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****** HASTY DECISION********
“Who is Benita and how is she related to Henry?”
He looked surprised. “The girl we spoke about?”
He gave a sharp breath before sitting down beside me.
“Are you sure that was the name you heard ?”
I nodded. “Yes and for some reason, I have not asked my husband. I just don’t know why I have this fear of confronting him.”
Felix thought for a while I waited eagerly.
“Benita is one of his students as I remember and one of the brightest students in the school, I don’t know more than that. I was in the junior school while he was in the senoir’s.”
“So, you haven’t seen her before?”
“Of course I have, very brilliant girl, she got an award before we left the state, just that as I recall now, she wasn’t around to be given the award, someone collected it for her.”
“What about Henry’s NYSC pictures?”
“We didn’t come home together, I took a flight, he told me he was robbed and ……”
I sighed. This was not making any sense. Could I be wrong again?
“Is there no one you could talk to, for I need to know what happened to that girl. I have a feeling that something terrible happened and it can be the reason why what happened to me happened.”
“Okay, I will try to seek out those we served with then I will get back to you.”
“Thank you Felix.”
He was quiet for a while but then said. “If only I can get my hands on those fools that did this to you…..” He shook his head bitterly while I smiled .
“Felix, do everything you can to find me who Benita is.”
“I will love. I will.”
Was I wrong to have told Felix the whole thing? Was I wrong to have suspected that my husband has something to do with what happened to me?
I sighed as I kept having these thoughts in my mind.
“Baby are you okay?”
I turned around to face him. His back was turned towards me as he fastened his belt while facing the mirror.
“Yes love.” I lied . “Where are you off to? It’s Saturday.”
“Yes, dear, I just got a message from the man that is fixing the supermarket up for us. I want to see how it’s going.”
I sat up straight. “Wow, you didn’t tell me you have started working on it.”
“I wanted to use it as a surprise. “He replied with a wink. “But now I have spoilt it.”
“I am so lucky to have a man like you.”
“Well, you have to be.” He teased. “Now get dressed, we are meeting Felix and his babe at the lounge later.”
I was surprised. “Felix has a babe?”
He scoffed as he turned around, his tie was already fixed. “What kind of question is that? Of course he does, I am just happy that he is finally getting over his ex?”
That got my attention. ‘What ex?”
“Well…” He started, coming closer to me and holding me by the waist.
“When we met at the camp, he used to tell me about his ex, said he cheated on her and he was so heartbroken for a while. Come to think of it, he never got to show me her picture…”
I could sense some unwanted feeling building up in my belly. I knew the lady in the picture was me.
“So, he is with a babe now and we need to be as nice as possible.”
“Okay.” I replied without betraying my emotions. “let me go take my bathe.” I k!ssed him before leaving the bed. Then grabbing my bathing robe from the wardrobe, I headed for the bathroom.
As I sat in the bathing tub I could hear Henry’s loud voice.
“Do you want some toast bread?”
“Yes love, thank you.” I replied before turning on the shower.
Okay, this is getting complicated or maybe it is just my imagination.
I sighed as the cold water hit my face and down my n@ked body and I shivered. Memories of few years back was coming back to me.
Felix and I just got engaged. I was already through with my National Youth service corps but he was just going, so he decided to engage me before leaving. We had been in a relationship for two years, so to me, it was appropriate. The plan was for him to travel out of the country immediately after NYSC , get a job, then come back for me so we can get married there.
A week before he left for service, I had found the pack of c0ndoms in his back pack, I was curious but I never asked him. We were not having sx because I was not ready. My mother had made me promise her that.
I never knew my father as I was single handedly brought up by my mother. My father had impregnated her and ran off with some other woman. I knew the pain she had *gone through while raising me and she never knew any man apart from my father. She made me go to Sunday school and I attended church services so well, it was as if I was programmed to reject sx before marriage. Even though I wanted to have it so many times, I mean there was c0ndom and several* other preventive measures. But each time, my mother’s last words before she died always haunted me.
“Tolani, do not make the same mistake I did. Let the right man come for you my love. He is bound to wait because you are a PETAL of a flower, you will attract lots of men, but only the right one will wait for you.”
I never asked him about the c0ndoms, instead I started doing my own detective work and a day before he left for Kano, I caught him in bed with another girl and that was how we broke up. It was evidently clear what he would be doing when he is far, he has already started doing it when he was still close. I threw the ring at him, went to his phone, deleted all our photos and then changed my number afterwards. He sent me several messages on my social media but I had already blocked him everywhere.
I had met Henry shortly later when he came to Lagos from Ibadan to visit his grandma who stayed in my neighborhood. He was also waiting for his posting letter. The entire time he spent with her brought us closer and the relationship started sooner and to my surprise, he was posted to Kano but I never told him anything about Felix.
