Written by Evi Idoghor
When he said he was going to hang out with friends, it was Lola he was spending time with. He picked random fights with me just so he could leave me and go around town with her. He complimented her body in front of my family because he knew what she looked like behind closed doors. When talked about her friends, it was because he was spending a lot of time with them.
When I felt like someone was attempting to assassinate my character, it was because someone was. I gave too much of myself to that relationship and my friendships, and it landed me in a pit.
She couldn't stand seeing Fisayo and me together, so she skipped the wedding. No wonder she wasn't her usual cheerful self at the party my friend's husband threw for us, where Fisayo and I were dancing to the beat of our own drum. She began taking her time getting dressed and applying the same purple lipstick I had. No wonder she refused to accompany us to the water park. She was the reason why Fisayo asked me those funny questions about my body count. She just wanted to smear my reputation so badly that Fisayo would leave me for her. Related story: Twists and Thorns 7
Fisayo ran up my stairs and knelt before me as the thoughts raced through my mind. He began pleading, "Please forgive me, I am sorry, there is no excuse for what I did." We both stood up and went into my apartment after he burst into tears. I wiped my tears away and sat down. Then I said, "Show me the messages you and Lola have been exchanging on Facebook." He opened his laptop and showed me the messages. They both took turns insulting me. I was called: stupid, fat, lazy, wicked, and so on. He turned off the computer and said, "It's too bad, it's not good for you to keep reading it."
A few minutes passed, and then my door swung open. Eileen entered first and said to Fisayo, “get out!” He sprung up and left. Then Stacey entered, dragging Lola into my apartment, with Ada following behind them. I stared at all of them, I was confused for some seconds, and then I stood up and screamed, “What is Lola doing in my house?!? Lola should get out of my house!”
Ada immediately ran to my side to drag me into my room where I collapsed on the floor. “What did I do, what did I do?” I cried, “what did I do to them?” Ada held on to me while she fought back tears. I could hear Lola shout from the living room, “he deceived me! He said we were going to get married, he brainwashed me!” I came back to the living room, with Ada by my side, and then Eileen asked me, “do you want to throw away an eight-year friendship over a six-month relationship?”
“And what did Lola do? She threw out our friendship when she began sleeping with Fisayo. Then they wanted to show me the messages and videos that Fisayo and Lola were exchanging. I said, “did he rape her?” If he didn’t rape her, then there is no point.”
“Oya, all of you leave my house!” They held her and began pulling her from my apartment. “You are a fool for believing him!” Lola said as she was leaving my house, “Eh, thank you!” I replied.
The next day, I went to Ada’s apartment. She said, “e pain me say you pursue me from your house oh!” I laughed. “I was angry abeg." “I know, if na me, I no go even follow anybody talk.” I trust you; I replied laughing again. “I did not know what was happening," Ada continued. "Stacey called me, and asked me to follow them. Even after we left your house, Lola was asking me to come and spend the night at her place. I refused oh. This thing shock me well well.”
Ada did everything to make me feel better that day, as I grappled with the thought of breaking off things with Fisayo. After a few hours, Stacey called my phone. I answered. She said, “have you broken up with him?” “What do you mean?” I asked, “you better break up with him, and forgive Lola, unforgiveness is not a good thing to have.” I was angered by her remarks. “What do you mean forgive Lola?” She kept on trying to argue her case, and after I got off the phone, I broke down crying.
Immediately, Ada picked up her phone, and reprimanded Stacey. “How can you be putting pressure on her like that? Do you think it’s easy to get over that level of betrayal? What sort of forgiveness are you talking about? Now, everybody wants to act holier than thou, and preach forgiveness. Please, leave her alone.”
Ada was the only person I felt truly understood my anguish. I spent the majority of my time at her apartment, where she consoled me and cooked for me. Eileen and Stacey also offered their support, but because they wanted to be there for Lola, I was hesitant to accept it, so I distanced myself.
They were, however, the ones who prompted Lola to tell me the whole truth on the day that Fisayo and I went to her apartment. They went to see her after church and asked her about the situation; apparently, Fisayo had also gone to see her earlier in the day and begged her to lie to me when we arrived at her house.
My appetite, self-esteem, and zest for life all vanished. I wished desperately that someone would wake me up from this night terror. I turned into a shadow of myself. There were times when I thought about the situation and tears streamed down my cheeks. I sent Lola a message one day because I didn't want to deal with the reality of the situation, and I wanted to get out of there as soon as possible. “Hey, I forgive you. You are my friend, and I want us to put this behind us.” As she began typing her reply, I waited in anticipation for what she might say. Her response finally came back – “I don’t need your forgiveness.”
I was taken aback. After a few hours, I went to my friend Osas' apartment. She had been completely unaware of what was going on, and because she was closer to Lola than I was, I wanted to warn her about Lola's antics. “See what your friend did to me.” When I was done narrating the ordeal, she said, “I knew.” “What? You knew? And you did not tell me?”
