The Wait – The story continues

Hi,

Keep calm; The Wait isn’t over yet 😁

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I am sure you are eager to know what became of Ajoke after Kokumo put an end to their whirlwind romance 😉

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Olúbùkólá

The Wait – Chapter 13

Ajoke eased into Kokumo’s car after his insistence to drop her at home. It was 9p.m and he did not want to risk letting her go home alone at that time of the night. There was still a lot to be discussed between them but this night was not the night. His heart was joyful and troubled at the same time. He had poured out all his feelings of the last ten years into the intimate moment with her. His heart had burst forth with joy and the ten-year burden on his soul had felt lighter with Ajoke in his arms. After their intimacy, they had stayed locked in each other’s embrace for some minutes; none said a word. Their naked bodies and their hearts had spoken. If he had his way, she would not leave his side again and forever. He held her hand as he drove with the other. “I don’t know if we should have done what we did in there.” He said looking at her. “I’m sorry.”

Ajoke shook her head as she sighed. “There is nothing to be sorry about, Kokumo. We both longed for it and I do not regret my actions.”

Kokumo took a deep breath. He also did not regret the moment they had together but he still felt culpable. The love he had for Ajoke was deeply buried in his heart and it only took seeing her again to awaken the love which still breathed. Ajoke is still married; I should have restrained myself. He sighed. “Ajoke, I want you to go back to school.”

“Why?” Ajoke asked as she looked at him.

“It was your dream to be educated even though your parents could not afford it. What is stopping you now?”

“I don’t know.”

“I will get you a GCE form so that you can write the next exams in October. I will also get you the syllabus compilations for all the subjects you will need.”

“But you don’t have to do this. You don’t owe me anything.” Ajoke said.

“I don’t owe you anything, Ajoke. You seem to forget that we shared our dreams years ago. I have achieved mine and I want you to achieve yours as well. You can still become that lawyer you always wanted to be. And as long as I have breath in me, I would do anything within my power to help you fulfill your dreams.”

“Thank you but I don’t want to be a burden to you.”

Kokumo looked at her. “Ajoke, you can’t and will never be a burden to me. You underestimate the love I have for you.”

Ajoke looked away as she sighed.

In a few minutes, Kokumo parked his car in front of Ajoke’s house. He smiled as he looked at her and traced her lips with his fingers. Ajoke closed her eyes expecting Kokumo to kiss her but he did not. He was in front of her house and her kids could be watching. He did not want to give anyone a reason to question her. He took her hand and squeezed it. “I will get the forms and the books tomorrow as discussed. Let me have your phone so I can save my number on it.”

Ajoke opened her handbag and brought out her phone. The phone had been held together by cello tapes in various areas. Kokumo collected the phone from her without saying a word. He typed his number on it and saved it before handing the phone back to her.

“Thank you for everything.” Ajoke said.

“Thank you for making my evening pleasant.” Kokumo responded.

Ajoke opened the door and eased out of the car. She walked to the front of her door and turned back. Kokumo had started the car but was still waiting. Ajoke waved as she opened the door to her house and Kokumo drove away after ensuring her door was closed.

******

Kokumo got home and sat on the sofa in the living room where he and Ajoke had been intimate some hours ago. He closed his eyes as he reminisced on their time together. Ajoke’s responses to his touch had been electrifying and he wondered if she had been touched by any man since her husband left. Knowing who Ajoke was, he reckoned she would have kept herself all these years. What exactly am I doing with her? He had no intentions of getting married to her while she was still married to another. What if her husband decides to come home? What if he had issues in the U.K that warranted the seven-year silence from him? Hmm….Ajoke!!! Kokumo could not deny the fact that he loved her and wished to make her happy; married to another man or not. He would go to the ends of the earth to make her dreams come true; even though those dreams were not inclusive of him anymore. He looked at the table clock on the credenza. It read 10.30pm. He needed to sleep to be refreshed for work tomorrow. He stretched out on the sofa and closed his eyes. Soon, he was fast asleep with all his thoughts on Ajoke.

The next day during his lunch break, Kokumo purchased the GCE forms, the textbooks and a mobile phone. He also went to a boutique and shopped for a few clothes and shoes. He went back to his office, happy with his purchases. When he closed at 6.00pm, he stopped at an eatery to buy food and drove towards Ajoke’s house. He parked some metres away from her house and placed a call to her.

