Written by Chibuzor Iwobi (@JeSuisChiby)
I was one cancellation away from being single. My girlfriend, Tina, and I would make plans, but I always had the habit of canceling at the last minute. Surely she wasn’t going to put up with me if I cancelled again. For me, the weekend was about watching soccer, either alone or with my boys. Definitely not with my girlfriend asking about every single play during the game, telling me which player is cute. But of course, Tina, being the wise ass that she was decided we stay indoors and watch the Premier League together this weekend. What can a man say?
Despite all my hopes and prayers that she would be late, she came well before the teams were out on the field. The time for Chelsea’s match arrived and, as always, I couldn’t hold in the excitement. This was a pivotal game in the season, the year was almost over and we had to win this game to stay on top of the league. To make things worse, it was against our rivals Arsenal. I had been nervous the whole week looking forward to the game, and now it was finally here. Sure enough, Tina wanted to cuddle. Why please? God, why me? But, because this seemed to be my last chance, I allowed.
Just from the watching the build up, it felt like I was there. The atmosphere was live, both sets of fans screaming at the top of their lungs, this was the game of the year so far. The two managers shook hands, the referee looked at his watch and blew his whistle. It was on! Both teams came out strong in the first few minutes, there were chances at both ends. I was high on excitement. I didn’t know when I pushed her off the couch.
“I don’t like what you are doing,” She said
I pretended not to hear her and kept my eyes glued to the TV.
“James!” She shouted.
I didn’t respond.
“It’s like I’m not even here. James!” She continued, this time putting her hand in my face. She was about to make one last attempt to get my attention, walking backwards to the TV, blocking the view. I still saw enough to catch the next highlight of the game.
“Hazard! Sweet Jesus!” I shouted, “How did he miss that?”
She was fed up; she packed her things in a rush and headed straight for the door. Of course, not before trying to have the last word.
“Oh really!” she exclaimed, “When you are ready for a relationship, I hope Chelsea pays you enough attention.”
“Wait! Tina! ” I stretched out my hand and caught one of her fingers, holding her back. I looked straight into her eyes for about 5 seconds.
“I’m sorry, sweetheart, I really am.”
Vintage Tina; she looked away, tapping her heels on the ground. She tried to act angry, she had a stern look on her face. She did this every time she was angry, but this had a different feel to it. This time, it felt like she was at her wits end. The stern look soon turned somber, it was obvious she was trying to hold her tears back.
“I love the sound you make with your shoes when you’re angry” I said, trying to lighten the mood.
It didn’t work. A tear escaped her control; I used my thumb to wipe it off. I took her bag off her and dropped it on the table, held both hands and turned her face gently.
“I’m sorry, I have no excuses!”
After what seemed like an eternity, she calmed down and said “James, I thought today was about us. When did it turn into a threesome?”
“But you didn’t invite your friend over though,” I said. Needless to say, that was my second failed attempt to crack a joke.
“I’m sorry, please forgive me,” I pleaded.
All this while, the game was still on, and I could still hear the commentary. As God will have it, at the exact point I was trying to apologize, Chelsea scored.
“GOAL!” I screamed.
She couldn’t have walked out any faster. After removing my shirt in celebration, I realized she walked out. Here I was, shirtless running after her on the street.
“I’m begging you, lets go inside. I’ll put on a shirt and we’ll go out,” I begged.
She proved to be stubborn, pretending not have a any of my pleas, facing in the other direction of my voice. My pleas went on for a while and thankfully, she agreed.
We went in and I picked up my Chelsea shirt. The look she gave me as I was putting it on, is best described as devlish. I took it off without a word and found something else that was blue to wear. She knew what I was up to but she let it slide. I opened the car door for her, got in, and drove to Coldstone Creamery®. I made sure to start with a topic that had nothing to do with our relationship.
“Marianne still bugging you at work?” I asked.
She said nothing, smiled and continued eating her ice cream.
