Sunday, 17 February 2013

SECRETS: REKINDLING THE FLAME

“I loved you a whole lot, back then, you know.”
She turned her head quickly to him. He kept his eyes on the road, as he drove. “You never said so.”
“Not in words.”
“How was I supposed to know?”
He glanced at her. “I showed you…” He looked away again. “…and if you had stuck around, you would have heard it.”
“The last time we were together…”
“Yeah, immediately you left, I regretted not saying it back. I waited till I was sure you were home before calling, but you never picked. Then, I sent messages full of…”
“Romantic nonsense.”
When he cast a sharp look at her, she smiled ruefully and said quietly, “That’s what she called them.”
Without looking at her, he asked, “Who?”
She sighed deeply. “I told you I didn’t feel so good the last time I was at yours, remember?”
He nodded. “You had come from the hospital to see me.”
“I thought I had malaria and because I really wanted to see you, I didn’t wait to collect the test results.”
She shrugged and continued, “I planned to stop at the hospital on my way to work, the next day.”
She smiled slightly and shook her head. “But, before I got home, the doctor had called my dad and told him that I was pregnant.”
Slowly and in a detached manner, she recounted all that happened afterwards.


By the time she was done, he had packed in front of the house they had come to look at. As she stared out of the window, she remembered the conversation she had with him about it three days ago.
He had shaken his head vehemently. “I will not live in your grandmother’s house, Bunmi.”
“We can’t live in your house, because it’s too small. Moreover, your mum lives there now too. Grandma’s house is now mine, so…”
He had shaken his head some more. “That’s out of the question. I have a great job and some money in the bank. I can pay for a house for my family.”
“Why pay someone else rent, when we can use that money for something else?”
“I won’t be a kept man, Bunmi.”
That had been the end of the discussion, so they had started house-hunting.

He turned in his seat now, to look at her. “I can’t honestly say I blame your mother.”
When her eyes narrowed, he sighed and held up a hand. “You were her little girl…”
He shrugged. “…only twenty three, while I was twenty six. She…”
“Twenty five,” she cut in.
He shook his head and smiled gently. “Yeah, twenty five.”
He turned away from her, leaned back in his chair and stared ahead. After a while, he rubbed his eyes with the fingers of his right hand, and then exhaled with his mouth.
“Processing all this is still so difficult … My mum… your dad…” He shook his head and sighed deeply.
“I know what you mean. That day in the living room…” She shook her head.
There was silence in the car for about a minute, till he turned to her again and broke it. “Do you know the weirdest thing?”
She raised an eyebrow and he continued, “Even though I was reeling in shock at all those revelations, I still couldn’t imagine not being with you.”
His eyes narrowed and he shook his head. “I called myself all sorts of names, for lusting after my own sister, but…” He shrugged.
She smiled. “You too?”
His eyes widened. “You…”
He broke off and she nodded her head and said, “Yeah, I felt the same way. I still hated you, but…” When he raised an eyebrow, she shrugged. “You abandoned me.”
He smiled. “You got tired of having a holiday fling and dumped me. That was my own reason for disliking you.”
They stared at each other for some seconds and then reached out his right hand to touch her jaw. He whispered, “What happens next?”
Whispering back, she replied, “I don’t know, Kunle. It’s been so long and a lot has changed in our lives.” She exhaled through her mouth and said quietly, “I think we should just take it a step at a time.”
He nodded and removed his hand. “Can we make another deal?”
She raised an eyebrow and he gave a lopsided smile. “I told you that I want all strings attached in our marriage.” Her second eyebrow shot up and his smile got fuller. “I still do.”
She rolled her eyes and shrugged. “No surprises there.”
He turned serious. “I had something else in mind when I said that, but now, I want all strings attached.”
He extended his right hand to her. “Can we see how that goes?”
She stared at him, without speaking, for a few seconds. Then, slowly, her right hand grasped his.

