THERE is no fool like an old fool. After the failure of a relationship, most women, instead of staying back to lick their wounds and restrategise, rush into the arms of the first glib-tongued man they run into. And make the same mistakes all over again—if not worse! When Vivian divorced her husband, eight years ago, she went into a stormy ‘relationship’ that lasted five years.” She said sadly. “The only good thing that came out of it was my catering business. It grew to such an extent I was able to complete the reconstruction of my house so that the ground floor could be used as a decent restaurant. Now, I was more than happy the place pulled in good customers from most of the offices around it.
“Paul was one of the customers that came in fairly regularly. He usually came in after work with some of his friends. Quite a tall handsome man, he had a shaved head and a good physique. He was a good spender too, paying for his guests most of the time and encouraging me to join in the fun. I never mixed business with pleasure. After being singed twice, I didn’t want to go near any fire…. Paul had a wedding ring on his finger and I wasn’t ready to be anyone’s mistress. When he persisted in trying to draw me into his happy-go-lucky circle, I told him I wasn’t interested in married men. He laughed as if I’d just cracked a joke. ‘I’m divorced,’ he confessed. ‘The wedding ring is to ward off all the women who want to throw themselves at me.’ Cheeky! But it put my mind at rest.
“After that, he stayed over a lot at the house after the close of day. The affair was passionate to put it mildly. We made love most nights and Paul sometimes helped in the restaurant when he could. He ran his own business and one of his friends had even let it out he was to inherit some money soon from his late father’s estate. ‘Both my parents are dead,’ Paul confirmed when I asked him about the inheritance. ‘My brother’s a lawyer,and sorting out the details. My share of things will arrive any day.’ Thank God he wouldn’t be another gold digger.
We’d been going out eight months when he said, we should get married. I was mildly surprised. I liked things the way they were and even though I’d been to Paul’s flat, I wouldn’t want to leave my comfortable house for a flat. But he promised his inheritance would have been a reality by then. He might even get a house from his parents’ estate. In the meantime, we started planning the big wedding he insisted on, with me paying most of the deposits for the hall and caterers, a designer cake and suits for him and his best man. But with only a month to go until the big day, Paul still didn’t have access to his money. He became jittery and quiet, vowing to get a bank loan until his money came through.
“Shortly after, his blood pressure shot up and he had a mild stroke. Thankfully, he made a quick recovery and told me he was travelling to his home town to sort out his inheritance. I was a bit fed up with talks of money that hadn’t materialised and I told him to take all the time he needed. Then he virtually disappeared. I rang most of his friends but no one had heard from him. And I only had the number of one member of his family, the brother he said was a lawyer. So I rang him. ‘The time he brought me to your restaurant was the last time I saw him’, he said. The only person he speaks regularly with is our mother.’ His mother? Wasn’t she supposed to be dead? So there was no inheritance. Just a pack of lies.
“I was still in shock when his brother told me he was likely to be in their hometown with his wife and children. How many of them? Six, he said cagily, realising I didn’t know much about the wife. When I eventually got through to him, thanks to his brother giving me the number of his new mobile, he confessed he was still married. ‘But I honestly love you,’ he whined. ‘ I don’t know why I lied to you. I love you heart, body and soul. I actually had an inheritance from my dad, but I chose to sign it over to my children long before we met….’ I just switched off the phone. There was nothing more to say. Now I’m really broke and my confidence is at an all time low. Paul’s love for me felt so real.
How could he have made me look such a fool.”