WHAT LIES BENEATH
By AMAH’S HEART.
I tried calling her line again for the second time and this time around she finally picked up.
“Hey Ezi…how are you?
“I’m alright… and you?
I was quiet for few seconds thinking if to tell her the truth or not.
“I’m not really ok but… is not something to worry over. I have time tomorrow, will you like to come around?…so we can talk…”
“Tomorrow is Monday… aren’t you going to work? She asked with no concerned tone in her voice.
“Ezi, Like I said earlier…I don’t feel too good. I will be taking some days off work to get back myself.
I can hear her long g@sped from the phone before she finally replied.
“Alright…I will come around in the morning…
I waited hoping she will say something else but she didn’t.
“Alright then… Goodnight. I love you Ezi…”
I added the last part hoping to get a reply but all she said was.
“, Okay…I have heard you”
Woah, her reply baffles me. She even used to be the first to say that before and I will reply.
I sometimes say it and get a very quick reply from her but now all she threw back at me was “okay….I have heard you”
“Ezi…is someone there with you?
I asked her because I did not understand her reply except somebody was there and she was either shy to say it or afraid.
“No… nobody is here. I’m alone… why did you ask?
“Because I said that i love you and you rep….
She quickly interrupted me before I will finish my line.
“I know what I replied because that is what I feel like saying. I have to go now, my battery is almost flat. I will see you tomorrow Austin… Goodnight…”
She ended the call.
I held my phone in my hand staring at it for close to five minutes.
The ice block, wrapped in a clean pieces which I was using on my face was already gushing out water.
I walked back to the fridge, got another ice wrapped up and continue m@ssaging my face with it.
Alisha and her cohorts must be having a drink together fun moments with my name in their mouths.
I will be the major topic of their discussion.
I flashed back again to everything that happened that evening.
Alisha’s boyfriend, Dauda like she called his name was trying to scare me off with his men.
I wasn’t moved one bit. I had to wear a thick skin and show them that I wasn’t going to let them break me no matter how they try.
He stupidly asked me of my net worth, how much money I got, how many cars, houses or @sset that will make me to think of competiting with him over his girlfriend.
He said I was a nobody and he does not ever want to see me close to his woman ever again.
I remember him holding Alisha’s arm and drawing her to himself while asking
“Baby are you okay… what are you even doing with him. I said I was sorry and kept pleading but you try to move on…with this guy that his total money is not upto my shoe closet. I have missed you honey. Hope he didn’t hurt you in anyway”?
The stupid spoilt brat called Alisha wrapped her arms around him and said.
“He almost deceived me… thanks to Stef Barbie for exposing the kind of man he was. I don’t even know what is special about him… or the reason I was moving with him. Dauda, You are far better off than him and I have really miss you too. I will tell you a whole lot of things tonight…
The Dauda said something like a praise in hausa and held her more closer.
Alisha looked at me angrily and began saying.
“…he slept with Stef Barbie, recorded her and forward to the police. He is an imposter, a liar and pig. The slaps Stef Barbie gave him is small compared to what I could have done if I was in Stef’s shoe. I feel so bad and disgusted right now for letting him close to me…
Stefanie suddenly gave me another h@rd hit close to my eyes.
Maybe she was energised from what Alisha said.
I held onto my face as the pain traveled round my body.
She deliberately position her ring properly before hitting me
After which she began to rant.
“You coward, cat got your tongue… you can’t talk again. You can also take this to the police… tell them you got into my private space and I did this to you. Don’t forget to bring them over to arrest me…I will be ready and waiting. You’re just unfortunate being, you’re not upto the standard of men that I have dealt with in the past. The same trap you set for me caught you and threw you off guard…. look at where you landed, inside my cooking pot… hahaha. You’re Lucky that today is a good day, I would have mess you up big time so that when next you hear of Stef… you will run without looking back. Rubbish…
She walked back to the party hall with Alisha’s sisters
Dauda asked his men to throw me out and that was what they did.
I flashed back to how it all happened. I shaked my head sadly as i continued m@ssaging my face.
One of my eyes was so swollen before I got home.
I managed to drive home amidst headache and heaviness in my heart.
The only one I kept thinking off was Eziaku. Her thought gave me hope and strength.