I remember the day he had asked me to speak with his best friend on the phone….when I heard the name and the voice, I knew it was Felix. Perhaps he knew too, but we spoke as if we never knew each other…..
“Baby, hurry up, you are taking too much time!”
Henry’s voice snapped me out of my thoughts then I remembered I have not even used soap or a sponge.
“A minute please….” I shouted back, grabbing the towel, I could use the soap later in the night. I shouldn’t keep my husband waiting.
“So, hope my friend has been taking good care of you?”
I watched the lady nod with a smile as Henry threw the question. We had gone to meet Felix at a restaurant and the girl was not what I expected, she was really pretty, thin and exceptionally fair. She looked like all those super models and her hair was almost reaching her butt and occasionally, she would rub her hand over Felix’s chest.
“So how long have you two been married.” The lady, whose name I forgot, asked.
“Three months now.” Henry said proudly, k!ssing me on the cheek.
“Was Felix at your wedding?”
“No babe. I wasn’t, I travelled shortly before their introduction and got back two weeks after the marriage.” Felix replied, lifting a cup to his lips.
“That was too bad baby. You could have tried to make it on time.”
“Don’t mind him Lucy, he is so useless.” Henry replied, but Felix only laughed.
“I tried to come I just couldn’t” Felix replied, throwing me a ‘ you-should-know-why’ but I looked away instantly. I really hoped this guy would not mess things up for me.
“You are such a beautiful couple, and still so young.” The girl, urm, Lucy, said before standing up. “You will have to excuse me, I need to go to the bathroom.”
Felix pulled back her seat while she k!ssed him on the cheek, then she walked to one of the waiters who pointed a direction to her.
“So, is she our Mrs Right?” Henry asked teasingly.
“God forbids bad thing. She is more of Mrs left. Henry, how can you ask such a dumb question?” Felix said disappointedly but my husband only laughed, squeezing my hand.
“Where did you meet?” asked Henry.
“In a plane I boarded to Accra last week.” Felix replied.
Henry wanted to speak but his phone rang, he brought the phone out and stood up. “Excuse me guys, it is one of my investors.”
“Okay love.” I finally spoke and watched him leave, holding the phone to his cheek.
Thank God! Finally!
“How are you doing Tola?” Felix asked, attempting to hold my hand which was on the table but I took my hand away.
“Get a grip. Your girlfriend will be here any minute and so will my husband.” I said firmly. “So about Benita….”
“Oh yea..I’m sorry, I couldn’t get anything from anyone, I lost many people’s contact when I travelled and the few I have don’t really remember. They keep asking me to ask Henry since, he was the teacher of her class then. So , Tola, you need to ask him.”
My heart sank. “I cannot ask him Felix!”
“Because I am sure he will deny it and not only that, he will know I am suspecting him and that will destroy my marriage. He has been nothing but nice and supportive to me!”
“But what if that is part of the cover-up?”Felix snapped at me.
I sighed, arms akimbo.
“I am so confused Felix. How do I even ask him?”
Felix smiled and leaned forward. “You always look so beautiful when worried.”
I scoffed but said nothing. He used to tell me that while we were together and now, it was like ….wait….. am I missing all the time I spent with him?
“You should have waited for us to patch things up. Maybe all these nonsense would not have happened to you!” He said, giving me that look…
“You should not have cheated on me!”
“You know you never gave me the chance to apologise or to even explain myself.”
“Does it matter now?”
“Yes, it does, though it is just about 2 years but it still does. You blocked me everywhere, I couldn’t find you because of NYSC and the only time I thought of coming back to Lagos to find you and then go back to Kano, I found out my friend was dating you! How could you have left and forgotten me so quickly. We were so good together. I never disturbed you about sx, I was willing to wait. I waited….”
“Then you cheated…” I snapped again, my emotions were building and my voice was quavering.
He was looking frustrated *already. “Yes, I did, I am not perfect. I swear I didn’t mean to but it wasn’t easy babe! That was the one time and you could have just forgiven me and we could have moved on. We were so close and so in love…and you just threw that up within two months!”
“No! You threw that up when you cheated not me!” I snapped back, lowering my voice, my heart was beating so fast and all the emotions I had been buried all the while started finding their way back…”Maybe if you haven’t cheated, I would never have met Henry and all these might not have ….
“So sorry I’m late babe.” Henry’s voice sounded behind me as he k!ssed me on the neck before sitting down. I faked a smile and turned my head to the other side so he would not see the tear in my left eye. I desperately hoped he didn’t hear me.
“Hey…what did I miss…?” Lucy said as she approached the table but then stopped as she sighted me. “Oh my God! What happened? Your eyes look….”
“A fly entered my eye so, I’m trying to remove it.” I lied, cleaning my eyes with my handky.
“Okay, Sorry.” She took a seat. ‘Did you miss me love?” She asked Felix who nodded with a smile and then they embraced while I averted my gaze….
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