Nigeria love story
Love and Romance in Fiction

Free Nigeria Love Story: The One Who loves Me

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Chapter One

Ada stared into the mirror. Her eyes were all puffy and red. The makeup she had on was completely ruined now, after all the effort she had put into it.

No matter how much she tried, he always found something to complain about. If it wasn’t her hair, it was her dress, and today he had asked her to watch what she was eating otherwise, she was going to blow up. The statement had hit hard, especially since they were in the company of his friends. It had spoilt the entire evening for her, and she had become more withdrawn.

After the event, he scolded her for ruining his image when she refused to come out to the dance floor and dance.

“So I can’t scold you when you are doing something wrong?” was the reply she had received from him when she explained that he had hurt her feelings by saying something like that to her in public. 

Too upset to say anything else and not wanting to start an argument she’d had kept quiet. He had dropped her off without a care in the world after that and driven off.

Now as she looked at herself in the mirror, she wondered if he wasn’t right after all about how she looked. She’d never been model slim in her entire life. She doubted that was a possibility. She’d always had a healthy appetite but had managed to stay what she believed was fit by engaging in a lot of outdoor activities such as playing basketball. 

But soon after she had started dating Orji four years ago, she stopped.

She turned on the tap and began to slowly wash her face. Maybe it was time she considered paying for a gym subscription.

Just as she was finishing, her doorbell rang. Startled, she wasn’t sure if she had heard it, but it rang again. Orji had come back! This would be the first time ever. She couldn’t recall him ever feeling remorseful about something he had done to her. It was a pity he had chosen to come back now when she looked a complete mess. But still, he had come back, and that was all that mattered.

Quickly, she jumped out of the tiny bathroom and made her way into the room to the door and yanked it open. To find Tomi standing there…

“Hello Ada.”

“Hello, Tomi.”

“Are you alright?” he asked.

“I… I am.”

“Are you sure? You don’t look it… I mean…”

He shouldn’t pry. He should just drop off what he came to drop and just leave.

“I am fine Tomi. Just had a terrible quarrel with my boyfriend. You know, things like that happen.”

“Yes… sorry…”

He understood that quarrels between a boyfriend and a girlfriend did happen, but hers with Orji were too frequent and usually ended with her being unhappy most of the time.


He had wanted to say that things would work out, but the truth was that he didn’t want things to work out at all. In fact, he hoped that this was it, the straw that would break the camel’s back so that Ada would stop getting hurt all the time, and so would he.

 It was hard watching a nice girl like Ada being treated so poorly by someone who clearly did not deserve her, but it was even harder to watch when you were madly in love with her.

She had clearly been expecting Orji, and the look on her face, despite her best attempt, could not hide the disappointment. And while he had no right to feel rejected, especially since he had never breathed a word about his feelings to her, he still felt bad.

But now he needed to find a way to put a smile on her face; he just couldn’t walk away leaving her in such a state.

“Dimeji asked me to give this to you,” he handed her a small parcel, “he said he will be grateful if you can pass it to his younger brother when next you visit your mother.”

“Oh ok, that’s no problem at all. Oh, the messages that hit my phone. I haven’t taken a look at them yet. They were from you? Sorry, I couldn’t reply…”

“Oh, it’s no problem. I understand now.”

 He should leave now but instead, he found himself saying, “What can I do now that could cheer you up a little?”

“What? Oh, that’s sweet of you, Tomi, but I will be fine.”

“Oh, I know! Are you willing to step out for a while with me, just for like say thirty minutes?”

“Step out where?”

The answer was encouraging; he had expected her to say no outrightly. But he knew she was an outdoor-like person.

“Can I surprise you?”

“Tomi, I am really not in the mood-“

“To feel better?” He interjected.


He was winning this so he pressed on. “No more than thirty minutes, I promise.”

“All right. Let me get a jacket.”

He waited for her to return, and together they went the short distance to the parking lot.

“Are we leaving the staff quarters?”

The company they both worked for had staff quarters for both married and single employees like them.

“No,” he replied. “In fact, we will be there in two minutes.”


And true to his word, in under two minutes, they arrived at their destination.

“The sports centre? But shouldn’t it be closed at this time?”

“Yes, but I can get us access to one place.”

Already, she was looking brighter. Her sad demeanour had given way to one of curiosity.

He swiped his access card, and they gained entry. He took her to one of the gymnasiums that doubled as a basketball court.

“How come you have an administrator access card?”

“My friend is the manager here and I occasionally step in to assist when he needs to be away. Over there,” he said, pointing at the location where some basketballs were located, “shoot a few. I am sure it will help you feel better.”

“Thanks, but I can’t.”

“Why not? Being active, even just for a few minutes, will help you feel better, guaranteed.”

He waited, almost holding his breath. But finally, she went over and picked a ball. Bounced it and sent it sailing with ease towards the hoop. It did not miss. She repeated the action using two other balls with the same result. After that, her inhibition was all gone, and he watched with pleasure as she paced herself, running around and taking shots from different points on the court.

Time passed; all of a sudden, she stopped and glanced at the clock. She had been at it for an hour.

“Oh my goodness, I lost track of time!” she gasped.

He grinned. “I expect no less from a seasoned athlete with a deep passion for the sport.”

Now looking even more beautiful, despite being covered in sweat, she stared at him. There was a mixture of guilt and gratitude on her face, but more of gratitude.

“Thank you,” she said.

“You’re welcome.”

They left the place, and he took her back to her apartment. As he stopped in front of the place, she stopped him from turning off the car.

“No need to come up with me. Thank you very much. I… didn’t know how much I needed this.”

“You’re wel-“

She hugged him, the action completely taking him by surprise. Now they had hugged several times, whenever they marked his birthday at the office, or her own birthday or at Christmas and New Year parties, and each time he had quietly savoured the moments, though they were brief and impersonal at least to her. 

But this one was different. She was leaning on him, thanking him for comforting her, and it was lasting a lot longer than it needed to.

But he wasn’t going to fight it. Instead, he wrapped his arm around her and patted her gently on the back. 

This was the part where he was supposed to reassure her that everything was going to be okay. But he didn’t want everything to be okay. He wanted her relationship with Orji to end, and while such action would put him in a better position to try for her heart, it wasn’t the main reason why. Ada was a nice girl, she deserved a better man even if that man was not him.

Hello? Amaka the author here! You can take the rest of the story away to read at your convenience. Simply use the button below to get it. Note I renamed as Ada’s Choice.

Chapter Two

The hug was supposed to have been quick and brief, but she found herself unknowingly lingering. She felt warm, safe, and cared for, and she closed her eyes. The trip to the court had been exactly what she needed. The ache in her heart had dimmed considerably, and all she wanted to do was to express the depth of her gratitude. 

