Meena’s Diary#16

I am a dead woman on two feet going through the motions of life without emotions. I knew the right time to smile, offer a laugh at a joke, and give a hug to the kids. The right words and encouragement to friends and co-workers.

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I was living each day with a happy and confident front fooling the world that all is well.

Babes where are you?  A message from one of the girls flashed on my phone.

Me: At home. What’s new?

Hauwau: You are late for our hangout.

Me: Gosh! I totally forgot.

Hauwau: We are waiting. You can still make it.

I missed the hangout last week and did not even remember this week. I have been avoiding my friends. I did not know what to tell them when I was still trying to process the whole situation.

It has been two weeks but I still did not know what I wanted to do or go from here.

Me: Nah too tired.

Hauwau: Thought you’ll say that. We are at your gate.

I laughed. It sounded hollow to me. Only my crazy friends would not take no for an answer.

It was less than two minutes that the girls came in and launched their Mission Attack.

“Spill. Something is eating you up. We have given you all the time to talk. Before and after Paris.”

“You don’t want to hear it.”

“We do want to hear it. The good, the bad and the ugly but leave the sex out. We don’t want our ears to cringe. We are innocent girls here.”

“Blah! Say that to the gods. The things you do behind closed doors. Your grandma will be rolling in her grave.

“If she was not worse than us,” retorted Hauwau through her teeth but turned on me with a vengeance.

“Don’t derail spill.”

“You girls care for a drink?”  I asked playing the role of a perfect hostess.

“Martini on ice for me,” Sa’a answered speaking for the first time since the girls came in.

“Does Atiku know you indulge in this?”

“Let’s just say it’s my little secret.  A little alcohol now and then is good for the body. Kobahakaba?”

I went through the motion of laughing which was the normal reaction.

I  also needed that martini and something stronger.

We moved towards the bar to make our drinks.JK never drank but had the bar full of every stocked wine you can imagine. Luckily he had friends who made good use of the drinks.

“What are you doing with that?” My two friends asked eyes round with surprise as  I mixed mine.

“Whatever is going on must be bad,” concluded Hauwau.

“In all the years we have known you. You never have as much sipped on alcohol.”

“There is always a first time,” I answered sadly and blurted out before I lost the courage.

“JK has a son with someone else.”

The reaction from my friends could have won an Oscar.

I could not have imagined any scenarios that would shut the mouths of these women.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Two weeks.

 

I was a dead woman on two feet going through the motions of life without emotions. I knew the right time to smile, offer a laugh at a joke, give a hug to the kids. The right words and encouragement to friends and co-workers.

 

I was living each day with a happy and confident front fooling the world that all is well.

 

Babes where are you?  A message from one of the girls flashed on my phone.

 

Me: At home. What’s new?

Hauwau: You are late for our hangout.

Me: Gosh! I totally forgot.

Hauwau: we are waiting. You can still make it.

 

I missed the hangout last week and did not even remember this week. I have been avoiding my friends. I did not know what to tell them when I was still trying to process the whole situation.

It has been two weeks but I still did not know what I wanted to do or go from here.

 

Me: Nah too tired.

 

Hauwau: Thought you’ll say that. We are at your gate.

 

I laughed. It sounded hollow to me. Only my crazy friends would not take no for an answer.

 

It was less than 2 minutes that the girls came in and Mission Attack began.

 

“Spill. Something is eating you up. We have given you all the time to talk. Before and after Paris.”

 

“You don’t want to hear it.”

 

“We do want to hear it. The good, the bad and the ugly but leave the sex out. We don’t want our ears to cringe. We are innocent girls here.”

 

“Blah! Say that to the gods. The things you do behind closed doors. Your grandma will be rolling in her grave.

 

“If she was not worse than us,” retorted Hauwau through her teeth but turned on me with a vengeance.

 

“Don’t derail spill.”

 

“You girls care for a drink?”  I asked playing the role of a perfect hostess.

 

“Martini on ice for me,” Sa’a answered speaking for the first time since the girls came in.

 

“Does Atiku know you indulge in this?”

 

“Let’s just say it’s my little secret.  A little alcohol now and then is good for the body. Kobahakaba?”

 

I went through the motion of laughing which was the normal reaction.

 

I needed that martini and something stronger.

