I think time froze or was ticking in an extremely slow motion because in a blink, I saw the muscles on Adam’s face tense when our eyes met. Oh I wished I could swoon at that very moment but my feet surprisingly stood as strong as never before.
My phone beeped and I took a quick glance at it.
Guess what, God just sent me a producer! Can’t wait to tell you all about it, it read. I swallowed as I looked back up. He just stood there, staring blankly at me. I couldn’t read his face so I couldn’t tell what was going through his mind at the moment. I watched in helpless dismay as he squeezed the life out of his phone. He was definitely taking out his rage on the poor phone. I didn’t even realize Fitz had walked up to me and kissed me on the cheek but his grip on my waist shot me right back to reality.
“Adam, this is my lovely wife, Emily.”
Adam blinked twice and took a step towards me. He stretched his hand and I took it.
“Nice to meet you, Mrs. Daniels,” he said coldly. I felt my hand get numb as he decided to squeeze it subtly but painfully. I suppressed a moan and winced. He released my hand after he was satisfied that I had received his message as expected. Fitz was still talking but nothing he said made sense to me.
“Please let’s sit and enjoy this wonderful meal, shall we?” Fitz said.
“Yes sir,” Adam said and sat. He continued to glare at me as I sat. I realized my hands were trembling. I fisted my hands so he wouldn’t notice. I suddenly felt sick. I was sweating despite the air-conditioner working perfectly. Fitz called Mary to come and serve us.
“So you’re welcome to my abode, Adam,” Fitz said with a broad smile.
“You have a lovely home and a beautiful wife,” Adam complimented.
“I do, don’t I?” Fitz said proudly. I rolled my eyes in my head. Couldn’t he just stop talking for a minute?
Because Adam and I sat facing each other, I found it very difficult avoiding his accusing glare, leaving me with no option but to stare at the laid table.
”Emmy darling, why don’t you say grace?” Fitz asked.
“Um…sure.” We held hands and I mumbled my way through.
As we ate, Adam gabbed about how he got in touch with Adam. I pretended I was paying attention by nodding and faking interest. That helped while away the time without having to endure Adam’s cold stares. But that changed when Adam asked,
“So how long have you two been married?”
“Oh not that long….about seven months.”
“I see; you two seem like a happy couple,” he said, glancing at me. I sipped at my drink to avoid having to comment on that.
“Oh yes we are. We first heard of you when we came to the stage play show where you performed.”
“And I’ve been talking about you ever since. Isn’t that true, honey?” I forced a smile.
“Are you always that quiet?” Adam asked, looking squarely at me.
“Forgive her; I didn’t tell her I was bringing you over so it must have taken her by surprise to see you in her home. And did you know, she was a bit skeptical about me reaching out to you?”
Oh no. I dropped my fork in exasperation. He shouldn’t have said that.
“Oh really? Why’s that?”
“She was a bit doubtful about how far we could go as a team considering how your colleagues behave when you become famous. That was why I invited you here so she could see you for herself. Hopefully, you would prove her wrong,” Fitz said.
“Gladly,” Adam replied, giving me such an icy stare that sent shivers down my spine.
Enduring the combined torture of Fitz’s never-ending irritating blabbing and Adam’s sharp comments and hot glares, I realized how awful it would be to end up in hell. I must definitely change my ways before I end up there. Seriously.
I was slightly relieved when dessert was over as I tried to busy myself with clearing the table with Mary.
“I’ll let the driver take you home. Wait a minute, I’ve something to give you,” I overheard Fitz telling Adam. I walked to Adam when I saw Fitz enter the bedroom.
“Adam…I know there are a lot of questions going through your mind right now. All I’m asking is a chance to explain myself,” I said with the softest tone I could muster.
“Oh yeah, would you care to do that right now?” We both looked up when the door opened and Fitz came out. I took a step back.
“Oh, I can see you two are bonding already. I told you, you would like him when you met him, honey,” Fitz said, coming down the stairs.
