BY ROSELINE NYA
Will an affair for an affair make you even?
That was the question in Ujunwa’ head every time Noel walked pass her office. There was no question in her heart. Her heart was just this hollow dark space with an occasional travelling fireball – a mixture of hurt and anger and anxiety; a product of her husband’s infidelity. Every time the fireball travelled, Uju would feel third degree burns. After that, numbness. Then, Noel. Yes, that’s the word for it: Noel. No other word quite describes the feeling. Love does not. Neither does lust.
Noel is a state of tension and curiosity and soreness and need. It started as a simple hello from a new colleague, then progressed to a head-through-the-door’-crack-hello-with-a-warm-smile-and-full-on-eye-contact from a relatively new colleague.
If there was another stage after that Ujunwa did not notice. What she noticed was how he openly reserved a seat beside his, for her, during office meetings, the long conversations they had as each drove home after work, and the early morning message that said, “Smoothie? Food? Both? I’m 5mins away. Where are you?”, which usually marks the beginning of a daylong conversation.
It was as clear as the blue sky in February that it wasn’t all innocent, but there was a thrill to it that left Ujunwa unwilling to kill that termite.
Come on! With the details of her husband’s sixteen months affair that lasted during their twenty-eight months marriage, still trickling in, and the gloominess and anger that saturated their home becoming a live-in companion, Uju would not let conscience and sense rid her of that surge of life.
And Noel was a master seducer. He knew what worked and the perfect distance between two chairs that marked a respect for personal space without dulling the attractiveness of a subject. He knew how to draw her out, and into him. He was a determined man who gives all he has for what he wants and wouldn’t be kept away from what will make him happy. No matter the cost. No matter who gets hurt. Well, he wouldn’t kill for it, but will wriggle into it. So, he paid attention. He noticed everything. She was fine to him and he wanted her so bad. For how long, he did not know.
Will an affair in response to your husband’s affair, make you even? Will it heal the pain in your heart or at least lessen the hurt in your head?
The question tormented Ujunwa as Noel strode pass her office pretending to be on the phone. He caught her looking and smiled. She smiled back and returned to staring blankly into her computer. He continued to look and she felt his energy reach for hers, as the question in her head floated thickly.
“Will it make you even or take the hurt away?” She thought and thought.
Sometimes the only rationalization that’s convenient is the one you do as you’re running away. But Ujunwa did not run. She sat at her desk and waited for the jollof rice to done. When it did, she was boxed. And it happened on a sinful Sunday morning. By evening, her curiosity was met, her need was soothed, the hurt and soreness was still there, with a new element: guilt.
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