‘What is your story? I want to know the truth behind the lies!’ kelechi said with a stern, no- nonsense look. Those eyes that used to show so much love now seemed to speak of so much hatred and disgust. Sweating profusely while weeping all over, I started stammering wondering where exactly to start from; the beginning was always best, i thought.
Back then, when we first met, I was in my second year in the university and I was staying with my aunt who was a single mother of three, living somewhere in the heart of Ajegunle.
I met Kelechi George on Facebook.
It began one Saturday morning with an inbox message which read- ‘Hi Sandra, my name is Kelechi George, a 27 year old first class graduate of economics. I work at Mobil as a manager. I would love to know more about you. Please, kindly inbox me your details as well as your BB pin. Thank you.’
Laughing mischievously, I thought he was just one of those ‘magas’, so I replied, using the same words I had so expertly memorised over the years.
‘Hi! It is a pleasure meeting you. I am Sandra Peters- a 20 year old first class graduate of accounting from a prestigious university- who lives at Ikeja. I work at Unilever plc. as an accountant. . . ‘ and other things followed up.
Few weeks later, we exchanged digits and then we got talking. He had a sexy rich baritone voice that got me captivated the very first time we spoke. #talk about falling in love after the first phone call#
After we spoke on phone for some time, he started demanding for a face- to- face meeting. Reluctantly, I agreed to a meeting at a restaurant because truly, a part of me really wanted to see what my potential maga looked like. That Saturday evening, dressed in one of the sexy dinner gowns Tina, my best friend lent me, I made to the restaurant and in no time, I spotted him sitting at the far end of the restaurant. He looked tall and thin as he sat straight with his legs crossed in front of him; I waltzed over to him and after the usual pleasantries, we got talking.
‘You look stunning.’
‘Thank you. You look fine too.’
Honestly, he looked cuter than fine. He had round brown eyes that seemed to fit expertly into his rectangular face, weird pointy nose and a chiseled chin that reminded me of one of my favourite cartoon characters. He spoke about his family in a way that made me green with envy; it was like they were all scattered all over the country. What if it is all a lie, I thought. After all, we met on Facebook- where everyone said anything just to get noticed! In no time, I began talking about my big non- existent wealthy family too- my parents who lived in the UK and myself- the only child who decided to stay up in Nigeria to catch fun. #if he thought he was the best liar, I was ready to show him a better one#.
Weeks after, he asked me out and I accepted. Though we didn’t see each other quite often, we spoke on phone every day, and the more we spoke, the more I fell in love with him.
Everything went on fine until the day he took me over to his parents’ house and introduced me as his wife. The instant we left their mansion at Ikoyi for his house at Ajah, I started fuming and shouting all over.
‘How could you Kelz? How could you?! What did you think you were doing over there? Introducing me as your wife? . . ‘
He just stood there with his two hands folded in front of him. His eyes seemed somewhat sad and misty, but I did not care because I was utterly pissed. I loved him but then, that did not mean I was ready to be his wife just yet. There was still so much left unsaid.
When I realised I was probably over- reacting, I mellowed down and took a seat. Seconds later, he came over to sit beside me, then he started.
‘I’m sorry Sandra. I know I should have asked you first but each time we speak, I see a part of you thinking I’m not for real, that’s why I took you to my parents house so you’d realise how serious I am about you. Truly, I never thought it would come to this but it has and I just have to live with it. I love you and I want you to be my wife.’
Wife? Marriage? I can’t!
My thoughts strayed to how it all began. How I thought he was just one of those lying magas! How I never knew he was going to become such a great part of my life! Where exactly would I begin? But I love him and if I marry him, he’d better the lot of my aunt and her children. What do I do now?
I took one quick look at his gorgeous irresistible face and the next second, I heard myself saying ‘I will!’ what I was thinking, I don’t know. But I hoped, one way or another I’d find a way out of my mess.
One Thursday afternoon, I was on my way to my last lecture for the day when Kelechi called.
‘Hi.’ he didn’t sound his normal self. I should have sensed something was wrong, but I did not.
‘Where are you? I need to see you babe!’
‘Um. . . I’m at work. What happened? You sound tensed.’
‘That’s great! There’s an emergency, darling! You know what? Meet me downstairs.’
At that moment, my heart started beating like it was going to fall out.
‘Downstairs where?’ I questioned confusedly.
‘At Unilever, Oregun road, where you work.’
‘um, um. . . I, I can’t leave now! My boss is around.’
‘But darl, it’s just for a few seconds! I really need . . ‘
Pissed out of my mind and scared of what would happen if he found out I was lying, I screamed at him.
‘I can’t see you now, don’t you get it?!’
There was a lull for some minutes before he finally spoke up again.
