From time to time,readers of this column have texted to find out if some stories are 'really true'. Riyike's story is a stranger-than-fiction type which sent me, a self-confessed seen-it-all, reeling with indignation at how stupid some people would stoop to keep a love they are obsessed with. According to Riyike, when she met Ben five years ago, he was on the rebound.
His girlfriend of three years suddenly threw him over for a man she confessed she was in love with. "It was obvious that Ben was still hurting from the humiliation of rejection," said Riyike.
"I had gone to the accounting firm 'he worked with for my one-year attachment programme from the polytechnic I attended and he was more or less my direct boss. He was happy to show me the ropes and we went to the office canteen together often.
"He talked a lot about his ex, how much he loved her, how much time and money he'd lavished on her; and how she had no guts to tell him about her new find until someone sent him a text anonymously, that she was virtually sleeping in his 'house! Armed with an address from the text, be laid siege at the man's house and it didn't take time for both of them to walk in together.
She didn't come out all the four hours he waited for her to do so. When she visited the next day and he confronted her, she was really angry that 'he'd been 'spying' on her. Now that 'he'd found out, what did he intend to do? Beat her up? Have her arrested? She then flounced off in a huff. He tried to win her back, 'but she said she was happy with her new love.
"When you see someone long enough, they sort of grow on you and it didn't take time for both of us to become an item. We went to parties together and visited each other once in a while. Inevitably, we started a relationship and he confessed it was over with Kadijat, his ex. I eventually moved in with him against my mother's wish.
My dad passed away a few years ago, otherwise I wouldn't have dared spend the night with any man, let alone move in with him. Then, out of the blues, Kadijat came back. She just walked in one evening, gave me a casual glance and demanded to speak with Ben in private. Later, Ben came to tell me she wanted somewhere to stay for a while as she'd just been kicked out by her Mr. Wonderful.
He'd told her I was now-living with him, but that she could sleep on the couch until she found her feet. I was livid. I wanted to pack my bag there and then, but I loved Ben and if I left, Kadijat would move in. So, 1 shrugged after my protests fell on deaf ears. She moved in and treated me as the odd one out.
"A couple of days later, Kadijat complained of being disturbed by rats and mosquitoes in the living room – and Ben suggested, she could sleep with us in the bed! 1 was really stunned. In my head I knew it wasn't a good idea, but I would do ' anything to 'keep Ben away from Kadijat, so 1 agreed, Ben slept on the outside of the bed with me in the middle, his arm around me. One night, as if in a trance, I realised Ben's hand had reached furtively towards Kadfjat's face and he was actually stroking her cheek! What on earth did he think he was doing? Yet I let him carry on instead of kicking him out of the bed.
I could have left too. But I had read about this sort of thing in some smutty books and magazines and had discussed it with friends. But to think I would ever find myself involved in a three-in-a-bed-romp! What would my mum think of this type of behaviour? The next morning, I felt so ashamed, but Ben was happier than I'd ever seen him – he was actually humming and whistling. He'd obviously-had too much of a good thing. 'How are you?', he wanted to know. But I told rum I wasn't myself. 'Let's give what happened last night a try,' he begged. That way, we can all stay together,' The mild threat was in his words – take it or leave. So I stayed.
"We soon got into the routine of the three of us sleeping together but I gradually realised I was the odd one out. Most evenings, Ben and Kadijat would sit on the couch; sipping stout. I never touched alcohol, so 1 would sit in a chair until Ben would urge me to have an early night if I felt like it. They would continue boozing, laughing and whispering long into the night and of course having it off on the couch. It then dawned on me that if I had any shred of dignity left, 1 would 'have to leave.
"Thank goodness my one-year attachment was over, I packed everything I had and moved back to the campus. Ben begged me to leave a few things, but I told him I could always visit with whatever I'd need but never went back to that sinful flat.
He begged and pleaded for me to come back, even promised to kick out Kadijat. But the respect I had for him had gone. You can't love anyone, and bring home an ex who once humiliated you, for regular romps on the same bed. I couldn't tell anyone how low I sank when I didn't even realise the madness that came over me. One thing I'm sure of is that I'll never sink that low again."