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Sunday, November 22, 2015

Rosie and the Chief (4)


Due to an unspoken agreement, JB and I kept our past relationship from Chief that day. His unexpected arrival on the scene got me really confused. Why did this have to happen now after things had been settled between Chief and I, I kept wondering.
"What are you going to do now?" asked Helena when I discussed the new development with her later that evening.
"Nothing. I will just go ahead with the plans," I replied. 

"And what about Chief? Don't you think he deserves the right to know? That his fiancé had been in a relationship with his nephew before?" she said.
"Look, I don't really see the need for that. What happened between JB and I belongs in the past. He means nothing to me now," I stated.
She did not look convinced though but she said nothing. 

I was at home the following day- Sunday when JB came to see me. I was expecting him as he had told me at Chief's place the previous day that he would be visiting.
"In all my years on earth, I had never been so shocked as I was yesterday at my Uncle's place. Rosie, what's going on? How did you end up with my Uncle?" he queried as soon as he entered the house.

"First of all, JB, it's my private life- I don't think you have any right to question me about who I date or marry. Afterall, we broke up years ago in case you have forgotten!" I pointed out.
 "Ok. Agreed. But my Uncle? Why him of all the men in town? No way, Rosie, you can't marry him. In fact, you have to break off this engagement," he said firmly.
"And why should I do that? Chief loves me very much and..." I started to say when he cut in:
"And you? What do you feel for him? Don't tell me you are in love with that old man?"

"What's wrong with that? Chief is a good man, he treats very well. More than can be said for some people," I stated, giving him a sly look.
He sighed.
"Look, Rosie. I know I was not fair to you back in school. There were some things I did back in the day that I regret; the way I treated you is top among them. But I wrote to you apologizing after I had left school. You got the letter, didn't you?" he said.
It was some months after JB graduated that I had received the said letter. At that time, I was still heartbroken after we broke up and I had not bothered to reply.

"So? What has that got to do with this matter?" I enquired.
 "A lot, Rosie. You remember I stated in the letter that I was leaving for further studies outside the country and that I would come and see you whenever I was in the country. I returned three years later but you had graduated and gone for the youth service programme. I didn't know where you were serving so I could not reach you. Since then, I have been coming in and out of the country but I have been unable to reach you," he said.
"Wait a minute, JB. Are you saying you have been looking for me all this while, all these years?" I asked in a wondering tone.
He nodded.
"It's the truth. I've been searching for you for years now, Rosie, hoping to see you again one of these days. So, you can imagine my shock when I saw you at my Uncle's house and him proudly showing you off as his fiancé!"
"I don't understand this. Why would you be looking for me? Our relationship ended years ago!" I reminded him.

"Truth is, Rosie, I have not been able to forget you. I've had affairs and even relationships since we parted but it's not been the same with the others. There's something missing, a vacuum I believe only you can fill," he said.
"Well, you might have to go elsewhere to find that elusive thing you claim you are missing. For as you can see, I'm engaged," I said, proudly flaunting my ring in his face.
"You have to break it off. Can't you get it Rosie, I still love you!" he declared.

"JB, that's your problem not mine. I'm engaged to Chief and there's nothing I can do about it," I told him.
"You can't be serious about marrying my Uncle. I know you don't love him. And I know you used to be crazy about me," he stated.
"That was then. I was a young girl full of foolish dreams," I said.
"But is that all? Can you honestly say you no longer feel anything for me? Can you?" he said, coming closer to me.
 I stepped back, my hands raised in front of me, not wanting him close to me.
  Seeing my reaction, he smiled, a knowing look on his face.
 "I think you should leave, JB. I don't think your Uncle will be happy to see you and I together like this. Please go,"I told him.
 He left then, with the promise to return some other time.
  ***
 JB's return to my life at this period put me in a state of confusion. I had met him in school in my first year as a student. He had been two years ahead of me and was one of the 'big' boys on campus. He had a lot of admirers among the female students and was often seen in the company of different ladies.

  We met at one of the shows on campus and that's how we became friends before we began dating. I was madly in love with him and he said he loved me too. We were together for nearly two years when we had a big fight over his relationship with some other girls on campus. He kept denying he was not dating them until I caught him in his room, in bed with a student who lived on the same block with me. A girl I was not on good terms with and whom I disliked.

  I had forgiven him in the past over his infidelities but that was the last straw. I had called off the relationship and vowed not to have anything to do with him again. I was heartbroken then as I had loved JB so much. It took me a long time to recover from my broken heart. Now he was back again afterall all these years, saying he still loved me and wanted me back. What was I supposed to do?
 Much as I tried to deny it to myself, seeing JB again rekindled all the old emotions and brought back memories of what it was like when we were together all those years ago. I knew it would be dangerous to be alone together with him. So whenever he wanted to see me to talk, I always gave one excuse or the other.
 I wanted to keep avoiding him as much as possible until I had married Chief and there was nothing he could do then.
 Then one day, about two days before Chief and I were to travel to see my parents for the introduction, he came to my office one evening...

Will Rosie rekindle her relationship with JB or will she marry Chief? Watch out for the concluding part of Rosie's story soon!

To be continued... 
Names have been changed to protect the identity of the narrator and other individuals in the story.


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