Richard asked her to be his girl. “I like you too much. Be my girl”.
“Richard, you don’t have a job. Get one first, then if you still feel this way about me, come ask again”.
Nne was the girl who was driving him nuts. She was so nice and sweet and her smile could send him to heaven just to say hello to God; because why remain there when Nne was down here? But she knew him too well to know that he couldn’t concentrate on any of his petty trades long enough to make a good living.
So he doubled his efforts. He had to land a job.
He went in every office and asked everyone he knew. He got one, a stipend they had promised him. “If we like your work, we hire you permanently and pay you salary”.
He hurried to Nne. “Be my girl” he asked again.
“It’s only a stipend. Focus and gain their employment.”
He did. It took three months but he got it. He was meaningfully employed. “Be my girl oh Nne, I could never stop thinking about you”.
“Dear Richard my good friend, I am dating Gerard now. He’s really good to me and I find that I like him a lot.”
“Gerard is the manager at my company”.
“Yes he is, and well so. Such a good man he is that I asked that he employ you permanently and he did. I will keep putting in good words for your promotions cos you deserve it. I do pray you wish me well that my relationship make me very happy”.
Richard was heartbroken. He had wanted to make her very happy. But she wanted Gerard. However, he focused on the employment. At least Nne had put in good words for him.
It was 6 months and he got promoted at work. In 4 months again he was raised to head a unit. His salary had well doubled and some more extras. At the same time though, Nne was to get married to Gerard.
Oh how he so wished Nne had chosen him, although Richard was good to her, he believed he would have been better.
So after busy weeks of shopping for the wedding, he was surprised to find Nne in his house. Of course she knew where he kept his key for they had been that close as friends, but she hadn’t used the key in months. All the stress of work vanished as he rushed to sit by her side. “Why do you look so pale Nne?” he inquired.
The reality of the wedding was dawning on Nne, she looked like she had a lot on her mind.
“I like Gerard, really. He is good to me. And kind. And cares about my wellbeing. But I fear that his anger is more than I can see. Each time he gets angry with me, his eyes gets so red, he vibrates so hard and waves his hands like he could descend on me. And then he says those words that I’ve heard more frequently lately: ‘Don’t let me get angry with you. I warn you. If I do, you will hate me.’ It is so fearful that I can’t look him in the eye. I fear looking at him will prompt him to hit me. I fear that I’ve moved from loving him to fearing him. I don’t really want to get married”.
As she said all this, Richard held her. He couldn’t believe Gerard had a hard time with anger. He always thought he was the second best person for Nne, himself being the first of course. When Nne leaned against him and he could feel her heavy breathing, Gerard was the last person on his mind.
He lifted her face to look into them directly. What he saw threw him off-balance. He could no longer help himself. His mouth moved on auto-bot and joined with hers. And when she opened up with no resistance, there was no going back.
Had she known that this would happen when she came here? Should he stop? But her hands moving behind his neck, pulling him to her, her tongue thrusting deeper, was all the distraction he needed to do away with the thoughts. Nne was here. Nne wanted him as much as he did her. There was no thinking anymore. He cupped her breasts and she arched into him. They made love.
“So what now?” she asked an hour later while they lay in bed, still heavy from passion.
“You don’t get married” Richard answered.
“I know” she replied. “I’ve known that for weeks now.”
“So stay with me”.
She shook her head. “I am leaving town”.
Richard sprang up on the bed. “You can’t.”
“Gerard must not find me. The wedding is in a month. I have not the courage to face the multitude of judges. Plus I fear the actions Gerard may react with. I will drop him a note and leave. I have resigned from work already”.
He was shocked. Nne had known all these, done all these, and just telling him now. When did they stop being close?
“Where would you go?”
“I can’t tell you. If you know, you would do things that will draw attention to you. I only promise to call you when the dust settles”.
Before Richard could protest further, she kissed him again, deeply, and climbed on top of him.
Richard awoke to an empty space on his side. Nne was gone. Only a note lay there and read:
“Never change your line. I will surely call”.
He quickly tried her line. It was off.
