A Short Story By Adesida Adetiloye Olamide.

Walking away on a very sunny afternoon, I could only feel the heat emitting from deep inside me than the one from the scorching sun, my eyes were teary. Suddenly, I heard the honking of a car- it was thunderous, I was so scared that it felt like I was resuscitated as I was lost in thought. The car parked beside me, and he honked at me once more, I looked at the man sitting in the driver’s seat as he made a gesture towards me, beckoning me to come closer. ‘Hello beautiful lady, how are you doing?’ He said. A stare at him disgusted me as I was deeply hurt and infuriated. It was written all over my face, but this man still had to persuade me as I kept walking at the pedestrian until he drove off.

I could still not believe what I saw earlier an hour ago, I was so excited to go see my very own Ikenna- my twenty-eight years old Obim (meaning ‘my heart’ in the Igbo language) as I fondly call him, I could not go to the airport to meet him as his flight was scheduled for arrival at 11 pm in the night and it was not safe for me as a lady- as he returned from National Defense Academy after his Passing-out-parade looking easy on the eyes with his well-built muscle. He left for training four years ago which we see once a year since he gained admission into the academy which is in the Northern region.

My Obim was tall, slender, and soft-hearted before he got admission into the academy. Even as we phone each other once a month due to their regimented life in the academy, our love kept blooming like flowers. We met in high school in the western region where I am a native and he is a native of the Eastern region- born and bred in the western region and we fell in love. We would play board games during breaks and read for exams until we left high school. After high school, I wanted to know more about his culture as he has about me, I applied to the College of medicine in the Eastern region and for him, his Academy was in the Northern region. Few people resented us and others praised us as we are of different ethnicity.

We have agreed to tie the knot a year after his Passing-out-parade as I will be twenty-seven years old. I booked a ride from my house to his in the evening. I never told my obim the exact time I would be coming to surprise him because I know he misses me as much as I do. When we arrived at his gate, I paid the driver through my debit card and he drove off, I opened the gate into his compound- a one-bedroom bungalow that he rented during his TARMAC 3 (3rd year) in the academy, and I visit there sometimes to clean the rooms while he was in the academy.

I knocked on the door at the main entrance, there was no response from him, as I tried opening it but was locked, I had come with the other spare key to the house in case he would not be at home as I did not inform him. As I opened the door and worked towards the kitchen to see if Obim has made food to eat, I saw three used disposable plates in the mini waste bin behind the kitchen exit door. I would later cook for him, I said to myself as I needed to go to his bedroom to relax until he comes back and be surprised, I approached the bedroom door as I wanted to open it, I remember Obim locks his bedroom door, I went back to the sitting room to remove the bunch of keys from the door keyhole and returned to the room to unlock the door.

I was staggered at what I saw going on in his room as he was laying on the couch bedside his big bed, with a beautiful light skin girl in her early 20s caressing each other passionately, this is what Obim and I often do during our courtship, it felt like I was hallucinating. My heart skipped; at that moment I was trying to convince myself it was not real as both were carried away in the act as they never knew I entered the room. After fifty-seven seconds, it dawned on me it was real, I screamed his name ‘Ikenna’, ‘Afolashade’ he responded like I was not his “Asa n’wa” meaning ‘beautiful girl’ he was fond of calling me.

He dragged me out of the room to the sitting room and then started blaming me for showing up without telling him I was on my way ‘why would you come without a call or text’ he said unremorsefully, at that moment it dawned on me I was alone in the relationship- I felt so hurt, speechless and helpless that it felt the ground should open up to swallow me. He pushed me away making his way into the room as he told me to leave his house, my eyes were teary as I wondered what happened to the love, the unconditional love he regularly professed.

I was warned about Ikenna severing our relationship, but I was blinded by love as I was assured by him that I should believe he is mine now and would be forever. I walked out of the house feeling humiliated, it felt like my world has turned from sweet to sour; he gave no reason for the act, it was a long walk home that day as I forgot my phone and purse in his house as I was still in a state of confusion.

Today, I still don’t trust any man by committing my heart to them, also Ikenna got married to a lady from the Eastern Region, and they have three children and are happily married. As for me, I was single all my life as I could not open my heart to love anymore. Here I am today, celebrating my forty-ninth birthday, still broken.