It is Valentine’s Day! Yaay! *blows y’all kisses forcefully* and here’s the gift I promised you guys, an extra episode of your fave blog series. Enjoy and drop your comments. Love ya!
Kike Oni marches forward and before I can breathe, slaps me hard across the face. Now, the thing is I have seen this scene being enacted on many Nollywood screens but I have never for once thought that would be my face. I rub my cheek with my palm for a moment and I know I should just walk away but I’m mad, infuriated, livid! How dare Makin? How dare his silly wife? All I did was heed to the call of a loony boss! I look up at her and she’s staring venomously at me now, not moving, breathing hard and fast, I don’t bother to ask the cliché Nollywood question “you slapped me?” before I send her lurching sideways with a harder slap.
“MORENIKE!” Makin calls and Kunle reaches for me as I march closer to Kike, my hands in a tight fist. I don’t know what I would do next but one thing I know, I’m losing it.
“Don’t” I raise a finger at Kunle, stopping him from stepping closer. He is seeing a different me and he is shocked. I can see it in his eyes.
“Now woman, next time, channel your slap where it is deserved, on your insane husband’s face! And tell him to stay away from my kid and I while at it.” I yell the words at her, as she looks at me in utter shock. Makin helps her up slowly.
“Morenike you don’t have to do this. Just leave” Makin says to me slowly as if scared of what I would do next. He should be, I have never been this way with anybody, heck I’m in another realm at the moment.
And because I know it is my last day there I add, “worry about your husband’s soon to be second wife not people like us who aren’t interested in his five minutes performance!” Then I burst out of the office as I head towards mine. A few people have gathered outside it but they disperse as soon as I inch closer, Kunle is by my side and walks in just before I shut the door.
I hurriedly pack my things, I don’t care if I don’t get a job in this town anymore but I have had enough with Makin and his insanity. Uche races in. She walks past Kunle and holds me in her arms. I want to cry, so badly, but I can’t and I won’t. I just hold her as she holds me and we don’t say anything for minutes. Kunle packs my stuff while we hold each other, after which he grabs my car keys.
“Let me take you home, Morenike” he says gently, his eyes on mine, pleading, as if he is scared I might object.
Uche glances at him, wondering why he’s offering, she doesn’t know he’s more than the new boss to me.
“Its fine Uche.” I say, assuring her of my safety with Kunle.
She eyes him “hmm…Call me when you get home please” she responds and walks with Kunle and I while we head towards the car park.
We don’t say a word during the drive home, at least nothing regarding the incident, except a few directions to my home. I cannot help but ponder on the whole event, from when it started to when it ended. Why did that woman attack me physically? Doesn’t she know I have nothing whatsoever to do with Makin? When I enter my flat, Kunle gets a glass of water and produces a painkiller from God knows where, he hands it over to me and I don’t argue. I throw my head backwards and down the pills with the glass of water after which I relieve myself of my shoes and relax my head on the sofa.
“Who picks Ore from school?” He asks gently.
“Celebrate. I have a cab man commissioned for that purpose.” I respond, checking the time, knowing my son would be home anytime from then. Thank God I always prepare for the afternoons before he comes home, because right now is not a great time to cook. I can’t help but be grateful to my lifesaving option every time, Negho African Dishes.
“I’m sorry I didn’t tell you about Makin and I earlier” he begins, “I didn’t know where exactly to come in, you seemed to be coping with a lot of drama at that point in time”
I watch him carefully and ask “at what point did you know I am his baby mama?”
“The day you received that phone call from him at your family house; I spoke to him later in the day via bbm and he seemed angry with some baby mama of his who had riled him up by not taking care of his son” he explains, “I didn’t need to be a genius to add things up”
I slowly nod, he knew and kept quiet.
“Why did you come in with Kike earlier?” I ask, wanting to know and trying not to think of what might have happened if they hadn’t walked in. I can’t believe I went through that and I feel slightly embarrassed Kunle had to see me in that state.
“Lambo and I stayed back to discuss a few things after the meeting ended and you all left, I left the room just in time to meet Kike heading for Makin’s office, I walked her to the door and she wouldn’t knock…”
I smile dryly “Kunle, what other truth are you holding back?” I ask. “Apart from knowing my baby daddy, refusing to tell me, holding back the truth about your ex fiancé and knowing you were going to be my boss”
“I’m in love with you”
Erm…what? Kike’s slap didn’t increase the pace at which my heart is currently beating, neither did it cause my head to spin the way the sudden information I just learnt is making it.
