Sophie (5)

  I could not believe what I was seeing. Was the half naked girl sitting cosily on my friend's lap really...

 "Sophie!" I exclaimed.
 To say she was surprised was putting it mildly. She stared at me, her mouth agape, disbelief, shock and fear in her eyes.

 "Nonso, what...what are you doing here?" she stammered, obviously confused.

 "I should be asking you that question. What are you, my fiancĂ© doing here, in this house, on his lap?" My voice dripped with all the anger and disgust I felt.

 She did not say anything but stared blankly at the floor. I turned my attention to my so called friend who had not said a word but kept gazing warily at me as if afraid I was going to pounce on him.

 In the heat of my anger, I felt like doing that to the 'snake' who called himself my friend but I controlled myself with effort.

 "And you, this is how you show your friendship by sleeping with my girl. How could you? I trusted you to take care of her but you betrayed me! Traitor!"

 Then I faced Sophie.

 "As for you, so this is the reason you no longer pick my calls or come home for holidays! I didn't know you were this cheap! I never want to see you again. It's over!"

 With that, I marched angrily out of the house. I had to leave because I was so furious, I feared I would do something terrible to both of them if I stayed a moment longer.
 Back at my hotel room, I laid on the bed, still fuming and my heart and hopes shredded by what I had just witnessed.

 Besides the anger I felt, an empty feeling assailed me. I felt bereft, as if I had lost a very precious part of me. 

 I could not believe that my Sophie could betray me in that manner, with my friend of all people!

 How could she? What did I do wrong? What was my offence that she would leave me for that man, I wondered, turning restlessly on the bed.

 I had done my best as a fiancĂ© to love and support her in whatever she wanted to do. I thought we had a solid relationship, a love that was unbreakable, the envy of our friends.

 Our friends had even nicknamed us 'Romeo and Juliet' teasing us that only death could separate us.

 My mouth twisted in bitterness. Obviously, it took something other than death to break the strong bond that bound us together.

 Later, Sophie came with Boma to the hotel.  But I was still too angry and refused to see her.
  "I don't want to see her. I've nothing to say to her," I said to Boma. "She has hurt me badly. I trusted her and see how she treated me, cheating on me. And with my friend! Tell her to leave because in my present mood, I might do something to her she won't like!"

 Before leaving, she gave me a letter from Sophie which I flung on the table, refusing to read it.


 I returned to Lagos and tried to put the incident and Sophie behind me. But it was difficult. The hurt and pain was too deep, like someone had plunged a knife into my heart, twisting it viciously.

 Sophie had been a part of my life for so long that being without her was a bitter pill to swallow.  I felt empty without her but I could not bring myself to forgive her.

 I finally got to read the letter which shed some light on what really happened.

 She explained she had been hearing stories of how I was dating someone in Lagos, a colleague of mine in the office.

 "I felt heartbroken when I heard you had another girlfriend. I even got pictures of both of you at a party dancing and acting like lovers. I was devastated. Dr, your friend was very kind to me, offering me a shoulder to cry and lean on. I realise now I should have confirmed from you if the story was true but I was not thinking straight then. 

 "It was not my intention to cheat on you. It just happened. I still love you, Nonso and I hope you'll forgive me for the sake of the love we share..."

 What girlfriend and pictures was she talking about, I wondered. The only party I remembered was an office party for a colleague that was leaving for another job. It had held in a club where there had been dancing, drinking and lots of fun. I had danced with a few of my female colleagues. Had someone taken pictures that day and sent to Sophie? Who would do that?

 Things became clearer when a mutual friend of the lecturer and I revealed to me sometime later what really occurred.

 "Dr boasted to me sometime ago that he was going to snatch Sophie from you by any means available to him. I thought it was an empty boast. But I believe he was behind the pictures and the rumours of your supposed new girlfriend. I never knew he would stoop so low to do this to you, a close firmed. It's very bad of him," he said.

 He was right. It was the lowest form of betrayal from someone I regarded as a friend and brother.

 Though Sophie begged me to take her back, I just could not get over the thought of her with my friend. All the trust I had in her was gone and there was no way I could marry a lady I could not trust, who could be unfaithful to me the minute my back was turned.

 Sophie broke my heart badly and it took me a long time to get over her. It made me have trust issues as well, especially with women. 

 But a few years ago, I met this wonderful lady at a conference I attended and we later got married. We've been blessed with beautiful twin girls and I am happy with my family.

 But sometimes, I wonder what my life would have been like if Sophie and I had stayed together. 

 Though she later married my friend, she's having a tough time in her marriage from the stories I hear from mutual friends. I was told he beats her and disrespects her by keeping lovers and mistresses and even flaunts his infidelities in her face. 

 "You won't recognise Sophie if you see her now, Nonso," a friend had told me sometime ago. "She looks miserable, no longer the happy, beautiful girl we used to know..."

 I feel bad about her situation but well, it's the choice she made. So, she has to learn to live with it. That's life...

The End!


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