“I LOVE YOU, BUT…” BY OPEYEMI AKINTUNDE (EPISODE 4-6)
“I LOVE YOU, BUT…”
Pamilerin was fully awake on the bed while Freeman dressed up for work, however She pretended to be asleep as she couldn’t stand looking him in the eye that morning. Her heart was still hurt by his betrayal…
“ See you later!” Freeman said as he moved closer to give Pamilerin the usual kiss on the forehead. Pamilerin didn’t move an inch. She laid down like a log of wood. Freeman withdrew from her. He watched how she was pretending to be asleep. This was the first time in a long while he wasn’t going to get the usual “God’s Presence goes with you!”.
Pamilerin made it a duty to always say that to him everyday before going to work.
Freeman knew it was going to take a while before Pamilerin returned to her usual self. He couldn’t blame her. He had messed up real big and he was going to fix it.
Beauty was a mess, she called in sick at the office. She wasn’t in the right frame of mind to be at work. All night she had been eating anything and everything. This was her way of coping with depression. She could smell depression and suicide coming close. She had been very unfortunate with relationships. She couldn’t count the heartbreaks she had suffered in her 29 years. First, her parents deserted her at the age of three and relocated to the United States leaving her paternal grandmother to care for her. According to her parents, they thought they would send for her later but unfortunately on getting there, things did not go as planned. They could not file for her to join them. Hence, she remained in Nigeria while they sent her money from time to time for her academics and welfare. However, her welfare money was managed by her grandmother who used it for everyone at home. Beauty faced a lot of emotional abuse growing up, she was also raped on several occasions. All the emotional scars made relationship a war zone for her. She was always very defensive, bitter and angry in her relationships.
Freeman was different; Freeman was the only one she felt safe with. She had met Freeman at a pharmaceutical store. She had gone to buy some anti depressant drugs which the pharmacist refused selling to her, if she did not provide a doctor’s prescription. Beauty had gone bunkers screaming at the pharmacist.
Freeman drove towards Beauty’s house to end things with her. He knew Beauty so well to know that she wasn’t going to go to Work that morning. As he drove, he casted his mind back to how they had met…
TWO YEARS EARLIER…
Freeman was at the pharmacy to buy some pain relievers… Freeman saw how Beauty was hell bent on buying some anti depressant drugs which unfortunately for her, the pharmacist needed a prescription before selling to her. He saw how jittery she was, he could understand what Beauty was going through. He had been a victim of depression in the past. After graduating from school at the young age of 21, he couldn’t secure a Job for five years. He knew he was very smart but yet he was wasting away.
Good luck came his way when he met Pamilerin at her guardians’ company. She was the HR who was hiring. After his interview, Pamilerin had said with a smile….
“ Mr. Freeman, you are smart but you have a loser’s demeanor. I could read fear, defeat, uncertainty in your eyes … in your hand movements and in your voice. Put in mind that whenever you go into the interview room, go with the mind that you are going in for a conversation, not an interview. Be bold, be relaxed and be friendly. That way you would get the job.
Judging from your interview today, I ought not to consider you for the Job, but the Lord said I should employ you! You got the job!” Pamilerin had said
Freeman sat for another few seconds before what Pamilerin said made sense to him…
Freeman remembered Pamilerin helping him out of depression and on seeing Beauty that evening, he felt he could pass on the good to her.
He had approached Beauty and asked her to come with him…
“ Hello ma’am… Can you come with me. I can be of help!” Freeman had told her.
Beauty didn’t pay him any attention. After his failed persuasion, Freeman left her and went into the car after paying for his medicine.
Freeman waited for another 15 minutes in the car, observing Beauty. Eventually, he watched Beauty leaving the pharmacy with nothing in her hands. As she walked towards where his car was parked,Freeman jumped out of his car and approached her…
“ What do you want ? I am not a sex worker if that is what you are thinking of.” Beauty said
“ I am happily married.” Freeman said showing off his ring.
“ So what do you want?”
“ I want to help you, I have faced depression before and I know where that leads to, it doesn’t lead to a good place, but a friend who is now my wife was the one who helped me overcome my depression. Today, I have the best life I never thought I could have. I am grateful I didn’t throw this beautiful future away out of depression.”
Beauty looked at him intently….
“ How did she help you? What did you have to do? I want out of depression.”
“ Friendship. She became my friend. Can I be your friend?” Freeman had asked innocently
Beauty remembered how their friendship had started innocently, but as months went by it became deep friendship and one day when she was a bit under the weather, he came over to her house. They both lost control and threw caution in the air.
“ I can’t lose him! I can’t! I was fine with being the second wife, I was not selfish, so why do I get to lose him? No way…” Beauty said to herself before hearing the familiar knock.
“ He is here!” Beauty gasped
To be continued
“ I LOVE YOU, BUT…”
Opeyemi O. Akintunde
Beauty felt the familiar butterflies in her stomach. She didn’t want to open the door for him, she didn’t trust herself. She was going to fail at what Winter asked her to do. How was she going to see Freeman and not kiss him, hug him or jump on him?.
