PS: This episode is a tad sexual, filter your eyes if you must. That said, thank you for following, and be kind enough to continue leaving your feedback. 😀
“There’s a trick to the ‘graceful exit.’ It begins with the vision to recognize when a job, a life stage, or a relationship is over — and let it go. It means leaving what’s over without denying its validity or its past importance to our lives. It involves a sense of future, a belief that every exit line is an entry, that we are moving up, rather than out.”
― Ellen Goodman
It took a lot of thought to prepare for his visit. What to cook, what to wear, what to shave and what not to. He arrives around 11:30am, a black giant of a man, fit and pleasant to the eyes, bearing a warm smile and a basket of fruits.
You smile as you usher him in, clumsily; not sure whether to go in for a hug or a limp handshake. He leans in for a hug and you are thankful to have applied your cologne generously on the spot behind your ears and round your neck.
“Welcome to my home.”
“Thank you for having me. It’s really so good to see you again. And you cut your hair! How could you?! You look beautiful nonetheless.”
You smile. “Thank you. And it’s good to see you too. Please come in and have a seat.”
“Thank you. And here, these are for you. Since you would not let me buy you lunch, I settled for these.”
Your eyes melt into mild surprise. “You did not have to Gbenga. Thank you.”
“You are welcome.”
You watch him scan for a chair meticulously. “Err, you can use the bed. I promise it doesn’t bite.”
He guffaws. “Well, I was just being a gentleman.”
“Don’t be him. Be yourself!” You stick your tongue out. He smiles and shakes his head.
“What would you like to have first? A glass of water, juice, snacks or the main course?”
“Err, I am not really hungry, give me something light.”
You laugh out loud. “Yeah right! Just give me a minute. Music?”
“Yes please. It is never not an option.”
“Since you are the host, I will let you surprise me. It had better be good.”
You laugh. The Gbenga you remember would do anything to listen to an Adele song. If he could watch her live, he would. You hope he is still the same as you remember, as you turn on the CD player and insert her 25 album which you bought just for this occasion only yesterday.
You disappear into the kitchenette before it starts to play. You hoist a pack of juice from the fridge, and an assortment of biscuits on a saucer. You set the main dish of jollof rice and fried chicken on another tray, and some of the fruits he brought on a third tray. You are miming to Hello, reaching for glass cups above the gas stove when you hear his voice behind you.
“Can I help?”
You blush. “I didn’t know you had left the room. So you have been watching?”
“Not exactly. I just walked in at the right time.”
You both cart the trays outside to the sitting room floor, where you eat in companionable silence watching each other over the glass of juice.
“The food is delicious.” He finally says, breaking the ice.
“Thank you.” You smile.
“If I had a dollar for every time you have said thank you, I would be stinking rich.”
“You laugh. My parents taught me well.”
“Apparently. So your CV, lest I forget… I talked to some of my contacts. An uncle who owns an Accounting firm has asked that you see him sometime this week at his office, but you must call to confirm he would be available to see you before making the trip down there. His firm is at Opebi, Ikeja.”
Your mouth is wide open. “Just like that?”
“Well, not quite. He isn’t particularly offering you a job yet, you know? But he has seen your CV and he thinks it would be worthwhile having a chat with you. All those Accounting application certificates you have, give your CV a brilliant edge. So you will always be at an advantage.”
“Always? I don’t think so Gbenga. Do you know how many applications I have sent in these past months? Over twenty, and no one has deemed it fit to reach back out! Not one company!”
“Well, I forgot to mention, I did a little re-work on your CV. Sometimes, it isn’t the content of the CV that immediately catches an employer’s eyes. I mean, there are tons of applications to look at, you know? On a daily basis! Imagine how overwhelming that can be! Although it is not a justifiable reason why they should not reach out to applicants, it is their typical safe landing space.”
Immediately, you reach out to hug him. Tears are beginning to well up in your eyes, and soon you are sobbing. He holds you until you are calm.
“Are you alright?”
You nod. ”It’s just that I am so grateful. You don’t know what I have been through Gbenga. There were days I felt un-achieving, days I felt like I wasn’t enough, like my inability to get an employer to invite me for an interview or whatever meant something was wrong with me. I was depressed for days, and had almost given up hope until yesterday. Thank you Gbenga. I am surprised you could do this for me after our history and I cannot thank you enough.”
He caresses your arm. “Hey, you didn’t do anything you did not have to do. You were going through a tough time then, and I understand it now; even though, I didn’t quite understand it then and said some hurtful things. Point is, we acted the way we thought best at the time but it doesn’t mean we loved less or didn’t love enough. Don’t feel sorry. It hurt me but I know it hurt you too. So, it’s fine. And you are enough. The fact that things don’t work out the way we want them to is not a reflection of anything but God asking us to wait for the better plan. God has got you, okay?”
You nod again, and try to hold back the fresh bout of tears waiting to break out. “I have missed you and I am sorry about how things ended.”
He smiles. “I have missed you too. I waited though, you know? Then, when you wanted space, you said you would reach out when you got yourself together. You never did. You changed your phone number and just went AWOL. I couldn’t visit because I did not know where you stay. Your friends did not have your number either. Wait, how… how do you do it? Just move on from people, events and things like that?”
You don’t know what to say, so you say you are sorry again. You pile the used dishes on the floor and take them back to the kitchen in batches. Adele is still doing what she does best singing “All I Ask”. He stands up to help against your protests. He is such a gentleman, he has always been. You wash the dishes together and replace them on the shelves and in the cupboards. And when you are done, he pulls you to a corner of the kitchen where you both stand face to face.
“Look at me Grace. You have been averting my gaze all day.”
You bite your lower lip, as you make yourself look at him.
“I have missed you. This face. Your warm eyes, your smile, everything.”
You smile. “I have missed you too.”
“I have missed you more.”
“I have missed you most.”
He laughs. “Oh, you want to play that game? Show me how much you have missed me.”
You are tempted to kiss him. You never know how to resist gorgeous boys with teasing beards and smiling eyes. Like him. Like Sam. But is it the right thing to do? You used to know him but you barely know him now, two years after. What if he is not the same as before? But again, who are you kidding? You know you want this. You prepared for it. After all that shaving, cologne time, and careful selection of underwear and a single-strapped dress gown, what did you expect? All that purposeful bum wiggling and shaking! Puhleese!
So you kiss him. And you remember how much you missed him those nights after the break-up. Your tongue scours his mouth clean, tasting corners, searching for hidden secrets of what went down since the last time. He breaks off the kiss, breathless.
“Damn! You—you have certainly missed me, but not as much as this…”
He is biting your ear lobes now, caressing the inside of your ears with his tongue. You close your eyes, and moan a little. His tongue strolls to your neck, some biting here, some biting there; then it travels downside to your bare chest, his hands pulling off your mono-strap as his eyes beg for permission. You grant him full access.
You are down to your underwear in no time, and you are thankful you had made a matching choice of panties and bra that morning.
“You are beautiful.” He whispers.
“Thank—“ he kisses your gratitude out of your mouth. One hand unstraps your bra expertly, and the other invades your panties. A finger slides in, and you scream in pleasure. He is watching you intently, watching you break apart under his command. You throw your head back, biting your lips, pinching your nipples to distract yourself from the pleasure you feel. His free hand covers your busy hand and his mouth claims the other nipple. You are on a roller-coaster of emotions, and as you approach Nirvana, you scream the one name that comes to your head.
Everything stops abruptly then, and the silence that follows is so fragile you fear your voice would break it if you speak.
© The Short Black Girl, 2017.