Akwei was too shocked for words. Not because Prince was being too forward, he knew his friend, it was his nature. But because he honestly couldn’t remember the last time he’d even held her hand. His hugs were always the 5 second goodbye hugs at his car or hers when they were departing. He sat there with his head in his palms, sweating, and wondering if indeed all this was his fault.
“Hmmm…. Akwei, if you lose Karla, I can say almost completely confidently, that any other girl you find will probably want you just for the money. And now that you have enough of it stop working like a greedy bastard and marry the girl! Go on a vacation”
He looked at his watch, it was almost midday. He hadn’t been out of his office for this long in ages. He left Princes office feeling like a fool. He didn’t know how to go about the whole situation. Was he supposed to just go and apologise? What about what she did? That didn’t make it right? Plus he wasn’t exactly good at apologies. He was so distraught.
After he had his secretary to cancel all his appointments. He stayed locked up in his office for about an hour, wondering what he was going to do, praying and trying to figure out a way to forgive her, and then make things right.
He called her number and it was off. Called Rama who didn’t pick up. He didn’t want to panic. He called her office and was told she hadn’t been to work. Before he called her father, Rama called back “Hey Rama, is K okay?”
She seemed hesitant, but then she responded
“Not exactly. She cried a lot this morning, but she was quite okay when I was leaving. Daddy says he gave her some of the sedating tea thing when he went home for lunch, I think. So I’m guessing she’s asleep.”
“Okay thanks. I’ll pass by.”
“Akwei I hope you haven’t done anything to her? She refuses to tell anyone why she’s upset, and she made daddy promise not to call you.”
He felt guilt tug at him – raw painful guilt, threatening to engulf him.
“Well, I’m not so sure… – but I’ll just go over and check on her.”
She was really asleep. Curled up in a ball in the corner as usual. She wasn’t wearing much, and he felt himself start to react to her body. She had an amazing body. Though she was quite small, she had the hips and behind of the typical Ugandan woman. She was often self-conscious about it, but he felt it was a body any woman would be proud to have – it was a body that many men wanted!
Why haven’t you ever told her?
He willed himself not to think about her body – waking up to find her boyfriend sitting in her bed with an erection did not sound like a good thing. There were more pressing issues.
He took off his tie, his shoes and socks and lay on the bed across from her. He kept praying that it wouldn’t be too late.
It was 3.42pm when she started stirring. It woke Awei up – he hadn’t realised he’d been this tired – he didn’t even realise he’d nodded off. He waited for her to notice that he was there, before saying anything.
She looked surprised. Probably thought she was dreaming. He tried to smile, but the weight of the whole situation made it almost impossible. He really felt like he had lost her.
“K… tell me what happened.”
She was quiet for about a minute. Battling if she should tell him or not.
“Akwei, I thought about it today and realised you were right. I did have an affair. And although for the greater part, it wasn’t a physical affair, it was still an affair.”
“I liked all the attention that Kobby gave me. I craved it sometimes. He was mostly a gentleman. He opened doors, and pulled chairs and all of that. He always knew exactly what to say, and how to say it,. And anytime we were out somewhere, I had his full attention. I think that’s why I didn’t state an emphatic no when he made advances at me. All my nos were very playful. He knew about you of course, you even met him that evening after I’d had lunch with him.
That morning, we’d planned to see a movie together. when I went to his place, he tried to kiss me. I knew that I should stop him, but I didn’t. And by the time I had enough sense to stop him, it was too late, he… he was not listening to me. He just kept on….plunging. It was … ” She paused to suppressed a sob that tried to escape.
“It was ….painful, and humiliating, and very scary. And I was mad at myself for letting it happen. “ She had her hands clenched into fists, still battling the urge to cry.
Akwei hadn’t expected it to be so difficult listening to her. He wanted the truth, but he felt like he couldn’t deal with it. She did not stop him when he tried to kiss her. He knew he probably had a part to play in it, but he could not let go of the obvious fact – she had been with another man, and to a large extent, very willingly.
“Do you still talk to him? Do you still see movies with him?”
“No, Akwei.” She was surprised at herself. At how calm she suddenly was… almost too peaceful about what she saw coming.
“Prince thinks that this was my fault. That I didn’t make enough time for you. That your infidelity had to do with my job”
She didn’t know how to answer that. The word infidelity was too painful to hear! She knew Prince, and could almost picture him blaming Akwei.
They were both quiet for a long while.
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“There were times when I felt that way. That I would never have your full attention, that I would always be second place to your job. It doesn’t excuse my actions. But I may not have felt needy enough to fall into someone else’s arms if things were different”
Akwei couldn’t think straight. He quietly looked at the wall behind her for what seemed like eternity. He knew he should be more upset about the fact that he had hurt her, but somehow his mind was dwelling more on the fact that she had gone to him willingly!
“I don’t know when I’ll be able to forgive you, K…. especially for keeping it from me for so long. It makes me wonder if you’d do it again.”
“Do what again?
“Never mind, I understand.” She was quite astounded, but didn’t feel like fighting. And she was tired of all the
“please make more time for me” stunts that she’d had to pull ever so often in the past. This was probably the time to let go. She could feel tears welling up in her eyes. But she wasn’t about to cry. She was still determined to not cry.
He reached over and pulled her closer to him. The last time he did something like this with her was close to a year ago. He was watching a documentary on the finance course he was taking at that time in his couch and she was determined to worry his life! So he’d held her still, as close to him as possible, until she gave up and fell asleep. She remembered it so well….
And now it was all probably going to be over…
To be continued