“I offered him some money, but…”
Sade smacked her thigh with her right hand and cut in, “Can’t you see, Bunmi? He’s just a gold digger, just like his mother!”
Bunmi sighed and shook her head. She was tired of the argument. “Mummy, he didn’t want any money from me.”
Her eyes narrowed, as she angled her head to one side. “He didn’t?”
When Bunmi shook her head twice, she started laughing. “He’s even smarter than I thought. He’s looking at the big picture. He knows how much being your father’s son-in-law will change his life, for the better.”
Bunmi frowned slightly, shook her head and clucked her tongue. “Mummy, you’re such a snob! I wonder why I’ve never noticed that.”
She waved her hand dismissively. “I’m not a snob, darling. I know how the society works, that’s all.”
Her eyes opened wide. “Can you imagine exchanging your father’s name for Ifeoluwa?” She rolled her eyes. “Such a common name!”
Leaning forward, she touched her daughter’s knees lightly. “There was a buzz when you appeared at Mama’s burial with your children. No one knew you had them, so that was understandable. Can you imagine how much our friends will laugh at us, when they find out that our housekeeper’s bastard son is their father?”
“Mummy!” She stood, looked down at her mother and spoke slowly. “I hate it when you speak in that manner.”
Sade flung her head to one side and raised a hand. “Oh, come off it!”
Turning back to Bunmi, she raised an eyebrow and spoke, “Is that not what he is?”
Eyes narrowing, she continued, “What term best describes a child made by parents who are not married?”
“You just described Jake and Joanna, then.”
Sade frowned and looked sideways. That’s different, Bunmi.”
She folded her arms on her chest and turned angry eyes at her mother. “What exactly is different about that?” She shook her head slowly, “You once loved Kunle like a son.”
Without waiting for a response from her mother, she continued, “I have decided to get married to him and nothing you say can change that.”
Sade looked at her now and shook her head slowly. “Do you know how difficult it was to pretend that I didn’t know that he was the reason you were sent away? I had to still love him like a son, while my daughter was all alone in some distant land, all because he couldn’t keep his hands off you!”
She took a deep breath, before speaking more calmly. “Bunmi, forget about that will for a second and think about what this means. There are…”
She smiled, as she cut her mother off. “I’m not thinking about the will, at all.” She sat beside her mother again, turning so she could gaze at Sade. “It’s funny you mentioned Tunde the other day.”
When Sade raised her eyebrow, she smiled. “Yes, he is Ambassador Kolawole’s son and all of that nonsense that appeals to you, but I was not even mildly interested in him. I only went on a few dates with him, just to get you off my back.”
She frowned. “The last time I was anywhere near him, he slobbered all over me, in what he thought was a kiss, and tried to grope his way up the hem of my dress, right there in his father’s living room. I was completely repulsed by him and that was the man you wanted me to marry.”
She spread her arms wide and gave a huge smile, “Then, along came Kunle.” She shrugged, still smiling. “I couldn’t keep my hands off him too!”
Turning serious, she stood and said, “Mummy, my marriage to him might last only a year, but I’m going to enjoy every bit of it.”
When her mother raised an eyebrow, she looked her in the eye and gave a lopsided smile and said, “Yes, every bit, mummy.”
Sade frowned and looked away. As Bunmi walked slowly to the door, away from her mother, she said, “I want to have a blast on my wedding day. I want to leave no doubts in anyone’s mind, about how attracted I am to my husband.”
She halted on her tracks and continued, “You want to make sure no one laughs at you, right?”
She spun around, to face her mother, eyes shining in excitement. “Let’s throw a party and give them a show they won’t forget in a hurry. We have less than two months to plan my wedding, so the earlier we start, the better.”
At the look on her mother’s face, she threw her head back and laughed. “No, I’m not crazy. I also know how the society works.”

