When she made to get some fruits that fateful Saturday evening, she could hardly have envisaged that something that may alter the direction of her life may happen. She’d have even gone earlier had her friend, colleague and reading partner not delayed her. They intended to do a marathon night of reading the whole night till Sunday morning in preparation for the commencement of exams on Monday.
She knew if she aced it, it will put her on surer footing when the university authorities eventually decide to organize a recruitment exercise that will also include already serving contract staff. When she saw him, besides the initial nudging to give him a bear hug (a nudging that the presence of her colleague moderated and totally wiped out), she felt anger, and then again surprised at how the world could be a very small place, then sadness followed finally by indifference. Only HE could make her feel all of those in a space of a few seconds while they stood looking at each other in shock.
To avert any unnecessary misreading of the situation by her colleague she decided to break the ice by extending her hand to him, while mouthing what appeared like a greeting in his direction. He responded likewise. She introduced him to her colleague as her friend, who before she could manufacture a lie to dismiss her, told her she would like to check for groceries at another end of the market, and they’ll meet later that night to study.
He walked with her quietly to where she bought fruits, paid for them and walked her to the bus stop. That was when he spoke. He asked after her and her family and she responded warmly, surprised that she felt no anger towards him. She told him she could spare thirty minutes when he asked if she could come sit with him at a fast food joint, so they could catch up on the past.
Thirty minutes must’ve been very precious for him because throughout the time they were in there, he didn’t order for food or drink, neither did she bother. All that seemed paramount was catching up on old times, though the atmosphere was subdued. She was studying him, much the same way he was her. He appeared to measure his statements, with intention not to offend. He had put on some weight, grown some moustache and goatie, the way Bohemians are wont to, though the boyish looks remained. He didn’t look like someone that’s had much laughter in recent times, though she couldn’t categorically say he was sad, his demeanor appeared contemplative.
She wondered what he’d be thinking about what she’s become. He’d probably think her looking much older but still managed to keep her figure after all these years and post-two kids. To her relief, he didn’t go into all of that.
After skirting about almost all of the major topics sparingly, she decided it was best to halt proceedings atleast for now, so they could both take a breather. She reminded him twas past the thirty minutes they both agreed to spend. She gave him her number and Facebook name, and he promised to call before taking a moped back to the campus to continue her study, only that she couldn’t study that night as she couldn’t get thoughts of him out of her mind. He did call later that night, and they chatted briefly on Facebook where they agreed to meet for dinner the next day at a restaurant.
Everything she did that Sunday she did absentmindedly. She simply waltzed through doing some laundry, meeting her family in church, going home to prepare a meal for them, attending to other sundry at home, before coming back to the campus primarily to meet up with him for dinner and then studying for her papers, which begins the next day. He looked happier, and was even a bit more talkative than the evening before. He played the gentleman even. They enjoyed their dinner talking about everything else but themselves.
The restaurant had a great view of the lagoon behind it, and it was to that that they went after their sumptuous dinner, electing to sit on the stones at the bank, than on the seats provided for frolickers. She asked him why he abandoned her, and he told her he decided to give the whole thing a break when it began to look like he was pushing too hard, and he felt that, if she really wanted him so badly she would come midway, unfortunately it appeared he miscalculated as that never happened though over the years he never truly forgot about her. To her, he appeared sincerely remorseful with a hint of regret in his voice.
She told him she never forgot about him too, and that she felt very sad after his letters stopped coming. Those letters she told him, remained with her till a few days to her wedding when she burnt them save for the last one- the Christmas card. He told her he also kept her letters for a while before also doing same but expressed disbelief at the fact that she still had the card. She promised to bring it at their next meeting. She told him he’d kept it with the hope that they’ll meet again, though not as late as it turned out, with the passage of time she felt he must’ve found someone else hence without wanting to appear overbearing and possessive she withdrew and made no moves towards finding or getting him back. He apologized to her and she apologized back. She didn’t push him away when he held held her closer to himself and kissed her on the lips, initially she limply acquiesced but later grabbed his lips with hers and with her eyes closed savoured the moment.
She spent the whole night thinking about him and what could’ve been had her life careered in his direction. He was also now married, though without an issue and not quite long ago too. She wasn’t sure she could’ve waited that long though, but who knows, he may not have waited that long to be married if they had been together. She may also have had a falling-out with him seeing that from what he told her, he easily got bored of relationships, and before now had been hot-headed ending several relationships on mere whims, after a series of heartbreaks, which according to him and much to her relief, did not include the bit of relationship they once shared.
Interestingly, amongst the many things they revealed to each other she found that he’d done his master’s degree in the same university in a course unrelated to his undergraduate course without both of them ever coming in contact with each other.
They chatted again that night before she excused herself to do some reading before dawn. Not a few people noticed the brightness in her face that Monday morning and the days that followed. Her exams passed without incidence and she was soon back home. All this while, she chatted with him on Facebook, and then sent a picture of the Christmas card he sent her twelve years ago to his inbox. He expressed shock and delight to know that she kept it all this while.
