Christiana sighed as she folded her slender legs on the sofa. Her hands hugged her delicate body like it was giving support to the thick jacket meant to keep the harmattan cold away.
It was indeed a cold morning. A lazy one too, as she had nowhere to go. It was one of the many days off from work, thanks to the festive period and the public holiday.
She knew she should try to get dressed, and then head out to her best friend’s. But the cold wouldn’t let her. So she spent time browsing through Facebook and sipping hot tea.
All her Facebook friends had on their walls were Christmas and New Year wishes. I wish you blah blah blah. And I prophesy more blah, blah, blah. Even the ones who secretly hated each other would still throw half-hearted wishes.
I didn’t know a new year can make everyone a prophet. She thought, smiling.
Christiana was going to reply to a happy Christmas post on her wall when her phone rang.
“Jeez!” she rolled her eyes. “What a nice time to call”.
Looking at the caller’s ID, it was Sofie. Sure, she should have seen that coming. Since she made no move to call or visit her friend, her friend was definitely going to call or visit. Sometimes, it could be both.
Christiana looked at the caller ID one more time and frowned, before picking up.
“Can’t you even try to stay on your own for one morning?” she asked first.
“Ha! Stay on my own when I have you? You’re kidding. Right?” That was Sofie
“No. Today is my day off and I want to make the most of it without you interfering.”
“You should even ask me to interfere because I have good… Scratch that. I have great news.”
“And what news can be great on a day I feel like resting?”
“Guess!” Sofie sounded excited.
With Sofie, even an ant just crossing the express was enough to excite her. And so Christiana couldn’t really think of what was so exciting at the moment.
“I can’t guess Sofie. I don’t like guesses. If I fail you’ll open your wide mouth and laugh like a witch.”
“hahaha haha haha…” Sofie burst out laughing. “A witch ba? I will get you for that”.
“Hehehehehe…Sure you will. Now talk to me. What news do you have?”
“Ok. Let me start with a brief story from last night…”
“Sofie, I want no story.” Christiana rolled her eyes”, Facebook is full of it. Just go straight to the point.”
“Oh. Ok. I’ll make it as flat as possible. Jude proposed to me last night. And I said yes.”
“Aren’t you going to say anything?” Sofie raised her voice.
“No. Because you’re joking”, Christiana frowned, making a face.
“Joking?” Sofie asked, and from the tone of her voice, Christiana was certain her friend was making a face too.
“I know how much you’ve been daydreaming about a proposal, Sofie. So yeah, you might just be making this up”.
“How can I joke with a thing as sensitive as this?”
“Because you have before.”
“Are you on WhatsApp?”
“What has Whatsapp got to do with your lie?”
“Oh come on, Christy. Go to Whatsapp. I sent you a pix.”
Curiosity had a better part of Christiana. She opened her Whatsapp faster than she had wanted to. Several messages poured in. But she only looked at the one from Sofie.
She opened it and gave a little time for the photo to load up.
it was a photo of Sofie’s left hand. A gold ring sat on her fourth finger.
Time froze, temporarily, as Christiana looked at the ring. All the while her thoughts went to her ex, Sofie soon to be brother-in-law, Stanley Odisi
Yes. The Odisi brothers had approached the ladies at a party. They kind of liked each other and decided to hook up.
However, six months into their relationship, while Sofie and Jude grew stronger in bond, She found herself in a messy breakup with Stanley. It happened a little over a month ago.
He was going to propose marriage to her. Or so she thought when out of nowhere, he announced a breakup instead.
It was really shocking, as they had never had a serious fight, just little arguments here and there. Christiana cried and begged. But Stanley had his mind made up.
Jude couldn’t do much as Stanley didn’t listen to him anyway.
A few days later, she learned from gossips, Stanley was seen around town with someone else. The heartbreak that followed was worse than the breakup. So Stanley had been cheating on her with another lady? What did the lady have that she didn’t have?
A furious Christiana paid a thug to stalk Stanley and take snapshots. Yes. She got all the printed photos of Stanley and his girlfriend. Light skinned, slim and very natural. But not so tall.
Christiana sighed, looking at the pictures. She knew Stanley loved ‘girls with meat’, as he’d call them. Yes. He loved them natural too. But this particular girl, though natural, wasn’t tall enough, neither did she have enough flesh on her.
“Bonny!” Christiana yelled, throwing the pictures on the floor. Anger consumed her, so much so, she didn’t know when she grabbed a knife and marched out of her home to Stanley’s.
It was Jude who opened the door, after series of loud bangs on it. And yes, he was quite taken aback when he saw the knife in her hand.
“What are you doing with that, Christiana?” He had asked.
“Not your business!”, she hissed, pushing past him and making her way into the house.
She called out to Stanley, daring him to come out and face her if he wasn’t a coward. Stanley did come out. And unfortunately, with the lady, Christiana saw in the photos. She launched an attack on the lady first. And Stanley, trying to protect the lady and pull Christiana back to sanity, got a cut on his left upper arm.
The battle that ensued was not a pleasant one. Christiana left the house feeling worse, especially about Stanley protecting the girl, and the injury he sustained while at it. It was a deep cut, for the sleeves of his white shirt quickly got soaked in red.
Stanley would hate her forever, she knew. But then, there was nothing she could do about it. Weeks had passed. Christiana had managed to return to sanity, stopped the cries and wishing, and tried to look forward to the future.
