It’s hurtful, it’s wrong and devastating…but it happens. People cheat on their partners, some unconsciously and some quite consciously, but whichever way doesn’t reduce the impact of the pain that cheating brings. When infidelity happens, there are a lot of people involved and affected; the partners and the person that is being cheated with, who might know, or not know she/he is the side chick/guy.
In Tolu’s case, she did not know. In fact, she thought she was the only sugar in Debo’s tea, not knowing she was but one of two cubes of sugar, and that she wasn’t even the main deal. She was the one he was cheating on his long-time girlfriend with.
Tolu had met Debo at work and the chemistry between them had been off the hook. They were always ogling each other. The kind of scenario where you are with two people and you can literally feel the zing in the air, as a result of their chemistry. You wonder what would happen if they had the right space and time. That’s the kind of chemistry Tolu and Debo had. Their colleagues noticed this, everyone noticed it, and they warned Tolu severally to stay away for Debo, that he was taken.
Tolu did not find this funny at all. She felt insulted to be labelled a “boyfriend-snatcher”. So she set out to create a wide gap between her and Debo, even though she liked him a lot. She tried to remove her mind from the possibility of a relationship between them, knowing he was someone else’s man.
Interestingly, the more she tried to pull away from the obvious chemistry between them, the more Debo moved closer to her. He sought her out everywhere, even when he did not need her to do anything for him. He put himself within her space; took it upon himself to make sure Tolu ate lunch, bringing her an apple every day so much so that she started calling him apple man.
Even when colleagues teased him about his new found devotion to Tolu and how his girlfriend mustn’t catch him at it, he did not desist. He often told them he was a single guy.
And that was how a minor office crush turned into a relationship, which was met with a lot of speculation of whether they were really dating, and how they couldn’t possibly be dating, not with the knowledge of there being a girlfriend.
What Debo said to convince Tolu that a relationship with him was a good idea, Tolu cannot say, even till now that the whole business is over. They soon found an outlet for the chemistry that had been vibrating between them, and it was really hot. That was what she told me oh.
After that time, Tolu was besotted. She couldn’t have enough of Debo, she craved his company at all times, in the morning, at night. Her sleeping and waking thoughts were filled with Debo. She was head over heels in love. She wanted the relationship to move to the next level as soon as was possible.
And then it started, he stopped bringing her apples, he stopped seeking her out and for a week at times, she did not see Debo, even though they worked out of the same office. Initially, Tolu thought she had done something wrong, so she turned into an amateur stalker, asking about him from his direct colleagues, stalking his social media profiles, she sent messages, called, but she got the barest response every time.
That was when she tuned in to the office grapevine and discovered she had been the topic of discussion for a while. Apparently, Debo was still involved with his long-time girlfriend, Halima. So, all his protests of being a single man were apparently false. He might be single but he was definitely not available.
He had only been cheating on his girlfriend with her. Tolu had to deal with two extreme emotions, one, she was hurt that, her “man” was really not hers, that he had been stringing her along all this while. Two, anger at being used to hurt another woman. It was something that she had said she would never do. She had lived through a horrible experience with an ex of hers, who had cheated on her with a close friend of hers. Rather, than seek vengeance, she had vowed not to be in a position, where she was being cheated on or was used to cheat on someone.
It was sad that she found herself on the other end of the spectrum this time around; she was the side chick, helping him to cheat on his girlfriend.
The same way she did not recall being asked to date him, Tolu does not remember Debo breaking up with her, and she did not even get to break up with him. The opportunity never came, and a few months later, she heard he had resigned.
She was hurt about not having that sense of closure where that relationship was concerned. It had been a magical few months, but it was all built on lies.
Debo and his long term girlfriend got married recently, and it made Tolu wonder what kind of husband he would make. Whether he would have let go of his philandering ways and be ready to fully commit to one woman. Well, she is only going to wonder, as it is no longer her business what happens or does not happen in that marriage.
It was painful but it’s really another lesson learnt about relationships, especially, romantic relationships.
Kristine is a member of The Lovelint team. She is a down to earth person, who says it as it is. Having given relationship advice for years in a national daily, she has found out that fear is one of the main reasons holding people back from enjoying a healthy, happy relationship. She is married with kids and is willing to listen to you and help as much as you let her to.