Tanure reread the letter again and again.If he really wanted to hurt her again,then he wouldn’t have waited till she wanted him,he wouldn’t have spent so much money taking her to London and building up a restaurant for her.
Even after the countless number of times they made love, he was still crazy over her, he would still tell her each day how much he loves her.
People made mistakes, people have regrets but no one can change the past, but then everyone can move on, everyone deserves a chance to make amends, to change for the better.
He didn’t tell her about what Christine did because he didn’t want her to hate and leave him.
She recalled the many times he had made her promise not to leave him, there was always fear in his voice then.
But things fell apart again and she left saying what she wished she could take back. Richard was the only person who has loved her unconditionally.When they argued hotly about anything and he was at fault, he would always apologize at the end, even if she was at fault, he would still apologize, he had told her that he would give anything to keep seeing her dimples forever.
Painful tears ran down her cheeks, she wanted them to start anew.This time, she was sure that there would be no Christine and even if another woman tries to get him swayed, he wouldn’t fall because he said that there was no space for anyone else but changing her mind now was all in vain.It was too late to do anything because he has given up already.
Sometimes, you feel you have to live because other people are living, you have to move because other people are moving.That was how it was for Richard now,he was surviving but didn’t know how he was actually still surviving. His life had no meaning, he was scared that one day he might sleep and never wake up…..at least before that day,he wanted to see Tanure, even just from afar.
If it wasn’t for the fact that he had done so many things for the company he worked for,the CEO would have fired him without hesitation.But then he was told to take time off from work and see a doctor since he kept on looking distraught at work.
Only Lanre knew that he was suffering from depression and since he wouldn’t see a doctor, Bisi had to drag him back to the village.
She was growing so worried,she didn’t want to bury her own son. He hardly ate, his door was always locked,he practically isolated himself from everyone. Sometimes she and Remi had to lie to him that Tanure was outside…that she had finally come to see him.The first time they had done that, he raced out just to meet his greatest disappointment, but they managed to force him to eat.
Bisi and Remi played that prank on him several times just to make him come out and eat.But he got used to it and no longer fell for their lies.
Now, Bisi sometimes have to beg and cry at Richard’s doorstep, sometimes he came out while other times he didn’t.
Bisi had just finished crying at her son’s doorstep,he was forced again to come out,he sat outside of the house and Bisi quickly brought him food.
He managed to eat few spoons of rice then he stood up to leave.
“Kayo, please eat something” Bisi pleaded.
At that moment Sade passed by,she was surprised to see him in the village.
“I just ate something,Maami” He replied.
“Haven’t you looked at yourself at the mirror, you’re growing leaner and leaner each passing day, you’re killing yourself”
Richard sighed.”I’m just tired, I’m okay”And then he walked into the house.
Bisi stared at him sadly, when will he ever have strength?
Richard walked into his bedroom,he locked the door, and lay down on his bed.
He reached out for his cellphone,he slid into his music player and turned on ‘Orente by Adekunle Gold.’
The song always gave him a kind of joy because he would get to think about all the good times they shared.He slid into his gallery, and smiled at her pictures,he had always teased her love for pictures and though he wouldn’t dare tell her that he always got tired when taking her those pictures.
But now,he wished he had taken more, he wished he could be her cameraman again, anything at all would be okay to him.
He always sent her money through Bisi but each time Mr Ojaide always sent it back.
He knew deep within himself that he should give up now. He should see a doctor and reorganize himself, he had to put the broken pieces of his life back together and move on.
But he wanted to wait just one more day.That was what he had been telling himself and that one more day had ran into two good months.
“After hearing stories and stories about how happy you were with Richard and how you wish you could be with him again,why then are you still holding back?” Sade asked that afternoon when she visited Tanure.
“I wish I could if only I can see him again”Tanure replied, sadly.
“Then go to him”Sade suggested.
“Baba won’t let me travel to Lagos and he has probably moved on already”
“I saw Richard this morning at his father’s house”Sade announced.
Tanure frowned. “You’re not serious”
“I am, I was really surprised to see him because you told me he left already”
Tanure slowly sat on a chair,he was close to her all along, he was probably waiting for her.
“Maybe you don’t know him well enough,or you still don’t know the depth of his love for you. I know things hadn’t been really smooth for the two of you, but at least have a little bit of trust in him, that he wouldn’t give up on you so soon,he probably didn’t come to see you because your father wouldn’t allow any of his family members to come here.Since he can’t come to you, won’t you take the bold step?”Sade asked, seriously.
Minutes later,Sade had left and Tanure just sat on her bed feeling so nervous,she wanted to go to him but what would she say?It was as if they had been separated for more than two months.
