Heartbreak to him would always be Bon Genre by Maxazria. It was the perfume she had on when she finally ended things with him.
She had let him kiss her as they both lay on the bed in his hotel suite which could have been a love haven for both of them that weekend. But she had chosen to lodge in another hotel and visited him only after her meeting with the furniture company executives she had flown in to see.
He kissed her. She kissed back. They kissed each other until his hand found her breast.
She stopped him then, pushing back and leaving the bed. When he made to touch her, she recoiled. And then she gave him the talk. It was a long one, unlike all the others. She talked about Salma a lot and about Folarin too but said nothing about their feelings towards each other. It was as if, to her, the way he loved her meant nothing. In her long speech, she missed out the part where he adored her like she was an old shirt that came out from the wash, smelling fresh and new, yet resting on his form intimately. Or how every morning she was to him like that exhilarating, matchless moment on a rollercoaster ride for the first time where one’s heart lurches and all they want to do is to scream out.
Christie was to him an endless weekend where he woke up in the middle of every night and realized there was no work the next day and he could sleep for as long as he wanted. However to her, they both had slept too long, thus she shattered his heart without mercy. And when he threw away his pride to beg her, he saw in her eyes that she was really done with him.
“For our spouses, Raji. For the kids.”
A cold stare from her met his desperation but beneath it there was pain; and if she had stayed with him in that hotel room long enough, he could have reached in there and matched that pain with his and healed her.
But she walked out the door and never turned back.
No phone calls to or from him. No texts either. No sight of her. She was really gone.
It had been just a day without her yet it felt like his entire lifetime. He was back in Lagos where reality was waiting. Salma and the kids had returned home. Parked outside the house, he sat in his car in silence, not feeling the burning Sunday sun above him.
Christie had instructed him to go back to Salma and make things right, in the same manner she was planning to do with Folarin.
“You love Salma somewhere inside you, Raj. You have to find that place just as you found your hidden crush for me and rekindled it.”
“This is more than a crush, Christie. I love you.”
“Love does not hurt others. It does not throw away family and kids. It is not selfish. We’ve been selfish, satisfying our emotions and temporary pleasures and forgetting the ones that needed us most. I can’t continue this. And just so that we’re clear, you were not a crush either. You held me in the place where I kept that part of me that I could share with no one. You held together the secrets that wanted to pull me down without even knowing what you were doing. You took my sins and loved them the way they were. How could I have not loved you?”
“And yet you want to leave.”
“We don’t belong to each other. We must return to the people we belong to.”
So here he was, returning to Salma even though he was still lost in Christie.
Sally Kenneth Dadzie won the Nigerian Writers Award (fiction writer of the year) in February 2017.She lives in Lagos, Nigeria, happily married with children. Sally discovered her passion for literature since her early childhood days, which blended easily with her colorful imagination. Hence she found outlets of her Crestview through stage dramas in her local church, then short stories, and then a Web series on her blog. The Fourth Finger is a courageous work, the result of an exercised passion and repeated thrive galvanized by her beautiful personality. It is a creative transformation of one of her series into a debut novel : The forth finger.