Bobby threw his head back in laughter. It was amazing how one lady could make him feel so light and at ease. That feeling was alien to him. He had always only known how to feel responsible for someone else’s happiness, certainly not the other way around. Yet, that was how she made him feel.
“Where’s your mind?”
He didn’t realize he had stopped laughing.
“Your mind jor. Where was it?”
“Oh it’s right here.”
“Here being a thousand miles away. Noted”
He laughed again.
“Sorry. I was thinking about how cool you are.”
He stretched out his hand and ran it through her hair. She laughed and slapped his hand off.
“You’ll leave me looking like a madwoman.”
Bobby laughed and nursed his hand.
“So that’s why you want to break my hand abi?”
His phone began ringing and he reluctantly pulled it out of his pocket. When he saw the caller, he smiled.
“Give me a minute please.”
He got up and walked a few feet away to answer the call
“Hi Bobby, how’s it going?”
“Good, good. How are you?”
“Just alright. Busy day.”
“Pele. And my girls?”
“Wrecking my house and making me want to bite my hair. Bobby, you should come take them for a week. You owe me.”
Bobby laughed and shook his head.
“For where?! Naah. They’re your headache for now. Enjoy.”
“You’re not nice.”
“It’s not my fault.”
Bobby grinned. He was enjoying teasing her.
“Right! When are we seeing you?”
Her voice had suddenly become somewhat intimate. He smiled.
“Anytime you want dear. You say the word and I’ll be there.”
“How about this evening?”
“Sure. I’m having lunch with Kate. I’ll come over as soon as we’re done.”
Almost as soon as the words were out of his mouth, he regretted them. He did not have to tell her he was with another woman. Ese was good natured about it though.
“Enjoyment officer. Sha don’t come empty-handed. The girls will kill you and I’ll be a happy spectator.”
“Chei! I always knew you were mean.”
Ese laughed and hurried off the phone. As soon as the line went dead, Bobby smiled. Maybe, just maybe things would work out. He went back to where Kate was seated and smiled at her.
“Ehen, you were saying?”
“I was saying nothing. You left me to talk to woman.”
“Do I sense jealousy there?”
“Shior. You wish!”
“You know what I really wish?”
Kate smiled. He could tell she knew but she went on to indulge him.
“That you would agree to be my woman. Seriously.”
Kate laughed a little.
“We’ve had this conversation before. I told you. I’m still trying to adapt to the fact that you’re not gay. Plus I know you still feel something for Ese. I don’t want to be caught up in that mix. We’re building a great friendship. Let’s take it one day at a time.”
“One day at a time huh?”
“Yes, one day at a time. It’s been lovely getting to know you and hanging out with you the last two months. But I don’t want us to rush anything.”
Bobby smiled. She was right. He would take his time with her. There was no need to rush anything.
“Oh well. Rumor had it that I was gay, I’m glad we have cleared that up.”
He grinned and without giving it a second thought, he kissed her lightly on the lips. Kate was taken by surprise. She smiled shyly and then unexpectedly kissed him back. She stayed stuck on his lips for a while and by the time she pulled away, her eyes were shining. Bobby grinned.
“One day at a time? Sure!”
Kate laughed and slapped his arm.
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Kachi rolled over on the bed in Teni’s room at the hotel and grinned sheepishly.
“I like the view from here.”
Teni shook her head.
“You better close your eyes.”
She was fresh out of the shower and had only a towel wrapped around her body. She sat in front of the mirror and began to rub cream on her legs.
“Honestly, you look like some scene straight out of a Hollywood movie.”
Kachi laughed as he walked over to stand behind her. Teni hissed.
“Mumu! I don’t blame you. You don’t have work to do abi?”
Kachi placed his arms around her and kissed her neck.
“You’re my only work.”
Teni felt her insides go mush and she raised a hand to stop him.
“You’ll just be making a black girl blush. Stop.”
“You know you don’t want me to stop.”
He kissed her neck and then her shoulders and she shuddered.
“Deola will be here any minute.”
It was a weak protest. A protest Kachi ignored as he turned and kissed her fully on the lips, slowly, savouring every moment. Eventually, Teni pushed him away.
“You’re such a tempter! I’m going to get dressed.”
Kachi laughed and grinned mischievously, running his tongue around his teeth.
“You’re the chief temptress babe. I’m only a learner where you are.”
Teni laughed, got off the stool, picked a dress off the bed and went into the bathroom to change.
“I don’t know what you’re hiding o.” Kachi called after her.
She simply laughed and shut the door.
Kachi smiled and sat on the bed. He was happy and content and he had been that way for about a month now. Teni had spent only two weeks at the hospital before she recovered fully and in that time, he never left her side. He was available in her sleeping and waking moments, only disappearing to cook for her, wash for her and help run her office.
