He closed from work and decided to check on the Philips before heading home that evening. Their apartment was in a three storey building, five houses away from where his clinic was located. He said goodbye to the receptionist on his way out and walked briskly to the spot he parked his car. He got in, drove out of the large compound and down the busy street. He maneuvered the car into a space he found outside the brown painted three storey building. He killed the engine and stepped down from the vehicle. He locked it and strode into the building. The Philips’ flat was on the ground floor. He greeted the security guard and walked towards one of flat at the back of the building. He pressed the door bell and waited. He looked around him and noticed the semi-clean surrounding.
“Doctor!” Tofunmi opened the door and saw him standing two feet away.
“Good evening,” he smiled back at her.
“Evening, please come in,” she stepped back into the house.
“I thought I should check up on you all…”
“Oh… thank you.”
He followed her into the sitting room and found Tomisin and his daughter at the dining.
“Good evening sir,” Bassey bowed his head.
“Evening doctor,” Tomisin rose.
“Please sit down sir.”
He smiled and sat down, “Why don’t you join us?”
“Thank you,” Bassey pulled out one of the empty chairs at the dining and sat down opposite Misi.
“Evening…” her eyes remained on her meal.
“Evening,” he lifted his eyes and searched her face.
Tofunmi rushed into the kitchen and returned with a plate of pounded yam and a bowl of egusi soup with grilled fresh fish. She placed the meal before him and took a seat beside her husband.
“Misi got a job as an accountant at your sister’s place of work today.”
He looked from mother to daughter, “That is wonderful,” he felt like a burden had been lifted off his shoulders.
“She is starting tomorrow.”
He glanced at the proud father, “This is good news.”
“God has used you and your family to help us in ways we can hardly imagine. We are grateful,” Tofunmi smiled with gratitude.
“We thank God ma,” he smiled back at the elderly woman and started to eat.
Tomisin held his wife’s hand, “We got a call from your dad this evening.”
Bassey raised his head and stared at the couple.
“They want us to work as Supervisors in their Calabar food restaurant here in Ikeja,” Tomisin’s eyes began wet with tears.
Bassey closed his eyes and sighed. He had spoken to his parents about the Philips unemployment. He opened his eyes and grinned.
“We are also starting tomorrow,” Tofunmi’s excitement radiated on her face.
“God has wiped away our tears and replaced our shame with honour,” her husband chimed in.
The couple exchanged glances. Their dark eyes shone with happy tears.
He was very happy for them. He turned to look at their daughter. Her brown hair was packed in a bun on top of her head. A red hair-band held it together at the center. She looked pretty with little or no make-up on her face. She had a natural beauty. Many girls lacked that. Her singing and dancing image flashed through his mind. His brows creased in a frown. He hoped her image would stop tormenting his dreams now that she doesn’t live with him anymore. He concentrated on his food and ate it all. He washed his hands in the bowl of water beside his plate and wiped his hands with the napkin on the table.
“Thank you ma, it was delicious.”
The couple laughed lightly and stared at their daughter. He followed their gaze. She raised her head and realized that they were all staring at her.
“Did Misi cook the food?” he searched their happy faces.
“Yes,” her parents chorused.
“Wow…” he got up, “I am impressed.”
Misi dropped her head and tried to stop herself from smiling.
“I have to head home now, please call me as often as you need to.”
“Thank you doctor,” they chorused.
Her father signal to her. She washed her hands and shifted her chair backwards.
She got to her feet, “Let me see you off.”
They both walked towards the door.
“Take care of your parents,” he glanced at her.
“I will,” She opened the front door.
He stepped out and then turned to look at her. Bright honey coloured eyes drilled into brown ones that became tensed due to the intensity of his gaze.
Her heart beat accelerated and the heat of their proximity made her to feel light headed. Out of the blue, something deep within propelled her to close the gap between them.
As if he was been controlled by the same feeling, he brushed a hand over her smooth chocolate brown oval face. She shuddered at his touch and parted her lips. His gaze dropped to her small cute wet mouth. He swallowed hard and tried to still his raging emotions. She wrapped her arms around him and sealed his lips with a kiss. Shock waves flew in every direction in his system. A deep longing within him took over. He kissed her back, lost in the euphoria of the moment. She trembled in his arms and melted into him. His hands slid down her back and caressed her buttocks. She moaned and tightened her grip on him. They moved back into the house and he shut the door with his leg.
She felt his hardness and paused. What were they doing? There was absolutely nothing between them. She shouldn’t have kissed him. Why did she allow her emotions to override her reasoning? She wanted to pull away, but, her hands were limp with desire.
Bassey held unto her firmly and led her into one of the bedrooms down the hall way. He couldn’t stop the kisses. The desire building within him felt like a volcano about to erupt. All he could think about at that moment was to consume every inch of her.
His weight crushed her on the soft, firm, mattress. It registered on her mind that they were in one of the rooms, hers or her parents’? She couldn’t tell. What if they found them locked in each other’s arms? What would they think? She panicked and tore her lips away. She searched his face and the realization that he wanted her too came as a surprise. Was it possible that he had feelings for her too?
“What are we doing?” she whispered.
His eyelids flickered and his senses returned. What was he doing? What had he done? He released her and sat up quickly.
She lifted herself and sat beside him, “I am sorry,” she observed his firm face.
“No, I am sorry,” he returned her gaze, “I like you… I like you a lot.”
She batted her eyes. His confession shocked and excited her all at once.
“I… I have been thinking about you more than I should,” he looked away, “You have completely taken over my dreams, but, right now… I can’t do anything about how I feel about you,” he got up and straightened his creased blue long sleeved shirt.
She raised her head and searched his face. If he really liked her, why wasn’t he ready to pursue something futuristic with her?
“It’s being a crazy period for me. I need time… I need time to get my priorities straight,” he stared back at her.
She dropped her head. A pained expression took over her face. If he had asked her out that night, her response would have been positive. What was holding him back? Was there another woman in his life? Maybe he didn’t like her enough to date her. She felt a lump in her throat. Why did she kiss him? She felt so stupid.
“I am sorry, I have to go,” he caught a glimpse of her, turned around and walked out.
She exhaled and wrapped her arms around her body. She placed her head on her laps and closed her eyes.
God … I am falling in love with someone who isn’t ready for a commitment.
Tears rolled down her face.