Read Chapter 22 here.
“Mr. Mends, have you seen yourself online today?” Hon. Biney asked, sounding annoyed. Dante couldn’t help but roll his eyes.
“Well, I’ve been quite busy so I haven’t had time to google myself, Honorable,” he said, suddenly regretting the sarcastic tone he had put up.
“Well then, I’m staring at a photo of you hugging that young lady Julius came with. How dare you be so careless? Don’t you know how embarrassing this must be for my daughter?”
“This is misleading, sir. It was just a harmless hug. There’s nothing more to it,” Dante explained, sounding calmer now.
“Are you telling me you hugged a lady you just met and you don’t know her from Adam?” He asked.
He wasn’t going to take the bait. Ugh…ugh.
“Listen young man, the fact that my daughter is blindly in love with you doesn’t give you the license to play the fool. I know she was your ex-girlfriend and you used my contacts to get her the job.” He paused, waiting for a reaction. When there was none, he continued, “Listen, man to man, I understand why you would want to keep someone on the side. But at least, be smart about it!”
Dante blinked, not sure he was hearing right.
“Can I ask you for a favor, sir? Could you stop making life miserable for her at work?”
“Oh so you two are actually having an affair, huh?”
“I’m not. Believe it or not, I’m a one-woman kind of guy. We are no longer together but when we meet in public, we at least act civil. That’s it. So, could you please…?”
“Ok…but let me hear even a whimper from Eyram and your little ex-girlfriend is going to pay the price, capiche?”
“Yes, sir. Thank you.”
“Now, go on and make me some money,” Hon. Biney said and hung up. Dante shook his head as he put the phone down. This man was something else.
He thought of Jackie and how she must be feeling now. He picked his phone and sent her a text.
Hey…how are you holding up? There seems to be a photo of us on some blogs.
Tell me about it. I think I may be back to being single because of it.
Why, Kwame has seen it? What did he say?
Giving me the silent treatment. He actually stood me up yesterday.
Wow, the sentimental type, huh?
Looks like it. Don’t know how I’m going to explain myself even if he gives me the chance to.
I’m so sorry. Didn’t mean to cause you that much trouble.
No need to apologize. I asked for the hug, right? It’s my cross to bear.
Cece also saw the post and she wasn’t amused at all. But at least, I know she’ll deal with it.
Can’t say for Kwame. Gosh, why am I even chatting with you?
Because after all said and done, all we have is each other. 😊
Yeah right. Now that I know you have bloggers stalking you, I’ll make sure not to come close to you ever again.
Lol…like you can.
Always and forever 😊😚
Jackie sent him a side-eye emoji and went offline. Dante couldn’t help but keep a smile on his face. If paradise could be compared to anything here on earth, for him it would be spending time with Jackie; whether physically or virtually. The fact that she still accommodated him after what he did to her was humbling for him. Bless her heart.
He hoped Kwame would not make a big fuss about this. Although he would love to end up with Jackie one day (if God was merciful enough to kick start Cece’s cancer again), he still wanted her to be happy with someone. He hoped Kwame was doing a good job so far.
Now that Cece was getting better, he could just hang up his goodwill coat and walk out, right? He had tasted the ‘what if’ life of comfort without Jackie and honestly, he couldn’t say it was worth it. Being happy and in love meant more to him than living rich and empty. Well, this would only make sense if Jackie would be willing to take him back. Did he still have a fighting chance? Yes you do, a voice said confidently in his mind. He smiled.
Jackie glanced at her phone screen and put it down.
“Still nothing from Kwametown?”
“Yep. Should I be worried that something has happened to him or is he just being childish here?”
“Well, since he hasn’t mentioned that he needs space because of that photo, I guess it’s best to feign ignorance. Can I ask you a question?” AJ asked.
“When you and Dante were together, you found it difficult granting his request to stay away from Kwame. Now that…”
“That wasn’t why we broke up!” Jackie interjected.
AJ raised a finger and continued, “Now that you and Kwame are together, if he asks you to do same with Dante, would you?”
