I’m feeling very generous today. This is to make up for my absence. Enjoy this episode and come back for more later!
“My turn!” the tiny voice screamed excitedly, then with a smile so wide it revealed his missing front tooth he added, “What’s your biggest wish right now?”
He was six and she knew he was asking questions because it was the game they were playing – she’d asked him something too when it was her turn earlier – but somehow, his question hit so close to home she could not find any answer for him.
Normally, playing a game of honest question and answer with a six year old should not matter, but it did matter this time. It mattered too much and made her a bit too emotional just like everything that had been happening in her life in recent times.
“Answer nau” her companion pouted, clearly getting impatient at her reluctance to answer his question. “You’re spoiling the game” he was folding his arms across his chest now, sulking and clearly disappointed that the only adult who had chosen to speak to him at the most recent party his mother was planning was getting bored of him.
She smiled sweetly, placed a hand on his shoulder and said, “To be happy”
If he was not six years old, she knew that answer would have caused a million and one questions. But he was six years old and the answer was perfectly fine by him.
“Your turn” he said to her and she asked him, “Who is your favorite person in the world?”
His face lit up instantly and he whispered his answer, “Uncle Shahid”. It was clearly a no brainer. “But don’t tell mummy and daddy because they both think they are” he added and she laughed despite herself.
The wind blew gently and strands of hair littered her face at the same time, threatening to lift the short floral retro dress she was clad in. using one hand to brush back her hair, she held her dress with the other.
“Is he your favorite person too?” he asked and she saw the honest look in his eyes, the boy loved his Uncle Shahid and he clearly wanted her to love him that way too.
She looked at the water surrounding their location, her eyes held by the beautiful ship that sat on the water some distance away from them.
Shahid was a good man. He was amazing in fact and she did not know what he felt for her but it seemed strong enough for him to wait while she battled her most recent demons.
Demons only he could handle at the moment. Demons she knew even her best friend could not handle.
“He is one of the best people in my life right now” she replied the six year old who was looking at her, eagerly waiting for the response to his last question.
His mother was calling him now, he frowned and said to Oyin, “I have to go. Don’t go anywhere please” he said to her and disappeared through the crowd before she could say anything else.
Oyin chuckled as her companion rushed off to answer his mother’s call. Leaning against the railings that created a barrier between the water surrounding them and the venue of their party, Oyin idly watched the Ship that had caught her attention earlier.
Sometimes, she just wished she was a Ship or Car or any other non-living thing that did not have cause to go through the troubles humans endured.
If she were a car for instance, a wreck no matter how disastrous it was could not hurt her the way heartbreak could.
She felt her phone buzz in her purse but she ignored it. Everyone she had known from her past did not mean anything to her at the moment.
She was still trying to bar the memories of the day Ada had asked her the most ridiculous question ever while standing in her workplace and drawing a few people’s attention to them.
“You’re sleeping with Segun” she had said to her. It was more of a statement than a question really. And maybe that was why she had been irritated.
That question was not Ada in anyway, at the same time, the insensitivity that accompanied it was not her either.
And she had refused to add the sense of urgency attached to the question itself; she had refused to move an inch, neither had she allowed her do same until she got the response to her question.
“Ada, I will remember our friendship and let that go” she had said and shoved both her and Kolapo out of the way while she headed for her Office.
Ada had taken that to mean she was guilty and was just looking for a way to cover up. But she had been livid.
And then, Ada, Kolapo and everyone else suddenly became a part of her life she did not want to keep up with for a while. So she basically cut everyone off, ignored Kolapo at work and carried on her life like they all did not exist.
All of them including Segun.
He placed a quick kiss on her neck and joined her where she was standing, away from the buzz of the party they were at.
“Hey” she replied, “Adam says you’re his favorite person in the world”
He chuckled, revealing a set of dimples she was really fond of.
“He also asked if you were my favorite person in the world”
His smile was gone when he said, “What did you say?”
She glanced at him, his handsome face was wearing a serious expression now. Like his little nephew, he was not playing about the question he just asked.
But instead of answering him like she did his nephew, she raised a hand and caressed his well-kept and well groomed beard.
He was probably the only man she knew that kept beard that she actually loved. It was not bushy or long or anything like those hideous ones she saw on social media with ridiculous hashtags. It was also not begging or screaming beard gang. It was neat, beautiful and it complimented his already handsome look.
“I guess I know the answer to that” he said painfully
“Let’s go and see a movie” she replied, ignoring his statement
And like he had been for weeks since she got closer to him, he refused to discuss what she did not want to and only discussed what she wanted to.
“I heard Deadpool is great” he said to her
“Deadpool it is then”
Like the weeks that came before, they went out, either got drunk or got close to drunk, returned to his place and had sex in his apartment.
At first, he had found it amazing, had even looked forward to it whenever it was nearing their time together.
But as he began to slowly fall for her, he had realized he wanted more and those sexual encounters only left him with an empty feeling when she grabbed her bag and dashed out of the house.
She was wearing her pant now and slipping her feet into her pair of wedges. And he knew, that like many times in the past, she was leaving him alone with his broken heart while she went off to hers.
He knew about her demons, he knew she was hiding from them and he knew the relationship they had was because of those demons.
Heck, he had obliged to the sexual encounters only to help her battle her demons.
He remembered how heartbroken he had felt initially when she had begun to have sex with random guys every single night she went out.
The look on her face when he had yelled at her and called her stupid for not knowing better. She had been hurt and then had cried like a child.
And since then, he had become that guy for her. The guy who willingly had sex with her any time she had something weighing on her mind, anytime the demons came visiting.
And at first, he enjoyed the thrill. But now it was all gone and he wanted more.
He did not want to be used to send away the demons anymore.
“Stay tonight” he pleaded as she made for the door
“I have to go home”
“You can stay here Oyin, you know that”
“No Shahid. I have an early start tomorrow. Let me go to mine”
“Should I come with you?”
She shook her head hurriedly, she was close to the door now.
“Oyin why are you doing this to me?” he asked her and she stopped in her tracks, turning to face him. “I cannot continue with this anymore. I cannot continue to be the guy you use to feel better.”
“I’m sorry you feel that way” she said and then made her way out of the house.
He hurried after her, “You’re technically still my Fiancee you know” he said as she inched closer to her car.
“I should return that ring to you” she replied, barely glancing at him
“I don’t want the ring, I want your heart”
She chuckled, “Assuming I knew where that is”
“But you do know where it is, let me in”
She stopped and looked him in the eyes, he was falling for her. She could see it clearly without him saying it. Reaching for his face, she touched him with her hand, stroking his cheek gently as if hoping her fingers would do the magic of suddenly making everything okay.
“Oyin” he called when she opened her car and got in. “Oyin, I am falling in love with you” the pain with which he said the words caused her heart to break but there was absolutely nothing she could do about it.
She wanted to feel something for him but she couldn’t.
She could not seem to feel anything for anyone at the moment.
She said and drove out of the compound.
WHY CAN’T YOU JUST HAVE A BABY WITH THIS MAN, OYIN? HE LOVES YOU
she wanted the words to mean something, she wanted them to heal her, raise a magic wand in the air and make her pain vanish but just like everything she had tried to feel better through the previous weeks, it was not working.
So she just went through the day like she normally would; empty.
“Are you ready?”
She nodded, spread her legs and shut her eyes tightly.
Shahid was going to hate her for the rest of her life for removing his baby but he would learn one day that it was for his own good.