Heart thumping, he watched her walk down the aisle, on crushed rose petals, to where he stood at the altar. Her hand lightly placed in the crook of Niyi’s elbow, she had eyes for only him, as they approached.
His scalp was clean shaven, but on his jaw, was a little beard. As his eyes widened, she noticed his raised eyebrows. They were full and perfectly curved and she had teased him, in the past, about them.
She smiled. Just like a girl’s.
He looked resplendent in a shiny black single-breasted suit, with a gold hankie on it. There was an embroidered ivory waistcoat over his crisp white linen shirt. She admired the scrunchy knot of his gold silk cravat.
On his feet were a pair of black formal shoes. She had bought them, so she knew they were made of soft leather.
She looked into his face and smiled again. Now, I can wake up to this, every morning.

He found himself smiling back. She looks like a princess.
A thin ivory lace veil, draped over her head, flowed down and covered her shoulders and upper arms, stopping just below her elbows.
Casting his eyes downwards, he noticed that the neckline of her strapless dress had a sweetheart design and just above it was a necklace made of three strings of pearls. It was a perfect contrast to the light brown complexion of her skin. The bodice of her dress was almost completely covered with crystals, which glittered as she walked. His eyes lingered on her chest for a few seconds and continued downwards.
His eyes widened, and then he smiled slightly. Attached below the bodice of her dress, was a corset that ran all the way to the drop-down waist of the dress. It was made from the same lace as the veil, but was lined with a very sheer material, so he could see a hint of her belly through it.
Certainly not a demure princess.
Her dress was an ivory-coloured ball gown and the bottom had folds and layers and was so full, that he wondered how she was able to move so gracefully.
The toes of a foot peeked out and his smile grew wider. Blue nail polish? That’s a first.
She appeared a lot taller than usual, so he was sure that her strappy ivory sandals had high heels.

When his eyes travelled back to her face, they were only a few steps away from the altar and she looked amused.
Immediately her father placed her right hand in his, she looked up to him and without moving her lips, whispered, “You can pick your jaw back up.”
His attempt at stifling the laughter that threatened to erupt, resulted in a snort that had her father look sharply at him. Both men stared at each other for a few seconds, before Niyi gave a short nod and turned away.
“Daddy.”
He turned back to Bunmi and she smiled, before giving him her bouquet of white roses. Confused, he looked at it, then back at her.
She smiled again. “I love you.”
Tears sprang to his eyes and he quickly blinked them back. “I love you too, baby.”

With his head held high and the bouquet in his right hand, he walked to his seat. His face was expressionless, but inside him, several emotions clashed.
Over two months had passed since he found out the truth, but in his mind, Kunle would always be his. So, it felt somehow wrong, giving out his daughter to the man he had always thought of as his son.
His exchange with Bunmi, on the other hand, filled him with a lot of joy.
I’m getting my princess back.
His only regret was the fact that in a year, these two would be separating.
Listening to them exchanging wedding vows, he looked intently at Kunle and smiled, when he heard a little tremor in his usually confident voice.
A lot can happen in a year.
“…Till death do us part.”
Sade shifted uncomfortably beside Niyi, causing him to turn his head in her direction. While the priest’s voice droned in the background, he smiled slightly, transferred the bouquet to his left hand and slowly inched his right hand across the space between them.
She looked down at his hand and slowly returned her eyes to his face. She held his gaze for a few seconds, before turning back to the altar, at the sound of loud applause.
Niyi sighed deeply and turned just in time to see Kunle drop a chaste kiss on his daughter’s lips.

Issuing a challenge with her eyes, Bunmi stared at her new husband. Her lips opened slightly and he lowered his eyes to them. She moved closer and tilted her face upwards. With his right hand he pulled her even closer, lowered his head and their lips met. Soon, the priest’s persistent and noisy throat-clearing, as well as the standing ovation they were receiving, forced them to break away from each other.
Embarrassed, she curled up her hands behind his back and slowly, let her arms drop to her sides.
I’m in trouble.
He let out a breath from his mouth, as they stared at each other.
So, we still have this.
“I present to you, Mr. and Mrs. Kunle Ifeoluwa!”
Kunle beamed at her, extending his right hand to her left shoulder. Turning slightly, he drew her closer, till she was nestled against him, her left arm around his waist. Together, they smiled at the cheering congregation.
Wow, she’s all mine.
Only for a year, the voice in his head mocked.