“What?” I asked curiously.
“So you actually listen to my little incessant rants.”
“Of course I do. Why won’t I?” I asked with a huge smile, knowing I had scored some points
“You sometimes seem uninterested in my affairs.” She paused, “Sometimes, I think you don’t love me enough.”
Another chance to win some points, I wasn’t going to waste it.
“I love you more than you can imagine,” I replied.
“I love you too.”
We bought ice cream in one cup, and rushed it, laughing through the brain freeze. After that, we went to the park and found a bench to enjoy the fresh air. Tina was the talkative type; she did all the talking. While she talked, I checked my phone to see what the scores were. Somehow, she ended up ranting about her co-workers again, and I just phased out. I looked round the park, feigning deep thought of what she was talking about, nodding my head at intervals. There were a bunch of teenagers being teenagers, an old Chinese couple whom, I wasn’t sure if they were fast asleep or wide awake, and another young couple who were all about PDA. My eyes continued to wander when they stumbled on a book right next to the bench. It seemed like a diary, on the cover was written “My Secrets.” Curiosity got the best of me and I picked it up, dusted it and begun reading.
“January 4th 1998 – I waited for her to come by today. There’s nothing I rather do than watch her swim.”
“What’s that James?” Tina asked.
I tried concealing it knowing fully well the problems it was going to cause.
“Is that a book?” she asked.
I avoided the temptation of replying “no” sarcastically. She had a stern look. Her fists were clenched with one foot tapping the ground. She knew my attention was gone.
“You’re now more into the book than what I’m saying, James? Are you fucking kidding me?”
“Yes, I know. You’re ‘sorry'” She sighed. “Whatever James. I’m tired of this, it’s over.”
“I’m sorry,” I pleaded. I knew I was wrong, but I felt she was overreacting. She was expecting me to say more, but I had nothing to add. I got tired of the constant apologizing
“Oh!” she exclaimed. “Seems you’re really short of words today James.”
She walked away angrily. Going after her was a bad idea so I thought to let her calm down then ring her later. I turned my focus back to the book and resumed reading.
“Jan 7th 1998 – She came around today again. She didn’t swim today.”
“Jan 10th 1998 – She came alone today. I wonder why.”
“Jan 12th 1998 – I wanted to talk to her but her ravaging beauty is so intimidating.”
“Jan 13th 1998 – I finally mustered enough courage to talk to her today. Her friends told me to get out and called me a disgusting thing. That hurt but she comforted me with a hug”
“Jan 14th 1998 – She came looking for me today. I couldn’t help but blush. She said I’m cute. She thinks I’m cute!! Her name is Esther.”
“Jan17th 1998 – I wish she could come everyday. She said she’s a busy person so she comes whenever she’s chanced but for me, she’d frequent here more often. I think she likes me.”
“Jan 22nd 1998 – We had a rather lengthy conversation today that seemed to have angered her friends. She barely spent time in the water because of me.”
“Jan 24th 1998 – I almost told her I love her today. How would she feel if I tell her that? Austin said I should tell her, Tega advices against it.”
“Jan 26th 1998 – it seems she’s taking a serious interest in me. She asks me so many questions.”
“Jan 27th 1998 – did I ever say how soft her body is and how comfy her breasts felt pressed against my chest?”
“Jan 30th 1998 – I embarrassed myself today. Her swim suit was rather extra revealing. I kept staring so I got an erection.”
“Feb 02nd 1998 – She pecked me today. Oh yeah, she definitely likes me. Time to make my move.”
“What a loser!” I laughed.
Two hands suddenly covered my face. A ladylike voice said, “guess who”. This was tough for me, I did not want trouble today. By default, I said Tina and she said no. She insisted I guess more so after a couple of wild guesses, all of which were wrong, my prankster had no choice but to reveal her identity. It was Samantha, my ex.