I wish she could even come over tonight.
I felt battered and needed somebody to talk to.
I called her and at the end she couldn’t even reply my “I love you”
Nothin else surprises me.
No woman has ever taken me off guard except Eziaku maybe.
I don’t know how I fell in love with her back then. I never wanted to not after what Oby did to me.
And at the end of the day I was still hurt by her rejection.
I suffered emotional breakdown for days turned weeks.
Thanks to Stella for helping me get back on my feet during then.
I moved on only for her to resurface. I started again hoping it will be something beautiful and she pushed me off by her refusal for me to get intimate with her.
No tangible reason.
She allowed me to klzz her, she responded to some extent until I wanted more and off she goes again, spicing it up with her saucy sharp tongue.
I still love her, I hate myself for getting involved with Alisha. I will tell her about it tomorrow
I will confess all about Alisha’s intimate affair and ask for her forgiveness. I will be guilt free and start another phase with her.
I hope she forgives me.
I was really tired as I went to bed that night. I did not even have appetite for food at all.
Within the night I had serious headache.
My head kept echoing, I had to look for pain reliever to take.
The medicine didn’t do much but I managed to sleep until the following day.
The swollen eye became obvious.
It could have been worst but all thanks to the ice I used last night.
I freshened up, quickly drive to a pharmacy and got some penicillin with some other drugs.
I got back, fixed a quick breakfast before taking the drugs.
I made calls to the office to inform them that i won’t be coming.
I felt sleepy around 11am and dozed off on the sitting room couch.
I woke up around 2pm and felt a little bit better.
Eziaku was still not around after saying she will come over today, she will come in the morning precisely.
Is already 2pm and no sign of her .
I called the office to know if there was any important update.
Angela informed me that there was none and if any comes up she will call to inform me.
She also mentioned that she can handle majority of the things and I shouldn’t worry over anything.
I try calling Eziaku but she kept busying my line.
I went into the kitchen to fix a quick lunch. I made pasta with sause and ate.
I was retiring back to the sitting room after clearing the kitchen when I heard a knock on the door.
I stood and went over to open and it was Eziaku.
“Hey… Ezi. I thought you’re not coming again?
I said happy to see her and while ushering her into the house.
“Sorry, I was busy with some all other important things. But I’m here now. How’s your health?
Does she really care, because if she does Eziaku would have been here in the morning like she told me.
I would leave everything aside to attend to her health first if the table was turned.
She was coming almost 4pm. Never called or texted to know how I was doing within the day.
“I’m getting better” I replied back.
She looked at me closely as we sat opposite each other.
“What happened to your face?
There was no sign of true care in her voice.
I answered anyway because i still owe her the truth
“Is a long story Ezi, but I will tell you everything….
I breathed deeply at first before I continued.
“…promise me that you won’t be mad at me please….
She nodded without saying anything.
She have every right to be mad but I only wish it won’t cause further problem between us.
“…. before I start, do you wish to eat anything…or maybe drink…? Let me fix you something to eat…
“, I’m not hungry. I didn’t come here for food or drink… just to check up on you and go back to my place…”
Her harsh tone was like a stone thrown to my heart.
“,Did I do something wrong Ezi, you’re acting all harsh with me. I know…i haven’t been giving you a listening ear or paying much attention but you wouldn’t blame me… Or let me say I wasn’t stable as of then. I’m sorry… very sorry. Please don’t be mad at me….I need you and I truly miss you Ezi. You’re very important to me and that was the reason I called you first yesterday as I got home…I…
She stood up interrupting me.
She went to the fridge, poured herself a cup of juice and returned back with it.
“I’m not angry Austin. Go ahead and tell me what you were about telling me…. concerning your swollen eyes.
I swallowed h@rd before I continued.
I began stuttering. I kept thinking of a better way to say it so it wouldn’t sound offensive to her ears.
My heart beat was beating fast as I bent my face to avoid looking at her eyes.
“You slept with…. what? Another woman…?
I looked up and couldn’t decipher anything from her look.
“…. okay continue. You slept with another woman and then what happened… she beat you up and gave you a black eye?
What is going on with Eziaku. This wasn’t what I was expecting from her.