She and Tomi had known each other for almost four years. He was a very good friend and as soon as their bodies touched, she’d felt even better. It was almost like he was a sponge, soaking up all her pain and taking them away.

It was the soft beep of some kind of notification sliding into his phone that startled her and made her aware that she had overstayed. She felt the heat rise in her cheeks. How long had she clung to him? How embarrassing!

“I… thank you again, Tomi.”

“You’re welcome.”

And this time she opened the car door and hurried into the apartment.

The following day she woke up with mixed emotions. On the one hand, she was grateful to Tomi for being there for her and trying to comfort her. 

But on the other, she shouldn’t have accepted to go down to the court with him or hugged him had she had in the car. If Orji found out, he would be furious. 

It was after all because of him that she stopped playing the sport. Like Tomi had said she was very passionate about it and had been playing competitively since her secondary school days, winning a few trophies back then.

 At one point, she had dreamt of going professional, but that dream had been squashed when she sustained a major back injury.

Still, though, she played for fun and relaxation, and when their company had created the basketball team, she had joined eagerly, only for Orji, who she had invited to watch one game, in which they had beaten the opposition from another branch that he hated the fact that his woman was on full display for the world to be looking at. She had felt very bad about it. 

 But it was a choice between the man she loved and a hobby. It was clear what she had to do.

Besides, it was nice that he was possessive of her.

 She got off her bed and went to the bathroom. Before entering, she once again stood to look at herself in the mirror. Orji was right about the fact that she had gained weight, and she would need to do something about it. Using the gym was out of the question, of course. 

Orji would surely not approve of it for the same reason that he disapproved of her playing basketball. Maybe she should take up jogging instead? Yes, that sounded like a good idea. 

Though she really enjoyed the company of others, she would not be able to do so. But at least she now had a solution. She should probably add a crash diet to it. This would ensure that she lost weight faster.

Later on in the day, she would call Orji and apologize to him for not understanding his point, and everything would be alright again. As for Tomi, she would simply thank him again. At the very least, the outing had helped her clearly understand her issue with Orji. There was no need to feel guilty about it. 

Happily, she went into the bathroom, took her bath, and got ready for work. By mid-morning, she’d called Orji and apologized, and they made up.

All she had left to do was to locate Tomi and thank him again. She had some free time, so she decided to go and look for him. Already, he had stopped by her department to check on her, but at that time, she had been in a meeting. 

She made her way to his department, which was on the other side of the office complex. As she did, she looked out the window. Down below, in the parking lot, was a crowd of unfamiliar looking fresh-faced people. She paused to take a longer look, trying to understand what was going on. Then she recalled that today the company was organizing a series of tests and interviews for recruits.

She smiled a little as she was hit with a wave of nostalgia. Had it already been four years since she and Tomi had joined this company? Apparently, it had. Since then, they had both been doing relatively well in their respective departments she in accounting and he in tech and they had moved up the job ladder every year.

 It was a day easy to remember because it hadn’t started too well for her, and it was also the day she had first met Tomi…

Having a problem was something you never wanted to happen on the day of an important job interview. But problems generally didn’t care about what was going on in your life when choosing when to manifest themselves.

  It had been drizzling slightly, and thankfully she had come prepared with an umbrella which she put up as soon as the drops began to fall.

They, the latest job applicants had been huddled in a section of the parking lot outside waiting to be ushered in. But it had also been relatively windy. A strong gust had come along and had torn it away from her hand.

“Here, use mine. I’ll go and get it,” he had said handing over his own to her, he had gone after hers.

 She had watched in gratitude and guilt as he gave chase. To be fair, he had been the most ideally suited for umbrella chasing between the two of them. Not only was he obviously faster and more agile, but he hadn’t been wearing a fitted skirt suit and high heels. The chase could not have lasted more than three minutes, but it had felt longer because it was at that very moment that the rain had decided to actually start falling. By the time he had returned with it, he was soaking wet.

“I am sorry,” she had said.

“It’s ok…”

But she’d felt very bad and seriously worried that she may have hurt his chances since he was no longer looking like a responsible candidate vying for a very competitive job. And even if their interviewers decided to overlook how he looked, there was a good chance that she had destabilized him to the point that he would not perform well.

They hadn’t had time to talk, though, because, at that very moment, they had been ushered in and separated into groups.

The interview process had lasted the entire day but by evening she had been informed that she had done well and was expected to return for the next stage in a few weeks.

But she had shelved her joy and had begun searching for him along the long hallway through which she and other successful applicants had been sent to exit the place. It turned out that those who had not been selected had been sent out through another door so that their temporary passes could be retrieved from them.

Anxiously she had scanned the place looking for him. But she had not seen him. She had returned back to the door she had come through.

At intervals, it had opened to release fresh new jubilant candidates but none were him.

Still, she hung around until finally the door stopped opening and the hallway in which she was standing and waiting had finally emptied out.

Miserably she had turned away and begun walking toward the exit. When she heard the door behind her open once again. She turned and saw him looking a bit drab but there.

She had run to him and stopped short of literally jumping into his arms after she remembered he was just a stranger that she had not shared more than a sentence in a conversation with.

“If you know how happy I am to see you! I would never have forgiven myself for ruining this opportunity for you…”

Why am I feeling like this about this girl that I have known for a total of less than five minutes??

Tomi had never believed in love at first sight. But here he was seriously happy that she, like him, had scaled the first stage of the recruitment exam.

He’d only set his eyes on her for what he was sure couldn’t have been more than a second to hand his umbrella over so he could go after hers and he felt like he had been hit by a bolt of lightning.

And now she was here. She had waited for him! And that electric jolt he had experienced he was experiencing it again. And now he understood why it had happened in the first place. He was looking at the most beautiful woman he was sure has ever walked on this planet…


He stiffened. It was her voice, alright, but it sounded too loud to be coming from one of his most beautiful memories of her. He turned away from the window through which he had noticed the new job applicants making their way into the company premises to look at her.

As usual, his heart did its usual rhythmic dance. She was looking better today. Better than expected. And it felt good that he was the one responsible for it.

Maybe this was finally it. If she could finally see that she could be happy without that man that had zero love or respect for her…

“Hello, Ada. I stopped by your department earlier.”

“I know, I was told. I was in a meeting then.”

“You’re looking better this morning, that’s good.”

Colour rose to her cheeks. 

Oh no! He had not meant to embarrass her.

“Ada, I -“

“Thank you very much for what you did for me yesterday, Tomi.”

“You’re welcome.”

“Thanks to you, I was able to pull myself out of my misery long enough to figure out what I had done wrong to Orji.”

“I… I see.”

“Yes,” she said, her eyes shining, “we made up this morning. Thank you once more.”

The appropriate answer was “You’re welcome.” But he couldn’t say it.

