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.