“ Beauty! I know you are in there! Please open up! You know I love you and this is not easy for me. Please open up and let’s discuss this!” Freeman said
“ He still loves me!” Beauty said to herself as she fell to the ground crying.
“ Please … Bee Open up… I promise you, we will sort this out… I love you bae, everything that happened was sudden… Please just give me five minutes..”
Beauty couldn’t control herself anymore. She flung the door open and rushed into Freeman’s arms. She held onto him tightly…
“ I am not letting you go, she can’t take you from me, please… I am sorry for asking you to Marry me, don’t bother, I am fine with being the mistress. She won’t have to know about me…” Beauty said in rush
“ No… Beauty, you deserve better… You are worth more than being a Mistress or a second wife. You will find a better man!”
“ I don’t want a better man. I want you. You make my life worth living. Do you want me to talk to her? I can tell her I won’t be a bother”
“ You will do no such thing… Please…”
“ Freeman, you love me and that is what I will tell her!”
“ Beauty, I love you but I love my wife in a deeper and complex way. Bee, I love you but you can not replace my wife. I mean…I love you but I can’t leave my wife for you. I have kids you know. Bee, I love you and though you are a whole lot better on bed than my wife could ever be but I can not hurt My wife ! I can’t! There are so many things attached to this, first she is the mother of my kids, secondly she is my lawfully wedded wife, thirdly, She MADE me and fourthly it’s not about us alone, I have in-laws and extended in-laws. I can’t disappoint them all because of what we have!” Freeman said
Beauty felt like a piece of discarded tissue. She moved back from Freeman in utter shock. Freeman just told her in plain language that she was nothing to him.
“ Ok… “
“ I hope what I just said did not come out the wrong way… The truth is I love you, but…”
“ But, your wife is more important.” Beauty said
“ For your troubles, please have this…” Freeman brought out a Cheque of Two million Naira.
Beauty didn’t know which was worse; Freeman breaking up with her or he paying her off like a prostitute or cheap blackmailer.
“ What?” Beauty asked in what sounded more like whisper.
Freeman moved closer to her, he tucked the Cheque into her palm. Beauty opened her palm and watched the Cheque fall off. The Cheque felt like a burning substance…
“ Freeman! Out! I get it! I am your second fiddle! I am just the girl you while away your time with, I am the girl you enjoy Sex with but can never take the place of your wife, I am the girl who makes you smile, your tool of amusement, I am the one that has to be hidden, while your wife follows you to public functions. I should have known being the side chic was not honorable. You flaunt your wife and kids on social media but no one gets to know about me… You are right, I deserve better… I accept everything you have said but for trying to pay me off… I hate you! Out of my house now!” Beauty said
“ I am sorry! I didn’t mean it that way!”
“ Can I at least kiss you goodbye” Freeman said
“ You are Mad!” were the words Beauty wanted to say to Freeman but she stopped herself.
“Action they say is better than words, I will let my actions speak” Beauty reasoned
Beauty walked closer to him, and gently she placed her lips on his. At first, the usual surge of excitement shot through her veins but she remembered her mission. With all the determination in the world, she bit his lip so hard the pain went straight to Freeman’s brain.
Freeman tried pushing Beauty off him, but Beauty held on to the lips with her teeth like her life depended on it.
“ Pleaseeeee!” Freeman groaned as he tried to push Beauty off.
After few seconds of struggle, Beauty released his lips…
“ I decided to give you a souvenir of pain that you will nurse for a while, it should remind you of the pain you have inflicted on me… I hate you and I mean it!”
Freeman touched his sore lips. He knew without a doubt he couldn’t go to work again. Soon, he would have a swollen lip.
Freeman walked out of Beauty’s house. He knew that was the end. He would lose anything to keep Pamilerin.
After the kids left for school, Pamilerin felt the urge to talk to someone, she needed to talk or else she felt she was going to run mad. She wanted to burst out. She thought of calling her wealthy guardians who raised her, but her calculating brain told her it was not a good move. Her guardians were the ones connecting Freeman to their wealthy friends and associates. Telling them of his infidelity was going to hinder things.
She dropped the thought of contacting her guardians.
Her Birth Mother! Ajoke!
Pamilerin left her birth mother at the age of 10 to work as a house maid for her guardians but on getting there, her guardians noticed her smartness and they decided to help her academically.
She lived with them for 16 years before getting married to Freeman. It was at the point of marriage that she became close to her birth mother. Over the years while living with her guardians, her birth mother was permitted to come see her as she willed but her birth mother came only a few times.
After marriage, she became closer to her, though there were things they still had not agreed on. Her birth Mother still believed in fetish ways of resolving issues.
“ Hello Maami, how are you?”
“ Pamilerin, Bawo ni? ( How are you?)” Ajoke replied
“ Mo wa, sugbon Wahala die wa!” ( I am fine, but there is a little problem.”
“ Which is?” Ajoke asked in Yoruba language
“ There is another woman between my husband and I” Pamilerin said sobbing
“ Nibo? Nibo Lo ti n bo?” ( Where is she coming from?)
