…Continued from last post…
When we got home, it was my younger sister, Tiana who opened the door for us. Immediately, she saw Clara, her face tightened in hostility. She had never grown to like Clara. It wasn’t just her, my whole family had this inexplicable acrimony towards her; I had tried my best to make them see her for who she is, but all to no avail.
Tiana had come for a holiday at my house. Her presence in the house will be of great inconvenience to my girlfriend, but I could not ask either of them to leave. I just hoped that I could handle things.
We went upstairs to my room. I’d wanted her to be at my place because from there, we would be going to my parents’ house. My decision has been long overdue; I wanted to marry Clara. After I’m done convincing my parents that she was the best woman for me (which I knew was going to be a Herculean task), I would head to her parents’ house.
She went into the bathroom to freshen up and I was sprawled on the bed, looking up at the ceiling, and remembering what she told me about her family. Her parents were poor, and found it extremely hard to feed her and her four younger siblings. Her father, a commercial driver, had borrowed a lot of money in order to send her to school. But in her final year, he died of complications arising from diabetes. After her school, she had found it hard to get work, but later she got at MedCorp, where she worked until the unfortunate incident happened.
The beep of my phone brought me out of my reverie. I opened the email, and got the shock of my life. What I was seeing just unimaginable, yet I it was staring at me in the face. The email contained some pictures of Clara in bed with my best friend, Tony. I could not understand it. Why would she betray me? What have I not done for her? Immediately she came out, I thrust the phone into her hands.
“Can you tell me what this means?” I said in my iciest voice.
You could see the shock on her face. She tried explaining but I didn’t hear a word what she said. What was there to say? She touched me, with tears in her eyes, she said,
“Please my dear, give me a chance to explain.” Strangely, as bad as I wanted to be furious at her, I just wasn’t angry. I was just… sad, and forlorn. Perhaps, that was why I gave her a listening ear.
“There is one thing I didn’t tell you about myself. Before I got the job at MedCorp, I was a prostitute; it was the job I did to survive. I first met Ifeanyi during my days as a prostitute. He was with my former boss the day we met. They had come to where we stayed and requested for some girls for the night. I and a friend was picked. The boss took an interest in me and after our night together, gave me a job as his secretary.
“When you brought me to this city and Tony saw me, he immediately recognized me. Later, he called me and said that he would tell you of what I used to be if I did not agree to sleep with him. I refused at first, but I didn’t want to lose you, so I agreed to do it.”
As she was spinning her unbelievable tale, my head was pounding with anguish. So all these happened under my nose yet I didn’t find out? I must have been thoroughly blinded by love. Not anymore, I decided.
“I’m so sorry… I never meant it to be like this.”
I didn’t know that my sister was eavesdropping on us until she burst into the room shouting and raining abuses on Clara.
“Harlot! That was what I called you. But my brother would not listen. He was busy looking at a beautiful face. I said it! Have you seen it Brother?”
My nerves were already high strung already without her adding to the whole thing.
“Tiana,” I called, “can you please leave—”
“Instead of you to throw this prostitute out of your house, you’re asking me to leave? I don’t blame you!” She turned to Clara, and said: “As for you, my brother wanted to marry you, right? Let’s see how possible it is when I tell my parents all I heard.”
She stormed out of the room. After she, there was this deathly silence that was very hard to break. I asked Clara to sit down and wait for me. I planned on confronting Ifeanyi. Why would my friend betray me like this?
That was the last time I saw Clara alive. When I came out of the bathroom, she was nowhere to be found. I went downstairs and my gateman informed me that she left in some sort of distress. I dressed up, and drove to her place but I didn’t find her. As I was pulling out of her house, I got a call from her.
“My dear Ifeanyi, you brought joy and happiness to my life when I thought it was not possible. You’ve made me believe in love and for that, you’ll always be in my heart. But I have wronged you terribly, that is what I can’t live with. Also I don’t want to face your parents as an undeserving daughter-in-law. So I have decided to end it all. Goodbye my love. I hope you can find it in your heart to forgive me.” And she clicked off.
I shouted and pleaded with her not to do whatever she wanted to do, but I was only talking to myself. Where do I start to look for her? I rushed to her friend’s place, hoping against hope that she would be there. But she wasn’t. I and Jenny, her friend now started looking for her. But we could not find her. Not until two days later.
Two days later, her body was washed up in a river close to the city. She had jumped into the river and had drowned. I had cried my eyes out as I held her cold, lifeless body. She had committed suicide because she thought I would not love her again, but could never have stopped loving her. Her death was a shock to everyone. Even my sister and parents were speechless when they learnt of how she died.
I was able to locate her parents, and she was taken home and buried. After her burial, I told Tony, who was also my employee to go as far away as he could from the city. If he didn’t, I told him, I would make his life a living, breathing hell. Well, he left and my misery didn’t abate.
Slowly but surely I would get over her. But it would be a long time coming. For now, I just have to live as the days come.
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