“I enjoyed hanging out with you today. We should do this more often”
Aisha smiled easily. Warning bells went off in her head but she ignored them.
“Yeah sure. I really had fun too! I guess we can”
Bode held her hand as they walked out of the garden. This particular meeting had not been difficult to set up. He called her on Monday morning, two days after he last saw her at Shoprite and asked to hangout at some garden at the close of work. She did not raise any objection and they both met up at the garden in Garki.
Aisha had never had the all too popular “isi-ewu” (goat head) delicacy and Bode encouraged her to try it out. She did and totally enjoyed it. The music at the garden was pretty loud, a number of people were dancing but they remained in their seats, eating, drinking and chatting away. Of course they had to raise their voices in order to hear each other over the music but that did not stop their conversation from flowing.
They talked about a lot of things. Work, hobbies, family… but the one thing that nagged at the back of Aisha’s mind. She wanted to ask if he was seeing someone but then she wasn’t certain she wanted to know. He did not ask her either.
And when the outing came to an end, Bode walked her to her car. They stood awkwardly for a while and then Bode made the comment about having enjoyed himself. Even with the warning bells, she still went on to say they could hang out at other times.
“Alright then. I’ll be on my way. You have yourself a lovely night.” Bode stepped back as he spoke.
Aisha was surprised.
“Just like that?”
“Wetin remain na?”
“Na wa for you o. No hug?”
Bode looked at her and laughed. He said sorry as he walked back to give her a warm hug.
“A hug is fine but don’t kiss me o, otherwise I’ll be in trouble”
Aisha laughed, hugged him lightly and pushed him away. Then in a bid to redeem herself and quell any thoughts he might be having, she said
“Off with you silly! I can’t even kiss you. I’ll also be in trouble if I do”
Bode laughed heartily
“I guess we’re good then. Good night dear.”
She got into her car and drove off.
And unbidden guilt quickly rose to the fore, taking centre stage in her mind.
Why should you have such a great time with some other guy who isn’t your fiancé?
Why didn’t you tell him about Khalid? She shook her mind off the thoughts.
Well, why isn’t Khalid here like he ought to? He had said his flight was delayed that Saturday evening and then when it was moved to the following day, rather than come home on Sunday and fly out again on Monday, he decided he would just fly straight to Port Harcourt instead for another meeting scheduled for Monday.
She was angry with him but she would not let him know. Even when he apologized and expressly told her how much he missed her, she pretended she was okay with the way things were when in reality she wasn’t.
Oh well, she was going to keep hanging out with Bode. He clearly did not seem to have anything more than a friendly interest in her and right now she felt she really needed that. A friend who would not expect her to fulfil any emotional obligation. Doing that with Khalid was tough enough.
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Bode hung up his phone and smiled. He always enjoyed talking to Aisha. She was a really sweet person. He loved how he was getting to her. He knew that for certain.
“… and you are my special one and only sweetheart. The one that must not kiss me otherwise we’re both in trouble o!”
He chuckled to himself as he repeated his own words. Aisha was going to be an easy prey. Way easier than he anticipated. If only she knew that absolutely nothing that had happened so far was a coincidence…
To be continued