When they entered the bedroom, they stared at the king-sized bed. The golden brown ornate carvings on the headboard were very impressive, but it was the red rose petals, scattered all over the white sheets, that got their immediate attention.
A three-night stay in the luxurious hotel suite was a wedding gift Niyi had insisted they accept, since they had refused to go on a honeymoon.
A champagne bucket, in black glass and with gold handles and footing, was placed on a small glass stool beside the bed. Inside it, two bottles of champagne were chilling on a bed of crushed ice cubes, and beside it were two crystal champagne flutes.
Bunmi walked closer to the bed and traced a finger on the gold trimmings on the edge of the pillow cases. Soon, head bent, she picked up a petal and rubbed it between her fingers, before letting it drop back on the bed. Slowly, she turned to Kunle, who had been staring at her. He walked closer and stood before her. Extending his right hand, he removed the ivory bejeweled comb on the left side of her head and dropped it on the bed. Her hair, was swept to the side, and held in a loose chignon beside her right ear. A few tendrils of hair escaped to the nape of her neck and when he reached out his right hand to touch one, her eyes widened slightly.
Not looking at him, she whispered, “I need to get out of this dress.”
He smiled gently. “Let me help you.”
Slowly, she turned away from him, presenting her back to him. Her dress was cut low at the back and a lace ribbon crisscrossed the entire length of the top half, holding it together. When he found the knot at the bottom, he held his breath as he worked on getting it loose. Slowly, he exhaled, cringing inwardly at how clumsy his fingers suddenly were.

As soon as she felt the top of her dress getting loose, Bunmi clutched the neckline of her dress with both hands, preventing it from slipping down. When she felt his breath on her back, she gasped, as sudden warmth coursed through her and said slowly, “I need to get out of this.”
He moved even closer and kissed her left shoulder. “Yeah.”
She closed her eyes and leaned into him. He wrapped his arms around her waist and she turned her head slightly. He pressed his lips against the side of her neck and breathed in deeply, before his hands left her waist and moved upwards. Still leaning into him, she squirmed a little. “Kunle... we shouldn’t…”
His hands stilled and he closed his eyes, before exhaling. “Why?”
“Because I… We…” she took a step away from him, before turning. She couldn’t meet his eyes, as she continued in a hurry, “It’s been a long day and I’m exhausted.”
Still holding on to her dress with her left, she rubbed her eyes with her right, before looking at him. “I really need to get out of my dress.”
He gave a lopsided smile and nodded. “That’s alright.”
Quickly she turned around and hurried into the bathroom, one hand on the top of her dress and the other raising the hem. As soon as she shut the door, she rested her back on it and blew out a breath.
We really need to slow down.

With a large towel wrapped securely around her body, she walked into the bedroom about twenty minutes later. Looking around, she noticed that he was no longer in the room. Their luggage, which had been delivered to the room earlier, was in front of the wardrobe and she quickly walked over, to open her box.
When she walked into the sitting room, he was on a two-seater ornate chair. A movie was playing on a flat screen television mounted on the wall. Beneath it was an ornate mantle, on which there were two wide cylindrical jars on either side. Inside each were lots of red roses, still on their stems.
He held a champagne flute in his right hand, casually swirling the bubbly liquid inside, as he watched her come closer. Her hair was no longer up. Soft curls tumbled down, framing her face.
Will I ever stop getting a kick from seeing her?
She smiled slightly. “I see you’ve started the party without me.”
He shrugged and smiled back. “You were exhausted.” He turned down the volume of the television and patted the space beside him. “Come join me.”
She shook her head gently. “I only came to say good night.”
His smile grew wider and he patted the chair again. “It’s barely eight o’clock. Come.”
Slowly, she sat beside him, turning slightly so she could face him. She kept her knees together, careful not to let their legs brush against each other. When she tugged at the bottom of her short red silk nightgown, he smiled and silently offered her his flute.
Slowly, she took a sip. “I think I should call the kids.”
His brow knitted in a frown. “The kids? I bet they’re fine with your mum.”
She sighed. “I know... It’s just that I’ve never spent any night away from them.”
“Even when you had to go on dates?”
She slowly took another sip and smiled. “Not even then.”
He was silent for a while, as he stared at her. Suddenly he asked, “You went on dates, right?”
She laughed. “Of course, I did. Didn’t you?”
“Yeah… Sort of.”
“Sort of?” She rolled her eyes.
“After you went away, I felt used.” He frowned. “Bunmi, I was really hurt. So, I tried to get over you quickly. There were parties… and girls.”