Samantha had short hair that perfectly fit her oval shaped head and pointy noise. She was in her usual pair of jeans, a T-shirt and a pair of slippers. Seeing her again brought back so many memories I thought I had buried. We had decided to take a break, which I instigated, not too long ago. It was around that period I met Tina, and I was desperate to get with her. Maybe I just wanted something new, but now I regretted that decision. Good thing is Samantha and I stayed friends. She is the liveliest and most cheerful person I know. She always had her smile on, a smile that can light up any room.
“How are you love?” She asked as she poked me in the stomach, “Ay, not bad. One Pac, 5 to go,” She laughed hysterically. I put my hands on my stomach and laughed too.
“I’ll get all six soon,” I laughed again. “I’m good, although a bit stressed.”
“What’s wrong love?” She asked, with a calm look on her face. She had a look that would make you want to tell her your life story.
“Nothing, really. Just work,” I replied, protecting myself.
“What’s that in your hand? Looks dirty. Still a dirty boy James?” she teased. Why couldn’t Tina say this? Its so easy with Sam. I smiled.
“It’s something I found not too long ago. Kind of funny.”
I handed over the book to her. She read out loud.
“Feb 5th 1998 – Today has got to be the worst day of my entire existence”
“Awwwwn poor baby,” She said pitifully.
“I asked Esther to be my date for Valentines but she he laughed in my face, so did all her friends. I thought… I thought we had hit it off. I had roses in my hands for pete’s sake! Apparently she had a wager with her friends she could make me easily fall for her. She called me a loser. She’s a cold hearted bitch. I HATE HER!”
“Finally,” I said. “The balance is restored.”
“Stop it,” Sam said. “It’s cute.”
“Cute?” I asked. “When did Nigerian girls start liking flowers?”
She giggled. “I’ve got to get going love. I have a date.”
“Why so surprised?” She asked, knowing I was jealous.
“Err..nothing. But dressed like that?”
“Don’t be such a dummy. Going home first. You know how much I love my walk in the park.”
“Alright,” I said with a sarcastic smile.
I shook my head instantly.
“Okay love.” She kissed me on the cheek and walked away.
I watched her slender body move left, right and left again. I stared for a while.
“I miss you Sam,” I whispered. Sighed heavily. I returned back to the book:
“Feb 7th 1998 – I hide every time her or her friends show up.”
“Feb 8th 1998 – They haven’t stopped laughing at me.”
“Feb 13th 1998 – I can’t take this anymore. I can’t.”
“Feb 14th 1998 – it’s not my fault. They pushed me to the wall. I had no other choice. But revenge is truly sweet.”
“Feb 15th 1998 – I’m yet to believe what I did yesterday. Where did I become so brave?”
“Feb 16th 1998 – it’s been two days since I kidnapped Esther along with her boyfriend.”
My jaw dropped. That wasn’t expected. What a plot twist!
“Feb 17th 1998 – I haven’t gone to the basement yet. I’m too scared to face them. I haven’t figured out what I’m going to do to them. I definitely can’t let them go. ”
“Feb 18th 1998 – I thought beggars had no choice? Her boyfriend who goes by the name of Charles swore to kill me once he regained his freedom. If wishes were horses, beggars would ride.”
“Feb 19th 1998 – The police stopped by today to ask for any information concerning Esther and Charles. I was extremely nervous.”
“Feb 20th 1998 – Why the hell am I writing all these down?”
“Feb 21st 1998 – This was totally not my fault. I acted on reflex. He continued with his threats, insults inclusive. I hit him so hard on the head with a hammer. I killed Charles.”
“Feb 22nd 1998 – Thank God for the crime movies I’ve been watching of late. I will easily dispose this body to avoiding it being led back to me. I’ll hack his body. At least, Esther and I can be together for ever.
“Feb 23rd 1998 – I feel so awful. What have I done?”
“Feb 24th 1998 – Why do they keep pushing me to the wall? Why do they force me to do these things? Why?”
