“You look beautiful tonight” Kola said to Imelda as he took her arms and led her into the sitting room.
He had taking time to keep the sitting room extra neat, she saw a flower vase that wasn’t there the last time she was in the house, he had also bought a center table, it wasn’t there before.
The house had the smell of lavender air freshener and the light had been changed to a blue light. He was looking at her face, seeking for approval.
She was satisfied and overwhelmed by how far he could go to make her happy. He sat her down and sat by her grinning.
Imelda both had little to say to each other, the attraction between then was building and Imelda couldn’t stand gazing at his face so she turned away, smiling shyly.
He held her jaw and turned her face to him, still she couldn’t hold his gaze she looked down at her fingers, smiling sheepishly
“I am sorry for making you uncomfortable but… I don’t know… you make me act like a child whenever I am with you, I seem not to know the right thing to do” he said laughing
“I don’t mean to make you feel that way either… I am sorry” she said
“No, don’t apologize” he said
He pulled his hand from her jaw, moved a little away from her. He had planned this day to ask her properly for a love relationship, he didn’t want to wait any longer, he wanted to know how she felt about him, but he didn’t know how to go about it neither did he know if she would want to go into any relationship at the moment, having in mind how her last relationship went down.
They have been good friends for months and he didn’t want to keep their relationship on that level any more, yes he dad his fears about her, but he felt they could work everything out together if she agrees to accept him not as a mere friend any more but as the man in her life.
“So how was work today” he asked
They talked about work, he told her about his plan to start up his own restaurant, and she was thrilled and happy for him,
“So have you gotten a place?” She asked
“Yes I have, close to UniLag” he said
“Wow that is great! You want to get the students” she commented
“yes, I want to start with pizza, pancakes and yogurt making first, I guess that students would like that” he added
“Is there any way I can help?” she asked. She was genuinely happy for him, he knew it and it pleased him;
“Thank you so much for your concern, I will let you know where to come in” he said
Imelda had this hunch that Kola had something he had wanted to talk to her about and didn’t know how to go about it, he kept stealing glances at her every now and then, and smiling more than usual. She waited for him to talk about whatever it was that was bothering him, but he didn’t, rather he told her that they should eat dinner before it gets cold.
He meant it when he told her that she was beautiful that night, her face was brighter than any other day he had seen her, her eyes sparkled, she was wearing a skinned stretched blue Jeans that made her curves so pronounced, with a Yellow peplum top, she was just perfect for him, he thought.
“Amazing as usual” She commented as she savored the chicken pepper soup with white rice
“Thank you I am glad you like it” He replied with a smile
He watched her eat, the movement of her cheek bones, the way her lips closed on the spoon as she eat, she wasn’t eating to please him, she was actually enjoying the meal. She caught him looking at her and he quickly looked away,
“You have not eating much out of your food, what is wrong?” She asked
“Nothing… nothing really”
He picked his spoon and shoved a spoonful of rice in his mouth;
“You are an amazing cook, I don’t think any woman can top you on that” she said dropping her spoon and wiping her mouth with the serviette.
“My Mother was a very good cook, unfortunately my sister didn’t get that talent from her, I did” He said
“Your sister, is she the person on the portrait in your room?” Imelda asked
“Yes, I made that portrait from the only picture of her I have, my parents burnt everything that reminded them of her after her death, that was before I came back” He said
“Sorry” She said after some silence moment
“It’s okay, it been four years now… so what of you? Do you cook?” He asked her
“Yes, when I have the chance to, not that I cook as good as you though” She said
“Am sure there are dishes you can cook that I cannot” he console her
“I don’t think so” She replied with a chuckle “You can cook almost everything”
They laughed like two school friends, he made jokes and she laughed so heard till tears were running down her cheeks.
“Oh my God, you are so funny, I can’t believe you made me laugh this heard” she said, wiping tears from her eyes with the back of her hands.
He loved to make her happy, he loved that he was making her laugh like this, seeing her sat with him in his house so freely made his realize how much he had missed companionship, he didn’t want this moment to end, he didn’t want her to go and never come back.
Grace opened her eyes to the melodious buzzing of mosquitoes, she realized that she had slept off, the Sitting room was totally dark, the electric power had gone off and the fan which had helped in keeping the mosquitoes off had stopped, allowing the mosquitoes free unrestricted access to her body.
“Mtcheww…” she hissed, wiped the perspiration from her face with her palm and stood up, she picked her phone and switched the touch in her phone on and looked at the time, it was past ten.
“I told Imelda that she may not come back but she didn’t believe me” she brought out the solar touch from the kitchen and switched it on, the sitting room was unkempt, her empty place was onto of the sofa, the TV remote was on the floor, the throw pillows were lying carelessly on the floor too.
She switched the television off, kept the TV remote on top of the table and picked the plates from the sofa, that was when she noticed the bottle again, she picked it up and walked to the kitchen.
She kept the Wine in the fridge and brought out a glass cup to drink some water, she was torn between locking up everywhere and going to bed, or waiting up for Imelda, she didn’t want to disturb her with a call either, she didn’t want to spoil the moment.