 

“What are you doing with that?” My two friends asked eyes round with surprise.

 

“Whatever is going on must be bad,” concluded Hauwau.

 

“In all the years we have known you. You never have as much sipped on alcohol.”

 

“There is always a first time,” I answered sadly and blurted out before I lost the courage.

 

“JK has a son with someone else.”

 

The reaction from my friends could have won an Oscar.

 

I could not have imagined any scenarios that would shut the mouths of these women.

 

 

 

 

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Omowashe Omorishe#17

Priceless memories

The next hours of my life were the longest.Lana slumped before me. I was hysterical as I shouted for help. The ambulance came, and the whole wedding party was in disarray as the groom and bride left their reception and followed the ambulance to the hospital.

 

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We sat for hours at the St Nicholas hospital waiting for the Doctors to come out. While we were out, her parents and famous uncle Sege was around. I mustered a smile when I saw him. I was yet to see an uncle who was so fond of his niece like him.  His devotion was beyond my imagination leaving me secretly wishing he was mine, considering that I  had lost my father at a young age of six,  It had been just my mother and me and since then

He seemed more agitated than even her parents. Her father was reassuring him that she would be okay.

“Lana is a fighter, she would pull through,” he said confidently. And I prayed with all my might that he was right.

Another guy rushed in. You could see he was agitated. I found out he was her boss at work.

He walked over to Peju, shook the groom and Peju fell into his embrace. All she had been doing since she came in was cry and how it was her fault. Although, we all failed to see how it could be her fault.

From the conversation he had with them, I deduced he was her boss at work. He spoke some words to her and handed her over to her husband as he took his seat beside them with a grim look on his face.

I watched the whole family and felt like an outcast, although I was the most important person to her, yet no one had this knowledge except the both of us. We were meant to be celebrating, but here I was sitting in the cold hospital with her hanging between death and life.

I walked up to her parents, and her mum and managed a smile as I said my hello.
“I did not know you were back together,” she said with pain that mirrored mine.
“Lana and I met today at Peju’s wedding. I was there when she slumped,” I  explained.
“What happened?” she asked looking at me, hoping to get a clue from whatever I had to say
“We were talking, she opted to sit down saying she was tired and before I knew it. She slumped,” I narrated.

I winced, my ring was on her finger, and she was not even able to let me know if we were back together again.
Why did I have to lose, gain and lose her again,
I chided myself, to remain optimistic. She would wake up and get better.

The waiting party grew in number as another lady with her husband and a boy of five years old rushed in. She was a younger version of Lana’s mother, and I presume, it was Nekan, her older sister.

“What happened?” she asked worry etched all over her face as she joined her parents.

Her mother mumbled something I could not hear from where I was, but she nodded towards me.
The lady turned to look at me. Although, we had never met, but she seemed to recognise me. She had a surprised look on her face as she left her parents and came over to me.

I swallowed hard as I prayed the Doctor would appear with good news. The wait was getting rather too long, and heart-wrenching. I gazed over to Peju feeling sorry for how her wedding had turned out.

“Hi, my name is Nekan,” she introduced herself to me stretching her hand for a handshake.
“Hi, I am Bode Coker,” I said with as much smile I could muster.
“My mother told me you were with her when it happened,” she said looking at me with questions in her eyes.
“Yes, we were just talking, and she complained of being tired as took her seat, and the next thing she slumped,” I said. I had lost count of the number of times I had to retell the story.
“Did Lana hit hear head when she slumped, was it a hard surface, did she look pale?” she questioned.
“If you are asking if there was a sign for what was coming? There was none. We were having a regular conversation, and she complained she felt tired, I just thought it was the fatigue of the day, you know the wedding and all the running around. I raked my hands through my almost non-existent hair in frustration.

“Thank you, Bode, she will be okay. I have not spoken to her in a week, just chats over the phone. I had no idea you were back together,” she commented
“We just met today, and she was calm about it,” I offered an explanation. There was no correlation with our meeting and what happened, but it seemed like people were inferring the shock might have caused it. There was no shock, no surprise to cause a heart to fail.

“I  will go and see the Medical Director. He is an old friend from medical school. We should hear something soon,” she said as she walked back to where here parents sat not without stopping to have some few words with Peju, her husband and Lana’s boss.

