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The International Writers Magazine: Fiction-

Loving Titi
Fisayo Talabi

With one last look in Sade's face, he shook his head and someway, somehow, the words came out loud and clear. "I'm sorry, but I can't do this anymore. I still love Titi."
Sade didnt say a word. Not that she didnt have anything to say. No. The words just wouldn't come out. She wanted to insult him, and rain curses upon him and a thousand of his generations.
"Why?" She asked.
"I still love Titi."

That was the scene seven years ago, right in front of The Faculty of Social Sciences, Obafemi Awolowo University.

Today, she does not intend laughing, but somehow, a smile on her face bursts into unstopping laughter, as she stares at him in the face.
"You want me back?" She laughs.

Henry had been her hearthrob. He'd been her big crush. She remebered drawing pictures of him, and both of them, during classes. Sometimes, even at the back of her Bible in church. It had hurt her to know he hadn't shared those feelings, and right after she'd told him about how she felt, he hadn't objected. He'd said he loved her too, and that had been the happiest day of her life, as a young woman.

Yes. She'd known Titi had been in the way. Titi, his girlfriend. Not only that, Titi was a very beautiful girl. He'd told her then when she'd confronted him that he was going to break up with Titi later.
His very words: "I love you, and its not about her."

They'd hit it off and started a relationship, and Sade had loved him with every nerve in her body. She'd loved him beyond lengths. She hadn't minded that she'd done 80% of the communication, and giving. There was nothing she could not give. She'd stolen money from her father for him, she'd cheated in exams for him, she'd bribed lecturers for him, she'd missed church on many occassions for him. She'd even given him her sixteen year old body, over and over again. She soon got into a competiiton with Titi. Whatever Titi did, she could do twice. Sometimes he'd hit her, and leave her, but she'd loved him all the same, and she'd never hesitated telling him, "I love you beyond lengths, and I will never stop loving you."

Seven years.
She'd gotten over the break up and dissapointment. It hurt and shattered her when Henry broke it off and said he'd not stopped loving Titi. With the help of some friends, she'd found her steps to a campus fellowship, had gotten very involved in church work, and soon, close to God. She'd decided she wasnt going to love like that anymore. She'd loved silly, and she'd been dumped silly.

Yes. Seven years.
She was so close to God, and focused on her job as an accountant with a thriving company in Abuja. School days with Henry was all behind her now.

This afternoon, stepping out of her car, on her way into her apartment, she hears someone call her name. Not just someone...the person calls it with the Igbo accent Henry called it. Only Henry pronounced her name that way.
"Henry! Oh my God!" she says, seeing him.

He says he's been waiting for her. He found out her contact address and really needed to see her. She lets him into her apartment so they can talk.
"Sade, I still love you, and I want you back." He says.
Those words...She bursts out laughing.
"You want me back?" She laughs.
"Please, Sade."
He comes closer, and hugs her. This moment, she's caught between the devil and the deep blue sea. She can't withstand the fact that she's missed him so much, as she hugs him too...her small body in his tall, huge and muscular frame.
"What about Titi?" she asks.
"I love you, and its not about her,"
And before her memory starts working, she gives him her body all over again.
"God, deliver me. This is temptation, but deliver me," She mumbles, as he seals her mouth with kisses.

She looks at him as he sleeps soundly on her bed. She hopes so much that she hasn't made another mistake, and that this time, he is for keeps. Now, she remembers he has not answered the question about Titi. Infact, he'd said those words again..."Its not about her..."

She sighs heavily, staring at his tall, huge and muscular body...just that this time, it's his tall, huge, and muscular dead body. She takes the knife and continues to stab his body. Yes. His blood all over her hands, she can't stop stabbing. But as far as she's concerned, she didn't kill him. His words did. The Bible says the power of life and death lies in the tongue, and his tongue had just destroyed him. You know how?

She asks him when he wakes up.
"Henry, what about Titi?"
With some struggle, he manages to speak.
"Titi left me because I am HIV positive. I came back to you because you are a woman of your words. You are the only one who loved me beyond lengths. You said you wouldn't stop loving me, and you didn't stop loving me."

© Fisayo Talabi January 2009
Fisayo was born July 1989. presently a student of law at Obafemi Awolowo University, Nigeria.

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