Finding Tiwa (4) 

 There is no love without forgiveness, and there is no forgiveness without love

My Martin was back where he belonged: with me and no other. His hands were all over me, fumbling with my clothes, the buttons on my top...

 "So soft, the feel of your skin. I never forgot," he mumbled against my neck, his mouth trailing soft kisses down to my chest, nuzzling, sucking...

  My hunger for him peaked and I wanted him to take me then and there. But how could I give myself to him when there were still so many unresolved issues?

 And that was when I came to my senses and extricating myself from his embrace, stood up.

 Martin sat up, leaning against the couch, watching as I adjusted my clothes.

 "Is there's any problem, Tiwa? Is there some one else in your life? A boyfriend? Fiancé?" he queried, a puzzled look on his face. In the past, I had never turned him down whenever he wanted to make love.

 I shook my head.

 "It's not that." While I had some suitors who were interested in me, there was nobody special at the moment that I was seeing.

 Maybe fear of rejection, of being dumped like had happened with Martin had made it difficult for me to open my heart to anyone else.

 "Thing is, I need some space, Martin. So much has happened and I'm kind of confused right now. I need time and space to clear my head..." I said.

 He was unimpressed with my explanation.

"What more space do you need, Tiwa?" he queried. "We've had ten years worth of it thanks to my mother! I thought like me, you would be anxious to make up for lost time. You have no idea what it feels like being with you when I thought I had lost you for good. But I guess I was wrong. Perhaps, you don't love or want me anymore," he stated in a truculent manner.

 Then he picked up his jacket and headed for the door.

 "You need space? Ok. I'll give you space. But don't keep me waiting too long! Ten years is long enough!"

 "Wait, Martin! Let's..." I said, my hand raised towards him. But he was gone, leaving me all by myself...


It was supposed to be a sweet reunion between us after a long separation. But things were not going well for Martin and I.

 The love was still there between us but while he wanted us to be back at the level we were before he travelled to Holland years ago, I needed time.

 Time to adjust to the situation and clear my mind of the hurt and heartbreak of many years. Of getting used to the fact that both Martin and I were victims of circumstances, that my plan for vengeance was no longer necessary. And all that was needed was to welcome him back into my life where he should be.

 "I've promised to make it up to you and our son for everything that happened, all that went wrong. Give me the chance to do that, Tiwa. Stop pushing me away, turning your back on me. Now, that I've found you Tiwa, I can't bear to be apart from you," he said. 

 We were on the phone some weeks after he walked out of my apartment.

 In that time, he had met his son and apologised profusely to my parents for what happened. Henry was at the age when he had started asking questions about the whereabouts of his father.

 So, Martin's sudden appearance in his life was a welcome development.

 "I'm sorry, Martin," I said before hanging up.

  Soon, I resumed work and focused on my duties. But it did not stop me from thinking about Martin who was just two floors above me in the building. Most days, we would run into each other a couple of times either along the corridors, the lift or elsewhere.

 He did not say much but his eyes spoke volumes: How long, Tiwa?

 I did not know myself. All I knew was that it was torture seeing him with other ladies especially that vampy Trisha. A lawyer, she worked in the legal department of the company and from the little gossips I had picked up, she and Martin were dating.

 It hurt that he was with someone else but what did I expect him to do? 

 He wanted me back but I was the one rejecting him. 

 I had no one to blame but myself. Maybe there was still left some resentment against him for all I went through. I can't tell. All I knew was that whenever I remembered my suffering in the past, my heart would harden, suppressing all the love I still harboured in my heart for him.

 It was an ambivalent feeling; and I was confused on how to sort it out...

 One evening, I had closed from work and was waiting for a colleague, Mary so she could give me a ride home. I stood by the front entrance, near a pillar, checking my phone when Martin emerged with Trisha. 

 They were chatting and she was gazing up at him lovingly as if... 

 I quickly averted my eyes and continued to browse on my phone when a voice broke into my thoughts.

  "Are you leaving for home now, Tiwa?" 

  I looked up into those wonderful eyes of his that had set my teenage heart on fire all those years ago. All the old love and longing rushed back suddenly and I knew then it was futile to keep fighting the inevitable...

 "Martin," I said softly, taking a tentative step towards him.

 "Let's go Martin so we can beat the traffic!" said Trisha impatiently. She was standing a short distance away, watching both of us warily.

 "We'll talk later, Tiwa," he said, turning away to join Trisha.

 It was painful watching him as he escorted her to his car, saw them enter and drive away. I wanted to be the one besides him in that car and not Trisha.

 The one he will chat, laugh, argue and quarrel with. And make up, the special way we always did...

 "Sorry for keeping you waiting, Tiwa! My boss wanted something on the computer so..." Mary said.

 On the long drive home in her car, I listened with half an ear to Mary's chatter about the office, our co-workers, who was dating who, who had been dumped and...

 "What did you just say?" I turned quickly to her.

 "What do you mean?" she demanded.

 "Your last statement," I said impatiently.

 "Oh, about Trisha and Martin. I heard their relationship is really heating up and they are planning to wed before the end of the year. She's so lucky to hook someone like him. The guy's hot! We've heard all kinds of stories about him, how a girl broke his heart long ago and that's why he's stayed single for so long. I had always wondered how..."

 "Stop the car!" I said quickly. We had just driven past Gbagada, heading towards Anthony Village and Maryland.

 "What?" she exclaimed, turning to stare at me as if I was nuts. "Are you alright, Tiwa? Do you need to use the ladies or something?" she asked a bit worriedly.

 "Just stop the car. Will explain later. There's something important I need to take care of..."


Driving to Lagos Island from the Mainland during rush hours on week days, as any Lagos commuter will attest to, can be an excruciating experience due to the heavy traffic. Making the same journey in the evening towards the same Island however, is a piece of cake.

 Tiwa sat in the cab she had flagged down, her heart beating rapidly at the thought of Martin and Trisha together.

 No, it can't be, she kept thinking as the car sped along the third Mainland bridge. 

 Maybe Mary was mistaken, she got the wrong information about them.

 That must be it. She willed the driver to go faster so she could confront Martin, find out if it was true about him and Trisha. About their forthcoming marriage...

 They arrived Martin's Lekki residence and Tiwa jumped down from the cab.

 She almost forgot to pay the man till he reminded her.

 "Keep the change," she stated, dashing through the gate of the building. 

 She had not been sure he would be home. He could have gone out with friends for a drink or even decided to spend time with Trisha somewhere.

 His car was parked in front of the house so he was in.

 She had been to his house a couple of times when she brought Henry over for visits.

 He had even wanted her to move in with him and bring Henry from her parents place at Ajah where her family had moved to after her father's retirement from the civil service.

 "Let's be together as a family. As we were meant to be," were his words. But she had turned him down as she had rejected his other overtures at making up for the painful past.

 The front door was unlocked so she entered the house. 

 Then she stood transfixed at the scene that met her eyes.

  At Martin locked in a tight embrace with Trisha, smooching right there on the living room couch...

 The concluding part of this story will be posted tomorrow. Don't miss it!


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