True to her word she came back about twenty minutes later with a Doctor who addressed us that she is calm but need a lot of rest. Her parents alone were allowed to go in while the rest of us could come back when she was sufficiently recovered to see visitors.

We all stood up to leave as her parents thanked us for coming, promising to keep us abreast with any new development and when we could come back for a visit.

Peju’s flight was for the next morning, and although she said she was thinking of cancelling the honeymoon, Lana’s mother convinced her to go ahead that Lana will be up like her usual self in no time and would be furious if she failed to travel on her account.
You could see fatigue around Peju’s eyes as her husband joked how he needed to take her to the hotel or she might be spending a night her in a room next to her friend.

Then the boss greeted us all and left not without a word of encouragement of how we all needed to be strong for her.
I was the last to leave as I stood up dejectedly, not knowing how to keep in touch. Peju who would have been my link would be away on honeymoon, asking for a family’s phone number at this time did not seem appropriate. I thought of coming back every day if I could pass the security but that option was one of uncertainty.
Fortunately, her sister was quick to catch up with me to collect my number and promised to give me an update of which I was grateful.

The coming days, I merely existed living life just going through the motions, praying and hoping for good news. All I wanted was for Lana to get better.

**********

I hear voices in the background. I recognise that of my Dad’s, and could tell he was speaking to me.
“Lana we love you and want you back to us healthy and active like your usual self. I know you can hear me.”
Then my mum’s came so soft and filled with emotion.
“My baby, I love you, please pull through for us for yourself, we cannot afford to lose you,” and she broke down in quiet sobs.
I could sense my Dad holding her, and I wanted to go and give her a hug to reassure her that I would be okay.
I was surprised to hear Nekan’s voice, and I wanted to jump out of where I was to give her a hug, but all I could do was just lie there. How did she get here? I must have missed her mentioning she was coming over. It had been a while we saw. It has been phone calls and chats and lately I had been busy.
At the sound of my Uncle Sege’s raspy voice, my heart broke. I heard my father say in the background
“Segun, you need to pull yourself together .”
I felt his touch and heard his cry as he begged me to come back.  He mentioned that we both had unfinished business. He promised not to bother me anymore on marriage and to desist from sending the strings of young men to my office on the excuse of account opening.

I wanted to laugh. My uncle could still crack a joke in his desperation. I wanted to tell him I was right there with him and was not going anywhere, but the words did not come out.
My eyelids were closing, and I wanted to sleep again. I felt this constant tiredness like a dark cloak wrapped around me as I battled with sleep that was stronger than my will to stay awake. The voices faded into the background replaced with muddled, incoherent sounds as it lulled me into a state of rest that had become my new companion.

*******
I had no idea, how long I had been asleep but when I opened my eyes this time around, I could see around me. There was my favourite uncle with his big frame dozing off in the only chair in the room. He must have sensed I was awake because not too long he opened his eyes and was beside himself with joy.
“Oluwalana, he called my full name. I can’t recollect ever hearing him call my name in full. I tried to talk, but it was just a raspy noise with no words forming. I looked at him with fear and alarm in my eyes. I tried to stand up, but my body felt like lead.
“Please stay calm,” he urged as he pressed the bell for the nurse to come.
Taking my hands in his, he kept saying thank you as tears ran down his cheeks. My sleek too handsome uncle with a body built like Richard Mofe Damijo was crying brokenly like a woman who had lost her child.
Something must be terribly wrong with me. I concluded, intense terror engulfing me as I tried to recollect how I got there.

It was in this state of panic, a man, in his late fifties with grey hairs around his temple, clad in a white coat, with an air of authority and confidence strolled in. I  presumed he was the doctor and could trust him, and my addled brain knew it was in my best interest to do so.

“We are glad to have you back,” he boomed in a voice that sent me ten years back to my Biology Laboratory in secondary school. Having being suspended from Biology class for refusing to dissect a dried frog with whatever instrument, we had were given. It took the intervention of Mrs Akan, the guidance and counselling teacher to convince my Biology teacher that I was not stubborn or rude, but displaying symptoms of ranidaphobia and should overlook the assignment.

It was that same voice that boomed the day I came back to class “we are glad to have you back” and the only difference was while today was genuine the later was sarcastic.

