The morning after


morning after
I curled under the sheets and wriggled my toes. My heart thudded softly with guilt but I wasn’t going to give in. I knew it was only a matter of time before the soft thud became an insistent and defiant pounding. Too soon perhaps?
I shut my eyes tight and focused on happy thoughts only. Like that time when my life was simple and uncomplicated. When people envied me with good reason. Those were good times. I sighed. I would get through this too and find my way back soon enough.
I felt gentle arms wrap around me and draw me close.
“I know you aren’t sleeping” he purred.
He planted a kiss on my neck with my back still to him and he snuggled close. I smiled but I did not respond. It felt good to be held like that and I was going to savour every single moment. Memories from last night flashed through my mind. Alex had been really edgy over the phone. I kept worrying that something was wrong and he wasn’t alright but there was nothing I could do from where I was. I got on the flight from Kaduna and willed the plane to get to Lagos in five minutes. We got to Lagos alright, but only after about an hour. He was waiting for me at the airport like he’d promised. Something was wrong but he was doing a pretty good job of not showing it off. Only I knew him well enough to know that all was not well.
He drove me to the Oriental hotel where I was to be lodged for the night and where the awards ceremony that had brought me to town was holding amidst light chatter. I checked in, freshened up and proceeded to meet with the organizers of the event. I was distracted. Something was wrong with my man and we needed to talk about it. I caught a break with an hour left to the show and asked that we talk. He insisted it could wait till after the awards ceremony. We argued back and forth but he wouldn’t budge. Finally, I gave in.
The awards ceremony and dinner was lovely. I had a great time. My golden moment came when I was announced youngest philanthropist of the year. My heart was bursting with so much joy. All the years of hard work, imparting lives and making a difference had earned me a place in the spotlight. I walked to the platform, received my award and smiled at the cameras, the lights blinding me slightly. I looked to Alex and smiled and he winked at me. My speech was short and simple.
“To God from whom every good and perfect gift comes, to my parents who always made me think of other people than myself, to my friends who always only see the good in me and to my boo who insists that my big head complements my big heart. Thank you for your unending love and support.”
Everyone applauded me loudly and I walked gingerly back to my seat holding the plaque loosely in my hand. Alex hugged me and kissed me on the forehead and told me he was proud of me. We walked back to my room at about 11pm when the entire event was over and I was exhausted. His pensive mood returned and I decided to forget my fatigue for a minute and focus on him.
“Something is eating you babe. You’ve got to tell me what it is.”
I sat on the bed and took off my six inches platform. He was much taller than me so the platforms were a necessity.
He walked to the other end of the room and stood by the window. The view outside was lovely. I’d enjoyed it a few times myself.
“There’s no easy way to say this. I want a break.”
I was sure I hadn’t heard right.
“A break? From what?”
He wouldn’t even look at me.
“Our relationship. I can’t keep up anymore. You’re doing so much and I’m doing so little. I can’t keep up.”
I was confused. Alex was one of the smartest guys I knew. What was he on about?
“Can’t keep up how?”
“You’re in the spotlight. You’re your own person. You’re not vulnerable. You don’t need me.”
Shock waves crashed into me repeatedly. He was leaving me because I was my own person?
“We aren’t in a competition you know. We’re in a relationship. You seem to be forgetting that.”
It seemed like he had made up his mind. I wanted to cry but I couldn’t find the tears. He wasn’t even done dishing the blows.
“I met someone…”
He was still looking out the window. At that point, I lost it. If he was dumping me, he’d damn well be brave about it.
“You met someone? Look at me Alex!”
“I can’t.
She depends on me and is always reaching out to me. She allows me be responsible for her…”
His voice was breaking. I didn’t care. I raised my voice.
“Look at me Alex!”
I got off the bed and went to meet him.
“You’re leaving me for someone else because she is weak and I’m not?”
He finally looked at me and I saw the hurt in his eyes. He had given up on us. He wasn’t even going to fight.
“I’m really sorry Jennifer. I’m really sorry.”
I gathered my wits together within seconds and I spoke up.
“It’s alright. We’re through.”
“What?”
“You heard me. Get out!”
He did not make any attempts to beg. He shuffled out of the room and I slammed the door in a rage. I grabbed my phone and dialed a number I knew by heart. I took out my anger on the poor keypad and punched the numbers furiously in. Hillary picked up on the second ring.
“Madam! Congratulations o. I saw you on AIT tonight and I was really proud. I would have called but I saw oga with you on tv and figured I should wait till morning.”
“Larry, where are you?”
I could hear muffled music in the background.
“I’m at a friend’s party in Lekki. What’s up? Are you okay?”
I breathed in deeply and tried to steady myself. The hurt was already hitting me hard and tearing me apart.
“No, I’m not okay. Can you come over immediately? I’m staying at the Oriental. I’ll meet you at the reception.”
It’s one of the reasons me and Hillary had been best friends for twelve years. When one called, the other answered. No questions asked, no judgment passed.
“Sure. I’ll be with you in 15 minutes.”
It was almost midnight and the roads were pretty free. In exactly 15 minutes, Hillary was with me at the reception. We walked to my room and once the door was shut, my tears came down like a heavy downpour. He thought Alex was a coward and he didn’t mince words in letting me know that. I cried for about thirty minutes and I eventually felt better. He offered me a glass of cold water after my tears subsided and I accepted it gratefully.
“Funny thing,” he said
“The very reason for which he dumped you is the major reason I’ve always admired you. You’re solid, you’re independent and you’re an asset to everyone around you. I can’t stand babes who are liabilities. Ugggh!”
I laughed at the face he made and I walked to him and hugged him.
“Thanks Larry.”
He smiled mischievously and said.
“I know something that’ll make you feel better.”
He brought out his phone, fiddled with it a bit and soon Ne-yo’s “Miss independent” filled the room.
I actually laughed.
“Come and dance with me.”
I laughed again and shook my head but he pulled me close and I couldn’t help myself.
We swayed easily to the beat and he sang along. It was somewhat amusing watching the mock serious look on his face. When it got to the bridge, I was slightly surprise to hear him alter it.
♪♪ … And everything you got best believe you bought it…
You gon’ steal my heart ain’t no doubt it,
you’re everything I need, girl you’re everything I need♪♪
I smiled as I looked into his eyes. Something changed in that moment. The song ended in seconds but he held my gaze and held me in his arms. I knew it was coming even before it did and I didn’t hold back. He kissed me. It was slow and somewhat uncertain but I urged him on. I didn’t let myself think. Thinking would only ruin the moment.
I sighed as I turned on the bed to face him. He had drifted back to sleep. Things would never be the same again certainly not after last night. My phone vibrated a few inches from me and I reached out to pick it and read the text.
Saying I made a mistake would be putting it mildly. I don’t care how tough or independent you are. I really can’t imagine my life without you. I realized between last night and this morning that I’d be crazy to let you go. Forgive me please and let’s pretend last night didn’t happen…