“Well, it was a pleasure meeting you, Mrs. Daniels,” Adam said. I felt my heart break when all I could is his eyes were rage, hurt and disgust. I nodded, guarding myself from bursting into tears right there. I started up the stairs as Fitz walked him out. Before he stepped out, he stole a glance up at me and for that nanosecond, I was glad that he cared enough to look at me once more time before leaving. At least there was hope. Today had been a long day. I’d have to deal with this another day.
I threw myself on the bed and sighed. It could have gone worse but I was grateful that Adam behaved himself. After all, it was in both of our interests that he did. Oh God, what had I gotten myself into? So He didn’t listen to my prayer after all. Well, I had it coming. Sooner or later, this was bound to happen. Sooner was better. I could deal with its consequences and move on with what was left of my miserable life. My phone beeped. I quickly took it when I saw it was a message from Adam. But my heart sank when it simply read: we’re done.
Before I realized, I was calling him. It was ringing when Fitz entered. I canceled the call and stood with arms crossed. Fitz paused, sensing all wasn’t well.
“Okay, what did I do wrong?” He asked innocently.
“Well, the next time you’re bringing someone over, do well to give me a heads-up, okay? You totally blindsided me!”
“Yeah I know but I think it was a pleasant surprise. I noticed you were a little tensed at first but before he left, you had warmed up to him. Trust me, he’s a good kid.”
“And telling him I was skeptical about him? Was that really necessary?”
“I’m sorry; I tend to tittle-tattle a lot when I’m excited but I don’t think he took it seriously.”
“Uh huh, I realized that. Too late to do anything about it, I guess,” I fumed and entered the bathroom and slammed the bathroom door shut just for emphasis.
“Even if he did, it’s good because it would keep him on his toes so he wouldn’t mess up our partnership,” he said in a lame attempt to justify his actions.
“I’m sorry, honey. I didn’t mean to make you feel comfortable.”
“Just shut up,” I said to myself and turned on the shower. My life was on fifth gear and I should control of the wheels before I crashed. But what if it was too late?
I entered Karen’s hostel room to find it empty. Where could she be? She must be snuggling in James’ arms. Such a needy girl, I thought with a shake of the head. I took out my phone and sent her an SOS message. I threw myself on the bed and waited.
The door opened and Karen entered about ten minutes later.
“You sure took your sweet time,” I said.
“Well, I was on cloud nine when your text came in and it kind of takes some time get back down, you know.”
I arched a brow, gazing at her questioningly.
“I’m still a virgin in case you were wondering.”
“I wasn’t. Eww, you just had an image of you two and that feels so wrong!”
Karen laughed as she sat beside me.
“So what’s up?” Karen asked. I only stared at her.
“Why does something have to be up?” I asked after some seconds.
“You sent me an SOS for crying out loud! Don’t tell me you called for me because you didn’t want to be alone here.”
I shrugged. She smacked my arm.
“Seriously? You took me away from the arms of my sweetheart because you are such a spoilt brat? You know what happened to the boy who cried wolf, right?”
“Um…I’m no boy and I didn’t cry wolf,” I said with a smile. She smacked my arm again. She stood up to leave and I quickly held her hand and pulled her back down.
“Okay, I’m serious now. There’s fire on the mountain, Karen.”
“Fitz wants to sponsor Adam’s music career.”
“I don’t know what the hell he saw in him on that stage that night. He’s pretty determined about it. I tried changing his mind by suggesting other avenues to invest his money in but something tells me his mind is made up.”
“This is bad. What is it about Adam that fascinates him?”
“I don’t know…he said something about being a part of his success story.”
“Well, it does seem you two have similar tastes. He admires his music, you…everything else. You two are not that incompatible.”
“I’m serious, Karen. What do we do?”
“Uh huh, partner in crime, remember? For better for worse forever.”
“We’re not a couple, honey.”
“Tell me what to do, Karen. I’m out of ideas. I feel like I’m losing my mind. I think I need some rehab time.” Karen snorted.
“It’s not rehab; you need Jesus. When was the last time you went to church?” I thought for a moment.
“The last time you dragged me there.”
“That’s like two months ago! Seriously, Em?”
“Don’t blame me. Fitz isn’t a motivational factor either.”
“So what does he do on Sunday mornings?”
“He sleeps in. He only goes when he’s being invited to chair some sort of fundraising event which I must say he honours rather generously.”
