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Chapter Five (Finale)
What were you thinking Christine? He was too good to be true, you knew that. How could such a beautiful man be yours? I lay in the dark thinking to myself… it was just 8 pm but I had shut the door of the hotel room and switched the lights off, trying to force myself to sleep just to escape my new reality.
The car ride after I left his house had been silent. Michael hadn’t bothered to explain his failure to tell me he was married and I had been too afraid to ask. As we got to a hotel, he pulled over, brought out a bundle of cash and gave it all to me. I stared at him in disbelief, holding his gaze…he took his eyes away from mine. “I’ll call you Christine”, he said as I stepped out of the car. He drove off almost immediately and I stood there watching the tires of his Benz screech as he tried to leave as fast as he could and I knew in that moment that he would not call.
I picked up my phone and called Francine. She listened to me tell her everything that had happened amidst tears. When I was done she said, “do you have enough money in your account for a flight home?” “Yes…I do”, I told her. “Ok Chris… I’m sorry for what happened but you have to forget about him. Don’t answer his calls or give him any opportunity to talk things over. He’s married, you don’t interfere with another woman’s marriage. I just checked online, there’s a flight from Abuja to Lagos by 2pm tomorrow…book it now… stop crying…we’ll talk about it when you get back tomorrow…I love you. I have a test tomorrow. Goodnight”. She hung up… I dropped my phone. I was used to Francine’s tough love. She hated tears and I remembered all the time I had to stop myself from crying around her… even when mum died…I was mortified. I cried every day for weeks but Francine hadn’t shed a tear. At least, I never saw it. I cried some more, now thinking of my mother till I fell asleep.
I woke up to 15 missed calls and 3 text messages from Michael which I ignored… I was never going to speak to him again. It was hard but it was the right thing to do. I had fallen in love with someone’s husband without knowing it and I was going to do everything possible to move on. I ordered room service and paid with the money he gave me. I ate while watching television and when it was 12pm, I left for the airport.
I arrived Lagos and went straight to school. While in my room, I thought about the last three months and all the signs I had ignored stood out clearly. How he always answered calls with me out of earshot, how I’d found implicating text messages in his phone and he’d said there were from a crazy stalker in Abuja…or how I had called him once and a lady picked up the phone…I immediately dropped my phone and he called back hours later saying she was his personal assistant. How was I so blind? No… I thought to myself… I realized I wasn’t blind… I just refused to pick at the multiple sores in our relationship because I was afraid of how much the wounds might hurt.
Francine and I never talked about Michael again and I knew better than to bring it up. It was her way. “Ignore the pain until it doesn’t hurt anymore” was her favourite thing to say. So that is exactly what I did. And after a while… I realized it still hurt. But not as much and I was going to be fine.
I’m Etinyene Jimmy, a budding writer trying to find her niche. I do well with fiction, exploring the lengths of my ever busy imaginations. ff on Twitter @Etinyene_