Austin glowed with absolute happiness as he approached the front porch and took another sniff at the bouquet of roses. He was about to knock on the door when he heard voices. He stopped to listen. Immediately his heart almost stopped beating as he heard the hush-hush voices of a couple heavily petting each other.
Astounded, he scuttled to the window his heart racing. Through the blinds he glimpsed the dark silhouetted figure of Anita, tall and slim; her lips locked with a dude’s. He watched as their lips parted and she went down on all fours and the tall dude went down behind her. He hoicked her skirt up and began tugging at his fly.
Austin froze as he heard Anita’s familiar soft cry of pleasure, followed by a patter of two lovers having a sizzling session. Transfixed he stared unbelievably as his woman made love with another guy on their one-year anniversary.
Heavy teardrops pricked his eyes, blurring his vision. As the moans of his Anita became louder his head began to spin. Dismayed, his arms dropped to his sides. The bouquet of white roses crashed onto the doormat. A tear drop cascaded down his cheek as he stood and watched his world crumble. He had loved her with every fiber of his being. Damn! He still loves her. He’s never loved anyone like he loves Anita. Never!
Austin’s body went limp. Dropping to his knees, he managed to sit on the porch, while the love-noises grew louder and rapid. Wiping his teary cheeks Austin gathered the roses, scrambled to his feet and stormed to the parking lot.
Getting to his car, he climbed behind the wheel and pulled out his cellphone from his pocket. He dialed her number and stuck the key in the ignition. He waited as her phone rang. No reply. “Just as I expected,” he muttered to himself and dropped the phone.
Turning the key, he turned on the engine and sped off, scorching out of the gate, giving the security guard a startle.
Half hour later Austin was already home when his cellphone rang. Although he’s been waiting for her call, he didn’t answer it until the third ring. “Hello Annie!” He spoke in a low tone hiding his emotion-laden voice.
“Hello dear,” she replied with a tired voice.
“You’ve been sleeping?” His voice lowered to a whisper.
“Yes, I had quite a hectic day!” Her voice trembled.
“Oh sorry, can you still make it tonight?”
“Honey, I’m so exhausted. Can we make it tomorrow?” she said softly stifling a yawn.
“Well, that’s okay. I’ll see you tomorrow morning then.” He replied gently stifling his anger.
“Thanks dear. I knew you’ll understand. See you morrow.” She said and hung up before Austin could put in another word.
Anita could sense some anger and disappointment in his voice and she didn’t know how to tell him over the phone. She’d resolved to explain her absence in person. And she’ll make it up to him. The perfect gift! She reminisced smilingly. A whole year of celibacy! Austin had been patient. He never for once insisted on sex. She was going to surprise him.
Austin stared at his phone seething with anger. He sat up abruptly and was about to hurl the phone across the room when a text message came in. Promptly, he opened it.
“I know it’s our special day today, honey. But I’ll make it up to you tomorrow. I promise. I love you, my hunk. Happy anniversary! Sweet Kisses!”
Austin managed a little smile at the act. He could have applauded; he thought as he drained the glass of whiskey. Picking up the bottle he poured himself another shot before hurling the bottle across the room. He watched it shatter to bits and its content splatter on the adjacent wall.
“Just like my heart,” he whispered as his eyes filled with tears again. Slowly the tears spilled out. Austin sobbed his heart out until numbed with grief, he finally drifted to sleep.
The following morning he woke up with a splitting headache, a throbbing heartache and a terrible hangover. As the silence of the early Saturday morning was being invaded by early risers Austin heard his doorbell rang. Grief-stricken, he wasn’t up for any socializing.
He curled up in bed ignoring the door and the person behind it. Then his cellphone began to ring. He glanced at the screen. It was Anita. With a deep sigh, he shrugged and ignored the call.
But Anita persisted. Austin left the phone to ring. Shortly after, the phone beeped in a text message. He picked it up and was about to open it when the door slowly swung open and Anita walked in.
