Chiasoka watched as the remains of the roses turned into hues of ugly looking red and burgundy;of a nasty wound refusing to heal. She wiped away the tears dancing along her face before they could tickle her ears.
April 27th… She flipped the pages of her journal as if to confirm if she had forgotten… There it was April 27th… She carefully traced her dainty fingers over the words engraved on the page in her handwriting as if it had brittled with age. It had only been six months… Six months…Abaeze had left six months ago. It felt like it had been forever. Eze, as she loved to call him had left without any explanations and only a whiff of apology in his pleading eyes as he strolled out of her apartment that night whiles he nursed the burning sensation that had been caused by a resounding slap the night every thing had changed and things were not going to be the same again… The night…
Chiasoka… Her name meant “God is too sweet”. How could she say this when love hadn’t been fair and sweet to her? Chiasoka was a dazzling beauty; her thick long mane was the envy of several other ladies. She was beautiful. As Yosef Ben- Jochannan said dipped in chocolate, bronzed in elegance, enameled with grace.
Before Abaeze joined the league, there had been four predecessors and many contenders. Yes four of them. Chukwu, the lanky neighbour. This she had nicknamed teenage love affair. Looking back, she did not even see what she had seen in him. He was such a boring lad. There was also Akin whose old-fashioned pince-nez inherited from his grandfather was worse than that of Harry Potter. These days she heard Akin Olamide had become a Lagos big boy in techy stuff. Thankfully some use had come out of his nerdiness. But that guy had to give her some share if he had hit some big money ooo. She had given him a lot of ideas.
At a point Chi had crossed borders and fallen in love with Yaw, the Ghana boy and slick talker she had met at that Ovation party in Abuja. Before her “redemption”, she naively thought destiny and fate had brought them together. To her dismay, Yaw had been an “ogboro” in these streets; the lover of many ladies, a paramour to many others but committed to none. It had been hard to come to terms with Kwesi’s misgivings and move. She had gotten over it.
These days, they even worked on some business deals together and Yaw had tried to warm his way into Chi’s life again professing his love and telling her he was a changed man. She wasn’t having any of that. Her eyes had this charm about it and used that power when she needed to. She watched him intensely like an eagle focused on its prey and ready to attack and told him her piece of mind in a nice yet firm way. After that day, he never made mention of his intentions nor acted in any compromising manner.
When she thought she was done with love, Abaeze came into her life. It felt like he had fallen from the skies just for her. Maybe her “chielo” had worked some magic. He was tall, dark and handsome. She had landed the man of her dreams when Iya Bolu, her mother had always warned her not to chase that dream because she who had wished to end up with the strongest man, Segun in all of Umuahia had ended up with her rotund and bald father, Papa Bolu.
Eze had shown her love in different forms and in many ways each day. It felt like a dream and she didn’t want to wake up from it. It was real and beautiful. It felt like it was going to last forever but soon, the first two years of bliss and sweet tales turned sour. Flaws and unforgiveness had marred a love that was once lit.
Caustic words became the order and break ups became the norm. But theirs was a love that was stronger and fiery than the demons they fought with. There were several breakups but they always talked things over. The decision of staying didn’t recede the pain. Their arguments continued filled with seconds of happiness and then the cycle continued.
The day Chi found out there was another woman, she almost run mad. She destroyed an abstract painting she had been working on for months and broke some items. The painting was her entry for a competition. At first when she confronted Abaeze, he had wanted to deny it but he knew Chiasoka like the back of his palm. Chiasoka was sweet, calm and down to earth but when the demon of rage appeared, there was no stopping her. One look in her eyes which was burning up with fury was the only thing which made him rescind his decision. In minutes he was on his knees begging for mercy and apologising profusely assuring Chi it was a mistake which would never happen again. And after many days, Chiasoka had forgiven him and everything had returned to normalcy.
Months before the crippling revelation that night, things had been tense and terse. Eze was busy with work and Chi was gaining recognition from her works and involved lots of events and travel. Everything felt routine. Moments together were hurried and rushed, conversations were short and drab. There was no cackle in her laughter, the glint in her eyes were lost. The only thing that reminded her of Eze was when she left the egg yoke untouched every time she ate boiled eggs. She missed Eze but she felt they needed sometime apart; to sort out their demons and explore life beyond their relationship and focus on accomplishments, family among others.
So she was delighted when Eze called that afternoon to pay a visit. She had just returned from Port Harcourt. More surprising, he had arrived at Chi’s apartment with some roses and other gifts which she gladly accepted. She never suspected there was any rot. How couldn’t she have noticed? He acted uneasy, jittery and lost in thoughts . Maybe she was tired and he was also tired.
Then he dropped the bombshell in the faintest voice ever. “Ermm Eze. Kehinde is pregnant. We are getting married in two weeks.”
Chi’s eyes widened and she scoffed.
The other woman he cheated with some months before. She was shocked. How could she not have suspected this whisk in a haystack? A woman was supposed to be able to smell the carcass of a dead rat miles away. How did she miss this?
“Chi. I am really sorr–”
She slapped him before he could finish his distasteful apology. He had hung his head and left. It had been six months already… A lot had happened in six months. She had won the competition. She was gaining more recognition. After that night, Abaeze had tried several times to get in touch but Chi had cut off contact with him. She couldn’t understand why he had gone back on his word after his promise. Would she have preferred another woman? Would that have lessened her pain? Wasn’t she enough?
It had been six months already. Her life had changed; she didn’t believe love that much; being in love and feeling loved was amazing but it came with wounds.The pain had lessened. As she watched the last rose petal shrink, she got ready for a long day ahead, for the next month, she was going to wake up every morning in a different city. She sighed; to think that she was going to do this with Eze. Maybe some journeys were best done alone.
Nana Akua Frimpomaa Amofa (c) 2018