A discussion on radio about people taking all their problems to God instead to the ‘appropriate’ centres caught my attention. Apparently, most people take all the issues to God regardless of the nature of their situations. According to the host, people should be discerning enough to know what to take to God and what to consult with the man-made systems.
Ever wondered why some people have chosen to live as atheists? Because they believe they don’t need God to steer the affairs of their lives. Why, because there is a man-made system which sees to every human need: a hospital for health issues, the court for appeal for justice, the school for knowledge, the bank for safekeeping. The world seems to have a system for everything. And since man wants to only accept what he can see and prove as real and valid, why bother believing in a God you can’t even see to help you with human problems with human solutions available?
Someone would ask, why run to church about fertility issues when there are specialized centres for that? Why attend all-night church services in order to pass an exam or get a promotion at work when you could spend the time studying or working diligently to achieve the desired results?
A school of thought believes people should be discerning enough to know what issues to take to church and what to deal with on our own. But my counter argument would be what issues look like God-recommended and which others look like mundane stuff? As I heard someone ask, why go to a church for healing when you can see a qualified doctor for a cure?
I think it all boils down to one’s priorities and how one sees God in his life. If you’re the type who puts God first in all things no matter how trivial it may sound, then prayer would be your first action in every circumstance. But if you’re kind who is of the notion that, do your human best in every situation and when all options have been exhausted and there is still no breakthrough, turn it to God in prayer, then you would act accordingly.
I don’t think there’s anything is too insignificant; neither too big to talk to God about. But God also gave us hands to work with and mind to think with. As a pastor put it, without us God won’t and without God, we can’t. Whatever God has made available is for us to enjoy and without God’s help, we can’t achieve anything. Hence science is just discovering this amazing creation of God we call the universe and technology is tapping into the God-given brain to apply what God has given us as nature to make life easier.
I find nothing wrong praying to God to help me with my exams because after all, He’s the giver of grace; but believing that He will not excuse me from studying. But the fact that there is a doctor trained to treat diseases doesn’t mean he should be the first person I see when I feel unwell. I am God’s creation; He made me and only He can cure me without side complications. So I can decide to pray and ask for healing; at other times, I’d combine the prayer of faith with medication.
Maybe I should just end with this: knowing God isn’t about rigorously following some laid down rules and regulations. It is a relationship and thus, how well you know him will determine you relate to him with life’s issues.
Food for thought: take your life as an equation. Is God a constant or a variable?
My personal recommendation is this: no matter your heart desire, make God your first consultant not your last resort.
Fitz stood to face me and for the first time, I felt like a grasshopper in front of him. He was hovering over me like a giant. My body wanted to cower in guilt but my instincts told me otherwise. I gave a fake sigh of relief and a nervous chuckle.
“Then it must have been a mistake. This is all Karen’s fault. She said I looked unwell and she had this test kit that has been there since forever and insisted that I use it. You know sometimes these test kits give false alarms; I’m sure that’s what happened,” I rattled on. I searched his eyes to see if he believed my automated lie.
“So it wasn’t confirmed from a lab?”
“No, it wasn’t. Silly me, huh?” He touched my face.
“You do look unwell, though.”
“It’s the stress from the exam preparation. I’ll clear this up.” I was scared that he would hear the nervous and loud pounding of my heart.
“You wouldn’t cheat on me, would you Em?” he asked quietly. His words stabbed my heart sharply. I covered his hands on my cheeks with mine.
“I’ll never cheat on you, Fitz. I love and respect you too much to do that. You have to believe me,” I said as I looked deeply into his eyes. How I wish the doubt would vanish from his eyes!
“Okay; because if you ever do, I don’t know how I’m going to take it.”
“Don’t even think about it, Fitz; that won’t happen.” I leaned forward and kissed him. I didn’t feel his heart on his lips. He was getting distant. I deepened the kiss but before it could go any further, he pulled away.
“I’m sorry Em, but this news has kind of spoilt my mood. So I’d appreciate it if you could verify it as soon as possible.”
“Sure, of course.” He handed his plate of fries to me and walked away. I knew I was totally screwed. I was going to kill Karen. Her ridiculous dare was about to cost me my marriage, I fumed as I started towards the kitchen. I froze when a thought struck me.
Was it possible that I was indeed positive but not Fitz’s? Could it be Adam’s? Oh no, it can’t be; it was just once. What were the odds? Oh God, I know I’m not your favourite person right now but could you make this a false alarm, please? I promise I’ll make it to church every Sunday if you’d do me this favour? I prayed as I put the plate on the table. Something deep within me told me this was just wishful thinking. I had done something wrong and it had caught up with me.
I entered the bedroom. Fitz was lying on the bed awake. It was very obvious my news had really disturbed him. I had to clear this out of the way before it caused us any damage. I walked to him and kissed his forehead.
“I’ll clear this immediately. I’m sorry for messing up your day. Get some sleep, okay?” He nodded and I walked out. I felt like my personal apocalypse had befallen me and something told me this was only the beginning. I shuddered at the thought before starting the engine.
I didn’t know how I did it but after a seemingly eternity-long drive, I arrived on campus. I ran up the stairs and barged into the room. Karen and James were watching something on her laptop. I must have looked like the epitome of bad news because her countenance changed from wondering who-the-intruder-was to what-the-hell-happened-to-you? She got up.
“Are you okay?” She asked in a tone of concern as she walked towards me. All I could do was shake my head. Karen turned to look at her boyfriend who obviously knew what was coming.
“You said she was gone for the day,” James said.
“As you can see, she’s back,” Karen said with a tight smile.
“Well I hope when we get married, she wouldn’t end up being a permanent guest,” James said, getting up.
“We’ll cross that bridge when we get to it,” Karen said, touching my arm.
“You look awful, Emily. Is everything okay?” James asked.
“I’ll tell you everything later,” Karen said. I cast a sharp glance at her. She shook her head.
“All right; take care, girls.” He kissed Karen’s cheek and held my arm for a moment. I managed a smile in response and he walked out. We both waited a second after the door had closed before breathing out. I threw my bag on the bed.
“What is it, Em?”
“Spoiler alert, Fitz is going to leave me!”
“What are you talking about? He said he doesn’t want to have children?”
“I wish! He says he’s not responsible.”
“What kind of an April’s Fool joke is that? If he isn’t, who else is?”
I sat on the bed with a thud. She sat beside me.
“What is going on, Emily?”
“Apparently, my husband has had his tubes tied up for some time now even before we got married.”
“Fitz has had a vasectomy and you didn’t know about it?”
“But this doesn’t make sense. If he isn’t responsible, then who is?” When I didn’t respond, she stood up and faced me.
“Look at me, Em. Did you cheat on Fitz?” I buried my face in my palms. I can’t believe that my weeks of successfully keeping this secret from her had come to nought. She tore my hands away from my face, scratching my face with her nails in the process.
“Was it Adam? Did you sleep with Adam?”