“We have run all the necessary tests, and they have all come out good. You were acutely fatigued and dehydrated but a few more days of rest and drips should get you out of here in no time. The body has a way of adjusting to itself and yours had to shut down. You were lucky it was not a heart attack or stroke,” he said reviewing the case note.

“In the future, it would be important to take time off activities for scheduled rest, vacation and spend time on things you love to do so this does not happen again,” he said kindly.

I laid down there taking all he had to say in still wondering why I could not just get out of bed and be back at home. Lying here was killing. This mode of inertia was driving me crazy, but all I did was to nod my head as my tired eyes betrayed me giving into sleep again.

I must have been in and out of sleep for days. Moreso, by the time I was able to make small talk, it was shocking to find out that I had been in the hospital for two weeks!

Fast forward to another five more days and the doctor was convinced,  I could go back home but not back to work until another two weeks.
What was I supposed to be doing at home? Sitting and staring. I thrived in the fast pace and stress of work where your adrenalin was driven to all-time high so that the slow pace I was forced to embrace was more excruciating than If I was allowed to return to work.

The saying that there is always a silver lining to every cloud could not have been truer. I got time to think of my life and make some adjustments to my values and goals. One good outcome was my second chance at love and unashamedly enjoying the attention I received from Bode.
He was at the hospital every day after work as soon as I was allowed to receive visitors and at my parent’s place upon my discharge.
He had not changed one bit as he was more doting on me, probably because of my health which had made me closer to an invalid. The icing on the cake was it helped to take my mind off my present state.

I must have forgotten what it meant to be bitten by the love bug. This time, around I threw caution to the wind. I did not want to second guess every move or word I just wanted to flow to the rhythm of love being played by Bode and enjoy the second chance being handed over to me.

The clouds were bluer, the rainbow, colourful and the sun brighter than it had ever been and my life could not have been any better. I  vowed not to waste any time wallowing in self-pity at the time I had lost but to savour every moment I had.

Bode’s love was one substantial factor that saw to my fast recovery and six weeks after my compulsory leave of work I was fit to return.

**********

My first day at the work was an emotional one as my colleagues had balloons around my table with a “welcome back” banner.  There were kind words and hugs. These are people who had taken time out to check on me, send text messages and calls.
Andrew had been understanding. He had a word of encouragement every day as soon as I was able to pick my phone. Although he rarely came by to the hospital, I learnt he was there, the first day I was brought in.

Peju who had been shuttling between office, my house and hers was warned by my mother not to come by anymore and focus her attention on her new home. The morose look on her face the day she received the riot act would have won her an Oscar and put Julia Roberts in Pretty Woman, to shame.

However, we made up the time with loads of chats going back and front on our cell phones since my house was a no go area for her.

We were both filled with ecstasy to be back together. I could not wait to be filled up with all the loads of “kongosa” our secret code for first class gossip, I had missed.

My love for juicy titbits in any form; pas,t present and future, was one of my few weaknesses. The moment we were off work we made out time to catch up on each other’s lives that missed the chat room on our cell phones.
Peju kept apologising as to how she was so sorry to have invited Bode over. I had already gotten tired of telling her over and over again that she was not responsible for what happened. I  was neither overly excited nor furious at seeing Bode that day, to have caused the fiasco that followed, rather, it was just two friends catching up on what they have lost due to one’s foolishness and a little meddling from some unhelpful quarters. I am glad for where I am right now and if I had the power to recreate the scene I could not have done a better job.
I drew her into a warm hug.

“Thanks for bringing us together and not paying attention to me. It would not have happened without you,” I said.
And there Peju was smiling from ear to ear with so much self-righteousness as she smugly said,“I told you, you would eat humble pie.”

“Your boast almost cost me my life,” I teased her loving the look of remorse stealing over her face.

“I thought you said it had nothing to do with it,” she complained.

“Yes it did not, but I hate the look of triumph on your face and the fact that I have to agree you were right.You have tortured yourself too long, and someone had to deliver you from this guilt. Not to add the miserable honeymoon you had,” I pointed out.

Peju did cut short her honey moon when Phil was tired of her moaning about how she had no clue as to if I was getting better or worse. It must have worked for him too,  because as soon as they were back in the country, he was off to Dubai, back to his project.