“I am glad you are happy…”

“You know the exams for the new recruits are today. “I saw them gathering outside through the window. It brought back such fun memories. I can’t believe it’s been four years already for us…”

“Yes, fun memories….”

Unfortunately, he was experiencing a new sad one right now. He didn’t know what it was going to take for Ada to see that she could do far better than a man like Orji.

Granted he wished that man was him. But if he couldn’t be him, at least let it be someone who really cared and loved her.

Barely a few weeks into their orientation, it was Valentine’s day and he had wanted to let her know that he was interested in her. But when they had met up later after the training for the day, she had offered him a slice of Valentine’s cake. A gift to her by her new boyfriend.

It had been a very rough day for him, but he’d accepted the situation in good faith. And he had done his best to let go.

But to date, he had not succeeded in that regard, and the situation was being made even harder by the fact that Ada was with a man that did not treat her well.

The first year had gone relatively well, which was no surprise since Orji was obviously trying to impress her. But after that, his true colours began to show, and he watched in pain as Ada changed from her jovial, happy, upbeat self to being more withdrawn and smiling less. 

Unfortunately, she was yet to see just how much of a shadow of her former self she had become, or perhaps she did know but was too in love to care.

He had tried subtly to point out the fact that she really shouldn’t be putting up with the treatment she was getting from him, but she seemed not to notice.


This time, the person calling him was a colleague.

“Oh, that’s our cue to get back to work.” Ada said, ” Thanks again.”

 And he watched as she practically skipped out of his office, humming to herself. At least he was glad to see a bit of her old self again.

He turned his attention back to work. He enjoyed his work as a software engineer for the company, and it was always the ideal escape for him from his heartache and worry over Ada.

Before he knew it, half of the day was gone, and it was break time. Deep in what he was doing, he stayed at his desk while his colleagues stepped out.

His phone rang, it was an unknown number. He answered it.

“Good afternoon, am I speaking with Tomi Bakare?” 


“My name is David Johnson, and I work for Blue Business Consulting recruitment agency. I would like to talk to you about a job opportunity with one of our clients.”

“Ok… But how did you get my phone number? I’m currently not searching for a job-“

“Headhunting is part of what we do at our recruitment agency. And right now, one of our clients, who is listed as one of the tech companies in the world is looking for someone like you to fill a position.”

“I see… well, I am currently at work-” 

“Of course, I understand. Let me have a date and time when it will be convenient for us to meet up and discuss.”

“Will six pm today work for you?” Tomi asked. 

“Yes, it will.”

“Then we can meet then,” and he hung up. This was an interesting development straight out of nowhere.

He currently loved where he was working, but he did have higher ambitions, and the man had said one of the top-ten tech companies in the world? Probably an exaggeration to make him curious; there was no need for him to overthink this; he would know soon enough.

Nigerian love story

Chapter Three

Her head was spinning, and she had to triple-check the numbers before her again before she sent out the worksheet to her boss.

She closed her eyes briefly, and by the time she opened them thankfully, everything had stopped moving. Ok, she knew that vigorously jogging on an empty stomach was a bad idea, and she had been doing that for the last few weeks.

But she never ever wanted Orji to complain about her size ever again. She knew the regime she was following was extreme, but it was only for a while, just until she was at that perfect weight again.

Slowly she got to her feet and left her office for the cafeteria. Thankfully it wasn’t too far. She scanned what was left of the buffet lunch. There was still quite a spread. Her stomach growled. But she suppressed it as she searched for something light, finally, her eyes found a fruit bowl. In it was a single apple.

Purposely, she headed towards it only to see someone else who was closer to the table dip her hand into the bowl and pick it up.


“You can have mine.”


She wheeled around in excitement. But it was a bad idea, and she quickly found herself under the effect of another dizzy spell and falling.


He was fast, and she found herself resting against him safe in his arms.

“Are you alright? There was no hiding the fear in his voice.

The world was still acting like a merry-go-round around her. Though it was already slowing down. She managed a small nod of reassurance.

“Here let me get you a chair.”

He took her to the closest seats and sat her down. She opened her eyes, and embarrassment was what filled her at the sight of Tomi’s worried look.

“Sorry, I am fine now,” she said.

“You don’t look fine. You look unwell. Why have you lost so much weight? Are you ill? And please don’t lie to me.”

The angry tone of his voice got to her, and she owned up. “I am fine. I just put myself on a bit of a diet, that’s all.”

“A diet, whatever for?”

She kept quiet. Somehow she knew confessing to the fact that she was on a diet to please her boyfriend probably wouldn’t go down well with him.

“You-” He sighed. He pushed his apple and his salad bowl towards her.


Feeling like a toddler under the angry glare of her mother, she picked up the fork and did as she was told.

“You don’t need to diet. You are beautiful. You’ve always been. In fact, I like…” He stopped and ran his hand over his head in frustration.

A mixture of guilt and unhappiness descended on her. She hated upsetting people, and she noticed she felt particularly bad when it came to Tomi.

Work had taken him out of the office for about two weeks, and she was very happy that he was back. Seeing him upset was not what she wanted.

He was right though; the diet was a bit extreme. But she was only going to do it for a while until she could fit into that dress that Orji had bought for her. The dress was what was making her take things to the extreme.

After they had made up, he had travelled and returned with it. Excited because it was the first time in a long while since he’d gotten her anything thoughtful, she tried it on after meeting and was mortified to discover that she couldn’t fit into it. She had never been a size that small before not even in her teenage years.

But she was determined to fit into it at any cost to please him. So she ramped up her weight loss effort. One of his cousins was having a party in a week’s time, and she wanted to surprise him by wearing that dress.

She was really working very hard now to make this relationship work.

After all, she and Orji had been dating for close to four years, and she felt within her that by this time, Orji should have been thinking about asking her hand in marriage. Her mother too had been thinking the same.

It was through her mother that she had met him. Her mother worked for his mother as a secretary in their flourishing family business.

Fresh out of the university, she had been at home while job hunting and her mother had asked her to bring something for her from the house to the office.

She hadn’t noticed Orji that day, but apparently, he had seen her and had made inquiries about her from his mother. The rest, as they say, is history. Her mother had been over the moon that she had found, in her words, “a good match from a reputable family.”

It was only a matter of time before she would have at least one child out of her home and settled. She understood her mother’s sentiments. The woman had been widowed early, so the task of raising her and her three younger ones had fallen squarely on her shoulders. It had been hard, but they managed to date.

She too had worked very hard in her own way to support her mother by doing well in school. As a result, the bulk of her schooling had been funded through scholarships. Now that she had a good job and was moving slowly but surely up the ladder, things were a lot better.

But she knew her mother would only consider herself as having succeeded with her, at the very least, if she was settled. And it was a stroke of good fortune that somebody like Orji had taken an interest in her despite her humble background.

