Read chapter 22 here.
Louie knocked on Alexa’s door and popped his head inside the room.
The bathroom door opened and she came out. She was wearing one of his sweatshirts she had taken when she raided his closet some weeks earlier.
“Hey, come in.”
He entered and closed the door.
“Are you alright?”
“Why do you ask?”
“You taking a shower at this time? That’s unlike you.”
“Well, I just had to.”
“You’re coming from lunch from Uber boy’s place, huh? How did it go?”
“It went well. His mother was sweet and his twin sister, very bitchy. But who cares?”
“So in other words, you flunked your audition of qualifying to be his girlfriend?”
“Oh please…I had no plans of impressing Mama Theo that much.”
“Because you’re spoilt with choice. How did the call with Paul go?”
“Oh you finally mention his name!”
“I’m shocked at myself.”
“It went well. I straight up told him I gave it to you to use for an emergency. What could he have done about it?”
“I’m glad that got settled. I think he was following me to a point. I’m sure he turned around after speaking to you.”
“I see. Oh gosh, what have I done?”
“Why, what’s up?”
“You’re going to be so pissed at me…I’m not sure I should tell you.”
“What did you do?” She looked into her best friend’s eyes.
“After lunch, he offered to bring me home and I thought to check in on my apartment and…”
“You seduced the poor guy?”
“No. He kissed me and I let my guard down.”
“Okay…how far did you go?”
Alexa covered her face with her palm.
“All the way? Lexa!”
“I know…and it’s not the worst part.”
“There’s a worst part?”
She dropped her hands and looked at Louie again.
“I’m his first.” Louie broke into laughter.
“Oh wow…you’re virgin breaker! Welcome to the club!”
“Stop it, Louie. It’s not funny.”
“But how did you know? Was he clumsy and clueless? He couldn’t find the cookie jar?”
“No…he wasn’t. After everything, he said, “I’m really happy…that you’re my first.” I felt like I was pulled down to the bottomless pit.”
“Yeah, virgin breakers are the worst. There’s a special place in hell for such fornicators.”
“Stop it, Louie. You’re not helping.”
“I’m sorry. So what, you two are an item now that you’ve consummated…I’m sorry, I’m not making fun of you.”
“I think I need to be alone. Please leave.”
“Come on, I’m sorry. Come here,” Louie said, pulling Alexa to his bosom. He held her and kissed the top of her head.
“I think you’re going way too fast with this guy. It’s about time you pulled the brakes.”
“Isn’t it too late?”
“After meeting mama and messing the bedsheet, it may seem like that but it’s never too late. What do you regret? Doing it with him or finding out you took away his innocence?”
“I’m sorry…I feel like in a way, I’m responsible for this. I’m not of good influence to you, am I?”
“You’re the devil I know. Let’s leave it at that.”
“Did you use protection?”
She shook her head. He pulled her back.
“You need to…”
“Don’t worry, I’ve taken care of it. Took a pill.”
“Let’s lie down.”
They lay on the bed with Alexa’s head on his chest. He wrapped his arm around her.
“It’s going to be fine.”
“Maybe…but it will get worse first.”
“Maybe. Okay, since you’ve confided in me about crossing the line, I also have a confession to make.”
Alexa turned her head, placing her chin on his chest. He bit down on his lower lip.
“Esme and I…”
“What? You promised!” Alexa sat up.
“I know, I’m sorry,” Louie apologized, sitting up as well.
“It wasn’t planned. It just happened. I’m sorry.”
“Oh gosh, we are the worst people, aren’t we? We both know we are not the best people for Theo and Esme and yet, we can’t stay away.”
“At least Esme and I have had a hard talk about why going exclusive might not be the best idea. You may have to do same with Uber boy.”
“Gosh, I feel like a typical boy messing an innocent girl up.”
“You wanted to love like a man, right? Now you know, it’s not always with malicious intentions. Things happen.”
“I feel so horrible!”
Louie lay back down and pulled Alexa down with her.
“It’s okay; it will pass. God knows I felt awful after being with Esme and I punished myself for it. But I later realized that beating myself up for an unplanned act of wrongdoing was only going to make me feel worse. So I decided to straighten things out with her and tell you so I can put it behind me.”
