It ain’t love if it makes you stupid, makes someone else think on your behalf, that when they ask you to jump, you ask, “This high?Should I jump higher or lower?” While instead you should be asking, “Why should I jump?”
That was me. I am Tasha. Some few years ago stupidly in love with a man called Escobar who had his life all planned out unbeknownst to me. I remember him coming to my flat one evening,desolate like someone bearing death news.
“I have very sad news babe!” He addressed me as babe in private because we kept our relationship secret because of his status in the church.
“What?” I asked,worried. I loved and cared for Escobar so much that when he worried, I felt it too physically.
“The pressure to marry Eddah is too much. I think I have no choice.” He said, seated on the chair, holding my hands as I stood, looking at his face, hoping he was joking.
“What?” I asked, my voice weak, my throat choking.
“I am sorry.” He said ,standing to face me, “I have to, that’s what the church wants, but you know it’s you I love,and nothing can change that.I will always love you.” He said,with tears in his eyes and I saw him close the door leaving me with shattered dreams and a very hollow pain in my heart.
A week later, Eddah called me.
“Hi cuz-in-law to be, how about you be one of my bridesmaids in our wedding?” She asked excitedly. Everyone believed that Escobar and I were cousins as he wanted them to believe. It was a good front to have our escapades.
I knew that if I said NO, it would raise eyebrows so I accepted to be Eddah’s bridesmaids knowing too well that I was throwing myself in a pool of heartache.
No one knew the pain behind my smiles and the green chunk of jealousy in my throat that was too hard to swallow as the man I loved with every nerve of me, said his vows to another woman. I was behind the bride as I watched as they smiled, staring in each other’s eyes and then sealing their vows with a long kiss. I bent my head, I wanted to stop this, to take my man and run away with him but I stayed still. Then he looked at me and I thought for a moment he had my thoughts too. But he gave me a quick friendly wink and took his eyes back to his bride.
Escobar and Eddah took off for honeymoon thereafter. Two weeks later, on a dull evening, I heard a knock on my door. As soon as I opened the door, he grabbed me, kissed me hungrily, biting my ears, my neck,cupping my breasts, lifting my skirt, positioning me to take him.
“Esco!” I screamt, pushing him away, “You are a married man now!” He came close again and held my waist. His breath was like a magnet to me. When he held me, I lost all control and sense. But I gathered all my control again and shoved him back.
“Babe, all I thought about when I was away was you. Everytime I made love to Eddah,I wished it was you. I love you and you know that. Just one time, one last time and we say our goodbyes.” He was breathing near me again, rubbing my scalp and fondling my neck with his other hand. He had me pinned to the wall. I gave in. I had missed him so much.
And we had many last times. No one still suspected. Everyone knew we were close relatives. Besides, he and Eddah made a cute couple. He pulled the chair for her, he opened the car door for her. While he had a chance to speak in church, he could not stop talking about his wife. So who would think, that Escobar, the happily married man had an affair with his cousin?
“I have a brilliant idea.” He said one day after a steamy game of bedminton.
“I am listening.” I said. I had settled to be his in that way. Now when I look at it, I laugh at my stupidity.
“Come stay with us. Everyone thinks you are my cousin after all.” The idea seemed ludicrous at first but his charm and power to convince prevailed upon me to accept.
Eddah was pleased to see me. If only she knew. I saw her as one who had stolen my man. He was mine before she saw him. But she had a better job, a better family and a better position in church, being the daughter of one of the elders.
I, on the other hand, was an orphan. Like Escobar,the church had taken us from a dilapidated orphanage and taken care of us. It fed us, schooled us and ensured we lived well. Hence, we had to ‘thank’ the church by being active members. I was the choirleader. Escobar was the church assistant overseer . Eddah did not have anyone’s debt so she was a just member, however, she was a respected member. Her father donated thousands of money to develop the church.
“I am so glad to host the only relative to my husband. Feel at home.” She said and showed me around the imposing bungalow her father had gifted them on their wedding.
“This will be your room. There is free wifi by the way. Escobar tells me you do a lot of online jobs.” She said as I looked at the elegant decor around the bedroom. There was a queensize bed in the centre of the room,surrounded by a pink kingly mosquitoe net that hang from the ceiling. On one corner was the reading area, a state-of-the-art computer seated on the desk beside those office leather chairs that sink when you sit on them. The wardrobes were crafted uniquely fitted next to inbuilt shelves.
“Thanks Madam Eddah. I really appreciate.” I said.
