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Thursday, July 25, 2024


After her proposal, Nancy turned around to leave the office, doing what she probably assumed was a catwalk but instead looked like a baby grasshopper learning to hop. “I’ll be in the boardroom waiting; our meeting starts in exactly 45 minutes,” she said, pointing to her wristwatch with a mischievous smile before walking out towards the boardroom. “It seems like there’s something else between you two besides the project,” Sandra said, turning to face me when she left the room.I searched for the right words to respond to her statement as I turned to face her, I opened my mouth to talk, but the words refused to come. Instead, I burst into tears, sobbing like a little child.

I was shocked at my outburst, but I couldn’t stop myself. It was one of those awkward moments where my eyes and lips had conspired to reveal my inner weakness and make a fool out of me. I had been frustrated and confused about the whole situation; I didn’t know what to do or think, and I hadn’t confided in anyone besides Seun since the issues with Nonso started. Unfortunately, I couldn’t keep him informed of the latest happenings because he had been writing important exams. I didn’t want to bug him with my man problems.

I would’ve confided in Toun, but ever since the first time Nonso cheated, she never wanted to hear his name being called anywhere close to her. Hence her reluctance to accompany me to bail him out initially. It didn’t help either that after finally convincing her to come with me, the reason for his arrest turned out to be another cheating attempt gone wrong. That gave her further excuses to justify her hatred for him, causing me to lose the only lawyer I could turn to for help.

Involving any of my family members was out of the question. We had enough family issues of our own to handle without adding Nonso’s cheating. So I was left alone to carry the burden of my cheating boyfriend and my once happy family, slowly tearing apart while I pretended to the world that all was well.

I guess my heart was getting tired of pretending because I found myself bursting out in tears. Leaving me looking vulnerable in front of Sandra was probably my heart’s way of telling me that it was tired of the stress I was putting it through. I was only too thankful that it at least waited for Nancy to leave the room before beginning its tearful protest.

“What’s the matter?” Sandra asked, rushing over to my side and putting her arm around my shoulders. I wanted to respond, but more tears came out. I’m sure my eyes were probably as red as those of a person with conjunctivitis by then. There I go again with my big grammar. Maybe I should’ve just said “apollo” since that’s how it’s popularly known. I still do not understand the logic behind that name—I’d like to meet the person that came up with such a crazy alternative name.

Conjunctivitis is a condition that causes redness of the transparent tissue that lines the inner part of the eyelids and covers the white part of the eyeballs. It’s usually caused by a bacterial or viral infection or an allergic reaction and can affect one or both eyes. Although it could be contagious, it cannot be contracted by looking into the eyes of the affected person, as many people wrongly believe. It rarely affects vision, and treatment depends on the cause. Viral infections usually resolve spontaneously, while bacterial infections may require antibiotic eye drops or ointment. Finally, after a few minutes of crying, I could speak without tears interrupting my speech. “My boyfriend was arrested yesterday,” I began.

“Arrested?” She gasped. “For what? I hope he didn’t commit any crime.”

I guess you can now understand why I was reluctant to tell her about any issues I had with Nonso. She was always so dramatic and usually thought of the worst things that could happen in every situation; I hated the negative energy. Besides, hearing about my issues with Nonso would only make her feel good about her boring marriage. I had been doing so well in avoiding that until then. But unfortunately, I had already begun confiding in her. It was too late to stop, so I just continued. “No, he didn’t commit any crime,” I snapped, “he’s being falsely accused of committing one.” “What exactly happened?” She asked. “I don’t know the full story…” I began as I narrated a slightly altered version of the story to her.

First, I told her Nonso and Nancy had dated in the past, but he had broken things off long before we met. Then, I explained that he maintained a cordial relationship even though Nancy had always wanted more; I left out the parts where he cheated on me repeatedly with her from the story. Finally, I concluded by lying that he had gone to visit her because he was working on a proposal for her company and needed her help. But she set him up and accused him of raping her because he had rejected numerous past sexual advances from her, refusing to break up with me to date her again.

“Gosh! The devil!” She exclaimed. “I always knew there was something about her I didn’t like. I just couldn’t place a finger on it—I don’t know why some women are so desperate. What do you intend to do now?” She asked. “I don’t know,” I said, shaking my head. “The worst part is that she’s threatening to make sure he goes to jail if I don’t break up with him … and I don’t even know any good lawyer that can help,” I whined. “Don’t worry,” she soothed, patting my back, “I think I know someone who might be able to help,” she added, looking excited.

I watched her eyes light up as if she had just received some divine revelation, “Who is this person?” I asked curiously.

“My brother-in-law, he’s a lawyer,” she announced, “I’ll call him after work today to discuss your case with him.” “Really?” I asked, feeling relieved to hear that there was hope. “Yes,” she affirmed, “I’m sure he’ll be willing to help,” she concluded with a smile. “Thank you so much,” I said, hugging her.

I couldn’t believe how much better I felt after talking to her. I felt a heavy burden lift off my chest. I began to realise that she wasn’t as bad as I imagined. Who would’ve ever thought she’d be the one to help me out with the same issue I never wanted her to know about? That’s why judging people is bad without getting to know them first.

“Meeting starts in five,” our boss announced, interrupting our heart-to-heart talk as he popped his head into the office, “please move to the boardroom now.” I hurriedly packed my files and laptop to follow him. I dreaded going for the meeting mainly because it meant I had to sit for another 3600 seconds in the same room with my worst enemy.

I had decided that I wouldn’t give Nonso up without a fight, and I had decided to break the bad news to her right after the meeting.

Find out what happens next in Episode 17.


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