‘Look straight ahead San, what do you see?’
In a myriad of thoughts, I did as I was told, and there I saw him- Kelechi, holding his phone to his ear and staring at me as he walked towards me in strides that showed controlled vexation. I just stood there, shivering; I didn’t know whether to move towards him or just stay where I was.
‘I’m sorry! Kelechi, I can explain. . . I. . ‘
‘Step into the car . .’ he said, gesturing towards my magnum charger, the one he bought for me a week ago.
‘Where are we going?’ I asked, wallowing in fear and self- pity.
‘Your house’. He responded grimly without looking at me. My heart began to beat even faster. I wished the earth would just open up and swallow us both.
Where do I take him to now? That was the sad thing about telling lies! You had to tell more every time, to make sure you do not get caught; but in the end, you always get so caught up that you can’t escape. Telling more lies at this point of my life was needless, I thought. A lot was at stake at the moment already, my only choice was to open up.
‘What the hell are you waiting for?’ he asked impatiently, breaking through my sorry thoughts.
‘Nothing! Nothing!’ I replied, fidgeting with the key and gear. I was too in a mess to be composed, but composed enough to get us to my aunt’s place safely.
By the time we got there, I couldn’t miss the puzzled look on his face as he spoke.
‘Why the hell did you bring me to this slum. I asked you to take me to your house dammit!’
I shook with fear where I sat, wondering how to tell him that the mansion I earlier claimed to be my parents’ was Tinas and that this right here was my aunt’s. Eventually, I told him somehow.
He looked at me with disgust. ‘Who the hell are you Sandra?’
Tears streamed down my face in disgrace. I didn’t need a prophet to tell me it was Tina that decided to finish me off like this, neither did I need a prophet to tell me my chances with Kelz were as slim as none.
‘Sandra?! Damn! I don’t even know if you lied about your name too. ‘
‘No.’ I replied sadly.
‘My name is Sandra.’
‘How do I know that’s not another one of your many lies? Mscheew!’ he hissed.
I broke down into more tears at the thought of the fact that he’d never believe anything I said again.
‘I’m sorry Kelechi! Please, I am very sorry. . It was Tina that told me to do it. . Please!’
He looked at me with eyes filled with passion and anger. Which would prevail? I wondered.
‘I know I lied about everything, but my love for you is real. Please forgive me.’
He didn’t say he won’t forgive me, all he did say was that he needed a story- the truth behind the numerous lies I told him. There wasn’t much to it, the right words to say it were what failed me. How could I tell him that I was just a 2nd class upper, 200l, 18 year old orphan who lives with her aunt, a single mother of three kids? There wasn’t much to my story, I just wished I had told him the truth from the very beginning. .
As I knelt before him in apprehension, I watched him closely, trying to read through his thoughts. His eyes were filled with confusion and disappointment. He picked his phone from his pocket, and went to his browser like he meant to google what kind of punishment I deserved; then he typed in the familiar words- www.facebook.com.
I became even more scared. What exactly was he planning to do? In seconds, the browser took him to his homepage, then he clicked on his profile information and waited for it to load. It was at times like this that the network seemed to always cooperate, I thought angrily! He scrolled through his page in an unfamiliar manner, taking his time to read the little detail he had there.
I didn’t have to read along with him, as I already knew it all by heart. .
Birthday: 15th of June
Relationship: In a relationship with Sandra Peters
A man of little words, I thought to myself.
I watched him anxiously; wondering what next he was going to do, and why he decided to log in at that moment. . .
Almost immediately, he scrolled up a little, and clicked on Sandra Peters. I was scared. What is he up to? I asked myself.
He checked my info, saw my picture and smiled. Then he scrolled down a bit more and read every detail carefully again.
Birthday: 15th of May
Realtionship: In a relationship with Kelechi George
Quotes: Be yourself.
Be yourself, he echoed and gave a short laugh.
Bio: Simple, honest and sophisticated.
University (postgraduate): Oxford University
University: University of Bedforshire
He gave another short laugh again, as more tears filled my eyes. Why me? Why this?!
After a long while, he looked at me, stood up and walked out. .
Out! Out of my life forever, I thought.
Sitting in hopeless fear, I thought of how things would have been if I hadn’t lied. . Or perhaps, if Tina hadn’t been such a back stabber to tell out on me. Why me Lord? Why?
Drenched in my own rain of tears, I surrendered to despair, as I closed my eyes in weariness.
I don’t know how long it was that I slept, but I remember very well that it was a heavy kick in my butt and screams of joy or perhaps, surprise, that woke me up from my sleep; on the arrival of my aunt and her children.
‘Ifeoma Sandra Peters!’
I stood before her in fear and shame, as I responded to her call.
