I couldn’t believe my ears. My joy knew no bound. He told me he’d show up soon, very soon. Chide had been my sweetheart for over three years. We actually started dating during our service year and I’ll say how we began, was divine. Since then, we made great progress. I was convinced I’ll bear his children and we’d be together, till death do us part.
‘Everything must be in order’ I heard myself tell Nkechi over and over again as I walked around the house the next day. Chide had never been to my place, neither had he met my family. I had only mentioned him to my parents since the day after I got back from Enugu where I served.
‘When will he come to see us?’ my mum never stopped questioning me. But it had not been his fault. His job won’t let him. I never stopped being surprised at how well our relationship survived without having to see each other. I remember I cried sometimes though because at those times we had faced what I’ll call relationship turbulence. I thought then that what we had built would come to an end. But there I was, basking in immeasurable joy. At last Chide would ask my parents for permission to marry me and our forever journey would continue.
The journey was going to be a long one. He was coming all the way from Jos to Enugu. But when he said over the phone that he would be leaving my place that same day, I was so shocked. He spoke in a hurry and I’m quite certain he was using a public transport, given the noise in the background. Still, I was confused.
‘How funny Chide must be, playing one of those his pranks again’ I said to myself and continued with making sure our home and everyone in it, was ready for the visit of my one and only sweetheart.
‘Amaka!!!! Our in-law has arrived’ I heard my mother scream an hour later. She was already out the door to welcome Chide. I quickly finished my make up that seemed to have been taking forever. I stepped out of my room, full of smiles, into the sitting room. However, what transpired afterward landed me in the hospital. I spent about two weeks before I regained consciousness.
There I was, thinking I had a husband just waiting for the right time and enough resources to make me his wife. There I was, thinking my life was well planned out with Chide; the man I always introduced when we were still serving together, as the man of my dreams. Only for Chide to come visiting me in my house, with my family, for the very first time and yet had the guts to come with his wife and son.
At first, I ran into his arms, not caring about the lady and child by his side. My mum, not knowing who they were either, had gone to instruct Nkechi to bring in the food. But when Chide didn’t respond to my hug like someone who had missed me for over 3years, I knew something was wrong. I moved back and teasingly asked,
“My love, I guess you must be really tired. That’s why you can’t hug me ehn?” Without waiting for a response I continued, ‘Is this your aunt?’.
I didn’t clearly hear the rest of what he said. His first words were already a stab wound in my delicate heart. I saw a shattered me the instant I heard the rot in his words. How could people be so heartless; feigning love for me all this while but having another woman with a child somewhere else, claiming it was all a mistake, playing all along and now coming with the unwanted baggage and asking for forgiveness?
Thank God for my mother who helped me shove them out with insults. Nkechi was more bothered about me. She rushed to my side and struggled to lift me up. Then she dragged me out to the car. It wasn’t long afterward that I passed out.
So much for the awaited visit. Chide had a wife whom he said happened to have walked her way into him by seduction. According to my sister, he had said it happened one night after he got drunk. He was afraid to tell me. But when she came with his child and had gotten medical proof the child was his, he still kept silent and grew to love them both. He threw his commitment to me aside, claiming he couldn’t love me after seeing what betrayal he had done. Rubbish!!!! All rubbish.
Now I’m conscious again. But deep down I know there’s a part of me that will never regain consciousness. I don’t know if I’ll be able to love again.