AUTHOR: OGECHI ALABI
Demian couldn’t sleep. He knew he messed up by telling her how he felt. She had trusted him as family but now he had declared his intentions, she couldn’t deal. It was a shock to her which surprised him. He believed she was aware of his feelings. Was she pretending? How can she be that naive and still be very mature? She has never spoken of a previous relationship, is it possible she had never been in one? He was confused. He wanted her to himself.
He sent her a message, “Are you ok? I am worried about you.”
“I am fine.”
“I am not. I feel so bad. We were having such a beautiful time before I destroyed it by declaring my feelings. What if I take it back? Can we go back to just being friends?”
“I don’t know actually. Can I think about this?”
“That’s fair, but I am bored. Can we talk about something else? Let me call you, let’s talk all night as we used to do.”
Nkem didn’t respond. Demian called her but she hesitated to answer. He called several times before she finally picked up. “You are so persistent.”
“I would have stayed by your door all night to talk to you.”
“Because you are the best thing that has happened to me in a long while. I treasure our friendship. I’m sorry if I offended you in the past.”
“Please don’t go back to the hostel tomorrow. We will explore further tomorrow; there are places we can visit. I was told there is a fish and seafood market at Badagry. We can spend the night there and explore the beach.”
“Badagry? Isn’t that close to Seme border? That’s a distance.”
“We will leave very early to get there. The Slave trade took place there too. It came highly recommended and there is a resort we can lodge in. In case my mother decides to arrive in Lagos.”
“When are you travelling back?”
Demian chuckled, “I’m travelling back with my family, I was just pulling her legs. I have told my sister. She won’t tell them until I arrive at the airport.”
“Then I can’t see you off.”
“Your family will be there.”
‘What is wrong with that?”
“They will be uncomfortable with me there. I don’t want them to have the wrong impression about us.”
Read – GoodBye My Love – Episode 1
“We will say our goodbyes before I leave for the airport.”
“Ok. If we are leaving early tomorrow morning, then we need to get some sleep.”
“You want to avoid talking to me? We can sleep in the car while we travel. It is a long journey I was told.”
“I will like to sleep now.”
“Ok. Goodnight. Thanks for talking to me.”
The evening Demian was to travel back, they were to leave his cousin’s house together. She wanted to be dropped off at the hostel before he leaves for the airport. He refused. He wanted her to join him at the airport. He stated he would miss her too much. She was also getting emotional about the separation after spending almost three days together.
Nkem enjoyed their trip the day before, it was fun. They travelled down to Badagry together. The driver knew places by the sea they could eat freshly caught seafood made in their presence. The food was delicious. They stayed at the resort. Demian paid for a two-room chalet. They were to stay in separate rooms but they ended up sleeping together in the sitting room while watching a movie.
They left early the following morning so they would get home in good time to prepare for his trip back. They slept in the car while they joined back. They held each other while they slept. They only woke up when they arrived at the house.
Nkem was worried her emotions were all over the place. She knew what she wanted to achieve and was determined to achieve it. But, Demian made her feel special. He was deliberate in his desire to ensure she had a good time with him. She felt so free with him. Talking to him felt like she was talking to her siblings or her friends. To be honest, she knew it was deeper than that. She could talk about everything. She even told him about her experience using tampons as embarrassing as it sounded. He didn’t care, he listened to every word she said and she paid attention to him too.
She didn’t see it as love but likeness. She still didn’t feel that sexual chemistry with him and she knew it. She didn’t want to meet his family at the airport for any reason whatsoever. She tried to convince him to drop her off at her hostel before he leaves for the airport. He was insisting she drops him off and then leave without coming in.
As they were arguing in the sitting room, there was a loud knock on the door. Since his cousin’s girlfriend came in unexpectedly, he had been locking the entrance door from inside. He went to check who it was. He saw someone going to the car so he opened the door to check who it was. He couldn’t believe his eyes. It was his sister and his mother. He almost freaked out when he saw them.
“So this is where you are hiding,” his mother asked as she walked towards the house.
“Please don’t come in, you will embarrass me in the presence of my guest. How did you know where I was?”
“You thought you could hide. I tracked you to this place. I want to know the girl that made you refuse to talk to your mother for days and made you change your return ticket. I want to see her.”
“Mum, I beg you, you can’t come in. You will embarrass her and she will never talk to me again. Please, don’t spoil this for me.”
His mother walked past him into the sitting room. Fortunately, Nkem was in her room putting her remaining things together. “Where is she?”
“Stay here. I was moving my things downstairs anyway. I can’t go with you because I have to stay back and appease her for this embarrassment.”
“I will stay back with you.” She walked upstairs with his sister behind her. They went to his cousin’s room first. They could see Demian’s things but she wasn’t there. As they came out, they saw Nkem coming out of the guestroom with her bag. They looked confused. His mother thought she recognised her but couldn’t recall where she must have met her.