“I see. If he goes ahead with his plan, I’m afraid this is out of your…our hands. We can only pray things don’t turn ugly.”
“Pray? That’s our first option?”
“In fact, prayer is our only option.”
“Then I might as well just give up because I know God isn’t my biggest fan at the moment. This would be a great opportunity to show his displeasure with me,” I said in despair.
“He will forgive you if you ask for His pardon. He’s not wicked to withhold that from you.”
I nodded. God, please hold my life together before it all starts crumbling down, I prayed inwardly. I closed my eyes for a moment.
“You’re being unfair to both of them, you know that? You’re standing in the way of Adam’s progress and you’re preventing Fitz from helping someone out”
“I know,” I said quietly.
“You’ll be fine. Whatever happens, I’ve got your back.”
“Of course. You don’t really have a choice,” I said, opening my eyes.
“You really don’t know how to play pathetic, do you?” I laughed.
“Thank you, Karen. I don’t know how my life would turn out without you.”
“Well, it would have been much better if you had listened to some of my past counsel.”
“Yes, I admit that. I have made some poor choices but you’ve still stuck with me. I’m grateful.”
“Aww…you are so cute when you act all appreciative.” I smacked her arm playfully.
“Ouch! That hurt!” I giggled.
I got home to find Mary, the house help busily preparing some meals.
“Good evening, Mary. What’s going on?” I asked.
“Your husband called to inform me that he’s bringing someone over for dinner so I should get things ready.”
“Oh really? He didn’t tell me. Let me help with the table setting.”
We were almost done when Fitz arrived.
“Hi honey, guess who is coming for dinner!” Fitz announced. I lifted my head and froze.
So did he. I swallowed hard.
“Hi,” I greeted weakly.
“Wow…it seems Adam’s new single is really making waves. Everyone’s talking about it,” Karen said, scrolling down her Smartphone.
“I’m not surprised; it’s a lovely track,” I replied, meticulously painting my toenails.
“And besides, it is for me so it has to be lovely. I’m lovely,” I added.
Karen rolled her eyes.
“I’m inspirational. Thoughts of me could write award-winning records. You should value me more, Karen. I’m a gold mine,” I said proudly.
“Oh please, he could be talking about more than one girl he has met in his life. If it was really about you, he should have been bold enough to mention your name at least once.”
“He wanted to protect my identity, for crying out loud, Karen! You do have an innate ability to ruin good moments, don’t you? You couldn’t stand to have me swim in joy for just a minute, could you?”
“Nope.” I shook my head.
“Can you believe Fitz is crazy about Adam too? I found it fascinating at first but now, it’s just creepy.”
“Why, because an older guy likes a song about young blossoming love?”
“Not that; it’s becoming some sort of obsession. He really wants to meet him and that doesn’t augur well for me at all.”
“Oh really? Then you have a time bomb on your hands.”
“I know, right? I must find a way to take his mind off him.”
“I thought you were an expert in distracting people with your lovely self. What happened?” She asked teasingly.
“I guess everything has its limits. And don’t think I can’t make out that sarcastic tone in your voice.”
“So all it took to bring your reign to an end was a cute guy with a smooth voice and skilful fingers?”
“Stop it! Come to think of it, Adam does have skilful fingers,” I said dreamily.
Karen threw a curious glance at me.
“I was referring to his talent of playing the guitar. What were you referring to?”
I blinked blankly. “That was what I was also referring to,” I quickly responded.
“No, it wasn’t. Em, what have you two…?”
“Oh no! How could you even think that?” I asked with a look of disgust plastered on my face.
“Well, considering your history, which I would say is hopelessly reckless, I wouldn’t be surprised.”
“Well, I’m disappointed you don’t trust me. Once bitten, twice shy, right?”
“In all honesty, I don’t think that applies to you.”
Ouch. She couldn’t have said it any better. Was I such a hopeless case?
I was playing Temple Run 2 on my phone when Fitz joined me in bed. He sighed heavily.
“Tough day?” I asked, my eyes glued to my phone.
“Understatement, my dear. Is it me or were the hours running terribly slow today?”