“No cuz. We are related now. Just call me Eddah.” She said, grinning at me. I looked at her and wondered what to make of her. She really loved Escobar. She thought being nice to me, her husband’s ‘cousin’, would impress Escobar. I felt pity, not just at Eddah but also at myself. Can a man really have such strong effect on two women?
We had dinners together. Escobar enjoyed brushing his fingers on my thighs under the table as I struggled to keep a poker face. He would stroke my buttocks when it was just me and him in the kitchen. Sometimes he would be daring enough to sit me on the kitchen table and fool around until we heard footsteps approaching and pretend to do kitchen chores.
As days approached, Escobar became more daring. He would sneak in the mid of the night to my bedroom and make love to me. I loved seeing his excited face when he pulled over the sheets to meet me in a sexy lingerie waiting for him. Him in just a vest and a short.
“I don’t know Tasha, I feel like our spark is dwindling.” Eddah opened up to me one day. “We are seldom intimate nowadays. Can you talk to him,maybe, find out what is wrong, please cuz?” She pleaded with me. I said yes, I would talk to him. She was so thankful, so sure I would repair their marriage.
When he sneaked into my room that night, I told him of his wife’s worries.
“I just don’t feel her. How many times will I tell you that it is you that I love?” He said, roughly pulling out the only attire I had on. He smacked and bit before bending me on all fours and all my apertures were his for the taking.
The next day, he was extremely nice to his wife. He bought her flowers and chocolate,much to her delight. He even asked me, in her presence to sleep early. They would be watching a romantic movie, just the two of them. I went to the bedroom, a bit envious. I could not sleep. I decided to have a peep.
They were not watching the movie anymore. He was undressing her, taking his time to admire her beauty. He was whispering endless words of love to her. He reached for her hands and they entwined as they slowly made love. He had closed his eyes as he breathed hard at every calculated thrust. When they both reached the peak, he fell on her bosom as she stroked his head.
“You know I love you.” He said between short breaths.
“I love you too.” She said.
I tiptoed back to my room with a heavy lump in my throat. The following day, Eddah came to thank me. She said she would be going shopping with her friends the whole day. It was just me and Escobar. He waited for her to drive off and then suddenly grabbed my waist from behind, trying to unzip my skirt.
“Stop this!” I was envious and angry. He saw only the anger in my eyes.
“What is wrong babe?” He asked concerned.
My body was trembling. “Esco,I watched you yesternight. You too were in another world, a world that you and I have never been.” I was in tears.
“What do you mean babe, we always…” He tried to talk but I stopped him.
“No we don’t. With me,you are like an animal, a greedy animal that eats me up without mercy. With me, I am just a thrill that excites you. An object of your fantasy. I saw how you made love to her. You were slow, taking your time to please her. I didn’t hear you call her a bad bitch, or a dirty whore like you do with me.” He walked towards me.
“Dont come near me!” I screamt at him. “Esco,you know what pained me most,” he was now looking at me,helpless, “I was pained by the words “I love you”.
“Babe, don’t I tell you I love you too?” Escobar whispered desperately.
“Yes you do Esco,” The anger in me was still there, “You do tell me that you love me, but only when you want to take my pants off. And when you do, you sneak back to your wife. Yet with your wife, You said those words after! Escobar, you told her you loved her after you had sex with her! You know what that means?” I was now loud. “It means, you not only love her,but you also deeply respect her. Something you can’t have with me!”
“Babe,what’s this now?” He asked
“It also means that all this time, I was a fool. Eddah loves you and you love her. Me, I am just your dirty little secret.” I said and ran to the room sobbing as I threw all my stuff in my suitcase. He tried to stop me, running after me as I rushed to the gate. He called out after me, his voice sounding anguished but he did not go beyond the gate. I turned and saw him standing as he watched me go.
“If he truly loved you,” I said to myself, “he would not hold onto that gate. He would follow you and start a fresh life with you. You stupid Tasha.”
That evening, I was housed by a friend. I made a request to myself not to cry over a man who loved me not. A man who had used me to satisfy his wanton desires. Eddah texted me.
Hey cuz, heard you got a job out of town. Congrats. You were a blessing to this home.
He had lied to protect his marriage. It was alright. Eddah was a good woman, she did not deserve what we had done behind her back.
Yes. The job offer came suddenly. You have no idea but you were the blessing to me. I have learnt a big lesson in life,thanks to you. Stay blessed.
I pressed the send button and blocked their numbers. No more will I be anyone’s side dish.