“I am so sorry,” she pleaded. “The period when all of this was happening, Lola was a better friend to me than you were. So, I did not know how to tell you.”
I sat perfectly still. She was correct, we had our ups and downs during that season, there were times when we spoke and times when we minded our own business. She continued speaking. “I never saw them together, but she would always tell me when he was coming over. She even asked me to teach her how to make beans.” I sighed and shook my head.
“She was the one who made you guys come back from Houston that night. She threatened him that if you guys don’t come back, then she would tell you what was going on. She used that to hold him hostage on multiple occasions. There was a time she said, you told her you could not hang out with her anymore, because you were going to see him. She called him screaming that day, but he said, he wasn’t with you, and don’t know where you went.
“She will drive by your house sometimes, to see if your car is there, just to make sure you have not gone to visit him. She was the one who told him you did not finish your antibiotics. My jaw dropped. “But what surprised me the most was the manner in which she spoke about you.”
“How did she speak about me?” I asked, she paused as if she was trying to find the right words. “It was as if….it was as if she hated you.” My heart sank. What on earth did I ever do to Lola? I did not know which was more heart wrenching, the fact that Osas knew and didn’t alert me, or the revelation she just gave me. Yet, I still wanted to resolve whatever issues me and Lola had.
I sought help from my pastor's wife. I reasoned that if she could get both of us to sit down and act as some sort of mediator, everything would be fine. Aren't we supposed to forgive and try to solve our problems as Christians? My pastor's wife attempted to contact Lola, but she refused to speak with her. As such, I was the only one who attended that meeting. She was sympathetic to my situation, but she also delivered the harsh reality. “I can’t lie to you. You just ate the fruit of your actions. Don’t worry about Fisayo and Lola, honestly, if I was you, I will tell her to keep him.”
But she wasn't me, and I didn't want Lola to keep Fisayo. So, Fisayo began to flood my prayers. Draw him closer to you, God. God, change our situation, God, this, God, that. I'm sure God was sitting on his throne, shaking his head at me, because I remember going to church on Wednesday and hearing the pastor preach, "God is not going to bless your mess." That really hit home.
Going to church became torturous for me during the month of September. Lola was always in the congregation when I went to church. The pastor would be preaching, and her amen would be heard above all others. She jumped around the church during praise and worship, with no regard for the person she hurt. I couldn't believe someone could be so free after causing so much pain to others; how could she be so heartless?
Then I devised a strategy: I'd go for second service because she usually comes for first. Then I'll go to church, where Lola will be putting on her usual show. I'll change my plans, but I'll still see her. I was irritated. She'll walk right past me as if I didn't exist. She wouldn't even look at me; I was like a brick wall or a non-existent thing to her.
Fisayo, on the other hand, was attempting to contain the damage. He begged all of my friends to tell them his side of the story in an attempt to clear his name. We sat down one day as he argued his case. He tried to convince me that Lola was the one who made the first move, and that Lola was the one who told him all those vile things about me.
"She said you were a spoiled brat! It was as if… she hated you, when she spoke about you.” It was now glaring that Lola never had any regard for me. When Eileen and Stacey confronted her about the situation, she said to them that we were never friends. She was just my acquaintance. I chuckled. I realized at the point that whatever was going on with her was deeper than me.
I continued to try to make things work with Fisayo. He, on the other hand, showed no remorse. He would talk to me in a derogatory tone and use me whenever he felt like it. He was transferred to Orlando around that time. After he left, I went to Illinois to visit my cousin for a few weeks.
While away in Illinois, I tried to persuade him to let me visit him in Florida, but he refused. So, I took a step back. He then called me one day, screaming into the phone. He was upset because I had stopped paying attention to him. “You don’t want me to visit you in Florida, you don’t want to talk to me on the phone, you said you need space, what else do you want from me?”
I went off on him on the phone and hung up. My cousins ran to my side and calmed me down. Then one of them said, “leave this boy alone, he is not good for you. We are here for you, if you want me to go back to Lafayette with you, I will.” “You will?” I asked gleefully, “Yes now, anything for you.” Later that evening, I went to Facebook. As I was busy scrolling, I came across a notification – Fisayo and Lola are now friends.
This was following his blocking of her account in my presence. That was when I sat down and wrote a long message to him about how I truly felt about him and our relationship. I blocked his phone number, blocked him from my email, and blocked him from every social media platform without giving him a chance to respond.
Six months later, I received a WhatsApp message from an unknown number. When I opened it, it said, “hey, this is Fisayo, I am sorry for what I did to you. Please forgive me.” I replied to him, and deleted the message. Another few moths passed, and I received another message. “Hey, this is Fisayo, I am sorry about that stuff with Lola.” “I have heard you.” I replied. “So, how have you been?” I did not respond. He sent another message, “seriously?” I muttered; “this guy hasn’t changed.”
Catch up with previous parts below:
Click the link to watch the video series on Instagram
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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