She sat on the floor with her knees pulled up to her chest and her back against the wall. The air she breathed stank to high heaven with regrets. Regret for this godforsaken love, regret for not running away from it and running fast when she had the chance. Regret for believing he would always stand by her no matter what. She regretted everything. Yes, just everything. She lifted her eyes to see him seated on the edge of the bed, head buried in his big hands. He was shirtless, flaunting his biceps and abs many would be more than willing to steal and be jailed for.
Looking at him made her eyes well up, but she sucked back the tears because she did not want to break down. She bit her lower lip to stop the scream rising in her throat. Just then he looked up, fixing his gaze on hers. His eyes looked watery like he was also fighting back his tears. She watched him watching her and suddenly she started having mixed feelings. She wasn’t sure whether she wanted to rush to him and rain blows on his silly abs or simply envelop herself around him and kiss the hell out of his lips. Why was he like this? She wondered. So far he had been the only man capable of triggering so many emotions she didn’t even know she had. She hated him for that.
He dragged himself to his feet and approached her. She saw him coming and she hugged herself so tight, pushing back against the wall as if she wanted to melt into it. He stopped when he was a few inches from her, knelt down, and laid his hands on her shoulder. She tried shoving his hand away but either she had no fighting spirit left in her or he was simply too strong. She traced his hands with her eyes, gasping at the staggering number of veins running under his skin. She allowed her eyes to travel up to his face, and once again, she noticed just how vulnerable and broken he looked. The contrast between his physical look and the emotions he showed was so overwhelming she couldn’t ignore. Looking at his well-built body, you wouldn’t imagine he was a man capable of such emotions. But again, he was a man in love. And love, a word with four letters with the innocence of a baby, have the ability to bring even the mightiest of people to their knees. If in doubt, ask Samson.
“I am sorry, Eve,” he whispered, “I didn’t mean what I said earlier on. There is no way on earth I can imagine my life without you in it.”
This time, her tears won the battle. She couldn’t keep them in anymore, so she let them flow, running down her cheeks in curtains. He held her hands and pulled her up, drawing her in for an embrace but she pushed him away. It was a gentle push that didn’t move him an inch, but a push all the same.
“You are lying,” she whimpered.
“I am not. Look, I do not really know what came over me.”
Did he really not know what came over him? She wondered, turning around to look at him. How could he not know what came over him? Was it not obvious it was cowardice? She walked away from him and went and sat on the bed. She remembered how that evening, having locked herself in her room and asked to be left alone, she saw his incoming call and her heart had leapt with elation. Her heart had leapt with elation because even after what Clair had done, he had assured her that nothing was going to change. That he had both his eyes and heart set on her no matter what. So she had dragged herself up and sat on the bed before receiving that call, smiling from one ear to the other. An excited Tony was on the other side of the phone, skipping all the niceties and going straight to the point.
“You remember that hotel we spent the night in two days ago?” he asked.
“I can’t forget it for anything. What about it? A dead body has been found in the room we were in?”
He laughed. A hearty laughter that warmed her heart even more. “Not at all. I was thinking that if it’s possible, you meet me there?”
“You are there already?”
“On my way.”
“Okay, but I am not sure what to tell my folks for them to let me come.”
“So what you are saying is you won’t make it?”
She paused to think for a minute. “No, I will make it. The fact that I am mad at everyone means I have the right to simply storm out without any explanation.”
“Good girl, see you there.”
After he hung up, Eve was left wondering what he could possibly be planning. Did he want them to elope already? But he hadn’t mentioned anything about it so it couldn’t be. Without wasting time, she went to take her shower, changed into blue skinny jeans, a black tee shirt and a pair of flat shoes before walking out of the house. There was no one in the living room at the time of leaving which made things even easier for her. She planned on calling her mother to tell her that she had left and that she wouldn’t be back that night.
30 minutes taxi ride and she arrived at the hotel. It was already dark when she arrived but she still spotted the Black Toyota Harrier belonging to Tony’s mother at the parking lot. She called Tony, he gave her the room number—2b First Floor. Inside the hotel, she threw a quick smile to the receptionist dressed in a maroon coat, gestured to show that she knew her way and climbed the stairs quickly.
She found him waiting for her at the door. He was leaning against the door frame, hands thrust in his jeans pocket. Coincidentally, he was in blue jeans and black tee-shirt too. “I see you received the memo,” she joked as he pulled her in for a tight embrace. He was laughing, his broad chest rubbing against her pair of breasts which for some reason, were so sensitive. She could feel her nipples pierce through the tiny fabric of her tee-shirt. She had no bra.
“I am glad you came,” he said after finally letting go, stepping aside to allow her in. He closed the door and turned around to see her smiling.
She shrugged, “I don’t know. Being around you simply lifts my moods.” His lips parted ways, giving room for his teeth to show off.
“Trust me, the feeling is mutual.”
He took her hand and led her to bed, where they sat beside each other. He sat facing her, and she made no attempt to avoid his gaze. Her eyes danced with expectations. And he could feel that she was yearning for something that would wash off the events of earlier on. He inched closer. Placed his right arm to her shoulder and then to the back of her neck. She swallowed hard. He then slowly leant in and touched her lips with his.
A soft moan escaped her mouth. The way things were, she did not need much foreplay. If anything, she was ready for something quick. A quickie? Yes, that one. So she grabbed the hem of his tee-shirt and pulled it over his head. She was reaching for his belt buckle when he pulled away.
“What?” she asked
“Look, there is something I need to talk to you about.”
“What is it? Can’t it wait?”
“It can, but I would rather say it now.”
She was disappointed but at the same time felt she wouldn’t lose much if she waited. So she controlled her breathing, silently whispered for her hormones to wait on a little longer and then when she was sure she was calm enough, she looked him in the eyes and said, “So, tell me.”
“First, promise me that you won’t be mad.”
‘I can’t promise you that.” She said as a matter of fact.
“Okay, it’s about our plan to elope.”
“What about it?”
“It is a good idea but after thinking about it, I think it will be better if we didn’t.”
“Why? You liked the idea when I told you.”
“I did, but my mum did not raise me to run away from my troubles.
She chuckled. “You are kidding me, right?”
“Did your mum overhear our conversation?”
“Yes, she did.”
“Are you freaking kidding me?” She raised her voice. “Your mum tells you it is a bad idea and you change your mind just like that?”
“No need to raise your voice.”
“Says who, your mum?”
“Let’s leave her out of this.”
“Look, Tony, if we do not elope, we are never going to be together. My parents won’t let us.”
“I will find a way.”
“Which way? Do you have another plan? A better one?”
“Listen to me Eve, “ his voice was shaky, “I am a man. And running away from one’s misdoings is something only weak men do; I am not one of those weak men. So I don’t care what happens but I am not running away!”
There, he had said it. What she had been secretly dreading had come to pass. And just like that, her train of regrets pulled over. She felt the courage ooze out of her. She stood up, staggered backwards like a drunkard to the other side of the room, slid with her back against the wall and sat down.
“I am sorry, Eve. I wasn’t thinking straight. Of course, I do care what happens.” Tony was saying. Bringing her thoughts back to the present moment. The present moment where her man was trying to correct his wrongs, or so she thought. He sounded believable. She didn’t want to believe him, but she had no choice. She allowed him to pull her over to him, hugged her tight, and listen to him whisper how he was going to make sure that things work out for them.
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