“You’re what?” I ask, wanting to be sure it is not my terrific day that’s responsible for me hearing things. He doesn’t mean it does he?
“I’m in love with you Morenike Alabi. That’s what I said” he reiterates, his eyes staring into mine, echoing my fear, no I can’t deal with love. He can’t be in love with me, do I love him? Maybe I do, he’s in my every thought, I missed him terribly when he wasn’t around those days after I sent him out of my flat. He’s so good with my kid, he makes my heart race and I certainly feel something stronger than what I felt for Makin or anything that I’ve felt at all in the last four to five years for any man.
He sits near me and then he calmly tells me “don’t argue it. It won’t make sense if you do, just go with it and let me do things nobody has ever done to you.”
I look at him, as if searching for the slightest glimpse of trust and I know he means everything he just said. I don’t know how I know but I just know.
“Morenike, I won’t be leaving. At least not anymore, not even if you find men to throw me out. You want to know why?” He asks and I shake my head slowly “because you clearly need me.”
I swallow hard, yes I do. Yes I know that I need him but can I trust any man? Even the one who makes my heart do backflips? He kisses me slowly and I feel like I can hear his thoughts, as if he is begging me to let go of my doubts. Stay with him.
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
Days fly by and Kunle spends half of the time at mine, sometimes he sleeps over, sometimes he comes in early enough to pick my always excited son and Celebrate and drops them off at school. He is making me think of him more than any other thing and it is exhilarating but also makes me concerned. I’ve never been the one to lose myself but this man makes it so easy for me to. One morning he tells me “Morenike, fly baby. Lose yourself, don’t think about anything, just enjoy the moment” and then goes ahead to dance naked while he sings his own version of BankyW‘s Yes/No using my hairbrush as his microphone. I laugh as I watch him “destroy” one of my favourite songs with his voice.
I decide to send in my resignation letter and he stands by me. Oh my, I’m going to be insanely in love with this man and I know it! He creates this fairy tale and puts me carefully in it. But can I handle love? Can I handle trust? It’s all happening now and I don’t know if I can handle it. I’ve watched my father betray my mother’s trust, watched Makin lie to me, watched my family members refuse to help my mother and I. Is trust something I’m willing to give again?
Mr Lambo sends me mails telling me to reconsider but I refuse to go back or even see the mild threat in the mails. I am moving on, starting afresh and I refuse to deal with anything from my past.
* * * * * * * * * * * *
“Mommy wake up, happy Valentine. Take” I slowly open my eyes as I see, standing by my bed, my two year Old son, he is holding forward a little shiny box. I feel a bit groggy as I smile and check the present he bought me, I know this is Kunle. I scoop Oreoluwa and place kisses all over him as he laughs.
“I love you baby” I whisper into his ear, biting it gently. He laughs in response and I add “say you love mommy”.
“I love mommy” he says playfully and he kisses me on my nose, in response I tickle him and we both play, forgetting the time. I don’t realise Kunle is by the door until he announces his presence.
“Ore, you need to get ready. Come here” he says as he gets my son and carries him out of the room. I relax on the bed, I don’t feel too good.
Kunle returns some minutes later, “happy…”
I raise my hand “don’t. I’m not a fan of this day” I say smiling.
“Do you mean to say you’re not a fan of love?” He says half serious, half smiling. I know what he means and I am not sure I’m ready to give what he clearly wants. For a few minutes, there’s silence in the room and I don’t feel comfortable with either the silence or the way I’m feeling.
“Kunle, please let’s not go into that” I slowly stand and head for the bathroom.
“We can’t avoid this forever Morenike” he says to me but I don’t respond, I sway and for a second I’m scared I might actually fall. He walks closer and holds me.
“Are you okay?” He asks gently. I nod. But I know I’m not okay.
“I just feel a bit weak and funny.” I respond
“Abi you’re pregnant” he says to me, teasing.
I laugh “very funny. Where do I want to find it?” I ask.
Then he says in a sexy way “right here. Where you have been finding it for a while now?”
I laugh again. “Kunle, go to work”
“Let me take you out in the evening?” He offers with a huge grin on his face.
I consider it for a minute, I really am not a Valentine person, I am not a part of the world where Valentine is a norm. I believe it is a day where little lovestruck kids sit around a table and discuss nothing in particular over funny tasting food. I look at the man in front of me, he wants me to think about it in a different way, I can see that from the way he’s staring at me, pleading with his eyes
“Okay. But just for two hours max” I finally give in.
“Yes!” He says and kisses me on the forehead. “I’d drop Ore and Celeb off. I made you egusi soup for lunch” he winks as he grabs his jacket.