So for her mother’s peace of mind and happiness, she had to try to make this work.

 She finished her small meal. It was amazing what a little food could do. She was already feeling better. She looked on sheepishly at Tomi; he was still looking very angry, and she didn’t know what to say or do to pacify him.

“Ok, I know I overdid it. Like I said, it won’t happen again, alright? Please don’t stay angry with me. I have been looking forward to you returning to the office.”

“You have?” His mood seemed to improve, but just slightly.

“Of course. I miss gisting with you.”

Justin, one of their colleagues, passed by their table. “Hey guys, so you know the promotional list is out.”

“Oh wow, interesting. Thanks, Justin.”

“Shall we go and have a look?” she said excitedly.


They found a free computer screen in one of the many meeting rooms.

“You can check yours first,” Tomi said.

They went through the accounting department first, and it didn’t take time for them to find her name.

“Yes!” She exclaimed and began jumping up and down like a schoolgirl.

“Have you forgotten that you just recovered from an episode, calm down, okay?” But he was smiling from ear to ear.

“I am just so happy!”

“I know, and you truly deserve it.”

“Thank you. I’m hoping that in a few years, I can get my mother to retire and buy the family a house. I hope to be in a position to take over everything from then on…you know, oversee the rest of my siblings’ schooling and all that.”

“And the way you are going, I am sure you will.”

There was a soft, light-hearted beep from his phone. He looked at it, then said, “Looks like break time is over, and I have something processing on my computer-“

“Hey, let’s check for your name first before we leave here.”


It didn’t take them long to find his name. “As expected,” she said with satisfaction. “Congratulations Tomi.”

“Thank you, Ada.”

She rolled her eyes.


“Seriously, how about being more excited about the fact that you’ve been promoted again?”

“Oh, you mean I should do something like this…” And he jumped up and down and clapped his hands in the closest approximation of what she had done a few minutes earlier.

And she had to put two hands over her mouth to prevent herself from bursting out in laughter.

“See, I can’t do it as well as you do. But rest assured that I’m very happy, but I’m more happy for you because I know how much this means to you.”

She beamed at him. Their working in different departments usually meant that they rarely had time to see each other, but whenever they did, it was just like this. It was fun.

“Hey, how about we stay back a bit after work? Some of my colleagues said they were going to have a mini celebration if they did get their promotion, and from what I saw, they did.”

“Oh, I am sure that would be fun, but I am meeting up with Orji later. I can’t wait to tell him the good news.”

“Ah yes, of course. I better head back to my department.”

“Yes. Good-bye.”

What had just happened? Puzzled, she watched him as he made his way back to his department. It seemed his mood had suddenly shifted. Back in work mode probably.

Tomi returned to his seat and sat down heavily, feeling quite angry with himself. Fortunately, the place was empty, at least for now, so he could afford to brood a bit.

He had noted Ada’s surprised reaction to his, well…childish behaviour. He needed to get better control of his emotions.

But the mere mention of Orji in a sentence was enough to set him off now. He had been away for two weeks pining for the sight of her, and now that he was back, the sight that greeted him scared him. He could barely recognize her. She had lost so much weight, and it was Orji as usual making her make all these horrible changes to herself.

Maybe it was time he spoke up. Told her outrightly what he thought about him. He was her friend, right? Surely that gave him the right to be truthful. 

Especially since his subtle approach to the whole thing was not working.

But he was very worried that such a direct approach would have the opposite effect. 

That rather than see what he was talking about, she would reject it and it would drive her further into Orji’s clutches and create a rift between the both of them.

No, he had to be a bit more patient. It would get to a point where Ada’s eyes would open. After all, she was a very smart person, and when she did, he would be there…or would he?

The meeting he had with the headhunter over two weeks had gone very well. The man had not been lying – one of the top tech companies in the world did want his services.

They had found one of his personal projects online, and they felt it delivered a solution to a problem they’d been struggling with for months.

And what they were going to be paying him made what he was earning now look like peanuts.

They wanted him now, actually. But he had pushed back, asking for some time to digest and reflect on this sudden development. Besides, he was a big believer in not burning bridges. If he was going to leave this place, he wanted to leave the place in order. They were about to round up a key project and he would like to see it to its proper conclusion.

So, he had asked for time to get back to them. They were fine with the timeline he had suggested, which was proof that they wanted him at all costs.

But a decision to go with them meant leaving the most important thing in his life behind. For one, he was going to start a year’s training at their head office, which was taking place outside of the country. After that, there was no saying where they would send him.

He had told no one close to him yet about this development because he knew how they would all react. They would tell him he was mad and a fool for holding back over a girl who currently was not, and who may never be, his.

And they would be right. But he had waited four years for a chance to be with Ada, so what was a few more weeks? At least now there was some kind of deadline.

But even after the expiration of those two weeks, there was no guarantee that he would still say yes and go with them. That was how strongly she had a hold over his heart.

A fool indeed he was, but he also knew that he could not just be in one spot indefinitely. Hopefully, this deadline would force him to do something, or maybe God himself would finally intervene on his behalf.

Chapter Four

She slipped into the dress easily and zipped it up, and turned to face the mirror. The person who looked back at her was not the person she had in mind. The person in the mirror was a stranger.

She was super slim, and the gown, shockingly, still did a perfect job of exaggerating her chest, her thighs, and her backside in a way she never thought could be possible.

It was also short. Too short. As for her face, it felt heavy with the layers upon layers of makeup that the makeup artist had applied on her.

Determined that today was going to be a very perfect day, and Orji would find no fault with her, she had asked him to ask one of his female cousins for a makeup artist recommendation. The result was this person she did not recognize.

Now she had no problem with the use of makeup, but she always felt it was something, like most things, that should be done in moderation.

She stared at the riot of heavy colours that covered every inch of her face. Her lips looked three times bigger than she knew them to be.

The only thing that made anything close to a bit of sense to her was her hair.

“Ada, it is only for a few hours, then you can take it all off,” she reminded herself.

She pulled open a side drawer and brought out a bottle of perfume. At least this she had some control over. She applied it modestly before returning it and then went back to her room to wait for Orji.

Sitting down was a nightmare as she struggled to find a position that kept her decently covered.

“In a few hours, it will be over,” she thought to herself again. The fact that her mind kept reverting to that was not a good thing. She was yet to get to the event yet she already wished it was over.

She had never been a fan of going to parties. She had no problem with weddings and other important occasions, but parties for party’s sake? It was something she had never done in her entire life until she met Orji.

He had told her it was one being organized by a friend who was going away for studies. She hoped that since it was for a student, it would be a decent affair, and they wouldn’t have to stay out late.

After a while, her phone rang. It was Orji. 

Smile Ada.