“So another name on your conquest list, huh?”
“Never had one. I never saw myself as a player, Lex. I think I have a very big heart…to love as many women as I can…not to mess with the hearts of women.”
“How generous of you.”
He chuckled and rubbed his palm along her arm.
“What am I going to do now, Louie? What if he becomes clingy? Do first-time guys become clingy afterwards?”
Louie laughed. “Calm down; he won’t. Let’s get out of here, shall we? Staying cooped up in here will only make you feel worse.”
“Where do you in mind?”
“Nowhere in particular. We could go for a stroll or take a lazy drive around. What do you say?”
She lay still for a moment and got up. She took a pair of short shorts and walked into the bathroom. She came out wearing the shorts.
“You look like a toddler whose candy has been snatched from her,” Louie said with a chuckle.
“Well technically, I do feel like my candy has been snatched.”
“Enough with the brooding. You’ll be fine,” Louie said, putting his arm around her and urging her to start walking.
“Stroll on wheels or on foot?” Alexa asked she got to the table where the car keys were placed.
“Okay.” They stepped out of the house.
After walking in silence for a while, Alexa asked, “Do you remember your first?”
“I do. That was long ago though. Back in senior high school.”
“Of course. That’s when your alter ego of a player emerged.”
Louie laughed. “Yeah, I guess. She was one year ahead of me. She initiated me well.”
“What about you? Did you enjoy your first? Was it Mike?”
“Well, I did it out of spite more than I did it for pleasure.”
Louie paused. “To spite who?”
Alexa kept walking. “Does it matter?”
He stopped her by holding her arm. “Was it because of me?”
“Oh honey, if only you knew the things I’ve done because of my silly crush on you…”
“Because you had suddenly discovered the magic of girls and sex and you kept seeing me as your little sister with no experience in that department so I found myself someone who would put me on the same level.”
He hugged her. “I’m so sorry, Alexa. I’m sorry my messed up act back then rubbed off you in the wrong way.”
“That’s alright. We live to learn, right? Look at us now, our own version of Bonnie and Clyde,” Alexa said, tapping his back. They pulled back.
“I think we should have ice cream. What do you say?”
“Yeah, it’s perfect for the occasion.”
Louie put his arm around her neck and they resumed walking, fingers intertwining.
They entered the ice cream shop, made their order and sat down.
“When is Esme returning from London?” Louie asked.
“Next weekend, I think.”
“Needed some accessories. I’ll talk to her to see if she can bring them down for me.”
“Sure. How are things between you two, by the way? It seemed like it has gone radio silent. You two cool?”
“Yeah. It’s dicey trying to keep things casual after crossing the line, you know?”
“Uh huh…that’s also going to be my headache with Theo after you know…”
“Deflowering him?” He teased. She glared at him. He laughed.
They received their orders and started digging in. After some moments of silence, Alexa asked,
“Do you think that…considering our individual messed up relationships and body counts, we could one day be…”
“Be exclusive…permanently?” Louie finished it for her. She stared at him. He took her hand in his and caressed it.
“I can’t think of anyone better who I’d love to spend my forever with. That’s because you’re the least judgmental person I know and you have such a big heart. You understand me in ways that I don’t myself and you are very generous with your forgiveness. I don’t intend to abuse it though but I really admire that about you.”
“I see. I guess we have to see where life takes us, right?”
Alexa’s phone rang. She picked it up and looked at the screen.
“Oh gosh, no,” she groaned and put it back down.
“What is it?” Louie asked and took the phone.
“Whoa girl…it seemed you gave the boy one hell of an experience. I wish I could say I’m proud of you but that would be a conflict of interest,” he said, putting the phone back down.
“What do I do? Ghost him for a while?”
“That’s kind of mean, Lexa.”
“Paul invited me for a getaway at Aburi. The timing couldn’t have been more perfect.”
“You’re getting better at playing this game, Lex. You know who to use for what.”
“Is that a compliment?”
“I’ll pass. Can we swap?” Alexa asked, pushing her ice cream cup towards Louie and taking his.
“Why ask if you were going to take it anyway?”
“Was I supposed to wait for an answer?” She asked and scooped some into her mouth. They chuckled.
