of your finger, that’s all its going to be and all you will ever enjoy from David. So yes go ahead and enjoy your engagement because that’s all to it. Ufoma I love you as a friend, a sister and a sister in-law to be. Please come back to Stanley before that David guy ruin you. Because at the end of the day, even though you and Stanley eventually get married, you will forever remember the scares David caused you.
That night, I just couldn’t sleep. I kept on remembering all Edirin said and my heart was very heavy. I decided to call David at that late hour to tell him word for word all Edirn had said about him and us. He just laughed and said I should go back to sleep. He reassured me of his love again, and promised never to ask of sex again since it was causing me insecurities.
I slept that night like a well breastfed baby, satisfied with David’s lies and so sure of a wedding that was to come later that year.
I was sad the way things ended with I and Stanley, and the rift it caused I and Edirin, but there was nothing I could do about it, I was enjoying getting spoilt by David.
Sadly I wore my engagement ring throughout that year, and I had not met David’s people because he kept on postponing and giving excuses. He even accused me of rushing things, and said many ladies wore theirs for two years, so why was I being overly disturbed. I thought of going into another year and clocking thirty still single, it almost killed me. In fact I thought I would die, and Ini made it worst by referring to me as the lord of the rings.
© 2020 Jade George Anibor