He was barely settled at work when Gerard burst into his office. “Did Nne speak to you?” he barked. “Where is she? What is the meaning that she just up and left?”
Richard could not form a word lest he fumbles. But he could very well form a shocked expression.
“You know not?” Gerard barked. “Nne cannot do this to me. She knows she can’t! Why did she? She always said you two were long term friends. If she calls you and you do not report to me, consider your job here over!”
Richard saw it then. The red in his eyes. It flared like hot coal. It was okay when directed at him. But how dare he blaze those eyes at Nne. What could she possibly do to warrant such red hot anger directed at her. How glad he was now that she had fled from Richard! But sad that he knew not where she went even.
It was 2 months now. Why hadn’t Nne called yet?
Everyone had gotten accustomed to Nne never coming back. Why then had she not called already? He heard from low key rumours that Gerard had threatened her parents and they had paid him back all he had spent in the course of the preparations. Richard himself had taken a weekend to visit her parents. They appeared to not know her whereabouts. “Please do inform me if she gets in contact with you”. He of course couldn’t tell them that he had made love to their daughter while she was engaged to Gerard. What if they judged him?
Shortly he was to lead a unit to a conference and field survey at Ibadan. He had excused himself from the hall to take a piss break when he saw her. It definitely was her. Not a person in the world had a smile that charming, nor gait that poised, nor neck that slender, nor breasts that succulent. Why couldn’t she see him? Who was that man she just embraced, although briefly, but still… Oh no, she was leaving. He ran as fast as he could through the bustle of people in the hall, but he missed her. Did she get in a car, drive away? He quickly tried her line for the millionth time. Switched off.
Ibadan had been depressing for Richard. How could he have seen her yet missed her. It was only a 2-day trip but he spent what little time he could, asking about her in the offices in the complex but no positive result. Now back in Lagos, he was getting a bit used to feeling dejected. Another month had passed again making it a total of 3 months with no contact from Nne. How much longer? He couldn’t even deduce how he managed to still concentrate on work. Gerard was no longer suspecting him. He was free now to go meet Nne, had he the slightest idea how to find her. The Image of her he had seen in Ibadan haunted him so much he wondered if it was really her he saw.
He was fantasizing about their passionate love-making when a memo arrived on his desk.
The company was setting up a new branch at Ibadan as a result of the successful conference. Richard dashed out of his office to the meeting room. “Send me”, he announced after all details had been explained.
It’s been 2 weeks in Ibadan. No sight of her yet. His request of heading the HR unit of the new branch was granted on simple majority, of which Gerard voted in his favour. Maybe he wanted him to get away. Seeing him daily must be an irritation. He had finally settled in the flat rented by the company and catching up with the new work environment. Yet none of these stopped him from heading to that complex once every day to look and ask about her.
He was on the verge of giving up and relying solely on her promise to call, as work had taken a serious turn to staff up the new branch and set things rolling. He got to his office that Friday, ready to put his head in the work, when his secretary arrived with a message. An unknown client had requested a meeting with him after working hours at a designated public restaurant. He dismissed it but the secretary gave further information “She insisted her consulting firm was the best in town and always won over the good companies. If we do not honour this invite, they would not contact us again until next year, if they so reviewed.” It didn’t quite make sense to him but he said ok. Not like he had any plans for the Friday evening anyway.
It was 5:30pm as the message had read and he was out here in the restaurant, seated, but the client was clearly running late. He made a mental to leave in 10mins. With that he glanced towards the door again and there she stood. Skinny jeans with white pullover top and a brief heel. Richard was unable to form a word, rather his eyes where popping out of their sockets. She came closer, gradually, until they were a few inches apart. She was smiling a pained smile. As he tried to form a word, a tear dropped from her eyes. “Nne”, was all he could whisper. “Richard”, she cooed back, then more tears.
He pulled her to him with both hands and crushed her lips with his. He didn’t care that they were in public. He had to be sure she would kiss him back. And she did, without reservations.
Soon they were struggling to breathe and only the catcalls from other users of the restaurant pulled them apart. While they caught their breaths, forehead together, Richard said “let’s get out of here”. Nne nodded. Richard glanced at the table. Fuck the client. She can come back next year.