Ajoke was in her shop when Kokumo’s call came through. She stepped out of her shop to receive the call as she did not want either her girls or her customers eavesdropping on her conversation.

“Hello.” Ajoke said.

“Hi Ajoke. How are you doing?”

“I’m well.”

“I am very close to your house. Are you at home or at your salon?”

“I’m at the salon.” Ajoke said. “What are you doing around here?”

Kokumo smiled. “I came to pick you up.”

“To where?”

“I don’t know. We can go anywhere around or just sit in my car and talk. Can we do that?” Kokumo asked hoping her response would be positive.

Ajoke sighed. “Okay. Where exactly are you?”

Kokumo gave his location and Ajoke went inside her shop instructing her girls on what to do for the rest of the day. She had gone home earlier to prepare lunch for her kids and she thought about calling Kokumo to inform him that she had to go and prepare dinner. She would let him know he may have to wait a while; she thought as she walked towards his location.

Kokumo watched Ajoke as she approached his car. She was wearing an Ankara blouse and wrapper. His heart fluttered at the sight of her. She is beautiful. Ajoke got to the car and Kokumo eased out and gave her a half-hug. “How is your day going?” He asked.

“Good.” Ajoke said. “I may have to take some of your time. I need to go prepare dinner for my children first.” She continued.

“Don’t worry about that.” Kokumo said as he stretched his hand towards the back seat of his car and picked out the plastic bags containing food. He handed it to her. “I knew you wouldn’t be able to leave without dinner prepared so I decided to bring dinner.”

Ajoke looked at Kokumo with surprise.

“Hey, I’m sure the children will be getting hungry. It is almost 7.00pm.” He said; stretching the bags towards her when he noticed she just stood looking at him.

Ajoke nodded, collected the bags and walked home.

Kokumo rested his back on the car as he watched her walking away. “Hmm Ajoke.” He said as he shook his head. He hadn’t called Adunni since he met Ajoke yesterday and he wasn’t sure if what he was doing made any sense. Ajoke was all that mattered to him now.

*

Ajoke was out of her house in ten minutes. She had changed into a long flowing dress and she looked even more beautiful. Kokumo did a quick mental check of where they could hang out without any disturbance. The village did not have any eateries around. He concluded he may have to drive back to town.

They hit the road and Kokumo asked after Ajoke’s children. She seemed happier talking about her children and he reveled in her joy as she gesticulated and made funny faces. They drove to an eatery on the outskirts of the village and he walked in holding her hand. He asked her if she wanted to eat but she took a rain check. He told her he had gotten the forms and the textbooks and that they were in the car. Ajoke smiled her thanks and he discussed her next plan which should be passing the exams, sitting for the next Jamb examinations and getting into school to study Law. He asked how she intended to take care of her kids once she was in school and she replied that she would employ a maid to assist her. He told her he was available and willing during the weekends to help her if she had any issues with any of the subjects.

Ajoke was grateful for everything and she told him so. Kokumo also handed over the plastic bag containing the mobile phone, clothes and shoes to her. Ajoke was shocked beyond words. She looked at Kokumo as they sat in the car after leaving the eatery. “What do you stand to gain in all this?” She asked.

“Nothing Ajoke. Absolutely nothing.”

Ajoke exhaled. “I really don’t know how to say thank you.”

Kokumo smiled. “You don’t have to. Can I take you home now?” He asked. “The children would be waiting.”

“Yes please.” Ajoke said.

They drove back to the village in silence. Kokumo parked at the same spot he had parked earlier on in the day. He switched off the ignition and looked at Ajoke. “If you can, please fill the forms this evening or tomorrow morning at the latest.” He said.

“I will.”

“Take care of you.”

Ajoke suddenly felt unhappy that she was leaving. She wished she could stay back. His presence in her life was like a soothing balm calming her soul. She removed her seat belt and stretched across her seat. She kissed Kokumo slowly and he returned her kiss. When she eased away, she smiled, bid him good night and stepped out of his car. Kokumo watched her till she had closed the door of her house before starting the engine and driving away.

——-

The story continues…

Photo Credit: http://www.wikihow.com

The Wait – Chapter 12

Ajoke sat in the taxi taking her back to the village. She put her hand on her chest willing her heart to slow down to its normal rhythm. She wasn’t sure whether it was the sight of Kokumo after ten years or the hope that she was going to see him that evening that made her heart beat faster; but it did. He hadn’t changed much and seeing him again had awoken feelings in her that she thought were dead. She sighed as she closed her eyes. Is he married? He hadn’t mentioned anything about a wife. If he was, he would not have asked me to see him in the evening.