I chuckled, my fingers swiping up the screen, “I’m sorry honey; I’m sure it’s just you.”
“You know what, I’ve been thinking of doing an investment.”
“Oh yeah, in what?”
“Sounds interesting…like an agency?”
“No…like in an individual.”
“Okay…anyone in mind?”
“Yeah, that young guy we watched the other night…Adam.”
My heart missed a beat making my fingers numb for a second such that I missed a jump and lost the game. I stared at my phone in unbelief-not sure if it was that of losing the game after coming that far or it was because he had just mentioned my forbidden fruit. I dropped the phone in despair.
“What do you think, Emily?” At least, he was asking for my opinion.
“What do you mean by investment, exactly?” I asked, my mind racing to put together how this would complicate my life.
“You know, sponsor his career. I’ve a good eye on business, Em and my instincts tell me investing in him would be very lucrative.”
“So this is just about the money?”
“Not just that; I want to be part of his success story. I know he’ll be a big name soon. I’d like to help him get there.” Oh no. How do I tune his mind away from this idea without sounding like an ignorant, short-sighted, immature partner?”
“And how do you plan on meeting him?” I knew I had made a mistake asking that.
“Oh, that wouldn’t be a problem. I think some contact information is printed on the cover of the single I got at the show. Besides, I’m a businessman. Finding people is no problem.”
“Okay…so how far would your relationship with him go? Just sponsor his career financially?”
“Well, I hope to go beyond that.”
“Sounds brilliant, Fitz; but you know these upcoming artistes look all-promising but when they hit the peak, they start misbehaving. They begin to disrespect their management teams and sponsors. Why not invest in something more definite? Stocks, for example. They don’t bite the hands that feed them,” I said. Fitz laughed at my last statement.
“You are interesting, sweetheart. But I’ve invested in stocks long enough to know that things can go awry when you least expect it. I want to create an impact in someone’s life.”
“Then establish a foundation or something. There are a lot of causes you can pump your money into which could be worth your while, you know.”
“You seem pretty adamant about your stance on this. I thought you liked his song as well.”
“I did…I do. But there’s a clear distinction between the song and the artiste. I’m on campus, we hear of their lifestyles all the time. Trust me, they can be a handful.”
Fitz was quiet for a while. With each rapid heartbeat, I hope my words were sinking in and that he would back off.
“Good reasoning. I will think about it. Anyway, goodnight, honey.” He kissed me on the forehead.
“Goodnight, dear.” I knew I should be ashamed of being an obstacle in Adam’s chance of career progress but I had to protect my interests first and if that meant depriving him of Fitz’s support, then so be it.
I was going over my typed assignment when I felt a tap on my shoulder. I looked up to find Karen staring at me with curious eyes.
“Are you okay?” She sounded worried. I forced a smile.
“Yes; I just want to get this work over and done with.”
“You have dark circles around your eyes. Not sleeping much?”
“I’ve had a little trouble sleeping lately. Nothing major. I’ll be fine.” I turned back to my computer.
“You know you can trust me with anything, right?” Karen pressed, obviously unconvinced.
“Of course Karen; you’ve always been my partner in crime. I assure you, I’m fine.” My phone rang. I tapped on ‘ignore.’
“You’ve been ignoring Adam’s calls for some days now. What’s up?”
“Following your advice.”
“Have you told him you’re married? That would definitely make him back off.”
“Not psyched up for that kind of conversation yet.”
There was a loud knock on the door. We stared at each other questioningly.
“I wonder who it is,” Karen said after we had answered each other of the obvious question. She walked to the door and opened it.
“Hello.” Karen blinked hard and went aback.
“Hi. Karen, right? I never heard back from you after our encounter at the supermarket. Is this your room?”
“Yes it is. Who are you looking for?”
“For a girl called Emily.” Emily got up at the sound of her name.
“Who’s it, Karen?” I asked, walking to the door. I gasped when my gaze fell on Adam.
“Hi. Okay, this is awkward. I had no idea you two were friends much more roommates.”
“You know my friend here?” I asked with feigned innocence.
“Yeah, met her once. Tried calling her a few times but it always went to voicemail and she never got back to me.” Karen and I shared a nervous glance.