She drank deeply from her juice and looked up at me. Urging me to continue and stop staring at her like a ghost.
“Well…yes and no…not exactly. The lady I got intimate with was related to Stefanie… your former boss. I never knew until yesterday when I got to the party that I was invited to, only for Stefanie to resurface and she was the one that did this to me. She lied that I slept with her and also want to sleep with her cousin which I…
She interrupted again.
“, She is right. Or didn’t you have s£× with stefa or whatever her name is….? She did this to you and after your s£nses came back you remembered me and that’s why you called me right? If this did not happen…I think you would have moved on with the Stef relative that you slept with and leave me to my fate…
I try to apologise but it appears she was prepared for me and wouldn’t let me talk.
“…I also have a bad news for you Austin. I slept with someone too and it was good. I enjoyed it more than I ever imagined.
I stared at her puzzled and she stare back daring me to talk so that she will fire back with her own words.
“Ezi…I don’t understand you? Who did you got intimate with…
I try not to sound angry. I was boiling inside but I acted composed.
“Is none of your business Austin. All that matters is that we both did it. You had your fun and I had mine…
I blinked severally trying h@rd to digest it all.
“Ezi, is that why your number have been busy? Recently, Like almost everytime I try to call, you are either on phone with somebody or you don’t answer my calls. Is it the guy that you’re always on phone with?
“I said is no more your business and you shouldn’t worry who I speak to on phone and who I don’t. I’m not married to you… stop acting like a dictator to me…
I bit my l!ps h@rd trying to suppress my emotions.
“Alright…is okay. I didn’t call you over here for a fight. I only wanted us to sort things out…I wasn’t expecting any of this Ezi. I said that I’m sorry… I’m sincerely sorry for everything…
“You’re only sorry because Stef and the lady you went having s£× with gave you a black eye. You are not sorry because you really want to be. You don’t seem to have a choice than to say those words. Anyway… I’m equally sorry. I comfortably got entangled in the arm of another. I got lots of love from him and not a black eye. He caressed me, held me to himself, klzzed me like you never did and made love to m..
“Stop… stop it Ezi…” I screamed at her.
I couldn’t keep my cool anymore.
“…stop this madness. What has come over you? Tell me… what has gotten into you…
I wasn’t expecting an answer because I was still talking but she replied.
“Austin nothin… did anything get into you when you were busy sleeping with other ladies…?
She was obviously getting all ready for me too.
She was indeed prepared for a fight no doubt about that.
“I begged to touch you Ezi but you pushed me away… I’m shocked to learn that you slept with another man. I don’t know how to react to that.
“Then don’t react at all. Do you remember that I later offered myself to you, I told you how important it all means to me but instead you made me feel cheap and turned your back on me. I tried, I pleaded just to make things work out, have a talk with you and explain myself clearly, I wanted us to understand each other but no, you refused and wouldn’t even pick my calls or reply my messages. You couldn’t even look at me like you used to, yet you claimed to love me. I’m not fooled…I will not be your second choice. I have a choice of my own… and since you shunned me off…I have also bulshit you.
I was quiet, I have had enough headache and wouldn’t want to add another to it.
I couldn’t talk as I kept staring at her.
Since she came in for a fight, I wasn’t ready for that.
Is better to let her rant. she refused hearing me out.
How could she even sleep with another man and rub it on my face.
No sign of remorse or emotions.
Deep down, I don’t know why I felt she was lying to me.
What if she was actually saying the truth.
She became quiet too. Only our breathing can be h@rd since the television was on soundless.
I bit my l!ps again, my emotions was just about to get the best of me in front of Eziaku.
I can’t break down now. I need to be strong even though is quiet obvious that I have losed her.
I looked down at my palm, trying to count the lines in it. I was just trying h@rd to get distracted from my raging heart.
She did not utter a word either, I did not look at her too as my head remains bent.
I feel like a big failure when it comes to relationship.
I’m a failure and there is no better feeling like what I feel now.
“, Can I go… since you don’t have something else to say?
She asked while still sitting.
With my head bent, I nodded.
She was free to leave, free to go back to her man.
Free to do as she please. She owes me nothing like she already made it clear.
she remained seated.
I wondered why she was still sitting.
