While I was still drowning in self-pity, Cynthia walked into my room and met me shedding tears. I heard footsteps and turned, only to see her in another nightie standing behind me remorsefully. I wiped my tears immediately in order not to show any weakness. She came and sat close to me, and apologized for her words and actions. She felt so sorry for making me shed tears like a child. Her words of apology touched me, and my eyes gave way to the tears it couldn’t afford to hold anymore. This time I sobbed and eventually cried out loud, as I had gotten so emotional and couldn’t hold myself anymore. Cynthia also got emotional and began shedding tears as well. It became like a sobbing competition. She tried to console me, taking my head and laying it on her laps in the process. I wasn’t crying because of Cynthia’s words of apology per say, but for the loss of Ogechi’s love and Cynthia’s t—-t which took me years to build. We retired to bed in my room that night in the same emotional state, holding unto each other to comfort ourselves in our warms. That was the last real warm I was going to have in a long while, so I went for it big time.
The morning finally came after what seemed like an endless night in Eden, and I arose to prepare to take my leave as Lady Cynthia had ordered. I had already taken my bath and was packing my stuff when Cynthia awoke to see me doing so.
“What are you doing J?”
“I’m preparing to leave” I replied.
“J, I’m really very sorry for having asked you to leave. Believe me, I didn’t mean that. I was just angry, that’s all. Please quit the packing and do your normal thing. You don’t have to go. I don’t want you to go.”
“Don’t worry about it Cynthia. I’ve made up my mind to leave. Come to think of it, it’s better I leave. I mean, that way we get to avoid more problems.”
“What problems are you talking about?”
“You never can tell what may come up at a later time if I don’t make this move now. And I wouldn’t want to wait and find out.”
“Look J, I know it hit you hard when I asked you to leave. But please don’t let your ego get the better part of you. Even if I meant what I said, I have changed my mind now. Isn’t that enough to calm you down? Okay, let me put it this way; J, please don’t leave. I really need you to stay in this house with me. And if you really want to leave, let it be after you’ve completed your Masters’ Degree Program. At least, then I would know I’ve finished what I started. Don’t deny me that chance, I beg of you.”
“You’ve done a lot already for me. Nothing I do now or later can change that fact. I understand that you want to finish what you started, but my mind is made up already. I owe you the world Cynthia, and I hope that one day I’ll be well positioned to repay all your kindness to me.”
“Is that how desperate are to go for her?” Cynthia asked with a relaxed tone of voice.
“Cynthia, don’t start.”
“Why?” Isn’t that the only logical reasonable explanation to this sudden strong will to leave? You’re going to Oklahoma for Ogechi aren’t you? Have you stopped for a moment to think about what her life has been like these past years that you’ve been apart? If I may ask, where was she when you needed the support of your life? I’m not disputing the fact that you love her, but love is more of a practical thing than mere feelings and words. From what I’ve gathered, she had become a star singer in America while you were still in that radio house trying to get known at that local level. I don’t mean to run her down with my words, but you’ll certainly see reasons with me if you don’t let emotions becloud your reasoning.”
“That’s enough Cynthia. You lie there painting an evil picture of Ogechi, little do you know that you are alive today as a result of her sacrifice. She could have chosen to let you die and continue her relationship with me. Instead she chose to sacrifice our love for your life.”
“What are you talking about J? What sacrifice for my life?”
“Listen Cynthia, while you were in coma, I and Ogechi fasted for seven days to ensure your recovery. In the process she had what I would term a “revelation” that had it that she must quit her relationship with me in order for you awake from that coma. Or she could choose to cling to me and let you die. Guess what she did; she quit! That act brought you back to life. You should be grateful to her for what she did, but you lie here slaying her with ill words.”
“Stop it J! Stop it! Wait a minute; I do not really understand all you’re saying. You mean you guys fasted for my recovery? Well, thanks for that. But Ogechi quit things with you for me to awake from a coma? Please come again. What sort of a theory is that?”
“Yeah, she did. It’s no theory. It’s more of a spiritual thing. And before you start doubting it, just know that you awoke from that coma the moment that instruction which you refer to as a theory was implemented. I and Ogechi had to be no more for you to live. Now you’re alive, but only at the expense I and Ogechi’s true and undeniable love for each other. The least you can do now is appreciate her. “
“C’mon J, why didn’t anyone tell me about this?”
“Did you care to listen to anyone? Weren’t you barking at her like dog back at the hospital? And when I tried to talk to you, you asked me to leave your house. Well that’s fine because I’m leaving. Just know that Ogechi made a brave decision to prevent your death. As for me, well, you can see me as Beelzebub, I won’t bother much. After all, it’s my fault all these ever happened. I should have told you about her long ago.”
“J I’m sorrrrrrrrrrry” Cynthia apologized with tears. “I never knew she did that for me. My grudge against her didn’t let me see anything good about her. Please forgive me.”
“I’m not the one you should apologize to. Ogechi is.”
