“You see, I’m single”
“Really?” She said with a mock smile, a little glint in her eyes, that tiny sparkle that said “come have a taste of me. But with a perfect mix of “I’m shy and innocent, please be gentle”.
She was really beautiful and tall. Well, not supermodel kind of tall, but she was the perfect height. She was fair in complexion, but hell, I don’t care about skin colour and all that. I never did, as a bachelor, I chased any girl that dared cross my crosshairs. As long as she was pretty and presentable.
Her name was Anne. She had a really lovely smile that just wouldn’t leave her face. She seemed really nice and friendly, and we seemed to be getting along pretty well. She told me she was a lawyer. She had finished law school barely a few months ago, and was now with a prestigious law firm, run by her dad. “Sounds cute and cuddly right? The daddy-daughter awwwww moment.” She punched me playfully on the arm when I said that…and laughed gracefully. I laughed at my own little joke, feeling like some Superman with a sense of humour. She looked at me and said, “you’re really cool, you know? Not proud and uptight like most guys I meet.”
“Thanks,” I replied, trying to sound casual. She smiled at me again. Was I feeling a connection? I wished my best friend and colleague, Richard, would show up. Now would be a good time for him to remind me that I’m married. Before I get carried away. He seemed to have disappeared since we arrived at the party.
Richard and I had come together. It was a small surprise dinner party, organised for my boss by his wife and kids. Most guys were in suits or tuxedos, and all the ladies were in pretty gowns. Most of them were above the knees or higher up. Gosh! I hated myself for having noticed that, and quickly rushed the half full glass of red wine I was holding, kind of to wash down the guilt.
“I’m going to get more drinks, would you like anything?” Anne asked me. “Errr, maybe some more red wine, no ice please.”
“You’re going to pay me for being your waiter, you know right?” She said and laughed playfully before she turned and began walking towards where drinks were being served.
All I could think was…”Beautiful curves!”
Had this been three years ago I’d have her screaming my name in ecstasy and clinging to the edge of my bed in only a matter of time, or maybe spread out on my Persian rug. Every bachelor who has ever owned a Persian rug knows what that feels like. I smiled mischievously as flashbacks of some of my ‘sexcapades‘ played through my mind.
But this wasn’t three years ago. I’m married now, and I love my wife. She is only the second woman I have ever fallen in love with.The first was my high school sweetheart. And sadly, it seems only celebrities end up marrying their high school sweethearts. It’s like when they become rich they are scared that everyone they meet wants them for their money alone. So they run back to the one person who ever loved them before they stumbled across their fame and fortune.
Well, I tried it with Chioma, the girl I dated when I was in school, from SS2 up till 300 level. Like the average guy, after four blissful years of innocent love and faithfulness, I began to ‘tear eye‘ and discovered there was more to life. Parties, clubbing, gigs and of course…women! That was how I lost her. She became tired of my breaking her heart over and over again. I remember the last time she walked out of my house. She had caught me in bed, again! This time not with one, but two girls. And with tears streaming down her face she turned and said to me…”I pray you find someone that loves you as much as I do and please, Martins, don’t hurt her.”
Didn’t make any sense to me. I laughed her ‘prayer’ off. But little did I know she knew exactly what she was saying. I enjoyed all my years of bachelorhood. I mean, I did it all. I attended the wildest, craziest parties and gigs. I dated the most beautiful women, drove the best cars and made so much money. Well, not Dangote’s kind of money but I was doing really well for a guy in his late twenties. I did all the fun, adventurous stuff and slept with more women.
By the time I began to feel that gaping hole. You know? The one men never admit they have until it’s almost too late. I knew I wasn’t happy. I needed to find love and I mean true love. I never did meet any woman like Chioma again. I did meet a some nice, decent ladies, but none I ever felt convinced truly loved me the way she did. I mean, a woman that could go to any length to make me happy. Just like a Hollywood star, I tried to find my high school sweetheart again, to beg her to come back to me. That I was a man now and no more a boy. And I did find her, eventually, but she was married already…with a child!
Sad stuff yeah? Very!
And I was stuck in that cycle, of trying to find a woman worth spending the rest of my life with. Because a wise man, sorry, millions of wise men and women, including my mother always said…”the worst thing that can ever happen to a man is marrying the wrong woman.”
