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Tuesday, May 10, 2016

The Officer's Woman (7) letting go


I drove into the spacious car park of the restaurant some minutes after 12 noon. As I alighted from the car, I wondered what I was doing keeping the appointment with Harry.
I could have turned him down, insisted I was not interested in seeing him. But I didn't. 
He had kept calling me on phone after the day he came to the house to get the file for Ben.
"Ene, we need to see. Just to talk, nothing more," he said.
When I asked what he wanted to talk about, he noted:
"A lot, Ene. So many things I need to tell you. Please..."
Maybe it was the pleading tone that made me relent on my hard stance of not meeting up with him.
Now, here I was at the restaurant with me heading towards the booth where we had sat several times when we were still together.
Harry stood up and drew my chair out for me on sighting me.
"So glad you could come, Ene. You look beautiful," he said, giving me an admiring look.
"Thanks. So, what's this all about? I don't have too much time as I have to be home to prepare my husband's food before he gets back from his outing," I said briskly.
Being a Saturday, Ben had gone to the club to play tennis and meet up with friends.
"Hmm. 'My husband' you say. Do you realise Ene, that it's me Harry you should be calling that?" he said.
I looked at him quizzically.
"And whose fault is it that things didn't work out between us? You caused it, Harry, ruined things for us! Is that why you wanted to see me? I think I better leave!" I stated in a pissed tone, picking up my bag.
He pleaded with me not to leave and I sat down again.
"What will you like to eat"? He then asked.
"Nothing yet. Just a malt drink will do for now," I told him.
He spoke as we took our drinks, about his life since we parted, how hard things had been for him.
"It's like you took away all the good luck in my life when you left, Ene," he said in a joking manner.
I did not find it funny and simply stayed quiet till he spoke up again.

About Tilda...
How she turned out to be a big mistake, something he regretted till date.
"Throwing you out and bringing in Tilda was the biggest mistake of my life. She turned out to be lazy, untidy, wouldn't lift a finger to do anything in the house. Worse, she was a slut. She was going out with two other men in my unit including Major Mo, whom you know," he stated. "We broke up less than six months after you left," he revealed.
He continued speaking.
"I guess I've no one to blame but myself. I got carried away by her background- her father being a top politician and former Senator and all that. I thought with her in my life, I'll have better prospects career wise and in other areas of my life. How wrong I was!" he said, a note of bitterness in his voice.
I studied him for a moment, noting the sad look on his face. What did he want from me? Pity? Sympathy?
He had no one to blame for everything including our break up.
"So, why are you telling me all this?" I now asked, taking a sip of my drink.
"Just for you to understand what happened, Ene and to beg for your forgiveness. Find it in your heart to forgive me. For the way I treated you. For not realizing your worth, that you were special, that..."
"I forgave you long ago," I cut in.
"For real?" he asked eagerly.
 I nodded.
"I forgave you but I never forgot. The pain that was like a knife slicing through my heart, the hurt, the heartbreak. I went through hell, Harry. You have no idea what I went through," I said, in a slightly shaky voice.
He reached out to hold my hand in his.
"I'm so sorry, Ene. So so sorry!" he said in a contrite tone.
We spoke for quite some time before Harry got us some food. As we ate, we chatted in a more relaxed manner, even reminiscing about some funny incidents in our past life together which made us laugh.
"I've enjoyed our time together today. Maybe, we can do this some other time?" Harry asked as he saw me off to my car.
 I knew the risks involved in hanging out with him. What would Ben say if he found out I was seeing my ex- fiancé who was his subordinate?
So, I did not give a definite answer and drove home.

We saw several times after that day. We either met at the restaurant or some other place where we could sit and talk. With each outing, I realized one thing: that I still loved Harry, in fact that I never stopped loving him. 
He hurt me badly, dumped me and broke my heart, yet I still love him? Girl, are you crazy, I can just hear some readers say.
Well, blame my silly heart for that. The heart is a strange thing; it loves who it wants for no specific reason. I just knew that I loved him, missed him and wanted to be with him.
Some weeks later, Ben travelled to Jos for a security conference that was to last over a week.
A few days later, I got a call from Harry.
"Just checking on you. What's up?" he inquired.
"Nothing much," I replied. "Just chilling at home. Feeling bored."
"How about we go out then? We could have dinner," he said and paused. "Then, we could go somewhere private where we could be together. Just you and I..." 
I knew what he meant. He had been dropping heavy hints for us to get back together, as we were before. But I had been stalling. I was married afterall and I did not fancy cheating on my husband who loved me so much.
But I knew it was a matter of time before I succumbed. 
Like a drug, I could not resist Harry or stay away from him.
So, though I knew I was playing with fire, I went upstairs, took a bath and got ready for my date with Harry.
Before leaving the house, I informed my maid I was going to my sister's house and might not return till the next day.
I was full of excitement as I drove down to the hotel where we planned to meet.
I felt as I did when we just met years ago, in the early days of our relationship.
As I passed through the building's gate, I received a text message. I parked before checking my phone.
It was from Ben, asking how I was doing and if I was missing him the way he was missing me.
"My Sweet wife, each day apart from you is torture. Hope to be home soon so I can see your lovely face again. Love you, miss you like crazy..."
I smiled as I read his message, then I sat for a while, thinking. About what I was about to do. 
To Ben, our marriage. Our life together.
How could I treat a man like my husband so badly, a man who had been so good to me, who gave me a reason to live again after what Harry did to me? The same Harry I was planning to spend the night with?
What had come over me?
'No. I can't do this,' I thought, shaking my head. I could not afford to lose Ben who meant the world to me. He was one in a million, and it would be foolish of me to lose such a man because of an old love...
Starting the car, I drove quickly out of the hotel premises
I was some distance from the hotel when I got another message, this time from Harry.
At a red light in traffic, I perused his message.
"Baby, where are you? I'm in Rm 37. Can't wait to be with you again. It's been so long. This time, things will be different cos I'll never let you go again. Kiss, kiss..."
I deleted the sms, switched off the phone and used my second phone to call my husband.
As I spoke to him, I knew then it was time to let go of the past, my love and obsession for Harry and embrace the future.
Which was Ben, my marriage and the wonderful life we would build together...
The End!

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