Outside, he made to take them towards his car, she indicated hers. He thought for a moment, his could wait. Meanwhile he didn’t feel like driving. “Can you drive?” she asked thrusting her keys to him. “I’m in no condition to drive now”, he admitted. “Neither am I”, she confessed. He quickly flagged a taxi and they got in the back. He started to say his address but she cut him off and gave hers. He accepted. His house was popular knowledge amongst staff. Meanwhile, if she gave her address, it meant there was no man. He had frequently thought of that man he had seen her hug at the complex. Was there really no man?
Richard could only stare at her. Not trusting himself enough to refrain from kissing her again, he clutched both her palms in his and they both stared forward in thoughts. Then she placed her head on his shoulder and he instantly wrapped the whole of her in his arms. He found her. No, she found him.
As soon as they got in her apartment, he pulled her to him in an instant and exploded his fire. They were struggling to kiss each other enough while pulling off their clothes too. One hand crushing her head to his with his mouth was on hers, the other cupping her breasts and doing things to her nipples. Her moans were tearing him apart.
He found that his passion overwhelmed him. Had he been carrying this fire all this time? How much of a ticking time bomb has he been? Soon they had settled their bodies and lay breathing hard.
“You left me hanging”, he complained.
“I’m so sorry”, she started. “It was for the best. Gerard got off you and you kept your job”.
He nodded. She added, “thank you for going to my parents”. He could only stare at her. She had known.
“Why Ibadan?” he asked.
“It’s a dull town. Gerard won’t consider it”.
“Why Ibadan?” she asked him back.
“To be with you”, he replied.
The shock and question were clear on her face. Richard smiled victoriously. “I caught a glimpse of you 3months ago”. He explained and she cried. “I wish I had seen you!”
“Were you ever going to call me?” he asked in a shaky tone. He was nervous. What if she wasn’t? What if this sex was just a makeup and move on sex for her? What if there was someone else really?
She nodded forcefully. “My projection was 6 months.”
“You’re 1 month early”, he pointed out.
“I couldn’t wait anymore”, she shook her head. “You were here already. So close and away from the danger zone.” She smiled and kissed him briefly.
“So there’s no man else?” he asked, more of a statement than a question, yet couldn’t hide the anxiety from his voice. Nne sat up to glare at him. “Of course not”, she hit his chest.
“You can’t blame me’, he retorted, though his joy was evident, “the silence felt like detachment. You didn’t even wait for me to wake before leaving”.
“To fuck you before leaving you mean?” she replied with a sly smile. “I contemplated it, but I didn’t want to risk changing my mind. I still kept tabs on you though”.
Richard found himself smiling along with her. “You are still so beautiful”, he murmured as he drew her down and locked her lips with his.
After yet another hour of love-making, Nne asked “so what next?”
“You’re mine”, he answered without a pause. He turned to look in her eyes. “You take me to your parents. Then we leave this town.”
“Leave? I have a job here”.
“I won’t have a job here for long. Gerard will make sure of it”. He saw fear in her eyes and added “Don’t worry sweetheart. You have led us for long. Your words kicked my ass to get a job. You’ve made all the decisions up to this point. Let me lead us now. Can you trust me?” She nodded.
“I have good savings and a few investments now. With how far I’ve come, getting a good job in another company will be easier. And there aren’t that much opportunities here. I will ring up my contacts and I’ll get us good jobs, then we move. You with me. Okay?” She nodded again, relaxed and excited now.
“One last thing” he pipped, “Say yes when I propose”. Her eyes popped out as he knelt on one knee.
“Where’s the ring?” she laughed out as he mimicked a proposal.
“Say yes first, we find ring later”.
“I’ve never heard of couples shopping for engagement ring later nor together”, she laughed even more.
“Can you say yes now madam?” he feigned annoyance.
“Yes. Sir”, she said in a mock voice as she beamed.
“That’s my girl”, he grinned. His strength returns and he turns her on all fours and enters her from behind.