She made her way down, and as she did, she did not fail to notice the stares that she was getting. She sighed. There was going to be a lot of gossip flying around in the morning at the office.

Fortunately, the place was mostly deserted.

“Babeeee!” Orji screamed in admiration.

And for the first time in weeks, she felt a genuine feeling of happiness flow through her.

“Now this is what I’m talking about. You look hot! I am going to be the envy of every man at Emeka’s party tonight.”

“I am… glad you like it. I worked really hard to-“

“Let’s go! Let’s go. I can’t wait to go show you off.”

Instantly, the small surge of joy she had experienced disappeared, leaving her feeling hollow, and empty – a state she had been in, come to think of it, for quite some time.

Orji had again dismissed her. He had zero interest in listening to her these days. Most of their time together was spent talking about his desires, goals, and achievements.

Her announcement about her promotion two weeks ago had been received with little enthusiasm on his part.

He had simply said, “Oh, that’s nice.” and, in the same breath, he had gone on to tell her about a new huge business deal he was working on. He was always striking deals, most of which, if her memory served her correctly, never ever materialized.

Nevertheless, she was supportive and happy when things went well for him, and she wished he would care even if it was just a bit about what was going on in her life. But she hadn’t wanted to start another argument over it. He always accused her of starting all their fights.

And this evening was not the time to have a talk about it. That would be done later. At least, for the first time in a while, he had praised something about her. That was a win.

The drive to the party location was spent with him telling her about the new car that his father had purchased for him that had finally arrived but was still waiting to pass through customs at the seaport. She congratulated him, trying to sound as excited about it as he was.

They finally arrived at the party, and the reaction at their entrance was everything she believed Orji hoped for.

Most of the men were gawking at her as they walked past. She could see the barely controlled envy in the eyes of ladies, most of whom pasted fake smiles on their faces when they had to interact with them. Orji was beaming; he had done what he had set out to do, which was to steal some of the spotlights of the celebrant for himself.

As for her, she felt horrible. While the gazes she was enlisting from the men would have made quite a lot of the ladies in the room happy, they weren’t the type of gazes she wanted. 

They were dark and lustful. She didn’t feel beautiful, but rather dirty. One of the men whose eye she had had the misfortune of catching had licked his lips. She stayed close to Orji the entire time, afraid that if she strayed from him, one of the men would actually make an unwanted advance on her. She vowed to herself that this was going to be the last time she was ever going to attend such an event or where anything like what she had on ever again.

Time crawled by, and finally, it was almost midnight. 

“Hey Orji, the table is set. Are you coming?” the celebrant asked.

“Of course,” Orji replied and then belched loudly, sending a horrid whiff of beer in her direction. By this time, she had lost count of how many of those he had had. He staggered to his feet, and instantly she stood up as well.

“Where are you going?” She asked nervously.

“Emeka has set up a table for us so that we can play cards.”

“But Orji, it’s late. I would like to go home now, please.”

“I’m not ready to go home yet.”

“But I am, please.”

He rolled his eyes. “Come on Ada. The night is still very young. Just a few weeks ago, you were boasting to me about your new promotion. Feeling like a big girl now, act like one. Okay? Have a drink, and move around a bit. Okay? Let me play just a few rounds, and then we can leave.”

She noticed a man open the door to where she believed the game was meant to be taking place, and a cloud of smoke mixed in with an even stronger smell of alcohol emerged from it. This was it; she was done.

“No, I want to go home now.”

The genial expression on his face instantly vanished, replaced with a cold, hard stare.

“Fine, if you want to leave, leave. I am not going anywhere.”

And she watched in dismay as he strode away from her and walked into the smoke-filled room. Instantly she felt panic rise in her, but she did her best to suppress it. Orji was right about at least one thing; she was a big girl, at least big enough to see herself out of here.

The main party area was still relatively crowded, though no longer as active because people were now mostly drunk and tired. She quickly weaved her way through the throng, moving swiftly. She didn’t want to stand too long in one spot, so as not to attract attention.

Finally, she made her way out. It was quite cold outside, and she wished she had had the common sense to have carried a sweater. But there was no point dwelling on it. She looked ahead; the main gate was quite some distance away. But that wasn’t a problem; she slipped off her heels and began to walk barefoot towards it. Her feet did not appreciate being pricked by the gravel stones, but she ignored the discomfort.

Finally, she got to the gate and gratefully exited through it. Only to be confronted by a dark, lonely street. There was no point trying to walk anywhere. She didn’t even really know exactly where she was. But that was not a problem; she pulled out her phone and tried to call a taxi. But to her dismay, the application she used for such was not working. She tried the second one she had, and no luck. Her phone gave a low warning buzz.

She was almost out of battery charge. 

She had been so busy trying to make sure the day turned out perfect for Orji that she had forgotten to charge her phone. As she stood wondering what she should do, the main gate suddenly opened and a car rolled out. Someone was leaving! Maybe she could ask for a lift.

She flagged down the car. It stopped. Two men were sitting in front and two ladies at the back. The presence of the two ladies made her feel a bit relaxed.

“Please, I could use a lift. Which direction are you headed?” she asked.

The man in the passenger seat told her that they were going to pass through a street just off the company’s staff quarters. She was practically getting a ride home.

She whispered a prayer of thanks to God and got in. The interior of the vehicle was saturated with the smell of alcohol and cigarettes. But it was a small inconvenience she could bare for the sake of getting home and putting this nightmare of a day behind her.

Tomi shut down his computer. He wasn’t sleepy at all, but he wanted to force himself to get some rest anyway. Sleep had been hard to come by these days, and he knew why: the deadline was fast approaching.

By Monday, he had to tell his potential new employer something. The last couple of days had been tension-filled, but the looming deadline had forced him into making a decision.

He was going to meet up with Ada tomorrow and tell her everything. He would tell her about the new opportunity and also finally confess his love for her and ask her if she would consider becoming his wife and going with him.

Madness! He knew, but he figured that Orji had had four years to say if he wanted her and he hadn’t. He now regretted not fighting for her heart sooner. He knew Ada liked him a lot. Surely that meant that there was a chance that she might actually consider him over Orji.

 Whatever the case, it was time to take action, and he would have to deal with the fallout, whatever it was. He had asked her at work yesterday if they could meet up later in the evening. But she had told him she was going to a party with Orji. 

Instantly he had become discouraged and had toyed with the idea of cancelling the entire thing. But then she had proposed they rather meet up today to talk, and he had agreed. He went to the bathroom and quickly took a shower, hoping it would help him sleep.

As he was about to lie down, his phone rang out loud into the darkness. He picked up, his eyes falling on the time and caller ID at the same time.

It was Ada.

“Ada! What is it?” he asked, worried about the implication of a call in the dead of the night.

