Not An African Girlfriend - II



                                                            Not An African Girlfriend - II

When I got Sola’s message the next morning, I felt all warm inside. I felt lucky to be loved in such a unique way.

I felt fortunate because here was Sola, telling me the very thing I had struggled with at the Adepojus was a concern women in their family didn't have to deal with.

Secondly, I felt lucky because I thought Sola was a sweet guy. He had the right words for every mood and occasion. He knew how to make me feel secure and safe.

Little did I know, Sola was a worse devil. His demon just needed a playground.

I giggled to myself a thousand times and imagined our wedding day. I remembered that I had planned our home right from my hospital bed and chosen interior colors.

I had everything planned out. I even mapped out what meals to eat on what day. Not like I would have to cook them anyway, since the preparation would be up to Sola and the eating would be up to me. He could even hire help for us.

I chuckled again, readjusted my head on my pillow, and let my mind wander into the future ahead of me. In one of my daydreams, I saw Sola and me splashing water on each other with water guns in our large garden.

I aimed my blue water gun at him and shouted, "Watch your head!" I imagined it was too late as the water splashed on his face and made him tumble into a small muddy pool in the garden.

I shrieked in excitement as he lurched forward and grabbed me. It was an exhilarating moment as I looked into his eyes and saw everything I had ever wished for.

I read the message again and felt truly at peace. This was home. Sola was home.

I was soon discharged from the hospital. I healed faster from Sola’s love and doting than from the medications prescribed by the medical team.

As soon as I left my sick bed, I announced my breakup with Tomiwa to my parents. While my father and sister were happy about the news, my mother was worried about my mental health.

She suggested booking a therapy session with a psychologist, but I turned it down, telling her I had the best therapist in the world.

While we discussed Tomiwa during my announcement, my father said he was happy because the boy treated me like I was unloved at home.

“Daddy, don't worry,” I said with my best smile. “Your real son-in-law is coming home.”

I saw their confusion. “Real son-in-law?” my parents chorused.

I struggled to hide my blush as I sat forward on the sofa. “Yes,” I said gently.

“Even though Tomiwa and his family behaved like the wicked people they are, luck is shining on me again.”

My parents didn’t think it was a good idea for me to be loving another guy this soon, but I was convinced Sola was the one for me. I refused to listen to every voice of reason, and before sleeping that night, I sent Sola a text message that read, Sola, all my years of suffering are gone. Your arms are home forever. Sola, thank you for blowing my sufferings away with utmost tenderness. My eyes well up in tears whenever I think about you. You are my best blessing from above and I love you wholeheartedly.”  I snuggled into my bed and dreamt again.

The first three months I dated Sola were the best of my life in years. Sola was proud to show me off, especially to his friends. He would take me to whatever gatherings they had, and those ones would say, “Sola is so lucky to be with a woman like you.” Those words made me extremely happy, so whenever Sola was hanging out with his friends, I would beg him to take me.

I liked being around them because they treated me in a special way I can’t exactly describe.

Besides showing me off, Sola would buy me gifts and send beautiful text messages. He knew how much I loved them. One of my favorites from him remains, “Sunshine when I found you, I knew I struck gold. I couldn’t let you go because no sane person would walk away from beauty. You are not only beautiful, you are insanely gorgeous. You have completed me and made my dreams come true. Having you exemplifies that there is no dream beyond reach. Nothing is sure in this world, but one thing I am assured of right now is that I love you.

All of this continued until the fifth month when he began to misbehave. It started with him refusing to invite me to gatherings with his friends.

Sola would make up silly excuses as to why I wasn’t invited. Sometimes, he would say his friends wanted him to come alone, and at other times, he would tell me that the party or gathering wasn't one I would fit into.

The excuses kept piling up, but I didn't mind. He still sent me those lovely text messages as usual, and he continued to kiss my forehead, making me giggle like a child.

In addition to pestering him to invite me back to gatherings with his friends, I also wanted to meet his parents or at least his siblings. He rarely talked about them with me. He wouldn't even let me visit his house; instead, we would meet in a public place or at one of his friend's houses.

Sola wouldn't even tell me how many siblings he had. All I knew was that he had a mom who worked as a stylist, a prominent one at that, and I was eager to meet her.

“Sola, I really want to meet your sisters and brothers,” I would whine into his ears.

“Soon. When the time is right, you'll meet all of them,” he would whisper in response.

But this would only reassure me for a little while, and before long, I would resume my pestering. It was like a never-ending cycle. I'd complain and throw tantrums, and he would buy me a gift or send a text reminding me of how I was his sunshine.

My heart and soul were truly at peace with Sola. I attributed all my radiance to the peace he brought into my life. If anyone complimented my hearty laughter, I would say, “Thank Sola for that.” When anyone commented on my genuine smile, I would reply, “Sola made it happen.”

