(An edited & longer version. Signed book)
✍️ Sha Ron ✍️
“You had better be! And I hope you are happy now because you have a lot of explaining to do to your friends!!” I howled.
“Jen, calm down. I don’t care what they think of us, all that matters to me is that I love you and I don’t want you to go”
“Are you listening to yourself at all?! We have talked about this millions of times and I’m not going to change my mind, period!”
“I know you are saying all that because you are angry, you have every right to be mad at me but I’m begging you, Jen don’t leave me”
“Do you think this is easy for me?! Hell no!! I’m just trying to be strong you fool, aren’t you supposed to be the man that will have control over your emotions?! If you are like this, then how about me?!!”
“I know and that’s why I’m asking you to stay, I have tried to accept the fact that we are related and let you go but I can’t, call me coward or selfish but that’s the truth!”
We barked like mad dogs, it’s a good thing it’s a lonely road, if not, we would have created a big scene and we will be the next gist on social media. Who knows what the headline will look like if it shows up in a newspaper.
“That truth is where the danger lies, Christian, we will never be together and I have already told you to stop making everything more complicated for us, can’t you see?” My voice went down a bit, raising my voice at him had done more harm than good.
“My heart is bleeding, Jen. What have you done to me? We can be together if you want us to, let’s just elope” he said something that made me burst into a cynical laughter.
“Elope? Wow! Clap for yourself, I’m even thinking of how to get out of this web of love and you are…. wait, elope to where exactly Mr.?!” I wondered.
“We can take a night train and run far away to any place of your choice, I’m ready to do anything for us to be together, please?”
He talked about spraining my neck days ago but I think I will get a really sprained neck looking up at his face, this guy can’t be serious! I’m finished for real!!
I was drawn to tears because of the pitiful look on his face, he’s really serious and what makes him think I would want to elope with him, that’s taboo plus abomination equals to ruin! I will be done for good if I even think about it.
“Pardon?” I batted my eyes and used the car to support myself from falling.
He looked away weakly, “please” he mumbled coming close to me.
“You love me, right?”
“Yes, more than you could ever imagine”
“I love you so very much too, Chris. And, are you ready to do anything I say?”
He nodded and I cupped his face and looked into his eyes, “We are not going anywhere and I must go back to the village, I will be glad if you forget about me and move on, think of me as a bad dream”
“Bad dream? I can only think of you naked in my arms and your irresistible body that haunts my dreams” he said, possessiveness and desire flaring in his eyes.
“God! Just take me home, I’m tired!!” I breathed and I tried to enter the car but he grabbed my arm.
“Jenny, please?” He begged, turning me to face him. I’m already tired of lifting my face to look up at him, and I wish I’m still wearing my heels. I looked at our entwined hands as he held it tight, he’s afraid to let go.
“Why did you agree with Lisa to bring me to the beach and hook me up with Caleb?” I changed the topic because I am afraid I will accept to elope with him if I look at his face again.
“I….the truth is, I thought…” He released my hand and moved backwards as if he’s about to throw a bomb. “I knew Caleb is crushing on you, he told me about it and the thing is…he doesn’t know how much I wanted to strangle him to death out of jealousy”
“I didn’t ask you to tell me that, you didn’t even tell me all these while and I looked like a fool when he asked me if you told me anything” I emphasized.
“I accepted to do that because I only wanted to use him, I mean, I wished so much that he would win you over and that will probably make you change your mind about leaving” he stated flatly.
“What makes you think I will date him or have anything to do with him? And why did you suddenly get jealous? You are very lucky Bob brought up that spin game because I would have caused you heart attacks that will never heal” I recalled hissing.
“I’m sorry about that, I was selfish and I deserved everything you did, I got jealous when I realized my mistake, if you accept him and stay back, it means you stayed for him and not for me” he squeaked.
I stared at him, he was restless, he looked everywhere but at me, he looked like a baby that was denied breast milk by his mother and I didn’t know what to say or do again.
“What do you intend to tell your friends as an explanation for what happened earlier?”
“I have no idea, help me”
“I don’t know what to say, they saw us and I can’t think of a good reason for that, we didn’t drink neither did we…”
“I don’t even care what they think it is, I’m not going back there to explain anything to anyone! Even if I do, they will still think what they want to think” he piped.
“Well then, let’s just go home, I’m tired of all this” I said and got into the car, he stood motionless as if he didn’t hear me.
“Let’s go…have lunch” he stressed.
“I will eat at home, you have already spoiled today and I don’t want to face another embarrassment. ” I choked and closed the car door, he shrugged and went to the driver’s seat.
He drove quite unusually because the wheels aren’t screeching the road as it normally does when he’s driving. He stopped by a junction and bought a C-way milk drink and biggie gala for us.
I thanked him and ate it though I was thinking of rejecting it deliberately to hurt his pride because I’m very hungry. We got home and found no one at home.
I went up to my room, undressed, took a long bath and lay down on my bed quietly, I drifted slowly to sleep.
Nancy’s voice woke me up hours later. I carried her downstairs and joined my aunt in the kitchen. Lisa has come back too.