“Tomi…” her voice was faint, and he struggled not to panic.

“Yes, Ada, I am here. What is it? Where are you? Are you alright?”


“Ok… you were in an accident?”


“Of course, I am coming. Where are you?” he asked, but she did not reply. He could hear her laboured breathing coming through the phone.

“Ada! Ada! Please stay with me. Where are you?”

“Eh?” she replied, probably floating in and out of consciousness.

“Ada, please look around and try to tell me where you are. If you can’t remember the name of the place or you don’t know the name of the place, try to describe it.”

“Oh yes… beautiful… purple flowers…” she said, and the phone went dead.

“Purple flowers?” he thought in panic as for a second his mind was blank, then he knew. Ada had described a garden centre where a colleague of theirs had celebrated her birthday party.

Quickly, he made a phone call to the emergency services. He wasn’t sure they would get there before him, but they just might. He then proceeded to quickly change and rouse his neighbours, explaining the situation to them.

Swiftly, they organized themselves and went out into the night. They arrived before the emergency services did. The car had skidded off the road, somersaulted, and was lying on a bed of flowers with its wheels in the air. It was a miracle that it had not caught fire because there was a strong smell of leaking fuel in the air.

Immediately, they assessed the situation and pulled out two women and two men… but where was Ada?

Frantically, he flashed his torch around and saw her lying a few feet away with her purse and phone beside her. Carefully, he pulled her into his arms and felt the reassuring beat of her heart against his chest…

Chapter Five

Ada got up from the hospital bed and made her way to the window to look outside. Life was going on as usual, and she couldn’t wait to get out of this place.

This evening, she was leaving. She had suffered no major injuries from the accident, and thankfully no one else had as well. 

The doctor had only kept her for three days because he said she was malnourished and he wanted to freshen her up a bit. 

She was fine except for the fact that she dreamt about the accident every night: the vehicle suddenly sliding off the road, the tumbles along with the crunching of breaking glass and her thinking she was experiencing her last moments only for it not to be because she would then hear the voice of someone calling out to her; asking her not to slip away into the darkness… She would then wake up abruptly. 

The doctor though had told her that it was normal that she was experiencing flashbacks and that with time they would go away. It wasn’t a pleasant experience but she would just have to wait like the doctor had said for it to go away on its own. She turned her mind back to her present.

The last two days, she had been getting a lot of visitors: her mother and siblings, friends and co-workers, and then there was Orji.

She had woken up on the first day to find him at her side, begging for forgiveness for not taking her home. It was a sight she couldn’t quite believe. It was probably the first time she had ever heard him apologize to her.

And since then, he had come in every day to see her, tending to her needs and even offering to feed her.

At times, it took something as dramatic as this to make somebody see you as valuable, she supposed. It seemed this was the wake-up call Orji needed to finally begin to see and appreciate her.

It was a good thing, and yet within her, she felt numb and unexcited by his actions. She had no explanation for it other than they felt off, maybe it was because, after years of expecting, she just didn’t know how to react. Possibly with time she will begin to feel something.

But there was one person’s visit she always looked forward to in particular and that was Tomi. He stopped by every day to see her, and whenever he did, she was excited.

That, in itself, was no surprise. She always felt good around Tomi, and now that he had saved her life, her gratitude and appreciation for him were through the roof.

He hadn’t stopped by today yet, but she hoped he would before they discharged her. Now that she was feeling better and stronger, she remembered that he had told her that he wanted to talk to her.

There was a knock on the door, and her heart leapt with excitement. Finally, he was here!

The door opened to admit Orji again. For the second time today. In his arms were a medium-sized teddy bear and a box of chocolates.

“Oh, Orji, hello…”

“My babee is up and about. That’s fantastic! See what I brought? A box of my favourite chocolates, and this teddy bear. I know girls like teddy bears, right?”

Some girls do. But not this one…

This girl likes simple local things, like the meal of roasted plantain with pepper and grilled fish that Tomi had brought for her yesterday.

Still, she guessed. It was great that he was making an effort.

“I also brought something else that I know you have always wanted.”


“Yes,” he said, and she watched in shock as he proceeded to go on one knee while bringing out a small box. He opened it, and the sunlight sent its content into a frenzy of sparkles.

It was happening… it was finally happening after four years…

But where was it? That burst of happiness that was supposed to consume her? Why was she not feeling… anything? In confusion, she just stared.

“Hmm, Ada???”


“See me right here, kneeling in my very expensive trousers on this rundown hospital floor. Please come here and let me place the ring on your finger so that I can stand up.”

“I… I am coming.”

And he slid the ring onto her finger.

“Congratulations, future Mrs.,” he said as he got to his feet, inspecting his trousers in the process.

“Here, let me get some pictures of the ring to post online and show to my friends. You know… it cost me a fortune, and I had to…”

And she found herself simply nodding in agreement as usual, struggling to focus on his chatter about how he went to the most expensive jewellery shop in Paris just to pick out the ring. While her mind was trying to understand why she was feeling the way she was.

Frustratingly enough, she couldn’t even tell what she was feeling, only that it wasn’t right.

There was another knock on the door. “Come in,” Orji said.

The door opened, and her heart did a small jump within her.

“Ha, look who’s here, the man I owe the life of my lovely bride-to-be to. Tomi, come in. I am happy that you are the first to know.”

Tomi walked in. His eyes silently absorbed the entire room before briefly settling on the ring on her finger.

He then slowly turned to face Orji and said, “Congratulations,” and then turned to her, “Congratulations, Amy.”

“Thank you…” she whispered.

“I think it will be better if I leave you to both celebrate this mo-“

“Oh no, no Tomi, don’t worry,” Orji said. All the while he had been talking, his eyes had never left the phone. “I am on my way out. Babee! Guess what?”

“What?” she asked.

“My new car has finally been cleared from the port. I am going right away to go and pick it up. We can launch it on our wedding day, what do you think?”

“I guess it’s fine.”

“I am going right now to pick it up.” He dropped a kiss on her cheek and exited the room.

The silence that filled the place now was deafening. She made her way back to her bed and sat down, only because she wanted something to do.

Meanwhile, Tomi had not moved at all.

Say something, anything. Why was this feeling so awkward?

“Why are you standing like a statue? Please, have your seat, Tomi.”

For a second, she was afraid he would not.

But he did. “Congratulations again, Amy. I am sure you must be very happy.”

“I am… it’s been four years… I guess every girl waiting for her man to propose should have some kind of near-death experience to push him into it.”

“No, please,” he said at once.

“It was just a joke, Tomi.”

“I know, but no.”

And she realized that she must have evoked memories of the incident that he would much rather forget.

“Sorry, it must have been traumatic for you as well.”

“Yes, it was.”

