Distance Episode 1

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It is one thing to be cheated and know
it, but it is another thing to be cheated
and not know it. Tobi had been cheated
of a husband and his name was
Mayowa. It did not matter that they
were just dating when they parted
ways. She knew they were headed for
the altar.
Tobi and Mayowa had known each
other for five years, with four of those
years spent together in the same
university, before Folake came into the
picture. Tobi still could not believe that
Folake, her best friend, was the reason
she and Mayowa were no longer
together. Folake the go-between, who
Tobi had sent as an emissary to Paul in
Abuja to give him letters, had stolen
her man from her.
If Tobi was going to be honest, she
would acknowledge that things between
her and Mayowa had been rocky for
months before Folake came fully into
the picture.
Tobi’s friendship with Folake dated all
the way back to their university days,
even though they went to different
schools: Tobi went to the University of
Lagos (UNILAG), while Folake attended
Olabisi Onabanjo University in Ogun
State (OOU). Folake had met Mayowa
on different occasions and was
informed to all the details that best
friends typically share with each other.
After graduation, Mayowa had moved
to Ogun State for his youth service,
while Tobi stayed in Lagos. Folake also
served in Lagos. However, it was after
their youth service that the strain on
their relationship became obvious.
Almost immediately after completing
his youth service, Mayowa had gotten a
job working as an Auditor at FBN
Insurance in Abuja. If the National
Youth Service had made their long-
distance relationship seem like a
temporary thing, this new job in Abuja
made it indefinite. Tobi did all she
could to find a job in Abuja, all to no
avail. Even the job applications she
sent to companies and organizations in
Lagos and other parts of the country
were rejected. It seemed like the whole
universe had conspired to keep them
apart, but Tobi was determined to
make things work with Mayowa.
She pressed on in spite of Mayowa’s
non-challant attitude to the situation at
hand. He called less often and blamed
it on work, and Tobi, willing to believe
anything took him at his word.
During that period, Folake was offered
a job with a marketing firm in Abuja,
which required frequent travel from
Lagos to Abuja. So, she was in Lagos
every other week. Tobi, who saw this
as an opportunity to communicate with
her passive boyfriend, began writing
love letters to Mayowa.
She wrote almost every day, pouring
out her heart to Mayowa, updating him
on what was going on at home and
telling him how much she missed him.
How she was able to do this on several
sheets of paper every single day,
without boring herself was amazing.
But with all the free time she had on
her hands, coupled with the fact that
she expressed herself better on paper, it
was effortless.
So Tobi wrote, and Folake delivered
these handwritten epistles to
Mayowa whenever she was in Abuja.
Sometimes Mayowa wrote back, and
other times, he was ‘too busy’ to reply.
But, he always managed to tell
Folake to say hello to Tobi.
It was around this time that Folake told
Tobi that she was seeing a guy called
Jide. And that was all she told Tobi.
No amount of persuading and begging
for more details could make Folake part
with more information on this mystery
man.
“This guy sha … I will meet him one
day.” That was what Tobi always ended
those sessions with whenever Jide’s
name was mentioned.
The strangest thing was that she finally
met him, a few days shy of the 6-month
mark of Mayowa’s relocation to Abuja.
During the Eid-el-Fitr holiday, when
Mayowa finally got a few days off from
work, he came to Lagos. Tobi was of
course, excited and had prepared in
advance to see him. She had wanted to
throw him a mini-party and cook for
him, but he had coldly turned down her
offer when she told him over the
phone.
They had agreed to meet at Tantalizers
for lunch, with Mayowa refusing every
attempt of Tobi to come and visit him
at his house. She had actually tried to
visit but he was not at home. Or at
least, that was what the gateman told
her.
Tobi was the first to arrive at the
restaurant, and she waited for almost
an hour past the time they had agreed
to meet. Mayowa eventually showed
up and apologized for keeping her
waiting. And then, without even sitting
down, he gave her a one-sentence
break-up speech.
“I’m not feeling this anymore and I
think we should go our separate ways.”
Tobi asked him over and over again for
an explanation, wanting to know what
was going on. The only response
Mayowa gave her was “I met
someone.” He left Tobi standing there
and went back to his car, supposedly to
fetch the “someone.” He returned less
than two minutes later, with Folake in
his arm.
Tobi almost fainted. The rest was a
blur, but she remembered
Folake saying she did not plan to hurt
Tobi, and Mayowa telling Folake to stop
being apologetic for their relationship.
That was the last time she laid eyes on
both of them.
Later, she received an invitation card
from Folake, asking for her presence at
her wedding. Beforehand, she had sent
a text message begging Tobi to attend
her bridal shower. She really had the
gut!
Tobi had ignored that text, just like she
had ignored all of Folake’s calls, texts,
emails and other efforts at
reconciliation. Now, it was the day
before the bridal shower, and Tobi was
at home battling serious depression. As
she slipped in and out of a period of
despair, she thought up different ways
to pay Folake back for her betrayal.
“I am sure there is a special place in
hell for best friends who steal their
friends’ boyfriends. You’ll go there
soon enough,” Tobi muttered to
herself. Ironically, she did not extend
the same ill wishes to Mayowa who was
at the center of the whole affair. (Love
has blindfolded her eyes)
Just then, someone knocked on the
door, prematurely halting her
unforgiving thoughts.
Who was it? Checkout in the next
episode.
– To Be Continued