I thought I would never find the right one, until I met her…Jessica! I could spend the next ten years telling you why I fell in love with her. So I won’t bother. I found her. I fell madly in love with her, and got married to her! And for three years I’ve been a loving and faithful husband. We have a beautiful set of twins that make me love her all the more. A handsome boy and the most angelic girl you’ve ever seen.
That might sound unbelievable to those who knew my history with women, but it’s the truth. It’s not been easy .I’ve escaped countless temptations. But the day I took my marriage vows, I made a promise to myself never to cheat on my wife. Not just because it’s wrong, but because I love her.
THREE HOURS LATER
Driving home, stuck in Traffic at Ikoyi. I popped in my Whitney Houston CD and her sonorous voice began to blare from my sound system. The sound system of a new model BMW is not one to toy with. I allowed myself get into the swing and sang along with her to “your love is my love and my love is your love…”
The party had been fun, with drinks and music flowing…as well as speeches delivered by the rich, elite and famous in Lagos state. Even the governor had been there in person. I mean, my boss was well connected . As I relived the evening in my head, I remembered my new acquaintance and brought out a complimentary card from the breast pocket of my blazer. I took another look at it. The name read Anne Johnson, and under it neatly printed in italics, Legal Practitioner“Why did I lie to her?” I thought to myself…Well, I didn’t exactly lie. I had only been joking when I told her I was single. I hadn’t expected her to believe me anyway. I had planned to tell her at the end of the party that I had been joking. I had lost my wedding ring a few months earlier when I went swimming. Which is why I hadn’t been wearing mine that evening.
Why I hadn’t just opened up to Anne, I didn’t know. One voice kept telling me…”Come on, can’t you have a female friend anymore just because you are married?” But I knew better. I had felt a connection with Anne this evening, an uncomfortable one. But I had felt it, I was attracted to her and I knew it. I still replayed her pretty face, her lovely smile and her gorgeous body. Even her small giggles at my jokes kept ringing in my ears. I could easily forget her, squeeze the card and throw it out of my car window and that would be the end.
I caressed the card with my thumb, as I pondered one big question…
DO I CALL HER OR NOT?
ONE YEAR, TWO MONTHS AND THIRTEEN DAYS LATER
Jessica heaved her luggage past the already seated passengers…She kept muttering, “excuse me, I’m sorry…excuse me…I’m sorry… “as she felt her hand luggage brush against the legs and elbows of already seated passengers. Some of them gave her unpleasant scowls. She finally located her seat. She checked her boarding pass again just to be sure her seat number was correct, 52A. Yes! she was at the right seat, finally! With the help of one of the flight attendants, she finally heaved her ‘hand’ luggage into the overhead compartment. She heaved a sigh and took her seat.
She looked around her. Gosh! How she hated flying economy class. It was like a market,so crowded and no room for stretching your legs. She had been sitting for barely five minutes yet her knees already hurt. She preferred business class, but she didn’t have much of a choice. This was a business trip and she didn’t want to shorten the money she could use on buying goods to sell just for a few hours of pleasure and comfort.
It was just six hours to London anyway. She would never try such a stunt if she was flying a longer distance. She tried to adjust her sitting position and get as comfortable as possible.
A few hours into the flight, the lady seating beside Jessica began to strike a conversation. She was really exhausted and not in the mood for ladies gossip. But being a nice and friendly person, she decided to oblige her.
Her new friend turned about to be a lively and interesting lady. Her name was Anne Johnson and she was a legal practitioner with her dad’s law firm. She was much younger than Jessica but they still got along very well. They talked about music, fashion, TV shows, movies…in short everything! Turned out they had so much in common.
“I can see you’re married ” Anne said to Jessica, while staring at the wedding ring on her finger.” Oh yes dear, I am. With two lovely kids, twins…a boy and a girl.” Jessica replied her with a smile…
How about you? Jessica asked her.
At this point Anne got really excited and told her she was in a relationship with this tall, handsome guy who was the best thing that had ever happened to her.
“I have his picture here,” She said. “I carry it everywhere I go.” She reached out and brought out her wallet. She opened the flap, pulled out a picture and handed it to Jessica.
Her eyes went wide with shock and disbelief!!! Her mouth flew open and she began to gasp for air. She was in a daze.
Anne became frightened. She thought Jessica was going to pass out.
“Errr…do you know him?” she asked.
Jessica turned to her,her face pale, drained of life, and barely managed to whisper…”Yes…he is my husband.”