When you are the victim, it’s easy to forget that other people that are close to you are very much affected by what has happened to you. It was time to shift to a much brighter topic of discussion.

“Oh yes, I remember we were supposed to meet up to discuss later that day. You wanted to tell me something.”

“Yes, I did.”

“Well? Tell me! Or has the gist expired?”

There was a small smile on his lips now. “Actually, no.”

“Ok, so fire away.” She turned to her side table where she had a cup half-filled with water.

“I have gotten a new job.”

The cup slipped from her hand and crashed to the floor, creating a small puddle.

On a good day, she would have leapt out of bed and gone to look for something to tidy up the spill. But she found herself unable to move.

She watched in a haze as Tomi got up and made use of the big box of tissue beside her to soak up the bulk of the spill.

Finally, she found a way to make her vocal cords work again.

“You’ve gotten another job? You’re leaving us?”

He nodded as he quickly washed his hands and came back to sit down.

“When? Where?”

And he told her.

“Wow…that’s an amazing opportunity. I shouldn’t be surprised though. It’s you after all. Congratulations, I am very happy for you.”

“Thank you.”

“When are you leaving?”

“At the end of next month. I want to finish the current project on my desk; Make it easier for whoever will be taking over.”

“Of course…” The thought of someone else sitting at his table was a thought she didn’t want to contemplate.

“And that’s what I wanted to tell you.”

“Oh, Tomi, I am going to miss you.”

He smiled again. “I am going to miss you too. But don’t worry, you’ll soon forget me. After all, you’re about to start a new life. I better go. I think it will be a good idea if you got some sleep before they discharge you. Rest well.”

She was about to argue with him to stay longer but found that she couldn’t. He reached out and touched her right hand, giving it a gentle squeeze, then got up and left.

Leaving her feeling the loneliest she had ever felt in her entire life.

Why was it that whenever one wanted time to move quickly, it always slowed down? Now that Ada was finally lost to him, he couldn’t wait to get out of there.

Not for the first time, did he wish he had given an earlier date for leaving. As usual, he had finished up his project with a lot of time to spare, and since he was leaving, his colleagues and bosses were trying to get stuff done without his input.

But sitting around in the office with nothing to do was the least of his problems. It was running into Ada that was. Thankfully, their run-ins had been few and far between, in part to the fact that he was working extra hard to ensure it was that way.

The few times they had seen each other had felt as if someone was twisting a knife in his heart. She was lost to him forever…

It was good that he knew that now. But how was he ever going to go on? Then there was the problem of who she was marrying.

Will she really be happy with him? He doubted it. Doubted that Orji would actually change and treat her right. The man had almost gotten her killed!

He was furious at the man for that fact alone. 

There were millions of ladies that he could have gone after; women that were like him in behaviour, attitude, and temperament. Women who craved attention like he did and also came from well-to-do families like him. Why leave all of them to go after someone like Amy?

But even as he fumed, he felt he already knew why. Ada was a good girl. Orji wanted it all – a good girl that would keep his home and give the best of herself while he ran around playing the field. Leave a loose life outside and still come back and enjoy the fruits of a good wife who would bear it all.

He closed his eyes and took a few deep breaths to calm his rising anger. Was he doing the right thing just going away and not saying anything? No, it was too late, he had his chance and he didn’t take it. The fact that she had gotten engaged just before he was to speak up was surely a sign that it was just not meant to be. God had decided otherwise.

But God, if not me, then why Orji? I don’t want her to suffer

He opened his eyes again. The last couple of days have been like this – his emotions fluctuating from anger to intense sadness and pain.

He glanced at the clock; today’s workday was finally coming to a close.

He had formed the habit of leaving about five minutes to time just to ensure that he could avoid running into Ada.

He got to his feet. He was alone in his unit today, his colleagues were in a meeting. He pushed his chair in and made his way to the lift. Soon enough, he found himself outside and made his way to the car park. Another day down, a few more to go. He was just about to get in when he heard his name.


Instantly his heartbeat went up a couple of notches. Ada. He turned.

She hurried over to meet him. Out of habit, he looked her over. She looked healthier and better, he noticed with relief. He had been worried she resumed her crazy diet to fit into a wedding dress.

“Hi, Tomi.”

“Hello, Ada.”

“You’re pretty hard to find these days.”

“Oh, just trying to wrap things up.”

“Yes, I understand. I have something for you… here.” She handed him a decorated silver envelope.

He felt his chest tighten. They were really moving fast with the wedding preparations. He took the envelope from her.

“I know you will not be around for the wedding itself, but this is the engagement card. It’s taking place next week.”

“I see, alright then.” He placed it into one of the side pockets of his backpack.

“How are the preparations going?” He forced himself to ask.



Somehow conversations that had always been so easy between the both of them were now hard.

“I need to get going,” he said at last. Her presence, this card, was like having salt rubbed into an open wound. He turned back to his car.

“Tomi, is something wrong?”

 His hand stilled on the car handle. He arranged his face very carefully before turning back to look at her.

“No, why?”

She had a very worried look in her eyes.

“I don’t… I feel like you’re angry or something.”

“No, I am fine.”

“Okay, if you need someone to talk to about something, I’m here at least for now. I hope you know that, right?”

He attempted a small smile. “I know, and thank you.”

“I’ll see you at the engagement then,” she said.

 No, he wasn’t going to attend. 

 He turned away again to open his car door.



“You are going to come, right?”

He hesitated. Why hadn’t he planned what he was going to say in case she asked?

“Are you thinking?” she asked in shock.

He sighed. “I won’t be able to make it, sorry.”

“You won’t be able to make it? Why not?”

“It just won’t be convenient.”

“Convenient? How do you know if it’s going to be convenient for you or not when you haven’t even looked at the invitation card?”

He hadn’t. How had he so easily boxed himself into this corner?

“I knew it! I knew something was up! You’re angry with me about something. Why not just tell me what I have done?”

“Ada, you’ve done nothing wrong.”

“Then why won’t you come to my engagement ceremony? Why won’t you be there? I want you to be there.”

“I’m sorry, but I can’t.”

“Why not? Tell me! I want to know why. You’ve suddenly become so distant to me.”


“What did I do?”


“Then why? Tell me why won’t you come?”

“Because I can’t stand and watch you get engaged to him! I can’t stand and watch you get engaged to anyone!” He exploded.

Her eyes widened, and she stepped back as if she had been hit by him.

He closed his eyes briefly. 

Oh, Tomi…you fool…

“Ada… I’m sorry, I’m sorry for shouting at you. Look, I haven’t been myself lately. I think it’s the pressure of this new change I’m making in my life. Forget what I said, okay? Please?”

He turned and faced his car again, and this time he opened it, got in, and drove off. He stole a quick glance at his rearview mirror.

She was still standing there, staring after him, looking shocked and confused. How could he have messed up so badly?

