Immediately Kathleen got inside, she couldn’t help feeling very anxious as she walked inside the house. What was Pete doing here? When did he get back? Why did he return today instead of the weekend? Or perhaps something had happened to Amanda? She wondered as she hurried inside the house.
It was just thirty minutes past eight, so her mother and sister were still seated in the living room watching TV with Amanda and Chidi. She greeted her mother and Chidi first, “Where is he?” She asked, referring to Pete.
“He is in his be-droom,” Amanda responded instead.
“Okay, let me say hello to him,” Kathleen said before heading in the direction of his room, missing the look her mother and Chidi exchanged.
Kathleen st©pped by Pete’s be-droom door and knocked on it gently. She was feeling very anxious and her heart was beating fast. What if he refused to talk to her? She knew he had asked her not to go out with anyone but Chuka was just a friend to her with nothing attached, and it was his birthday. She had even gone along with Sharon just so that she wouldn’t be alone with him, so why was Pete mad?
Pete opened the door and just stood there staring at her with a slightly raised brow, “Yes?” He asked ma-king her feel like her heart was being squee-zed. Maybe it would have been best if he had refused to talk to her. The aloofness in his tone was hurting her.
Kathleen swallowed nervously, “I didn’t know you are back,” She said with a f0rç£d smile.
“Now you know.”
“Uhm, today was Chuka’s birthday so we all went out together to mark it,” Kathleen tried to explain.
“I hope you had fun,” Pete said still maintaining his indifference.
Kathleen looked at him, not knowing what to say anymore. This wasn’t the way she had imagined his return. Why was he being so cold? “I… I’m sorry,” Kathleen said, looking at him with a frown now.
“Sorry? What for?” Pete asked as he folded his arms in front of him and leaned against his door frame.
“I don’t know. For whatever you’re angry about. I only went out with him because…”
“Why are you explaining to me? What relationsh!pdo we have for you to explain to me?” Pete asked with a slightly raised brow ma-king Kathleen’s heart shatter. What had happened? Wasn’t he the one who had told her he loved her in the morning? Or had Clara used a love potion on him? She had seen the happen a lot in Nollywood movies not to think that.
She shook her head sadly, “Nothing. Sorry I disturbe-d you,” She said as she turned to leave, but Pete [email protected]£d her and drew her inside the room.
“You can be so annoying and stubborn!” He cut her off before lowering hisl-ips to hers. Although Kathleen was taken aback by his action, she wra-pped her arms around him in relief and k!$$£d him back.
Pete’sl-ips curved in a smile when he felt her wra-p her hands around his [email protected]!st as her inexperiencedl-ips returned his k!ss, “You’re not scared anymore?” He asked, his eyes twi-nkling with laughter as he broke the k!ss.
Kathleen blinked at him in confusion, “Scared of what?”
“Who knows? Whatever you were scared of the first time you k!$$£d me,” he said with a low chuckle, which made her look away shyly.
“I guess you missed me,” Pete said with a grin, ma-king her raise a brow.
“Says your hands that’s still wra-pped around me,” Pete said with a teasing grin ma-king her realize she was still holding him very closely.
Kathleen’s eyes wi-de-ned in surprise and she quic-kly dis£ntangled her hands, but Pete [email protected]£d her before she could move away, “Not so fast. I wasn’t complaining,” he said as he gazed at her, and chuckled when she looked everywhere else but at him.
“You can be so cute at times,” he said as he led her to the be-d.
“What are you doing?” She asked in alarm.
“Relax. I’m not going to eat you, even though I would like to,” he @ssured her with a chuckle, “I just want us to straighten some things out,” he said as he sat down on the be-d and patted the space beside him for her to sit.
Kathleen glanced at the door self-consciously. Her mother and everyone else were in the living room and they had seen her coming to his room. She had come in here only because she had thought he was very angry, and if she stayed in here longer than was necessary they might begin to think she was up to something.
“Let’s take the conversation to the car,” Pete suggested since he could tell she wasn’t comfortable anymore.
Kathleen returned her gaze to him, “No. It’s fine. We can talk here,” she @ssured him with an [email protected] smile.
Pete looked at her without saying anything for a while, and then he stood up and walked over to the door. He pu-ll-ed it wi-de open before returning to sit beside her, “Are you okay now?”
Kathleen stared at him in amazement. This man. How on earth could she not fall in love with him when he did things like this? “Thank you,” she said in a small voice, and Pete smiled at her.
“Why were you angry?” Kathleen asked curiously.
“Who said I was angry?” Pete retorted as he sat on the be-d with one leg un-der him so he could be facing her directly.
Kathleen shrugged, “You kind of acted like you were angry. You just walked away abruptly so I @ssumed…”
“I wasn’t angry. Maybe a bit jealous, but definitely not angry. I was out waiting for you and Sharon because I was worried it was getting late and you weren’t back yet, and I didn’t want to call you and ruin the surprise either. So I guess I just felt jealous when I realized you both had gone out with that guy,” he explained with a shrug.
