Hello reader? Did you miss me? haha?. A new episode is ready, I pray you enjoy reading. Enjoy the long weekend. The Circle episode six…cheers ?
Episode 6- Burnt Bridges
When they got to her house, she thanked him and quickly got out of the car. Kwadwo called her to let her know that she didn’t have to feel embarrassed when he got home but Shirley didn’t answer his call.
For the next couple of days, she avoided all of Kwadwo’s calls and messages. He makes the secretary call for her to come to his office but she never went.
One evening an hour after she had gotten home from work, Kwadwo visited her.
They went for a ride in her neighborhood to talk but Kwadwo parked when the conservation turned into an argument.
“I think we should stop this Kwadwo. This is bad. I am gradually becoming someone I am not. Let’s stop being friends. Let’s stop talking. Delete my number, I will do the same too” Shirley said and got out of his car.
Kwadwo was very shocked. He watched Shirley walking away and his heart broke.
At work Shirley acted like he didn’t exist, Kwadwo only saw her when they have certain meetings. During such meetings, Kwadwo tried his hardest to keep his eyes off her.
Shirley tried to make things work out with Femi but as much as she denied it she was falling in love with Kwadwo. She has never been able to stop reminiscing about the kiss in his car.
Kwadwo made peace with Shirley’s decision and started dating Claudia, the young woman his mother had recommended for him.
A week into their relationship, Kwadwo gets a message from Shirley. He never deleted her number.
“Thinking about you. I miss you”
Kwadwo read it but didn’t reply because he was on a date with Claudia but when he got home he called Shirley right away.
“Hey, Kwadwo!” She said excitedly
Kwadwo noticed immediately that she wasn’t herself.
“Where are you Shirley?” he asked
“Outside!” she said and giggled
“I got your message early on. What do you miss Shirley? ” Kwadwo asked
Kwadwo sat on his couch and removed his glasses.
“Shirley, stop doing this to me. I have started seeing someone”
“You clearly don’t know her but her name is Claudia”
“Do you love her?”
“What do you want from me, Shirley?”
“I want you Kwadwo. I want to be with you”
“And what about Femi?”
Shirley couldn’t speak. Kwadwo sighed
“You are still with him, I guess. You know what? Please go be happy with Femi. This thing is getting old Shirley.”
“I am clearly not happy Kwadwo. I am having a hard time too. I miss you”
“You didn’t answer my question, Shirley. Where are you now ?”
“I am having a drink. Why?”
“Where are you having this drink?”
“Don’t worry about me, I am fine”
“You don’t sound fine. Send me your location”
“I said I am fine, Kwadwo. What do you care?”
“Stop being stubborn Shirley and tell me where you are!”
Shirley angrily ended the call when Kwadwo raised his voice at her, Kwadwo was about to call back when Shirley sent him her location.
He rushed to get her, she was drunk and alone.
He helped her up and took her slowly to his car, a waitress helped and picked up Shirley’s bag and followed them.
Kwadwo collected it and placed it in the backseat. He thanked her and gave her a tip.
He was worried about her, he could see that she was troubled and he couldn’t help but blame himself.
He took her to his house and took care of her.
Shirley was still asleep when Kwadwo woke up, he left her to sleep and instructed the cook to prepare breakfast for her. He went for his morning run to clear his head.
Shirley’s phone kept ringing and it woke her up, she had a splitting headache. She looked around and noticed she wasn’t in her room.
She panicked and got out of bed. The dress she had on the previous night had been washed and ironed.
Her phone rang again; it was Femi.
“Where am I?” she thought.
She had forgotten bits and pieces of what happened the previous night.
She didn’t know how to explain things to Femi so she didn’t pick up his calls. She went out of the bedroom and found the cook in the kitchen.
“Good morning,” she said
“Good morning Ma’am. Mr. Boateng has gone for a run but breakfast would be ready soon”
That’s when Shirley remembered she had drunk texted Kwadwo last night.
Kwadwo got back from his run with some coconut water for Shirley, she was eating breakfast.
“Look who’s awake. Did you sleep well?”
“It was okay. Thank you and Thank you for last night”
“I am glad you texted me,” Kwadwo said and stared at her. Shirley got shy and looked away
Kwadwo gave her a painkiller after breakfast and Shirley took a shower.
Before Kwadwo drove her home he asked that they have a talk.
“Shirley, I have decided to move to the Dolph Oil branch in New Zealand”
“Why? What’s wrong with Dolph Oil Ghana?”
