Sometimes we want to know the truth, but when we finally do, we realise more reasons why we should have believed the lie.
It was Tuesday morning and Jay was already preparing for work, the laundry man had brought his piece later than planned, but somehow it never bothered him that he was hours late to the office, he was the CEO, and answers to only himself. It is not in his habit to be late, but he had only made a last minute plan to don his Hickey Freeman’s grey suit that morning, prompting the laundry man to delay in delivery.
Jay, took a closer look at her portrait which was conspicuously placed on his dressing table, the photographer had captured those smiles so perfectly that they paired comfortably with the dim lights in the studio when it was filmed. He knows how much he loved her, and was setting out to meet their wedding planner later in the day to conclude arrangements on the date and possibly commence the printing of the Invitation Cards. He now referred to their wedding time frame as weeks, but it is still four months away.
As, he strapped his globetrotter denim watch, he realised yet again that everything was not alright with her. She had suddenly started acting strangely; always acting cold towards him, and to think of the fact that she never moaned as they climaxed two nights ago was enough evidence that her mind was no longer at ease, or maybe his sense of sensual touch has lost their prowess and he could no longer reach so deep as he used to. He was bothered, and although she had confirmed severally that all was alright, he knew it wasn’t. On his schedule that morning was an appointment with his doctor, and he may likely share the experience with him, hoping he has an answer to what could be wrong.
He stopped by her office during Lunch hours, but unlike the usual, he was unable to see her, rather, he was told to wait for unfruitful minutes that rolled into hours, as she was in a meeting with the Company’s board of Directors. He finally left without meeting her, but left the lunch with her secretary, hoping she would call once she returned from the meeting.
It was 9pm, and she had not called yet, he had tried her line severally, but the calls were never picked or returned. He pushed away the thought that she may be screening her calls, but only concluded that she may still be in the meeting or somewhere important, at least he needed that hope, and not doubts, since they were getting married in few weeks.
Finally, she called back, but sounded so cold that Jay began to wonder if something had gone wrong in the Board meeting, but she assuaged him that all was alright, that she just did not feel like talking, at least not that night. There were many reasons to not believe her, but he did not want to raise those doubts. He only smiled and told her to take care of herself.
“I love you” he said with his usual grin that could be heard from the other end of the line, but instead of the usual reply of “love you too” that was always accompanied with a smile, all he heard was murmur and the lines went dead.
This is the seventh day of Jay asking her about her acting strange, yet she kept saying all was right. Jay was no longer comfortable with the whole scenario, he needed the truth and he constantly pressed for it, as an accomplished Business mogul in his thirties he liked being in the know of whatever transaction he was making, and it’s barely weeks to the biggest transaction in his life and his partner had just started acting strange. It just didn’t feel right.
“What’s going on?” he calmly asked, cupping her waist that noon as he visited her in the office.
He tried focusing his gaze on her eyes, but she constantly evaded those glowing black pupils of his.
“We are getting married in few weeks, and you are suddenly acting strange, what’s going on?” He also wanted to add “Are you getting cold feet about the marriage?”, but he was scared it may erupt the volcano that was already building, he was scared of losing her.
Instead of the answers he had expected to get, he was braced by those tears, they had the power of melting him; a strong power that collapses all his nerves for the moment. He knew something was wrong but never expected it to be so deep to the extent that they pulled her tears. Jay had known her for over six years, three out of which they have been courting, and he sure knows that those tears rarely flow, and when they do then something deep must have happened.
He drew her close and rested her head comfortably on his shoulder, as the tears wet the cape of his Christian Dior’s Navy blue suit.
“Sweetheart, I am very sorry, I really wish it never happened. I am so sorry”
Jay wouldn’t have understood what she meant by being sorry, and would have gone ahead to ask what happened, if she did not narrate how his best friend Greg had had canal knowledge of her the week before. He immediately went mute, there was no way he could believe that the two persons he trusted most in life would have betrayed him to that extent.
Gently, he pushed her away from his shoulder, and continued looking into space while she continued in tears. Her tears no longer had any effect on him, from the moment he learned the truth the tears lost their powers to melt him.
In that moment of knowing the truth he saw many reasons he should have believed the lie that she was alright.
Jay walked out of the office to nowhere in particular, he boarded a taxi, and asked the driver to drive him to anywhere. He thought of calling the wedding planner to cancel every arrangement for the wedding, as he brought out his phone to make that call, those thoughts crept in; thoughts of hoe good Cynthia has been from the day he met her crept in, her worthy character stood up in her defence. He knew she was good and the best he had ever come across, he reluctantly dropped the phone, if he was going to make the call, he wanted to be sure he would not be acting emotionally.
After roaming the town for hours, he finally alighted the taxi at Fendiz cocktail bar, and paid the cab man. He ordered for his favourite, which the waiter wasted no time in providing, as he angrily gulped that the contents of the cup he fought with the thoughts in his head. Cynthia did not say she was raped, she only said it was a mistake and never knew it actually happened until she woke the next morning. He tried to remember the events of that night, it was his best friend’s birthday, and somehow business had kept him out of town but he had followed them up on skype as they boozed off, how could he have known that his fiancé and his best friend had ended the night naked in the same bed. He knew she slept over at Greg’s place, it was not the first and it did not bother him because they were mutual friends, and their friendship had lingered from the University, and sleeping over at each other’s place was not out of place.
He didn’t realise he had spent hours at the bar until his phone rang, it was a familiar tone, and even without looking at the screen he knew who it was, but he still looked at that perfect picture he had used for her caller ID, the ring tone which blared solemnly was their mutual song, it was Brymo’s Happy memories, and it immediately reminded him of those happy memories he had shared with her. How she had stood for him back at the University, even when he had nothing, how she had refused to leave hi even when all forces had pushed her to the walls. He remembered how her mannequin shape stood before the kitchen cabinet in bum shorts and singlet; how he always appeared from behind smooching her smooth surfaced skin, tracing the lines of her sordid shape cupping her breast from behind and gently biting her ear lobes. He always enjoyed her smiles and giggles in those moments, as she turned behind to lavish him with her soft and succulent wet lips.
There were so many good to remember about her that the recent news could not wipe away. He still loved her, no doubt, but it can never be the same again, and he never wanted it that way. He wished he believed the lie that she was alright, because at that moment the truth lost its power to save him.
By Augustus Bill
Augustus Bill, is a Nigerian born Writer | Blogger | Publicist | Journalist | Artistic Director who dedicates time and ideas to creativity, doing justice to lines and fonts.