“You left your door unlocked!” she queried but stopped short as she stepped into his abode and saw the look on his face. Disgust! Disgruntle! And desolate! Her big brown alluring eyes held his. Her beaming smile vanished. Anita shut the door slowly behind her and stood completely stunned. Her eyes strayed from his. She took a quick glance around, slack-jawed with disbelief.
His place, a splendidly furnished studio apartment, smelled to high heavens; not even the faint underlying sweet scent of crumbled roses in the waste bin by the door could salvage the stale stench of whiskey and sweat.
There was an empty glass by his bedside, pieces of a shattered bottle across the room with a smudge, obviously of whiskey, on his once sparkling white wall. His apartment was unusually untidy and sleazy. Austin is a freaky neat guy. The neatest guy she’d ever known. When Anita turned to look at him again she knew something was seriously amiss. He was still in his work clothes.
Austin sat up in bed, hugging his knees and looking at her with a scowl. Her happiness was suddenly clouded by the air of gloom that filled the apartment, her plan to hurl herself at him on arrival forgotten. Searching his face anxiously she dropped her handbag on the tiled floor, opened the front window to let in some fresh air and went to the kitchenette to clean up and fix him breakfast with some hot coffee. She knew not to say anything just yet. He is obviously mad at her. And he seemed to have had a bad night.
“So, how was your night?” he asked, a hint of scorn in his voice.
Anita ignored his scorn and answered with a faint smile on her face. “It was fine. I tried to sleep but was thinking of you all night.”
“Really, me?” he intoned.
She stared blankly at him. “Yes dear! You!”
“It’s funny how you could do what you did and still come here to play the good wife,” Austin replied bluntly.
Anita gazed at him expressionlessly. He avoided her searching gaze. Anita’s mind was in turmoil. She’d traveled for work. She’d literally passed a sleepless night. Half of which she spent working on the MOU her boss had signed with a new business partner in Abuja. The other half she was in bed in her hotel room, missing him madly. And when she finally fell asleep she dreamt of them making love for the first time.
Yes, she erred for not informing him. It was rather impromptu but that doesn’t excuse her mistake. It was their one-year anniversary and they’ve been planning it for weeks. Their weekend get-a-way! But she’s here now. And they could still make it up. She took the first available flight just for it.
However, Austin was taking it rather badly. He seemed shattered, even got drunk. She’d never seen him this hurt. Anita decided to let him be. Avoid confrontation and just let him steam off and cool off, she thought. Moreover, she is jet-lagged and famished. And he must be hungry too.
Ignoring his comment she busied herself in the kitchenette with breakfast. A quick breakfast! He needed a decent meal, a hot cup of black coffee and a long sleep. And so does she.
By the time she was done Austin had dozed off. Anita scooted a chair over to his bedside and woke him with a gentle tap. “Honey, breakfast is served!”
Austin’s eyes fluttered open. He turned to stare at his cheating girlfriend and was about to give her another piece of his hurting heart when his eyes caught a glint of remorse. A feeling of guilt clutched his heart.
With a soft hiss Austin threw his legs over the edge of the bed and sat up accepting the invitation with a nod. Picking up the cup of coffee he took a quick sip.
The breakfast was hurried as well was light. Slice bread slathered with jam; hot coffee for him while she settled for a beverage tea. Unusually, they ate in solemn silence, seldom exchanging glances. She was sipping her tea when Austin abruptly reached out a hand at her. She shivered slightly at his touch, as their gaze held.
“Baby, tell me. Who is the guy?” He broke the tensed silence and shot her a penetrating look.
Anita shrugged her shoulders. “What guy? I was with my boss!” How could he think she was with another guy? She thought.
Austin was taken aback. He was expecting her to deny everything. And here she was being all bold and outspoken. His eyes widened. “You’ve got guts, Annie! You surprise me.”
Anita emptied her cup and placed it in the tray. “What do you mean? I was simply doing my job.”
“With your boss?” Austin muttered before dropping his cup in the tray his eyes still fixed on her.
Anita stared mutely in absolute disbelief. When he kept mute she shook her head befuddled, stood up and made for the kitchenette with the tray.