“Hmm… you cook? Since when?” I ask, raising an eyebrow. I’ve never seen him cook anything, at least not since we started our “thing”. And I know most men that can cook boast about it.
“Since I was a little boy, woman. Believe” he says and chuckles. Then he leaves. Curious, I go to the kitchen and I see the pot containing egusi soup…I look around the kitchen, he walks in.
“What are you looking for?” He says grinning
“Confess Mr man. You didn’t cook the egusi soup” I say as I taste it, it tastes divine. “Kunle…”
“Okay, I got it from Negho African Dishes…” Then he runs out of the flat as I yell “Kunle!” I laugh and shake my head as I lock the door behind him, Ore and Celebrate.
I become nervous about the evening all day, I have not had a proper date in years and with a man I’m totally into the way I am into Kunle Davies. I go through everything in my wardrobe and after getting in and out of five dresses, I still find it hard to make a decision. Maybe I should cancel?
After a while, I go back to my laptop and look through vacancies, I send mails to other huge PR firms that I know might be interested in me. Then I get back to searching for suitable shoes and dresses.
Around 5pm, Celebrate lets in some young man who brings in a medium sized box, marked in my name. I know it’s Kunle even before I open it.
Like a teenage girl, I run excitedly to my room and when I open, I find in it a beautiful blue Valentino sequined bodycon tube dress, it is so beautiful I actually gasp and of course there is a pair of Zara platform pumps to go with it. I place them on the floor and ease my legs into them, then I admire my own feet in the sandals. Why did he go through this much trouble for me?
I pick up my phone and dial his number, “Hello Mr Davies”
“I take it that you received my parcel Mrs Davies.” He teases and I giggle like a little girl. “Some of us aren’t so rich but we try our best for our women”
“Kunle, this is a lot” I begin to say
“Shut up Morenike and let’s just have today like this. A fairytale.”
And I agree with him. Even if it would just be tonight.
When he arrives at my door by 7.30pm, he looks like something out of a Hollywood movie, fine, classy and very well dressed (like he doesn’t dress well before). I’m already dressed and I watch him take in my every detail, I’m nervous and I feel a bit dizzy. He doesn’t say anything, he inches closer and from his pocket produces a studded bracelet which he wears gently for me. Then he kisses me and says “I don’t know why I’m this much in love with you, but I am. And I’m never leaving”
When we get into the car, he plays a song and faces me “That’s for you. The song is called Wrapped, it is by Gloria Estefan”. I listen during the drive and I love it. We arrive at a classy restaurant some thirty minutes later and like a gentleman, he helps me out of the car.
“You are a very beautiful woman Morenike Alabi.”
“My head is going to burst tonight Mr Davies” I say.
“You have no idea what I got planned” he says seriously and my heart races. What has he got planned?
We stroll into the restaurant, there’s nobody in the room we are in. “It is just us?” I ask and he nods.
The room is dimly lit and he guides me gently to a table in the centre of the room, on the table is a lit candle a beautiful flower vase holding the most breathtaking bunch of flowers I’ve ever seen.
“I like this gentleman part of you” I say, very excited about the other things he has planned. I think the excitement is what’s making me slightly dizzy.
Then he sits opposite me and hands me the menu. I take it and I wonder how much this man must have spent tonight. We place our orders and a few minutes into our food, someone walks in, I look up and it’s my favourite Nigerian Artiste, Banky W. Whoa!
“Wow, look who we have here, it is your favourite Naija artiste, Banky” Kunle says with feigned surprise.
I gasp. I’m too excited to speak! I’m going to lose my mind. I watch Banky bow and call my name.
“Happy Valentine’s day Miss Alabi.”
Then like it is in a movie, I watch him perform Yes/No with some changes to some of the words; replacing some with our names. I look at Kunle Davies who takes my hand in his and my heart swells, I don’t want to lose him, I don’t. Nobody has ever done all these just to see me smile.
Banky W finishes with his amazing performance and leaves and the night goes on smoothly, I forget it’s been over two hours as we eat and talk and drink and laugh. I’m so happy!
When we eventually step outside, the breeze is cool and it gently blows across my face but I realise that I feel woozy, I have had too much alcohol I know, my eyes are beginning to feel hazy and my vision seems to get blurry. I suddenly halt.
“Are you okay Morenike?” Kunle asks but his voice is like a distant echo, it feels like he is faraway and I desperately search for something to hold because I’m losing my balance. I hold my head as he holds me, he calls my name but I feel like I’ve lost touch with the physical as my legs give way and my eyes close into darkness.