“Hey dawg, what have you been up to?” Kunle asked.
“Well, the usual”. Chinedu said as he locked the door to the house; his phone cradled between his shoulder and his right ear. “And you?”
“Just lazing around. Everything seems calm for now”.
“Tochukwu has decided to give you a wide distance for now”.
Chinedu laughed. “And what did you tell her to achieve that feat?”
“Sincerely, nothing. She asked to see me. We spoke and she said she was letting you go for now”.
“Yes, she asked that I talk to you to give her an opportunity to prove that she loves you; should you and Fadeke decide to call it quits”.
“Well, we aren’t calling it quits. I’m on my way to see her as we speak”.
“Good for you. I’d talk to you later, lover boy”.
“Hey, get off my phone”. Chinedu said as he quit the call laughing.
Kunle walked around his living room absentminded. Since Tochukwu’s threat, his obsession with Fadeke’s body had died a natural death. He breathed deeply. It was a good sign that he was over her. He was glad that Chinedu did not in any way find out about his obsession and considering Tochukwu’s new stance, he knew there was no way he was ever going to find out. As he said a silent thanks to God, he hoped Tochukwu’s new attitude would last for a long time to come.
Fadeke spotted Chinedu immediately she walked into the café. He sat positioned at a corner a little secluded. They must have been thinking alike as the corner was not a place where he could easily be seen. He wanted some privacy with her and that spot had provided just what he wanted. She wore a bright orange top on deep blue jeans and had her hair swept backwards and held behind. She put on dark shades to conceal her eyes as she did not want to attract attention. She had simply told her mum that she wanted to see a friend down the road. The dark shades had been a good cover as her mum had not noticed the redness of her eyes. For the moment, she forgot all her worries and smiled. She hugged him on getting to him and wished she could go beyond that.
“Hey baby”. Chinedu said as he pulled her closer to himself. He did not want her sitting across. “You don’t know how much I have missed you”.
She hit him on the chest playfully. “I was at your house yesterday, remember?”
His smile reached his eyes. “Well, I haven’t been able to think about anything since then. You have practically seized my thoughts”.
He tried to take her shades off but she resisted. “What’s wrong?”
“Nothing. I just don’t want to take it off”.
He held her hand. “Fadeke, talk to me. Did anything happen yesterday after you left my place?”
She refused to say a word and started fidgeting with her hands. Chinedu noticed and instantly knew there was something amiss. She did that only when she was anxious about something. He tipped her chin upwards and looked at her through the shades. “Do you know how much I love you?”
The statement was the ice breaker as tears started dropping down her cheeks like an open tap. He removed the shades from her face and was shocked to see the bags under her eyes. He pulled her close and was thankful that they sat at a secluded corner. She laid her head on his chest and for a few minutes, she sobbed without making a sound. Chinedu, lost in thought, stroke her back. What could have gone wrong between his house yesterday and this morning when he called her? Could she have been scolded for visiting him at home? He sincerely hoped it wasn’t what he thought.
When she stilled from the sobs, he lifted her head gently from his chest and kissed her slowly and passionately. She kissed him back with as much passion cradling and holding him tight as if her life depended on it.
“I’m sorry I broke down”. She said smiling.
He wiped the tears on her cheeks. “Why did you stain my sweet poff poff cheeks with so many tears?”
She blushed and sighed. “I don’t know how to say this”.
“Say it anyhow you deem fit”.
“My mum is against our relationship, or should I say she voiced out my dad’s stance”.
Chinedu looked at her for a while and said nothing. When he refused to say anything, she looked up at him. “You are not saying anything”.
He sighed. “Is it because of my tribe?”
She was stunned that he was being so direct about it.
“You shouldn’t be surprised. My mum also had her misgivings before I brought you home”.
“Yes, she did. But she eventually accepted you, right?”
“Yeah. So what are you saying?”
“That they could change their minds later”.
“Don’t tell me you want me to take you to my parents”.
“Not if you do not want to”.
“I would love to but…..”
He caught her mid-sentence and cupped her face in his hands. “You are scared that I would not be accepted?”
She simply nodded. “My mum was so emphatic about it. She said my dad had vowed that none of his children, me especially, would get married to anyone from your tribe. She refused to see reasons with me. I had to make her promise to keep our discussion a secret. She went as far as saying all hell would be let loose if my dad found out”.
“Yes. I’m so confused, Chinedu. I don’t know what to make of the issue”.
He pulled her closer and kissed her. “We’d take it one step at a time. For now, let’s leave out visiting your parents”. They sat cuddled in each other’s arms for another two hours talking about different issues. What mattered for now was the love they had for each other. Their families, notwithstanding, they were determined to stick together.
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