He was my world, and everything in my life revolved around him. Even though my parents were doing all they could to ensure I didn't have a mental breakdown and were trying their very best for me, I saw their care through the lens of Sola.

Life didn't just seem beautiful; I found beauty in everything. I laughed more, smiled more, and danced more. I imagined myself as a beautiful flower opening up at the break of day, basking in the admiring gaze of the sun. I had a spring in my step and slept soundly whenever I needed to. My heart was content, and I was truly happy.

I had no idea that darkness was lurking just around the corner. Little did I know that the spark in my eyes was about to dim, and my laughter would soon fade away. I was completely unaware.

On one of the days when I was eager to be reinvited into Sola’s circle, I started throwing my usual tantrum. Sola tried to dissuade me by saying it wasn't an event I would fit into, and there would be another time, but I wouldn't hear any of it. I stood my ground and insisted on attending the event with him.

When he wouldn't budge, I refused to speak to him for days. All his attempts to communicate with me ended in failure, so he finally decided to let me come along to one of his friend's birthday parties. If I had known how that would impact my relationship with Sola, I would have stayed in my father's house.

I had a sense of foreboding the moment Dayo, one of Sola’s friends, opened the door to let us into the party. Unlike previous times when he would be delighted to see me, he just smiled blandly and ushered us in.

As Sola and I approached his other friends and the birthday celebrant, I did so with my brightest smile, but the reception I received indicated they were not pleased to have me there. I felt genuinely bothered and wondered what was wrong.

Throughout the party, none of Sola’s friends paid any attention to me. None of them acknowledged Sola as they used to do months ago when they knew I was his girlfriend. It became clear that this wasn't a party I could fit into. I began to wonder why I didn't believe Sola and why I had pushed him to bring me to the party.

There were other ladies at the party, but they seemed to have a clique and were uninterested in talking to me. I grew extremely bored as Sola was constantly laughing and chatting with his friends. I would glance at my phone and occasionally observe the people around me, aside from nibbling on the plate of small appetizers placed in front of me. I deeply regretted attending the party.

Soon, it was time to head home. As Sola and I walked out, I noticed the guys whispering into his ears while he held my hand. I wasn't particularly interested, assuming it was just guys' talk. However, I couldn't help but observe that Sola didn't respond verbally to their whispers; he only nodded or smiled. Once again, I wondered what was going on, especially as they didn't even acknowledge my presence. While the last guy was whispering, I overheard him ask Sola 'why' about something. The words were faint, but I distinctly heard it. In response, Sola simply smiled.

We climbed into the Uber ride we had ordered, and I rested my head on his shoulder. He was busy with his phone, but I didn't care about what had captured his attention. I just wanted to make up for the time we couldn't spend together at the party. However, I happened to open my eyes at the right moment and saw a WhatsApp message pop up. It was from Tolu, one of his friends from the party, and it read, "Why are you still with her?"

I closed my eyes abruptly, my mind racing with questions about who "her" could be. I attempted to stay perfectly still, only peeking slightly to see Sola typing, 'But I can't just dump her like that.'

A wave of shock surged through my entire body, and I struggled to maintain composure. My head started to spin, and countless questions flooded my thoughts. However, I felt compelled to see this through to the end. So, I opened my eyes and sat up. 

"Sola, who are you talking about?" I asked quietly. I didn't want to be quiet but I had lost my voice. 

I saw how uncomfortable my question made him and I got even more distressed. He looked like he was about to cry and this made my stomach rumble.

I ordered the Uber driver to stop and told him I wasn't going to continue the trip until he told me who he was dumping. I hoped Sola would tell me he had been cheating on me all the while. 

I was preparing my nerves for the anger that would hit it and the speech I would give to lash out at him for his betrayal but what he told sent me to heaven and back.

Sola said, "You see, Adetutu, it has all been a joke." He moved back on the seat and wedged his hands between us.

"What has been a joke?" I dared to ask as I was about to collapse into unconsciousness.

"Us, Adetutu. Us," he repeated. "Our relationship has simply been a joke."

"I do not love you as I claim. Our relationship started because I staked a bet with my friends that I was going to get you and date you for at least three months." 

"They dared me to do it and I did it after we met you and your ex, Tomiwa at a party and you both were acting like nothing could separate you two."

"I was at the party that night and I told them I would not only date you but I would make you fall hopelessly in love with me."

"We staked N500,000 for this and I told them you would be completely mine in three months."

 "This why I couldn't keep taking you to our gatherings. They are surprised we are still dating. They thought the game plan would have ended in the third month. This was why Dayo particularly was surprised to see you."

"This was why none of them played with you the way they used to and this was why you never met any of my relatives."

"I deliberately became close to you while you were dating Tomiwa so I could access your vulnerability. I became your best friend and boyfriend for this reason."

"I am so sorry, Adetutu. It was all a game plan. Tomiwa actually loved you better than I do..."

These were the last words I heard from Sola before I woke up on another hospital bed three days later.

The end. 


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