“Sorry about that. Come on in,” Karen said. He entered.
“How did you know where to find me?” I asked in a stunned tone as he sat down.
“Because you were avoiding my calls, I traced your phone using GPS.”
“Can we talk now?”
“I’m in the middle of something…”
“I’ll give you some privacy,” Karen quickly interjected. I gave her a quick glance.
“Thanks, Karen. Now that we’ve all met, perhaps we could hang out one of these days,” Adam suggested.
“Yeah, that sounds good. Text me if you need anything,” Karen said to me. I nodded. Karen left the room. I sighed and sat down.
“You look pale. What’s going on? Why are you avoiding me?” Adam asked, holding my hands.
“I’m sorry, Adam. I was just…I’m still overwhelmed with how far we went the other day. We shouldn’t have.”
“I realized that now and I’m sorry for driving you to a place you were not prepared for. And that’s why I’m here. I really like you, Emily and I want to do this right. I really want a future with you. So please, talk to me.”
I lifted my teary eyes and looked at the possibly much happier future I would have had if only I had listened to reason. He was really serious about me and I was only toying with him. I couldn’t have them both. I had to choose one. Unfortunately, my fate was sealed unless…did I even have the guts to do what I had to do to cut myself loose?
“You mean something to me too, Adam. I don’t want you to think otherwise. It’s just that things are little complicated at my end,” I tried to explain.
“So simplify it for me. I’m all ears.”
“I wish I could, Adam.”
“ So do you need space and time to make up your mind?”
“Yeah, I do.”
“Okay; I’ll respect that but please don’t keep me wondering about what’s going on with you. I want to be assured that you’re okay.”
“I am okay. Thanks for passing by; I feel much better.” He pulled me up and into his arms. I smelled his fragrance and for a brief moment, I was glad to be involved with him.
“I’ll leave you to whatever you were doing. I’ve a show to prepare for. So I’ll call you later, okay? Promise me you won’t ignore my calls.”
“I promise.” He planted a soft kiss on my forehead and nothing felt sweeter.
“I’ll walk you to the door,” I offered. He intertwined his fingers with mine as we walked to the door. He hugged me one last time and opened the door.
“Goodbye, Adam.” He walked away. I closed the door and texted Karen. My phone beeped.
Tickets for the stage play ready. I’ll pick you up at 5pm. Got extra for Karen and her plus one, it read. I smiled. Fitz was really going out of his way to keep their relationship alive. I appreciated the effort but would it ever be enough?
Karen came in as I got settled to resume my work editing.
“You wouldn’t believe what I just saw. Apparently, Tony is a big fan of Adam’s music. I just saw them chatting. Small world, huh?” She said.
“Way too small,” I replied. “Fitz got tickets for you and James for tonight’s show.”
“Oh he did? Thank him for me, okay?”
“Thank him yourself. He’ll come and pick me up so you can take your tickets from him. I’m sure you’d prefer to come with James in his car.”
“Yep. Thanks, dear.”
“You see, there are benefits from being my partner in crime.” We shared a smile.
Fitz arrived at 5pm just as he said and gave Karen and James their tickets. They got in their car and followed us to the venue.
“How was your day?”
“It was okay; spent the whole day finishing up on some grand assignment.”
“Then it’s good that we’re watching the play tonight to de-stress you.”
“Yeah, the timing couldn’t be more perfect.”
We arrived at the theatre and Fitz had managed to get all of us front row seats. Whoa, the upside of rolling with the executive. I felt important and having Karen beside me was all I needed to feel great. We settled down and waited for the show to begin.
The big smile of anticipation died down when the MC came on stage to announce the opening act by an upcoming artiste who happened to be no one but my very own Adam. I felt my heart sink. I wanted the ground to swallow me up. Karen felt me flinch because she rubbed her hand on my arm. I swallowed hard as I saw him come on stage.
Sitting on the first row suddenly felt like a terrible idea. What if he spotted me? That would be disastrous.
“Hello everyone, this song was inspired by a wonderful lady in my life whom I pray to spend the rest of my life with. Wherever she is, may her heart hear the words of my song and may she respond in my favour.
