Written by Evi Idoghor
I drove down to Fisayo's apartment the next morning. He answered the door when I knocked. “Can I come in?” I asked, “sure.” As we sat down, I began pleading with him to take me back. “Fisayo, I promise, I am going to change. I wouldn’t tell my friends about our relationship anymore, I promise to be a better girlfriend, please take me back.”
Fisayo looked at me sternly and said, “I don’t think you are going to change.” I knelt in front of him and pleaded more, “please take me back, you are the only good thing I have going for myself. I cannot imagine my life without you.” “I have many bitches, and I don’t know which one to choose. You are making it difficult for me.” He said.
Bitches? Hey God, I don suffer! I thought. Still, I wished for him to pick me, to choose me, to make me his own forever. After two weeks of cajoling him, he agreed for us to get back together for a second time. This time around I warned Stacey, “don’t call or text me whenever I am with him, I don’t want wahala.” She replied, “it seems like you are afraid of him.” “I am not afraid; I don’t just want unnecessary wahala.”
We went out to dinner with our friends one night, and all of the girls were there, including Lola. She was usually unavailable for our regular hangouts, but she was present this time. I said to Ada who sat next to me, “Lola is looking good oh, have you noticed that she has started dressing up, and even wearing lipstick?” “Yes, oh,” Ada said. Then I said to Lola, “you are looking good, your lipstick is even matching mine, is it from Mac?”
Her face widened with a smile, “yes.” She replied. That night, we had a lot of interesting conversations and laughed a lot. Lola seemed a little shy and would only speak when spoken to, which was odd, but we had a great time. We said our goodbyes after dinner, and Fisayo drove me back home.
My friend came to visit with her children and husband from Nigeria. They were arriving in Houston and had requested that I pick them up. They had also arranged for a rental car, which Fisayo and I picked up before leaving town. Fisayo and I had deep conversations like we had never had before during that three-hour drive. We discussed our future plans and what our life together might look like. I was relieved because things were starting to look up for Fisayo and me.
When we arrived in Houston, we stopped at my friend Ngozi's house. She came running out to greet us. While we waited for my other friend and her family to arrive, she prepared breakfast for us. Ngozi and Fisayo bonded over a variety of topics, so much so that after we left her house, he told me that she was his favorite of all my friends. We returned to Lafayette after picking up my friend and her family. Lola arrived with the food that Eileen had prepared for us. Fisayo then wanted to go home, but I asked him to stay a little longer so that I could drop him off because his car was not at my apartment.
“Don’t worry, I would drop him off.” Lola offered, “since I have your car, it’s no big deal.” Lola had gotten into an accident the previous year where she totalled her car, and since I had a rental to take my friend and her family around, I asked her to keep my car in the meantime. “Are you sure it’s not going to be a bother?” I asked, with Fisayo, staring at both of us to make up our minds, “no, it’s not.” She said. So, I hugged Fisayo and they left.
We took my friend and her family to a water park a few days later. I had invited all of my friends to join me. Lola declined because she wasn't feeling well, but the rest of us, including Fisayo, went. We had an amazing time, if you exclude the times when he was upset with me because I refused to go on an adventurous ride. My fear of heights prevented me from going down the slide. When we got home, he chastised me for it. Fisayo would pick random fights with me and then disappear for hours or the night when he wouldn't answer his phone or respond to my texts.
One Wednesday evening, Ada called me to ask if I was going to church so she could catch a ride with me. "No, but Lola has my car, you can ask her to pick you up." Ada called me later that night and said, "Lola was complaining to me."
“About what?” I asked, “she said that she doesn’t understand why Fisayo keeps calling her for rides, that is it because she is with your car?”
“Hmmm…maybe, I will talk to him.”
“Wait, there is more.” This time, I was curious. “She kept asking me if you guys were still together.”
“Ahn, ahn, why is she asking?”
“Me, I don’t know oh,” Ada replied. “When she picked me up, and I started singing along with the song that was playing in the car, she said that you are a pretender.”
“Pretender ke? How?”
“Me sef, I shock, she said that your radio station is always on the Christian channel, and meanwhile you are busy having sex with Fisayo.”
I laughed. “Was she joking?”
“I can’t even say, well, just talk to Fisayo, I know they have gotten closer because of you, but that doesn’t mean he should be calling her for favors.”
“Okay, thanks for letting me know.”
I was surprised by the way Lola spoke about me, but I assumed she was upset because I had started having sex with Fisayo so early in our relationship. Just then, I called Fisayo and told him everything, and he said he wouldn't call her for rides again. They were Facebook friends, and I was always amused by their political banter, but I was uninterested in the subject and never participated in their discussions.