My house became Peju’s second home until my mum banished her to her matrimonial home with no knowledge that Phil had abandoned his bride for work who had equally abandoned her honeymoon for her near dying friend.
Luckily they had planned another honeymoon in a couple of weeks, and Peju had warned me up front not to pull any stunts as this time around she would feel no guilt if they had to bury me while she was away.

We would have been there in our usual fashion chatting away at everything and nothing if Bode had not come to whisk me away.
He said a friendly hello to Peju, who was smiling rather stupidly like one suffering from dementia as he planted a kiss on my cheek. I rolled my eyes at her.
“I got to go, you both are making me regret cutting my honeymoon short,” she teased winking at me.

“Do you have something in your eyes Peju? I asked her holding back my laughter

” Yeah, must be an insect,” she answered sweetly with her eyes shooting daggers my way.

” Bye, see you tomorrow, I replied as went off with Bode

I  could not be more grateful to be still alive. Nonetheless, I still shudder with horror when I remember the catastrophe I caused by disrupting Peju’s wedding reception and honeymoon.

Omowashe Omorishe#16

A light on the horizon

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Peju kept checking her phone more frequently than I had ever seen her do.
“Babe, you can’t wait to see the guy?” I teased.
“It is just some few more hours, and you are Mrs Peju Phillip Idowu forever, please stay calm,”I advised.

“If you do not mind, I need to take that phone from you and let the make-up artist finish her work,” I said taking her cell from her.
The speed at which Peju snatched the phone back was alarming.

“Is everything okay?” I asked with a crease of worry etching across my forehead as every scenario of a wedding gone wrong flashed through my mind.
“All is well, just a surprise I am pulling for Phil today,” she said nervously.
I plopped down into the seat beside hers.
“Girl, let me into this surprise,” I pleaded.

“Not on your life. You wait and find out,” she said her eyes twinkling with excitement.

“Great, a gentle reminder that we are no more on the same part,” I sulked trying to blackmail her.
Peju read through my act and shrugged her shoulders.
“Try something else to make me feel guilty, into telling you,” she said looking me in the eyes.

“Make sure you catch that bouquet of mine,” she commanded more than advised.

“You must be next in line,” she demanded.

“You believe in all those myths?” I snorted in my usual unladylike manner that I was not proud of but displayed in moments like this.

“I do and you should. Perhaps the guy, wherever he is would show up soon,” she joked.

“I can’t wait for you to get married,” she gushed much to my annoyance.

“No please don’t go that route. As much as this wedding has done its number on me and I have thawed to the concept of marriage. I am still not in a hurry to relinquish this freedom or heart of mine,” I argued.

“I hope you recognise love when you see it,” she grumbled.

“Remember our deal,” her eyes brightened as she challenged me.

“Oh no,” I groaned.

“Peju not today, must we go over that your crazy deal?” I asked as I had all but forgotten about it.

“It’s not crazy but a challenge to open your heart and eyes to love again, besides you get a ticket to travel,” she argued relentlessly.

“I refuse to be baited Peju. You don’t play games at love. It just happens,”I said snapping my fingers.

“And you of all people know that. It is not some cold, calculated business deal,” I chided too vehemently.

“Andrew is out of it,” I announced.

“No, that might have been a possibility, but I realised you wouldn’t go there,” she said sardonically.

“Smart girl, then you should know that I am neither desperate nor in a hurry to walk don’t the aisle, no pressure please?” It was more of a question than a statement.

“No pressure,” Peju said meekly.
I looked at her suspiciously. It was strange for Peju to give in that way but I shrugged it off.

“Time will tell and just for the benefit of your doubt. I am not closed to marriage entirely. So girl, allay your fears that I would die an old maid. If I have to, I aim to be a happy one,” I said tongue in cheek.

Peju rolled her eyes. “I hope you eat your words today,” she boasted.

“Something I should know about?” I inquired.

“No,” she shook her head.

“Nothing, but when we walk down that aisle today may whatever the firm reservation you have crumble completely and all you’ll ever want after that is to walk down that aisle too,” she prayed.

I was not going to argue with Peju. It was futile especially when she got into those her campaign modes.