“Feb 25th 1998 – I carefully disposed her body at the bottom of the ocean.”
I screamed and closed the book with force. Looked around to assure myself nobody had heard me scream but everyone was staring at me with wary eyes. I got up and headed straight home. I sat in thought of the trauma the poor girl must have passed through. First being kidnapped and then seeing her lover reduced to nothing. Shouldn’t I give this to the police? The culprit could still be out there. Someone this psychotic deserves to be behind bars. I called my friend down at the precinct. He is one of my friends from high school, who surprisingly decided to become a policeman.
“Jamie!” He answered. “Long time bro.”
“Alfredo Pareto!” I hailed him. He had gotten that nickname from our Economics secondary school teacher.
“How body?” He asked.
“I’ve been good bro,” I replied. “I’ve got something for you. When are you less busy?”
“I’m always busy, you know that,” He replied. “So what’s it about?”
“I’d rather tell you in person. Hit me up when you’re available,” I said.
“Sure thing,” then he hung up.
I took a quick nap after the phone call and woke up in the evening. The first thing I saw was Tina’s hat on the floor. It had fallen when I pushed her off earlier in the day. I remembered how we ended things so I thought to call Tina in an attempt to settle things.
“Hey darling,” I said.
“Hey,” She replied.
“I’m so sorry. Today was about us and I should have kept it that way. I behaved rudely today. I’m so-“”
“You’re so sorry. That’s all you say these days. What happened to you, to us? You’ve changed. You weren’t like this.” I heard her heave a heavy sigh.
“Did I do anything wrong?” She asked
“Do you know what? Let’s talk over dinner, darling,” I suggested.
She kept quiet. She loved me too much to let go.
“I’m honestly sorry. I want to make it up to you, please allow me to,” I begged.
“I’ll pick you up in two hours. Bye. Love you.”
I decided to relive our first date by taking her to the same restaurant. I remember that night like it was yesterday. She was too coy to do anything, which I found rather cute. She didn’t want to eat much, so we ended up spending just about an hour at the restaurant. She was shy and cautious, very protective of her heart. Looking back at that night, a lot had changed. She wore a white gown with a slit that allowed her showcase her flawless ebony legs. She revealed a lot of cleavage, my weakness, she went for the kill. She wasn’t as facially good looking as Sam but she had a dynamite body. The comparisons I made between Samantha and Tina were non-ending; I sought to convince myself I made the right decision. I compared their heights, IQ’s, complexion, anything you could think of.
That night, she was especially radiant. She looked like a queen in my eyes. The more the night went on, the more I admired her. We spoke about everything, and I made sure she had all my attention. She smiled throughout; it was obvious how much she appreciated the attention. She gave me a compelling kiss at the end of the night, and I drove her home. When we got there, my hormones were raging; I just had to say something.
“You could do with a roommate tonight, can’t you?” I teased.
“As long as that roommate makes me happy,” She replied seductively.
I woke up the next morning feeling refreshed and reborn, it was a great night. Sunday morning, I’m not really a church person. All I could think about was the book, this psychotic man, and why I had never heard of him.
“That’s not a bad idea,” I muttered unconsciously.
“What’s not a bad idea?” Tina asked curiously.
“Nothing really. Just some business plans,” I replied.
She wrapped her hands around me and stared at my face and then she said what all men fear to hear.
“Why do you love me, James?”
“Same reason you love me darling.”
She looked numb after that, and didn’t respond. She got up to take a shower and get ready for church.
“One day, I’ll drag you along with me,” She said.
I took her to church and went back home, the book still weighing heavily on my mind. It was the first thing I picked up when I got home.
“March 1st 1998- I’ve been on the edge. I duck every time I see a police car. What have I done?”
“March 3rd 1998 – I’m going to surrender to the police. I keep having these nightmares. I’m on the verge of losing my mind.”
“March 5th 1998 – I did it again. I’ve taken another person hostage. What’s wrong with me?”