“Oh! But why did you return so soon? I thought the conference was supposed to last until the weekend?” She asked thoughtfully.
“How could I remain there when I was distracted for most of the time by my thoughts of you? I needed to see you and talk things over with you,” Pete said, looking at her with a serious expression now.
He had returned because of her? “Oh!”
“Yeah, Oh!” Pete repeated.
“But the conference, isn’t it important? How were you able to leave just like that?” She asked curiously.
“They actually asked me to leave,” Pete said with a chuckle as he narrated what had happened in the conference room, “So I had to leave Clara behind to repres£nt me,” He concluded.
“I’m sorry I wasn’t home,” she said, feeling guilty that he had been worried about her and had rushed home for her yet she had been out having fun.
“It’s fine. It’s not like you don’t have the right to have a social life,” Pete @ssured her with a soft smile as they gazed at each other.
They remained quiet for some time as they both tried to gather their thoughts, “So have you made up your mind?” Pete asked, breaking the silence.
“I thought you got your answer alre-ady?” Kathleen asked with a smile, ma-king Pete frown at her.
“You won’t change your mind? I don’t know how I’m supposed to prove that I love you if you don’t at least give me a chance to do it,” Pete complained.
“Why would I return your k!ssif I am not going to give this a try?” Kathleen asked, trying [email protected] not to smile.
Pete paused to process what she had just said, “You are going to give us a try?” Pete asked skeptically. He needed to be sure that was what she meant.
“As you said, I need to at least give you the chance to prove you love me. I don’t see why not,” Kathleen said with a radiant smile.
“So we are officially in a relationsh!pnow?” Pete asked again.
“Sure. Or do we need to sign any papers?” Kathleen asked jocularly.
“And you are not going to wake up tomorrow morning and change your mind about this, right?” Pete asked doubtfully.
“As long as you show me you love me every day, I don’t think I will change my mind,” Kathleen @ssured him.
Pete let out a sigh of relief before grinning at her, “Don’t worry, I won’t let you change your mind,” Pete @ssured her before pu-lling her to himself and k!ss!ngher.
“St©p, the door is open,” she pleaded in [email protected]
“I don’t care. It’s just a k!ss. Unless of course, you want me to shut the door so that things can progress fro..” The rest of his words were lost in laughter as Kathleen hurriedly stood up from the be-d and moved away from him.
“Since we are done talking, I need to go in and freshen up,” Kathleen said, not knowing what else to say. What did people in a relationsh!ptalk about?
“Sure. Come back when you’re done let’s see a late-night movie together,” Pete suggested.
“No excuses. That is like the only time I can be with you without everyone else around. So add it to your daily schedule now,” he advised.
“Go on. I’m waiting,” Pete urged when she just stood there staring at him like she wanted to say something.
“You know there won’t be any s-x right?” She asked hesitantly.
“I don’t know whether I should feel [email protected] or disappointed that you thought to ask me that,” Pete said with disapproval as he stood up from his position on the be-d and approached her.
“I just wanted to be sure you un-derstand what you’re getting into,” Kathleen explained apologetically.
“I know the kind of woman I fell in love with, so I un-derstand what I’m getting into even better than you do. So can you plea-se be quic-k with whatever you have to do and come spend time with your man?” He asked, looking into her eyes in a way that made her swallow nervously.
‘My man?’ Kathleen repeated in her head. She really did have a man in her life now. Herl-ips pu-ll-ed up in a smile at the thought of that, “Okay,” she said with a nod as she walked out of the room.
“One more thing,” Pete called out after her, ma-king her turn to look at him, “plea-se don’t allow your mother to pick out your clothes,” he said with a wi-nk before shutting the door.
“I am Tunde Eric Obasan,” Eric confessed and held his breath as he waited for Kimberly to react to his confession.
Kimberly’s heart skipped a beat, “Tunde Eric Obasan?” Kimberly asked in a very low tone like she hadn’t heard him properly the first time, or perhaps she wanted to be sure she had heard wrong. Eric couldn’t be Tunde Obasan. There was no way her Eric was Tunde Obasan. ‘God plea-se let this not be true. I can’t deal with this right now’ Kimberly prayed quietly.
“Yes,” Eric confirmed with a nod.
Kimberly flin-ched as though he had just [email protected] her in the face, “You are Tunde Obasan?” She asked again, but in an accusing tone, this time.
Eric could see the anger and hurt on her face and he reached out to gr-ab her hand as she rose from the couch, “Babe, I can explain…”
“DON’T!” She snapped at him as she quic-kly snatched her hand from his grasp and moved away from him.
“How dare you do that to me? HOW DARE YOU?” Kimberly’s voice rose with each word and her eyes glistened with tears as the anger rose inside her.
