Kike and her niece returned from church and met Gbemiga and his family seated outside the house playing a game of Ludo. Bukky was surprised to see her ex. She didn’t know that he was back home from school. She and her aunt greeted them and went in. She noticed the way his eyes lingered over her, before he returned his attention to the game. She followed her aunt into the room and settled on the bed. She heard the woman saying something like she was going to the kitchen to make lunch. She lay on the bed and heard the bang of the door. She kicked off her shoes, lay on her back and coiled into a ball on the mattress.
Her ex was back. The best way to deal with their situation was to intentionally avoid him. No wonder some people were against dating people living in the same house with them. The night she found him at the back of the kitchen with one of the girls that came for his party flashed through her mind’s eye. The sooner she deleted him completely from her mind, the better for her. She was bent on moving on. Nothing and no one was going to pull her back.
She heard knocks on the door. Who could it be? Maybe one of her sales girls or both of them. During the weekends, they usually come to the room to watch soap operas on Telemundo or the Zee World channel.
“Come in.” she sat up and looked towards the door.
The door made a creak sound when it opened. Gbemiga walked in and she jumped to her feet abruptly. She grimaced. She should have asked, who was at the door before saying ‘come in’.
“Hi,” he closed the door behind him.
He noticed the changes in the room. The former bed had been replaced with a bigger one and a two settee chair with the flat screen T.V set was also new.
He returned her questioning stare. Where was he going to start from? Before he came in, he had memorized what he wanted to say and how he was going to say it, but, at that moment, words failed him. “Bukky, I am sorry.”
She raised an eyebrow. What was he apologizing for? What was he even doing in her aunt’s room?
“I am the cause of our broken relationship. I was selfish and… and I wanted to have my way, regardless of how you felt. I am deeply sorry. Please forgive me.”
She stood there looking at him. He seemed sincere, but, his apologies were too late.
“I lost focus and I eventually lost you. I wish I can turn back the hands of time. I wish I can undo what I have done. I wish I can give you back your innocence.”
Her expressionless face became clouded with hurt, then anger. She didn’t like remembering what she had lost.
“I am so, so sorry,” he went on his knees.
His action astounded her.
“I am so sorry for taking advantage of you. Please find it in your heart to forgive me.”
After everything he put her through, now he wanted her forgiveness. Nevertheless, he sounded genuine. She couldn’t understand why he was seeking her forgiveness now. Why didn’t he apologize several months ago? Why now? What did he really expect from her?
“I will be eternally grateful and ecstatic if you will also accept me back.”
She blinked. What did he just say? He wanted her to accept him back. Was that even possible? She began to shake her head. “Forgiving you is one thing, but, dating you again is another.”
“Please Bukky, even after we broke up, my feelings for you didn’t change. I have gone out with other girls, but, no one compares to you.”
She placed both hands on her hips. She wanted him to leave. She didn’t want to hear what he had to say. She had, had enough.
“All I need is another chance. I promise not to force you into anything you do not want to do. I promise to keep sex out of our relationship. I promise to let my family know that you are my baby girl. This time around, things will be different.”
She shook her head again. She wasn’t interested. “I am sorry.”
He got to his feet and walked up to her. “Bukky…”
“You are too late,” she thought of Chike. He was the person she wanted to be with, not her ex.
“I love you. I never stopped loving you,” his pleading eyes mirrored his feelings.
“Please don’t say that. Love is more than mere words.”
“I know and I am going to prove it to you.”
“There is nothing to prove. I am not interested.”
The thought that she didn’t want him made him to feel sad, “Bukky please. Things are going to be different this time around.”
She looked up at him and noticed the sincerity in his eyes. She turned away, confused. She still had feelings for him. She had not gotten over him completely. Was it wise to start over with him? She also had feelings for Chike. She was sure that by the time he returned to Lagos, he would ask her out and she was going to say yes. But, now, her ex-boyfriend wanted her back. Should she give him another chance and hope things would work out between them or wait for Chike’s return and begin a new relationship with him?
“Bukky…” he came up behind her.
“Look, I don’t think we should…”
He wrapped his arms around her and pulled her close. “I love you. I will be miserable without you in my life. I cannot live without you.”
The warmth of his arms stirred her emotions, “Look…we…we can’t, I can’t…”
“Please, take me back. I will not disappoint you,” he whispered into her ear.
She breathed out loudly.
God what should I do?
She pulled away and faced him, “Fine, I forgive you. But, there is no way I am starting over with you. We don’t see eye to eye,” she crossed her arms across her chest.
“I promise you, things are going to be different this time around,” he tried to convince her.
She stared at him long and hard. Maybe he was right. Maybe he had changed. Maybe things were really going to be different.
“Okay, okay, fine. Let’s try again.”
He beamed, hands clasped, he breathed out loudly, “Thank you. You will not regret this.”
She eyed him, “I hope so.”
“A friend of mine is celebrating his birthday party this evening. I want you to come with me.”
She blinked in astonishment. It was the first time he would be taking her out to meet his friends.
“Great! You need to be ready before six.”
He stared back at her like he had just won the American Visa Lottery, “See you later,” he was relieved that God listened to him and answered his prayers.
She watched him leave. What had she just done? She placed a hand on her head. What happens when Chike returned to Lagos? What was she going to tell him?
Kike walked in carrying a pot pf steaming jollof rice.
“Was that Gbemiga?”
She met her curious gaze, “Yes.”
“I hope you are not dating two people at the same time,” Kike set the pot on the wooden cupboard.
“No! Of course not.”
Her aunt eyed her. “I have seen the way Chike looks at you.”
She scratched her upper arm, “Ehn… we are just friends.”
Kike brought out plates from the cupboard.
“The only person I am dating right now is Gbemiga.”
Kike didn’t respond. She dished the food and carried her plate to the bed. She sat down and began to eat.
Bukky sighed heavily. She dished her food and went to sit on the two settee. Her thoughts were centered on her boyfriend and her friend.