JOELLA I

For two good weeks Joella have been trying to stay normal, to not wear her grief on her sleeves but you don’t need to be a prophet to know all is not well with her. All she did in 14 days was to drive to work, eat and sleep. Of course endless thoughts, work, sobs and tears filled the blank spaces between these activities. Her makeup kit appears to be gathering dust on the dressing table and her hair is in a sorry state by her standard. Since she urgently took out all the hair extensions, swept the wiry mass of hair to the back of her head and woven the ends into a knot, all she did was to brush defiant hair strands that had escaped from the knot backwards with her hands for two weeks. Saturday of two weeks ago was the first time oxygen felt like poison to her lungs and sucking it in became such an arduous task for her nose. She woke up full, leveled but went to bed empty, hollow as if a hole has been dug at the core of the plain field of her soul with all the scooped sand blown away by the wind.

Bamidele has actually visited her apartment several times but when the time for him to really follow her home to prostrate before her parents and ask for their blessings seems closer than before, he failed. He wilted when it mattered most, he’s just like a well that is always filled with water during the raining season but dries up immediately the air becomes dryer and harmattan strolls in. Of what use is such a well? As if he had been blind all along, as if he was under a spell when he went down on his left knee, held up a silver-platted ring and asked with pleading eyes that she should be the mother of his children yet unborn. The engagement was the icing on the cake of her very successful year. He asked her to marry him at her company’s annual banquet, the fact that he walked in the exact time she was going back to her seat after accepting the award for the most promising employee of the year made it all dramatic. It was like Dele to do romantic things like that and go all the way to make her loosen up in ways she never thought she could. As much as she hated mixing romance with work, she couldn’t help herself that night. She kissed tongue-kissed him for about a minute forgetting all the eyes that were on them and throughout the evening, neither her eyes nor her body left him for once. She made sure when she maintained contact with him, when she was not cooing in his ears, she held his hands, stroking the inside of his palm with her fingers. At other times, she rested her body on him or just threw her arms carelessly over his shoulders. It was by far her most memorable night ever. That was until the Saturday of two weeks ago when she got this mail from Bamidele who was supposed to be in Abuja on a business trip.

joella

My Dear Joella,
I was in Abuja but now in South Africa, I landed in Johannesburg yesterday evening and it appears I will be staying here for quite a while. I’m not ready to be husband yet neither am I ready to be a father. I’m afraid I’m not yet the kind of man i should and will like to be. I don’t think a man who does not have himself figured out needs a helpmeet Joella.
I have decided to embark on a journey of soul searching, i will go alone as any weight or entanglement of any kind can make this journey futile. The best and wisest thing to do is to prevent conception; an abortion can be a complicated mess. You are the smartest woman I’ve ever known but I will be deceiving you, our families and most importantly I will be deceiving myself if I should continue with this relationship. You deserve much better than me and I wish you all the best from the bottom of my heart.
I am so sorry, deeply sorry but i want you to understand that this is not an easy decision for me to make but I have counted it as one of those bitter pills a man must stomach to make things right. I want you to stay strong, I have known you to be a very strong woman and I will surely be drawing from the memory of your strength whenever my thoughts and emotions wants to overwhelm me.
Take care, I really do care.

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