C2 IN THE BEGINNING
E Y A R E
People say I'm handsome, I tend to believe them too. In a crowd of young men, I'm easily picked out.
I've gotten many advances from the females, why, I've even broken a few hearts, not intentionally though.
I was in my last year at the university when I saw her; she was what you call 'the girl next door.' Beautiful, with a sweet demeanor.
I bumped into her in the cafeteria where she was with a group of giggly girls and I watched as they chose some seats, then I made my move, walking up to them with my killer smile.
"Hi ladies, may I join you?"
They all stopped what they were doing and looked up to see who had dared interrupt their girly talk.
I could almost hear their minds spinning furiously. It seemed I was under some inspection.
Then she spoke up. "Sure!"and with a smile. "Join us." Immediately, I sat beside her.
"I'm Eyare," and a chorus of 'hi's were replies to my greeting.
Now I must add here; in Pan university, if a girl says hi to you, know you've scored big time.
We made small talk, with me always maintaining eye contact.
I learned her name was Osagiede, meaning God's gift. She became my gift. You know what? We hit it right off from that day and since then, we never looked back.
We decided that after school, we would get married. So on a clear summer morning, we exchanged vows.
I was ecstatic and couldn't wait to settle down with the woman I loved and have many children. We decided since we were starting a family, we needed to be frugal, so we opted to spend our honeymoon in Ghana, instead of outside the shores of Africa.
We were pleasantly surprised at how Ghana is, as it was both our first time of being there. We checked into a beautiful rustic hotel overlooking the sea. It was so peaceful -- water lapping against the banks, stars twinkling like diamonds in the sky, and the strong fresh smell of the sea.
We stared silently, my arm wrapped tightly around my wife. No words were necessary as our hearts did the talking. Osagiede looked ravishing in a short nightie.
"Darling," I started quietly, not wanting to break the magic of the special moment. "This is the beginning of forever with me." I tightened my hold on her, anticipating her next statement.
"My husband . . ." she paused as if tasting the words on her tongue. "It sounds so good saying it."
"Mrs. Osazuwa, I'm glad you like the feel of that in your mouth, hope you're getting used to it?"
"Yes, my love, just give me some time, still feels like a dream to me."
"Hmm! I hope you get used to it soon and fast too because I'm already envisaging us having beautiful children." I tipped her chin and captured her eyes with my gaze.
"Need I say darling, this woman, is over the moon about being married to you. I'm loving it already. Tonight is our wedding night, let's make it work," she ended with a wink.
After that, we ended up in each other's arms, but I just couldn't shake off the feeling that a turn of events were soon to unfold and I wasn't going to like them. I shook off the feeling as I drifted off to sleep.
The next day we went sightseeing and it was obvious to everyone around us we were newly wedded, for we never let go of each other's hands. I felt on top of the world, my earlier doubts forgotten.
That night, we traipsed the city of Ghana as we went from club to club. Ghana at night is a city with flashing lights, where workers shed their day garbs and change into flighty birds to unwind. And so we danced as we had never done before.
Need I say, my wife is an electrifying dancer. That is one of the things that attracted me to her, and tonight, it attracted men to her like bees to honey. I watched as she did her thing on the dance floor, admiring her.
We got home in the wee hours of the morning, tired, but strangely refreshed and found solace in each other's arms.
We slept till midday and it was Osagiede who woke up first with her usual boundless energy. Passing the mirror on her way to the bathroom, she shrieked. "My hair, it's a mess."
This wasn't true but as is typical of women to get fussy about their hair, I had to calm her down.
"You could go to one of the saloons in the hotel, I'm quite sure there's a range of fine one's, though if you ask me, I'd say your hair looks fine." I finished with a shrug.
"I just want to look beautiful for you, my husband, and we are on our honeymoon, remember?"
"I already told you, your hair looks fine. I've got eyes for no other woman but you my love, rest assured."
"Sweet words, still I'll feel much better when I get it done, it would look nice and different, you wait and see," and with that, she went to the bathroom to take a shower, while I settled down once more to sleep as I was still feeling drowsy.
Just then something caught my eyes. It peeked out of the drawers where Osagiede kept her lingerie - it was shiny. I gave it a cursory glance thinking it was just a piece of material, but on closer look, it looked too stiff for that.
Curiosity got the better of me, so I leaped up with a quick glance at the bathroom. I wouldn't want my wife seeing me snooping through her things, so I was quiet as I walked to the chest of drawers, but I needn't have bothered, because of the splashing of water, coupled with my wife singing off key, was enough to douse my silent movements.
Yeah, my wife could dance the pants off her body but when it came to singing, she was definitely no good.
I got to the drawer and saw it was a book - a diary on a second look. So holding it, I battled on whether to read it or not, but once more, curiosity got the better of me.
You know that saying about curiosity killing the cat, right?
Well . . . I didn't know that by reading my brand new wife's diary, I would be opening a Pandora's box -- a box that should have been kept firmly shut.
But you know when bad things want to happen, they always do so with a serious bang. So with another glance at the bathroom, I opened to the first page.
Dear diary, I had an extremely wonderful time today. See, I went out with him to the movies and thereafter to the beach. It was such a beautiful day for me. He is so handsome and witty.
I smiled, remembering that particular day, I was so excited to be with her that I went the extra mile by impressing her with jokes. I thought I had goofed, not knowing I had made quite an impression on her. I smiled to myself as I perched on the edge of the bed and continued reading.
Dear diary, I love him so much and don't know what I would do without him. Guess what; he gave me an engagement ring today and asked me to marry him and of course, you can only imagine my reply - A million yes's. I can't wait to be his wife and the mother of his kids. Today, dear diary, I'm the happiest woman on earth.
