Redeemed Hearts episode 2


Episode 2

Months had passed since Arinze last laid eyes on Tife. Destiny, as it often does, reunited them again, this time in a restaurant in Wuse 2. The sight of her seated across from an older man kindled a surge of jealousy in him, starting a chain of unexpected events.

“I suppose some things never change, you mingling with well-off older men,” Arinze muttered bitterly as he approached Tife. His words oozed with accusation; his pain laid bare. “You are such a disgrace Tife, after what I believed we shared, you abandoned me. I should have realized your true worth. I don’t even know why I wasted my time on you, thinking I could change you. You bring shame to womanhood.”

Tife remained composed as Arinze hurled insults at her, but her companion was shocked and angered. He retorted, “Excuse me, who are you, and what gives you the right to speak to her in such a manner?”

Arinze shot back with disdain in his voice, “Indeed, just look at yourself, are you not old enough to be her father. I’m sure you left your wife at home, and here you are, frolicking with a woman young enough to be your daughter.”

“I beg your pardon,” the older man replied, rising from his seat.

“Oh, please…”

A voice from behind Arinze interrupted him, demanding, “Who do you think you are, speaking to my husband like that?”

Startled, he turned to face the person who had spoken. “What?”

“I asked, what gives you the audacity to address my husband in that manner,” she continued, her tone stern. “I merely went to the ladies’ room, and I returned to find you harassing my husband and stepdaughter.”

“Stepdaughter? I’m sorry, I completely misjudged the situation. Please excuse me.” Arinze stammered as his anger rapidly transformed into embarrassment. Without another word, he hastily exited the restaurant, bewildered by this newfound revelation.

Consumed by regret and shame, Arinze found himself unable to let go. He trails Tife to her house that night and thereafter continues to visit her home every night, hoping for a chance to speak with her. Initially, Tife resisted, refusing to talk to him. However, each evening, he returned, knocking on her door persistently, inadvertently disturbing the neighbours. After a couple of days of this relentless pursuit, Tife finally decided to listen to what he had to say.

“I know I’ve disappointed you with my irrational behaviour at the restaurant. I sincerely apologize for my conduct. I was consumed by jealousy. You disappeared without a word, and I couldn’t reach you. I had no means of finding you, and when I finally saw you after several months, it was in the company of an older man. I foolishly assumed you had returned to your previous lifestyle. Please find it in your heart to forgive me,” Arinze implored.

Tife let out a sigh and replied, “Arinze, there’s no need to apologize. I wasn’t offended by your outburst. Our relationship was never serious; it was just a fleeting romance. I understand that you can’t trust me, but that’s beside the point. As I mentioned, what we had was nothing more than a brief affair.”

Arinze’s eyes filled with determination as he confessed, “No, it’s different now. I acknowledge that my intentions were less than honourable when we first got involved.”

“You sought revenge,” Tife asserted.

Taken aback, Arinze inquired, “How did you find out?”

“You have a fiancée, and someone had warned me about that,” Tife disclosed.

Arinze’s voice trembled with sincerity as he admitted, “I regret it deeply, Tife. Yes, I initially sought revenge, but the joke was on me. I became obsessed with you, yearning to see you every day, to be with you constantly. These past few months without you have been unbearable. My thoughts are consumed by you, and I’ve fallen in love with you.”

Tife’s eyes widened in astonishment. “What?”

“Yes, Tife, I’m in love with you.”

Tife hesitated, her heart torn between her past and the possibility of a future with Arinze. “You can’t be. You knew about my history, and there’s no way you can be okay with that.”

“I don’t care about your past, as long as you love me in return.”

Tife’s voice quivered as she replied, “I’m incapable of loving anyone right now, and you have a fiancée.”

Arinze nodded solemnly. “I’m ending things with her.”

“Are you willing to end a long-term relationship just like that? You don’t care about the pain it will cause her?” Tife questioned.

“I understand it will hurt her, but it would hurt her even more if I were to marry her while my heart belongs to you,” Arinze affirmed, his commitment unwavering.

Tears welled up in Tife’s eyes as she continued, “I can’t do it, Tife. My life has been plagued with so much pain, I can’t do that to another woman. My past is not a pleasant one and I can’t ask anyone to share my baggage.

I grew up in a broken home, abandoned by my father, and my mother struggled to raise me and my brother. Life was tough, but we managed to survive. That man you saw at the restaurant is my father. He walked away from our family fifteen years ago. My parents had just two of us, and my brother was a special child with a rare sickness. The medical bills took their toll on my dad, and one day he left, leaving a note for my mom that he couldn’t take it anymore.

My mom and I had to take care of my brother because of his condition; he needed 24-hour care. My mom couldn’t work, it was my aunt and her husband who supported us. As if that wasn’t bad enough, one day my mom collapsed, and before we could get her to the hospital, she died of, a heart attack. That was how my brother and I became orphans.

My aunt and her husband who lives in Ibadan took us in and got a nurse to care for my brother so I could concentrate on my studies. Even though I missed my mom, I was relieved that the future was bright. But what I didn’t know was that my life was about to take a very unfortunate turn.”

Thanks for reading,
to be continued.
Jumie Naths

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