Short Story: Loving Pain (I) – By Celestine Nudanu
Chapter One: The Break
It paid to be patient. I had always known that, and if nothing at all, I could recall my grandmother’s voice admonishing me to be patient in all situations and never chase after a man. However, grandmother had gone into the other world for a while now and couldn’t possibly know that I had done my share of chasing after Kofi. I had to agree with her though, that it does pay to be patient for I had waited patiently to end a relationship that had been going nowhere from the beginning.
My friends had seen the light long before I had. But I guess my mother who had been enamoured of him just as I had been, had fanned the flames of my love for him and I had loved him with a passion which had defied imagination.
As usual, he was about a half hour late for the date, speeding up the house in his latest toy, a Ford Escape. He offered no explanation for arriving late. That had always been his style and I had long stopped asking. He placed a rather cold peck on my cheek and as I looked up to his handsome face, I could not help but wonder what had kept me glued to this man for two solid years.
Sex? Maybe, because it had always been good, but then as my dear friend Esi was fond of saying, ‘you don’t marry sex, you marry the man’. In this case, the man, Kofi was not marriage material and though I had known that for some time now, I had made excuses for his cheating and generally irresponsible attitude; but not anymore because I had to move on.
“Ayele, you look tired.” He said, as he sat down next to me on the couch. So he had noticed. For some time now, he had hardly noticed me and how I looked. The complements, which had been lavish, were not forthcoming anymore.
‘I had a busy day at work.” I said, and then saw that for the first time since I had known him, he felt uneasy.
“Do you care for a drink?” I asked, him, trying to make him ease up.
“Er, no thanks, Ayele.” He looked everywhere but at me, and I decided to let him stew some more, before asking him the reason for his discomfort. Maybe I should withhold my news?
Finally, after what seemed to be an eternity, Kofi took hold of my hands in his and looked at me with unreadable, disturbing eyes. Here was I, trying to find words to end a two year relationship and yet as I looked back at him, mesmerised, I knew instinctively that Kofi had something important to tell me. Would the magnitude of his news surpass mine?
Chapter Two: New Beginning
A few weeks after Kofi’s visit, I sat behind my desk in the office lost in thought. I had a deadline to keep. The marketing company I worked for, NEXUS was about to be taken over by one of the biggest names in the advertising and marketing industry, Origin 8 Saatchi and Saatchi. It was not a bad move, considering that NEXUS had been going nowhere since the CEO lost his wife.
Admittedly there had been a series of mismanagement issues by some of the executives over the years, but somehow, the boss had held tight, until his wife’s unexpected death through childbirth. Origin 8 was bailing us out, with fat checks for those who had opted to move on. I had been offered a good position as a sales and advertising executive with the portfolio of managing GTP and ATL, major textiles companies in Ghana.
I couldn’t wait to start with my new job; I saw it all as a new beginning. Now, as I cleared my desk I couldn’t help dwelling on Kofi and his bombshell. “Ayele, I don’t know how to say this, but I want us to end the relationship.”
“What!” I had been shocked at his words, stunned that he had beaten me to it. And then it hit me. Kofi had just released me from an unpleasant task.
“But why?” I needed to know and at that moment I hated myself for the desperation in my voice.
He felt uncomfortable as he said rather lamely. “It’s better this way, trust me, Ayele. I’m sorry if I’ve hurt your feelings.”
When he heard my brittle laughter he stared at me, surprised. ”Are you alright?”
“What did you expect?” I shot back, angry with him for doing this to me.
“Maybe I had better leave now, Ayele. But I thought it would be insensitive on my part if you should hear of my impending engagement to Bridget from another source.”
I was speechless and the pain of his betrayal sliced through me. So Kofi had been unfaithful again, but this time was actually making a major commitment. The unshed tears in my eyes told me that his exit from my life had not been sweet as I had thought.
“Excuse me, Are you Ms Ayele Addo?”
I shook myself from the reverie. A deep voice, sexy perhaps, interrupted my thoughts and I turned towards the door. Somewhere in my wanderings, probably swivelling in my chair, I had turned my back to the door, and so I hadn’t heard the knock. And then I stared, blinked and stared again, my heart going zing! What a sight!
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