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Kola had gone out before she woke up, the room was strange to her, she couldn’t remember where she was and how she got there. The room was beautiful and smell of freshness, with a single side table and a chair beside it, unlike hers that was always stuffy and smells of perspiration and tobacco.
There were books scattered on the table with a reading lamp. At the wall closed to the window was a pencil drawing of a beautiful lady that has a smile that could warm the heart of a thousand King.
Her feet touched the tiled floor and she quickly pulled them up the bed again, the floor was very cold, she looked around and found a pair of slippers beside the bed, she slipped her feet on them before she went to turn the AC off.
She walked to the mirror that was hanging on the wall, closed to the wardrobe, she was taking a back on what she saw, she looked terrible, her eyes were swollen, her lips were dry there were stains on her face, from the lower part of her eyes to her cheeks, some Red marks on her left cheek, and she was wearing a night gown she was sure wasn’t hers.
She allowed her fingers to trace the marks on her cheek, then the memories of last night came flowing. She remembered the fight she had with Ahmad, her outrage, her anger and how heavy her heart was.
She gaze so hard at her reflection on the mirror, in a moment, the woman that was staring back at her came alive, she was another person looking back at her with assurance, the woman smiled at her and she smiled back, then both of them busted out laughing so hard, they laughed and tears were running down their eyes.
“You are beautiful” the woman on the Mirror said to her
“Yes…Yes! I am beautiful!” she replied and the woman continued
“You deserve more than what you have gotten, you have accepted rubbish for a long time that you don’t know how to reject it, you have sank to low and have accepted it with gratitude, you have been chained by your decision and have lost the definition of freedom, you admire those that have life going well with them but have said to yourself ‘I can’t have what they have, I better be grateful for what I have now’ …”
Her voice was everywhere in the room, in her head, in her mind in her vision, it was echoing that even if she wanted to stop hearing those words, she couldn’t stop her, the woman in the Mirror had the voice that was louder than the mighty thunder and stronger than the greatest tide in the ocean.
“…you will no longer hold on to what was never there, it is time to look at life and see how beautiful it is” the woman said
“I will no longer hold on to what was never there… I will no longer hold on to what was never there…” she repeated those words to herself, over and over again while working towards the bed, she lay back at the bed and sank in to a deep peaceful sleep with does words in her lips
And the Woman in the Mirror became one with her
Kola was worried throughout the hours he was at work, he tried her number severally to know how she was doing but the number was switch off, come to think of it, he didn’t see any phone with her last night but he needed to make sure she was getting better.
He didn’t sleep well last night, he was terrified as hell when he first saw her standing like someone who had wrestled with spirits, he was afraid she was losing her mind until she started talking to herself, then he realized that she was heartbroken.
“Another victim of Love gone wrong” he said to himself as he changed from his work cloth in the dressing room.
Laying in a room next to the woman he had come to like so much, and imagining what she had been through was unbearable to him, it made him remember his twin sister Bimbo, who died brokenhearted and he couldn’t do anything to save her, because their parents had believed that Divorce was evil and against their fate.
“Sir one of the guests that arrived this morning is demanding for your attention” one of the cooks said to him as he stepped out of the dressing room
“Why?” he asked
“He said he doesn’t like the breakfast served to him”
“What was the order?” he asked
“Oat meal and scrambled eggs, he said the oatmeal was over cooked”
“Who prepared it?” he asked
“Greg sir” the cook responded
“You should quickly prepare another Oat for him, the way he wants it and let Greg know that this extra cost is on him” he said and walked out of the Hotel
One day he would leave this job for his own, he was already planning towards it, he had always loved cooking like his mother, she owned a restaurant which was the best in Benin Ore express road, and travelers always stop by to eat from her Restaurant
“You will one day owe this place Kola” his mother had told him one of those days when he was helping her serve the costumers
But her dream didn’t come through, the place crumbled when her mother was mourning his twin sister and she was away in Germany studying.
When he came back, everything had changed, the government had taking part of the land in other to expand the road, his mother was a shadow of herself, and his father was confused on what to do with her. He finally relocated to Lagos when his mother died, he decided that there was nothing left for him in Benin so he bid his father farewell and left for Lagos in search of a Job.
He had saved enough and would want nothing more than to keep the memories of his mother alive, so he had planned to name his Restaurant after his mother.