Austin sat lost in deep thought. He couldn’t comprehend it. How did he not see her for who she was? He was already head over heels in love with her. And he’d stupidly been nursing thoughts of proposing, of making her his wife. Damn! He’d even bought the ring.
He watched her sway to the kitchenette. Her figure-hugging black dress drove his imaginations wild sending him down memory lane.
It was exactly a year ago yesterday when they met at Tunde’s send-forth party. Tunde Animashaun was relocating to the UK, and decided to throw a party for his friends. A light gentle smile spread across Austin’s face as he recalled when Temisan, Tunde’s sisters introduced Anita to him. He got immediately hooked.
The humor was Temisan had the hot for Austin and had been longing to meet him, pestering her brother to arrange a meet. Tunde eventually succumbed. That evening at the party Tunde took him, no dragged him, to meet Temisan. But Austin’s eyes got caught on Anita, Temisan’s friend, instead. Anita’s soft brown eyes, slim nose, full lips and remarkable dimples gave her face a sort of serene beauty. Austin’s gaze immediately locked onto her. All through the party he kept stealing glances at her.
Moreover, when he tried to get her phone number and court her Anita played him silly, giving Temisan a chance to hook up with Austin. Despite she’d also fallen for him at first sight.
Fortunately, Austin was adamant it was Anita or nobody else. And it was Temisan that eventually got them hooked up on their very first date.
According to Anita, Temisan walked up to her at work one sweet sunny day and strangely announced, “Annie, I give up. The dude’s got eyes only for you. Anytime we meet you are the one he wants to talk about. The guy is simply drunk on you. I don’t know what perfume or dress you wore that night but he’s got you under his skin. So, girlfriend he is all yours. I give up! And I gave him your phone number. Hope you don’t mind?”
Lost for words she simply nodded as Temisan patted her shoulder gently. “Go get him girl! I think he loves!” That for Anita was a great compliment. Temisan never believed in love.
For weeks Anita wore a secret smile and a spring in her step. She felt a glow of pride knowing that Austin cared so much about her to turn down the mouth-gaping, radiantly beautiful, rich, sexy and famous Temisan Animashaun. Every man’s dream woman! Anita was elated Austin didn’t fall for Temisan’s seductive moves. She knows how far her friend would go to bed a guy. That day Austin not only won her heart but her soul as well.
Nonetheless, when he called that memorable Saturday morning she turned him down out-rightly. Austin persisted for almost a month before Anita finally agreed to a date after he sought the help of Temisan, who seemingly convinced Anita. Or rather so Austin thought.
A gentle smile spread over his face as he recalled their first date. If he was captivated when he first set eyes on her then he not only fell in love with her on their first date, he offered her his heart on a gold platter.
First, Anita showed up looking stunning in a simple white T-shirt over a pair of stone-washed Denim jeans shorts that left him gaping at her slender long smooth ebony legs. Her makeup, though light, accentuated her facial assets- seductive brown eyes, slim slender nose, great dentition, breath-taking dimples and succulent lips. All cumulating into the most radiant beautiful smile he’d ever seen. He was practically stuttering and clumsily knocking stuff down just trying to keep his head on. But when they began to engage in some light conversations he became more relaxed and calm.
They ate, talked and laughed a lot that day. He felt at home and himself with her. Then it was time for dessert. She had ice cream while he went for a cup of black coffee. And their conversation went deeper, more personal and serious. He realized she was even prettier and more intelligent than she looked. At the end of their dinner date Austin was absolutely sure he’d met his wife. He was ready to propose right there and then. But experience, intuition and instinct urged him to take things slowly and give it time to blossom, at least a year or six months.
Since that first date life has been worth every breath. Austin lived in awesome bliss. He remembered their first kiss; the softness and tenderness of it. It was ferocious and tender. He’d just dropped her off at work that fateful Friday morning and as he leaned in to peck her cheek as their wont she put her arms around him and kissed him gently on the lips instead. She then turned to go but he held her elbow and spun her around. He gave her a big kiss, stroking her hair as he kissed her tenderly. Her soft succulent lips sending shivers through his body as she kissed him back passionately. It was lingeringly awesome!