She was silent for a while. “I called you once.”
He frowned. “You did?”
She fingered one strap of her nightgown and nodded. “I was so lonely because my grandma had just gone back home. I missed you so much too." She shrugged. "I just wanted to hear your voice, I guess. I think I was just sixteen weeks pregnant then, but my lower back hurt a lot that night. All of a sudden, I had this crazy need for you to massage it. So, I summoned up the courage to call you.”
She looked away from him and stared at the television. “It was about two a.m. for you, but I guess you were still at one of those parties. You couldn’t hear me over the noise, but I heard, “I’m lonely, Hotshot.” It was a girl and she must have been standing really close to you.”
He closed his eyes. Only one person calls me that.
“I guess I started hating you when I heard the distinct sound of a kiss and “I miss you too, babe. I’ll be with you soon, okay.” I hung up immediately. Seeing as it was a call from the States, I thought you’d guess it was me and call back.”
She turned back to see him watching her. “I cried myself to sleep.”
He closed his eyes again and she shook her head. “You moved on too quickly and the way you spoke to her...”
He exhaled through his mouth. “I’m so sorry. I had no clue…”
Quietly, she said, “Don’t ever call me babe again.”
They sat in uncomfortable silence for a few minutes, till he asked, “Do you still want to call Jake and Joanna?”
She shook her head, passed the empty champagne flute to him and stood, “I’m sure they’re fine. I’ll see them tomorrow at the thanksgiving service, anyway. Good night, Kunle.”
A few minutes later, her hands on her waist, she rolled her eyes at the bed. What do I do with all these roses?
In the sitting room, Kunle tilted the flute and poured some more champagne into it. Hotshot...Oh, boy.

Extending his arms to Sade, Niyi pleaded, “Please, move back to our room, dear. It feels so empty without you. It was such a beautiful wedding too.” He smiled gently. “Let’s celebrate some more.”
Lying on the bed, she shook her head slowly. “Niyi, you’re asking for too much.”
He sat beside her and placed his right hand over the hands on her belly. “Sade, I’m asking that you forgive me. I should have told you the truth.”
She closed her eyes. “Why didn’t you?”
“You weren’t in a good place emotionally, so I didn’t want to hurt you. The hysterectomy…”
She pulled her hands from beneath his and covered her eyes with them. “Please, don’t remind me that I am less than a woman.”
He shook his head. “The knowledge that I had another child by someone else would have made you feel terrible, but I never thought of you as less than a woman. All I remember from that time is that I almost lost you.”
He gently removed her hands so she could look at him. “The ectopic pregnancy wasn’t your fault and neither was the resultant post-operative infection.”
“All those don’t matter, Niyi!”
She started crying. “What matters is that I couldn’t give you another child, no matter how badly I wanted to. Our plan was to fill our home with children, remember?”
He got into the bed and wrapped his arms around her and spoke gently, “I remember, my dear. But, there was nothing either of us could do." He sighed softly. Life happened.”
When she stopped sobbing, she lifted her face from his chest and pushed back to look at him. He raised a hand to her face to wipe the tears away and she smiled, before moving closer, to kiss an exposed part of his neck.

