So I have a theory on love and it’s a pretty simple one. My theory goes thus: “any kind of love that costs you your true self is too expensive”. I had been with the same man since I was eighteen and had no identity outside of him. A few months ago, I had come back to Nigeria to plan a grand wedding and start a new chapter of my life.
All of a sudden, there was no wedding to plan, I had no job and I had no boyfriend to keep me engaged. I was idle and it wasn’t a good thing. Having opened up to Kola (my therapist/friend) about my childhood dream of being a fashion entrepreneur, I decided to do something about it. I contacted the designer who had been commissioned to design my reception dress and told her about my intentions to learn more about the fashion business. She hesitated at first, obviously confused as to why I would want to learn from her but eventually she offered to coach me three days a week.
I was excited but I kept the news from my family. I was sure my father would flip if he found out his daughter was interning at a small fashion house. His dream for me was to become a social figure married to a powerful man and it had been a good dream up until a few months ago when I discovered I wanted more out of my life.
In addition to my fashion business classes, I decided to join a salsa class and take cooking classes. Yes I admit, I could balance the books of a conglomerate but there were only a few dishes that I could whip up from start to finish without the help of a microwave. I convinced my parent’s cook to allow me stay in the kitchen while he cooked, so I could learn a thing or two.
Within a few weeks, I found myself meaningfully engaged. Between my fashion lessons, my salsa classes and “catering practical” I barely had time to brood over my lack of a love life. My friends, Tosin and Onyeka eventually staged an intervention that led us to our favourite hangout spot to “catch up”. “Sewa, what have you been up to? I call you, sometimes you don’t pick and then you send a message hours later. What is going on with you’? Onyeka asked with a stern look on her face.
I rolled my eyes. Onyeka had a reputation for being the strict one in the group. Tosin laughed out loud at my reaction and then said: “It’s great to have someone else on the other side of this conversation for once”. “Shut up Tosin”. Onyeka and I said in unison. We all laughed.
“Really Sewa, I hate to admit it but “Mummy Onyeka” is right. We really need to understand what’s going on with you. Apart from the fact that we miss you, we are also worried about what’s going on in your head”. Tosin said reaching out to grab my hand.
“Trust me girls, I am fine. I have just been incredibly busy. Between my fashion internship, my salsa classes and my cooking classes…I don’t have time to be depressed or brood over any man. I am fine”. I said with a wide smile…for special effects.
Obviously they weren’t buying my little rehearsed speech. They looked at each other nervously. “I don’t think she has seen it”. Tosin said to Onyeka. Onyeka hit Tosin on the shoulder. “Keep quiet”! She exclaimed. It became apparent that they knew something I didn’t know.
“What’s going on”? I asked Tosin ignored Onyeka’s warning glares and whipped out her iPad from her Chanel bag which was placed on the table. My heart started pounding wildly in my chest. My imagination was running wild and I had no idea how badly what I was about to find out would hurt me.
She handed the iPad to me, it was an article posted by a gossip blog. The article had the transcript of an interview Tunji had recently granted to a magazine on his blooming tech business. I skipped all the business questions and went straight to the part I knew my friends were referring to.
The interviewer had asked about our new wedding date since the wedding had been postponed because of my accident a few weeks back and had Tunji responded in one simple sentence: “The wedding was not postponed, it was cancelled”. The article went on to insinuate that Tunji had since moved on and included pictures of Tunji and a mystery lady he had been photographed with at different recent events. I skimmed through the comments and some people were of the opinion that the mystery lady had been in the picture all along, as he couldn’t have moved on so quickly.
I hadn’t told my friends about my last encounter with Tunji and so I knew they were in the dark about our current situation. I had been unsure about everything but now I had found out with the rest of the world that Tunji had moved on. I thought I was ready to handle being single but I could not explain why I suddenly felt drained. I wanted to be single for now but only on the premise that Tunji and Chigozie remained single as well. My emotions did not make sense to me…but I didn’t like whatever I was feeling.