Ada Okafor is dating Tony Okoli – the Director of CitiFinance, one of the leading Financial houses in Lagos and he has asked her to marry him. Unfortunately, the obstacles of class, family resistance, work politics and the lies and gossip of a former colleague Mr Obi, who Ada refused as a love interest are beginning to put a strain on the relationship. Tony has just received a letter from Mr Obi who claims to have seen his fiancée’s birthmark. Tony is furious and accuses Ada of lying to him.
Tony folded his arms across his chest and glared atAda. “Well haven’t you got anything to say for yourself?”
Adashook with indignation.” What is there to say? How many times have I explained this to you? The man is lying. How could you believe him?”
“Why would he go to all that trouble to defame your character like this …you probably wont be the first woman to turn him down? Why would he write all these letters?”
A warm tear dripped down her face. “I don’t know Tony. Stop looking at me like that – please.” She reached out to him but he pushed her hand away.
“Feeling guilty are you?”
Her hands fell to her sides as she watched him pace the room. She tucked her torn blouse into her jeans, brushed past him and walked into the sitting room to get her bag. “I have been judged and found to be guilty and if that’s what you believe…. I don’t think that we have a future together.”
He followed her. “So what was it about me that made you ditch him ….my sense of humour? Or was it just the money?” He sneered. “Just out of curiosity, tell me?”
“I don’t have anything more to say to you, Tony.” She wiped her face with the back of her hand, picked up her bag and headed for the door, but he stood in front of the door, blocking her escape.
“So you think you can just walk out of my life like that eh?”
“I thought that was what you wanted.” She said simply. “You don’t trust me. You would rather believe your mother, your sister and now Mr Obi.”
“Don’t bring my mother into it. She warned me about you – said you were only after a meal ticket and I didn’t believe her. Just tell me how you can explain these anomalies. The night I walked in on you and you thought it was Mr Obi – your words exactly – ‘Just leave me alone’…. and you refused to press charges against him after I saw him assault you, even though I suggested it.
“Yes…I told him to leave me alone because the man was bugging my life. I also didn’t want to go through the shame of bringing charges against him.”
“You have answers for everything, don’t you?”
She shook her head. “You are twisting everything Tony…I couldn’t stand the man and you know it.”
Tony rubbed his chin. “I don’t know ….maybe that’s what you wanted people, especially me, to believe.” He laughed again. “I was the fool that fell in love with you and it didn’t take long for you to transfer your very cute self into my tender loving care. You are good, I will give you that, leading me on making me want you so much that I became totally besotted and started to make wedding preparations. All that nonsense about making me wait until we got married. I almost fell for it. Maybe I should thank Mr Obi for helping me see, just who you really are?”
She looked up and met his eyes squarely. “Then just let me go…if that’s what you believe. I can’t be with a man who doesn’t trust me.”
“I can’t, because even though I know what a little liar you are – we still have unfinished business.” He laughed but it was hollow and devoid of any joy.
“That’s funny isn’t it? I hate you but I want you at the same time.” His eyes narrowed and he grabbed her, pushing her against the wall, leaning against her. “Maybe you can show me what I have been missing?”
She pushed him away scared at the wild look in his eyes. “Tony …let me go!”
She could see desire tinged with self loathing and disgust as his eyes roamed over her. He shook his head. “I would have done anything for youAda. I would have given you the world. I thought you were a decent God – loving woman. Why, oh why, did you have to lie?”
“But I haven’t lied.”
“Why am I even bothering? I know you will stick to your story. You are a professional liar. You lie with your lips, your big eyes ….it’s as natural as breathing to you.”
She sighed.” I mean it. I never lied to you Tony.”
He shook his head, eyes red with anger. “I don’t believe you.”
“So there is nothing more to be said, is there?” Her voice was calm.
“I never want to see you again. I can’t bear to look at you.” he said quietly, and moved away from her.” Don’t worry about a reference. I will get Mr Oseni to write you a glowing reference attesting to your sterling character. I’m not that good a liar.”
He turned to look at her as she made for the door.” Don’t go out like that. I’ll’ get you a T-shirt.”
She walked past him, out of the house and closed the door behind her. Her hands shook as she pulled out a T shirt from her bag and wrapped it around her neck to cover up her torn top.
Adawalked slowly to the bus stop across the road. It was empty, just like her mind. A bus passed by and stopped for her but she didn’t move.
The conductor stared at her. “Are you ok Madam?”
She nodded and got on the bus.