“Please, leave the door open.”
“Why?”
“You know Joanna will cry if she wakes and can’t come into our room.”
Leaving the door slightly open, he walked closer to her. “Bunmi, this has gone on for way too long!”
“Please, don’t yell at me,” she snapped from the bed.
He glared at her, but lowered his voice, “When they wake up, they come into our room, only because you insist on leaving the door open every night. We’ve been married for three weeks…”
He sat beside her and raised three fingers. “Three weeks, Bunmi! Yet, you’ve avoided any form of intimacy with me.”
She raised an eyebrow. “Is this what this is about?”
He shook his head. “That wasn’t part of the plan. We agreed to give us a chance.”
“No, we didn’t. We agreed to see where this leads.”
“Same thing, from where I’m standing. You’re attracted to me…”
When she rolled her eyes, he retorted, “Yes, you are. That’s why I don’t understand this drama. None of the vows we took was for celibacy, so what exactly is going on?
She hedged. “The truth or…”
“The truth, please.”
She exhaled from her mouth and looked at him earnestly. “I’m scared of getting pregnant. It’ll complicate things.”
His brows knotted. “If that’s such a worry for you, we can take precautions…”
She nodded. “Like we did before, right?”
He shrugged, still frowning. “We were careless a few times before. Moreover, there are a lot of birth control options available now.”

She raised an eyebrow. "I see you're now an expert on the subject."
He frowned some more. "Bunmi, can you cut that out? I'm a thirty-one year old man..."
"Thirty," she cut in.
He waved a hand dismissively. "Whatever. The point is that I'm neither a saint nor have I ever pretended to be one." He took a deep breath to calm himself and his voice gentled. "Can you just cut to the chase and tell me what the problem really is?"
She was silent for a while, then sighed and sat up. “The thing is, five years ago, we jumped from an almost-sibling relationship to... an intimate one.” She shrugged lightly. “We need more time to know each other better.”
He frowned in confusion. “You’re like my sister… No, forget I said that.” He spread his hands. “You’ve known me longer than any other person. I don’t know…”
She placed her right index finger on his lips. “I want words. I want flowers.” He rolled his eyes and she laughed and removed her finger. “I love flowers. You see? You didn’t know that."

She winked. "I love hugs too... lots of them... all the time and sometimes, for no reason."
She stayed silent for a few seconds, before saying, "I want to hold hands with you and take long walks. I want us to go on dates. We never did that before."
She smiled and knelt on the bed. Reaching for his hands, she linked their fingers together and continued, "Then, I want to play with you again, like we did when we were children. I want to share the kids with you. I'm not looking for perfect, mind you... Perfect is boring."
He chuckled lightly and she shrugged, her smile growing wider. "I won't mind something close to it, though.”
They stared at each other for a while and then he whispered, “You’re giving a man hope, you know. These plans of yours will get me sucked in deeper. You know that, right?”
She leaned closer and kissed him lightly on the lips. They stared at each other for a few seconds, before she spoke, “Let’s see how it goes.”
She broke eye contact and turned away from him. Slowly, she swung her legs over the side of the bed and went to shut the door.

Bunmi was one of the first people to get off the plane. She had finally decided to rent out her apartment in New York, so she had been there for three weeks, packing up her valuables and sending them back to Nigeria.
They had talked everyday on phone and had lengthy video chats on Skype, but she couldn’t wait to see her husband of two months and their children.
I bet they’ve bonded even more, in my absence.
She hadn’t checked in any luggage, so it was easy to wheel her carry-on bag away from Immigration.
As soon as she stepped outside, she noticed him immediately, even though there was a crowd. He had his back to her and was talking to a woman. As she walked closer, they hugged for a few seconds and broke apart. He said something that made the woman laugh and run a hand on his chest, in a move that reeked of familiarity. She frowned and moved faster.
When she got to them, she cleared her throat noisily and he turned. Something appeared in his eyes, but was gone immediately.
Was that guilt?
He smiled widely and wrapped her up in a hug. “I missed you, sweetheart,” he whispered.
When they broke apart, he turned to the woman. “Moyo, meet my wife.”
Looking at Bunmi, he smiled, “Bunmi, she’s a friend.”
Moyo seemed to size her up, as they shook hands and exchanged pleasantries. Soon she smiled and said, “When I heard he was married, I was shocked because the last time I saw him, there had been no mention of that.”
Bunmi glanced at Kunle quickly, before turning back to Moyo. He suddenly looks uncomfortable.
“I never thought he was the marrying type, so I wondered about the woman that finally lassoed him.” She waved her hand and laughed breezily. “When I heard that you had kids together, I realized that you were the one that got away… the one who ruined him for the rest of us.”
She smiled at Bunmi, “Now, I see why. It was a pleasure meeting you.”
Taking a step closer, she patted Kunle’s cheek and smiled. “See you around, Hotshot.”
Without waiting for a response from either of them, she spun around, swinging her hips as she walked away.

