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Tuesday, November 10, 2015

The Birthday Gift (3)

Any hope that Thad might reconsider and come back to me were dashed on his return home from his trip abroad. At the 'reconciliation meeting' his mother called us to settle the matter, Thad made it clear that it was over between us. He even advised me to forget about him and 'move on with my life.'
"Maybe we are not meant for each other. So, just move on. Let me get on with my own life!" 
I felt so angry and bitter as I watched him sprouting such words. To think this was the man I had committed myself to for years and built my future plans and dreams around. My family members including my two siblings and my mother who were with me at the meeting were so angry with him and even wanted to attack him physically. But my Mum prevailed on them to be calm.
 "Maybe, it's God's plan to expose him now. Is it not better this happened now than after the wedding when he might have just run away from home with another woman one day? God knows best. So, leave him. Let him go and enjoy with his new love. God will judge him. Let's go!"
We left for home and that was the last I saw of my ex-fiancé for a long time. I listened to the advice of family and friends to move on and forget Thad. It wasn't easy as he had become such an important part of my life. I resigned from my workplace not because of Thad as he had been transferred to another branch after his course abroad but to start all over. I went back to school to do a short course in business administration as I wanted to start my own business later. I had some savings from my years of working so money was not a problem. 

 It was at the school that I met Abel. He was doing his doctorate degree which he combined with work. We got chatting one day after one of my classes while taking some snacks at an eatery on campus. We saw regularly in school after that day and with time, we became friends. Later, he wanted more than friendship but I was not too keen. I liked him but due to my experience with Thad I had grown wary of men and their ways.

I told him to give me some time to sort myself out and recover fully from what my former fiancé did to me.
"I will wait, Naomi because you are worth waiting for. But don't keep me waiting too long!" he said.
Actually it was Abel's mother that made me to become serious with him. One day, after my lectures, he came to pick me up at school stating that he was taking me somewhere. 
I thought it was just a normal outing so I was surprised when we ended up at his mother's place. She was separated from Abel's father and lived together with his younger brother. She welcomed me warmly and prepared a nice meal for us.
Later, as we prepared to leave, she drew me aside and stated:
"My dear, you are the first lady my son has brought home in a long while. That shows he really likes you. But he tells me you are not interested in him. What is the problem?"
I told her that though I liked her son, I was not ready for a serious relationship because of what happened to me in the past.
"That was in the past," she pointed out adding: "This is the present. You need to move on and live your life. My son is serious about you; he has told me he wants to marry you. Why don't you give him a chance? You can't drive all men away just because of one incident in the past?"
Perhaps her words had something to do with it for I began to reconsider my stance towards Abel. We started dating fully as a couple and I even allowed him to start making plans towards our settling down some day. My mother was especially happy when I took him home for introduction. 
"Thank God you have accepted another man into your life. I was worried you might stay single for life with your earlier no-dating, no men stance," she stated happily.
After I finished the programme in school, Abel wanted us to get married as soon as possible and I agreed with his plans. We were working towards that when something unexpected happened that nearly truncated our plans.

Return of Thad
I was at home one weekend, watching a movie with my friend, Pat who had come to spend some time with me when I had an unexpected visitor: Thad, my ex-fiancé had come to see me!
"What does he want?" I demanded when Pat told me who was at the door.
"Maybe, you should see him to find out," she replied.
"See him for what? I don't want to, so tell him to get out of my house or there will be trouble!" I said angrily, remembering all the pain and heartache he had caused me in the past.
He must have got the message for he left that day. About a week later, he was back. This time, my mother who had come visiting at my apartment, said I should see him to know what he wanted.
He wanted me back! He stated that it was over between him and Madge, that leaving me for her was the biggest mistake of his life.
"I regret what I did to you. Please forgive me, Naomi! I want you back; let's start all over again!" he pleaded earnestly. I listened calmly, not saying much as he narrated what had led to the breakup with Madge.
"She was behaving like a whore, going around sleeping with nearly all my friends. Not only that, she seduced my little brother, our last born who is just 16! I had travelled on an official trip and the boy had come from his school to see me when the bitch lured him to bed! Even my uncle Bernard- you know him- narrowly escaped her clutches. As if her wayward ways are not bad enough, she spends money as if it's water, nearly rendering me broke within a short time. She can't even cook or keep the house clean. She's..." and he went on and on about his erstwhile lover's misdeeds.
"Agaracha has come back then," said Pat sarcastically when I narrated what happened with Thad to her. "Men! They will have a good thing and throw it away for trash!" she noted with a hiss.
"So, what are you going to do now?" she asked sometime later.
I shrugged.
"Just wait and see as events unfold," I said mysteriously.

Two grooms, one bride
A plan had been forming in my mind but before it could be executed, I needed Abel's support.
"Is it really necessary to do that? Why not just tell him to take a hike and leave you alone?" he stated when I told him about my plans.
I shook my head. 
"No. This is something I need to do. To get closure for what he did to me," I replied. He reluctantly agreed and I swung into action.
To the surprise of many who knew us, I accepted Thad back into my life. Some of my friends thought I was crazy to even contemplate getting back with him.
"After the shabby way he treated you, you still take him back? Naomi, are you crazy or what?" they all stated. I just smiled and said nothing.
Thad was even more shocked than the others.
"I never knew you will accept me so easily. Thanks, baby for forgiving me. I promise to make it up to you," he said happily hugging me tightly. I told him the only condition for getting back together was that we had to go ahead with our wedding plans as soon as possible.
He readily agreed, even stating he was ready to marry me the following day if that was what I wanted. "I never want to lose you again," he vowed, hugging me again.
So, we fixed a date which was on his birthday and made all the arrangements, including picking the church and reception venue.
The wedding day with Thad arrived and I got dressed in a nice cream colored gown and headed for the Ikoyi registry where my beloved was waiting with his mother, his sister and a few well-wishers. My family too, were there with me. After the short ceremony, we stood in front of the registry office to take some pictures of the happy and memorable occasion.
Just then, a black, brightly decorated SUV with 'About to wed' sign at the number plates drove up. Before it could stop properly, Thad, who was nicely dressed in a grey suit with a maroon pocket square, jumped out and rushed to where I stood with my new husband, Abel, who had his arms protectively round me.
"Naomi, what are you doing here, with this man on our wedding day? Let's go to the church, baby! We are running late! Our guests are waiting!" he said, trying to grab my hand.

I snatched it away and retorted: 
"What wedding? As you can see, I'm already married to my darling here, Abel. So, you can go and marry that slut, Madge that you dumped me for. You seriously thought I would marry you after what you did to me? That fake 'wedding' was my birthday gift to you. So, you go and enjoy the party. As for me, my husband and I have a flight to catch for our honeymoon in the Caribbean. So, goodbye and good luck with your slut!" I stated. With that, Abel and I got into a waiting car and we zoomed off to our new life together as a married couple.

The End!

Did Thad deserve the treatment he got from Naomi? Readers' feedback are welcome!

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

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