“I’m sorry Al., b…but this madness has got to stop. We have–”
“What do you by ‘this madness has got to stop’?” he demanded, cutting her off in mid-sentence. They were in another hotel room in one of the obscure parts of Lagos.
“All these…” Mary Jane swept her hands in a helpless gesture. “I mean I can’t go on with this charade anymore. My wedding to Eric is just three weeks away, what if anyone gets wind of what I’ve been up to? It would be disastrous.”
Albert flashed her one of his soul-winning smiles. “Nothing can go wrong, my dear,” he assured. “We have been so careful, haven’t we?”
His smug smile and confident tone irked her. “Like we have been so careful!” she snapped. “Look here, I am through with the lies, trickery and deceptions. I’ve had it up to here and I want out of this whole, sordid mess.”
“Now, you don’t mean that, do you?” The smirk had disappeared from his face; it was replaced by a stunned, bemused look. He regarded her seriously, as though he was just hearing her words for the first time.
“Yes, I do. I have had enough of your sickly seductions to last me a lifetime, so take your attentions elsewhere.” She clenched her jaws resolutely, determined to end everything there and then.
A hurt look crept into his eyes. “Are you saying I seduced you?” His voice was quiet.
His mournful tone melted the anger she had worked up into her system. “N…no, it’s…it’s just that I can’t go on with this affair anymore, it’s far too dangerous.”
“We have been very careful. We always meet at obscure places,” he argued.
She couldn’t deny that but she would be damned if she admitted that to him. She was here to put an end to the whole thing, and that was it. “Yes we have, but if you aren’t feeling guilty about what we have been doing, I am. I can’t carry on with the lies and deception, not when it could have far-reaching consequences.”
“But we aren’t hurting anyone,” he protested.
“Oh, but we are Albert, we are. Every moment I spend with you is a great injustice against Eric. I don’t belong to you any more, I belong to him… I am to be wedded to him three weeks from now and you know that.”
“Mary Jane, I–”
“Don’t try to persuade me Al, my mind is made up. Good day.” She picked up her bag and made to walk out, but he reacted quickly and blocked the door.
“You can just walk out on me like that,” he said, gripping her by the arms.
“Albert, please leave me be,” she pleaded. “God knows this isn’t easy for me, please don’t make it any harder.” Tears were dancing liquidiously as she spoke, tears of pain and frustration.
“I love you Mary Jane, I want you…” His voice was as soft as a caress and yet as sharp as a razor, cutting through her defences the way hot knife would cut through butter.
“Try to understand, Eric…he loves me, I love him–”
“No, you don’t,” he refuted, daring her to deny it. “You don’t love him and even if he loves you, I love you more.”
“Listen Albert, I…you…” She began frantically, seeking a way to escape before things got out of hand.
“Come, sweet Mary Jane,” he murmured, reaching out for her and drawing her close to him.
“Please don’t do this to me,” she protested, twisting sideways to avoid him.
“Come Sweet,” he repeated, more boldly this time as he sensed her growing weakness.
Mary Jane resisted feebly, her senses were spinning in a mad whirlpool of growing passion. She knew it was wrong, horribly wrong to let him do this to her, but she was trapped and helpless, hypnotised by the magic of his touch. She struggled vainly against her arousal, against the tide of passion that was hell-bent on destroying all her senses of reasoning, but it was a lost battle as her body began heating up in response to his touch.
“Albert…this is wrong, stop it.” She meant the words as a command, but they were no louder than a soft whisper.
His hands released their grip on her arms and slid down her sides till they rested on her narrow waist. Squashing her lush body against himself, he made to deepen the kiss.
As his skin seared hers, she felt his arousal and for a moment, her senses were restored. Summoning all her will together, she tore away from his sensuous embrace. “No, Albert. I can’t… This isn’t proper. I love Eric and he loves me, whatever that happened between us was a mistake that ought not have happened,” she said frantically, breathlessly and twisted away as he made to kiss her again.