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48 thoughts on “The morning after

      • Yes but not pained much. I realize women have lost self discipline and reliance. i do not consider her Miss Independent if she cannot get her shit together after a cheesy breakup. A rebound or an overnight sexual tamper on her emotions is where I have an issue. Not hesitating to call him up is questionable. Her motives were not “AM DONE!”. its was “Self Pity and Shared Emotional Baggage” hence I do not consider her Miss Independent. That part should be edited.
        Talk less of the boyfriend who is not a real character in the fiction but a fictional character in the fiction. Seemed like he could have been concocted from the fantasies of her best friend.
        That’s why I said all Stewpeed Characters! This emotional fiction needs to get more challenging and mystical. Put some more edge and complication into it. This is a typical Basic story. I am waiting for more.
        Great Job Girl!

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  1. I pray she doesn’t make the mistake of going back to him cos that will be disastrous. I’ve seen it happen to some marriages around me and those women end up choosing between their husbands ego and their successful careers. Ending up with an insecure man is the worst mistake a woman can make because no matter how hard she tries, he always thinks she is competing with him and he must assert his authority by showing her ‘he is the one wearing the pants’. Nice one dear!

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  2. Please don’t edit anything. It isfine just the way it is. and no the characters are not stupid. they are human,. it happens even to the best of us. you told a story that was as real as they come.

    well done.

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  3. Lol, Jenny has crossed the line of no return. Stupid? I won’t say. Sometimes hurt drives us to crazy acts. It’s a totally human trait. Well done Oge

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  4. Very human story. Well done Oge!
    The things we do at the height of our pain and vulnerabilities often come to judge us when our sanity returns. Na wa o! Perhaps if there was no other woman, but there was. Perhaps guys and ladies can’t just be friends afterall ?