"Why don't we throw a party and invite all your friends?" My friend's husband suggested near the end of their visit. We in Lafayette never pass up an opportunity to have a good time, so I obliged. We prepared food, bought drinks, and distributed invitations. The night of the party, everyone descended on my apartment, and we had a great time dancing, eating, and talking. While I danced with Fisayo, I noticed Lola sitting by herself in a corner.
So, I left him and went to her saying, “Is anything the matter?” I asked with a concerned look on my face. She shrugged her shoulders saying, “no, I’m fine.” Just then, Ada pulled me to another corner of my living room, and said, “is everything okay with her?” she used her mouth to point in the direction of Lola, “she said she is fine oh.”
“Hmmm…I feel like she is giving me attitude. Even when I try to speak to her, she answers me in a dismissive manner.”
“Are you sure?”
“Well, don’t let that bother you, you know its Lola now, she always has a lot on her plate.” Then I left Ada to continue dancing with Fisayo.
We were back at my apartment a few days later when I asked Fisayo if he could drive my friend and her family back to Houston. He stated that he might have to work and made various excuses. I didn't want to drive down with them alone. We had the conversation in front of Lola, and she said, “don’t worry, I’d take you.” “No, Lola,” I replied, “Fisayo will take me,” and I turned to him to ask him again. He only agreed to take us if we agreed to return to Lafayette the same day. I tried to persuade him to spend the night in Houston, but he refused.
Fisayo was not his usual "joyous" self on our way back from Houston. So I could tell there was going to be a fight. And I started thinking about what could have made him so upset. “Did you complete the dosage of your antibiotics?” He asked in a cold tone. I took in a deep breath and said, “no, I did not.” “Why?” He raised his voice slightly. “Fisayo, I don’t have the STD, and I hate taking medicine, so what is the point?” In my mind, I wondered how he knew I hadn't finished the medication. My friend and her family had been with us for ten days, and there had been no mention of antibiotics until that car ride back home.
Then he said, “are you a baby? What do you mean by you hate taking medicine?” I didn’t mutter a word. “You are not going to be a bad mother!” My eyes widened, “if you don’t know how to take care of yourself, how are you going to take care of children? It’s decisions like these you make, that has made me not to take serious steps towards our relationship!”
I thought – my mother hated taking pills, she was the type who will hide the pill in eba, roll it up, dip it in soup, then swallow. However, when it came to her children, she ensured that we took our medication when we were ill, there was no escaping it. So, if my mother, who despised pills, was a wonderful mother, why wouldn't I strive to be the same? As the thoughts ran through my mind, he continued, “you are lazy, you don’t work out, it’s only Stacey and Lola that look like they work out. You are dumb, you don’t read books, I don’t know what else to do with you.”
As he continued to heap insults on me, I put my head down and fell asleep. I was too exhausted to cry. It was as if I had become immune to his abusive words, and it wasn't even worth crying about them at times. We arrived at my apartment when he woke me up. He then said he had to go home that night – it was about midnight.
“Why don’t you stay the night, its already late.” “No, I have to go, I might be on the schedule to work in the morning.” He drove away with the rental car, promising to return it the next day. He arrived at my house around 9 a.m. the next morning, wearing the same clothes and with stale breath. I had the impression he hadn't gone home, but had instead spent the night nearby.
Another weekend found me unwinding at Fisayo's place. Chinedu, my ex, texted me that afternoon, saying he wanted to stop by my apartment on his way home from work to watch the Premier League. Chinedu lived in Houston and worked in Louisiana for extended periods of time. I pranced to the living room to show Fisayo the text while I replied that I was unavailable.
"Can you imagine Chinedu said he wants to watch soccer at my house.”
“What? Why is he still texting you?”
“I haven’t spoken to Chinedu in a while, this was just a random text.”
“How am I supposed to believe you,” he sat up in his chair, “how am I meant to trust you that all those times that you go to Houston, that you are not messing around with him?"
We had a fight that day, and I stormed back into his bedroom, leaving him in the living room. Then I heard him on the phone with a female. For me to hear her voice, the phone had to be on speaker. My heart began to race. This was not the first time I had noticed signs that he entertained other women. I'd leave town and come back to find strands of blonde hair on his bed and condom wrappers in his trash. Nonetheless, I prayed to God to transform Fisayo into a godly man, neglecting the part that I was playing as a Christian in fornicating with him – after all, it took two in this dance of tango.
Catch up with previous parts below:
Twists and Thorns is a retelling of my first short story series published on this platform five years ago. On the 5th anniversary of this blog, I have decided to bring back story telling. Two parts will be published weekly in keeping with the video story series I will publish on Instagram. Buckle up, its going to be a great ride! I hope you enjoy this series.
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