That day in the classroom happened ten years ago. They still fought, flirted with others and tried to best each other. The difference was their meetings were more intense and in the secret they blew up together.
When they announced to the world that they were together, the world stood still for awhile with its mouth wide open. Their families were worried- surprised, but more worried. They couldn’t even get excited.
“But you hate each other.” They’d said.
“You’ld kill one another!” They cried. And the comments continued.
Bayo and Tessa merely shrugged, omitting that they’ve always been together albeit in the secret.
“We just want to see how it goes.” They’d replied with the careless attitude they’d taken to wearing when the other was around.
Tessa didn’t tell the world that when Bayo wasn’t there and she was having nightmares, she grabbed the pillow and imagined he was the one.
Bayo didn’t tell the world that when Tessa wasn’t there, he thought about her always and imagined her reactions to things that happened in his day.
And at night when they looked at each other, while their eyes spoke volumes, their actions said different things. They’ld rather tell lies than admit the truth of what they felt for the other.
“You keep stressing yourself with picking up when you spend the night here, why don’t you just move in?” Bayo started.
He’d been watching her dress, clearing everything that was her in his room. For sometime, he’d been asking her to move in but with no pressure so he wouldn’t appear needy. He’d bought things she’ld need to have a comfortable stay in his house, like the soap and shampoo she liked and other things so she’ld get the hint that she was free to move in. She hadn’t done anything neither did she take the hint.
He’d even created space in his closet and had carelessly tossed the idea of keeping few of her things there. Did she do that? No!
He didn’t want to be the only one pushing for them to move forward. He wanted her to also ask but knowing Tessa, she’ld rather choke on her pride first before admitting that she needed more from him.
“We’ve had this talk before and my answer is still the same, No.”
Tessa checked her phone, smiled at what she saw before tucking her phone in her purse. With a blank expression on her face, she looked at him still on the bed.
“I’ll see you-”
“Let’s get married!” He cut in.
“W..what?” She managed.
This was not what she’d been expecting. She knew they were stuck with each other and marriage would probably come in 50yrs time but…
Bayo grinned. He’d managed to bowl her over. He was a genius!
If he planned it carefully he’d have her saying yes and them getting married in a week.
Confidently, he got up from the bed and strode to her. Wrapping his arms around her, he kissed her lightly.
“Babe, let’s get married.”
Tessa tried to compose herself but she was just…lost.
“Marriage? Why? Because I don’t want to move in with you?”
He just smiled.
“That’s just a bonus. We’ve known each other for long, we’re good together. Frankly, I’ld be sparing another man from heartache.”
That was practical and they were both practical people. She’ld see the logic behind it and not think it was because of feelings he wanted to marry her.
“Heartache huh?” She repeated, eyes glinting.
Noticing the look in her eyes he became wary and made himself appear nonchalant.
“It was just an idea. If you are not-”
“Damn you!” She shoved him.
“Of course it was just an idea. Prick!”
She snatched her bag from the table and made to leave but he was faster.
“Tessa!” He grabbed her and took her in his arms.
“Tess I’m sorry.”
He pleaded even as she struggled to release herself. He’d have let her go if he hadn’t seen the tears in her eyes.
He hadn’t liked the feeling when he’d hurt her the time they were younger, it was worse now and he didn’t like it either.
“I’m a coward.” He admitted.
“Yes you are. Let me go!”
“If I do that, you won’t want to have anything to do with me again.” He pointed out.
When she stopped struggling, he raised her face to his. His angel’s face was wet with tears.
“I’ld have gone but I’ld still take you back. This isn’t normal.” She sniffled. He managed a smile.
“Who said we were normal. I’m sorry Tessa. I didn’t want you to throw the proposal in my face-”
“So you decided to wreck it before I did.” She finished and they both smiled.
They stayed quiet for awhile before she spoke.
“Will you ever say it?” She asked, her eyes on his.
“I’ll even say it now, I love you.” He admitted.
Her eyes widened, her mouth went slack.
“I guess your reaction to my proposal and this confession was worth the effort.”
Even as she smiled, tears sheened her eyes.
“I love you too.” She confessed.
He sighed in relief.
“Thank God, or else I’ld have admitted to having dementia.” She hit his shoulder.
“So will you marry me and spare another woman from heartache?” He asked, he had to be sure.
“Do you mean it?”
“Okay.” She agreed.
“No more lies?”
“No more lies.”