Title: we were just friends || Written by Aooms Kenneth and Ijeoma had been married for four years. They were a good-looking couple and all their friends and associates admired them. “Once Ijeoma is about to lift her left leg, just know that Kenneth is about to lift the same leg too…” a family friend once said at their get-together party, “those guys are just always in sync!”

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They met at a mutual friend’s birthday party the first time… It was themed “hospital dress code”. Kenneth was all clad in bandages, a torn T-shirt and an arm slip. He was masquerading as a patient. While most of the other girls that were curvier than her dressed up sexily as nurses, Ijeoma played with her angular slim figure and paraded as a male doctor, complete with a moustache. It was hilarious and Kenneth made a joke that he didn’t need the attention of inferior nurses, but he’d rather see a doctor… Kenneth and Ijeoma clicked at once. They became inseparable. He was ingenious and fun and she was eccentric and bold. One couldn’t call it a sexual attraction at all. In fact, it took three years for Kenneth to come to the shocking realization that he had in fact fallen in love with a tomboy. All his life, only seriously sexy curvy girls had got his attention. But somehow, Ijeoma had become his best friend. The only one person that stuck by him through thick and thin. That saw him through some crazy tumultuous stages of his life. Her shoulders were strong enough for him to cry on and her back was strong enough to bear the weight of both of them. When he started to fall into alcoholism, it was her caring but strong arm that pulled him out. And when his only sister died, it was her unfailing presence that mended him. She was his buddy, his ally, his partner in crime. She was the most fascinating woman he had ever known. So one lonely agonizingly long month when she had this opportunity to travel to France, Kenneth felt he was definitely going to die. He missed her so much, he could barely eat or drink. He locked himself up in his apartment and took a leave off office. When Ijeoma finally breezed into the house, it felt as if she came back with oxygen for his lungs. He grabbed her and held her in his arms for three whole minutes. He just kept saying… “Ijeoma… Ijeoma… ” She had changed a little… Physically. Or maybe he never noticed it before, but she stole his breath away. She was simply gorgeous. Her shiny smooth brown skin seemed even more golden, her long delicate face looked more sweet, she felt even more lovely in his arms and the wavy long brown hair she wore cascaded like tumbling water from the crown of her head to the small of her waist. He started to see things that made him hungry for her… An unusual hunger. Her small firm thighs, the pride of her small breasts and the plump fullness of her pinkish lips. But there was definitely something that had changed… Her dress code. Simply fabulously gorgeous. It took another one year after that day she came back for him to summon the courage to ask her to a proper date. They had their first kiss that night, made love one month after and got married ten months later in a quiet small church with only a handful Of witnesses. It was the best day of their lives. For both of them, they were finally together. But four years later, Ijeoma wasn’t happy. She’d cry alone in the bathroom where Kenneth couldn’t see her. She was depressed and lonely and didn’t know the right course of action to fix the situation. Kenneth was the only man she had ever loved. The only man she had ever been with sexually. She’d given her all to him. Been there and been strong. She had taken her time to study him and found her way to his heart. She loved him the very first day she met him. But how could things be so wrong now? She could see it all, she wasn’t a fool. The late night calls, the scent of another woman’s perfume, her husband’s unavailability, his body language that gave vibes that he was a man who had found a new love interest. He was alive and animated, but it was as if, he couldn’t even see her anymore. Without doubt, her husband was having an affair. But why? She thought she was enough for him, she thought he loved her. She had done everything to keep her figure and to brush up on her sexual skills. She had become a better cook, a more fun person… Just to make him happy. Her mindset was to do something everyday to make each day a wonderful experience for him. So, where had she gone wrong? She took it for a year and seven months in silence, reining in her anger and putting more into winning her husband back, but to no avail. Ijeoma couldn’t deny it, Kenneth was happy. She knew that was important to her, his happiness. She started