“You know why Shirley. Honestly, seeing you every day isn’t easy. If I want to really get over you, I need to be far away from you”
“Please don’t go. I will make sure to stay out of your way”
“You don’t get it. It’s not about you staying out of my way. I force myself to see you every day. Being around you makes me happy, Shirley. I am so in love with you, I wish I had seen you earlier, way before Femi got to you. But he got to you first and he is your man. As much as I hate it, I honestly have to try and accept it. A spot just opened in the New Zealand office and I have decided to take it. I will still be a director but it has a lot more benefits and It pays really well. I have been brushing it off for months because I wanted more time to be with you.”
Shirley was already crying
“ New Zealand? That’s so far away Kwadwo. You really want to forget about me”
“That’s the plan, Shirley. I need to, I have to”
Shirley sat on his couch and cried quietly
“I don’t want to lose you Kwadwo. Nobody gets me as you do. My time with you has been the best days of my life. Even though we have been fighting a lot lately. I like who I am when I am with you.” Shirley said sobbingly.
Kwadwo walked to her and sat next to her on the couch. She was still crying. He took both her hands and placed his forehead against hers. They both closed their eyes and sat in silence.
“This is for the best Shirley. For the very best. Time will heal us” he said sadly
“I will miss you Kwadwo,” Shirley said and open her eyes
“I will miss you too.”
Shirley smiled and wiped her eyes.
“I am ready to go. My family must be worried about me”
“Sure thing,” Kwadwo said and grabbed his car keys
Kwadwo led her to the door but before he opened it. Shirley planted an unexpected peck on his cheek. Kwadwo blushed.
They locked eyes for a moment and Kwadwo leaned in to kiss her. It was a long passionate kiss.
When they got to her house, they hugged and Kwadwo watched her enter her house.
The next day at work the news about Kwadwo’s transfer was everywhere.
A month later, they had a nice send-off party for him and Kwadwo made sure to save the last dance for Shirley.
She really wanted to stay in touch with Kwadwo but she decided to let him go. Tears filled her eyes after she read what looked like Kwadwo’s very last message to her.
She was with Hazel, her apartment has been Shirley’s hideout because she didn’t want to explain to her family and boyfriend why she has been crying so much.
She was reading Kwadwo’s message when Hazel entered the bedroom with some tea.
“Hey, are you feeling better?”
Shirley nodded and took the cup of tea from Hazel, she sipped on it and Hazel joined her in bed. She had paused a movie they were seeing to go make the tea.
“Should we continue the movie?” Hazel asked
Shirley gave her phone to Hazel.
“He just texted me. He is leaving Ghana today” Shirley said and made a sad face
Hazel read the message
“Aww. This is so sad. I am sorry Shirley” Hazel said and hugged her
“But come to think of it, I don’t have a clue what this guy looks like. You talk about how amazing he is all the time, but I am done imagining his face. Do you have a photo of him? I need to see the face of the man competing with Femi”
“he isn’t competing with Femi. Come on”
“Are you sure he isn’t?” Hazel asked and raised her eyebrows
Shirley chuckled and took her phone from Hazel, she scrolled through her photos and found her favorite photo of Kwadwo.
“Here you go,” she said giving Hazel back the phone.
Hazel’s eyes widened
“Jesus, Mary, and Joseph!! Is that him? Whoa!”
“Yep! That’s Kwadwo”
“Wow. See, I am team Femi and all but my goodness this man is fine! Good thing he left because I am sure Femi might not have stood a chance”
“You are exaggerating,” she said
“Am I? Look whose talking? You are a complete mess because of this guy and I am exaggerating?”
Shirley groaned and grabbed one of Hazel’s pillows
“Oh, my days! I am so confused but you are right. Good thing Kwadwo left, he made things easier on me. Femi feels safe I am going to stick with him”
Hazel got up from the bed and placed both their tea cups on her desk. She went back to bed and took Shirley’s hand.
“Shirley, it looks like you are settling for Femi. I have never seen you react this way over any guy and I know how much you love Femi”
“I love Femi I do,” Shirley said
“But you are in love with Kwadwo. I think if you absolutely loved Femi, you wouldn’t be here shattered over another man”
“Maybe I was too quick to get back together with Femi?”