“I didn’t mean to keep the truth from you, I’m sorry. Just let me explain…”
Kimberly took in a de-ep breath as she tried to control herself, “Leave. I want you out of my house this moment.”
“GET THE fv¢k OUT OF MY HOUSE!!!” Kimberly yelled angrily as she pointed her f!nger towards the door. She couldn’t stand to see him right now. Not right now! Today has been one emotionally exhausting day for her, so how was she supposed to deal with this confession? How was she supposed to react to the confession that the man she had fallen in love with had tried to use her weakness against her, regardless of his reason? What reason could justify what he had done to her? If he hadn’t pu-ll-ed this wh0le ‘fake’ Tunde Obasan stunt, she probably would have been ecstatic that her husband was Tunde Obasan, but how could she come to terms with the fact that he had tried to test her with something like that? Something that [email protected] and degrading? What if she had failed? Kimberly’sl-ips trembled with emotion as she tried not to break into a sob.
Eric felt his heart shatter in many pieces as he watched the various emotions cross her face. He didn’t know how he had been expecting her to react, but one thing he knew was that he hadn’t intended to hurt her this way, “Kim…”
“Eric, plea-se leave. I can’t. I don’t want to,” Kimberly said with a shake of her head as she pleaded with him to leave, then she turned around and walked away without sparing him another glance.
Kimberly walked into her be-droom and shut the door behind her before she allowed herself to give in to the violent sob that shook her wh0le b©dy as she [email protected] on the floor.
Eric sat opposite her be-droom door as he listened to her sob, and guilt tore at his heart. He longed to go inside and hold her, but how could he offer comfort when he was the cause of these tears? He had promised to make her happy for a year, yet she was feeling this way because of him.
Even though she had asked him to leave, there was no way he could leave her in that state. Even if she decides to bring military men to push him out he wasn’t going to leave her side. He knew the wh0le confession was bad timing, since she had been on a rollercoaster of emotions all day, and this was like an insult to her injury. The only reason he had confessed now was that he didn’t want her to find out on her own.
After some time Eric stood up from where he was seated and knocked on Kimberly’s door softly, “I’m sorry Kim, I didn’t mean to hurt you. I genuinely love you,” he pleaded, but Kimberly didn’t say a word.
“You don’t have to say anything. All you have to do is listen. I had no idea who you were the first time we met. I had a bet with my father that involved me living like that, so there is no way I could have told you who I really was. I didn’t mean to lie to you. plea-se, Kim… I’m begging you,” Eric pleaded again.
“I know you asked me to leave, but I’m sorry, I can’t do that no matter what you say or do. As long as our agreement stands, I’m still your husband,” Eric said when he noticed she had st©pped sobbing loudly.
After sitting helplessly for a while, Eric stood up and went in search of Prisca, “Prisca!” He called as he knocked on her door urgently, and Prisca who had been busy watching a movie on her [email protected]©p hurried outside when she heard her name. She couldn’t help wondering why Eric was standing outside her door again after their conversation.
“Eric? Is there a problem?” She asked in confusion as she wra-pped her night robe around her.
“plea-se could you come to help me talk to Kim?” Eric pleaded.
Prisca took a closer look at Eric, and could tell there was trouble in paradise, “About what? Did you tell her the truth?” Prisca asked rhetorically.
“Yes. But can we just talk about this later? She is crying seriously, and she doesn’t want to see me around,” Eric said with a concerned frown.
Prisca took in a de-ep breath and let it out, “Okay. Let’s go,” Prisca said as she shut her door and headed for the main house with Eric. There was so much she needed to say to Eric, and she was very mad at him too, but for Kimberly’s sake she wouldn’t say a word. At least not yet.
“Kim? Open the door,” Prisca called as she knocked on Kimberly’s door, but Kimberly said nothing.
“Kim?” Prisca called again, and a moment later Kimberly opened the door, “Why are you dressed?” Prisca asked in confusion when she noticed Kimberly was wearing a red V-n£¢k spaghetti stra-p mini dress and black high-heeled sandals. [email protected] from her shiny nose and eyes which looked red and swollen, she seemed like she was perfectly okay.
Kimberly said nothing as she walked past Prisca and Eric who was standing by the [email protected], “Where are you going to?” Prisca asked in alarm.
“I need air,” Kimberly said to Prisca as she walked outside and headed for one of her cars.
“You don’t get air dressed like this,” Prisca pointed out. When Kimberly didn’t give another explanation as Prisca followed her outside, Prisca said, “Kim you know you shouldn’t…”
Kim raised a brow at Prisca, “Shouldn’t? Why not? I don’t care anymore. Whatever wants to happen should happen,” Kimberly said as she got into her car.
“Kim plea-se don’t do this. I love you, and I care about you,” Eric pleaded as he walked up to her, but Kimberly didn’t spare him a glance as she turned on her car’s ignition and drove off.
WATCHOUT FOR EPISODE 9