‘Where have you been?’
‘Aunty, I . . I . . ‘
‘You? Oya o, ayam listening, ngwanu!’ She retorted in her usual igbo accent.
A quick rush back of the days event threw me at her feet.
‘Aunty I am sorry. I am very sorry, please forgive me. . . I know I have been ungrateful aunty; I know you have been good to me, and even taken me as one of your children. Aunty I am sorry for being a bad example to my younger ones, aunty please. . . .’
On and on I went, pleading with her in all sincerity. I exhorted her, and called her even beautiful names that she wasn’t. I didn’t expect her to draw me into her arms and tell me its alright because that was very unlike the poor woman, who had over embraced poverty that there was not even a little space left for her to embrace her kids. I just hoped that my sincerity would move God to help me touch her heart of stone. I had truly learnt my lesson, and was ready to behave like the Ifeoma, that I am!
‘. . . . Aunty please I promise. . . .’
‘Enough!’ The thunderous command forced my speech to a halt as I fluttered my eyes wide open.
She seemed at the verge of tears. Did I say something wrong? Did I. . . .?
I saw her stretch her arms forward gesturing for a hug.
‘Come here!’ She commanded again.
She should be in the military, I thought to myself!
I was happy as I closed into her warm bosom. It felt good- like I was home again.
‘Thank you Aunty. Thank you for understanding. . .’
Only then did I feel the hands of the three muskeeters around me. Damn! That night was bliss, except that something was missing; or rather someone- Kelechi George.
The next day, I went over to Tina’s apartment where I had been staying since I decided to be a ‘BIG GIRL’. On seeing her, it was obvious that she was uncomfortable, and even more obvious that she wanted me to put up a fight; but it seemed I had miraculously grown over that one day. All I wanted to do was take my things, and leave! Leave her, her house, her lifestyle, her choices, her opinions; basically just leave the new me, that was totally made up of her! I decided it was time to take control of my life again, embrace that small family, wealth and life that there ever was, and appreciate everything the little I have can afford.
Even if I had lost someones love, I felt the need to win back my life; then maybe, just maybe I could win back my love. . .
Ii moved back into the school campus, focused on my studies, and went over to my aunty’s house during every school break. I helped her with her tailoring business when I was chanced, and sent her some money from the little I made as a hairdresser at school. Of course, it was hard trying to re- adjust but I tried my best to stay focused and determined. Though my chances with Kelz seemed awfully slim, as he refused to pick my calls or even reply my text messages and emails; a part of me told me there was still hope because for some reason or the other, each time I checked my facebook profile, my relationship status still remained intact, untouched, as though nothing happened. He had to have a reason for that, because the Kelechi I know would never be without a reason for something as crucial as that.
Year after year, I kept up, trying to be better than I was, and hoping and believing that someday everything would be fine again. So many guys had asked me out but I declined as I kept assuring myself that Kelechi would pick up my call someday, or maybe even call me himself; and that someday may be the next day or maybe even the moment I decide to let that other fine guy into my life; or perhaps that moment I decide to take that my first kiss that I’ve always been dreaming of. . . And God knew, I wasn’t ready to disappoint him, not once more!
So many times, he posted really romantic updates that got me totally sure he had forgiven me. Only for me to call him and have him not pick my calls again.
One day, out of rage, I broke my sim and bought a new one; only to find myself reciting his number by heart in an attempt to call his phone again. Damn him, damn him, damn him! I screamed! Doesn’t he realise I would someday get tired of trying to call him, or trying to make him forgive me? What if he was the one that made that mistake? What if this, what if that?
I cried my eyes out over and over, and finally, after two years of constantly trying to get him back, I just QUIT and let him be! When he’s ready, he’d come back, that I was sure of.
A year after, on completing my NYSC, my job hunt began. I submitted my CV to various organizations and after six months of series of interviews and tests in various organizations, I got a job in my dream place of work- Unilever!
I was over- excited.
On my birthday, exactly a month since I settled in my place of work, I went to my facebook profile to update my information.
Quotes: Every disappointment is a blessing in disguise.
Bio: I am a 1st class graduate of Accounting from the prestigious university of first choice.
Heartbroken but happy, and hoping to be happier. . .
University: University of First choice.
I felt renewed as I typed in those words that were once mere lies, but now were my world; my reality.
Just as I was about to log out, I received an Inbox message which read.
”Hi Sandra, my name is Kelechi George, a 29 year old first class graduate of economics. I work at Mobil as a manager. I would love to know more about you. Please, kindly inbox me your details as well as your bb pin. Thank you.’
I was overwhelmed. My face was wreathed in smiles even as tears trickled out of my eyes, and my hands shook on my qwerty keys.
