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Tari was reading a book when Kade got home. She lifted her eyes off the book briefly to look at her and went back to it without saying a word. Kade dropped her bag on the sofa and sank to the floor. She rested her back against the sofa. Tari kept her nose buried in her book.
“I’m sorry, Tari.” Kade said, gently. There was no sign that Tari heard her. She made no movement. “Tari, I’m sorry.” She repeated, raising her voice.
Tari dropped the book on her laps. She fixed her with a bland look. “And what do you want me to say to that?” She asked, her face flushed with anger. “Oh Kade, my lovely friend, you’re free to insult me whenever you like, especially when I advise you as a friend.” She said in a sing song voice.
Kade winced at the picture her words brought to her mind. “You know that’s not how it is, Tari.” She rubbed her forehead. She could feel a headache setting in.
“How is it, Kade?” Tari straightened in her seat. “Tell me, so I’ll understand.”
Kade pursed her lips. “Please forgive me. What I said was very wrong. I should never have said that. We have come a long way, Tari, and I don’t want to destroy it.” She pleaded. Her head was pounding now. She pressed a hand to her forehead.
Tari considered this for a few heartbeats. She let out a sigh. The anger left her face. “You really hurt me, Kade, but let’s just forget it. Listen, I’m not trying to ruin your relationship with Priye. I’m only concerned about you. This relationship seem to be taking a toll on you. It’s as if you’re in bondage.”
Kade bit her lower lip, holding back the tears threatening to roll down. Crying would only confirm that Tari’s concern was the truth. She really felt caged with Priye. She had to figure it out by herself, especially after Priye threw her out of his house. She closed her eyes and counted to ten, reining her emotions. When she was sure of her composure, she spoke up. “It’s not that easy you know.” She said in distant voice.
Tari dropped to the floor too and drew near her. “Kade, it is. Tell him you are no longer interested.”
Kade looked away from the concern in her friend’s eyes. “What do I tell Pastor Daniel? When I gave him my response six months back, I told him I was sure Priye was the one because the Holy Spirit confirmed it. He’ll want to know why I am ending it, and I can’t tell him. If I do, Priye’s reputation will be ruined in the church. I’ll become an object of pity. Priye and I will become message topics. I can’t take that, and I know Priye can’t too. You also know how good he has been to me.” She pointed out in a small voice, looking down on her palms.
Tari tried not to snap at her friend when she responded. She drew out her words one after the other, as if that way, Kade would understand. “Kade, none of the reasons you have given matters. It’s your life we are talking about here; your future. Pastor Daniel and the church will not be the ones to live with this guy if you eventually say ‘I do’ to him. You will face it alone, and it will be difficult for you to leave then. The talk you’re trying to avoid now will come to you in full force. There’ll be people who will even fault you for wanting to leave him then. Some will never understand what you’re going through. It is better you leave now. The opportunity is still wide open, take it and live Kade; live for yourself. Forget about his reputation and generosity.”
Kade looked unconvinced. “We love each other.” She countered in a near whisper.
Tari huffed in frustration, throwing her hands up. “There is no love in this, Kade. It’s just obsession. Open your pretty eyes and see, my friend.” She moved back to the sofa and picked up her book.
Long after they turned in for the night, Kade stayed awake, thinking about her relationship with Priye. The stakes were too high, and she couldn’t take them. There would be too much talk in church. People she had boasted to would turn around and laugh at her. People who envied her would become her mockers. She would be termed desperate. She would have to start all over again with another man. What if he was worse than Priye? If she kept removing the wood from the fire because she felt they were bad, when exactly would the food be ready? Was it not better to stick with the devil she knew than to go with an unknown angel?
No, she shook her head, she would work things out with Priye. Once their courtship classes started in church, everything would be fine. They would work through their issues and all would be well.
It was this mind-set she had when Priye showed up in her house the next day.
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