“You should answer that yourself Shirley. Femi is my friend too and I love him but he is the same guy that went days without calling you when you were in the hospital. I know you two were in a fight but I feel you deserve a man that speaks to you even when you are fighting. He broke things off because you lost a child and left the country for a year without bothering to know if you were mentally okay after the miscarriage. I know you remember all this and it still hurts. Maybe all these things made you fall out of love with him a little bit. I am just saying, I don’t know”
“But he made up for it, he has been nothing but amazing ever since we got back together”
“Then why are you here Shirley? Why are you in this position moping over another guy? You should self-reflect and be honest about your feelings. You kissed another man Shirley and you have not shown any remorse about it yet. You are not guilty about it but that’s cheating Shirley. I know Femi was once the man you loved but he isn’t the same man anymore. You have loved the idea of him for so long that you jump right into it when he came back. I can’t ask you to break things off with him because it’s not my place but you are my friend Shirley, my best friend, I know you very well. You are not happy”
Shirley broke down into tears because she knew Hazel was right. Hazel hugged her as she sobbed quietly in her arms.
Two years went by, and even after Hazel’s intervention with Shirley, she couldn’t bring herself to break things off with Femi. Hazel decided to stay out of Shirley’s business when it is about Femi. She too had her own problems, she hasn’t been able to get completely over Alex but she pretended well.
Alex and Zoey started dating officially and as time went by Hazel stopped visiting the Yankey residence because she didn’t want to run into Alex.
There was a public holiday, so Hazel and Shirley decided to make a day out of it. They decided to go shopping in the morning to get some food ingredients to cook Hazel’s famous Jollof rice. Shirley was waiting for Hazel outside her apartment in her car when she got a message from Dompreh.
She couldn’t drop her jaw, Hazel came outside with a surprised look on her face too. She quickly got into the car
“Dompreh and Aisha are getting married?! Wait?! How?!” she said
Their WhatsApp group page was going crazy. They hid their relationship so well.
It was all Shirley and Hazel woke about when they go back from the market.
“I can’t wait to hear the back story because this is very crazy but I am happy for them ”
They decided to cook a lot and invite everyone in the circle to talk about the wedding, since it was a holiday the others were able to make it. Dompreh and Aisha decided to come late on purpose. When they entered Hazel’s apartment everyone cheered them on.
Aisha went to hide behind Dompreh’s back
“ and the award for the most private relationship goes to…?” Fitzgerald teased
Hazel went to get Aisha from Dompreh’s back and sat her down next to her. Dompreh followed Aisha and sat by her.
“ Oya! We are all ears now. When did you two start dating?” Femi said to set the ball rolling.
Aisha giggled and wrapped her hands around Dompreh’s arm. She was so in love.
“ Two years. So I wanted a plus one for my aunt’s wedding if you guys can remember? I asked on the page and you didn’t seem interested but Dompreh sent a private message; it was the first time he had actually texted me. He agreed to go with me and we actually had such a great time. I have always known him to be the quiet laid back guy so seeing him in that light really threw me off but in a good way. After the wedding, we went to his friend’s restaurant and I ate the best club sandwiches that I have ever eaten. He was a complete gentleman and I really liked hanging out with him. The next day we texted all day and I got to know a different Dompreh from the one I know in the group. Honestly, I fell in love with him first but he was focused on building a real friendship. It took him a while to realize he loved me back but when he knew, he confessed it and we decided to be together privately because we honestly didn’t want the outside distraction. I am so glad I get to do life with Dompreh, I didn’t see him coming but he is my perfect gift” Aisha said and shyly looks at Dompreh
“It’s going to be a small ceremony at Aisha’s house. We are doing both traditional and white weddings on the same day. So come prepared; it’s going to be a long day. We didn’t spend so much on the wedding, a lot of the planning went to our honeymoon. We have decided to go to Greece”
“Wow! I can’t believe this is happening this is so beautiful. I am happy for you guys. Congratulations” Shirley said and hugged them
They spoke more about the wedding and just spent their holiday together.
Shirley packed some of the Jollof rice to the house, she doesn’t mess around with Hazel’s jollof rice.
When she got home, she found Alex watching television alone in the dark.
Shirley wished she had a way to fix Alex’s heart. He seemed very lost after the breakup.
“Hey Alex,” she said and smiled
“ Hey” Alex said
She went to sit by him
“ What are you watching?”
“ This limited series about Prince Harry And Meghan Markle on Netflix”
“ Really?! Then you really must be bored”
“ I don’t give a two cents about them, like at all”
“Where have you been?” Alex asked trying to change the subject.
