The first cut is the deepest. I had heard this expression all of my life but I never realized how true it was until I got cut for the first time. I had never had my heart broken and so now experiencing it for the first time in my late twenties felt….deep.
I wasn’t exactly sure how I was supposed to be feeling though. Technically, I broke his heart first but he wasn’t acting like someone who had just been hurt. Judging from his recent interview, he had not only moved on; he looked happy and was totally committed to growing his business. At first I was bitter and then my bitterness evolved into envy. Yes! I admit I was jealous of him. We were no longer together yet his life was full. His business was thriving and he was getting featured in magazines and television shows. He had more to talk about than his cancelled wedding. On the other hand, I was cooking, dancing and taking fashion designing classes just to distract myself. I was beginning to withdraw and had even stopped attending my sessions with my therapist turned friend. I was feeling unaccomplished.
A few days after Tunji’s interview went viral, he reached out to me. He had come to the house and had been told I was out and had decided to wait. When I walked in still clad in my outfit from dance class he looked surprised.
“Hi”. My response was very cold, unnecessarily so but I just couldn’t help it.“Hey. Interesting outfit. What’s the story’’? He asked with a teasing smile on his face.“Not like it’s any of your business but I went for my dance lessons”. I replied with a straight face. “Salsa”? He asked.
I nodded.“I figured. You once told me you wanted to visit Cuba and also learn how to dance salsa”. He said.I had no recollection of the conversation he was referencing. He had drawn a battle line and now he wanted to emotionally blackmail me into backing down.
“I cannot remember ever telling you that”! I exclaimed. “Yes you did Adesewa. A few years ago, I came to see you in London. It was old movie night for us and for once you agreed we could watch another movie and not the usual Grease or Pretty Woman and so we saw Dirty Dancing and you told me you you’d like to visit Cuba and learn how to dance salsa”. He reminded me.
The memories came flooding back and I remembered the way I had felt cuddled up beside him on a cold winter evening watching Dirty Dancing. A lump formed in my throat. How was I to bundle ten years of odd memories like that and throw them all away? How?
“Oh. I remember now. Did you come to see my dad? He’s out of town”. I said in an attempt to change the subject.
A lot of things had changed over the last couple of weeks but not Tunji’s relationship with my dad. They were still as thick as thieves and I was aware he was a frequent visitor at my dad’s office and still met him once a week for a game of golf or tennis.
“I am aware he is out of town. I came to see you. If you don’t mind, I think we really need to talk”. He said.
“Ok, but I need to take a shower.” I went up the stairs and left him in the living room downstairs.
I went into the bathroom and took a quick shower. When I came out clad in my towel, I was shocked to find him in the middle of my room waiting. I instantly dashed back into the bathroom. I was totally shocked and didn’t know how to react.
The sound of his laughter filtered into the bathroom.“Stop being dramatic Adesewa. I just thought we needed some privacy to talk”. He called out.
I didn’t know what to say. After a few seconds he knocked on the bathroom door, I opened it slightly and peeped. He handed me a dress shirt which he must have taken out of my closet. I said thank you and shut the door firmly behind me. When I came out, he was still standing.“Do you want to sit“? I asked nervously.
“Nope. I don’t really have much to say. Just wanted to clear the air”. He informed me.I sat down and waited for him to begin.
“Ok. This is really awkward but I am sure you read one of my interviews recently. I didn’t mean to sound like that and the quote from me regarding our wedding was taken completely out of context. The interviewer had been pressing me for the new wedding date and I didn’t know how else to make her stop. The interview was transcribed to make it look like that was my initial response to the question but it really wasn’t. I didn’t mean to disrespect you in anyway and I am sorry”. He paused and I knew he was waiting for me to say something.“Ok fine. But that’s not all the interview said was it? Apparently you have a new leading lady in your life. Or was that also taken out of context”? I asked looking him straight in the eye.
He shoved his two hands into his pockets. He always did that whenever he did not know what to say.“I don’t think we should do this right now”. He said. “Come on Tunji. The least we can do after everything is be honest with each other’’. I said.“So what do you want to know”? He asked. I rolled my eyes. Typical of Tunji to stall. “Is she your girlfriend”? I asked. “Yes”.