Yes I now own a BB, and No, ‘maga no pay!’ I bought it with my money, of course, when it was the cheapest it could be. My aunt still lives in the heart of Ajegunle, but I now call her mama. My then cousins, now siblings have grown so big and very beautiful and good looking. The house has been repainted, we now pay our bills regularly. Everything is now fine, and I don’t need a man to make me and my family happy; I just need to do well at work, get paid and better my lot. But do I still love Kelechi? Why did it take him so long?
Just then, my phone rang. It was a strange number. I picked it up anyway.
‘Thank you. Who’s this?’
I just wanted to cut his call off and slam the phone on the ground, and in fact I did. . . The former alone of course!
Later that day, I received a visitor. It was Kelechi again.
Looking up from my table, I met his gaze; his chocolate brown sexy round-eyed gaze. Oh damn! How I’ve missed this man.
I swallowed hard. I couldn’t dare to stand up because I was sure my legs would make me run to him. And no, he didn’t need that at the moment. He needed some attitude!
‘What can I do for you?’ I questioned in my meanest look.
He smiled. Damn him for knowing he had charm!
‘Will you marry me?’ He questioned going down on one kneel without moving any closer.
‘Wha. . . T? Marry you? You must be out of your mind!’
‘I have been out of my mind for 2 and half years sweets, its only you never knew!’
‘And how is that any business of mine?’
He heaved a deep sigh.
‘Sandra, it took a lot of courage to give my parents excuses for your absence without telling them what transpired between us, so I had to wait. . . .’
‘Oh really?? So I’m still the one at fault uh? How unforgiving can you be?! Why didn’t you just go ahead to tell them I was a liar! A chaeap liar who thought you were one of the magas that could pay her bills because she was unfortunate enough to be an orphan living with a mother of three in the heart of ajegunle? Tell me, why didn’t you? After all, I am the first liar you’d ever meet in your whole life! And your damn self has never told a lie!. . . Damn you Kelz!’ I hissed off.
When I got no response, I continued in rage. This time I had gotten enough courage to keep my attitude afloat for a while, at least before he used one of his expert lines to get me back in his arms.
‘You had to wait! You waited 2 years plus Kelz gallivanting around, while I was there thinking about you day and night, feeling sorry that you couldn’t forgive me. And now you are back, asking me to marry you. Marry you? Not on your life! Get out Kelz! Out of my office now!’
I burst out in tears.
‘Sandra, you are not a liar, at least not anymore. Everyone makes mistakes, and mine was that I didn’t take enough time to know you before introducing you as my wife. Sandra, I was hurt and didn’t want to forgive you because I was totally honest with you from the very beginning. You were living a total lie when I met you, and that’s not the kind of person I wanted for a wife. Beyond the lies, I saw a woman with dreams, and passion. Your facebook profile said it all. I fell in love with not just the woman on facebook, but also the person I perceived her to be. I fell in love with Sandra Peters, a first class graduate, a lady whose favorite quote is BE YOURSELF, a lady whose smile makes me laugh, whose anger tears me apart. . . Sandra, its the you that you are now, not the one you were some years ago, that I fell in love with. I realised you had dreams, you were just a bit off track, and I needed you to be back on track. I love you Sandra, I never stopped.’
He had done it! He had wielded his charm and now I had fallen for him all over again. I walked over to him briskly and hit him hard three times.
‘For being unforgiving! For giving me excuses I don’t wanna listen to! And for making me love you like I do!’
Then I hugged him and fell into the strong warming comfort his chest provided.
‘I’ve missed you Kelz, and I’m sorry.’
‘I’ve missed you too San, and I’m also sorry.’
He lifted his head to look at me, ‘you’ve grown San, and so have your lips. . . ‘
I blushed under the scrutiny of his mesmerizing eyes. I was nervous. Was I about to be kissed?
I closed my eyes as his head seemed to move closer to mine.
‘It’s okay San, ‘ I heard him whisper ‘I know this is your first time.’
‘What?’ I forced my eyes open.
‘Tina told me that too.’ He smiled.
‘Oh damn Tina! That b. . . .’ Ordinarily, I would have called her a bi**h! But thinking back into the last few years, Tina’s confession actually helped me find myself. She turned out to be a blessing instead.
I smiled at him too, and let him kiss my lips without further ado.
I am an inquisitive, ardent, persistent and non- apologetic lover, writer, and dreamer. I love making people feel good when I can; I love to sing at the top of my voice even when I know I havent got a nice voice; I love to chat, and keep in touch with friends, family and fans; I hate BULLSHIT and people that have no regard for other people’s feelings; and finally, I love to love! I am all about love! And of course, we can be friends! 🙂 @damoreAlli