I looked at her for a second with tears in my eyes and bowed my head in shame.
“Come on, Emily; you couldn’t be that careless and downright stupid! What is wrong with you?” I began sobbing.
“Oh I’m sorry but I’m not going to feel sorry for you, Emily. You have gone way too far! You just can’t keep to a pact, can you? Growing up, we both decided to wait till marriage before having sex but you had to break it with the clown of a guy who calls himself Tony. We also promised to be faithful to our partners and here you are!”
“I know I’m a horrible person but my life hangs in the balance right now, Karen. Fitz suspects I cheated on him and we both know men don’t take infidelity issues lightly.”
“Suspects? Why, what lie did you come with for him to just suspect?”
“Well, thankfully, this was some test kit not a valid result from a lab so I said it might have been a mistake.”
“And he bought that?”
“Not really; he asked me to verify it immediately.”
“If you knew you had slept with Adam, why were you so sure it was Fitz’s?”
“Because it happened once and it wasn’t even planned so I didn’t think it would count. And besides, I also slept with Fitz later that day so of course, I…”
“You slept with both of them on one day? Whoa, my girl’s got some stamina!”
“Please don’t mock me, Karen. I’m in real trouble here.”
“Of course you are. What are we…?”
“I can’t go back home with this baby in my tummy.” She looked sharply at me.
“This is the smartest option here, Karen. It’s still very young. Flushing it out…”
“Just stop it, Em! So what, you’ve made it your personal mission to break all of the commandments in your lifetime?”
“First fornication, next adultery and now possible murder?”
“You make me sound like the devil’s incarnate, Karen. Drop the judgmental tone and let’s be practical here. I need a way out of this.”
“You are not going to touch this baby.”
“Hello, it’s my womb bulging with every breathing second, not yours,” I retorted.
“You always said we were in this together and I say no.”
“Well, as at now, my vote outweighs yours since there’s a little one in me and it gets a vote too. And I’m pretty sure it wants out too. I’ll be a terrible mother and you know it, Karen.”
“We’ll cross the bridge…”
“No…This is not a bridge we’re going to cross. It is a case we are going to close now.”
“No, Emily; we are not going to do that.”
“Then what do I do? Because I can’t go back home with this in me. The only acceptable explanation is that the test kit gave me a false alarm but it has been clarified. Anything short of that would not end well for me and Fitz.”
“Have you informed Adam about this?”
“Informed? What has he got to do with this?”
“Hello, it’s his baby you’re thinking of terminating!”
“I doubt he’s prepared emotionally and every other way to be a father. In actual fact, it’s not even a baby yet; it’s just a foetus. It doesn’t even know it exists. We would be doing him a big favour by sparing him the hard life he’d face with me as an unprepared and possibly single mother. I can’t believe my one indiscretion is going to ruin my life forever.”
“We’ll think of a way out but termination is out of it.”
“Then I can’t go back home. I can’t look into his eyes and lie to him again. It’s too heavy a burden for me to carry.”
“Fine; call him and tell him something came up.”
“Yeah, that’s perfect. He’s supposed to be travelling tomorrow. By the time he gets back, this baby thing would be history.” Karen glared at me and bit my lower lip.
“Call him, Em.” I took my phone but my hands started shaking.
“You’re such a mess; I’ll call him myself,” Karen said and called Fitz on her phone. She put it on loudspeaker.
He answered on the second ring.
“Karen? Is everything all right?” Karen exhaled deeply.
“Hi, Mr. Daniels. Yes, everything is fine. I’m only calling to tell you Em cannot come back home tonight. Something came up.” Fitz sat up.
“What’s wrong? Are you two at the hospital?”
“No…There was this assignment we both forgot to work on before the exam started. We’re to send them in on Monday and it’s quite loaded.”
“So why didn’t she call me herself?” Karen glanced at me.
“Because she’s going to pick up her copy of the assignment and she left her phone in the room. Her emotions are all over the place especially with the pregnancy scare and all…”
“Are you saying it was a false alarm?” Fitz asked hopefully.
“We haven’t been to the hospital yet. We’ll do that tomorrow. I wanted us to start work on the assignment immediately. I’m sorry for prying your wife away from you when you’d be travelling tomorrow.”
“Don’t worry; tell her to call me later tonight.”
“I’ll definitely do that. Thanks Fitz. Take care and have a safe flight tomorrow.”
“Thanks, Karen. Bye.” The line went dead. I sighed in relief.
“Is that the best thing you could come up with?” I asked.
“I just lied for you! You’re unbearable! What are you going to tell him?” Karen asked.
“I’ll think of something.” I threw myself on the bed.
Karen rushed to the bathroom to find me on the floor.
“What is it?” She snatched the stick from my trembling hand. Her eyes widened with shock.
“Oh no; I was hoping I was wrong about this.”
“What do I do, Karen? I’m not ready for this.” She helped me up and out of the bathroom. I collapsed onto the bed and closed my eyes.
“This can’t be. It just can’ be. Is it possible that it’s a false alarm?” I asked, hoping for a way out of this ditch.
“It could be but it’s highly unlikely,” Karen said regretfully.
“I have exams coming up. I can’t handle the whole hormonal drama and come to think of the bump! Oh no, I can’t do this!”
“You might be a few weeks old so no one would notice throughout the exam period. So you don’t have to worry about anyone seeing your baby bump.”
“No, this can’t be happening! Please be a bad dream.” I pinched myself hard till I winced in pain.
“What are you doing?”
“Trying to wake up from this ugly nightmare.”
“And how’s that working out so far? So, next step: you have to tell Fitz. How do you think he’ll take it?”
“I have no idea. It never came up.”
“What do you mean?”
“I mean, we never talked about having children. I obviously wasn’t expecting one and he didn’t seem to mind.”
“So exactly what did you two talk about before the wedding?” Karen asked, puzzled.
“Be serious, Em.”
“I am! We never talked about the deep stuff, you know? It’s just about being together and being a part of each other’s lives but not disrupting each other’s lives in big significant way.”
“And does he have any children with his former wife or you didn’t discuss that too?”
“Honestly, I preferred not to know.”
“Preferred? What if he were to drop dead right now, God forbid it though and five people from nowhere show up claiming to be his children; what are you going to do?”
“I’ll leave that to his will to sort that out.”
“Talking about wills, do you know if you’ve been included in his?”
“Well, I’m sure he has done that.”
“So you have no guarantee that you’d be secured in any way if something tragic happens?”
“Why should be worrying about tragedy? That would be sapping the joy out of my life!”
“It is called taking security measures, Emily. You can’t live like this. You might have it all today but without insurance, you could lose it all.”
“Okay thanks for the advice but you and I know that can wait for tomorrow. What is important right now is what is swimming inside me right now. What do we do?”
“I don’t think it’s swimming. Sperms do the swimming right now. I think it’s…”
“Karen, you’re not going to give me a lecture on conception, are you?”
