You knew you did not love her from the very first day you set your eyes on her. Left to you, you wouldn’t have dated her not to even think of tying the nuptial knot with her. But your mother had hammered in your head more times than she had ever called your name since you were born that you must marry her.
All your pleas to make your parents understand that love and friendship come first before marriage were like trying to cook a rock — no matter how long you take to cook it, it will remain the same. Your father said he would disown you, while your mother said she will end her life if you refuse to marry Doris. You knew your mother was only blackmailing you emotionally to make you do her bidding.
Your parents and hers belonged to the same political party and attended the same club. Her father appointed your father as his special adviser. And it was only natural that you marry the daughter of someone from your father’s political circle. Whether you were in love or not was never considered.
You played along for peace to reign. In your hearts of heart, you knew you will rather die than spend the rest of your life with Doris. Apart from the fact that you thought she was a brat, you didn’t find her attractive. Plus, you saw her as a bimbo — she was not as intelligent as you would want your wife to be. You prided yourself as a sapiosexual who was especially attracted to intelligent ladies.
You were chivalrous to Doris and deceitfully tried all you could to make her feel you were really into her and would marry her. It shocked you when one day she blurted out during one of your many arguments that she knew you never loved her. You didn’t know you were that transparent. You thought you were playing along just fine. You planned to up your game to keep the charade.
Your heart fluttered when you saw her profile picture on Facebook. You felt privileged when you discovered she had added you as her friend. You quickly confirmed with a wide smile on your face. You rushed to check her profile and loved what you saw. She lived in one of the neighbouring states. Her name was Liza, and she was a graduate of one of the prestigious private universities in the country. She had only just two pictures, and not up to 100 friends. You like them like that. Those who disclosed little information about themselves on social media and who had very few friends.
As if fate was toying with you, she sent you a message in your inbox on how much she had admired your picture and would like to be your friend. You liked her forwardness because in Nigeria, it is the guys who do the asking. You hit it off from there. You will chat for hours, oblivious of time. You got so used to just chatting that you didn’t bother to ask for a phone number or video call. You were so smitten that nothing else mattered.
You started glowing like one that was really in love. Doris noticed the changes and asked you several times the reason for the sudden change, but you claimed she was the reason — you had suddenly fallen in love with her. But she was not a fool. She saw you online a lot these days, even late in the nights and you did not have her time.
Your mother woke you up one day in the middle of the night to ask if you were already planning the wedding with Doris. She had seen the sudden glint in your eyes and was convinced her prediction had come to be. She reminded you of how she had told you several times that you would eventually fall in love with Doris; all you needed was time. That was when you protested that you didn’t want to date her. You told your mother to calm down that the wedding was soon. That she would organize the asheobi she had in mind. And the society wedding she and your father with Doris’ parents had been planning for a long time would soon come to reality.
Unbeknownst to her, you were planning on getting serious with Liza, that had completely snatched your heart and is now centre of your existence — the reason for the glow. You were scheming in your heart how, when you finally meet her, you will, with time, convince her to elope with you. Then, you were taking it one step at a time.
You were thrilled because your relationship with Liza seemed to be growing as the clock was ticking. You loved the fact that Doris no longer bothered about you. You hoped that she, too, found someone that would love her and share what you and Liza shared.
You and Liza had been on a steady talk for over six months now, and you feel it was time to meet. She gave you her phone number, and you planned on meeting the next weekend. She didn’t ask for it, but you felt obligated to cover her travel expenses. She said you shouldn’t bother even after you insisted. She still won’t take a dime from you. You could not sleep the night before she was to come.. You kept playing different scenarios of how the meeting was going to be. You just could not wait to have Liza in your arms.
The sight you saw when you stepped inside the eatery you had arranged to meet with Liza gave you palpitations. You almost passed out from shock. The plastic smile on her face made you realized she had discovered your secret. You felt a tug in your heart as you stood there wide-eyed, staring at her with a mixture of fear and surprise. It was all you could do not to bolt out of the eatery like a robber that was chased by his captors. The wheels in your mind started turning, fabricating stories to tell her the reason you were there, and you were also wondering what she was also doing there.
She didn’t need to ask you before you started reeling out what you thought was believable to your ears. You thought you heard a flicker of sadness in her tone when she said your name, Dibo. But you weren’t sure whether what you heard was sadness or mockery. She told you she knew what you were doing all along. She picked her phone to dial your number and Liza’s number flashed on the caller ID. You can’t describe how you felt. How you didn’t see the handwriting on the wall. She confessed how she used the picture of an attractive, but unpopular Nollywood actress’ picture to create another account on Facebook. She knew you will never find out, since all you did was read and hardly ever watched movies. You hardly even sit in front of a TV screen. She told you that sometimes it takes a thief to catch a thief.
You were never in love with Doris, but were madly in love with Liza, who turned out to be Doris. You realised, to your dismay that you had misjudged Doris wrongly since you never really got close enough to know her.
She didn’t want to have anything to do with you again. You had to beg and beg and family intervened, too, and you are now married to Liza that is living in Doris’ body.
Roselyn Sho – Olajide works with an Audit Firm in Jos, Plateau State. She loves reading and writing and can be reached via firstname.lastname@example.org