Kunbi walks into the living room apprehensive. Sola smiles broadly and stands up immediately he sees her. He stretches his hands and Kunbi walks towards him. Her legs suddenly feel like they have lead in them and she wonders if she would make the few steps to him without falling. Sola instinctively takes a few steps and wraps his arms around her waist. His smile and arms around her shoot unspeakable feelings into her body causing her to shiver.
“I am…..” They both begin to say.
“After you”. Sola says smiling as he moves a stray strand of hair away from her face.
Kunbi smiles as she places her head on his chest. “I wanted to say that I am sorry”. She looks up at him. “I never intended to hurt you”.
Sola traces his finger over her lips. “I am sorry I hurt you. I love you and I want to start all over. I want you and only you till the day I hit six feet under”.
Kunbi closes her eyes as tears gather at the corner of her eyes. “If only you had said this months ago”. She says.
Tears spill down her cheeks and Sola pulls her closer kissing her slowly. She returns his kiss passionately holding on to him as if her life depended on it.
Sola lifts up her chin and sees her tears are now coming in streams. He knows he has hurt her badly and he is ready to make up for all the hurt and pain he has caused her. He tries to kiss her again but Kunbi places her hand on his chest pushing him back.
“I am getting married in a few weeks”. She says in between sobs.
Sola tries to hold her but she turns away. He moves towards her and turns her to face him. “I know you are but I also know that you love me. I told you I will wait till you are ready. I am still waiting but I am starting all over and I am ready to chase you till you agree to marry me”.
Kunbi looks at him with shock. “You are crazy, right?”
“Yes, I am. I am crazy about you. I almost lost you. I am not ready to let you go again”. He says smiling.
Kunbi shakes her head. “I can’t. I can’t do this”.
He holds her shoulders and looks straight into her eyes and into her soul. “If you don’t love me, if you have no feelings whatsoever for me, I’ll leave you alone and never turn back. I promise”.
Kunbi looks at him unable to form her words. She breaks down into uncontrollable tears. Her feet are unable to hold her up and she begins a descent. Sola stops her from falling down and hugs her tightly. He knows he has hit home. It is only a matter of time.
Two hours later, Sola kisses Kunbi goodnight. Wale is yet to arrive and Kunbi decides to go to bed. She is spent from her tears. As she lies in bed, she hears the door opening but is too tired to talk to Wale. She makes a mental note to discuss with him the next day.
Sola picks up Kunbi for lunch the next day. As she slips into the car, Sola plants a kiss on her cheek. “You look beautiful”.
“Thank you”. She says blushing. “Sola, are you sure of what you are doing?” She asks looking at him seriously.
“I have never been so sure. I want you to meet someone next week”.
Sola smiles. “My aunt”.
Kunbi is surprised. “Your aunt?”
“Yes. I told her I was bringing someone special over”.
Kunbi smiles as she looks away. Can this be for real? Is he truly ready to be committed?
Sola touches her hand. “I know Kunbi. This should have happened a long time ago”. He says as though reading her thoughts. “I am ready to make it right this time”.
Kunbi stretches her left hand and looks at the engagement ring on her finger. What am I doing; engaged to one man and in love with another? She closes her eyes and says a little prayer. Oh God, please help me. I am so confused.
On Saturday, Kunbi travels to Ibadan as usual. Ola notices she is unusually quiet and distant. He asks her if she is okay and she replies that the stress of the wedding preparation is taking its toll on her. She also complains about the stress of having to travel every weekend to see him.
Ola is surprised. “But you always travelled every Saturday”.
“Don’t you think it is becoming increasingly stressful considering that I am also running around for the wedding?”
“Well, I wanted the wedding done quickly. You and your mum decided to push it forward”.
Kunbi is stunned. “Really? Would the stress involved have been lesser if we had done the wedding in three months like you wanted?”
“By now, you would have been in my house married to me and you would not have to complain about shuttling between Lagos and Ibadan”. Ola smirks.
“And what happens to my job?”
“Your job? You are resigning and moving back to Ibadan”.
Kunbi looks at him in horror. “Resigning? No way. I am not”.
Ola laughs derisively. “You definitely are, my dear. I am not leaving you to be devoured by Lagos wolves”.
“Ola, we need to discuss this amicably”. Kunbi says trying not to get upset. “My organization does not have a presence in Ibadan, so I cannot ask for a transfer”.
“How does that bother me? You are moving back to Ibadan when we get married. Period!” He says with finality.
“Ola, be reasonable. You can seek a transfer and you know you will definitely be given”.
Ola moves towards her and touches her chin. “I-know-I-can. I-know-I-will-be-given. But I am not seeking a transfer. You will resign and move back to Ibadan. And we ain’t discussing this again, okay?”
Kunbi shakes her head in pity as Ola walks away. She feels pity for herself and pity for her future.
On Thursday, Sola picks up Kunbi from work after seeking Wale’s permission. In about an hour, they arrive at their destination on the outskirts of Lagos and park in front of a bungalow in an expansive estate. Sola kills the engine and looks at Kunbi. He takes her hands in his as he smiles at her. “Are you ready?”
Kunbi shakes her head. “I don’t know. I don’t even know if this is right”.
He touches her hair lightly, gently stroking it. “We love each other. That is all that matters”. He says winking at her.
They both get out of the car and he puts his hand around her waist as they walk towards the bungalow.
The door opens after the first ring. A beautiful woman in her sixties smiles at both of them. Her hair has streaks of gray and she is dressed in a white tee-shirt on gray lounge pants. “Welcome home”. She says as she hugs Kunbi and holds her hand leading her in.
Two hours later, Sola and Kunbi walk out of his aunt’s apartment. Sola drops her at home after kissing her goodnight.
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