“I’m sorry. Okay but what do you mean what do we do? It’s not like there are any options. You have to tell Fitz.”
“What if he isn’t cool with it?”
“Why wouldn’t he? He’s clearly in love with you which sometimes get me wondering why but yeah he does. Which man would not like to have a baby with his wife whom he really loves?” Karen asked.
“I don’t know; I have a funny feeling about this. I know Fitz; he’s really passionate about the things he is concerned about. If he wanted kids, he’d have brought it up sooner or later but so far, not even a word.”
“Well, it could be because he didn’t want to let you feel pressured since you were in school and all. And we both know him to a crazy workaholic so perhaps he hadn’t had the time to think about it. But now that it’s here, you two have no other choice but to face it.”
I sighed and shook my head. I didn’t want to deal with this right now. Karen rubbed my arm.
“It will be fine. Fitz is a good man. He’d definitely be happy to hear this.”
“But I’m not!”
“You’ll get over it. You’re in shock, that’s all. Let me prepare us something and think things through.”
“I’ve lost my appetite.”
“Come on; from now on, you can’t be selfish with the food you eat. You have another being to think about.” I groaned in agitation as I held my tummy. If only I could reach inside me and rip it out…if only life was that easy.
I sighed when I killed the engine. I knew this news was every husband’s delight but why did I feel so uneasy about it? Maybe it was the uncertainty of Fitz’s reaction to it. I should get it over and done with. I entered the house to find Fitz helping himself to some fries.
“Hey…how was your day?” he asked as I walked towards him.
“Preparing for exams is not fun at all,” I replied as I took a fry and bit into it.
“How was yours?”
“Not as hectic as usual. I’m flying out of town tomorrow. It was impromptu but very urgent.”
“I understand.” Things couldn’t be more perfect. I’d just drop the bomb and see him off! He sat down and I sat on the arm of the sofa, putting my arm around him.
“Um…I know we never talked about this and this would definitely require a huge readjustment on our part as individuals and a couple. I want you to know I didn’t plan for this….I mean not now; considering I’m still in school…”
“What is it, Em?” Fitz asked, concern etching hard on his forehead. I smiled coolly.
“I should have been more careful…”
“Emily, what happened?”
“I’m pregnant,” I blurted out. He blinked hard at me. His silence was deafening.
“Yeah, we’re going to have a baby,” I said with a nervous chuckle.
“I wasn’t very judicious about taking the pill.” He was quiet which felt odd. Why wasn’t he saying anything? He should be excited and carrying me with joy about going to be a father. Isn’t that what we see in movies? He bowed his head. Now, my anxiety level was its peak.
“Fitz?” When he looked up at me, my heart sunk.
“Are you cheating on me?” he asked quietly. I got up, stunned.
“What, why would you ask me that?”
“Because I don’t see how you could get pregnant.” Wait, were my ears playing tricks on me?
“What do you mean? We’ve been married for almost a year and we’ve had a regular sex schedule since then.”
“I know but it’s impossible.”
“Why should it be….?” Oh no…Was he impotent? If it wasn’t him, then who could it….Oh no! He looked at me.
“I had a vasectomy two months after my divorce. I was going through a rough time and I was with quite a number of women so I had the procedure to protect myself from having to father any unwanted babies. And I didn’t want to risk it with you because you were in school. So I wanted to wait till you were ready before I had the procedure reversed. And if my memory serves me right, I haven’t had the reversal procedure yet. So, how is it possible that you’re pregnant?”
I felt as if my body was on fire. I was sweating everywhere. What the hell had I done? I began to feel dizzy. Fitz looked at me, obviously awaiting an answer and I had none, I mean not an acceptable one.
“So is there something you’d want to tell me, Em?” Fitz asked coolly.
Where are you, Lord? This would be the perfect time to rapture me away!
Fitz and I were having dinner at the table when his phone beeped. He took and unlocked the screen.
“Ah! He finally sent it,” he said with a smile.
“Who finally sent what?”
“Adam just sent me his next single. You see, I get to preview it before it is released.”
“And if you don’t like it?”
“Why wouldn’t I?” he asked back, looking puzzled.
“It is possible that you wouldn’t like a particular one. Would you approve it anyway?”
“Can’t tell for now. I’m downloading it. Want to hear it right now?”
I shrugged indifferently. He played it anyway. I dropped my fork when I realized it was about our last hangout.
“This guy is so talented. His lyrics sound so real, so personal. I’d love to meet this lady of his. She must be special.” The food almost went through the wrong pipe. I quickly downed some water.
“Now I know I’ve made a good investment. This young guy would go very far. I just hope this girl wouldn’t be the end of him.”
“Yeah, hope so too; it would be too bad if she causes him to lose everything.”
“So you two are getting close. How do you see him?”
“Oh, he’s okay. Very passionate about his music and I find that inspiring,” I said, trying my best to sift out every iota of emotion from my voice.
“And has he mentioned this girl of his who obviously happens to be his muse?” he asked.
“Not really; we didn’t get that personal, Fitz.”
“Well, I was hoping you two would bond more since he’s much younger than I am so you’d find more mutual interests,” Fitz said.
“Be careful with what you wish for,” I warned and sipped my drink. He watched me closely.
After pondering about it for a moment, he said, “Maybe I’d ask him to bring over his girlfriend. I’d like to…” Before I could hear anymore, I had spewed the drink out of my mouth.
“Are you okay?” Fitz asked with his ridiculous tone of concern.
“I should be asking you that! What is going on you, Fitz? I thought you were just fascinated about the guy but you’re clearly obsessed! Why would you want to probe into this poor guy’s life?”
“I’m not probing. I just want to know him and fully appreciate his music.”
“I think you have too much time and money on your hands and you’re using it to fuel this silly obsession of yours. Don’t even think of asking him that, Fitz. You’re going to scare him away. Promise me you won’t !” I asked in a loud authoritative tone.
“Fine, I won’t,” he conceded, obviously shaken by my reaction. I stormed off to further highlight my displeasure before he could regain his composure.
My exams were coming up and I had to go on my ‘serious’ mode. So I left home earlier than usual to study with Karen.
She slapped her handout on the desk with a sigh. “I need a break.”
“Don’t we all?” Karen took her phone and within seconds, she started giggling. I shook my head for the distraction but her giggles got louder.
“Would you like to share the fun?” I asked.
“James is being funny, that’s all. I love this phone.”
“Oh yeah, enjoying your new iPhone 6, I can see.”
“Uh huh and it’s not just an iPhone 6, it’s an iPhone 6+.” I arched a brow at her.
“Is there a difference?”
“Of course there is. With the iPhone…”
“Please don’t bore me with the details. For crying out loud, why would the lecturer give us such a loaded assignment just before the end-of-semester examinations?”
“Because he has the power to. Hey, aren’t you hungry? I’m famished!”