She had missed him alot, she had missed him with an intensity that hurt physically, she missed everything about him.The way his eyes always flashed with amusement,his heart melting smile,she missed his masculine scent…his touch and kisses.
And most of all,the way he would look at her so adoringly like she was his jewel….his priceless jewel.
Unable to comprehend fully how much she had missed him,she headed for the door.
As she held the doorknob of the main door,her father’s voice sounded in the air.
“Where are you going to?”
Tanure turned around to face him.
“You told me he left”She shot at him, angrily.
“I was only doing what was right for you” Mr Ojaide said, calmly.
“Right for me? I’m the only one who knows what right for me, and I’m going back to my husband”
“You’ll be making the biggest mistake of your life if you go back to him.You’ll regret this and you’ll come running back home”
Tanure sighed.”I… I don’t know what would happen to me years from now, but right now, I can feel this deep inside me that if I let him go, I would be miserable for the rest of my life.He has hurt me alot, and he has showed me unconditional love,he sees the good in me,he wants to be everything to me”She muttered, tearfully.
“Tanure, people say love is blind but you have to open your eyes now….. right now!”He ordered.
“I’m sorry,Baba. I love him, there’s no end to that”With that,she opened the door and walked away.
“Kayo…Kayo… Tanure has come to see you” Bisi said excitedly, knocking on Richard’s door.
Richard turned around to face the wall,her prank won’t work on him. It had stopped working a while back.
“Brother Kayo,this time, we’re not lying” Remi assured.
Richard frowned, they should go away, he wasn’t hungry.
“What is he still doing in there?” Mr Boyowa yelled.
Richard sat up,he was feeling uneasy, his father had never played any role in this prank.He heard his step mother’s voice.
“Our wife is waiting o”
He quickly stood up from bed and opened the door.
“She’s at the compound” Bisi said, calmly.
Richard hurried towards the compound half hoping and half doubting then he saw her. Her back was to him.
Tanure heard footsteps behind her, she turned around. For a long moment they just stared at each other in disbelief.
Tanure couldn’t believe that this was the same man she had been with two months ago,he had grown so lean and looked so disheveled. He was wearing a singlet and faded jeans,he was barefooted.
Richard stared at her ransacking his brain trying to say something, he had dreamt of this moment over and over again and now that it was finally here, he couldn’t find his voice, but he had to say something…. just anything.
“Ho…. How are you?”He choked out.
‘so you waited for two months to tell her ‘how are you’,abi? ‘His subconscious mind berated.
“I… I would have come to see you but you know your father wouldn’t let me in.Don’t…don’t be upset”He muttered running a hand through his hair looking for the right words to say next.She could feel waves of his tension enveloping her. Could anyone else love her as much as he did?
“So how’s the baby…. I mean our baby?”
She moved closer to him and hugged him tightly as she let the tears flow freely down her cheeks.He shut his eyes feeling life being restored to his wretched soul, everything was making sense already.
“Why haven’t you been taking care of yourself?” She asked as she disengaged from him.
Tears threatened and as he spoke,his voice hitched.”I was waiting for you… I didn’t know how long it would take… but I was waiting for you”
“I’m so sorry, Richard, I’m sorry”She pleaded, tearfully.
“I’m the one who should be sorry, I brought Christine into your life, you were probably living a peaceful life before and I walked in and messed it up”
“I didn’t mean what I said that day, I was just angry and hurt. I didn’t know what joy feels like until I met you” She slowly held his hands.
“Richard, let’s start anew. Will you take me back?”
Richard swallowed, he was going to ask her that exact question.
“Iyawo mi” He called.
She had missed hearing that alot.
“I don’t want you to come back to me because of this child….. because of Maami….because of what people might say or because you feel sorry for me.I want us to start all over again because you love me and I love you, and most importantly,you trust me that I would never do anything to hurt you again”
“I love you and this time,no matter what you do, I’m not leaving you, we’re inseparable”
Richard smiled broadly through his tears.”You have no idea how much you mean to me, and I have no idea on how to start explaining it to you”He moved closer to her and snaked an arm around her waist pulling her into his body then he kissed her, slowly, absorbing the softness of her lips.God!He had missed her.
Her arms were wrapped around him,she tasted the salt of his tears.
Richard slowly took his lips away.
“I love you so much” She whispered, breathlessly.
He smoothened her cheeks with his fingers.
“If love can kill, I swear, I would die this very moment”With that, He kissed her again, fervently.
“He took after me,we don’t give up on the ones we love” Mr Boyowa said, proudly.
Bisi and Folake eyed him.
Remi stared at his brother who had suddenly forgotten that they weren’t alone in the compound.He watched as their heads moved from side to side, kissing each other passionately,they had no plans of ending this sensual onslaught soon.
He smiled, to think this all started that day he caught Richard staring at her buttocks.