Slowly, Bunmi turned to him, eyes narrowed, “Hotshot?”
“It’s nothing…She’s...”
She held up a hand. “Later.”
On the drive home, she suddenly broke the silence. “Have you been seeing her all this time?”
He quickly glanced at her and shook his head. “No.” He turned his eyes back to the road.
When she stayed silent again, he sighed and explained, “I met her some weeks after you moved back to New York and we had an on-again, off-again relationship for some years. However, we broke up a few weeks before you came back. Today was the first time we saw each other since then. She came to pick someone up too.”
She frowned. "You dated other girls, but you always went back to her.” She shook her head. “You moved on to me, really quickly. Nothing’s changed, I see. How long will it be before you’re on-again with her, seeing as she's been in your life longer than anyone else?"
He glanced at her again. “Oh, come on, Bunmi.”
She folded her arms on her chest. “You were hugging each other and she was playing touchy-feely with you.”
He glanced at her quickly, but before he turned away, she saw the smile on his face and frowned. “What’s funny?”
“You’re jealous.”
She rolled her eyes “It’s not about that.”
“You are,” he countered, not looking at her. “But, you shouldn’t be. It was just a hug between friends.”
When she said nothing, he asked, “Didn’t you hear what she said? You ruined me for other women.”
“In plain terms, please.”
He laughed. “I love you.”
She smiled and dropped her arms to her laps. When she leaned back on her seat, without a word, he said, “Yeah, I know. You love me right back.”

Standing, she looked up at a picture of her family on the wall. Joanna’s smile was wide and happy. Her sleeveless ankle-length ivory dress had an empire waist and rosettes all over the bodice. She clutched a wooden basket of yellow roses in both hand.
Bunmi smiled. My cute little bride.
Beside her was Jake, staring at the camera with a lopsided grin on his face.
Just like his father’s.
She remembered now, how excited he had been to be the ring bearer at his parents’ wedding.
Looking at her own face, Bunmi realized that the wide smile she wore, on her wedding day, had masked her inner turmoil. Finally, she turned her attention to Kunle.
Thank you, grandma.
Smiling, her eyes went round her living room. It was their one year anniversary and the entire family was there.
Her parents sat beside each other, their legs touching. Niyi’s right hand was on his wife’s left knee, while her left hand was on top of his hand. They were holding a conversation that had Niyi laughing boisterously, at intervals.
Agnes, quietly bouncing a sleepy Joanna on her laps, caught Sade’s eye and both women smiled to each other, before looking away.
It had taken months of entreaties from her, before Sade had forgiven her, but she still found it weird that her former housekeeper was her daughter's mother-in-law.
At family events like this, Agnes found it difficult to sit with Niyi and Sade. She had been in their employ for so long, that she still thought of herself as their servant. She still found it weird, anytime Bunmi called her 'Mummy'.
Jake was on the floor, playing with the set of electric trains Niyi got them and hooting when the engines did.
Walking over to Kunle, Bunmi joined him on the two-seater couch. He looked up from the book he was reading and smiled at her. While they stared at each other, she took his right hand, casually placed it on her lower belly and held it there.
I can’t wait to tell him.
His eyes widened and he smiled, raising an eyebrow.
She smiled back and nodded. He knows.
“I love you,” she mouthed.
He smiled. “I know.”
She rolled her eyes and he laughed.




THE END

To read the previous parts, please go to:
Part One: SECRETS






37 comments:

  1. So lovely. I am happy for all of them.

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  2. Perfect ending to a beautiful story...