“I hope that means you’re going to cook us something.” She glanced at me.
“I still can’t believe a lazy girl like you who also doesn’t know how to cook is having such a happy peaceful marriage.” I chuckled.
“Hey, I’m not lazy and I do know how to cook. I just don’t like to. And yes, I’m having such a happy peaceful marriage because what I lack in cooking is well-compensated for in other essential areas,” I said proudly. Karen shook her head and got up.
“So how are things with you and Adam?” she said, heading towards the kitchenette.
“Is that a trick question?” I asked back. She chuckled.
“Of course not. Just wanted to know if you two are past the awkward part.”
“It’s a working progress but yeah, so far so good. We’re keeping it clean. And the good part is Fitz is so okay with me and Adam getting along.”
“Huh. If only he knew…”
“We’re just good friends, Karen. Nothing is going to happen.”
“If it hadn’t already.”
“Have a little faith in me, Karen.”
“Yeah right, I should. If I didn’t, what kind of friend would I be, right?” She said with a tight smile with a Karen-touch of sarcasm. She was pushing me to confess any hidden sins and I wasn’t going to give in.
A few days later, I felt unwell. No matter how hard I tried to conceal it, Karen still noticed my uneasiness.
“Em, are you okay?”
“I don’t know. It seems I’m coming down with something.” She touched my face.
“Yeah, you look pale. Have you been eating?”
“Not too much.” She examined under my eyeballs.
“Okay…what are you looking for, madam nurse?” She looked at me squarely.
“Are you late?”
“Late for?” Her serious look told me what she was referring to.
“Oh…that. What are you thinking? I’m not pregnant, Karen. I’m just a few days late but it’s normal. The exam preparations have really taken a toll on me. I’ll be fine.”
Karen walked to the bathroom.
“What is it?” I asked.
“Um…are you sure about that?” She asked from the bathroom.
“Why, what’s up?”
“The towels are intact.”
“So you didn’t use them last month.”
“And you know that how?”
“I always keep a pack here for you knowing that you’d steal some every month. But I remember this was how I left it last two months.”
“Oh come on, you would have noticed the absence of my dramatic mood swings if I had missed it.” Karen closed the bathroom door.
“Come to think of it, you were bubbly all through last month.”
“Okay, stop it. I’m not pregnant. I’m on the pill.”
“And you never missed?”
“I missed once or twice but that’s because Fitz would say it wasn’t necessary.”
“Cared to ask him why?” I shrugged.
“It’s nothing. You’re worrying your already-fatigued brain about nothing.”
Karen didn’t look convinced. I sighed in exasperation.
“If I were to be pregnant, don’t you think I’d have noticed?”
“You? Even if you were dying, you wouldn’t notice it.”
“So what, you want me to prove it to you?”
“Well, a test kit from last time’s scare is still there. You can use it.”
“Fine,” I said, accepting the challenge. I got up and walked to the bathroom door.
“Are you serious about this?” I asked, shocked that she was actually waiting for me to do it.
“What have you got to lose?” I shook my head and entered the bathroom.
I stood in front of the mirror, waiting. I couldn’t be pregnant. Not now. Please be negative.
I looked at the stick which would determine my fate for the forever part of my life. I screamed.
We wanted to spend forever with each other, they would begin;
But as they say, nothing lasts forever;
In the beginning the love blossomed with each passing day;
But as the bliss began to fade, so did the love;
Life and work got in the way and we soon lost the thrill of each other’s company;
With every sunrise and sunset, the ups and downs of life took its toll on us;
Until we lived like strangers under the same roof;
So what happened to the promises you made to each other at the altar, I’d ask;
In the beginning, they were a lifeline to our marriage;
But before long, they became empty words, a distant memory;
Framed and hanged on the wall of the bedroom;
It later sounded like words of a citation, written by a third person;
Perhaps we were too enthusiastic about it all;
But when reality set in, we realized it we were living a fantasy.
We loved each other but with time we grew apart, they would often say;
Absence of one didn’t make our hearts grow fonder but rather colder;
The lesser we saw each other, we lesser we cared;
But because we held the framed promises sacred;
We dared not voice it out; the fear of the inevitable was safer in our thoughts;
But when time spent with others outsiders was valued much more
Than each other’s company in our home, we knew we had come to the end of the road;
So when you promised forever and always to each other, did you envision its end?
Not at all; I believed we would go the whole nine whole yards, one replied;
Well, I always had that possibility in mind so we made precautionary arrangements, the other admitted;
The shock and utter disbelief on the other’s face couldn’t even be concealed from the blind;
Come on, let’s be practical, the spouse said defensively;
Things change and people change and we are no exception;
It hurts to hear the truth but it must be told, it was added;
I’ll always love you but as a couple, we both know we’re done.
So why are you here, to get the go-ahead to sever ties or work things out?
The latter, the hopeful one replied quickly;
Why cry over spilt milk when you can get over it and move on, the other countered;
We’re not spilt yet! I really want us to work;
Don’t you think we deserve another chance?
So the question was if the love they had felt was strong enough for a second chance;
One wanted in, the other wanted out; what to do, what to do?
It all starts with taking a stand to make things work;
As it takes two to get married, it also takes two to stay married;
But marriage is about two becoming one in body, soul and spirit;
So hold hands and pray as one;
Don’t live as if your love has a deadline;
It might fade, might grow cold but it can also be rekindled.
So go home with this new mindset and we’ll meet next time for review.
As they got up and walked out, hand in hand;
A smile crept up my face;
Hope was a beautiful thing;
Even life’s heaviest storms are powerless;
Against two people who stand as one;
And don’t stand a chance when their hope is in God.
Till death do us part is the end of the road, all other things are road bumps.
The week that followed went by quietly: like peace after a storm. Things went back to normal-Fitz burying himself in his work again and feverishly working with his attorney to prepare the contract for his partnership with Adam. Although things were quiet on the Adam side, I was okay. I deserved a break from all the drama. It was obvious he valued his golden opportunity with Fitz more than what we had and I was okay with that.
But if life has taught me anything, it was not to get comfortable when the peace winds blow because a heavier storm may be lurking around the corner.
I joined Karen and James in their ride to the venue where a small party organized for Adam by Fitz was being held. Fitz went there early to ensure everything was in order before it started. That showed how important the partnership was to him.
We arrived to find the place swarmed with media persons, key industry people and of course, the ‘wannabe’ people who want to appear on TV to show the world that they were at such an event. Fitz was giving a statement with a cool-looking Adam by his side. Both gentlemen were looking classy and I felt proud of knowing both of them. Fitz’s speech was met with applause and Adam made his acceptance speech simple and short.
“You must be growing an extra pair of ears. I can see you grinning with pride.”
“Because I have every right to. My husband is looking so refined and my…Adam is looking so chic. Who wouldn’t be proud?”
“I do believe this partnership would be mutually beneficial to both parties and I’m very confident that this is just the beginning for Adam. Today will marked in history as the day Adam started soaring high. Interact with him, take pictures and have fun.”