She downloaded whatsapp onto her phone, and continued to chat with more regularity by the clock with him. He wouldn’t call her after working hours and on weekends when he knew she’d be home, and she returned the favour, though sometimes while chatting she’d ask if she could call him, just to hear his voice and he always said ‘yes’! They also continued to meet especially when she had to work overtime, for dinners and sometimes lunch, where they chatted about all else but their spouses, it was almost like that aspect of their lives didn’t exist when they are together. When he told her he still loved her, she was surprised at the speed with which she responded in like manner, even going further to stating she missed him so much.
The first time she visited him at work, two months after she reunited with him, it was to tell him that her results were out and she did very well, even with the distractions that his coming into her life generated while she was writing the exam. He stopped all he was doing, cancelled other appointments he had for the day and took her out for lunch, it was during lunch that he broached the idea that they both spend the rest of the evening at a brothel. Again, she acquiesced without the slightest reservation.
Everything else happened like a flash till he began to unclothe her while she accorded him the same treatment, she felt like a girl again. They kissed intensely till both their lips were sore, he then proceeded to her nape while her right hand made it’s way to his groin. Then he made for her now erect nipples and gave it a sucking that made her areola sore, then she began to tremble, wanting his cock urgently in her wet concha. She promptly directed it in, and he made love to her, while they gripped each other in tight almost smothering embrace, then the unexpected happened- she broke down in tears.
She didn’t push him away, but he nonetheless stopped. Her thoughts were running wild, she wasn’t sure if she should be doing this, it definitely was wrong but it felt right. Nothing could be wrong with him, because she loved him and was willing to go all the way with him. When he asked if anything was wrong, she wiped her wet eyes and told him she was fine. She held him again, and let him make love to her.
Her soul searching continued later that night after they both left their rendezvous. She wasn’t sure what to make of the rollercoaster that was that day. Gladly, her husband had gone on a business trip, availing her an opportunity to properly think things through and not have to battle with her nerves had he been in and demanded sex from her.
He didn’t text, whatsapp, call or sent her a message on Facebook, that night. She also didn’t send any or even prompt him by sending a ‘hi’ to his whatsapp, though she desperately wanted to hear his voice or anything from him, especially to pick his brain about what happened and how he felt.
She never asked him about that night, neither did he, but they kept seeing each other at every given opportunity, lodging in different hotels and brothels, having breakfast, lunch and dinner in different parts of town, buying and exchanging gifts. They both lived a separate life, from the one people normally associated with them, one in which they couldn’t have enough of each other. The longing to bê with him begins almost as soon as he turns his back on her to leave, and she could also see the regret on his face. She hated weekends, ‘cos it meant she may not hear his voice till Monday- which she looked forward to seeing with great anticipation.
Six months into their dalliance the university authorities decided to conduct a recruitment exercise. She started studying again but this time with his help and encouragement. She would discuss interview questions and situations with him at dinner, and send some multiple choice questions in management and aptitude tests for him to solve via whatsapp. By the time the recruitment exercise started she was very ready and before the results were released she knew she had passed.
As it had become norm with them, once she told him she’d been shortlisted for full employment, he appeared overwhelmed with joy for her, they celebrated in the usual way they had cultivated in the past few months. They’d become absolutely inseparable in their head, with both finding reasons for coming home late sometimes all days of the working week. She began to link her finally getting the job after five years of working as contract staff to the luck of meeting him, though he played down any role he might’ve played in the turn of events when she raised it.
They didn’t celebrate their one year anniversary together because he had business to attend to outside of town, afterward he seemed not to be keen in seeing her. She wasn’t happy and made her feelings known to him, infact she began to nurse some feelings of jealousy for the other woman who may have appeared to have stolen his attention while hoping that his affection for her hasn’t also dwindled. In one of her tirades, he’d retorted that if she was reacting this way, what should “the owner” then do about what she shares with him? She decided to let him go.
Again, she began to suffer deep inside of her over him, everything tasted bland and living became a chore. After three weeks, she asked him to meet her at a joint, close to her office, she had no appetite so they ordered nothing save for water.He apologized for the ‘quiet’ from his side in recent days, and they made up like there hadn’t been a rift developing in the first place. Again, she accepted his apology. She loved him so much and wouldn’t want to lose him again.
Just before getting home she got his message thorough whatsapp. He’d rather they stopped having sex altogether, because he claimed he always felt guilty afterwards. He wrote that he loved her so much but will not risk jeopardizing her family or his by continuing to have a sexual relationship with her. He asked for her understanding and for them to have a relationship that was devoid of sex.
She wasn’t happy about it, she wasn’t sad either, but one thing she was sure of was that she would be with him, under whatever condition he wanted what they shared to be in. She couldn’t bear to lose him again.