The grand unveiling
When I got to the main gate, I almost didn’t recognize Chigozie.
He looked… unkempt.
I wasn’t sure how to react. The security guards who had been trying to keep him out of the house, immediately stepped aside when they spotted me.
He smiled at me. A tired smile. I didn’t know what to do,
I just stood there frozen on the spot. The next thing I heard was my mother calling out my name. Her voice was getting closer, and I knew she was headed for where we were. It was obviously going to be a very dramatic showdown. Chigozie sensing what was coming, retreated to his car and quickly opened the door on the passenger side. He looked at me from the corner of his eye. I got the message and before anyone could stop me, I made a dash for his car and hopped in.
As we pulled away, I looked in the rear view mirror and saw my mother holding Tunji back as he threw punches at the gate in obvious anger.
“I knew you’d come with me. Thank you”. Chigozie said as we headed for the Lekki-Ikoyi Bridge. “Shut up! Just shut up!” I screamed at him
“Why are you mad at me? If anything, I should be the one yelling at you.” He said also raising his voice. “So you had a conversation with Tunji about me and you kept it from me. You stayed away from me afterwards and left me twisted in the wind wondering what in the world I had done to deserve such cold treatment from you! You were engaged and yet you kept leading me on, then in your arrogance, you just show up after causing so much trouble and tell me you knew I would come with you”.
I was really yelling at him because I was angry. Not only at him, but also at myself for once again falling as he had expected me to.
He veered off the road and parked the car. He took a couple of deep breaths obviously trying to calm himself down and then he spoke. “Oh so you think you are the only one who has had it rough huh? I lost my job because of you. Adesewa, I pay my parent’s rent, I pay my younger brother’s tuition. How am I to tell them I cannot afford to do that anymore because I lost my job…and for what? For not being able to stay away from my employer’s fiancée? I put everything on the line for you, but you were not even sure what you wanted and when Tunji came to me, I saw reason with him and I decided to back down and let you go….”
I interrupted him.
“What do you mean you saw reason and backed down? Did you not tell him you had been spending time with me only because you thought it was what he wanted and that you had a fiancée”? I asked. It was one thing for him to lie to me but lying about lying to me was more than I was willing to tolerate.
“I don’t know what your man told you. I only told him I had a fiancée because I wanted him to truly believe nothing had happened between us. Tunji came to me and asked what exactly I wanted with you. I told him that I had fallen in love with you and I knew that even though you were too honourable to call off the wedding, it was best everyone gave you time to decide what exactly you wanted. He laughed in my face and told me about his family and yours. About the business alliances between your families, about how with both your family backgrounds and influences he could be anything he wanted to be…even president! He asked me what I had to offer you.
Asked me how I thought it was ever possible for your father to bless a marriage between us. He told me that even if you were a hopeless romantic and you decided to defy your father and be with me, you would eventually begin to resent me when you realised how much you missed your old life. He said your friends would cut you off, that you would never fit into my world and I would never fit into yours. His prediction was that eventually, you would go back to your father to beg and the ultimatum would be to leave me and that is exactly what you would do”.
I could hear pain and defeat in his voice and I couldn’t believe Tunji had left this out in his earlier narration of their encounter.
“And what do you think about all he said”? I asked.
He reached out for my hand and squeezed it tightly.
“Adesewa, he voiced out all my fears. He validated all the things that had scared me about being with you from the first day I realised I was falling for you. He is right my love, this thing with us ended before it even started and I think you know it too, that’s why you never called off your wedding”.
“So, if I had called off the wedding earlier, would you have tried? Is that why you came back today”? I asked. He smiled and then said the words that really ripped my heart apart.
“Adesewa I came back to say goodbye”.