She remembered his question about when she intended to go back to school and she suddenly became upset. What guts did he have to ask me about that? He had had it relatively easy for him. His dream had always been to be a graduate. And now he even worked in a bank with his certificate. She hissed as she thought of her life. Her dream of ever going to the university had been truncated by her father the day he gave her hand in marriage to Adejoro. Adejoro had been more bothered about his own education. Hers was a distraction to the marriage as far as he was concerned. As long as he provided for her and their kids, she did not need to worry herself about an education; he had told her. If only I knew Adejoro would leave and abandon me in the cold. How selfish of him! Now that the sole responsibility of taking care of her children rested on her shoulders, Kokumo had the effrontery to talk her into getting a university education. She hissed again as she looked out of the window. She had promised to see him at 7.30; she would keep to her promise.

*

She closed from her shop about thirty minutes earlier, so she could make an early dinner for her children. Once dinner had been served, she told them she wanted to see a friend in town and would be back before their bedtime.

She boarded a danfo into town and hoped to be back early enough. Different thoughts ran through her mind as she sat in the bus taking her to the home of her beloved. If Baami hadn’t given me out in marriage to Adejoro, maybe I would also be working in a reputable organization like Kokumo. We would have gotten married, have children and live in a fine house in town. She sighed. Other passengers in the bus chatted non-stop but her mind was faraway. She hardly heard a word discussed in the noisy danfo.

As she walked the distance from the bus-stop to Kokumo’s house, she took a look at the dress she was wearing. She had changed into a dress from the blouse and wrapper she was wearing in the morning. She had made an extra effort to look better than she did in the morning. Not that it mattered anyway, she doubted Kokumo still found her attractive. She was no longer the young, slim and beautiful Ajoke he fell in love with. She had filled out in every aspect of her body. Her bust and hips were a size bigger. Her arms had become flabby with extra layers of flesh. Her skin had aged beyond their years from seasons of hardship and labour. There was nothing attractive about her; she told herself.

******

Kokumo couldn’t sit still. He had paced his living room more times than he could remember. Is Ajoke going to honour my invitation? Am I doing the right thing by inviting her to my house? He hadn’t even considered her children when he had asked her to meet him. How selfish of me? He blew out air through his mouth and rubbed his temples. He had missed her so much. He had tried unsuccessfully to forget about her throughout his stay in the university. He had buried himself in his books in a bid to get her off his mind. It worked but only for short periods. He refused to read her letters because he imagined reading them would reopen his wounds which were still fresh. His mother had also steered clear of talking about any woman as she noticed that anytime she asked if he was considering marriage after his education, he flared up and got upset.

He had graduated from the university with a First class and proceeded on the compulsory National Youth Service programme in Anambra state. All through, he had avoided intimate relationships like a plague. On his return from his youth service, his mother began to question him about marriage. She was worried that no woman visited and she voiced out her concerns. When he could no longer bear his mother’s questions, he moved out and got an apartment in town. Besides, it was easier for him to get to work from town than while living with his mother in the village. He had gotten her a mobile phone and taught her how to use it. Two months ago, he was transferred to the branch close to his house.

He thought about Adunni as he sat down on the couch in his living room. He had met her during his Youth Service in Anambra state. She was beautiful and fun to be with. Even though, she had wanted more from their friendship, he had made it clear to her that he was not interested in a relationship. She had been disappointed but had gotten over it quickly. She was free-spirited and he loved that about her. She held no grudges and saw the bright side of every situation.

After their Youth Service, they had kept in touch by calling each other once in a few weeks. She had gotten a job in a telecommunications company and lived with her parents on the other side of town. His last visit to his mother had not been pleasant. She had grumbled throughout his stay in her house. He had heard an earful from her. She had been upset about his inability to settle down. She had asked him what he was waiting for. He had said he wanted to be a graduate. He had said he needed a good job. He had gotten both but had still refused to settle down. She reminded him of all his friends who already had children and told him she was not ready to go down to her grave without seeing her grandchildren. That was six months ago.

He had left his mother’s house the next day and she had made him promise to settle down quickly. On his way home, he had thought over his mother’s request. She was right that he had to settle down but he couldn’t think of anyone who suited or complemented him. While he deliberated on what to do, Adunni had called him to tell him she was visiting an aunt around his vicinity and would not mind visiting him as well. He had gladly accepted her invitation. Out of all his female friends, she had remained a constant in his life.