“Good afternoon ma,” Nkem greeted wondering what was going on.
“Good afternoon, my dear. Who are you?” his mother asked.
Immediately Nkem realised who she was. She looked behind her and saw Demian trying to gesture to her. She smiled and said, “I am Demian’s guest. You must be his mother; he can’t stop talking about you.” That softened his mother while she looked at Nkem very well. She didn’t look bad at all which impressed her. “If you would excuse me, I was on my way out. We came back from Badagry this morning and we had to rest before I return home. So, I am leaving now. Demian, kindly call the driver so I can go. Excuse me, ma”
Demian waited for her to walk past his mother and then he followed her outside while he called the driver. They went outside and the driver came to meet them. Demian entered the car with her and they drove off.
“I’m sorry. I don’t know how she knew I was here. I want to check us into a hotel before we leave, ok?”
Nkem looked at him and asked, “For what? I want to get back to the hostel. I am not angry, I would be surprised if she didn’t do this. My joy is that she didn’t recognise me.”
“I want to spend more time with you. Ok, not a hotel. Let us find somewhere we can just sit together and talk. This is our last few hours together and it means a lot to me. I want to spend it in your company alone.”
“I will be in the hostel. Go back and pack. Call me when you get to the hostel and I will join you wherever you are going to relax. I promise.”
“Nkem, please don’t bail on me. I won’t leave if I don’t see you. I am appealing right now.”
“I came back early to school because of you. I will see you before you leave. Let the driver drop me off before your mother decides to come after me or even recognises me.”
“She won’t. You are more beautiful than from the first time she saw you and she didn’t look at you. She might just recognise you from your picture on my bed stand but I doubt if she would place it though. Can I hug you? I really want to.”
Nkem opened her arms for Demian to hug her and then she entered the car and left. He stood outside for some time waiting for the vehicle to disappear.
“Who is she, Demian?” his mother asked.
Demian didn’t answer her. Instead, he went into the room to pack his remaining items. His mother and sister followed him everywhere he went but he ignored them. He was visibly upset as he wanted to spend more time with Nkem before his mother disrupted the fun.
“Why are you angry? You picked a girl we don’t know and travelled with her. Why would you do that? I have been worried sick. How would a girl make you forget your mother?”
“Mum, please I am not a child, I am twenty-seven for God’s sake. I work and earn my income. I take care of myself. Why can’t I have a relationship without you batting into it? Why can’t I love someone and enjoy her company alone? Why do you have to be involved?”
His sister replied, “Demian, mum is trying to protect you from gold diggers who will take advantage of you. Don’t you get it?”
“Gold diggers? All the girls she has introduced to me are gold diggers. They know my condition and still they want to be with me. Why? Because of what they stand to gain. I have someone who wants to get to know me, spends quality time with me and doesn’t pressure me for a relationship. She knows what she wants and when she wants it. There is no rush with us. Why did you have to show up and spoil it? I am leaving the flat for you. Call Mark’s girlfriend and drop off the key with her. I know she was the one who revealed where I was.”
His sister picked up on that and said, “Don’t I know her? She looks very familiar. What’s her name?”
“I am not telling you anything. This relationship is very special to me and I don’t want any one of you getting involved and ruining it. I love this girl and if I lose her, I will never get married.”
His mother was furious at this point. “What are you saying? You need someone that can take very good care of you and help you ensure you are healthy. You need someone who understands your needs. You earn well and can take very good care of a family that is why a girl from a very humble background, preferably an orphan is the best option for you. She will be focused on taking care of you and giving you children. She will not want to take everything you have away from you. She will respect your family….”
“You mean she will obey all your biddings. You need someone you can control. It won’t work mum. On this, I put my feet down. I love someone and no matter how long it takes, I will wait for the love to be reciprocated. I will wait for her. I don’t know how long I have to live so I want to make sure every moment of my life will be worthwhile. She is not aware of my condition. I intend to tell her before it becomes too serious.”
“It is serious already. What do you think? She’s obviously in love but she doesn’t have an idea what she is getting herself into. I say this with certainty, if she knows about your condition, she will leave you. No one wants to be saddled with that responsibility. But the girls I have introduced you to, they are aware and are willing to make the sacrifice for you.”
“But they don’t love me. Why do you think I am unlovable? Why can’t someone want to be with me because they love me? Why do you believe my disease will always stand in the way? If a lady loves me, you will call her a gold digger. I am not living off you and dad, I have my own money. The driver is here and I need to leave to meet my girl. You ruined my travelling back moment with her.”
“We will go with your luggage and travel documents so you will be checked in before you arrive. You can satisfy your sexual urges with her but I doubt she will make a good mate for you.”
“We are not having s”x, we stayed in separate rooms. She is not loose or desperate. She will make an awesome partner for me because she is bold and fearless. She takes charge of the situation and she will take good care of me. I’m off with the driver. I will see you at the airport.”