I walked up to my husband and his face broke into a smile when he saw me approaching. I smiled back and went into his arms. I took in his fragrance. He smelled amazing!
“How did you come?” He asked.
“I joined Karen and James. You gave a fine speech and you’re looking so fine as well. I’m sure the ladies here were ogling you.” He laughed.
“Would you happen to be one of them?”
“I was…but I have the right to.”
“Of course you do.” He kissed my cheek and turned.
“Hey Adam, my wife is here to congratulate you.” I saw him tense up a little as he watched Fitz wound his arm around my waist. I wore my smile like a mask. He exhaled deeply and extended his hand and I took it.
“Congratulations, Adam. I’m glad you took my husband’s offer.”
“Yeah; only a fool would let such a golden opportunity go.”
“Which you almost did,” Fitz reminded him with a smile.
“I had my reasons,” he replied, looking squarely at me. They began playing Adam’s song.
“You know why I love this song so much? Because it reminds me of how I feel when I think of you, Em,” Fitz said affectionately. He turned to look at Adam, beaming.
“It seems you wrote the song for me, Adam. You wrote out every wordless expression of my feelings for Emily. It is a lovely song.” I swallowed.
“I understand how you feel. I wrote the song with someone special in mind…as special as your wife is to you,” Adam said. I could feel the air heating up like an oven. I had to stop this before the time bomb which was Adam pretending to act cool exploded. People with cameras were around not to mention with the others who owned Smartphones. It would be scandalous.
“Excuse me, Mr. Daniels. One minute please.”
“Sure. Keep each other company, will you?” He said and he was whisked away.
“So, big night, huh? How do you feel?” I asked, hoping that would calm his rapid-beating heart. How did I know, well, mine was beating that much too.
“Yeah, but it would have meant a lot to me if I had the inspiration for my song beside me on a night like this. It would have made the memory perfect.”
“I know this isn’t the ideal situation but I’m still here…beside you.”
“Uh huh, as my sponsor’s beloved wife. Do you realize how wrong it all feels?”
“I’m sorry if my presence is making you uncomfortable. I’ll leave you so others would have the chance to interact with you,” I said, making a turn. He held my arm and I froze. I quickly turned to see if Fitz had seen us. Adam took his hand away.
“I’m sorry; don’t go. Although it hurts that you’re not with me, it feels good to have you here beside me all the same.” I nodded.
“I’ve been thinking…about this whole arrangement. I know I have to stay away from you if this partnership is going to last but I don’t know if that’s going to work.”
“I’ll do my best to avoid such awkward lone times. You don’t have to worry.”
“Ever since we…got intimate, I haven’t been able to get you out of my mind. You are not my first but it kind of feels like you are. You overwhelm me, Emily and I’m scared that there would come a day I wouldn’t be able to control myself.”
“I know keeping away from each other would be difficult so I suggest we take it slow. Let’s be just friends. We won’t suffer from withdrawal symptoms and we won’t be tempted to cross the line again,” I said.
“But I want more than that.”
“And what would that be?” Fitz asked from behind me and my heart jumped. Adam swallowed. Fitz’s hand found its way around my waist again.
“Just talking of my aspirations, sir. I know together we will get there.”
“That’s the spirit. Emily dear, Karen was looking for you. I think she wants to leave.”
“Oh okay; excuse me then.” I gave Adam a ‘we-will-continue-this-talk’ glance and walked away. My steps became heavy with the feeling that two pairs of eyes were watching me walk away. This wasn’t going to be easy but I wasn’t going to cross the line again. But as they say, talk is cheap.
A week later, as I was trying to finish a reading assignment at home, my phone beeped.
I’m stuck. Need help, the message read. Grateful for the interruption, I put the handout down and started typing.
How may I help?
Need some inspiration for my next song. In a studio but I’m blank. Could we meet?
I chewed on my lower lip. Fitz was out of town so I didn’t have to worry about any awkward run-ins. But should I? If last time was anything to go by, things would go way out of line. Was it wise to risk it? Of course not but his next text please with a sad smiley made reason fly out the window. As if my fingers had developed a mind of its own, it quickly typed ok. Where?
“You do know that it is rude to stare, right?” I asked.
“I’m glad you didn’t refer to yourself as a married woman because that would break my heart.” I chuckled.
“But I am. But it wouldn’t be nice to rub it in. So, what’s your next song about?”
“About forbidden love.”
“Adam…” He picked up his notepad and started writing.
“Adam…don’t…” He shushed me up. I leaned back on the chair and sighed.
“I am sure you’ll find your Miss Right soon. She’s out there,” I said.
“Good; I’m adding that line. Go on,” he said. He gaped at him. He looked up at me when I wouldn’t say anything else. I gestured zipping my mouth and he shook his head. He kept on writing.
After some quiet minutes had passed by, he put the notepad down.
“Not really; I need to polish it up.”
“Can I hear it?” I asked a bit too eagerly.
“Because I’m not done.”
“Come on, just a line or two. You called me here so you can’t leave me hanging.”
“Well, you left me hanging when I found out you were married,” Adam shot back. I bit the inside of my cheek. I picked up my bag and got up.
“It seems my work here is done.”
“Come on, don’t get like that. Please sit down.”
“What do you want from me, Adam? I’m sorry that I’m taken but there’s nothing I can do about it. So it’s either we make do with the present circumstances or we just stay out of each other’s way. And judging from your new attitude, I lean toward the latter.”
“I’m sorry, Em. Please don’t leave.” My phone rang.
“It’s Fitz. Wonder why he’s calling,” I said. “Hi darling, missing me?”
Adam couldn’t help but roll his eyes. I ignored him.
“Yeah, you just came to mind and wanted to hear your voice. Where are you right now?”
“I’m out. Is there something you want me to do for you?”
“No. Are you with Karen?” I hesitated. Why did he want to know? Was he watching me? I glanced at Adam who was reading through the lyrics he had put down.
“No, I’m not. Is there a problem?”
“No; just wanted to know.” This didn’t sound good.
“Actually, I’m with Adam,” I blurted out. Adam looked up at me.
“He had a studio session today and wanted to hang out afterward. I decided to accept his invitation because I knew you’d want us to become acquainted,” I explained.
“Ah okay; that’s nice. I’m pleased to hear that. Send him my regards, all right? And tell him, we’re waiting for his next hit song.”
“I will. Take care, honey. Bye.” I ended the call and sat down.
“What is it? You look worried,” Adam asked, watching me closely.
“The call felt strange, you know. He wanted to know who I was with. It was like he was watching me from afar or someone had just informed him that I am here with you.”
“And how did he take it when you said you were with me?”
“He sounded satisfied…as if he was counting on me to tell him the truth. People are watching us, Adam. This isn’t good,” I said anxiously, looking around.