He had told her that evening that he was willing to take their friendship a step further. Adunni had shrugged. If it worked out between them, it was fine. If it didn’t, she was willing to move on. She had told him. He had felt relieved that she had seen their relationship in that light.

******

The doorbell chimed bringing him out of his reverie. He looked at his wristwatch. It was 7.30pm. He stood up and walked to the door. As he opened the door, he smiled and let Ajoke in. Ajoke walked in with an expressionless face. Kokumo wondered what was on her mind. He observed her change of clothes and appreciated that she still looked as beautiful as she was in her teens. Even though she had filled out, she was still a beauty to behold. He imagined she would still be getting stares of admiration from men in her village. Ajoke! My love!

“Please sit down.” He said. “Have you had dinner? I bought some food at the eatery down the road just in case you hadn’t had dinner.”

“I’m fine.” Ajoke replied as she sat down. “You wanted to see me.”

Kokumo exhaled. He was hoping Ajoke would loosen up with him but it seemed she was bent on being uptight. He wanted the old Ajoke back. The Ajoke he had fallen in love with. The Ajoke that walked and danced with him on the road on their way back from secondary school. The Ajoke who never complained when her parents did not have enough to give her. The Ajoke he shared his heart and dreams with. He walked towards her, knelt on one knee before her as he took her hands in his. He looked into her eyes and deep into her soul. “Ajoke, please I said I am sorry. You are still upset with me.”

Ajoke had not expected his action and it had caught her by surprise. Ajoke looked at him and was about to speak but words failed her. She closed her eyes trying to stop the tears that were beginning to gather at the corner of her eyes. She had promised herself not to breakdown in Kokumo’s house or in his presence but her strength and resolve was failing her. I shouldn’t have come. I can’t keep still in Kokumo’s presence with my hands in his.

“Ajoke, please talk to me.” Kokumo said. “I love you and will always do.”

The words were the trigger Ajoke needed and she broke down into tears.

Kokumo stood up from his kneeling position and pulled Ajoke up. He hugged her tightly as she sobbed on his shoulders. He was in love with her and he could not deny it. The truth was that he never stopped loving her, but life had been unfair to them, throwing a curve in their lives. He wished there was something he could do to ease the pain they both felt. He wished there was something he could do to erase the last ten years and have them start their lives all over again. Ajoke’s tears were breaking his heart; the way they did ten years ago when he had told her goodbye to a life she detested. No one could match the love he had for her; not even Adunni. Adunni? Kokumo sighed. She does not matter now. Ajoke is who I want and need right now.

He raised her head as his lips found hers and he kissed her gently. Ajoke resisted as she put her hands on Kokumo’s chest and pushed him back. Kokumo stepped back and looked at her lovingly as he held on to her hands. The only source of light in his living room was from the television he had muted before Ajoke walked in. He used his thumb to wipe the tears on her cheeks which glowed in the dark. “You are still beautiful”; he whispered. A smile lifted the corner of Ajoke’s lips as she thought about her insecurities just a few moments ago. She sighed as she closed her eyes and allowed herself to savour his touch. She had longed for his touch. She had wanted his love, his kiss and his caress even when she lay beside Adejoro. Now he stands before me giving me all I ever wanted; all I craved for.

Kokumo pulled her closer and kissed her again; slowly and passionately. This time, Ajoke did not push him away. He had kindled a fire within her and her body which was long dead lit up with passion. She kissed him back with a hunger that had been buried for ten years as she held on tightly to him and refused to let go. She was in the arms of her beloved. The one who gave her tingly feelings with his kisses in her teens. She shuddered with every touch and every caress. Nothing mattered to her now – all she wanted was to be consumed by the love of her beloved. In a few minutes, both of them were caught in the frenzy of the moment and they tore at each other’s clothing thirsty with the desire they longed for. The desire they had been denied of – the desire Ajoke almost had ten years ago when she lay by the stream a week to her wedding to another man. As their naked bodies entwined on the seven seater couch in Kokumo’s living room, Ajoke’s body throbbed with passion and expectation. She had not been touched by any man in the past seven years and her body came alive. She screamed in ecstasy as she dug her fingers into Kokumo’s back and cried in fulfillment; her whole body trembling as he made her a woman to be loved again and a body to be relished without caution.

——-
The story continues…

Photo Credit: http://www.wikihow.com