Things had changed yet it was all the same, the sun shone still, perhaps a mite brighter, it sure burned hotter. The words, the look, the slight droop of chin and the impatience that though so carefully concealed peeked out in all he did were all mannerisms I’d picked out over a while and as he cocked his head to a side and stared at me trying to look regretful all I could think was that he was loving every minute of it; the hurt he was sure I’d be feeling, the tears that shimmered behind my lashes but refused to fall, the fist I’d involuntarily clenched and longed to bury in his pretty nose though that I was sure he didn’t know, but I knew for sure he relished having power of any sort over me.
The fight raged within me, the urge to shout, scream, silently weep, crawl into a tight corner, curl up and cease to exist, beg, promise him the world, serenaded me but instead I heard myself saying,
‘Anything you want is fine’ my legs were threatening to buckle, I stared down at my toes, I couldn’t believe those words had slipped past my lips, I’d just agreed to a break up when it was the very last thing I wanted, he wanted space, he said, he didn’t know if it would be permanent and I’d agreed. I sighed and looked up at him just in time to see the last vestiges of shock and disbelief on his face then a quick smile.
We sat outside his house talking, reminiscing and saying what we would do in the future… we lay on his bed, sated I tickled his chin… in the pool, splashing around and laughing like a couple of kids… he slapped me and I got on my knees to beg him, crying and telling him I was sorry even as he turned his back on me and walked out…
I couldn’t stop scenes from flashing past; it was like my mind was determined to recapture it all…

‘So I guess it’s over’ why did his statement sound like a question, didn’t he want it to end, if he didn’t should I… yet instead I heard myself utter wrong words once more.

‘Yeah’ curse my tongue I thought, I was waving the centre of my life away, we stood looking at each other for a while, just staring, each with diverse thoughts running gamut, finally I held out my arms to him, he took an hesitant step forward and then we held each other tight, I wished I could hold on forever…

He grasped my arms not even noticing my flinch, shook me hard, demanding to know who sent the messages, who was the other guy who sent me Val messages, didn’t he know I was in a relationship or was I the one putting out for him? He scrolled through my messages once more, smashed my phone against the wall even as I choked out that he was my brother and that was his new number, his hand cracked against my cheek, did I think he was a fool?… he brought flowers and chocolate, took me to an expensive dinner, smiling into my eyes as he said happy birthday then kissed me…

My arms went slack around him, and then dropped, I stepped back and smiled at him, smiled while my heart was breaking and I could hear its tinkling, like tiny shards hitting the floor, silently breaking. He looked solemn as he said good bye, I stared at his retreating back for a few seconds then quickly walked on, I couldn’t bear for him to look back and see me standing, looking like I was waiting.

His smile was so easy, that was what got me in the first place, the dimpled smile as we were introduced at a friend’s church, his easy going manner, the subtle hints about his interest in me; I thought I’d finally found my God fearing partner, I said yes when he finally asked… I went to his place early on a Saturday to tell him I had to leave town and there she was, another girl, in his rumpled polo, I needed no one to tell me she’d slept over… I can explain, she’s just a friend, yet another girl; he’d dropped her off and kissed her, hard…

I jumped every time my phone rang, thinking it was him, thinking he’d realized he couldn’t bear to let me go and each time I sank deeper as I realized it wasn’t him yet I wouldn’t switch off my phone, no, all I did was drench myself in tears, wallowing in my wide pool of misery and when I could cry no more, I slept, woke, thought of him…

Maybe I was foolish, but I still waited, three years couldn’t go down the drain, I must have meant something to him, he would eventually call… I called in sick at work yet again, truly I looked like I was in the throes of an illness, my face puffy and my body gaunt instead of my usual thin frame. I slept in the pajama bottoms he’d left over in my wardrobe till they stunk. I still jumped when the phone rang but not as hard, I didn’t want to leave the house, what if he called my house line instead of my mobile, eating was a chore of sorts, my tummy constantly rebelling at the thought of food.

I wouldn’t have any other girl, if you agreed to sleep with me’, ‘so you admit to the other girls?’ ‘ No… I… not like that…’ then,’ you know damn well I didn’t mean that besides its my business who I fucking take to bed’, he yelled… church had been just that one time we’d been introduced and every Sunday till I’d said yes, but I didn’t mind, what mattered was his heart, he had a good one, he loved me, he said it every time, it was true… wasn’t it?…

The phone rang, with laden steps I walked over and my heart went into overdrive, beating erratically when I saw the caller i.d. It was him; finally. I tried to calm myself but was still breathless when I said, ‘Hello?’

‘Hi, how’ve you been?’ without waiting for my answer he went on ‘I wonder if I could drop by your place this evening?’