“Chill, Em. Now that you’ve told him the truth, he’ll erase all suspicions from his mind. You have his trust.”
“But how long will I risk losing it? Every minute I spend with you is like a ticking bomb. I do like you, Adam but Fitz is my husband and he is a great man. I don’t want to cause him any harm. I think I should go.” I got up again.
“No, please don’t go. Just an hour more.”
“No. You’ve your song now. Go home and polish it up. We’ll talk later,” I said and walked off.
“I love you.” I froze in my tracks for a moment. I continued walking away after I had regained my composure.
Fitz ended the call with a satisfied grin on his face.
“She told me the truth. She’s not doing anything fishy.”
“Hmm…time will tell,” the man seated next to him said.
We now find ourselves living in an era where perverse is the new perfect;
Where slutty is the new stylish;
Where crude is the new refined;
And the bad is the new cool.
It kind of feels as if we are living in a reverse mode;
Degradation is the new progression;
Immorality is the new fashion-sense;
Shamelessness is worn proudly like designer eye lashes.
Gone are the days where decency reigned as the hallmark of civilization;
When savvy speech were well-seasoned with grace and discretion;
Now, how appalling to hear people speak!
Expletives are spewed out as easily as taking in air.
Decent speech now bores the ears so we have resorted to foul talk;
Even expressions of affection have to contain at least one bad word;
When and how did we get so twisted?
If one wanted to fit in with the ‘cool guys’, he had to keep up with the trend.
Almost all of today’s hit songs contain words which normally should offend women;
But surprisingly, you find the ladies singing alongside and dancing to the tune;
But if the same words were said to them without the tune, they wouldn’t take it lightly;
So what’s with the double standards?
Does it mean it is cool to refer to someone with derogative words as long as it is sing-able?
Or the sound of the bad words just adds some flavor to the song that any other word can’t?
I guess the world prefers the tainted to the pure stuff now.
Call me conservative, outmoded and out-of-touch;
But I only want to hear what would calm my soul;
And not burn my ears and make me cringe in repulsion.
So please don’t talk dirty to me!
Finding Adam was as hectic as searching for a pin in a haystack. I called his number but he wouldn’t pick up. I decided to blame it on the chaos and noise from the crowd breaking apart. It hurt less that way.
I had stopped to catch my breath when my eyes fell on his car. I forgot my fatigue and rushed towards it. I saw him get into his car after taking a selfie with two gleeful girls. Oh no, I had to stop him and the only way I could was to…
The tires screened to a halt. I flinched fearing the worst. I opened my eyes to find Adam’s bewildered eyes on me, breathing heavily. Oops, he looked pissed. He got out of his car.
“Are you trying to get killed? I could have run you over!” He shouted.
“I know; I’m sorry. I couldn’t think of any other way to get your attention with the little time I had.”
“Well, you do have my attention now.”
“Can we please talk?”
“One selfie, please,” a girl asked. He forced a smile and the camera flashed.
“Thanks,” she said and she scurried away. I looked at him pleadingly.
“Fine; get in the car.” I quickly got in before he could change his mind. I guess the crowd around turned things in my favor. He surely didn’t want to create a scene. He drove away. He stopped the car at an empty park far away from the noise and killed the engine.
“Say whatever you have to say. You have five minutes,” Adam said, glancing at his watch.
“Adam, I’m sorry you had to find out the way you did.”
“Were you ever going to tell me?” I swallowed.
“Well, eventually, of course. I thought we would just be good friends but when we crossed the line at the beach resort the other day, I didn’t know what to do. I didn’t want to lose you as a friend but I didn’t want us to start an affair. And I knew you wanted us to be more than friends so I was in a bit of a dilemma.”
“Oh poor you,” Adam said with heavy sarcasm.
“So you must understand how uneasy I felt about you meeting Fitz because I knew it would end badly.”
“Uh huh, you were so concerned about your convenience issues that you tried to sabotage my one chance of going higher in my career.”
“Guilty as charged. But now that the inevitable has happened…”
“Why didn’t you just tell me you were married?” He looked at my ring finger which was naked.
“Do you even wear the wedding band at all? Because it doesn’t even show on your finger,” he added.
“I wanted to feel desired by someone younger than my husband. I didn’t want you treating me like your aunt. I wanted to feel as young as I am. And you made me feel beyond that.”
“Do you even love him, your husband?”
I sighed. “It’s complicated.”
“No, it’s not. It’s either you do or you don’t. Or did you marry him to pay a debt you owed him?”
“Oh no, it’s not like that. I was looking for affection and we crossed paths and he offered it to me. Before I knew it, he had proposed, I accepted without thinking of how it would affect me and here I am. I know it was selfish of me keeping you in the dark about this. It must feel like I was just toying with you.”
“And that’s exactly what you were doing. I was just playing the role of some boy toy to some premature cougar…”
“Did you even think of how I felt knowing that I slept with another man’s wife?”
“I know; it felt terrible. And I understand if you don’t want anything to do with me any longer but I don’t want you to refuse Fitz’s offer.”
“Fitz said you were against it…”
“At the time, of course because I was afraid of a collision but since that has already happened, I figured that you could use his help. He’s been waiting for your call.”
“I think it would be better for all parties involved if I let it pass,” Adam said.
“No; that would be a big mistake, Adam. Fitz is very generous and if he is this interested in you, you bet he’ll go all out to make you a superstar very soon.”
“We could still be friends….that is if you’re up for it.” He shook his head.
“You made me break a vow I made to myself years ago.”
“What do you mean?”
“I vowed never to get involved with a married woman. My mother cheated on my dad and after she had abandoned her family, my dad got depressed and took to drinking. He drank so much that you could smell the booze from his sweat. Then he passed, a very sad and broken man. And now, you’ve made me into the man who could bring such an ill-fated end to a good man like Fitz Daniels.”
“I’m sorry; I never thought we would end up in bed.”
“Yeah because apparently, all you envisioned for us was just friends…but I was hoping we could be more.” I touched his arm. He didn’t pull away.
“I’m sorry for messing up what we had or could have had. But don’t throw away such a great opportunity on my account. I would do my best to stay away and avoid any run-ins with you and Fitz if that would make you more comfortable,” I said. It wasn’t what I wanted but I preferred this rather than having to lose him altogether.
He sighed and started the engine. He pressed play on the stereo. His song was playing. We glanced at each other and I smiled.
“It is a beautiful song.”
“Intended for a beautiful single lady.” I chuckled.
“I’m sorry for not living up to it.”
The drive was an amazing one. Just the two of us, chatting and holding hands…it was like we were in a world of our own. He stopped a few meters away from Fitz’s residence.
“Welcome home,” Adam said.
“Thank you for hearing me out. Promise me you’ll consider Fitz’s offer.”
“I will.” I smiled and hugged him. He was so warm! We drew apart and he touched my face.