He was surprised at himself. It had been years since he had gone out of his way to make sacrifices for any woman. But that was what love did to you. It made you selfless and humble and doting. If Teni as much as sneezed, he was beside her with tissue. Teni had laughed and teased him endlessly but he did not mind. He really loved her and he was glad he did not lose her. One morning he said to her
“Knowing that I could have lost you forever is the scariest thing to ever happen to me. I promise to love you till my dying days. And I will express my love for you in every possible way. You go tire for me.”
Teni had laughed and responded jokingly.
“Don’t start loving me if you’re ever going to stop.”
He had absolutely no intentions of stopping. He was crazy about her. Even Tejiri could tell. He smiled. Tejiri, the whirlwind of a woman had finally calmed down for real. It was hard to imagine that she was not secretly plotting something but Teni had encouraged him to give her the benefit of doubt one last time.
Tejiri introduced him to Austin as his father and it was one of Kachi’s proudest moments. They had resolved that Kachi could visit often to see Austin and as soon as Kachi and Teni got married, Austin could come and visit as often as he liked. It seemed a fair compromise and Austin said he was alright with the arrangement. Because he was a really reserved kid by nature, it was difficult to tell if the changes would greatly affect him but in the past month, he had seemed fine.
But Kachi was happy and content. He had finally decided to reduce his travels. He and Teni would be getting married in a few months and he would stay with her in Abuja and build a home. And if he ever needed to travel on business, Teni would go with him. Everything was perfect now and he was determined to work hard to keep it that way.
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Ese smiled warmly at Bobby as he sat in the living room with the girls. Hurricane Anne and Annie, he called them. They were all over him, tickling, pinching, jumping and laughing. The sight brought joy to her heart. It was incredible that she could feel this measure of peace and contentment. There was no pressure on her from Bobby to give more than she was willing. Her heart was entirely for her girls and Bobby understood that. She liked him. A lot. But just not enough to pursue a serious relationship with him. It had seemed a tad bit difficult for him to understand at first but now they seemed fine.
Bobby came around often to keep the girls company, he was available to listen to her when she had gist, he was just really nice. She had worried that they would keep having clashes with their emotions but somehow things were working out better than she had anticipated. Who said men and women could not be friends with no strings attached?
She thought of Kate, the young lady Bobby seemed to have feelings for. Bobby had told her they met while working on a project together. She had been stubborn and difficult but after a few casual outings with Bobby, the girl seemed to have a change of heart. She knew Bobby liked her and she was happy. The girl was closer to his age and did not have half the drama she had going on in her own life. Bobby deserved someone fresh and new- someone without baggage and that someone was Kate.
More importantly, the rumors going round would finally stop. She wasn’t dating Bobby. People would move on from that soon enough. She smiled
“You’ll just stay there and be staring. You won’t come and help me abi?”
“You seem to have it all covered. I’m going to the kitchen.”
She got up and walked away just as Anne tossed a throw pillow at Bobby. She giggled. Her daughters were a handful. Let Bobby enjoy them. They were his cross to carry for the day
“I’m never getting married, all men are douche bags, I can’t stand them… Who dey plan wedding now?”
Deola laughed really long and hard. She was ready for Teni.
“Shut up jor! Ode! When will you have sense?”
Deola would not wipe the smirk off her face.
“Kachi, you go tame this woman o.”
Kachi looked up from his iPad
“Tame gini? You don see where person dey tame tornado?”
They all burst out laughing. Teni shook her head
“Olorun! I don suffer. It’s not you people’s fault at all.”
Kachi blew her a kiss.
“But you know I love you na.”
She pretended to sulk for a minute and Kachi put on a mock sad face.
“Shey you just want all the joy to disappear from my life?”
“Abegi! You ehn! I’ve told you! All these soppy things you’re doing. The day you stop ehn!”
“Ehn, the day I stop you start your own na.”
Teni shook her head. Kachi walked to where she sat and cupped her face in his palms.
“Babe, I nearly lost you once. I’m not going to lose any opportunity I get to let you know that I love you. It’s how scared I am of losing you.”
Teni smiled and Deola cleared her throat.
“It haff do o. Lovers! I did not come in from Lagos to watch you people gush over each other.”
Kachi grinned and kissed Teni fully on her lips. They had been through a lot but finally, they were where they wanted to be. Nothing else mattered.
Teni had tears in her eyes. Who said she couldn’t find a man? or couldn’t find love? The most amazing man in the world had found her and he was crazy about her! It could certainly not get any better than this.
Story By Ogechi Nwobia