to conclude, maybe this wasn’t made to be, maybe he would never love her. Maybe she wasn’t “it” for him. Maybe they shouldn’t have taken it this far because they were only meant to be friends. Maybe it was her fault for changing the course of their relationship by physically and emotionally seducing him, going to France to put some distance between them and by learning some tricks about makeup and feminine apparel. She had made the promise to always be there for him… And she wouldn’t back down on that promise now, neither would she allow this situation turn them into enemies… Before anything, she was his friend first and she would prove to herself how loyal a friend she was. So one night, when he was in the sitting room watching football, Ijeoma simply walked in and switched off the TV. The anger that swiftly blazed out of his eyes took Ijeoma aback, he was a total stranger to her in those few minutes. “Are you insane! Can’t you see I’m watching the match?!” She shut her eyes tightly and forced back the tears. She allowed the anger to seep into her pores for a moment and then took a deep breath and controlled it. With her soft calm voice, she said… “Ken, don’t treat me like I don’t exist please, like you don’t see me. Even if it’s just for this moment. I’ve always been there for you, please do this one thing for me.” Her husband quickly calmed down and something of a guilty look crossed his face. He couldn’t meet her eyes. She seated herself on the sofa beside him and put a hand gently on his knee… “Ken, it’s OK… You can tell me. Who is she?” Kenneth shifted uneasily in the chair, he kept his eyes down and replied, because he couldn’t make himself lie to her, especially because of the way she was handling it, his conscience wouldn’t allow it. But he couldn’t look up at her. “I met her at work…. Um… We actually work together…. It’s Bunmi.” That name Bunmi came down like a hard slap on her face. Ijeoma felt the strong urge to swoon, her mouth had gone dry. She wasn’t prepared for this. She knew Bunmi, in fact, the lady seemed to be a profound admirer of their marriage. She remembered one afternoon when she decided to give her husband a surprise visit at work. She wore that short tight red leather dress she had bought just the day before, and Kenneth’s favorite black jacket, complete with heels, dark sunglasses and a whiff of her Victoria’s secret perfume. She had bubbly made her entrance and found her husband in the hall of the bank where he worked. She had swayed to him and put her arms around his neck and planted a wet kiss on his full mouth…


“I just came here to give you a kiss, baby.” She said. Kenneth smiled broadly and returned her kiss with a deep sexual one. Miss Bunni and Joe, another colleague had been their audience. They started applauding the couple and whooping excitedly, their encouragement. “You’re so lucky Ken, for having such a sweet wife,” Bunmi had said, wiping with a smile, a tear from her eye. Ijeoma rubbed her eyes at the memory. She didn’t want to give in to tears. Instead of crying, she asked, “What do we do? It’s obvious she makes you happy. Do you wanna be with her?” Kenneth couldn’t say a word. He kept his eyes averted and nodded a yes. It cut Ijeoma’s heart like a knife. “OK…” She said nodding her head too in agreement, “OK…” But at that moment, it became too much for her… She couldn’t take it. The tears flowed too fast to prevent them… She cried. It was then that Kenneth looked up and reached his hands to touch her, she shoved them away and left. One week later, she packed her bags out of the house and moved to her family house in Anambra. Life moved on for Kenneth and Bunmi. But Ijeoma was emotionally torn. Yet, she wished her friend the best. Kenneth and Bunmi married a year later. His new wife gave birth to twin girls within months of the marriage, theirs was a happy home. Sometimes, anger would seize Ijeoma and she would wonder if karma existed, if there was true justice. How come Kenneth and Bunmi were so happy? Bunmi did not even apologize for the hurt and heartache she caused Ijeoma and Kenneth never even seemed to remember her anymore. But when she doubted if she had done the right thing… Ijeoma’s heart would tell her that she had been brave and she had loved him truly. That she had put Kenneth’s happiness first and had therefore been right in doing so. He never really loved her deeply, she was just there to support him when he needed someone. It seemed so hard, so unfair… But it was the sacrifice that Ijeoma was willing to make. Love gave her the strength. So she kept her distance, and survived one painful lonely day at a time… With the hope, that maybe one day, her own man would finally come. ———————————————————————- NEXT STORY COMES 9PM NOV 02