Welcome back, fam. Sorry for the delay. Enjoy episode four.
Ebika sat on her bed with legs crossed in front of her. She had her Bible in her hand and her devotional manual close to her. She flashed the passage of the Bible with her phone’s torchlight. When she was through with the passage, she picked up her manual and read from it. She closed her eyes afterwards and prayed. Just as she was rounding off the prayer, her phone rang. She ended her prayer and picked it up. Her eyes flashed in anger when she saw the caller ID. She dropped the phone back on the bed and placed her devotional manual and Bible on her bedside table.
She straightened her bed sheet and tucked it in properly. She picked up the yellow floral print dress she had chosen to wear to work that day and dropped it carefully on the bed. She picked out her silver peep-toed heels and dropped them at the foot of the bed. While she prepared to go take her bath, her phone started ringing again. She ignored it again and went to take her bath.
When she returned to the room, she checked her phone and realized Bina had called five more times. She erased the missed calls. “I am not ready to talk to you, Bina. I’m still hurting. I haven’t gotten over what you did yesterday.” She said to herself.
Thinking about the events of the previous day brought Tolu to her mind. Her face gleamed with smiles. She had finally seen her first love again after all these years. He was still as remarkable as ever. He needed no prodding to do what he was supposed to do. Just like when he had found out she had accommodation issues back in school and couldn’t afford to buy a bed space. He had willingly given up his place off campus for her and went to squat in the hostel with his friend.
She later discovered he paid for the place with the money he saved from his plumbing business in school. Her love and respect for him grew after that. Out of his nothing, he had given her something. Not for once did they fight. They had a way around all their disagreements. Their love blossomed so much that they were given the award of best couple in Creek Haven during SUG week.
She never imagined spending her life with someone else. But then, Tolu disappeared into thin air. She only received a call from him, informing her he was off to work as a seaman and the money involved would set him up pretty good. He told her not to worry as he would come back for her.
She sighed heavily. He never came back until yesterday. Days without him in school had been terrible. She couldn’t answer all the questions posed to her by friends, gossips and enemies. What kept her going initially were his calls once in a while, but it stopped after some months. She left Creek Haven with a broken heart. A heart that kept hurting until Bina came into her life.
Bina, charismatic, hardworking and God-fearing, had come into her life with his pleasant smile and simple nature and became a friend to her. She couldn’t remember if he proposed to her formally or when their friendship became love, but they had started something special. It was not the passionate love she shared with Tolu back then. It was just a steady love between two level-headed people faced with the realities of life. She liked their relationship but seeing Tolu yesterday, being in his company made her yearn for that fiery love she once had with him.
She threw her head back and rested her weight on her palms spread out on the bed. The butterflies had flown in her belly just being with Tolu for some time. Her heart had responded with great excitement. Maybe she could make a change in her relationship with Bina. They could fire things up a little. They could be more passionate and lively. It wouldn’t just be the usual: prayers, Bible studies, planning and minimal show of love. Things would have to change.
With this resolve she got up from bed and started dressing up for work. She was just buckling her wristwatch around her wrist when her phone rang again. She groaned. “Why can’t you just get the message, Bina?” She picked up the phone from where it was on the bed with the intention of ending the call, but stopped herself when she saw it wasn’t Bina. It was Tolu.
He waited with bated breath for her musical voice to fill his ears. He hoped it wasn’t too early to call, but he didn’t know her schedule. His wife was not in the room, giving him the privacy he needed for this call. He had turned restlessly in bed all through the night because of Ebika. At one point, he had gone to his study to look through his old photo albums. He had found just what he went there for – a picture he took with Ebika when she said yes to him. She had been laughing when the shot was taken. The photographer had captured every detail of their posture: her perfectly curved body resting in his arms and the look of awe on his face as he stared at her with all the love he felt.
He had stayed back in the study admiring the picture until the wee hours of the morning. That picture was hidden under his pillow. It must have found its rightful place, because he slept after he placed it under his pillow. His dreams had been filled with her. Once he heard his wife leave the room, he picked the phone to call her.
“Hello.” Her sweet voice floated across the line like cool evening breeze on a sweaty skin. He heard the smile in her voice. His heart jumped in excitement. “Hi, my dear.” He replied, drawing himself up in bed. “How was your night?” he asked.
“Fine.” She answered. “And yours?”
“Fine too.” He pictured her still in bed. “Mine was filled with thoughts of you.”
“Oh, really?” She laughed.
“Don’t tell me you didn’t dream of me. I must have crossed your mind.” He teased.
“Of course you crossed my mind.” She answered.
“I’m so happy we met after all these years, Ebika. I hope we really keep in touch.”
“That depends on you, Tolu. You are the one who is good in disappearing.”
Her words caused his heart to ache. Sadness clouded his features. “I’m truly sorry about that, Ebika.” His words were spoken softly. He needed her to know how sorry he was to have left her back then. He didn’t hear her reply as his wife came into the room. “I’ll call you later. Have a great day.” He rushed on.
Once he heard her response, he ended the call and faced his wife who was looking at him like he had grown horns.
“What?” He asked her sharply.
She opened her mouth to speak, but she shook her head. “Never mind.” She moved to the in-built wardrobe in their room and started moving his clothes about.
Guilt washed over him, but he pushed it aside. He would not hurt Eladebi, but he would not stay away from Ebika.
“What are you looking for?” He asked her, his tone softening.
She turned teary eyes to him. “I don’t want us to be like this, my love. We have to let go of all offences. We’ve come a long way.” She came to knee in front of him. “Forgive all my wrongs, my husband. I just want us to be happy.”
He considered this for a few heartbeats, then he threw his legs off the bed and drew her to his chest. “It’s alright. I’m no longer angry with you. We’re fine.”
“Thank you, my love.” she smiled up at him with tears in her eyes.
He wiped them off and dropped a kiss on her forehead. “I love you.” He told her.
“I love you too,” She replied, wrapping her arms around his mid-section.
While he drove to his office that day, he told his heart to love Eladebi as much as she loved him. She never forced herself on him; not even when she became pregnant before their wedding and had to face disciplinary actions in church. He scratched his head. It was he who assured her of his undying love and promised to stand by her. She had been true to him ever since. But why was he having second thoughts. Could it be that his love for her was fizzling out? Every little thing irritated him now, and he wondered why he seemed so intolerant of her. Hmm… he sighed, his heart must have been preparing him for his meeting with Ebika. Ebika, the one he should have married.
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