But here she was, staring through tears, at the ring on Sofie’s finger. It was about the 9th or 10th “hello, are you there? “, message from Sofie, that caught her attention and brought her back to the present.
“You’re not going to answer me anymore?” Sofie was asking, “don’t tell me you’re getting jealous of me and thinking of Stanley. The guy just didn’t deserve you. That lanky witch of a boyfriend snatcher he now moves about with isn’t even in any way up to you. So common! Stop crying and be happy for me”. She finished.
Christiana smiled. Sofie was the one person in the world that knew her like the back of her hands. She knew what she was thinking, or what actions she was capable of taking in certain circumstances.
“Who told you I was crying?”, Christiana typed in and added a smiley sticking out its tongue.
“Oh! I know you, remember?” Sofie replied, adding a laughing Smiley, “so are you coming over? Or do I have to come and drag you over?”
“It depends on where over is. Your house, or Jude’s? If it’s Jude’s, I can’t come. I don’t want to set eyes on the retard anymore”.
A brief silence from Sofie’s end followed before she sent a thinking smiley then asked, “did you just call my Jude a retard?”
“Hahahahahahaha….” Christiana replied, “You know very well I’m referring to Stanley. Or, did he suddenly move out of the house for Jude?”
A brief silence followed again. Then a reply, “no. He didn’t move out. Christiana, I’m not supposed to tell you this, but Stanley is away on vacation. Has been away since last week. I heard he went to Dubai with that new catch of his”.
“Interesting. Jude told you so?”
“Then Jude is a fat liar because I saw Stanley yesterday. I didn’t feel like driving to the market, so I took a bus. When we got stuck in a holdup, guess whose car drove up? Stanley’s. And no. He didn’t see me. Thanks to the other passengers sitting on the side closest to him. They unknowingly shielded me”.
“Well, that’s odd. Because Jude was certain Stanley traveled. It is possible Stanley lied to him. But they are brothers. Why would he do that?”
“Well. I don’t know. Stanley cheated on me and still broke up with me. I don’t know why he did it. I don’t know why he does anything. But Jude should. They’ve been brothers long enough”.
“Yeah. I will ask him later”, Sofie replied. “But what about you, still coming over? Jude and I, we’re celebrating our engagement. And I really want my best friend present. Oh, scratch that. I want my best friend to help me prepare for my engagement party”. She ended with a crying smiley.
“You crybaby”, Christiana sent a laughing emoji, “Give me an hour, tops. And I’ll be on my way over. But if Stanley shows up while I’m there, I’m leaving”.
“Oh, no need for that. I’ll station a big bouncer at the door. His only orders will be to bounce Stanley”, she laughed with an Emoji.
Christiana laughed back, “see you then”, the chat ended.
Another 10 minutes passed, and Christiana had not stood up from the couch. She folded some more, put her phone aside and looked up at the ceiling, deep in thoughts. If anyone had told her Sofie would be getting married to Jude while she broke up with Stanley, she’d have landed series of slaps on that one’s face.
But then, here she was, single. While Sofie was about to celebrate her engagement with her dream man.
Christiana did see the signs though, in one of the many dreams or visions she had whenever she fell into a trance-like state. The visions of Stanley scared her. But in all of those visions, Stanley didn’t seem like a bad person. He was only defending her from terrible-looking creatures. But then, he still broke her heart.
In other visions, she saw her late parents, telling her to be strong for the challenges ahead. They also told her, “you’re more than you think you are”.
She didn’t tell anyone of her visions. She thought it best to keep them to herself, so she wouldn’t come across as weird to her friends. But on one occasion, she caught Stanley’s eyes on her. He seemed to know she had just come out from a trance, because he asked, what did you see?
Christiana waved off his question and played ignorant, even when he insisted. She would have loved to open up to him, that she saw terrible creatures. Demons, chasing her. They wanted her dead. But he always came to save her. But she knew she would sound weird. Like she had been reading too much horror novels or watching too much horror movies.
So no. She denied seeing anything, and even made Stanley think he was seeing things that were not there? How could he ask about visions when she didn’t even know what was happening to her. There were times though, she’d see her mother or grandmother coming to her aid. And they’ll always say, don’t leave Stanley. He is the only one that can help you.
Who would have thought, anyway, that her knight in shining armor was a cheat and heartbreaker?
But then, Stanley wasn’t a bad person. Christiana loved him to the moon and back. He treated her like a queen and the sparks of emotions and excitement she felt with him had been undiluted.
Once, she had thought she’d die from too much love and romance. And when she eventually let him take her, it was heavenly. Like their souls belonged to each other.
Till date, Christiana was sure, she’d never find another man like Stanley. But then, she received the heartbreak of her life. Stanley, out of the blues, called it off, just when she was expecting an engagement.
She was sure he would propose because she overheard him on the phone with someone, saying he needed a diamond ring to propose marriage to the love of his life.
She certainly heard wrong. It was possible he was referring to the bonny lady he cheated with.
Now going to Sofie’s engagement party was one thing. Seeing Stanley there was another. And yet, watching him bounced was not going to be funny for her. She still loved him. And she did not even know why.
Besides, she owed him an apology for the knife wound she had inflicted on him. And she made up her mind, she’d apologize for her dangerous and carefree behavior. But after that, she’d try to move on. And she’d try not to feel bad if the bouncer does send Stanley away.
To be continued…
Karo Oforofuo. December 2017. All Rights Reserved
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