Albert halted his move and studied her contemplatively. A thin, mocking smile hovered at the corner of his lips. “A mistake? You call this a mistake?” he questioned, an incredulous expression on his face. With a sudden, renewed effort, he pulled her close again and kissed her deeply, slowly, sensuously. She hadn’t anticipated his move and was caught off guard. The kiss heated up her blood, sending waves of desire rushing all over her. It was as though the bottom had dropped out of her world. She clung to him tightly, accepting him eagerly. Digging her fingers into his back, she crushed her breasts against his hard chest. Suddenly as he had begun, he pulled away from her, leaving her shaking and trembling all over.
“Now, tell me what we have between us is a mistake,” he said slowly, challengingly.
She couldn’t meet his burning gaze as her resolve faltered under his challenging eyes. Could a feeling as strong as this be a mistake? She asked herself. Noticing her hesitation, he pressed his case further. “What we have is something rare, something special and not just a mistake. I want you, you want me. Can there be anything wrong about that?”
She couldn’t answer him, she couldn’t even think straight. That she wanted him was true, in fact, she wanted him so bad that it hurt, but then, she had to consider Eric, Eric whom she was to be wed in a couple of weeks. That she was committing a heinous, unforgivable crime against him was an understatement but what did it matter? Was it even of any account? After all, he wasn’t here, neither had anyone seen her in the company of Albert, so she could be rest-assured. There was little of no chance of him knowing about her infidelity, except if she told him herself, and that could only happen when the sun starts setting in the north!
Asides that, making love with Eric was like a boring and insipid task, totally devoid of any fun or enjoyment. Having sex with him was something to be endured, not enjoyed for he had never been able to either connect with her the way Al did or make her feel like the woman she was, he just didn’t have that touch. Whereas with Albert, sex was a pleasant and titillating ride that took her to the highest heights, an experience that was totally out of this world!
What should she do? Give in to Albert’s demand or walk out of the room and risk never seeing him again? She was torn between her overwhelming passion and morals, torn between her emotions and her contradicting logic. Which should she relinquish? She cast a swift look at him; he was leaning against the jamb and watching her lazily, the expression on in face was one of ‘the choice is yours’.
Ach! Albert, you drive a hard bargain, she thought, biting her bottom lip in torment. To walk out on Al now, was to banish him from her life forever. But on the other hand, to dump Eric for Albert was not only to invite the wrath and fury of the society on herself, but also to hurt Eric and his loving trusting, parents and forfeit the wealth, comfort and security he offered.
Though he had been correct in saying she didn’t love Eric, she couldn’t dump him, certainly not after all he had done for her. He had literally sponsored her through the university. To dump him now would be foolish and ungrateful. Besides, what did she know about Albert? He had never told her how he came about her address, neither had he explained why he had to turn up barely a month to her wedding date. He could be a robber for all she knew!
It was only logical that he must have changed from the Albert she had known some eight years ago–– the Albert that had laid his life down for her–– but was it logical to still love him madly after all these years? Was it logical to have been sleeping around with him when her wedding to Eric was barely three weeks away? She shunned that line of thought. There was nothing to be gained in her trying to sort out the logicality or illogicality of her actions, she had rolled wildly in the hay with him, nothing could change that fact.
Mary Jane threw another glance in his direction, meaning it to be swift, but he caught her eyes and held it for a second in a gaze that sent her pulse roaring in her ears. She made up her mind instantly, she knew she had to break away from Albert. It was inevitable that she marry Eric, but then, why not leave with something to remember? Why not leave with memories to love and cherish?
It was sensible that she allow him make love to her this once, after all, he had had her times without number, so this would count little. The only difference would be in the fact that this would be for the last time, then, she could say her goodbyes without any feeling of longing or regret. Yes, that’s what I’ll do.
Having made up her mind, she held his eyes and let her bag slide to the floor. He was beside her in the fraction of an instant. Gathering her into his arms, he kissed and caressed her, all the while murmuring soft words of sweet endearments to her.
Already aroused and floating on the magical wings of passion, she let him lead her to the impatient, waiting bed. Silently, she offered a prayer of forgiveness to God before abandoning herself to the wonders of his touch, to the emotions he was stirring up within her. Since it was for the very last time, why not lie back and enjoy every moment of it? She reasoned as her clothes whispered slowly off her body and found their way to the floor…