My story story lovers!!!! Where art thou? I have another story for us to enjoy. AGAIN – Written by Greg Emuze. Trust me when I say you will love this one, because I am loving it already. This series will be for Thursdays – Enjoy the ride.
She could not believe her eyes. How times had changed. “Quit gawking at me like that, Shola” he said. She noticed for the first time how his voice had also changed. This was crazy. She had come to this eatery on a blind date. She’d met the guy on Twitter and slowly he’s talked her into a face-to-face. She wasn’t keen. She didn’t want to be part of the statistic – Set P. But somehow, since she could not make a decision against it, she’d decided to make the date.
After waiting for a few minutes, he had called and begged her to be a little more patient, he was stuck in traffic. It was a plausible excuse, in fact a good possibility. Lagos was like that. But that had been the weight that tipped the scales. She just suddenly knew she didn’t want to do this. Her last relationship had crumbled four years and a few wrong decisions after it had begun. She needed to heal. Four years was a good chunk of her life, for pete’s sake!
She had gotten up and headed for the exit. She was typing a message to her date to cancel when she bumped into someone. “Sorry” she’d said embarrassed, “Pardon me” the guy had said, then they’d both froze. He started laughing first as he threw his arms around her. She joined in the laughter and hugged him hard. This was Joe, her high school ‘sweetheart’ looking like a million bucks! He was shooting off a horde of questions while he dragged her back to a table.
She sat down, then remembered her unsent message. She tore her eyes off Joe and sent the message without bothering with an excuse, she just “had to leave”. “Could we go elsewhere, please?” she asked Joe. “Sure” he replied. They both got up and headed out. “This way” he said leading her by the hand to the car park. He unlocked the passenger door to a vehicle. She knew it was a Honda, but could not make out which. She was not really interested in cars. “I can’t believe my eyes” she heard Joe say as he shut her door.
Over three hours later, Joe pulled up at her place.
“Thanks for everything” She said.
“Come off it! It’s nothing. This is the best thing that has happened to me this year. Damn! Running into Shola Akinrele just like that! My school wife!” He said laughing.
“I almost didn’t recognize you, Joe.” She said
“Hmmm. Na God, my dear. So that’s your house? You have lived here since those JSS days?” He asked.
“Yes, o.” She replied.
“Good. Now, I know your house and you know mine. I can’t lose you anymore. Whatever happens, I can drive down here and ask after you.” He said laughing again.
“Who was that?” Her younger brother asked as she stepped into the house.
“He was my classmate in JSS o! He left after junior-WAEC” She explained.
“Hmmm. He’s a big boy now. Is that his ride?” He asked. Kola, her brother, was a car freak.
“Yes” She replied.
“Smooth. A Honda Crosstour ’11? Not bad at all. Has the Lord spoken?” He asked winking.
“Get out!” She hissed.
It was four months after the chance meet at the eatery and they were ‘kind-of-dating’. She had not fully made her mind up. She liked him and he was flooding her with attention and gifts. Here she was at the Airport with Kola to pick him up. Joe was always out of town – Abuja, Ghana, UK, Dubai, etc. And whenever he was going on a trip, he insisted she see him off and pick him up when he got back. She couldn’t drive and always had to conscript her younger brother to drive Joe’s car on these errands.
“Is he talking marriage yet?” Kola suddenly asked as they stood together waiting for the plane’s arrival.
“Are you okay?” She spat at him.
“He really likes you. Look at all the stuff he’s got you. All the time he spends with you. Plus, me I think he’s a real cool guy.” Kola said.
“Kola, I think Joe’s a Yahoo! guy.” She let out. She had mulled the matter of Joe’s work and income over in her mind for many a night and has all but come to a conclusion. Saying it now to Kola, she hoped he would see what she was seeing.
“Hmmm. You sure?” He replied after a pause.
“90%” She said.
An hour and a half later, Shola was standing at a window looking out of Joe’s flat in Magodo. She was in a fix. This guy was all she could dream of and more, but he came with a possible nightmare – they sure didn’t share the same beliefs. He’s not attended church, to her knowledge, in all the period they had gotten back together. She had invited him to no avail. He’d even dropped her off a couple of times for mid-week services but always had an excuse why he had to run. Add to that the fact that her instincts told her in bright colors that he was far from clean. His wealth was ill-gotten, something illegal was there. Her guess was internet fraud.
Joe saw her at the window, as he exited the bath. He loved her with all his heart now. He was sure of it. He had come a long way in life. Hustled hard and long and it had paid off. Now he had more than he needed and no way was any girl coming to leech off him. But he had learned Shola was not like that. She’d never asked him for a dime. He had kept the gifts pouring, yet she’d never failed to appreciate them nor had she gotten greedy. Never had she taken him for granted. He’d been begging her to learn how to drive so she could have his car while he was away, but she was not even trying.
She was the girl he’d dreamt of. He walked up behind her and held her waist. He’d kept his distance so far. Kept his hands off her. He did not want to rush her. The few pecks once a while so far had been okay for him. Until now. His soul burned to have her. He kissed her neck, she relaxed a little more, leaning into him.
“I love you, Shola” he murmured planting another kiss on her nape. He felt her shiver. Bolder, he reached for the zipper behind her dress, the one he’d gotten for her on his last Dubai trip, he pulled it all the way down.
“Joe, you have not paid my bride price” She said, as he placed his hands on her shoulder to slide her gown off.
“What?” He managed, voice hoarse with passion. She turned around, looked him in the eye and repeated
“Joe, you have not paid my bride price”.
“Baby,…” He began
“We can’t do this yet, Joe. Sit down, please.” She cut him off. He walked over to the bed and sat. He was wrapped around the waist in a towel and the bulge in front of it was suddenly embarrassing to him. He knew he’d messed up. But why did he feel so bad, suddenly? So deflated. He’d gotten through tougher and harsher resistance. So why was he taking orders from her? She had not even done anything to stop him, she’d only spoken.
She did not fix her zip, she simply sat down on the bed-side stool looking at him. She knew she could not compromise her stand. She’d done so in her last relationship. Look where that had gotten her. She ran her eyes over him, God! He looked so cute, excellent muscle tone. He was in shape, six-pack and all. Along with all that was his great looks and gentlemanly ways. She was banking on that part to keep him at bay. ‘God, please, don’t let him come at me again, I’ll crumble’ She prayed. She was using all her will-power to stop from joining him on the bed.
“Joe, you said you do business, what exactly do you deal in? I don’t believe the stuff you told me about real estate.” She said, holding his gaze.
“What do I say?” He said, his confident tone back.
“The truth would be fine.” She pressed.
“Let me get dressed” He said getting up.
Here she was, back right where she’d been six months ago – on her bed crying her eyes sore. Joe had come through – told her the whole truth. She was partly right. There was internet fraud, which is where he’d first struck it rich, and a handful of other things. Most of which were either illegal or borderline. Yes, he was still involved, deeply so. She didn’t bother asking him to leave those ways behind. She knew better. A 26 year old multi-millionaire would not just give it all up over a girl. No. Not the Joe she’d come to know these four months. She’d picked up her bag and walked out of the flat with an “Am sorry, Joe, it won’t work.” Thankfully he’d insisted on dropping her at home, it was late and she didn’t have enough for a cab. All through the ride, they’d been quiet, good too because she needed all her concentration to keep herself from breaking down in tears. But her bed was used to her tears. Here, she let go.
“God, why me? Why can’t I just have a man who is right for me?” She cried herself to sleep.
In the morning, her first tweet was “When u finally arrive, u have a lot of explaining 2 do #DearFutureHusband”
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