“She said she would call me if she will sleep over” she said checking the time from her phone again, she quickly typed a message to Imelda
‘Babe na so the thing dey sweet you? you didn’t remember to call me and tell me it you are sleeping over, I will go to bed in the next thirty minutes if you do not call or reply’
She sent the message, opened her fridge to get a bottle of water, but changed her mind and brought out the wine instead.
“Something to keep me awake” She said and walked out of the kitchen with the wine and a glass to watch a movie with her laptop in her room.
“I have not laughed this heard for a long time, thank you so much for making me so happy this night’ Imelda said.
“You look more beautiful when you laugh” Kola said to her
There was an awkward silence, back at the sitting room. Imelda picked her phone as the buzzing sound from it indicated that she had a message, she read the message and laughed
“My Madam want to know if am coming back” she said to him
“Do you want to go? Its weekend tomorrow” He asked
“I have to, she is alone, and you need to go to work tomorrow” she said
She wished she could stay, she like him so much, and she was enjoying his company, but Grace may need her for something
“Imelda… I have been meaning to tell you this” He started
“Hmm?” She encouraged him
“I…I…I think I like you, okay… its more than that, I feel something more for you, I don’t know if it is too early to call it love but… I want to be with you” he looked at her to know if his words hurt her, if she was disappointed that he would feel this way about her, when she didn’t say anything, he continued;
“I found myself thinking so much about you, not out of pity, but… in a good way, I smile alone when I remember you, I imagine what it would be like to call you mine, I call you every time just to hear your voice…so I ask, how do you feel about me?” he was looking at her
She liked him no doubt, but she doesn’t want to rush into anything now, she was scared they were getting attracted to each other so quickly,
“I don’t know Kola… I like you too, very much… but I am scared, everything is moving too fast I don’t know what to say” she replied
He moved closer to her, held her hands and squeezed them together, he brought her palms to his lips and kissed them one after the other. A soft sob escaped from her, she didn’t realize how much she had wanted his touch until now, it beautiful to have him brush his lips on her palms like he did.
He looked at her and smiled, the sat there with her hands in his hands, it was magical for them, at that moment he knew he had found his woman
“I don’t want to put you under pressure, just promise me you will not deny what you feel for me and I will wait until you are ready” he said to her
“Yes…Yes Kola, I will not deny that I lo… like you and will come to you when I am ready” She agreed
“He pulled her to him, he was being careful, he wanted to make sure that what he wanted was what she wanted, he searched her eyes before she brought his lips down to hers.
It took her less effort to open the bottle, unlike most bottle of wine she had opened before, the wooden rooster looked like something that was sharpened with a knife.
“Nawa o, we are not safe in this country again, even foreign wines has been adulterated by locals” she muttered
“Hmm, it doesn’t smell bad by the way” she said as she brought the bottle close to her nose
She placed the bottle on her lips and sipped a little out of curiosity
“hmm… it actually tastes like fresh juice with a little alcohol, not like zobo, like the ones they normally adulterate” she said to herself they did a good job to make it taste better.
But she was still skeptical about drinking more than she already had, ‘adulterated drinks are all the same, no matter how they taste ’ she thought, then her phone rang;
She dropped the bottle by the side stool in the room, placed her laptop down from her laps to the bed and went downstairs to get her phone from the kitchen.
“You finally decided to call, I think say you don dey enjoy forget say you go call me” she said, thinking the caller was Imelda
“And the queen has decided to pick my call finally” Ken replied from the other side of the phone
She was thrilled to hear his voice, she missed him even though she didn’t want to admit it
“H…hi! Ken!” she stuttered
“So what is my crime this time that you decided to toss me out after the beautiful moment we shared?” he accused
‘A beautiful moment that got me pregnant’ she had wanted to say, but she changed that
“I got your gift, thank you” wasn’t that why he called? To know whether she got the gift
“Which gift?” he asked
Grace felt he wanted to play one of his many mind games, and she wasn’t really ready for that
“The bottle of wine you sent to me” she said
“I don’t have any idea what you are talking about” he said and from the tone of his voice, he was serious
“Ken please be serious, you sent one of your sales girls here with a wrapped bottle of wine, which is an adulterated wine by the way, and it has your name on it” she said
“I am serious Grace, I didn’t send anybody to you, not to talk of giving you a wine…wait a minute… you said the wine was adulterated?”
“The rooster looked like something that was tampered with, like it was sharpened with knife or something and I thought it could be Aba version of the drink and you did not know” She was panicking
“Jesus Christ! Grace, how does this sale girl look like?” He asked
“I didn’t see her, she handed the package over to Imelda and left” she was scared
“Where is she now, I mean Imelda?”
“She has gone out for a date”
“You are alone?”
“Yes! And I drank a little from it, just a little sip to know how it taste” she said
“Ken… do you think someone… oh no!” she broke off
“Grace! get hold of yourself, do not panic, it may be nothing, maybe a friend trying to play some pranks with you, I will be with you in the next few minutes okay?”
The phone went dead
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