We all wowed Peju when she got into her gown. She was a vision of a perfect bride, radiating with beauty and elegance. Frank Osodi had outdone himself with her gown. While I wanted to take the credit for name dropping, I had to give it to Peju for going ahead with him.
Tears pooled in my eyes, and I willed it not to fall and make a mess of my makeup.
“You are beautiful,” I choked. I could not be happier for Peju today.

“I hope Phil will be able to wait as you walk down the aisle to him. I want to capture the moment he sees you,” I whispered dreamily.

“Please don’t make me cry.  I can’t ruin my makeup,” Peju begged.
We all laughed, but there were not a dry eye in that room as we dabbed our eyes and walked to the car.

********

The organ started the wedding marching song and as Peju walked in I caught my breath.
I could not believe how I found her. She was beautiful in a way I had never envisioned. I swallowed hard and could not wait for the ceremony to be over. I was one lucky man and seeing her walking towards me only confirmed it. I vowed to make her the most happiest t and fulfilled woman alive God helping me. Peju deserved the best.
It could only have been five minutes, but it seemed it took a lifetime for her to get to where I was. As I removed the veil and she smiled at me, it took all my willpower not to hold and kiss her before the Minister gave us the instruction.

Every other word was blurred until I felt a sharp nudge at my back. It was the best man. He used his eyes and nodded to the Pastor who was staring at me disapprovingly.
I wondered if he could read my thoughts but it was not that he had to repeat the wedding vows.

“Do you take Peju Phillips to be your lawful wedded wife, to have and to hold, from this day forward, for better, for worse, for richer, for poorer, in sickness and health, until death do you part?”

“I do,” I responded as I scolded myself for allowing my mind to wander and not pay attention.
The minister asked Peju the same question, and her voice came out in the sweetest melody I had ever heard.
We exchanged our wedding rings, Peju and me, Phil Idowu became the lawful husband of the prettiest girl in the whole world.
The moment to kiss the bride was finally here and I got lost in it, till I heard the Minister cough in the background and I reluctantly relinquished my bride.
As we faced the church and people came around to congratulate us, all I wanted was to take my wife out of the church, and we continue our business without the crowd. I don’t know if other men before me felt this way on their wedding day but the party was just a torture I had to keep smiling through, collecting the slaps on the back by the men and boys with remarks on how to take it easy tonight.

Now that proves one thing I was not the only one thinking that way.

**********
I could not have been happier as the officiating Minister announced to the church.
“We present to you the newest couple on the face of the earth. Mr and Mrs Phil Idowu. How did he know that? There were a thousand other marriages worldwide going on at this very minute? Why did they always  say that at every wedding? Was it to make the couple feel good or the usual wedding proclamation?

A thousand strings pulled at all corners of my heart and stomach. I was jittery with excitement. Finally, I had the MRS to my name with a guy I was so in love with and who worshiped the ground I walked on. Life could not be more fulfilling that it was right now. I was living my dream of life, love, laughter and luxury.

The next on my plan for the day as I searched the crowd for the face. It could only be me planning a coup d’etat while smiling my joy to the whole world and hoping my coup bring more smiles and seal a perfect day.

*********

I bent to arrange Peju’s flowing gown and on coming up, my eyes met with those eyes. I could never forget. I wondered if I was hallucinating and how possible it was for him to be here. I shook my head to dispel the slight dizziness I felt. I had taken paracetamol this morning like a boost for my day. I was at the height of fatigue and looked forward to going to my bed at the end of the day and staying that way until Monday morning.

I stilled myself and gave a pep talk. You will be alright just hang on till the end of the day. All you need is rest. I busied myself attending to Peju’s gown while the crowd came around to congratulate the couple.

“You’re alright? Wale the best man who flew in from England asked in his British accent.
The first thing that came to my mind was in my mother tongue “Mo wa alright o! she mo ya were ni?” Meaning –  I am alright do I look mad?
Instead, I smiled and politely responded, “I am good.”

The picture session went on there after we left for the reception venue. I was still hanging in there.
“Hi Lana,” I heard and turned to the voice. I could never forget that voice. It had been in my dreams for years.

I had often dreamt what it would be like to see him again but all that disappeared when I found out he was married and I worked hard to forget him, but the treacherous heart continually betrayed me.
I took a look at him and the realisation of all that I had lost in my moment of foolishness and came crashing over me. I prayed for strength and hoped this would be the closure that I needed.