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  3. Beautiful. I missed d beginning. Will read everything.

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  4. Blue nail polish sure gvs m sm gud memories! A beautiful ending, leaves ur readers figuring out d rest n wishing for m. Ur diction dey sweet me oooo, lol, plenty hugs! Zinny!

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  5. Awesome ending! Nice one Ola.

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  6. A great love story. It will make a great movie. Good work.

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  7. Nwachinemere; Me too! ;)

    Anon 13:02; Thanks a lot :)

    Eya; Thanks :) Enjoy ;)

    Zinny; Thanks a lot, dear. Plenty hugs for you too :)
    You know what?.....Those blue shoes inspired me ;)

    Ng; Thanks, girl!!

    Anon 13:24; Thanks a lot :) Let's see how it goes with the movie ;)

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  8. And it kept getting better. I immensely enjoyed this, and in my opinion, it is almost perfect. Well done!

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  9. Samuel; Thanks a whole lot :) :)
    Almost perfect, you say? We'll strive for 'perfect', then ;) ........ Eyes on the prize

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  10. Welldone girl! Nice and beautiful ending. Enjoyed every bit of it.

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  11. Ifyowen; Thanks, darling :)

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  12. Hmmmmmnnnn... Sweet ending..... I like!! Sweet Diction too!! I totally enjoyed ......can't wait for d movie wink

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  13. Anon 17:35; Thanks a lot :) :)
    Movie? Yay!!!! ;) ;)

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  14. Lol....*grin* * sigh* perfect ending.

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  15. Inthemidstofher: Thanks a lot.... Grinning too :)

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  16. Beautiful story, I loved every bit of it. Good job Olaedo.

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  17. Okeoghene; Thanks a lot :) :)

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  18. Awww, this is BEAUTIFUL! You are talented

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  19. Anon 19:52: Thanks a lot. He makes it all come together :)

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  20. i really love your stories! you write really well....luvly!

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  21. Dobby; Thank you so much! :)

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  22. Well knitted story. Thrown apart yet keeps one focused on the story line. You are a great writer.

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  23. Chinedu; Thanks a lot :)

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  24. I nominated you for a leibster award. I can’t wait for your answers!

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  25. lovely story
    http://trendyrammy.blogspot.co.uk

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  26. I'm a sucker for love stories.

    This was purrfect :)

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  27. Inthe... Thanks a lot. Sorry, I made you wait. I'll get to it soon :)

    Trendy Remmy; Thanks :)

    Ginger; I'm glad I could appease the romantic in you. Thanks for the compliment :)

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  28. My very first time on this blog, loving what I'm seeing and reading. Will be back for more.

    Keep it coming, the sky is your starting point.

    Cheers.

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  29. Abiola; Amen! Thanks so much :)
    Welcome to Golden thoughts :)

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  30. Wow!!!!
    so a writer friend i respect very much told me about this blog and well,..... i haven't been disappointed. This is one of the more finely crafted series i have read in a long time. You are really talented. I hope to read more from you and don't worry, i will definitely share this with others.
    More power to your elbow!!

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  31. Anon: Thanks, a lot for the compliments and for sharing :) :)
    You will read more from me, by God's grace... He inspires, I write :)

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  32. Very very nice Ola. Waiting for that Book! :)

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  33. Thanks a lot, Chinelo :)
    The Book(s)... All in God's time ;)

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  34. I enjoyed reading this, thanks a lot. one thing I love most is the fact that I am able to read the thoughts of the characters, I dnt know how you did it but it blended so well with the story that without you even indicating I knew it was what each character was thinking and it made it * relatable* if theres a word like that. thanks to aunt sally for introducing me to u. great story. suspense filled.* mind catching*.

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    1. You're welcome to Golden thoughts :) Thanks for leaving a lovely comment too... I guess we both have to thank Sally.
      Yeah, there is such a word ;)

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  35. loads of suspense...beautiful ending...love it!

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    1. I'm glad you enjoyed it :) Welcome to Golden thoughts.

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