“Good evening, ma” I greeted my aunt quietly.
“You slept all day, are you okay? Did you take the paracetamol as I instructed?” She asked hastily, touching my forehead lightly.
“I’m fine, don’t pet me like Nancy, am old enough to take care of myself… thanks though” I said winking at her.
“Now she’s saying that I shouldn’t worry about her, Nancy did you hear her? It’s only big aunties that I’m not supposed to be worried about and she’s indirectly saying she’s a big aunty” She joked.
“She’s not a big aunty, big aunties don’t talk when they are sleeping just like me, and sister Jennifer always talks” Nancy said pouting her lips.
“What? I can imagine what she would be saying! Did you hear anything?”
“You had better not talk!” I shunned Nancy and she giggled.
“Brother is here!” She came down from my arms and went to hug Chris, he lifted her to his shoulder.
“Chris, where have you been? I checked your room earlier and I didn’t see you” his mother asked, giving him an intent look.
It’s a good thing he is behaving normal and not the way he has been these last few days, Lisa hasn’t said a word since and she busied herself with cutting fruits which are meant to be used for a fruit salad.
“I went to play football and I checked the plaza afterwards, luckily, I met a woman who bought the Gionee phone I haven’t been able to sell since and at a good price” he said brightly.
“Wow! The one you told me about? That means you have only the new ones to sell and you also need to be going to work regularly so you wouldn’t lose some of your customers,” his mother advised.
“He must have used a spell on his customers so they won’t be able to leave him until he says so” I blurted, bending over the gas cooker deliberately to see what’s cooking for dinner.
“My son is a Christian and his name too, he doesn’t do such a thing, it’s grace that’s pushing him through and as you can see, his business is flourishing!”
“Huh! Aunt? You can’t vouch for your son over anything oh, because there are certain things he doesn’t do in your presence that he does in your absence! And as numerous as they are, you don’t know them” I whined.
“That’s right but as a mother, I know when my son is doing…”
“You don’t need to argue with her, mom, just ask her to tell you what she had seen me doing wrong” he spoke up for himself and came closer to me.
“I am not saying you have done anything wrong, I was just suggesting…”
“Don’t suggest anything, just tell us” he played holding my ear, my aunt laughed and told him not to hurt me, “are you supporting her now because she’s a woman?”
“I’m not supporting her, you should know that it’s not a good thing to see scars or any form of scratch on a woman’s body, you have learned enough to know that so be careful” she warned, pulling his hand away from me.
“Isn’t it called cheating if scars shouldn’t be found on a woman’s body only and it’s normal for men to have it like a birthmark?” he snorted.
“Yes, it’s cheating, everything should be equal” Nancy added and that even made my aunt look at her in surprise.
“That’s my sis! She’s really a big aunty while all of you should be sent back to kindergarten!” he laughed, “let’s go to Dad, we shouldn’t mingle with children, Right Nancy?” He scoffed and went out with her.
“I’m going to sell that girl for good! Which little girl talks like her?!” My aunt breathed holding her heart, when I looked at Lisa, she smiled at that.
“Jenny, help me take the bowls outside, dinner is ready!” My aunt requested after somewhile and I didn’t waste time going to get things ready because I’m famished.
There was not much talk during dinner, my uncle only told me to pack my stuff and notify him if there’s any other thing I would need to travel with because I will take a night bus tomorrow.
I assured him that I am all set to go and I need no other thing. Everyone else ate in silence but I know Chris is pretending to be alright while it’s hard for him to eat.
His plate of beans and plantain remained untouched, he only ate half of the fruit salad and drank a glass of juice and went to his room.
I felt sorry for him but I didn’t go to his room as my mind urged me to so I would talk to him again. He was happy an hour ago when he came to the kitchen and his mood suddenly changed when my travelling was brought up.
I went into my room, made sure I locked the door before I went into my closet to bring out my travelling bag and clothes.
I threw everything on the bed and sat down to quietly arrange it in the bag, a wrap on the door made my heart thud in fear because I am not ready to argue with him again.
I stood up slowly and peeped through the keyhole to see if it’s him. I released a deep breath when I saw a female dress. If it was actually him, I would simply switch the light off and go to bed.
Can I really do that? I’m not even sure of myself when it comes to him, he will remain irreplaceable in my heart and I know forgetting what we shared would be taking my last breath.
“Hello friend?” Lisa raised a brow when I opened the door, I invited her in and we sat down on my bed.
“I just thought I should come and help you pack” she said and picked up a cloth.
“Thanks though I don’t need any help, I have just a few things here so packing is not a big deal” I managed to return her smile.
“You… haven’t really changed your mind about leaving?” She drawled with a shrug, this is exactly what I have been avoiding.
“I can’t even if I want to, it’s for the best and we will surface no matter how deep the ocean is” I replied thoughtfully.
“Yeah, I hope Chris can pull through this because after what happened today, I found out that his love for you is stronger than anything else, he loves you for real and it’s heartbreaking for the fact that you two are related” she said very slowly and worriedly.