DOZ Issue 33 July 2018 - Page 35

so in love with each other, or so I thought at the time, that the desire to spend every waking moment together was very strong. I missed my classes just to spend time with him, and it never occurred to me that a man who truly loved me would have discouraged such practice. Every morning, I would leave home after Ruth had gone off to school, under the guise that I was going for my classes, but as soon as I stepped out of the gate, instead of going left in the direction of my lecture centre, I turned right in the direction of Andrew’s house. I would stay with him the entire morning and return home in the afternoon at the time when my lectures were meant to be over for the day. Andrew had a staff in the pharmacy, so he didn’t have to be there unless he was called or had a prior appointment. At first, we just watched movies and enjoyed each other’s company, but after a while things progressed. First it was a hug, then a kiss, and before I knew it, we were having sex frequently. I loved him very much and so I gave myself to him freely and without reservations. I believed him when he told me that he loved me and that he would marry me. I was young and naïve. He was my first lover, and I believed everything he said. If my uncle and his wife suspected anything, they did not show it. My exam arrived in the month of May and was scheduled to continue until June. Although I sat for it, I knew even before the results were released that I would have to re-take it because I was ill prepared. I felt bad as I wondered how my parents, siblings, and uncle would feel. My uncle spent good money to pay for the exams and lectures to prepare me, and failing would not be a good way to show my appreciation. “I feel bad,” I told Andrew. “I do not want to disappoint my family.” “Forget about it,” he said. “Soon, you will be my wife and my responsibility.” His words comforted me a great deal, and afterwards I did not worry quite as much. At the end of July, my uncle and aunt travelled with Ruth to the United Kingdom for the summer holidays, and they were gone for six weeks, leaving me all alone in the house with the gateman who also doubled as a gardener. It was a wonderful time for me, as I could see Andrew whenever I wanted without any restrictions. Soon, the daytime visits were no longer sufficient for us, and I began to spend the nights in Andrew’s house. Every night, as soon as Emeka had locked the gate and retired to his room in the boys’ quarters, I would lock up the house, jump over the gate and go to Andrew’s house located in the street just behind our house. I would stay with Andrew until 6am when I would sneak back home and jump the fence before Emeka surfaced from his quarters. Andrew and I continued to have sex steadily, and he fed me all kinds of pills to ensure I did not get pregnant. Soon, the six weeks were over and my uncle and his family returned from the UK, school resumed, and our lives returned to normal. At this point it became difficult to see Andrew because I was no longer attending lectures and had no excuse to be out of the house during the day. I sat at home all day, pining away because I could not see my love. Sometimes I would lie to my aunt that I was going out to buy something and would go to Andrew’s pharmacy where we would have sex hurriedly in the small room he used as his office. However, these times were very few and far between, and Andrew began to pressure me to sneak out at night to be with him as I had done when my uncle and aunt travelled with Ruth. The thought scared me. My uncle and aunt were both light sleepers and in the habit of getting up in the middle of the night and moving about the house. Some nights my aunt came into my room to check on me as I slept, the same way she checked on Ruth. To leave the house at night would be a high risk, and I felt sure I would be caught, but Andrew did not understand. Whenever we had a chance to meet, he would pester me about the issue. “Why won’t you come and see me? It’s not a big deal, just sneak out.” “I can’t! What if I get caught? I’m scared!” We quarreled about it very frequently, which really broke my heart because I loved him very much. Then came the day when my uncle and aunt announced they were travelling to Illa for a burial ceremony. They planned to be gone all weekend from Friday afternoon to Sunday evening. I was so excited at the news that I looked for an excuse to leave the house and went to Andrew’s pharmacy to inform him. As was his practice, once he set his DOZ Magazine July 2018 35 «