“March 6th 1998 – I should be an artist. I’ve always wanted to be. I visualized my hostage’s body as a canvas and I turned it to art.”
“March 7th 1998 – I… I feel accomplished. I feel as I’ve found my calling… I feel…”
I should really get this book to Alfred, I thought. I tried his number but it was switched off; he must be in church.
“March 10th 1998 – I’ve been itching to get another one over Esther. Maybe I should get one of her beloved friends to join her in hell.”
“March 15th 1998 – These girls are too easy. I killed two birds with one stone.”
I heard a ring and I jumped. It was just my phone ringing, a message from Sam.
“Wanna talk?” She messaged.
“Yea. What’s up?”
“Can you meet me at Sailor’s in a couple of minutes?”
“Yea. I’ll be there in no time,” I replied
It was Sam, all other things came second, including the book in this case. As promised I got there quickly. She was already drinking, seemed like she had had too many already. I joined her and ordered my favorite – cranberry and vodka.
“So, how was your date yesterday?” I asked. Not like I care though.
“Fine,” She replied as she rolled her eyes.
“That bad huh?” I smiled, “What are you doing here by the way?”
“Another date. Just forget about it,” She paused for a long moment and said, “I miss you James,”
That was unexpected, I thought. She stared away at the vast waters, enjoying the fresh air.
“Seeing you today, it’s been a while. I know we’ve been talking… but…. I’ve been harboring these feelings ever since.”
I sat silent in shock. She stared away, looking at the vast waters and looked back at me. I wanted to say something cause I felt the same exact way.
“Do you miss me?” She asked shyly.
She had that look again, and this time I couldn’t control it
“Every single day of my life,” I replied
“But you moved on so fast,” She said, with a quizzing look on her face.
“Tina? I was hurting,” I defended myself.
She kept her head down. It seemed like she was debating whether or not to believe me.
“Do you still love me?” She asked, looking away.
“Could I ever stop loving you?” I replied.
“Should I believe you?” She asked.
“I know I haven’t given you reasons to, with the way I treated you but I’m sorry. I’ve always wanted to tell your, during all our texts, how much I miss and love you, Sam. I don’t think I’ve said this… but, I’m sorry for what I did to you. I shouldn’t have ever let you go. You’re a rare gem,” I gave a reassuring speech.
“I love you too, baby.”
“Let’s go back to my place,” I said.
She agreed and we headed back. This was a normal Sunday afternoon, there was little traffic on the road so she suggested we drive around for a bit. We spent the time talking about our lives after the break up and where it all went wrong. I knew that it was my lust for Tina that ruined it, but I blamed it on our fights. Those fights were normal, but that was the best excuse I could offer.
It was obvious we wanted to be with each other, the chemistry was great, we knew each other to a fault. The hours went by and we finally got to my place. I made her dinner and we watched a movie. We knew how the night would end, we were just finding ways to prolong it but before the movie ended we were all over each other. The time we spent prolonging had only made things worse. Clothes were taken off. The bed was just too far away. It was one hell of a night!
The next morning, I woke up before Sam; she looked so peaceful when she slept. I had the week off from work, I needed a break from all the stress. I was looking around for things to do, then I remembered the book again. It had skipped my mind because of her. I went to look for it, fixed myself a cup of coffee and I opened it back up.
“March 20th 1998 – Am I going crazy?”
“March 21st 1998 – if this is insanity, I’ve never felt much better.”
“March 26th 1998 – I know who is next. The beautiful Titilope Jones.”
What!? I couldn’t believe it. I dropped the cup and the loud shatter woke Sam up, I was rendered weak. I picked the book up again to make sure I read the name correctly. It couldn’t be, surely it was not. If this book is to be believed, my mother didn’t run away from us, she was abducted by a serial killer!
Written by Chibuzor Iwobi (@JeSuisChiby)
Edited by; Gbadebo (@Oaa148) Oladoyin (@Miss_Ola_D)
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