”Why does it feel he’s referring to you?” Karen whispered in my ear. My fears were confirmed when he began singing the song he sang for me back at the beach resort. I quickly bowed my head when his eyes began roaming round the room.
Please don’t see me, I prayed silently.
“He’s such a promising talent, isn’t he?” Fitz whispered to me. I nodded.
“I’m sure he’d have copies of his single. We should get an autographed copy, what do you think?”
I forced a smile. Over my dead body would I walk to Adam with Fitz by my side. I’d definitely find a way to avoiding running to him.
As much as I loved the song, I couldn’t wait for him to finish and leave the stage. How painful it was not to enjoy the song probably dedicated to me and even look at him. When he finally walked off the stage, I sighed in relief as I lifted my head. I felt my neck muscles cringe in pain.
I knew the world was a small one but it was getting too uncomfortably small for me. Only the probable worst scenarios were playing out recently. God help me.
I woke up to find myself out of my clothes wrapped in bed sheets. Where was I and what was I doing here? I sat up and rubbed my eyes to help clear my fuzzy head. What was going on? The bathroom door opened and Adam stepped out. My eyes widened with shock and I instinctively drew the sheets closer to my body. He smiled.
“I’m sorry; didn’t want to wake you. You should probably take a shower too. The beach sand can get irritably sticky.”
“Oh no,” I mumbled as I buried my shamed face in my hands.
“Hey…what’s wrong?” He asked softly as he sat beside me. The concern on his face grew when he took my hands away from my face only to find tears streaming down.
“What is it? Did I hurt you?” I shook my head, overwhelmed with guilt.
“Where are my clothes?” I asked, avoiding his gaze.
“I sent them over to the laundry. They were wet and full of sand. The guy promised it would be ready in a few minutes. We did have a great time in the water, remember?” He said, trying to cheer me up.
“Why are you crying? I thought you enjoyed spending time with me.”
“I did…it’s just that…” There was a knock on the door.
“That must be the laundry guy.” Adam got up to open the door. He took my laundered clothes from him and gave him a tip. He closed the door. I got up with the sheets flowing down like some gown…what a shame.
“Give them to me. I have to go.”
“Without taking a shower first?”
“I’ll do so when I get home but I need to leave.”
“Okay,” he said in a disappointed tone, handing me the clothes. I was too distraught to care. I entered the bathroom and shut the door. I couldn’t even bring myself to stare at my face in the mirror. How could I be so stupid? It felt like history repeating itself. Would he also dump me like Tony did? And what about Fitz? He was waiting for me at home whiles I was shamelessly bathing myself in beach sand with Adam. Could I have stooped myself any lower? I guess the saying once bitten, twice shy doesn’t apply to me. I’d rather say twice stupid. I hurriedly dressed and walked out of the bathroom. I took my bag.
“Wait; I think we need to talk.”
“Oh no; I don’t do that. I mean, this was a mistake. I have to go.”
“A mistake? Wait, what is going on? I thought we were both into it.”
“Not now, Adam; I need to go. We’ll talk later,” I said hastily and walked out. I checked my phone when I sat in my car. Five missed calls from Fitz. I was in deep trouble. My mind began racing to put together some sensible lie to tell Fitz. What had I become? A cheating, lying wife! The tears continued to flow down my cheeks. I hated who I had become. But can you really blame me, an unsatisfied, bored-to-death obviously unprepared-to-be-a-wife college girl?
When I arrived at my matrimonial home, I placed my head on the steering wheel to utter a prayer of forgiveness. But how could I expect anyone to forgive me of this grave sin when I couldn’t forgive myself? I entered the house with heavy steps, dreading each one I took.
The house felt quiet and I sighed in relief. I quickly ran up the stairs and entered the bedroom. I screamed in fright when I saw Fitz lying on the bed which also startled him.
“What is it? Is someone after you?”
“No…I’m sorry. The house felt quiet and I assumed you were out. Forgive me.”
“It’s okay; where were you? I called you a number of times but you didn’t pick up.”
“Yeah, I’m sorry; it was in my bag and I was pretty occupied.”