“I will do so to her as soon as possible. In fact, I’m going to Oklahoma to see her and sort things out with her. She’s my sister for Christ’s sake, and we even have unfinished business. And that includes you doing a song with her. J, I would like you to accompany me to Oklahoma to see her and do the needful. Please come with me.”
“Don’t include me in whatever you plan to do henceforth Cynthia. I am no longer interested. The only reason I would want to see Ogechi is to play love with her. But now that we can no longer do that, I don’t see the need. That would be like feeding a hungry man with the aroma of his best meal.”
“Are you really this mad at me? You won’t even oblige to a thing I say anymore. What ever happened to the role of forgiveness? Cynthia plead.
“I hold no grudge against you Cynthia. The truth is that my world has fallen apart, and I need to find a way to rebuild it instead of whiling away precious time chasing ghosts. Ogechi was my world, and without her in my life, nothing can ever remain the same again.”
“I can’t say I understand how you feel right now, but I certainly can relate to your suffering. From what I’ve heard you say about Ogechi, it is obvious enough you really love her. And losing her will have such a major impact on you that will destabilize your inner being for a long period of time if not forever. As bizarre as this may sound to you, I will have to go through the same if I lose you. And the knowledge that my unconditional love for you went unreciprocated worsens the whole matter for me. J, I don’t mean to be selfish here, but I think we can do something to save ourselves too much hurt. I still love you J, very much. Even if you set me on fire, I will still love you. Forget all I have said or done to you recently. It was just a natural reaction. Instead of going our separate ways to continue with our suffering, we can stick to each other and make a better life for ourselves. I’m a woman J, and would never come between the union of a fellow woman to her man. But the situation here is different. You and Ogechi cannot be together anymore, and I love you so much that I cannot let you go. I would have, if this thing between you and Ogechi didn’t come into play. But now that it unfortunately has, we can come together and work something out to avoid unnecessary emotional trauma. I know you don’t love me as much as you love Ogechi, and neither will you ever find a woman to love that much. But think of this; I love you and you know it. Isn’t it better to stick to the woman who loves you with her life?”
“Cynthia, I know you love me. But you don’t expect me to jump on you like that just because I can no longer have my dear Ogechi. C’mon, how would my baby girl even look at me? Like I’m such a cheap guy who couldn’t even mourn the death of our love for long before jumping into another woman’s arms? Not in this world!”
“J, let me suggest something that will make this whole process easier. How about you and I visit Ogechi at Oklahoma to tell her all about this and get her consent to go ahead? I know she wants you happy. And you can only find happiness in a woman that truly loves you. If Ogechi sees me to be that woman, then we can go ahead. If she doesn’t, then I guess it is goodbye forever.”
“Are you even considering my stand on this? I asked. Or are you just suggesting what is good for you? What makes you think that you and I getting together is Ogechi’s decision to make? What about me? Can’t I choose whether or not I want to be in a relationship with you?
“I know you love me J. That is undeniable. You only love Ogechi more. If I let you decide, your ego will becloud you reasoning. That’s why I’m coming all out to ensure that another loss isn’t recorded. The only woman I would let you go for is Ogechi. But an unfortunate incident has rigged things to my favor, and I will not sit back and watch you vanish into thin air except you deliberately choose to punish me for my ill words and deeds to you. Ask for Ogechi, I know she wouldn’t deny me this favor. If she could sacrifice her love for my life, what will she not do to make sure that her once true love finds love again? It’s left for you J. But whatever you do, never forget that Cynthia loves you, and will always love you. I am going to Oklahoma, with or without you. And I will tell Ogechi all I’ve told you. If she consents to my proposal, I will come looking for you wherever you may choose to go until I find you. That’s how much I love you.”
“I wouldn’t advise you to go through that. If I wanted to stay, I would have stayed without you having to do all that. And that doesn’t mean I don’t love you. But you see, the loss of Ogechi will never permit me to concentrate on anything else in a hurry, not to mention another emotional attachment. It is of a fact that I and Ogechi can’t be together again, granting you and me the access to do whatever, but it just can’t happen like that. If we were meant to be together under circumstances as these, then it will surely be. No need to hurry it.”
“So you’re really leaving J?” Cynthia asked crying.
“My mind is made up” I replied and concluded parking my stuff. I then made to leave and Cynthia tried to stop me by holding me back with much tears. I wasn’t moved by her tears at all. I continued on my way till I reached my car, which Cynthia bought for me. I put my stuff in the boot and then hopped into the driver’s seat. I kick started the engine, and off I went. I watched Cynthia through the side mirror of the car as she wept profusely. It was then her tears moved me and I shed tears too inside the car. But I couldn’t turn back. I was already on my way. I guess it was never meant to be. GOODBYE CYNTHIA.
Three months passed and I was done with my Masters’ Degree Program. During those three months, I hadn’t communicated with Ogechi or Cynthia. I had plans of meeting Ogechi at least once before bidding her an eternal farewell. But I didn’t think there was need for that anymore, so I planned to go back to Nigeria to see what I could do for myself with my Masters’ Degree. Just four days to my departure, a call came in and I grabbed my phone to see who was calling. Low and behold, it was Ogechi.
TO BE CONTINUED…