As she stepped into the shower, she allowed the hot water to pierce her scalp. She had worn wigs all through her stay in London and so, it was easier for her to soak her hair in the water. She stood there brooding about her impending meeting with Tunji. In a few minutes time, he would come pick her as she had requested. Was she ready for this? Wasn’t she cutting him too much slack? Wasn’t she being too easy on him? Wasn’t she giving him the impression that she had missed him which was why she had called to see him? Was she being hasty? Because she knew the answers to these questions, she closed her eyes and chanted her New Year’s resolution in her head again and again as she allowed the water to wash off her doubts and her fears.
She had just finished blow drying her hair when her phone rang. It was Tunji and he had arrived. She wore on a simple white Boubou gown made of silk with her hair falling around her shoulders. Then she picked up her phone, wore a fluffy slipper and left the house to meet him outside. She told her parents she needed to get to the Pharmacy for some aspirin and would be back shortly because if she told them her intention, they wouldn’t allow her see Tunji. Curtsy of her Mom, her Dad was aware of what had happened between her and Tunji. Not the full gist but, just that they had a lover’s rift.
She saw the familiar white Range Rover Sports car parked beside the gate and the familiar silhouette of Tunji inside. She didn’t rush forward to the car. Somehow, she found herself rooted to the spot staring at the car. Then Tunji on seeing her, immediately got out of the car and in four long strides was in front of her. He reached out to pull her to him but Mila raised her hands in defence against any form of physical contact with him. She wasn’t ready for that just yet.
“Please, don’t touch me” she said with a little quaver in her voice
Tunji nodded with a deep sigh of relief at finally seeing her and disappointment that he couldn’t touch her. Then he asked;
“Where would you like us to go Mila?”
“Anywhere we can talk in private but please, not your house” she replied and walked towards the car leaving him standing there.
Tunji slowly walked to the car and turning on the ignition, he drove into the night.
They were at the Wheatbaker Hotel in a room that looked like a mini flat. It was pure luxury in and out and Mila couldn’t help feeling relaxed because, the ambience was helping to calm her stretched nerves. They were sitting opposite each other in the living room of the hotel room with a low table in between them. Mila had refused Tunji’s offer of food or drinks except for a bottle of water. She didn’t have any appetite at all for food and she needed a clear head to tackle this irresistible bundle of temptation sitting before her. He looked like he had lost a few pounds; not like he was fleshy at all. He looked stressed and he had a little stubble of beards growing on the sides of his face. Tunji never allowed his beards grow around his face save for around his mouth. He was wearing a white V necked polo T shirt and black jeans with white sneakers. His hair was a bit grown and he hadn’t bothered to cut it. But he looked sexier in a rugged kind of way and it made Mila uneasy. She tried looking relaxed, angry, uncaring and unfeeling. Any emotion at all that she could find in her emotional bank to show that she didn’t care that she had put him through hell would help her to be focused on the issue at hand right now.
Tunji was looking her directly in the eyes with his elbows resting on his knees and his chin on the back of his hands. His unwavering look made her uncomfortable and he knew it because, he noticed that she couldn’t meet his gaze. He searched her face for an expression, anything at all that would assure him that the familiar Mila was in there somewhere but she looked cold and unfeeling. That shook him a bit but he wasn’t deterred. He would make things right. He exhaled through his nose before saying,
“You look more beautiful than ever”
She didn’t reply
“I’ve missed you terribly Mila”
Still no response from Mila
“I’m really sorry about everything Mila” he tried again
“What do you want from me Tunji?” Mila asked in a small voice she couldn’t recognize as hers
“I want you back” Tunji said stretching out a hand to take hers but Mila shrank back and he retreated
“You’ve been married all along and you never said a word. Why did you do that to me?” her voice quavered
“Mila, I never planned to hurt you in any way. I’m sorry”
“Just shut the fuck up with the apologies and answer me! Why didn’t you tell me you’re married?” Mila screamed at him. She was glaring at him and shaking with rage now. She started crying. Hot tears she thought she had finished shedding streamed down her face and even when she put her hand to her mouth to stop the sobs that followed she couldn’t control herself.
Tunji was shocked and pained. He had never seen this side of Mila and it scared him as he wondered how deeply he had hurt her. Had he lost her forever? he wondered. He held his head in his hands for some minutes as he tried pulling his chaotic thoughts together. He felt his heart burn as he watched her cry then he got up and went to her. He tried holding her but she pushed him away and her crying increased. That got to him and he forcefully held her in a tight hug that even when she struggled to be free of him again, she couldn’t so she stopped and instead, snug into him as she allowed him comfort her.
“It’s a long story Mila but I’ll tell you all about it. I promise, no more secrets” Tunji said and he held her that way until her sobbing subsided.
Mila let him hold her much longer. She was tired and weak. All she wanted was the truth even if it would hurt her. She was ready now to hear the worse.