Alexa was singing along to a song she was listening to on her phone when Theo called. She sighed and stared at the screen for some seconds before swiping the screen.
“Hi. In bed already?”
“Yeah; how did you know?”
“Your voice. Are you mad at me?”
“Mad at you? Why will I be?”
“Well…I figured…anyway, for a second, I thought you wouldn’t pick up. About earlier today, I hope you don’t feel bad about it because I don’t. I could tell you were a bit conflicted when I told you that you were my first.”
“Honestly, I was because…as much as I want us to keep being friends, I keep getting us into situations that cross the line and I don’t want to confuse you about what I want.”
“I understand and I don’t want you to feel bad about this. I’ll shoulder this burden, okay? I did this and I don’t regret it. I didn’t plan for this but I’m glad it happened. Don’t worry thinking that I’m going to ask for something more because this happened.”
“I appreciate that.”
“But if you were to get pregnant for instance, I’d marry you in a heartbeat.”
Alexa laughed. “Oh you are so sweet, Theo.”
He chuckled. “So we’re good.”
“Yeah, we are. Thanks for checking in.”
“My pleasure. Goodnight love.”
Alexa felt lighter after ending the call. She didn’t have to worry about what the future held for her with Theo. She could take it one day at a time; with whichever guy next on schedule.
Paul and Alexa entered the suite reserved for their getaway.
“Nice,” she remarked as she dropped her small suitcase and looked around.
“Yeah…I love the view and fresh air.”
“Yes and the tranquility. I’m so used to Accra’s traffic noise that this place feels like a forest.”
Paul chuckled. He walked to a door and opened it.
“Another bedroom here. Which one would you like to have?”
“You haven’t even seen it.”
“It doesn’t matter.”
“What would you like to do first? Get some snacks or take a power nap first?”
“Nap sounds great.”
“See you in an hour,” Alexa said, taking her suitcase.
Alexa walked past him with a smile and closed the door behind her.
Alexa woke up ninety minutes later. When she came out of her room, Paul wasn’t inside. She stepped out and found him lazing in the pool.
“You finally woke up. Had a good dream?”
“Didn’t have one.”
“Want to join me?”
“Um…would rather have something to eat first.”
“Sure. Let’s order,” Paul said and got out of the pool.
Alexa couldn’t help but notice his well-toned abs and arms. He caught her looking at him.
“Nothing…your body is nice to look at. You work out?”
“I do, thank you. You?”
“I used to…I lost motivation sometime back.”
“I see…you seem to be in good shape, just so you know.”
They decided on having an early supper and perhaps tea later. Halfway through the meal, Paul asked Alexa, “What do you want out of this life, Alexa?”
“Me? To be content, I guess. I might not be the one to find the cure for a rare disease or anything but I’d like to be that light of hope to someone in the small space I occupy here on earth. Of course, I want to progress in my career and all but the conclusion of the matter is, I want to live a contented life. Not too much to ask for, right?”
“I guess. I’m very passionate about empowering people especially the youth and that comes with its own challenges. I’ve been in a couple of relationships; some were great while it lasted and a few were downright exhausting. Either they were too demanding emotionally and financially or we were on different tangents in terms of purpose.”
“And you’re looking to see if I may be a fit in your future?”
“You’re a passionate lady, Alexa; you are full of life and I love that about you. I don’t know how to explain it but I’ve a good feeling about you and me together. I promise to do my possible best to help you be whatever you want to be. I’m fond of you and I’d love the opportunity to share my heart with you.”
“That’s really sweet, Paul. You seem very mature and set in what you want to do. I still have some growing up to do, I won’t deny that. I feel honored that you see what you see in me and I’d like to be that person…not just for you but for myself too. I don’t think you’ve the time and patience to wait for me to grow up to be your kind of partner…”
“I’ve all the time and patience if you will at least try to give us a chance. You agreeing to come away with me is a good sign…”
“I might have my own reasons for coming away with you, Paul…I needed the escape.”
”Regardless, I’m glad that you’re with me and I don’t take it for granted.”
“Thank you for inviting me, Paul. Okay, to lighter matters, what’s your guilty pleasure?”
“Aha…want to find out?”
(c) Josephine Amoako 2019
Read chapter 24 here.