“ oh? Umm… I spent the day with Hazel. Today was a holiday by the way. I know you being a doctor you don’t get to enjoy the luxury of a holiday” Shirley teased
“ Wow. You are choosing violence this evening. When I come for you now, you will start crying”
Shirley laughed and stood up to dish some of the Jollof rice. She picked two forks and shared a plate with Alex.
When Alex tasted the food, he immediately missed Hazel. It got him sad but he was done getting sad over it.
“ Hazel is a Jollof guru. I always ask her to teach me but anytime I try it doesn’t taste like hers like it’s not even close”
“ That’s because you are Shirley and she is Hazel. Don’t beat yourself up, you make okay Jollof too.”
“ Okay Jollof? I don’t want okay Jollof. I need great, amazing, fabulous Jollof. What’s okay Jollof?”
“ You are going to make me choke on the food”
After eating Alex convinced Shirley to watch a couple of episodes of the documentary. In the middle of it, Alex asked about Hazel out of the blue.
“ She is fine Alex. I am not saying this to hurt you but she doesn’t talk about you or ask about you anymore. I think she is starting to heal”
“ She hates me now. I know it”
“ Oh come on Alex. She doesn’t hate you. Well, what you did with Zoey was crazy but she doesn’t hate you. You made your decision to walk out on the relationship and she is doing the same too. She is choosing herself. If you two are meant to be, you will be. Until then, I think you two should try and be happy”
Alex sighed, he stayed quiet and focused his attention on the television. Shirley decided to call it a night and left Alex to continue his show.
When Shirley left his side, the words she said to him kept popping up in his mind. Tears rolled down his cheek, he loved Hazel very much and it hurt him so much that she was starting to forget about him.
They all made it to Aisha and Dompreh’s wedding the following weekend. And it was still surreal how they both made it work and actually got married.
Hazel avoided Alex at the wedding, she left early because she didn’t want Alex to try and approach her with a conversation.
Femi moved to Nigeria a month later after a long discussion with Shirley. His father’s health was deteriorating and he had to take over. They had a tearful farewell at the Airport.
Her job in Ghana was very good and even though a big part of Femi wanted her to move to Nigeria and work with him, he didn’t dare ask her to make such a sacrifice. She wasn’t his wife so he had no right.
The relationship wasn’t the same when he went back to Nigeria, when Shirley was in Dubai Femi did a much better job at communicating. He hardly texted or called her anymore. And whenever they got to talk, Femi used his job as an excuse.
It went on for three months and Shirley was seriously thinking about going to Nigeria to see him but her family talked her out of it.
In Nigeria, Femi was in a family battle with his parents. He discussed getting married to Shirley because it looked like he would be living in Nigeria permanently but his parents flat-out refused to Femi’s surprise.
His father was forcing Bisola down his throat because she is the only daughter of his very good friend and the way Femi used and dumped her has brought shame to her family.
So the only way to make things right was to marry her to clear the shame of the family.
Femi had to do the right thing, since finding this out he hasn’t been able to face Shirley. And he knew telling her something like that over the phone would totally break her so instead she avoided her.
Femi tried to convince his father but it all fell on deaf ears.
When it looked like there was no turning back from it, he picked a weekend to book a flight to Ghana.
He went to Fitzgerald’s place first and told him everything.
“ Whoa! This is crazy Femi. Completely Crazy. This will totally crush Shirley. You will completely kill her Bro”
“ I can’t face her. I can’t do this. I really can’t”
“You have to, she has to hear it from you. But why are you choosing to do this? Marry someone you don’t love? You are choosing a life of pain.”
“That’s the kind of family I come from. Nigerians take their family reputation very seriously”
“ So you will rather marry her to protect her family rather than have peace of mind for the rest of your life?”
Femi didn’t talk
“But that Bisola chick, doesn’t she have someone else? You guys broke up a long time ago she should have met someone by now. This so fucked up”
Fitzgerald encouraged Femi the best way he could and he decided to meet Shirley at their favorite restaurant.
Shirley was so happy to see him, she kept touching him and kissing him. She looked so happy Femi couldn’t bring himself to tell her. They had a nice dinner and Femi dropped her at home.
He got on the first flight back to Nigeria but at the airport, before he got on the plane, he sent Shirley two long voice messages telling her the truth.
When Shirley listened to the message the next morning he called Femi she was so distraught.
“Tell me you are kidding Femi. Just tell me it’s all a joke and I will believe it”
Femi stayed quiet on the phone
“Are you serious? Just like that? Everything just like that?”