“This is different, AJ. He is married and I have to respect that. I don’t need Kwame to tell me to stay away.”
“But you’re not exactly staying away, are you?”
“I am! Seeing him at the conference wasn’t planned! I can’t control not bumping into him from time to time. This is Accra for crying out loud!” She paused when she noticed AJ staring coolly at her.
“Give me your phone.”
“Just to prove something.”
“Why, you have something to hide?”
“Of course not. I think I know what you’re driving at but that doesn’t mean anything.”
AJ gestured for the phone. Jackie sighed and handed it over.
“After all is said and done, all we have is each other,” AJ read out and looked up at her.
“I didn’t type that,” Naicy said defensively. “Whose side are you on by the way?”
“I just don’t want you to keep hurting, that’s all.”
“I don’t want to either. Pain is not fun. Gosh, did I tell you Kwame and I kissed?”
AJ’s eyes went wide. “Really, when? Spill!”
“Last week at Labadi beach.”
“It was amazing!”
“Whoa! Ten points for Kwame!”
Naicy laughed. “I was nervous…didn’t want to have my memory of a good kiss ruined but he really surprised me.”
“So…better than Dante’s?”
“Hmm…that’s tricky. Kwame’s kiss is passionate and sensual….Dante’s…more of heart and love.”
AJ raised a brow.
“What I mean is, kissing Kwame could make you think of sleeping with him there and then but Dante…communicates what he’s feeling with his kiss. I know what Dante wants to say when he kisses me. Dante…is heart; Kwame is body. I don’t know if I’m making sense.”
“In other words, Dante wins this one,” AJ concluded.
“Well, as mind-blowing as Kwame’s is, Dante’s is the one you’d want to have before you go to sleep, you know? Just sweet and caring.”
“Okay, snap out of it. As you said, Dante is married now.”
AJ laid down beside Naicy on the bed.
“But seriously, why would you hug Dante of all people?”
Jackie turned to look at her.
“What do you mean?”
“We have exes we part ways with amicably and we have exes who wish we wouldn’t see ever again because of some hurtful thing they did to us and Dante obviously falls in the latter category. So why the hell would you hug him in public? Yeah, I know you’re a sweet girl and all, but you could have managed with a wave, at most.”
“You know I’m a chronic hugger.”
“That is no excuse, my friend. How do you expect his wife to feel about it if she sees the photo?”
“I didn’t hug him with the intention of getting the moment captured on camera.”
“Fine, what if she saw you hugging?”
“I wouldn’t hug him if she were around…”
“Stop making excuses, Naicy!” AJ demanded, sitting up. Naicy covered her face with both hands.
“Tell me the truth, you haven’t really gotten over him, have you?”
“I have…or I thought I had but seeing him…oh gosh, I’m a hopeless case, right?”
“So if Dante comes here right now and says he’s leaving Cece and wants you back, would you say yes?”
Jackie sat up.
“Why would I not?”
“What about Kwame?”
“What about Kwame?”
“Are you seriously repeating the question, Naicy?”
“Look, he stood me up and is giving me the silent treatment without hearing my side of the story first. You know such an attitude won’t take us far.”
“There’s a photo of you hugging your ex. What other story is there to be told?”
“Why do I feel like you’re judging me, AJ?”
“I’m not. I just want you to let go of Dante and move on.”
“I am doing that.”
“Really? By asking what about Kwame in the light of Dante coming back?”
Jackie fell back on the bed with a groan.
“Please stop, you’re giving me a headache. Besides, who knows what Kwame is up to right now? He could be lashing out on a poor punching bag. I just need a break from all the boy drama.”
Her phone rang. She picked it up and sat up.
“Hi.” He sniffed.
“So you stood me up and went radio silent. Are you alright?”
“Yeah, I am now. How are you?”
“We need to talk, Jackie.” His tone was dead serious.
“Okay…may I know what about?”
“I know you know what this is about.”
“Actually, I don’t.” There was a pause. Jackie looked at AJ who was watching her with folded arms.