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    • Well, I think guys and girls can just be friends but in moments of great vulnerability on the one’s part, the onus is on the other to exercise discipline and just be a solid friend. Well, I didn’t think of a scenario without another woman when I was writing this but if there wasn’t another woman, I’m sure the pain she felt would definitely have been less. It was the feeling of being replaced that hurt more than anything else I guess. And you’re absolutely right!More often than not, the things we do at the height of our pain and vulnerabilities often come to judge us when our sanity returns. As much as I’d like to offer solutions to that, I really can’t. People handle pain differently and there’s actually no specific rule guiding how people should hurt. Thanks for always being here and doing your ever insightful analysis sis.

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  5. A classic example of life n choices!

    A moment after the irreversible deed has been done, here comes the apology with its baggage of reality and the incessant nagging voice of mr conscience.

    Good one Oge.

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  6. Well the story is real as it comes. We may think Jenny is crazy but then the things we do when we are “hyper excited” or ” hyper hurt”, SMH. Btw, Alex is a douche bag! What happened in less than 12hours? Did “miss dependent” suddenly die or fly away? But I still say, the story is real as it comes. You don’t need to edit darling, this s*** happens. Weldone babe!

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  7. Haba Hillary!!! That’s all I can say. You’re supposed to be the ‘neutral’ person here na…couldn’t just wait to get in there, could you? See im head like…lolll

    Nice one Oge…(always remember not everyone will appreciate every story the same way so listen to the critics buh…)

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  8. I personally think Alex is stupid,insecure and has a very low self-esteem. He thinks he’s in a competiton for chrissakes! And he only needs a liability and weakling to make him know he’s winning. I’ve come across guys like that-who love you for your independence and later get to leave because they feel left behind. Sorry-ass.

    As for hillary,I really don’t know what to say. But to wrap it up,like Umari put it, Strong men are NEVER afraid of feminists and/or successful women. A lion does not mate with a sheep. Alex is the sheep here

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  9. AAAAAAAAAAH!!! No now.. It’s sad 😦 But the lesson must be learnt to not make decisions on the spur of the moment! She should have called a girl friend or something, not a guy.. This would perfectly pass for a true story.. Lovely piece Oge! 😉

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  10. This was exactly the reason my ex gave for breaking up with him. Apparently I was too independent n I emasculated him, he also said he feels like I ddnt need him n he was just an extra in my life. So, I look straight into his eyes n told him I ddnt need a weak ass idiot in my life. GBAM!!

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    • HAHA! Bam!
      I love that you told him off. Really, in this time and age, any man who cannot handle a strong woman is a weakling. I’m not saying women should go about rubbing their ‘strength’ in the guys’ face and trying to subdue them. Just stay chill. The relationship isn’t a competition or a battle of wills. Both guys and ladies need to understand that.
      Meanwhile kudos on being a strong, independent woman. Lucky is the man that gets to wife u 🙂 And believe me when I say there are nice guys out there who will not be intimidated by you 😉

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  11. This is emm…. Really,I felt what Jenny was passing through when reading this. You know that feeling you get when you are really working hard to be your own person,strong and independent following what they said that men love strong women that do not depend on them for everything and now having achieved that, he now comes to you that he can not stay with you because you are independent. That is hypocrisy. Reducing it to a lay man’s term, he is afraid. And these things happen everyday. I don’t know what I will do if it happens to me but one thing for sure is that I will give him a knock on the head before any other thing. As for Larry, would I say he took advantage of an emotional vulnerable woman? Well done Oge. This is really nice.

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    • Thank you dear. You did make a good point. It’s hypocritical for a guy to say ‘I want a strong independent woman’ and then dump her for that same reason. It really does happen. However, being strong and independent as a lady is basically for yourself and not the guy. Let the guys go and figure themselves out.
      I wouldn’t quite say Larry took advantage of an emotional vulnerable woman. Maybe that was just what she needed at the time. But then, who knows? Lol. I created the characters but I didn’t give them much depth

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  12. Dis is wat oyibo man will call “Gòbé”…
    Well, it’s 1-1 now; n in the spirit of ‘forgetting last nite ever happened’, goalless draw.

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  13. Now. I finally found my way here.. HeHe :)!

    Down to business, I don’t know what the early commenters read into the story… but none can tell me they have kept a company of an opposite sex for that long without the frequent friction of intense romantic empathy [call it FIRE].

    The case of the Jenifer and Hillary is a waiting romance to happen sooner or later (but it another story to see if it will last) but Alex [unlike the smart Alec] is a mere jackass… I mean admitting to being under dealt with in the rounds of life and taking it out on your relationship is…[insert whatever] and I am seriously disappointed with him. Do well to let him know of my feeling pls!

    PS: only God knows what i am missing in the #series but surely this week shall not pass me by!

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