But it had happened. It is a fact and the action can never be reversed. She will forever have it in mind that Ikem hit her, she could never forget it in a million years; and the love between them is forever tainted as a result of tonight’s happenings.
She couldn’t fathom the reason behind his aberrant behavior tonight. He had never raised his hands to her before. Sometimes, when he was angry enough to hit her, he had walked away rather than go ahead with it. Recently though, he had been exhibiting some rather strange behavior, she had been baffled by the subtle change in him.
She fluffed her pillow as fresh tears fell down her face. Her heart was breaking into a million pieces. She couldn’t believe that Ikem, her prince in shining armor, her tall, dark, and handsome lover would raise his hands to her. It still is unbelievable.
She stiffened as she heard the turn of the doorknob. Ikem came in quietly and stood by the door for a few moments observing her. There was a look of chagrin on his face.
“Ugochi…” he whispered reverently.
Ugochi turned to face the wall. She did not want to hear any excuse or see that tortured look on his face. She needed him to suffer a little bit more.
“Ugochi,” he said again, this time a little more firm
Ugochi refused the answer. She wished he’ll just go away and leave her to grief the loss of her trust in peace. It’s not every day her boyfriend slaps her after all.
Ikem was not having that though. He shuffled closer to the bed, walked to the other side so he could see her face, and he sat on the bed beside her. Ugochi stiffened some more. Tension radiated from her body like sun rays.
“I’m so sorry baby,” Ikem began. “I don’t know what came over me. I promise it will never happen again.”
Ugochi stared at his face coldly. “You don’t know what came over you?” she asked angrily. “That is the lamest excuse in the book,” she spat.
“I know, I know,” he raised his palm up in surrender. “I know it sounds cliché but that is the truth.”
“It does not sound cliché, it is cliché.” She refused to look at him, she laid on her back, staring at the ceiling.
“I’m sorry Ugo. What else do you want me to say?””
“I want you to tell me why you think it was necessary to treat me that way tonight. And I don’t want to hear anything like ‘I don’t know what came over me’, because we both know that’s not true.”
Ikem refused to reply. He just kept staring at her. How could he tell her he reacted that way because of the information given to me by a man he does not even trust? He can never tell her what Donald told him. What if he was wrong? He needed to be absolutely sure first.
“But that was happened baby. Maybe I was angry because you stayed out so late, or maybe I was just feeling some residual stress. Either way, I’m sorry I hurt you.”
“I told you I would be out late, didn’t I? I distinctly remember telling you today was Dawn’s birthday, and that we were going for dinner at a plush restaurant on the island. Didn’t I?”
“Yeah, I think you did. Where were you this evening?”
“At work. Where else?”
“You didn’t go anywhere other than to work?”
“I went for Dawn’s birthday,” she threw up her hands in frustration. “Do I need to keep repeating myself?”
“Are you sure? No little lunch date with anyone?”
Ugochi narrowed her eyes at him speculatively. “No,” she replied. “Why the twenty questions?”
“I just want to be absolutely sure.”
Ugochi paused and looked at his face critically. She could see the confusion, and the faint anger, but there was something else lurking behind his eyes she couldn’t quite make out. There was something there that looks a lot like distrust.
“What is going on, Ikem?” she asked, baffled.
“Nothing. I’m sorry for hurting you, okay?” he caressed her abused cheeks. “Forgive me?” he stared into her eyes.
Ugochi wanted to ask more questions but she refrained. She decided to take the olive branch he was offering. Better keep the tentative peace.
“I forgive you darling. It was so out of character, it is easy to forgive. But please, control yourself better next time we have an argument.”
“I will. I love you.”
“Love you too.”
Few minutes later, they both lay in bed. They were not touching nor speaking with each other. Each was occupied with his own thoughts.
Ikem’s thoughts were whirling around his mind. So, who is lying? He thought. She claimed to be at work all day and Donald claimed he saw her having a drink with another man. Who is lying? I better get to the bottom of this, and fast.
Ugochi stared at the ceiling as the thoughts chased each other in her head. What did he mean by all those questions? Did he know something? Could he have spotted me with Fredrick this evening? Is that the reason for his aggressive and strange behavior? I better get to the bottom of this, and fast.
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