I paused, thinking back to that day. Her eyes had brimmed with tears and she had clung to me with such fervor that it had taken my breath away. Reading it all in print now gave me a certain thrill, knowing she truly loved me.
I guess that wasn't enough for me, I needed to know more. Glancing at the bathroom and still hearing the tap running, with my wife singing off-key, I read on.
Dear diary, I haven't neglected you, just that I've been dealing with some personal demons in my life. I found out I'm pregnant and . . .
My hands stilled as I came upon the word, pregnant.
She hadn't told me she was pregnant, what did she do to my baby?
I was becoming angry but had to calm myself and read further to know what happened.
I'm so excited, yet worried as to what he'll say, but I shouldn't have bothered so much, because he was over the moon about it. We decided to go shopping for baby clothes and I opted for pink as I was sure it was a girl, but Geoffrey . . .
Who the heck was Geoffrey? They both went shopping for baby clothes?
My hands silently shook on seeing this discovery. I was scared of what I would see next but I steeled myself and kept on reading against my better judgment.
Geoffrey insisted it would be a boy, so we settled for buying some baby clothes in pink and some in blue. Everything is falling into place. I'm in heaven.
It seemed like I was rooted to the spot -- frozen. I had turned into stone. I couldn't think. I felt like I was underwater and struggling to breathe.
Did Osagiede cheat on me while we were dating?
It was about the same time I had started seeing her.
I wanted to wait, lord, I wanted to wait for our wedding night before we had anything physical with each other, but Osagiede was a great temptation. Those pink succulent lips smiling at me all the time and being in such close proximity, it was too much of a temptation and so we had both succumbed to each other.
Could that baby have been mine?
What happened to it?
Surely she wasn't pregnant now?
Questions raced through my mind at top speed, each one fighting for dominance, yet I didn't have a single answer to any of them.
I was in such a daze, I barely heard the bathroom door open.
I had only a split second to close the drawer and dive back onto the bed.
Ben Johnson would have been proud at the speed at which I did it all.
I acted like I was still sleeping. I even mimicked a light snore.
Yes! she was fooled.
I lifted an eyelid and squinted at her. She had never looked so glorious. Rivulets of water cascaded down her arms and legs --- she looked like a sea nymphet. There was a softening in my heart just then, so I got up and walked towards her.
"Baby." I crooned. "You look beautiful."
I thought then to ask her who Geoffrey was and how come she got pregnant and who the baby was for and why she two-timed me. These thoughts must have reflected the worry and strain I felt, leading to the play of emotions on my face, for she suddenly asked. "Eyare, are you okay?"
Something came over me just then, and I imagined her gasping for breath, my hands, a tight clamp around her neck, while her eyes bulged with surprise and fear as she choked to death. It was so strong, the temptation was so damn strong, but as quickly as the feeling came, it left, leaving me feeling drained, yet strangely refreshed. I was left staring at her stupidly.
She looked at me with concern etched on her face so I had to say something and it must have sounded like; "I'm fine just tired." This must have satisfied her as her face cleared of its worry and she nodded.
"Why don't you get back to bed, I'll try and be as quiet as possible so I don't disturb you."
But how could I do that with the new revelation?
So I just sat on the bed and stared at her while she dressed up.
As she made to open the drawer, it occurred to me she might notice the absence of her diary, so I got up quickly and walked towards her. "Let me choose your lingerie for you today." She turned round to look at me, a smile on her lips.
"Why, I believe you've never done that before."
"Well, you know the saying - There's always a first time for everything."
I handed her a matching set of lacy underwear, and watched as she slipped them on. Another time, I would have been seriously distracted by what she was doing and pulled her to me, but this time, the contents of the diary were like a bag of rocks on my mind.
I hardly listened as she made small talk, for I was only too impatient for her to leave so I could finish up the reading.
After what seemed like ages, she left finally with a kiss on my lips and the scent of her perfume in the air.
I felt guilty for going through her diary without her knowledge but I was already in too deep and hating every moment of it.
As I opened the diary to where I stopped, my hands shook and I became instantly sweaty. I had to go on, so steeling my nerves, I began to read once more.
Today has been the most memorable day of my life; he promised he would be there for me, but he ran off with the first slut that flung herself at him.
Geoffrey, how could you do this to me? You promised you would be there for me through thick and thin.
Mum and dad warned me, but I was too blinded by love to recognise the handwriting on the wall. I was so blind.
Eyare is a good man and kindhearted too, but I don't love him, yet, I must marry him to save face. Where are you now, you bastard? I love you so much that I hate you too.
I almost don't want to go on with this marriage to Eyare, but I must do it for you, Geoffrey, to convince myself that with time, I will forget you. Tomorrow, I will abort our child, the little bastard, can't have it reminding me of you.
Tears spilled from my eyes and fell, unheeded unto the page.
So I was a second option, a plan B, a measure to save face!
I couldn't think then, I had to get out of the room, for where it had seemed a safe haven before, now felt claustrophobic.
Slipping on the first items my hands touched, I left the room, not knowing where I was headed, but just walked, trying to erase the memory of what I had seen.
But try as much as possible, I couldn't erase the heaviness in my heart.
I didn't know how far I walked, only that I found myself in a bar and a drink in my hand.
The more I drank, the more I felt like an empty shell.
I only just got married, I whimpered to myself.
What is to become of me and what do I do about these feelings of rage and love?
This is an antithesis, for I felt exactly how Osagiede felt towards the Geoffrey character; I loved her so much that I hated her, but for different reasons.
I had to hatch a plan. she was going to pay for every hurt I felt.