“I wish I could kiss you right now,” Adam whispered. I was about to tell him I held no objection to that when he added, “but if I start, I won’t stop and I would want more and if I am to take on Fitz’s proposition, it would be like having an affair with his wife which wouldn’t be fair to him.” I nodded but one kiss wouldn’t hurt, would it? I gave him a quick kiss and got out of the car.
“Thanks for bringing me home,” I said.
“Anytime, Emily.” He drove away. I touched my lips and smiled. I started walking towards the house. Then I froze. I had left the car on campus. Being with Adam made me forget I had come to campus with my car. Oh what would I say if Fitz asked me about it? I chewed on my lower lip as I entered the house.
Fitz was on the phone. He waved to acknowledge my presence.
“That’s great. I was beginning to get worried. I believe we’d be a perfect team, you and I. We’ll talk more in the morning. My wife just got in. Goodnight,” Fitz said and hung up. I walked into his opened arms and returned his embrace.
“Guess what, Adam just called. He has agreed to my proposition,” Fitz informed me.
“Whoa, that’s nice,” was all I could say. Wow, that was fast. Good to know I still had an effect on Adam.
“You must be elated.”
“I am. I didn’t hear your car coming in.” I swallowed. Why must he be so observant?
“Yeah, I left it on campus. Karen’s guy took us to an ice-cream place and then dropped me off. I’ll go get it tomorrow.”
“Oh okay; that means you were there when Karen called me. She sounded so delighted about the phone.”
“Yes she was. She’s been fantasying about the phone since it was launched. Thank you for making it real for her.”
“I did it for you,” he said huskily, wrapping his arms around my waist.
“Thank you. I really appreciate it.” We kissed.
Later when I was in the bathroom, I took my phone and sent Adam a text message: Glad you considered Fitz’s offer. You won’t regret it.
Anything for you, he replied. I smiled as I put my phone down and started brushing my teeth.
Time indeed flies. I remember wishing friends Happy New Year as vividly as if it were only yesterday. And like fast-forwarding a DVD, we are in the month when Christians all over the world remember and appreciate the death and resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ. For others, it is a long weekend to have fun and spend time with friends and family. For both the spiritual and not-so-much, it is one of the most anticipated seasons of the year because of the personal relevance attached to it.
Personally, I call Easter the season of love because it reminds me of the greatest sacrifices ever made in the name of love. Anyone who hasn’t tasted the sweetness of God’s love has no other choice but to compromise on certain values to be able to receive some fraction of affection from someone else. Such people resort to holding back a piece of them so that when things go south (which at most times do), they would have something to prove that they could still move on without them.
But love is about putting all your cards on the table; holding nothing back. And our God demonstrated that perfectly when He gave us His only begotten and beloved Son to die in our place so we would live. And it is said that love is sacrificial because it involves risking it all with no guarantee. Jesus was scorned by the ones He came to save but that didn’t deter Him from accomplishing what He had to do. And that selfless kind of love is still touching lives and healing nations today.
Love is patient and kind. Patience is tested in hard times and under harsh conditions. Love stands firm even when the recipient abuses and scorns it. Kindness is extended to those who have had their lives starved of care and affection and have been scorched by the cruelties of this life. Mind you, such people because of their inexperience of love do not open up to love that easily. They are doubtful and distrusting of anyone trying to show them a little care thinking that it is just another ploy to take advantage of them. So this love being kind to those in need is also patient with them to warm up to it.
And this is the kind of love that I am reminded of at this time of year. Even when I was too stubborn to admit that I needed help, Love stood waiting for me. Whenever I strayed, Love came running after me. Whenever I doubted Him, Love reminded me of His ultimate sacrifice for me.
I love Easter because it is my personal therapeutic moment to reminisce on how far I’ve come by His grace and appreciate where He’s taking me.
Thank you Lord for dying for me and taking my baggage of sin away. And thank you for rising again to give me hope that indeed you’ve conquered all. And thank you for going up to prepare a place for me. And finally, thank you for leaving your Spirit with me to complete this journey called life.
Josephine Amoako (c) 2015.
Sorry, the phone you’re trying to reach is switched off…
I cancelled the call with seething frustration. I knew he was pissed off but come on, he should get over it. Sooner or later, he would have to talk to me; unless he was closure-allergic.
Karen entered the house to find my surly self on the bed.
“Don’t tell me you’re still trying to get in touch with Adam. It is a blessing he’s walking away with no drama. Your marriage is saved from a dramatic showdown,” she said, throwing a pack of Lays chips at me. I caught it and tore it open.
“I want us to talk it out. I don’t like us to end things like this. And he not talking to me doesn’t necessarily mean he’s walking away. He still has his partnership with Fitz pending.”
“Has anything being signed yet?” she asked, crunching on the chips.
“No. Fitz said Adam called to ask for some time to think things over.”
“Think what over exactly? He’s getting a big time mogul to skyrocket his career and he needs time to digest that?”
“Obviously it’s about what happened between us which makes it all complicated.”
“What happened between you?” Karen asked suspiciously. I stared blankly at her.
“I mean you know…our budding friendship. It was getting serious and it seems he was really into me and now he had this rude awakening that I’m someone else’s wife. It is quite a lot for a young man to take in, you know,” I replied. For a second, I saw a twinkle of doubt flash in her eyes.
“Well, it all boils down to this, it’s either he breaks it off with you and concentrate on his future that is sign the deal with Fitz which in my opinion makes more sense or refuse Fitz’s offer and continue whatever you two were doing which would be senseless,” Karen analyzed.
“You make it sound like I’m such a useless venture to enter into.”
“No offense but in all honesty, you are. What could you possibly offer Adam that would help his career that Fitz can’t in a hundred fold?”
“Well, I’ve proven to be a rich source of inspiration. He could write more hit singles drawing from spending time with me.”
“Oh don’t flatter yourself, Em. You’re not irreplaceable, you know. He could get himself another Emily with no sweat at all. A cute guy with a good voice and plays the acoustic guitar, he won’t even last an hour as single in the market if he was up for grabs.”
“So you’re saying it would be stupid of me to let go of him, right?” I asked hopefully.
“No, silly! I mean if you really care about him, you should let him go, Em. He has such a bright future and you are standing in the way of that. And you both decide to have your cake and eat it, Fitz will find out one day and it won’t be pretty.” I nodded.
“I guess it’s better that he’s avoiding me after all.”
“Okay, changing the subject….you know my birthday is coming up, right?” Karen asked.
I glanced at her.
“Of course it is.” I had totally forgotten which was unlike me.
“You forgot, didn’t you?”
“No, I didn’t. What on earth could make me forget my best friend’s birthday?” I asked, putting on my down face.
“Someone caught in the middle of two guys,” Karen said with a tight smile. I agreed with a nod. I made a mental note to remind Fitz of my request.
“Not going to campus today?” Fitz asked me after I had lazed about the house all morning. He was sitting behind his computer as usual.
