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Saturday, April 29, 2017

Heartstrings (1) the homecoming




***

 I was about stepping out of the house when my phone rang.

  It was Jemi

 "Hi Demola! Are you home?"

  "No. What's up, Jemi?"

   A slight pause.

   "I"ve been cooking all day and was wondering if you could come over for dinner later tonight...

  I glanced at my wrist, noting the time. I had less than an hour to get to the airport to pick up Becky who was returning to Nigeria after months away in the United Kingdom for a course.

 Going over to Jemi's place was the last thing I wanted to do so I turned down her offer and drove quickly to the international airport at Ikeja. At the airport, as I waited impatiently for Becky, I thought of Jemi, feeling a bit guilty at the abrupt way I had spoken to her earlier. 

'Maybe I should have told her I would come over later...' I mumbled to myself.

 But I knew that would not work. With Becky back, everything else was on hold. Including Jemi.

Hmm. Jemi.

What was I going to do about her? We had met at a party about a month after Becky left the country. Maybe because I was drunk or missing Becky so much, I had ended up taking her home. 

After that night, we had been seeing each other regularly but I had been upfront with her; I had told her about Becky, that she was the woman in my heart and there was no room for anyone else.

 "I'm sorry, Jemi. You are a wonderful lady and if things had been different,  I could have been able to love you. But as things stand..."

She had smiled ruefully at me and placed a finger on my lips.

"It's ok, Demola. I'm not looking for love. I just want a bit of fun so can we just have that without all this love nonsense?" she had said.

That was vintage Jemi- blunt and straightforward. 

 ***

I looked up and saw a group of people coming out of the arrival hall of the airport. I scrunitised each face. I could not see Becky.

"Her flight should have arrived by now," I muttered to myself, glancing at my watch.

I watched idly as a young boy of about four slipped through the barrier and ran towards a tall man lugging a large suitcase behind him. "Daddy!" the boy shouted before flinging himself at the man's legs, who, laughing, stooped and picked him up.

'That's one happy reunion', I thought, at the same time wondering when my own reunion with my lovely Becky will come.

As if in answer, I looked towards the entrance of arrivals and there she stood, looking round as if searching for someone. Then she saw me and smiled and my heart jumped at the sight of her...


To be continued

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