The Gambit

The Gambit

It started with a look

She was just fourteen

But that look

That look

That look was timeless

It says just one thing

'You are special in my eyes'

He was 16

Her reaction to that look baffled her

She didn't know how

But she acknowledged it

He got the message

Her sister saw it all

Her sister told her mother

Her mother called her

Mother: Is there anything between you and that boy

She: No ma

Her sister: There may not be now, but there will be. I saw them

Mother: You have calling eyes, so I don't doubt your sister. If you bring me shame, I will kill you

They drove the fear of God into her heart

Of course she doesn't want to get pregnant

Of course she doesn't want to bring shame to her family

But his reach for her felt very natural

Her response was all warmth and glee

Her mother would kill her

Holiday ended quickly


They had barely returned to the city when the first letter arrived

He wrote well

Not the erotic nonsense other girls whispered about

Real issues

How his day went

His school

His preparation for GCE

He wrote her into his world

Sometimes her mother found his letter

Talk. Talk, talk

She never wrote back

She filed the letters by date

Whenever she was bored or lonely

She would read them one after the other

They made her feel loved

Knowing someone took the pains, the time

To write to her persistently

To think of her

To want her

It was very flattering and warm

He wrote for four years

She gained admission into the University

Met a guy on campus

Was trying to test out the waters

Her first real relationship

He arrived at her school

She was confused

He loved her

She liked him

But he couldn't just burst on the scene like that

Wetin sef?


She told her campus love he was her cousin

He took her out

They talked

He was in 300L

In another university

He was making plans

Making plans for their future together

She couldn't believe it

She does not even know what her own future looked like

She had a lot to do

He left

He remained in the background

Always writing

Her relationship failed

He: Give me a chance

She told herself, 'I love him but I want to enjoy myself

Let him wait, he is the one I will marry'

She jumped into another one

He heard

He was hurt

His letters started coming once in a while

He went for NYSC

She noticed something was missing

She was restless, unnerved

She would got to the mail room and search

The letters had stopped

He had written her steadfastly for eight years

She: I will see him at the village during the Christmas break, we will iron it out

Christmas came

She got to the village

Her sister was the first to scream

'His real wife is here'

She didn't understand

Her friends flocked her compound

People gathered to see the drama

What was going on?

He arrived

He looked at her

He said, 'I am getting married'

She fainted


The story didn't add up

It was like a fuzz in her head

Her lover, her friend, her man is getting married to someone else


He: I am sorry

She: But you know I -

He: Do you want me to call the wedding off. I will, if you say so

She: No problem. You can marry whoever you want

As he left

She knew she had made a terrible mistake

But her pride wouldn't let her call him back

The scandal would be too crazy

People would say she shattered someone else's dream to build her own

What was he thinking?

Impregnating a girl.

What was he thinking?

Must he marry her?

It’s been eight years

She is single

Suitors rarely come

Those who came were just not it

She is miserable

He married

He had not known a day of bliss

The marriage was a total disaster

He is miserable

And yet

On the day the full moon rises

All they can do is look at the moon

And cry!