“You look exhausted. Come here,” Fitz said, opening his arms. As if stung by a bee, I coiled away from his embrace. I knew he was hurt by my reaction but I was too ashamed to look him in the face to confirm it.
“I’m sorry; I feel sticky. Let me go take a quick shower and I’ll join you.” He stopped me by the arm.
“Are you okay?”
“Yeah. As you said, I’m a bit exhausted.”
“I prepared something special for us.”
“You mean you ordered.”
“It’s the same in my dictionary.” That brought a smile to my face. He cupped my chin, forcing me to look at him.
“I love you, Emily. You mean the world to me.” I bit down hard on my lower lip to stop me from bursting into tears. I could only nod in response.
“I’ll go and take my shower now.”
Immediately the bathroom door closed behind him, I tore the clothes away from me as if they had become infected with some virus. I hopped into the shower and for the first time, I didn’t cringe when the hot water hit my body. I wished it could get even hotter to scald away the filth I had just committed. I scrubbed my body with great effort but the harder I tried, the filthier I felt. I began to cry. I startled when I felt a hand on my shoulder. I turned around and didn’t reject his embrace this time. His every touch scalded my body but I couldn’t react knowing that would look suspicious. So for the many minutes that followed, I had to endure the burning touches and caresses which triggered memories of my time with Adam. I squeezed my eyes shut to make them go away but the harder I tried, the more vivid the images became in my mind.
Later on the bed, I heard Fitz speaking but my mind was far away, wandering nowhere in particular. A kiss on my shoulder jolted me back to reality.
“You’re not here,” he said.
“Your mind is absent from here. Throughout our lovemaking, you were totally oblivious. Did something happen with your friend today?”
“No. we just had a little argument; it’s nothing. I’m sorry about my absent-mindedness. I promise to come around probably after a nap,” I said, holding his cheek. I kissed him and turned around.
“All right, love. Get some rest,” Fitz said and laid down. My phone beeped and I took it.
I’m sorry if I took us too far. I didn’t mean to hurt you. Please talk to me. I can’t stand you being mad at me, the message read. I ignored it and forced myself to sleep, forgetting the torture could only get worse in my dreams.
If the only wealth you own is the money and the other material gain you’ve acquired, you are the poorest man on earth;
If the only beauty attributed to you is the physical attraction of your body, you are the ugliest person alive;
If the only knowledge you have is the one acquired from intellectual textbooks, you are the most ignorant one around;
If the only security you have comprises the insurance policies, alarm systems and financial investments, you are the most unsafe human to ever exist;
And if the only thing you call real refers to the things you can see, you may as well be the blindest person in life;
There is more to life than what the eyes can see, what the ears get to hear and what the mind can comprehend.
Science may seem to have logical answers to the mysteries of this intricately woven universe but the truth is the puzzle will never be complete without including the God and Creator of the universe. Facts are stated by man but the truth can only be found in God.
Only He can sustain you and everything that concerns you beyond the means the world prescribes;
Even if some accident scarred or maimed you, He still makes you beautiful in His own unique way such that others would acknowledge it;
Knowledge in its vast quantity is useless without wisdom and one can only acquire wisdom when he fears God;
Unlike insurance policies, God’s grace and mercies never expire; they never run out of supply.
Why settle for such a limited unfulfilled life when you can have it all, in this life and after? There’s more to life than what you’re living; just as there’s more to this world than what meets the eye. I know who I’ve believed in and no one can convince me otherwise.
My relationship with my husband was growing so uncomfortably stale by the day that I had to constantly cook up excuses to get out so I don’t get myself asphyxiated. Gosh, what had I gotten myself into? I knew I couldn’t eat my cake and have it at the same time but it seems I made a very poor decision which had cost me my freedom and everything that comes with it. I would confess right now, there’s nothing as miserable as finding yourself stuck in a loveless and BORING marriage. Whenever I saw him busily hitting the keyboard of his computer with that silly grin on his face, I felt like walking over to him, snatching it away and smashing it heavily on the floor. Maybe, only then would he know how frustrated I felt. Or maybe it was his way of communicating to me that I was free to do whatever I like…with whoever I like. I decided to console myself with that.