I breathed in and out severally just to steady myself and be able to talk without breaking down.
“You’re free to leave Ezi…”
I said very calmly and calculated
Let her go so that I can have time to s√¢k over my internal and external wound in peace
“Isn’t it what you always do? Asking me to leave your house every time we have misunderstanding…
I didn’t reply. I’m not in for another round of word with her.
Her phone rang, i looked up at her.
She began to smile.
I can see she enjoys tormenting me.
she picked up her phone and went over to the kitchen area to answer.
I thought of following her but another part of me wanted her to be.
I couldn’t sit still.
I walked over to the kitchen side. She ended the call before I will get to hear anything.
“Who are you speaking to…”
I asked feeling betrayed.
She opened her eyes wide and with an annoying expression on her face said while looking straight into my eyes.
“,Is none of your business but if you’re too eager to know then is my new man. The one I made out with the other day….
I breathed deeply, scratched my beard roughly.
“Let me see your phone?
I don’t even know what i was doing anymore. I felt so hurt that holding myself from breaking down in front of her was the only dignity left in me.
“For what… Why will you want to see my phone. Please, leave the way let me p@ss…
I grabbed her hand trying to take the phone from her but she kept struggling with me.
“If anything happens to my phone you will buy a new one for me.. Leave me alone Austin… you’re hurting my hand. You cheat freely but can’t take the same when is done to you. Leave me alone… you will never have my phone..
Just when I was about to collect it, she bite my hand, grabbed her phone and smashed it on the wall.
I pushed her off angrily to walk p@ss.
I was very angry this time around and couldn’t hide it.
My head was pounding heavily.
I was not thinking at all.
She fell to the ground and began to cry loudly.
I held onto the dining chair from falling, as my head hurt real bad.
I went to where she fell and try to lift her up.
“Stay away from me… don’t touch me Austin. Don’t come close to me… aside being a cheat you’re also a woman beater..
God of heavens! How could she say that? I have never laid a f!ng£r on a woman before.
No matter how I’m treated or beaten I have never retaliated back to any lady.
I will rather walk away.
How could she tag me a “woman beater”?
I only pushed her and it was not intentional.
“I’m sorry Ezi… please stop doing this to me. Stop hurting my feelings…I love you. I truly do… I’m tired of this whole thing. I don’t want to loose you Ezi…I can’t bear the thought of you with another man. I’m broken inside… please…. I’m begging you….”
“stay away from me… you are going to buy me a new phone for destroying this one. You’re just like every other ill mannered men out there… cheating and physical hurting their women…
She said standing up from the floor and wiping her eyes.
“Jesus Christ… Ezi. How can you say that…? I never raise a hand on any woman before and I don’t go sleeping with anything in skirt like you ones said. I made a mistake… maybe with few women. I regret it all… I’m not proud of any of that. But what about you… you slept with another man… where you doing that to hurt me or you truly loves this man. Don’t you love me… at all… Ezi answer me…?
She walked to where she smashed her phone, removed her Sim card and went over to her hand bag.
She put her hand bag on her shoulder and started walking towards the door.
I stood at the door preventing her from leaving.
She asked me to leave the way but I refused.
I try to touch her but she took a step back
“I’m going to buy a new phone for you. I will do anything… anything you want Ezi please don’t leave. Is this new guy better off than me… what is he offering you, what did you see in him. Ezi… listen… listen to me first… I’m going to be committed to only you, I’m ready for your terms. No s£×, no klzzing, no clos£ness at all… is fine by me…I will abide. Please… don’….
She pushed me off aggressively.
I moved away from the door as she opened and walked out.
I sat h@rd on the floor holding my head in my hand.
I need a dose of pain reliever.
My head is about to explode.
Eziaku was gone. She belongs to another. I loosed her again.
At the end I’m left alone to nurse my heart and held on tight without breaking down because I’m supposed to be a man.
I’m a total failure.
“Women… women… I’m done.
I muttered to myself.
“…She left… she left me… Eziaku is gone. Why is life so unfair? why am I very unfortunate with women. I’m just tired God… I’m tired and helpless… please help me…
I sat there on the floor whispering to myself and holding my head in my hand.
What lies beneath Episode 36
WHAT LIES BENEATH