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Of love and switching passions

By Yetunde Arebi

Hi!

What do you do when you discover that your girlfriend is cheating on you? Do you end the relationship or patiently wait for the right time to take your pound of flesh. My young friend, Dele did just that to his young lover of many years recently. His story is quite interesting, I must confess.

I loved Naomi a lot, perhaps more than I can ever love any woman again. In fact, my experience with her is so unforgettable. She was my real first love and I was hers too. I met her through her cousin who happened to be my friend and over time, we had a few friends in common. Though we were all young, but Naomi was like a baby sister to us in the neighbourhood. So, I was not really supposed to be chasing after her.

However, her cousin was a very close pal who spent a lot of time at my place, so I was able to convince him of my feelings towards her. I promised him I would take care of her.  As luck would have it, she had just finished from Secondary school and was awaiting her JAMB results, so we had all the time to ourselves. Back then, I was already employed as a Clerk in a bank, so I was a big boy of sort, since I had some money to throw around. Like most students, I’d tried to gain admission into the University after leaving Secondary school, but I did not pass. After two attempts, my father secured a job for me in the bank and I decided to build a career in banking instead and work my way up.

Naomi and I dated for over a year before she eventually gained admission into the University. I invested all I had emotionally, financially, and even physically into the relationship, with a promise that I would eventually marry her when she finished. There was nothing secret about our relationship and the unwritten agreement that we would eventually get married. All our friends and relatives knew that we had something special going on. Unfortunately, the story became sour shortly after her admission. She came home starry eyed, looking like someone who had just won the jackpot. She was literarily on cloud nine.  I was happy for her obvious happiness as I had prayed and invested a lot in her quest to pursue a university education. However, after two days of her arrival, it was obvious that she had changed. Naomi could not control her anxiety and without tact, she announced that she had a new boyfriend, though it was a platonic relationship. According to her, he is a guy and her friend, thus her boyfriend.

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She described him as very popular, interesting to be with and handsome too, adding that many girls flocked around him but only a few of them, including her were his favourites. I found out that this guy was a bit older than her, more exposed and was also a popular television personality. The guy was also a student at the university and was three years ahead of her.  Naomi told me that he loved to treat them like his younger sisters and gave them access to him. I was not happy as her jives were discomforting and the look in her eyes whenever she spoke about him told a different story. In short, it was obvious that this guy had dazzled her and I was not a fool. She would rush to the television whenever she knew he would feature in any programme, cursing NEPA seriously if there was a power cut. My mind was in a state of shock for a long time before I managed to confide in a few friends. I was reliably informed that being a ‘JAMBITE’, she had fallen into the traps of the big boys and that I should not worry as she would soon wake up from her dream world. I felt concerned for her and prayed that her infatuation with the guy would not lead her to cheat on me before she snapped out of it. However, deep down in me, I suspected that a lot had gone down more than she was telling. If they were not lovers already, they would soon be as soon as they resumed for the second semester.  As I was madly in love with her, I had to contend with being her sound board, perhaps number two, and even prayed that she will not get hurt while it lasted.

Predictably, this did not take too long as in Naomi’s second year, her superstar idol ‘captured’ another Jambite and dumped her. She came home to seek succour like one in mourning and I forgave her in my heart, attributing her shortcoming to her inexperience about men. Everything went back to normal until she got to her third year when she met another Television star. He was one of the popular anchors on the NTA Network. Once again, she was completely smitten by the guy. I didn’t understand what she saw in him except being a popular star, a local one for that matter. To me, he was even one of the dirtiest of the lot. But my girl lapped up to him as a dog to its owner. This time around, I’d had enough. I felt humiliated and subdued as a man. But much as I tried to denounce her, I still loved her. The amazing thing was that, though she never hid the affair from me, she didn’t want ours to end as well. She would tell me that the relationship meant nothing to her as I was the one she loved and would marry. It was as if she was the man and I the woman in the relationship.

Since I loved Naomi too and was confused as to what to do, I decided to just wait it out. And just as I knew it would happen, the affair ended shortly before her graduation. And once again, she returned home to rest and wean herself off him. Can you believe that? Honestly, I suffered. It was as if I had become her brother or an ordinary friend. However, by the time she returned from her youth service, I had made up my mind on what to do with her. It was a decision I took after a long and painful but humiliating deliberation. If I knew about two different men, then what is the guarantee she did not have others I did not know about? One who could cheat on me twice while courting will not hesitate to do same should I marry her. Though I did not have a University degree like her, I was already undergoing some professional courses in banking and was also doing well in my career. This was evident in my humble standard of living, even in my neighbourhood, amongst my friends which included her cousin and both our families. I was not the best, but I was no push over. So, it was not as if I was not her match or husband material enough. After all, what does it take to be a husband to any woman?

So, when she began warming herself up to me by being very loving and caring again, I maintained my cool. At a stage, I started avoiding sex with her. One of my sisters had informed me that her joker might be to hook me with a pregnancy. I stopped her from coming to my place without an invitation. My excuse was that she might not meet me at home because I was attending classes for one of my professional courses.  As for dropping the keys for her to wait for me, I told her that the landlord and tenants had agreed that visitors should not be given unhindered access  into the compound because of a recent burglary incident. By the time I told my friend, her cousin, about my decision, he had no choice but to agree with and support me. He had also witnessed some of her shenanigans over the years.

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Naomi’s visits became few until she stopped. But because we were connected with some other people, we still meet up often. When we did, I would ask her why I’d not seen her, and she would ask the same question too. Soon, she began telling some friends how I was maltreating her. How long term relationships were bad and never ended well. How I had dumped her after using her for many years. I paid very little attention and it soon died out. She eventually secured a job with a bank and not long after I heard she was in a serious relationship. I was not moved. I had finally gotten over her.

Some of our friends did suggest that I should forgive her since as it was obvious that I still loved her.  Yes, I had forgiven her already, but I can never forget what she did. Cheating is not a new thing, almost everybody does it. I cannot swear that I never had another girl beside Naomi while we dated, but  I can bet that if someone were to tell her that I was unfaithful to her, she would not readily accept. That is the way it ought to be. She should not have stuck her affairs in my face as if I was a fool. It is clear she was the fool.

Hmmm! Do have a wonderful weekend!!

Vanguard

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