He got home at noon and still met her sleeping, and the breakfast he kept for her cold and untouched, he checked her temperature with the back of his hand, the way he had seen women do, and she was normal. Then she stirred and opened her eyes;
“Hey” he said
“Hey” she replied
“How long have I been sleeping?” she asked sitting up from the bed
“Since morning I guess” he replied, smiling at her
“Am sorry for inconveniencing you, I didn’t have any other place to go to, my boss…”
“It’s fine, I wouldn’t mind having the presence of a lady here after a long time” he cut in
“You didn’t eat your breakfast” he continued
“I didn’t even know there was a breakfast, am sorry please don’t dispose of it, I will still eat it” she said to him
“I left a note for you on top of that table” he was sitting on the bed, beside her, but he was being careful not to get too close and make her uncomfortable
“Am sorry I didn’t check”
“That is okay, I understand”
They said nothing for some time, he had many questions he would have loved to ask her, but he doesn’t want to scare her.
“You… you… undressed me last night” she was embarrassed and couldn’t look at him
“Ehen… yes… but I didn’t see much, it was dark anyways and nothing happened, I didn’t take advantage of you…” he was defending
“I know, don’t worry, not that it would have mattered if you had, isn’t that what every guy want?” she said
He didn’t answer her; he stood up and was about o leave the room just to give her the space to freshen up
“The night wear belongs to my cousin that comes here once in a while, and there is a cloth on top of the chair, it also belongs to her, you can manage it for now” he said and was about exiting the
“Kola” she called him
“Thank you” she said
“Its okay, I will go warm the egg sauce and bring it here for you while I boil rice” he said and walked out.
Ken watched her drove out, he stood by the Gate looking at the car until it vanished from his sight, then he walked in, feeling both happy and uncertain.
That was the best weekend he had ever had since she left, they had talked about the work going on at the site, how far he has gone, and the challenges ahead with this new opportunity.
He had tried to avoid bringing up the issue of her coming back to him permanently, he doesn’t want to keep raising it anymore, at least not this weekend, he also doesn’t want to discuss more about whoever ‘Morgan’ is, all he wanted was to have her with him, her undivided attention and he had it.
“Don’t forget to call me whenever you need me K” she said, referring to his business and partnership
But he had interpreted it to mean any time he needs her by his side
“I hope I won’t inconvenient you too much, because I will be calling you every day until you will have no other option than to move in here” he said holding the car door for her
She said nothing, but she allowed him plant a lingering kiss on her lips before she drove off.
She was humming Yemi Alade’s ‘How I feel ’ as she slot her key in the door, the sting of a rotten food greeted her immediately she entered her house, she had left a pot of spaghetti in the kitchen on Saturday and had forgotten to put it in the fridge before going to the party.
“Mtcheww, that is my punishment for having too much fun” she said to herself as she emptied the pot on the dustbin.
She fall backward on the bed and reminisced on the sweet moment with Ken, she had lost the feel of his touch and had forgotten how crafty he could be during lovemaking until Saturday night.
“I like the way you move your body when I do this” he would say while teasing her clitoris with his tongue, keeping his eyes on her face
“You are wicked!” she had always told him when ever he tormented her with pleasure
“I like tormenting you like this” he would reply
She wished the weekend would last but then she had to work.
She dragged herself off the bed, and stood in front of the mirror, she packed her hair up, removed her cloths and unhooked her bra, she admired her breasts from the mirror, caressed one of her nipples with her fingers, she could still feel Ken’s warm mouth on it.
She smiled and stepped into the bathroom.
Chinyeaka came out from where she was, she had watched Grace opened her gate and drove in, and she was pleased with herself for this new discovery.
She had stalked Ken to his house like she always did, her obsession for him made her to always pay him a secret visit in the evenings, she would sit at the store across his house drinking a bottle of soft drink while waiting to get a glimpse of him as he would come down from the car to open his gate.
But that Sunday she had been uncomfortable sitting at home that she decided to indulge on her daily routine. She was suddenly overtaken with anger when she saw Grace’s car driving out of his compound, and Ken smiling like a fool and waving at her.
“Wicked old woman” she said
“Aunty who you dey talk to” a boy walking by close to her asked
“mtchewww, you no go mind where you dey go” she said
She stopped a taxi
“Where you dey go?”
“Abeg follow that motor way dey commot now” she instructed the driver as she hurriedly sat herself inside the taxi”
“Why you wan follow am,” the driver had asked her while trying to catch up with Grace’s car
“Na my sister be that, she commot for house since and we no know where she dey stay now, she no wan see any of us” Chinyeaka lied
That seemed to keep the driver at ease.
She was happy with her discovery; her next action would be easier to carry out.
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