Chapter Six

Conversations were again flowing around her, but she heard nothing about what was being said. Twice she had been asked a question by the ladies attending to her, and she had to ask them to repeat themselves.

Fortunately, their ongoing discussions were about matters that didn’t directly involve her, so she was happy to be excluded from them. She wanted to be left alone to sort through her problems.

But because of what she was here for she could not remain uninvolved in what was going on around her for long. 

“Can we test the dress now?” One of the attendants asked.

Fortunately, she heard that particular question.


Left to her, she would not have come here today. She was in no state to do anything, really. She just wanted to stay in her flat alone. 

But the engagement was just days away now. She had to do the dress fitting today.

By the time they were done helping her get into the dress, they were screaming in excitement.

“Madam, when your oga sees you, he will pass out!”

They took her to a full-length mirror. The beautiful blue-gold embroidered off-the-shoulder material hugged her beautifully in all the right places, and yes, the ladies had done a great job. But her focus was not on the dress but on her face, the deep circles that were around her eyes from lack of sleep for two days and then there was the part no one could see except herself: The confusion in her head and heart.

“Because I can’t stand and watch you get engaged to him! I can’t stand and watch you get engaged to anyone…”

So he didn’t like Orji… She wasn’t happy about that. But to some extent, she could understand. Orji had done something hideous to her that night, but still, he had been trying to make up for it.

But a part of her was telling her that it wasn’t just about that night. Tomi’s outburst had forced her to do something she had not really wanted to do, and that was to analyze her relationship with Orji deeply, and the results had not been good. She had been so desperate to make it work that she had turned a blind eye to many things.

But he was changing, and that was a good thing… But still, there was something else that bothered her, and it was herself. There was this heaviness in her heart that she couldn’t understand, and it had nothing to do with Orji. In fact, despite the effort Orji seemed to be putting in, she felt even more distant from him.

She guess it had to do with the second part of what Tomi had said. She found it hard to believe that he wouldn’t want her to find someone to share her life with.

Tomi had always wanted her to be happy. In fact, her happiest moments in the past four years were all linked in one way or another to him.

That is why the fact that he was leaving was hurting so, so much and… then she felt her chest tighten as her mind made the connection to her heavy heart. A connection that she never believed could be possible. 

Ada, no… This can’t be… Tomi is just your friend…

It was at that moment when one of the ladies making adjustments to her dress accidentally knocked her phone off the dresser, and it fell and landed on the soft carpet.

“Sorry, madam,” she said and picked it up and handed it over to her.

The phone had scrolled to her call log. She was about to put it to sleep when she noticed the day and time it was on.

It was the day of the accident, and it registered a single call. A call not to the man she was planning to get married to but to the one whom she knew would come through for her any day or night.

“The one who had held her close that night after the accident and had whispered, ‘Ada, don’t die, please. I love you…'”

She abruptly got off the pedestal they had placed her on.

“Madam, please wait.”

“I have to go.”

“But we’re not done,” one of the ladies protested.

“It’s okay. It doesn’t matter.”

“What did you say, ma?”

“Never mind.”

She raced out of the tailor’s shop, lifting the gown to prevent herself from tripping over it, and flagged down a taxi. Back at her apartment, she removed the engagement ring Orji had given her and placed it in a drawer. She then sat on her bed hugging her legs tightly together.

So what now, Ada?

She knew that she was no longer in love with Orji. She also knew that at some point all this time, she had fallen in love with Tomi, and Tomi was in love with her. Maybe?

The last part of her dream had always remained unclear until today. But now she wondered if her head had just made it up because that was what she wished had happened that night and was what she now hoped he meant when he had said he couldn’t stand to see her get married to someone else…

Because if that wasn’t the case and he was leaving, then she would be losing the true love of her life barely after finding him.

A knock on her door startled her.

“Yes, who is it?”

“It’s me, Tomi.”

Her heart which had been pounding painfully in her chest all this while pounded even harder now. She blinked and realized that there were tears in her eyes. She quickly wiped them off. Tomi was here, at least now she would know.

She got to her feet and opened the door.


He was staring at her in a dazed-like manner; like he had never seen her before. Then she remember why, she still had her engagement dress on. And she felt her cheeks grow warm and hope swelled within her. 


“May I come in?”

She nodded.

He entered. He looked very tired and stressed out like someone who like her had not slept a wink in a while.

They stood together silently for a while in the middle of her tiny parlour.

Then he finally spoke. “Ada, I want to apologise to you again for my behaviour the other day. I am really sorry. I will attend your engagement ceremony, that is if you still want me to.”

Her heart sank and she swallowed hard. “I see. Well…ok… then…”

“Thank you. I will see myself out.” 



And slowly he turned back to look at her. 

“I have a question for you and I want you to answer with the truth and nothing but the truth. What you said in the parking lot to me did you mean it? “

“Ada I…”

“It’s a yes or no question Tomi did you mean it.”

“Yes…I did.” 

“Then why didn’t you say anything about how you felt all this while?”

“I… the day I decided that I was finally going to do so. I walked into the hospital room and saw you wearing Orji’s ring.”

“What right did I have especially at that time to destroy a wish I know you’ve had for so long?”

“I just got engaged, Tomi-“

“I know- “

“-why say it so late…”

“I am sorry… for ruining this special time for you. Please I know it will be hard but just try to forget what I said. Put it behind you.”

In anguish she watched him walk away.

What are you doing Ada? Call him back and tell him what you want.

  Tell him you love him and that he should take you with him…

But she did not. Would she not be a fool to have learned nothing from her travail with Orji? She would never ever throw herself at a man again.

She turned away from him worried now that she kept looking at him she would start crying she needed him to leave first.

She heard the door open and close.

Not yet Ada. If you start now he might hear you… allow him to go far…far away…


She stiffen he hadn’t left?

Slowly she turned and her already fast-beating heart began beating even faster. He was so close. 


“Please will you forgive me?”

“Forgive? Of course. I can’t stay mad at you… “

And she moved in and hugged him before she could think of her actions. Wanting to reassure him. Wanting to feel his closeness for just a few seconds.

She tried to withdraw soon after. After all, it was meant to be a hug between friends. But she found that she couldn’t because he was hugging her back so tightly and was not letting go.


“Yes, Tomi?”

“I have a request…”

“You do?”

“I know I am late but will you consider giving this friend of yours some time to prove to you that he can be the man for you? I mean please give me a chance to win your heart.”

He was asking her…

This was it, the feeling she had been waiting to feel – pure happiness.

“Oh, Tomi you don’t need to prove anything to me or try to win my heart,” she said as tears of pure joy finally made their way down her face.


And he pulled away slightly from her to look into her eyes and she smiled.

“No. All you need to do is just take me with you.”

The End

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