“ I don’t know… but they have been together for two years.” Pamilerin said as she raised her voice…
“ Pamilerin, laughter is your portion, not crying. Leave that useless thing to me. You will hear the report of her situation soon!”
“ Maami, what are you planning to do? I didn’t call you to do anything. I just called you to encourage me.”
“ This is me encouraging you! Don’t worry, your worries are already over…” Ajoke said in Yoruba adding some proverbial statements Pamilerin did not understand.
To be continued
Read Episodes 1-3 here Click here
“ I LOVE YOU, BUT…”
Opeyemi O. Akintunde
Freeman walked into his home. His lips were swollen real bad.
Pamilerin was seated in the living room with no thoughts in her head. She was still trying to live in the denial that everything that was happening was all a figment of her imagination.
The creaking sound of the door made her conscious of her environment once again. Freeman’s big lips caught her immediate attention. On impulse, she ran towards him in fear.
” What happened?” Concerned Pamilerin asked
Freeman saw the genuine look of concern on Pamilerin’s face. Common sense told him that was the time to weaken Pamilerin’s anger towards him.
” She didn’t take my breakup easily. She punched me on the lip because I told her I couldn’t leave my wife for her. I was trying to tell her we were a big mistake which I had been trying to stop for a long time but I had been failing countless times.” Freeman said with a pitiful looking face.
Pamilerin stared hard at Freeman.
” Are you saying it is over?” Pamilerin asked while standing akimbo.
” Yes..I will never set my eyes on her again!”
” I hope so…When Single girls fall in love with married men, they find it hard to cut off and most times they end up ruthless if they are forced to quit the relationship. Are you sure she won’t be coming back?”
” No, I have paid her off!”
Pamilerin raised her eyebrow in a questioning manner.
” I gave her 2 million!”
” Ok…if she is not a gold digger or a cheap blackmailer, that should be more than enough.” Pamilerin said.
” Am I forgiven?” Freeman asked
” Still thinking!” Pamilerin said as she sat back on the chair in the living room…Freeman could sense forgiveness in the air. This was exactly why he loved his wife. Pamilerin was not the complicated kind of person. He walked close to her and planted a kiss on her cheek…
” Thank you for being the best wife ever.”
” He did that?” Winter asked Beauty over the phone
” Yes, that was the biggest insult ever!”
” Insult? He insulted you?”Winter asked
” Yes, he trying to pay me off is a big insult.”
” My dear, please let me get this, a man pays you 2million for the 2 years you spent together as compensation? That guy is definitely a good guy… Babe, if all men could pay ladies compensation fee after breaking up with them, We would have a lot of rich single babes.”
” I don’t need his money, I need him… I love him. “
” Babe, if it is about getting him back, I will get him back but my advise, cash out immediately and forget the guy. There are a lot of guys out there and If dating married men is your preferred spec, there are a lot of them out there… This one … Let him go… If a man pays a girl off, it means he genuinely doesn’t want to have anything to do with her again. Men don’t part with their money easily. ” Winter said
Beauty felt like Something just slipped off her hand. She felt it and she knew it;Freeman was off her grip.
Simultaneously, she felt something fly into her eyes. She tried to get it out but the more she dipped her finger into her eyes, whatever it was, kept plunging in.
” Are you there?” Winter asked
” Yeah, something flew into my eyes. I will call you later! Let me get it out”
Winter dropped her phone in utter shock. She sat back in her chair.
” N2 million!” Winter kept saying over and over
” The guy must be loaded for him to want to throw away N2million just like that! Hmm…. Winter, are you thinking what I am thinking?” Winter said to herself
” Done!” Ajoke’s herbalist boasted to her.
” Those eyes she used in seeing my daughter’s husband will never see anything good again. Thank you Aremu. You have never failed me… except once, but I have forgiven you.”
2 hours later
Beauty’s eyes had produced enough water to fill a glass cup…
” Hello Winter, my eyes are getting worse. Are you sure I shouldn’t go the hospital.?”
” Yes, I am at the airport already, I am taking the next flight to Lagos. Just stay where you are. What is happening to your eyes is not what the hospital can solve, I can tell you the wife has gone diabolical for your case ooo… but don’t worry, where someone’s juju ends, that’s where another person’s own starts from… I will show her you have a killer friend.”
” Thank you Winter… I am waiting… I can’t see clearly again.”
” Don’t worry your head over nothing. That eye, it will clear.”
” Thank you!”
” About to board…see you soon!” Winter said from the Abuja Airport. She had told her new husband that she had to see a close friend who was dying. Unknown to him, Winter was already plotting his death.
” This is very terrible!” Winter said on seeing Beauty. ” Your eyes are like they are going to pop out soon. With this , I think we really need to get to the hospital.” Winter said.
Winter noticed a rumpled sheet of paper on the floor, she instantly guessed it was the cheque. She picked it up in haste…
” We might need this!” Winter said in her defence when she noticed Beauty saw her… ” We don’t know what this eye thing might graduate into, let us have this for medical bills”.
” I swear if Freeman and his wife have a hand in this, they will pay.” Beauty said out loud…
To be continued
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