My place, this evening, I threw a panicked look over the disarray and finally whispered a yes; he hurriedly said goodbye and dropped. I went into a frenzy, picking up my clothes, books, sweeping all the dirt behind the cabinet before I rushed into the bath, I hadn’t bathed yesterday, I couldn’t remember the day before, had I, or not? I lost my train of thoughts as I stared at myself in the mirror, I looked horrid, puffed face and disheveled hair yet I was revitalized within, adrenaline pumping, edging me on as I made my face up, tidied my hair and then cooked.

‘I love your meals, they’re delicious especially your african dishes… weekends, I stayed over and cooked for him, I had to protect my interests, give him what he needed so he would be happy with me, I cooked and cleaned up and tried to satisfy his seemingly insatiable urges…

When the knock came, my nerves were badly frayed, it was 10pm yet he’d said evening, I had chewed my nails, worried he wasn’t coming but now he was here, I stared when I opened the door, a ready smile on my face, he smiled back and walked in but didn’t sit and turned to face me,

‘I can see you’re well… good, good’

I stared at him puzzled but smiled, I couldn’t let him see my weakness, but I waited for him to tell me he’d missed me, maybe he didn’t know how to start, we could make up over dinner.

‘Yes. I cooked dinner, would you like some?’ I smiled knowing he couldn’t resist my meals but I was surprised to see him hesitate,

‘It’s o.k. since when did you become shy, come on, I’ll have it served right away’ I persuaded.

Over dinner, a strange silence reigned, I wondered what to say, he just kept looking down at his plate, he might not know how to start, he finished his food and we sat before the TV.

‘Actually, I came over for my clothes and stuff that I left behind, I thought you’d have them packed together by now’

For a moment, the words refused to penetrate the fog that had descended on me and I stood up, staggered into my room mechanically flung his things into a used nylon, went back and picked the pajama bottoms, stalked to the sitting room and flung it at him.

‘Is it my fault girls flock around me or what do you want me to do, chase them off?’…‘ no girl’s ever left me, I do the leaving he bragged,‘ oh so you have a trail of broken hearts behind you, hope I wont soon be a part of them?’ I’d teased, ‘never’, he tweaked my nose ‘you’re my one and only, my darling’…

‘Get out’ I spat the words, he rushed to his feet, puzzlement written all over his face as he walked out. I crumpled behind the door after I’d slammed it shut, there were no more tears, there was acceptance in its place, resignation. Nothing had changed, he was who he had been, I’d just not known was or had refused to see it. He was gone, I would still pine a bit, but now I knew for sure that one day soon, I’d get over it, get over how much of a fool I’d been for the bastard, I would…

‘I still miss you B…’ I read the text and looked at him puzzled, ‘why won’t she leave you, its been over between you for so long now.’ he shrugged. ‘That will never be me, if you leave, I won’t even bat an eyelid’ I’d sworn. He laughed ‘you would think that now wouldn’t you?’


31 thoughts on “Changes

  1. I dunno why…but my heart kept squeezing itself as I read this piece…I felt like blood was oozing out (maybe I was feeling her pain)…Excellent writing!

  2. @fineboi agbero: HEAVY AGBAYA!!!!!lollllswerri , how far wit ur exams????i no wan hear say sumn do sumn afta o’i’m thinking of banning u 4rm blogging till further notice……(afta ur exams)lollllllllllllno fear,

  3. The story of so many…loved how u mixed the pain of the present with the naivety & hopes of the past…love's young dream ended the moment he hit her…she should have left his sorry arse then

  4. wow..this is fanstatic! the hair on the back of my neck just dey stand! did this happen to u by d way?? guys sha!meanwhile, sisi, are u not suppose to be studying?? I support LG to ban u from blogville till after ur exams as per big sisters concerned…lolNO SHAKING!!!

  5. @fineboy agbero; ki lo de, u took a break from undabridge today@solomonsydelle; waitin 4 ur comment@jaycee; wow, my writin actually did that, i’m tripped, thanks @funkola; u kno how it is, u cant do without them tho@lg; thank u jare, as per takn a break til after exams, i swear i tried!@fba again; at ur old age@geisha song; exams goin so so, 1st paper 2day twas a blast thank God!@simeonomobaba; blogsta, gen gen gen gen. lol@buttercup; jerk is so ryt. i’m fyn oh@ndq; yeah yeah. thank u so much@aloted; u guys r makn me blush nd no it dint hapn 2 me, i’da castrated him! hmmn, lg is 4midable enuf, plus u, i’m shaking oh@shubbydoo; if only a lot of gals knew dat. ehm, d escape isnt kosher at all oh. i’ma do penance. nd 4 dis 1 2@aloofar; *curtsying*

  6. My turn…yep, it was nice. u write well and u should keep writing. couldnt stop until i got to the end. actually raced through to see how it would end, so i’m back to read it WELL! Well done!

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