I was twenty six and celebrating my first valentine without my own man. I just broke up with my boyfriend, Charles; I discovered he was cheating on me with numerous girls. Sharing wasn’t my thing so you have an idea of how it made me feel.
Charles had been the kind of man I had always dreamt of having. He was tall, dark and ambitious. Charles worked as a medical doctor and he was then pursuing a Masters degree in gynecology. Well, I was hurt when I found used condoms in his bedroom shortly before he travelled. Funny enough, he didn’t deny cheating; neither did he beg me to stay. Brutal right? I forgave him because this Val would be terribly boring without someone to hold.
The sun had gone down, and the moon had risen out of the indigo clouds. Evening had come, so I decided to take a walk.

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I quickly rolled out of bed. I needed to change into something decent for my stroll. I was almost at the edge of the bed when I heard a phone ring. It wasn’t mine. I lived with my best friend, Nora. We had been friends since University days.
“Nawa for this girl o,” I mumbled and moved to drag the phone. Nora was forgetful nature and she left the house many times without her phone.
“Nora!” I called. She had just returned from work some minutes back, but had stepped out to get a carton of noodles. I grabbed the phone and rose to my feet. Whoever was calling my friend wasn’t about to give up.
I decided to take the call, I knew this wasn’t cool but Nora could be unpredictable at times. She could come home and lash out of me for not answering.
I pulled in a deep breath and glared at the screen. From the contact identity, I knew her boyfriend, Ikem, was calling. It was clearly written, “Sugar,” and that’s what she loved to call him.
I took the call on the fourth ring.
My heart jolted at the sound of the rumbling baritone. That was definitely not Ikem’s voice. Ikem had a very light voice. Something else was strange…
“Hello,” I whispered and pressed the phone closely to my ears.
“Darling, I just returned from Sheffield. I want us to hang out tomorrow. I got a surprise for you…”
I didn’t need a prophet to tell me that I was talking to my ex boyfriend. It slowly dawned on me that Charles and Nora had something going. A fire started in my bones and spread to my chest. Nora? Charles? It hurt more than anything else at that moment. I didn’t know whether to breakdown and cry or fly into a rage.
Tears blurred my vision as I glared at the call log. Nora had saved Charles’ phone number as “sugar,” this meant only one thing. I have heard stories of best friends betraying each other, but I never knew I would be a victim of such ruthless betrayal.
I pressed my lips down. I couldn’t scream now. I knew Nora’s password, so going through her phone wouldn’t be a problem. I tapped the message box, but it failed to open. She has locked her inbox!
“Shit,” she was perfect in this game. I tossed the phone on the bed and rose to my feet. I had seen enough to make me conclude that Nora and Charles has been seeing each other behind my back. Nora had stabbed me in the back.
All the pain of Charlie’s humiliation flooded my body. It ripped me apart. I was broken and hurt, all over again. What sort of friend cheated with her friend’s ex.
My mind was a sea of confusion. I had to do something. I needed a plan. I couldn’t just let this one go.
I thought of calling Nora’s fiance and telling him all about it. But a closer look revealed that Nora may not even love him the way he loved her. She wouldn’t have anything to lose. I wanted to hurt her, just as she hurt me.
Many times, I had heard that she was more beautiful than I was. Nora was tall. She had a creamy light brown complexion. Her hips were her greatest assets and she had golden eyes. I never envied her for once. She worked in an oil company, while I struggled with my perfume business.
I ran my fingers through my thick hair and sucked in some air. Someone was coming, I could hear footsteps now.
I wiped my face with my blouse. I couldn’t let her see me this way. I couldn’t let her know I had just spoken with Charles.

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Without warning, the door flew wide open and the scent of her flowery perfume permeated the atmosphere. Nora’s perfume weren’t less than fifty thousand. I knew because I got them for her.
“Babe howfa?” She winked and strolled towards me.
Time to play my part, “I am good. Just that…” I licked my lips.
“What is it Ego?” Nora’s golden eyes glowed with concern.
I cringed when I saw that glow; she deserved an Oscar for such a performance.
“I just received a call from the village, my grandmother is dead.”
Nora’s mouth flew open as she rushed towards me.
“I’m so sorry dear. Oh my God, I don’t know what to say,” she hugged me tight. I broke into sobs and clung to her body. She kept patting my shoulder and assuring me that everything would be alright.
It wasn’t long before a different scent danced into my nostrils. It was musky. It was the smell of a man, powerful and consuming.
“Nora?” A deep voice called out to her.
She jerked from me immediately and faced the handsome stranger that stood by the entrance of our bedroom.
Who was this man? He was very attractive and dark, just the way I liked my men. I don’t remember seeing him before.
“Um, Ego…this is Yinka. He is my fiance. I am sorry I am just telling you about him now.” Okay, this was getting weird. Just how many men was Nora flirting with? She was with Charles, Ikem the fiance I knew and now Yinka?
“I don’t understand…” I whispered.
“You don’t need to.” She winked and beckoned the dark stranger in.
“You two should get along; let me fetch some drinks from the kitchen.” Nora waved and hurried out, leaving me and Mr. Dark handsome.
My heart broke into a wild dance as our eyes met. His eyes were like fire pebbles, they ignited a flame in my body. They penetrated the deepest part of my soul. I found it difficult to look away, and he wasn’t making any effort.
“Hi, I am Ego,” I muttered.
He didn’t reply. He advanced towards me in majestic strides. He possessed a domineering aura.
“Who broke your heart?” He stopped a breath apart from my face.
I swallowed, “excuse me?”
Yinka scoffed and ran a finger across my left cheek.”You have been crying.”
His breath was warm against my skin, and the musky scent of his cologne intoxicated me. He had a charm, and I was allured to it. There was something strangely familiar about Yinka. Have you ever met someone the first time, but felt like you’ve known them for a very long time? This is how I felt.
My lips stopped their trembling as his slender finger wiped the tears that had splashed on my face. My skin tingled at his touch, and this made me afraid. What was happening to me?
“I … I I’m good.” I smiled and moved away from him. After my relationship with Charles turned sour, I didn’t trust any man. I still didn’t know what game Nora was playing, so I had to be careful.
Yinka smirked and ran his eyes over the room. His obsidian orbs gleamed with curiosity and they fell on my dressing table. What was he even looking at?
“Can we move to the living room?” I pointed at the door. Next, he would be looking into my underwear hamper and I didn’t want that.
Yinka smiled, “you’re pushing me away darling. You’re breaking my poor heart.”
Okay, I was done with his little theatrics. I still had to figure out what Nora was up to. This wasn’t the time to get swayed by Yinka’s sugary words.
I ignored him and strolled out; he had no choice but to follow.
“Baby, the drinks aren’t cold. You have to manage.” Nora sauntered in with three bottles of ginger beer.
“It’s okay baby but I will have to leave now.” Yinka rose to his feet and pinned his
eyes in the wall clock. I hoped I wasn’t too harsh on him. I felt guilty. I hoped I wasn’t the reason for his early departure.
“But babe, you promised to spend more time with me.” Nora made a puppy face that really irked me. She was such a devil in a white dress.
Yinka pulled her into his arms and dropped a soft kiss on her forehead.
“I’ll be back. Take care of you honey.”
He strolled out of the house without a word to or a wave at me. I felt sick. I felt small. I was confused. Wasn’t that the same guy who flirted with me?
To be continued…

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