“Hi,” I smiled confidently, a far cry from what I felt inside, but I could not afford him to find out how much walking away had cost me.

“You look great and more beautiful,” he complimented which  I unashamedly enjoyed.

“ Shouldn’t that line be for your wife? I asked sarcastically angry that he was flirting with me while married. Perhaps he thought I did not know. My gaze went to his finger and was surprised that he wore no wedding ring.

“ Hopefully one day she would be my wife,” he said looking into my eyes in a bid to read my thoughts with that voice that was weakening every resolve to be mad at him
“ So you are now polygamous?” I asked irritably.
“Polygamous?” he repeated the world like one who was slow in comprehending the meaning of the word as a mirror of confusion clouded his face.
I was tired for the cat and mouse game and went straight to the point
“Hows your wife?” I asked not that I was interested in knowing but to pass on the knowledge that I was not in the dark.
“ My wife?” He asked again this time with frustration as he put his hands through his well-cut hair.
“Your wife, remember” I snapped my finger before his eyes to jog his memory if he had lost it.
Bode took my hands and pulled me to the other side of the hall as we took the exit. I followed without any resistance not without looking back for Peju and Phil.
“Not to worry, Lana, I doubt your services as maid of honour is still required,” he chuckled reading my mind.
“I have taken permission already he quickly added
“Peju knows about this? I asked bewildered.
This must be her surprise, I summed up. It was all coming together for me. The subtle hints, the phone checking, the jitteriness, lack of concentration all because she was planning something for me.
I refused to let the tears fall freely, as it pooled in my eyes. I was assaulted with a myriad of emotions tugging and pulling me from different tangents

“Does Peju know you are married?” I blurted. The futile length my friend had gone for me. Only if I had opened up and told her the whole story but not relieving the pain and shame, I felt was my way of dealing with the situation. If you don’t talk about it, it would not be real and just go away like it never happened.

“Married?” he asked,doing it again. Why did he repeat every question.

I wanted to get angry, but I just stood there looking at him. I felt the weariness and fatigue but spoke to myself to hang on. I would sleep it through later today.

“Yes Bode, married and so you know, I met your wife four years back,” I said triumphantly glad it was in the open.

The look of confusion was back as he ran his hands over his hair again exasperated.
“ Lana, I am not and never have been married. Where did you get that information?”

“ I did not get the information I  said I met her. I am not making this up or repeating news from the grapevine,” I hissed getting upset now.

“ You met her?” He asked looking more confused.

“I came to your house to tell you I was sorry, and wanted us to be back together but I met this lady at your house who claimed to be your wife, and she was wearing a wedding ring,” I summarised and winced from the pain I was surprised I still felt.
“ When did you come to my house?”, he asked looking very upset.
I found out you were back from your training in England, got your number from your friend but decided to come by myself rather than call.
“Describe who you saw,” he winced with a pain that shocked me.
“She is average height, fair in complexion,  petite  I had not finished when he blurted, “Lola, my cousin.”
We stood staring at each other as another fresh wave of realisation washed over us.
First, we had lost time by my own action and kept apart by someone else mischievousness, and we had another opportunity before us if we wanted to make use of it.

I was so fatigued and wanted to sit down.
The whole weight of what I had lost and now to gain was before me.
I should be happy but I was numb.
I should smile, but my mouth would not form the smile.
I should be excited but why was my heart indifferent.
I wanted to lie down, yes I wanted to sleep.

Bode got on his knees like what he did some over five years ago. I could hear the words but was I dreaming why were the words the same why was I not able to respond to him. To tell him I was ready to spend the rest of my life with him.
He brought a ring out which was exactly as I had seen it in my dreams. I tried to lift my hands so he could slot it into my finger.
Why was my hand slow?
He picked it himself and put the ring on my finger.
I tried to speak as tears fell but my face was dry.
I decided to move from where I sat, but I was too weary.
A pain shot through my chest and darkness engulfed me. I reached out to the air trying to hold on to something as I felt a weight pulling me to the ground. Then coldness crept into my body and a sense of peace I had not felt before came over me as I succumbed to sleep, my eyes closing against my will.
As I walked towards the blazing light ahead, why were there so much shouts behind me and why was it getting fainter as I walked away.