“I am sorry Shirley, I know how this looks but I can’t disrespect my family, especially my father. It’s what he wants. They were never going to accept you anyway and I didn’t want to drag you into this mess”
“Oh my goodness Femi. Are you seriously going to get married and act as if I don’t matter? Throw everything away?!”
“Please don’t make this harder than it already is. Please, Shirley. I am so sorry. I am also hurting too my life is practically over. I am the one going to be stuck with a girl I don’t love”
“I chose you Femi. Over and over again. I kept giving you a second chance. When I had the chance to pick someone else I chose you because I had faith in us and this is what I get?”
“What? What are you saying, Shirley? Have you had the chance to pick someone else? What do you mean? Is there someone else? Did you cheat on me? Was it when you were in Dubai?”
“What does it matter? You are the one going to marry someone else anyway? Does it matter to you who I have been with? I don’t think so. You are a coward”
“Shirley, I know you are hurting now, but don’t lie just to hurt me too. This someone else nonsense you are saying is from a place of pain. I know and I am terribly sorry, Shirley. In all my years on earth, I have never loved anyone as I love you. I am going to live with this regret for the rest of my life but if I had my way Shirley, you know I would have chosen you in a heartbeat. I love you very much and I will always, always love you”
Shirley cried like a baby over the phone she begged and cried, it broke Femi’s heart. He had brought so much pain to her, the pain he had no intention of putting her through. He loved her so much, enough to let her go and be happy with someone with a less complicated family.
“I have to go now, Shirley. This is hard and your tears aren’t making it easy for me, you know I hate it so much when you cry”
“Goodbye, Femi. Happy married life” Shirley said and ended the call abruptly.
Femi cried so much when the call ended, his life was over. He wished he didn’t have to do any of it.
A couple of weeks later, the news broke. Femi’s wedding was all over social media.
Kwadwo saw it and his heart immediately skipped a beat. His first instinct was to reach out to Shirley but he changed his mind.
Shirley’s father was furious.
“That arrogant boy! How dare he! I knew he was bad news from the beginning but would Shirley listen? No! And you kept supporting the relationship, Brigitte. Now look?!”
Brigitte sat quietly on the bed and looked at her phone she still couldn’t believe it.
Hazel dropped everything and rushed to the Yankey residence when she saw the wedding. When she got to the house she noticed how they were all sad. She walked to Alexa and asked about Shirley.
“She isn’t here, she says she wants some time alone”
“Did she tell you where she was going?”
“She didn’t say”
Hazel called Shirley, but she didn’t answer she later texted her to let her know that she was fine.
Kendra was over the moon when she saw the news. She rushed to her sister’s room
“Did you know about this?! Femi is married and it’s not Shirley!” Kendra said and laughed
“Oh? Kendra. I understand how this can be funny to you but this is very sad. Femi was depressed for a long time, he has married a woman he doesn’t love to make his family happy”
“Yes! that’s his karma for treating me badly when I was with him. He hasn’t seen anything yet. I hope he stays unhappy forever!”
“Kenni..! Stop it. You have no idea what you are saying. How can you say something like that?”
Kendra didn’t pay her kid sister any mind and left her room.
A lot of people kept texting and reaching out to Shirley but she muted all her notifications.
She went to a beach just to clear her head and think about her next move.
She was sad about what Femi had done but if she was being very honest with herself a part of her knew she wasn’t as in love with him anymore. She just didn’t expect her relationship to end so tragically and publicly.
That night when she got home, she found Hazel still there waiting on her.
Hazel hugged her when she saw her, they went up to her bedroom. She waited for her to shower and settled down.
“How are you feeling now?” Hazel asked
“Everything sucks. I can’t believe this thing has happened to me. Your boyfriend of many years just up and leaves to marry somebody else and you are left to pick up all the broken pieces. Life is so weird”
“ I am so sorry Shirley. I am still trying to wrap my mind around it. But all this has got me thinking, knowing how you felt about this Kwadwo guy, would you have really married Femi?”
Shirley stayed quiet.
“Yes. I love Femi”
“But not as much as you love Kwadwo. You can admit it, Shirley. You can say it out loud now”
Shirley sighed while she applied her night cream to her face
“You know, I almost told Femi about him. I almost told him about the kiss, but he didn’t believe me. So I left it at that, at that moment it didn’t matter anymore. I still feel terrible for cheating on him though”
“You feel terrible? Femi just got married to someone else Shirley. You don’t get to feel guilty about anything”
Shirley broke down, hearing it hurt her all over again. Hazel sighed and consoled her.
Have a nice weekend love. See you on here soon and thank you for reading?