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Tuesday, January 08, 2019

Forever (4)

King saw the look and tried to reassure her. “Look, I’m not trying to frighten you or anything. I just want to talk to you for a few minutes. Can we do that?”
“Please, leave me alone and don’t come to my house again.” With that she shut the door in his face
.King knocked and knocked but Alewa didn’t open. After standing outside her door for several minutes looking like an idiot, he finally walked back to his car. He looked back as he was leaving and saw her peeping out of her living room window. King smiled to himself; she might be all bravado but it was as clear as day that she was scared and she needed someone even if she thought she didn’t. King vowed to keep coming back every day until he wore down her defenses, after all he had nothing better to do for now and he knew he was supposed to touch her life in some way.
King kept his word and came back every day to check up on Alewa. He only got to the point of pleasantries and asking how she was before she slammed the door in his face, but when he came back the next day, she always opened the door to him. It was obvious she was starved for company and affection.
 He wondered what happened to her that kept her locked inside. To the best of his knowledge, she never went out except to buy some groceries and household essentials, she never had visitors except him (if he can be called even that), and she generally kept to herself.
She lived in the better part of Lagos, and he could tell from the little he could see into her semi-detached bungalow that her house was tastefully furnished, but she didn’t seem to be going to work and he wondered how she got the money she lived on. Just the day before, he had asked if she was on leave but she had looked at him quizzically and answered in the negative. 
Maybe, she has a sugar daddy. It is not uncommon to see a beautiful young woman in Lagos supposedly ‘living the life’ without the income to support that lifestyle; most of them have older men they see that take care of all their needs. Alewa didn’t fit into this category though; as he had never seen any slimy old man hanging around her house, and he had looked. Sometimes, he just sat in his car watching her house but through all this vigil, she still remained an enigma; a mystery he couldn’t seem to solve.
He kept coming back though; as the invisible magnet that kept pulling him to her was stronger than ever and even though every time he came he had more questions, he still felt he was doing the right thing. He lived his days thinking of ways to make her laugh in abandonment. He had an idea she would be breathtaking with a huge smile on her face and he was determined to pull it off. Maybe today will be the day, he thought as he got out of his car.
Alewa watched as King made his way to her door. The guy is proving to be relentless. For the past two weeks, he had knocked on her door like clockwork and even though for the first week she had done nothing but slam the door in his face, he kept coming back as if he had a thing for pain and disappointment.
She was ready for him today. She had taken time to alter her appearance and she was happy with the results; at least she no longer looks like a bedraggled teenager. She saw King knock and dropped the curtain, took her time before answering; she didn’t want to appear too eager.
Alewa opened the door and smiled at him. King was taken aback for a minute. He hadn’t seen her this way ever before. Anytime he came around, she was always in a bathrobe, or jeans and sweatshirt, looking tired and sad. Now, she looked breathtaking with a lovely smile on her face. She had taken time to comb her hair, put on some makeup and wear a nice dress. She looked absolutely ravishing; it took King’s breath away.
“Hi.” She smiled
“Hi.” He said hoarsely and cleared his throat.
“So, you ready to go?” he asked
She looked confused. “Go where?”
“On our date?”
“Date? Did we set a date for today?”
“Obviously, since you’re all dressed up and ready to go.” He winked
She laughed. “You got me worried.”
“Do that again.”
“What?” she looked exasperated
“You have to say something funny.” She arched her brows.

King was delighted seeing this playful side of her. Although he had caught glimpses this last week, he hadn’t known it could be like this. His heart skipped a beat, he loved this.
“Go out with me now and I promise to do my best.”
She looked down. “I didn’t plan on going out today.”
“Yes, you did.” He looked into her eyes
“Maybe I thought about it a little sha.” She shrugged
He took her hands in his. “Let’s stop these games, shall we?”
Alewa snatched her hands from his. “Don’t touch me please.”
He put his palms up. “Sorry. Let’s just go grab some lunch. Anything you want, choose the place.”
“I really shouldn’t.” she shook her head. Yes, I shouldn’t cos I know nothing good will come of this.
“Why?” he looked frustrated
“You wouldn’t understand.” She whispered
“You’re right, I won’t. Let’s go so you can enlighten me over lunch.”
“I don’t know.” She still hesitated
“Look, what can it hurt? Just a quick lunch, no strings attached. Besides, you’ve not been out of your house for days now.”
She looked up sharply. “How did you know that?”
“I know.” He shrugged. “So, what do you say?”
Alewa looked at him and knew without a doubt she wanted to know more about him. She wanted to know what makes him tick, what gave him such boldness and confidence in himself when she runs scared of her own shadow, and above all, she really wanted to eat at La Push restaurant; a five-star restaurant in the heart of Lagos.
She made up her mind. “Okay then, let me just get my purse and car keys.”
“You don’t need your car keys. I’ll be driving.”
She laughed. “If you think I’ll get into a car with a virtual stranger you must think me stupid.”
King drew her back. “What’s with you anyway? I’m a virtual stranger?” he asked angrily. “I’ve practically spent the last two weeks at your doorstep and you still see me as a stranger? You are really something.”
“But I didn’t ask you to, did I? Did I ask for your disturbing presence?”she shot back defiantly
“Disturbing, was it? So, I disturb you?” he suddenly grinned.
Alewa looked at him dubiously. “What’s with you? Does that make you happy?”
“Hell yeah. It’s a lot better than indifference.”
“What a strange being you are.”
“I’m not going to make it easy for you to back out. Go get your keys, I’ll follow behind.”
Alewa got in before letting the grin split all over her face. She had a feeling that if she let herself, she would be in for a cool ride with King in the driver’s seat (figuratively.)
 Two weeks later…

  Alewa watched as Sandra, her co-worker walked towards her desk. Sandra is a friendly sort. She had been trying to be friends with Alewa since she started working there but she had refused her every overture until Sandra gave up.

 Alewa wondered what she wanted now. Why is she coming towards me all smiles?

  “Hi girl," she shrieked with all her bubbling enthusiasm

   “Hi,” Alewa answered reluctantly.

   “Hmm, you look positively sparkly this morning. In fact, a lot sparklier than I have ever seen you. So what’s his name?” If Alewa were fair skinned, she would have blushed.

  “Whose name?”

  “Ohhhh even if I was guessing before, that look just gave you away. Oya, spill the beans.”

  “I don’t know what you are talking about,” she mumbled.

 “Of course you do girl. I mean the name of the new boo. Le nom du boo.” She translated in fluent French.

  “Which new boo? There’s no new boo.”

  “Yeah, and I’m Dangote’s daughter. Common girl, I can see it all over your face, you are practically glowing. Oya spill it. I won’t leave until you talk, you know.” She winked.

 “There’s nothing to tell Sandra. Now leave me alone so I can go back to work.”

 “Hmm you are proving stubborn abi? Don’t worry I’ll get it out of you still. By the way, some of us are going out for drinks right after work, you are invited and no, I won’t take no for an answer.” With that she sashayed to her desk.
 Alewa groaned inwardly. Drinks? She didn't drink and could not remember the last time she hung out with people her own age, if ever. The idea of doing so now terrified her but she was willing to brave it. It’s just drinks right? What could happen in a few hours?

If only she knew.

Alewa and Sandra got to the club some minutes to seven that evening....

 To be continued

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