And Another Love Story (6)

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There had never been an issue that gripped his heart as much as his current predicament. Even when the robbers had raped his beloved wife right in his presence, he had not felt this much broken. In his life, he had yearned for perfection; Tina came very close to it, but she was not it. Juliet was obviously far from it, but she was what was left in Tina. Oye had thought he would play his games perfectly, avoiding every possibility of Tina ever getting to know. But now that his shell had been totally smashed, he didn’t even care to find out the source of Tina’s discovery. His headache was not about the point where his secret had been compromised but what had now become of it.

‘Tina claimed that she had known about it since,’ He pondered, ‘So, I’ve been a fool for a long time.’

Oye’s phone rang, and he realized that it had been on, if he had known earlier, he would have smothered it. The name that reflected on the phone was ‘Julius’, but Oye knew who it really was. He contemplated picking. He was still in the middle of his contemplation when the call ended and came again.

“Juliet.” He spoke coarsely, when he picked.

“Oye! I’m… We need to see!” She screamed.

Oye was perplexed. Had Tina taken it too extreme? Had she launched an attack on the innocent Juliet? He rose from his lying posture quickly; “What? Why?”

“I can’t say anything on phone. I’ve been to your office twice this morning. What’s happening?”

Oye looked at the clock in his room, it was half past twelve noon. “I hope there is no problem?”

“Please come to my house by evening today. Please it’s really important”

Oye was not disappointed when she cut the call without proper conclusion; that was the type of girl Juliet was. Always generous with briefings, but greedy with actual details.

He lolled in bed, realizing that he had spent too much time in his depression. He didn’t even consider what Juliet said on phone, he simply got up, took his towel and headed for the bathroom.

 

***

Tina sat on the sit at her staff room pondering. During her imaginative rehearsals, she had thought she would come out strong. Neglecting every feeling to reconsider her stance. If Oye had been heartless enough to date another lady for ten good months – pretending everyday, like a perfect player would, then she should flee from him and not look back; anyway possible. But where would she flee to?

The way other teachers stared at her and muttered to themselves in the staffroom made her realise that staying there would only make her an object of discourse for the gossip-hungries. She took her car keys and headed to a restaurant far from the school.

Oye and Tina had dated from their second year in school. He used to be the prince charming everyone dreamt off, but was quite timid. He had initiated the relationship by a slim chance after one of his football successes. Before then, they had started out as ordinary friends, then they grew very fond of each other quickly, because she loved everything he loved and that feeling was mutual.

The day he finally tied the knot, to start the relationship which had been much anticipated by Tina, the football team members of the University of Abeokuta had played in a final battle for the NUGA cup, against Obafemi Awolowo University in the Nigerian University Games Association Annual Cup Competition (NUGA). The match had gone for over an hour without any goal recorded, the tension was much as it had been a very engaging match. It was so thrilling that even Tina – who initially had no keen interest in soccer, realized why it took many lives away, she knew that she too, would almost die if her school team lost, especially with Oye’s rigorous efforts, as the most skillful man on the field.

The only goal of the match came few minutes to the end. It hadn’t been an ordinary goal, it came with a fluke after Oye had clearly dribbled two of their defenders and passed to a team mate, the team mate had square-played and returned the ball slightly above Oye’s head, but rather than use his head, Oye had somersaulted and driven the ball into the goal post with an incredible shot. In the middle of the standing ovation of the thousands of students present, that accompanied Oye’s jubilation, Oye ran into the audience and gave beautiful Tina a deep and a passionate kiss – The kiss that sealed her love for him.

That kiss was still on her chin, and it was perhaps the reason her emotions was now betraying her. She rubbed her chin slightly. Then she quickly stamped on her brakes as she almost crushed something.

A very slight distance had appeared between herself and the rogue she almost knocked down. Other thugs materialized quickly from other parts of the road to deal with her. She wasn’t immediately aware as she stepped out of her car to apologies, the other thugs came into her view, she knelt to beg, but they were not ready to listen.

“You mad woman! Are you drunk?” Fierce looking men clouded her.

It took a strong effort of one of the onlookers to deliver her. He had to push off the rouges to gain entry into the scene.

“Are you hurt?” He said to her, after they had listened to him and calmed. “Now back off you all, can’t you see that she’s a woman?”

She looked at him with a quizzical look. It had happened too fast and too unbelievable. “I can’t drive.” She said as she shivered.

“I’d drive you.” He offered. “Just wait a second, let me park my car properly.”

“To the hospital please,” She requested.

“Alright ma’am” He obeyed, and drove her off.

 

To be continued…



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