“Are you and Dante…still hanging out?”
“No…he’s married now.”
“Uh huh and if he wasn’t…”
“We wouldn’t be having this conversation in the first place as we would still be together,” she snapped and immediately regretted it.
“I’m sorry; I didn’t mean to…”
“Yeah…bye,” he said and hang up.
“Wait, hello? Wow, this dude hang up on me!” Jackie put the phone down.
“It seems you’ll never run out of boy drama.” The door opened.
“Nana Esi, it’s time for supper ooo,” her mother announced. Naicy checked the time on her phone.
“What are we having?”
“Daddy wants fufu.”
“Hmm…is it daddy or you, mum?”
“Well, we are one, right? Put the light soup on fire so that by the time you finish preparing the fufu, it would be ready.”
“AJ, are you staying for supper?”
“She is,” Naicy replied. AJ gave her a look and then glanced at her mother.
“Yes, I am staying.”
“Good. Two arms are better than one,” she said and closed the door. Jackie got up from the bed.
“Let’s go. We’ll stir in turns.”
AJ groaned. “My least favorite activity in the kitchen.”
“That makes two of us,” Jackie said and pulled AJ to her feet. They left the room.
“So, talking of Kwame’s pants-dropping kiss, did you consider actually dropping your pants?” AJ asked, sipping water from a glass.
“For a second, yeah but I knew that wouldn’t happen,” Jackie replied, stirring the fufu.
“Well, I’m a virgin.”
“What has that got to do with it?”
“Well, the disincentive here is, as much as my body wanted to, I don’t think I want Kwame to be my first,” Naicy said.
AJ blinked, hoping she didn’t hear right.
“Okay…so who do you have in mind?”
“Do you really have to ask?” Naicy asked, giving her a look. She let out a shriek when AJ splashed her water on her face. Naicy coughed.
“What the hell?!”
“I thought you were sleep talking so I decided to wake you up.”
Jackie wiped her face with her palm. AJ tore some tissue from the roll on the table and handed it to her. Jackie dabbed her face dry.
“That wasn’t funny, AJ.”
“Exactly; I’m dead serious, Naicy. Are you saying you plan on cheating on Kwame?”
“Of course not. I’m just saying, there’s no incentive to have sex with him; that’s all.”
“When it comes to it…”
“I’ll tell him my mama taught me no sex before marriage.”
“And when you do get married?”
“Let’s not get ahead of ourselves here, AJ.”
“What’s with all the questions, ah?”
“You’re not serious, Jackie.”
Jackie laughed. “I’m just pulling your legs, relax.”
“I don’t know Kwame that well but I doubt he deserves this half-baked love you’re giving him.”
“Geez, are you saying I don’t love him because I refuse to sleep with him? Sex isn’t love, honey. Dante and I never had sex…”
“And where is he now?” AJ retorted. That made Naicy pause.
“That wasn’t why we broke up; you know that too well, AJ.”
AJ took the napkin from her and took over the stirring.
“I know. My point is, you’re never going to allow yourself to love someone fully if you keep comparing them to how Dante made you feel.”
“Well noted. I’m moving on now.”
“Uh huh and Grey’s Anatomy is featuring vampires now. Bite me,” AJ said sarcastically.
“You know what, I’m going to prove you wrong.”
Mrs. Yankson entered. “Girls, Is my fufu ready yet?”
“Please pick up, please pick up,” Jackie continued to mutter as Kwame’s phone rang. When he finally did, she sighed.
“Hey, I’m sorry for what…no, how I said what I said, yeah? Didn’t mean to offend you. Could you please forgive me?”
“Am I supposed to make it easy for you?”
“Haha…okay, why don’t I take you out to the cinema, grab some pizza or burger and talk, yeah? Tomorrow.”
“Okay then! It’s a date. I miss you.”
“Miss you too. Alright, see you soon.”
“Sure. Goodnight.” She hung up.
She was going to make things right. Her love life depended on it.
© Josephine Amoako 2018
Read Chapter 24 here.