THE HEARTBEAT

love (1)
Its 1:30 am, Sunday morning…I hear the song dami duro playing, yeeaaah that’s Davido on stage…Meeeen I’m so feeling this concert and enjoying his performance…the music is getting louder…the crowd is getting wild, and then someone starts tickling my tummy…
I jumped up, startled, to hear my phone ringing and vibrating at the same time… I’d been lying on top of it, I forgot

I’d set dami duro as my ring tone, not because I liked the song, but because my friend Sheila just wouldn’t let me hear word with that song…its dami duro this or dami duro that…If I didn’t know better I’d say there was ‘jazz’ in the song… I quickly grabbed the vibrating phone, certain it was Sheila calling, because I’d promised her I’d keep my phone on vibrate plus ring so I could hear when she called no matter how deeply asleep I was…

I hadn’t done this MTN midnight call thing in like three years…I would have to regain my “match fitness” on this one…and I couldn’t imagine why I had agreed to it when I had church in the morning. Well, it would have to be third service (God bless Pastor Kunle for adding one more service to the schedule). Though I was feeling a tug of guilt at my carnality…I really wanted to hear Sheila’s voice, especially after our date the previous evening had gone so well…ending in our first kiss.

My smile turned to a slight frown as I saw the caller I.D…DOYIN. I tried to search my brain for even one tenth of a reason as to why Doyin of all the people on earth would call me at what the gods called an ‘ungodly hour’…
I hesitated before pushing the phone symbol that had the green colour, still unsure as to whether it was the wise choice…I placed the phone to my ear and tried to say something, but no sound escaped my vocal cord…Then I heard her whisper… “hello….hello…hello, Dave are you there?”
I paused for about five seconds, unsure of what to say…before I remembered that the natural response to every hello is meant to be a hi…

“Hi Doyin, how are you, and congratulations once more on your wedding, I’m so sorry I couldn’t make it…” “It’s ok,” she replied…”I understand…” At this point I took a deep breath and closed my eyes, because of the painful memories that swept through me like a gust of harmattan wind…

The whole world had thought we’d end up as man and wife. I mean, we were the perfect Disney classic, the ‘lived happily ever after’ story brought to life. Our relationship was so blissful that even the most hardened ‘love-atheist’ (if there’s any word like that), suddenly wanted to find a soul mate…and repent of his ‘sinful ways’ of hating the word love…

Strangers would walk up to us whenever we strolled arm in arm in the park and say, “I hope I find the kind of happiness you both share” or “I pray my son/ daughter ends up as happy as this”…that’s how perfect we were…our love was so hot we could set a forest on fire if we ran across it…So deep the grand canyon was only as deep as a baby’s bath tub compared to it…(give it to me, I’m the king of exaggeration). But really, we were every couple’s dream….and it lasted for three good years, until…hmmm, my mind shifted back to the call…
*Sniff, sniff*…”Doyin, are you ok…are you crying, and where’s your husband”? “No Dave…*more sniffs*…I’m not crying, I’m ok…
” OMG!!” I exclaimed in horror…“You are crying, what’s wrong!?” I yelled, fearing the worst…

CALL WAITING: SHEILA

Hmmmmm…the call I had been expecting was coming in but I couldn’t get my mind off Doyin…
”Its…its…its…she was choking on her words, trying to talk and fight back the tears at the same time…”Its Tony!!!” she finally blurted out…

”Tony”? I said…fearing the worst, “what happened to him, is he alright”?

That tiny evil part of me I had forgotten existed actually wanted her to say “Yes!!” That something was wrong with the man who had stolen my source of happiness, my sweet, sweet, Doyin from me…I hated myself for having such a good heart because I knew deep down I was praying she’d say he was fine…

And she did…”He’s ok Dave,”… I heaved a sigh of relief, though the most reluctant one I had heaved in my twenty eight year history…”Ok, Doyin, please do stop crying and tell me what’s wrong, I’m here for you ok? You know that don’t you?” Hmmm…I wasn’t supposed to be saying this to a married woman but I couldn’t help it…I STILL LOVED HER, DAMN!
“I’m…so…so…*another sniff*…sorry to bother you, but I don’t have anyone else I can talk to…” Her tears made my heart bleed. I loved this lady with my life…and hearing her cry was unbearable…

”Look dear, everything’s gonna be alright, I promise, whatever it is we’ll sort it out together”…Careful Dave, I warned myself, she’s someone else’s wife now, so choose your words carefully…”I love you Doyin”, I whispered, but only loud enough for me, myself and I to hear…And three was already a crowd…
There was a moment of silence and an intake of breath on Doyin’s end, which meant the release of breath would be her letting the cat out of the bag. That was the Doyin I had come to know. I paused… the suspense was so thick but I remained calm (by my own standards).

And finally, she let it out…“He beats me!!!…Dave…Tony beats me!!!…..*sniffing*…everyday…!!!” Silence, shock, more silence…more sniffing from Doyin, numbness on my part…and then she began to cry uncontrollably, I had never heard her sob the way she did…it was a mixture of anguish and pain from the very depth of one’s soul…”Dave…oh Dave, please help me…I’m in hell here, he’s…he’s…he’s going to kill me!!! “

CALL WAITING: SHEILA…. *PLS NOT NOW* I thought…

I was a man of mixed emotions…anger, bitterness, hate (the perfect ingredients for making a bomb) and murderous intent for the bastard, the son of a b@%&* (err…that word is broom by the way), that was beating the love of my life. How dare anyone, least of all that wretch called Tony, lay his hands on my Doyin…She was so lovely, kind, caring, angelic…charming, she was so… so tender…

I had known he couldn’t be trusted the only day I met him…Underneath all the fresh boy swag, smooth talking, fake smiles and wanna-be-prince-charming attitude, my gentleman’s instincts told me he was a camouflage…Some might have called it jealousy, as my best friend Femi did, but I knew it wasn’t. Tony wasn’t right for my precious Doyin, and my instincts still had a hundred percent record.

“Dave, please…*sniffing*…please…I beg you in the name of God…don’t…*choking back the tears*…leave me”…she cried… “I won’t my love, I won’t, I’m here for you”, I replied, as I felt tears start to trickle down my cheeks…I had never loved any one the way I loved Doyin, and it hurt so much to hear her in pains, to know that she was being molested and assaulted by the very person who was meant to be giving her all the love and protection in the world..

CALL WAITING : SHEILA

I blamed myself for not fighting hard enough to win her back to me, even when I knew she still loved me and had only agreed to Tony’s proposal because I was too blind to see that the best thing that had ever happened to me wasn’t there anymore…

“I love you Doyin, and will always do”…I said amidst my own tears…”I’ll do everything I can to help you”… Though I had no idea how, I meant to find a way…”Thank you Dave”, she replied, in her still, small, angelic voice…marred with tears and constant sniffing…”I have to go now, Tony’s back…” she said suddenly…”But where did he go at this time of the night?” I asked incredulously…

“He went drinking, he hangs out with his friends every night and returns home drunk as hell…then he beats me…” she heaved a sigh, “bye Dave, thanks for everything…” I could sense her manage a little smile as I replied…”You’re welcome dear…”

And the line went dead…

I shook my head in disbelief at what had just happened…trying to piece my thoughts together when a text came into my phone…It was from Sheila… “Oh dear, she must be really pissed off…” I thought to myself…I opened and it read…

WHY DID YOU LIE TO ME? I THOUGHT YOU SAID YOU DON’T DO MIDNIGHT CALLS…

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