I was laying in bed pretending to be asleep when a terse knock on the door startled me out of my sham. My nerves instantly rammed up inside me, arousing a buffet of emotions within. I wasn’t exactly sure what to expect but if the note I found stuck under my door was anything to go by, then this stranger shouldn’t be any harm.
I got up, paced slowly towards the door and heaving one last time, I opened it.
In the doorway stood a tall dark chocolate specimen of a man, his smile spoke of a confidence that commanded the moment. He seemed to be one of those who paid attention to their grooming with a clean shaven face and well manicured fingers which drummed on the door pane. His gregarious mien was so captivating that I found myself smiling sheepishly.
“I see you got my note…Stacy”
“I take it you are James? James Asong” I replied, to which he nodded.
He was a distant admirer who wanted more. He knew everything about me and hinted at that knowledge in the note he left. I normally would have been wary of him and considered him a potential stalker but his words were so beautifully written that they tugged at my heartstrings. I can’t quite tell which endeared me to him more, his fine command of the Queen’s language or his beautiful penmanship.
It was 7 pm when he showed up. We ended up chatting till the early hours of the morning. He was very easy to talk to and listened so intently. It was almost a cliche from a romantic movie because he knew what to say, when to say it and the right emotion to lace it with. I fell for his charms that night and missed class that morning, sleeping the night away at daytime in his arms.
As time went on, we grew closer. We had both agreed to practice celibacy, so we found other ways to be intimate and spend time together without breaking the rule. I experienced many firsts with him like my first kiss, first boyfriend et al. He tolerated my excesses and indulged my sensitivities. It was like being in a drunken stupor without all the alcohol. We complemented each other perfectly in more ways than one; physically, emotionally, positively and then negatively.
I learned a lot about myself; who I am in a relationship, who I could be, what I could and could not do and the extremes I was willing to go for my partner like stealing from my father just because he said so. The once self-confident, no-nonsense and assertive person I was once was slowly going into obscurity. My existence gradually seemed to be tied to his and I became dysfunctional in his absence, spending the rest of my time obsessing about his return. My grades began to suffer, my friendships started to fizzle out and the frequency of my visits to our home reduced.
I had become a shadow of myself being with James so much that I didn’t see the picture glaring at me with evidence. How he accepted celibacy without objecting, never attempting to need me sexually or even desire me. His need for money every time he visited and he always seemed to have some major project he was working on. The countless exams he wrote but never actually passing. I missed all that, yet it was all there.
After a year of dating, the honeymoon looked like it was finally coming to a close and the veil that covered my eyes was being lifted to smell the coffee, and smell I did. That was when I found that he had another girl on the side. It was for her he made me steal from my father, it was because of her that it was easy to be celibate and the reason why he always had to go away for those mysterious exams. It was because of another woman. And it was his darling cousin who let me in on the secret – unintentionally.
I was a bitter soul for two weeks following the revelation. How could I have fallen so far and so deep that I almost lost myself, my humanity. Doing the things I could have only imagined in nightmares, losing myself to him and becoming innocuous to the society around me. Indeed, not all that glitters is gold; otherwise how do I explain meeting a charming and alluring man only to be in love with his monster. I was never really mad at his cheating, it saved me a bundle of regret and I am grateful to the other Ms. I would never know which one of us was the mistress but this I know for sure, if I didn’t get out when I did, you wouldn’t be reading this. I dodged a major bullet with James.