After denying Adam a date countless times, I decided to take him up on his offer. I just had to be careful. After all, what was the worst thing that could happen? Even if the ugliest scenario was to play out, I was smart enough to maneuver my way out. Indeed, hell hath no fury like a woman scorned. My sense of feeling neglected by my busybody of a husband had kindled in me a daring, confident spirit that I could go all out and come back in one piece.
I walked to my husband in my cute wedge heels and kissed his cheek.
“I’m going to hang out with a friend. Won’t be long.”
“Oh really? I was hoping we could spend time together today.”
I arched a brow and pointed to the computer.
“You call caught up with your computer spending time together?”
“Oh no, of course not. I’ll be done in a few minutes and we could you know…”
“Well, my friend is already waiting for me so…”
“Who is it?”
“You said your friend which means it’s not Karen.”
“How do you know?”
“Because it were her, you’d simply say Karen. So, who’s he?”
“I don’t know you to have any more close girlfriends other than Karen so I figure it is a guy.” I just stared at him blankly, trying to find a sensible thing to say to put this fire out but my mind was as blank as my facial expression. How smart did I think I was again?
“You know what, I’m not saying you can’t see your friends. You’re still young and you’d love to enjoy life at this age and it would be selfish of me to get in the way especially when I don’t make enough time for us. So, if you really need to go, then fine. We can do this another time,” Fitz explained. I blinked hard but said nothing. He looked at me, waiting for my response.
“You forgot your ring,” Fitz pointed to my naked finger. I quickly covered it with my right hand. Our eyes met and it felt like he was staring at my bare soul and it felt…scary.
“Um…yeah, I must have forgotten. I’m in quite a hurry so perhaps another time. Take care, honey,” I kissed him on the cheek again and quickly walked out of the house.
I sighed deeply when I sat in the car. This was all Fitz’s fault. If only he had given me a little more attention, he wouldn’t have driven me into the arms of another guy. The timing was terribly wrong. I’d have loved to spend time with Fitz…it’s been so long a time but I had given my word to Adam and I’d like to keep it. Maybe I could keep it short and rush back home to Fitz. Killing both birds with one stone was such an efficient use of my time and resources, I smiled proudly to myself as I drove off.
We met at a beach resort which was pretty quiet and calm. We chatted comfortably and I applauded myself inwardly for choosing to come meet Adam.
“I have a surprise for you.”
“Okay….what is it?!” I asked eagerly.
“Nothing material but I hope you like it.” That’s when he picked up the guitar next to him. I gaped in surprise.
“You play? Wow…”
Instead of replying, he began to sing. Oh my, his voice was the most soothing melody my ears had ever listened to. As I watched to him play and sing, I felt my body completely melt with his lyrics.
“Where were you months ago?” I thought aloud.
He smiled. “I am here now.” I smiled back.
Timing was everything. Being here with him felt so right but with Fitz in the picture, it also felt considering the feelings I was beginning to develop for Adam. If I had met him right after my break up with Tony, my life would be so different now. But the timing was off. Adam seemed like a great guy. I dare say he was one of the best things to have happened to me but also he was like a grenade, waiting to explode in my face if the trigger went off.
“You’re my muse, Emily. With you in mind, I can picture a lot of possible futures and they all look good,” Adam said.
And he was my worst possible distraction. I suddenly felt John Legend was talking about me when he sang “All of Me.” My phone beeped and I glanced at the screen. It was Fitz asking me if I was on my way back home.
“I’m sorry but I’ve got to go. I had a great time with you today, Adam and I wished I could stay longer but I have to run,” I apologized, getting up.
He held my hand to stop me.
“If you want to, then stay. I love what is happening between us and I know you do too.”
“Adam…” He kissed me and that threw me off balance. Oh, so the cliché Hollywood movies didn’t lie about that. Cool.
“We don’t know what tomorrow brings…we can’t tell what would happen an hour from now. All we have is now so why not spend now the best way we know how?” Adam said, his voice tearing down the defenses I was fighting so hard to keep up. I didn’t even notice that he had taken the bag I was holding from me till I heard it fall on the sand. He kissed me again and it felt heavenly. But I was going to home to meet…who was it again?