“Nope. I’d rather stay home and spend time with you since you’re obviously not going to the office today,” I said, wrapping my arms around his neck and hugging him from behind.
“Aww…that’s so thoughtful. But today is Karen’s birthday, right? Don’t you want to share this happy day with her?”
“I’m sure she’d prefer to spend it with her sweetheart. I’ve been sharing her with him all year. It is about time I let him have her full attention for at least one day, don’t you think?”
“True; very considerate of you. But I got you the gift you wanted to give her.”
“Yeah, I’ll give it to her on Monday. Thank you, Fitz. I know it was on short notice but you still came through. I’m really grateful.”
“Anything for you, sweetie.” He pulled me onto his laps and touched my face.
“What did I do to deserve you?”
“You called me beautiful and got me an expensive gift.” He laughed. The sound of his laughter warmed my heart. He was such a good man. What girl in her right senses would still be unsatisfied with that? Perhaps I didn’t deserve him.
“What are you thinking about?” He asked, studying my face.
“Your mind wandered off for a moment. What is it?”
“Nothing; I was thinking that I should be the one asking you what I did to deserve you.” He smiled and kissed me.
A little after five o’clock, Karen called me.
“How’s the birthday girl doing?” I asked when I answered the call.
“Terrific. James has been such a sweet dude all day! Why have you been MIA today?”
“I wanted you to enjoy the day with James. Besides, you two deserve some quality alone time.”
“Oh please! You know my day won’t be complete without goofing around with you. Please come,” Karen pleaded.
“You know I would love to but Fitz is home today and we are having some quality time so…rain check? I promise to make it up to you the whole of next week.”
“I’ll hold you on to that. And guess what, Adam is performing on campus tonight.”
“Yep. A perfect way to end such a great day, right?”
“Uh huh. I guess you’d be there.”
“Of course. I hear he’d be singing to people’s requests as well. So I’d definitely want to hear him sing my personal favourite.” I smiled.
“That sounds nice. Have fun, honey and take care.”
“You too, Em.” The line went dead. Adam was coming to campus. What an opportune time to talk to him. I wish I could be there. I had to think of something.
“Honey?” I looked up.
“I’ll be engaged in a video conference call for about an hour. I hope you don’t mind,” Fitz said.
“Of course not. Actually, it seems I have to go to campus after all. Karen called and pleaded with me to come. I said no but since you’d be occupied, it wouldn’t hurt if I passed by campus and came back later, right?”
“Of course not. You should go. I told you she’d want to be with you. Send her my regards, all right?” Fitz said.
“Sure. I’ll head to the study room now.”
“Okay; I’ll get myself ready.” He closed the door behind him. Yes! I exclaimed happily in a whisper. Surely, where there is a will, there’s a way. I quickly got dressed and particularly made sure my makeup was flawless. This face of mine had worked wonders for me before and I’d need it to come through for me tonight.
I quietly opened the door to the study room and found Fitz speaking to the others on the screen. He glanced at me and I waved. I blew him a kiss and closed the door. I sighed. I couldn’t wait to get to campus. I checked my bag one last time and found Karen’s gift in it. I sat in my car and drove off.
“Here you go,” James said, giving Karen her second kebab.
“Thanks. Look, Adam is about to sing!” she said excitedly. Her phone beeped.
“Em is on campus. She wants to know where we are,” Karen said, typing her reply.
“I thought we were going to have an Emily-free day together. What happened?” James asked, disappointed. Karen laughed.
“I asked her to come. She said no so I wonder what made her change her mind.”
“She promised she’d stay away,” James mumbled.
“Did you ask her to stay away today?”
“Would you blame me if I did? You two are always together. Sometimes it feels we’re sharing you.”
“You’re sharing me and I don’t mind because you two are my best friends.”
“She has you for the rest of the year.”
“That’s not true. Hey, here she is!”
I walked into her open arms and glanced at James who was obviously not happy to see me tonight. I mouthed a sincere “I’m sorry” before drawing back from Karen’s hug.
“Have you seen him?” I asked Karen.
“Who?” Then it hit her. “Huh, so you didn’t come because of me after all, right? I can’t believe you.”
“Today is for you and James exclusively and I mean that. I just need to get him alone.”
“That would be after the show which would be pretty difficult because most girls would want to take photos with him and all.”
“I know, right? But I’m here now and I won’t leave till I’ve spoken with him.”
“All the best, girl.”
“Before I forget, I brought you your birthday present.”
“Aww…you did?” Karen asked, feeling excited. I reached into my bag and brought it out.
“Whoa…what could it be?” Karen looked at James who only smiled.
“Can I open it now?”
“Of course; it’s yours.” She unwrapped it and gasped when she opened it.
“Oh Emily! I can’t believe this!” She asked, stunned.
“You got her an iPhone 6? Seriously, are you trying to snatch my girlfriend from me?” James asked. Karen and I burst into laughter. Karen hugged her boyfriend and kissed his cheek.
“You’re cute when you act jealous, sweetie.”
“Don’t worry Jay; Karen is all yours.”
“I guess I should thank God you’re not gay.” We laughed harder.
“They are asking for song requests now. Excuse me for a minute, ladies,” James said and walked away.
“Does James seriously see me as a threat?” I asked, still recovering from the fit of laughter.
“Oh don’t mind him. Every guy would feel scared when his girl’s best friend gets her a more expensive gift than what he could get her. But seriously Em, thank you.”
“Thank Fitz. I asked him to get it for you. He sends his best wishes by the way.”
“Oh really? I’d have to call him and thank him.”
“Yeah, you have to.” We both turned when we heard Adam’s voice over the microphone.
“So this is for Karen. I hope it is the same Karen I have in mind. Your darling boyfriend wants me to sing this song for you and he tells me it’s your birthday. Happy birthday, Karen.”
“Aww…” Karen said, palming her cheeks. I rubbed her back. When he started, Karen moaned in delight, “He’s singing my latest favourite from Anthem Lights!”
“Nice song. What’s the title of the song?” I asked, taking out my phone.
“Give me a lifetime. Isn’t it sweet?”
“Adam singing it makes it even sweeter. Remind me to get the album.”
“I have it on my laptop.”
“Wow…what a friend I have. You know sharing is caring, right?”
“I’m sorry; songs never seem to come up when you’re around. I promise to let you have it.”
“You better. It is a nice song.”
After an hour of soothing music from the latest sensation in town, it was time for me to get down to business.
“I’ll see you two later. I need to grab him before someone else does.”
“Sure and thanks for coming…even though I know I wasn’t the primary reason.” We hugged.
“Thanks for the phone, Em.”
“I kind of owed you that. Remember the incident at the supermarket?”
“Yeah; is that why you got it because I asked?”
“You’ve been drooling over it ever since it came out. I knew I had to get it for you. And do remember to call Fitz.”
“I definitely would. Take care, dear. She’s all yours, Jay.”
“Finally.” We hugged. I waved them goodbye and began my search for Adam.