I was numb and everything stopped
© Pauline Mumbi
I was ready the to approach them but time wasn’t
on my side, either I chose to fight and miss my
flight or ignore it and chase after something that
was still in my favour.
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I thank God we were not on the same flight.
Lagos promised better things and a lot more. My
manager picked me up from the Airport and I
checked into a beautiful hotel. The first place I
wanted to visit was Banana island.. The much
talked about place.
As I relaxed and reflected in my hotel suite Atusaye
was on my mind and not because I missed him…
Well of course I did. But really what I wanted was
to move on. For good this time. Maybe love wasn’t
for me… Perhaps I had to start afresh and focus on
my life, without Atusaye.
Amidst all the thoughts was the pressure of getting
the award. What if I wasn’t good enough?.. No of
course not. I was good enough. I just didn’t know
about the rumours, they had circulated really fast
like wild fire and I stood to lose this award based
on those grounds.
“We need to get your outfit ready” my manager said
as we had lunch.
“Yes… I know. Do you think I will get it… I mean
the award?” I said hesitantly.
“Whether we get it or we don’t.. You have to stand
with your head high..” He responded.
“I really like your courage” I said.
“No I like yours… You still chose to come out here
even when you had every reason not to”. He said as
he rubbed my shoulder
” thank you Ben.. Can we go now…” I said as I got
The afternoon was spent preparing for the following
days event. I had no time to get a designer so I
had to pick out a dress from the store.
Social media is a place I completely avoided, in
fact I deactivate all my social media accounts to
wait for the situation to normalise.
The day of the awards was extremely busy. I
travelled in complete chaos.. No makeup artist and
didn’t even bother hiring one.
“We need to go..” My manger said as he waited on
“Just two more minutes and will be there” I said.
I had managed to dress myself for the event and
was more than ready to walk the red carpet in style,
if Atusaye was around… I wouldn’t be showing up
alone. I thought.
The flash flights and the fame couldn’t fill the void
in,side. I was a star but in,side I was barely shining.
“You need to put a smile on your face.. Remember
everyone wants to see you and this is your chance
to make the best of the mess. You hear me…?” My
manager warned as we drove to the event.
“Yes.. I do .. I hear you”.. I said.
As I sat in the car viewing the beautiful lights of the
city of Lagos I could hærdly breath… A big lump
chocked my throat and I was ready to cry but my
” Mwansa.. This is part of being at the top.. I wish
I could say it is easy but no it isn’t. To achieve your
goals isn’t easy… Many people wish they were you
right now and as funny as it sounds even this
mess….. others are envying you for it. Mwansa
look at me… If you walk out there and face the
crowd with courage… I can assure you the devil has
failed”.. He said.
Ben was right.. Despite knowing I had to answer
many questions, I took the courage and stepped out
of the car.
Its like everyone was waiting to see me and hear
Cameras were in my face and microphones waiting
to hear my explanation but I smiled and gave a
short response each time.
It wasn’t bad after all. I managed to get past the
questions and I was now settled waiting for the
awards to start.
Finally after waiting for so long, the nominees were
announced for the category where my movie was
featuring… It was a tense moment waiting for the
final announcement as Ben and I held our hands
“Lord please let me scoop this, at least for all the
humiliation I’ve been through. I deserve this my
Jesus.” I said in my heart.
For a moment
I was numb and everything stopped
I was numb and everything stopped
as Ben shook me with excitement.
“What? Did we get it?” I asked with extreme joy.
“Of course we did! Let’s go… Let’s go” he
scre-med with joy.
I stood and we walked to the front.. It was the best
day of my life and yes of course the tears were
there. Plenty of them.
Ben stepped aside as I walked up to the
“I don’t know what to say…” I started..
“Well first if all I want to thank the Almighty God
because his grace…… Am sorry….. Give me a
minute” I said as I stopped to cry for a moment
“Calm down” I head Ben shout from the
I cleared my thought and started afresh.
“Yes as I was saying…. The Almighty God alone
deserves the glory and praise because if it wasn’t
for him I wouldn’t be here…. Humiliation has been
a plate I’ve eaten from everyday of my life.. Bit
standing on this platform is proof that I serve a
mighty God. I serve a mighty God…” I shouted.
People cheered and gave me a standing ovation and
I felt comforted.
I didn’t see Atusaye coming to the front but I just
realised he was on stage standing next to me and
held my shoulder before taking the opportunity to
“Ladies and gentlemen I just wanted to officially
clear the rumours. I am here and I am going
nowhere” he said.
While the crowd cheered Atusaye and i held hands
as I wore a fake smile. Surely they had to be a
reason for him to be there after his unexpected
My manager was extremely mad at me for even
allowing Atusaye be close to me and we met to
discuss it over breakfast the following day.
“He said he was sorry for believing everything” I
convincingly told Ben
“Oh and you believed him!!!! What’s wrong with you?
Are you that desperate to be in a relationsh¡p??!!”
“Ben calm down we are in a public place… He is
still the man I love and I understand the place he
was coming from when he fell for the lies” I said
trying to convince him.
“No please don’t even give me that excuse!!!! Your
boyfriend is just after your money and fame!” Ben
We were in a five star restaurant and he was yelling
like he was talking to a child.
“Listen my dear… You had the one time
opportunity… Only one opportunity to get this man
out of your life for good and you instead chose to
welcome him back the moment he crawled back.
This is your career, in the entertainment world
relationsh¡ps come and go. So put yourself together
and forget about him” Ben said.
I didn’t believe everything he said except one
Maybe he was right, maybe Atusaye was just after
my money. But he had never asked me for a cent
ever since we had been together. Was he waiting to
marry me before he could have it all?
Yes it made sense…. If the rumours had been going
on for so long why then did he choose to forgive
I mean now of all times?. It’s obviously because he
knew I was now climbing to the top.
Yes it made sense.
What Ben didn’t know was that Atusaye had just
dropped me at the hotel room the previous night
and we didn’t even talk. However. We had agreed
to meet over lunch to discuss our relationsh¡p.
“You look really look good Mwansa” Atusaye
complimented as we arrived at the restaurant.
“Thank you… I really appreciate.” I responded.
We settled and ordered our food as we began to
“Am sorry for believing everything I heard… I guess
I was too fast” he said.
“I understand….” I responded as I cleared my
“Does that mean you forgive me?” He asked.
I cleared my throat and put the fork on the table.
“Atusaye what do you take me for?” I asked bluntly
as I stared into his eyes.
“What do you mean by that Mwansa?… He asked
“Look Atusaye I guess I would like to speak first..” I
“Yes honey you go first am listening” he said.
“I know you think am foolish… But your games are
too small for me I’ve been through a lot in life…”
” and I completely understand that” he interrupted.
“Speak please what it?” He asked me.
“Atusaye… I just can’t. I mean … I know we love
each other and everything but I can’t… Today its
this, God knows what it will be tomorrow” I said as
I became emotional.
suffering will never end if I choose you.. Can’t you
see it?. Our enemies will keep showing up..
Anything to do with you is a risk Atusaye.. Its
always been and I can’t do that anymore I deserve
to be happy” I cried.
Atusaye was shocked and he came close to me…
Mwansa please listen to I’ve not been sleeping….
“And you think I have?… You think I have
Atusaye!!!!” I scre-med in tears.
We had to leave the restaurant because things were
getting tense. I was angry.
Atusaye took me to the hotel but he also wanted to
stay over and talk. But i refused. I guess the only
way I could truly be happy is to accept that my
happiness was dependant on myself and not on
other people. Especially not Atusaye.
He however insisted on taking me to the airport the
following morning and I agreed. We agreed to
To be continued…
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