In twelve months they’ve been able to build a relationship that was the envy and dream of any couple. He recalled the first time she professed her love to him. It was at a friend’s birthday party. She kept flashing seductive smiles and winks at him across the table. The party was so crowded they could hardly find a spot for some private moments. More so, Anita, who was one of the organizers, kept on the move, never spending five minutes with Austin without anyone needing her attention.
When eventually they were finally alone it was on their way to drop her off. She wound her arm around his throughout the trip; and kept leaning in to kiss and peck him as he managed to drive with steady competence. At first he thought she was tipsy. But right there in her front porch when he lowered his face to peck her goodnight she cupped his face in her hands and covered his lips with hers. A French kiss!
When they eventually disengaged she whispered into his ears softly and slowly, “I love you, Austin!” and stepped into her apartment leaving him completely mesmerized. He’d lingered on her front porch a moment longer that night watching through the front window as she swayed and danced in ecstasy.
That was barely a year ago.
A tear drop cascaded down his cheek as he sneaked a peek at Anita busying herself in the kitchenette. He had stood at her front porch a finger to his lips as her words reverberated in his ears, in his heart! It was one of the happiest days of his life.
The same front porch where his world began was where it eventually ended! Images and voices of the previous night suddenly flooded his mind. His countenance dipped. Austin turned to the wall and buried his face in his blanket as Anita’s love-noises of last night reverberated in his ears! He sobbed quietly until his eyes fluttered and shut.
Anita heard his sobs. Teary-eyed, she walked up to the bed. “Honey, I’m sorry!” she whimpered struggling to hold back the tears. But he was already fast asleep. Exhausted and guilt-stricken she took off her shoes and slipped into bed beside him. Cuddle up together, and for the better part of the morning they slept like logs.
The sweet scent of her perfume and the soft gentle touch of her feminine frame tickled him, arousing from his slumber. His gaze locked onto her sleeping face, then flew to her succulent full-lips. He fought back an incredible urge to cover her lips with his; to kiss her ferociously. He’d missed her immensely. And no matter how angry he was with her he just couldn’t help loving her; wanting her; longing for her presence, her cuddles, her touches, and kisses. He gave a sharp intake of breath and slid quietly out of bed.
“Damn! I’m crazy about her!” he whispered under his stale breath. And with his head whirling with excitement he padded to the bathroom, shedding his clothes as he did.
Moments later, Anita rolled over on her back and murmured in her sleep. She reached a hand for his warm cuddle but met warmth emptiness. She raised her head suddenly as her eyes swept the room then she heard his blundering in the bathroom. Fluffing up a pillow she cuddled and buried her face in it. Then, her hand felt a glass object under it. Inquisitively, she sat up and lifted the pillow. And her mouth gaped.
“This guy is really nuts,” she whispered staring at her own face a month or two younger. She recalled the exact day the picture was taken and felt a blush warm her face as images of Austin cradling the photograph against his breast flashed through her mind. He must have quickly slipped it under the pillow when she unexpectedly burst in, she thought, a warm smile developing on her lips. “But why can’t he just forgive me!” she pondered sprawling out on the bed still holding the framed photo.
With a determined resolve, Anita tucked the frame back under the pillow. She flung her slim legs over the bed and scrambled to her feet. Slowly, she peeled off her dress. Unhooking her bra she tossed it over her head and stumped lasciviously to the bathroom.
Austin was still covered in soapy lather when a set of slim soft fingers tenderly tickled his thigh. He went turgid in less than a heartbeat. Austin, his back still turned to Anita, froze under the shower. His heart raced and his breathing deepened. But he stood undecided.
He contemplated – give in to his reasoning or his feelings! Follow his head or his heart! Give in to her advances or break it up now! He was still in this mental dilemma when Anita slipped out of her lingerie and slammed her nude slim frame into him. With her firm breasts smashed into his back, Austin mentally gave in. He reached a hand for her sumptuous behind; digging his fingers into her skin he tightened his grip and squeezed.
“Hmm…” Anita exhaled in excitement. She immediately began to kiss his earlobe whispering between heavy breaths, “sorry dear! I should have told you earlier. It was so impromptu.” She kissed his neck and then his shoulder as she went on between pecks. “My GM just came from HQ a few minutes before closing time and sent me the invitation. I just couldn’t turn him down!”
Austin suddenly went limp snapping in anger. He turned himself around and locked his gaze on hers. “You mean you would have told me you were doing your boss?”
Anita’s eyes widened and her head swirled. Completely stupefied she gazed at him in absolute confusion. “What do you mean?” she stuttered in obvious bewilderment.
Austin poked a hand in her face. “I mean I saw you…I heard you and your boss.” He had a determined tone in his voice.
Anita stepped back and held a hand to her forehead. “I don’t understand you. Where did you see me and my boss?”
Austin kept his gaze on her every gesture. “Oh, you were not expecting me to show up at your place, right? After all, we were to meet at the restaurant.”
“My place!” Anita reiterated aloud. And suddenly it dawned on her. “You were at my place yesterday?” she asked her eyes seething with unusual rage.
Austin nodded with surety. “I saw you and your boss having sex.”
Immediately, Anita gave him a sharp slap on his cheek. “So, that’s what this is all about!” She barked her eyes fuming with anger. “And here I was risking my life in a rickety plane to catch the first flight to Lagos in order to be with someone I thought loves me.”
“Flight! Plane!” Austin held a hand to his hurting cheek, his wet soapy face donning a perplexed look.
Anita shot him a disappointed look. “I just flew in from Abuja this morning!” she blurted and turned to exit the bathroom but Austin reach out an arm and held her by the elbow.
“Then who was at your place yesterday?”
Anita wriggled free from his clutch and without turning to face him replied sharply, “It’s Tonia, my friend,” she paused and took a deep breath. “And I’ve told you about her.” She said softly and stepped out of the bathroom.
Austin followed her, his head spinning as he racked his brain. The name rang a bell. Suddenly, he recalled. “Tonia! Right?” He murmured in a softer tone. “She’s the one doing her Masters at the University of Benin? The one you said was coming last month?” There was remorse in his voice now.
Crestfallen, Anita slipped on her clothes; her long hair fell untidily over her shoulders; she ran her fingers through her hair and nodded in quiet response. She gathered her bra and other stuff. Tucking them into her handbag she made for the front door. Austin stood looking shame-faced. He’d goofed big time. He thought.
Reaching for the doorknob Anita turned it and pulled the door half-open when Austin called out to her. “Baby, I’m sorry. I didn’t know you were out of town.”
Anita halted and swung around. “Tonia came in last night with her boyfriend. Yes, I should have told you I was traveling but I was in a hurry not only to catch a flight with my GM but also to get the needed documents for the trip.” She spoke with a shaky voice blinking severally to fight back the tears trying to burst out of her eyes.
Austin padded towards her still unclothed. “I mistook you for Tonia. I’m sorry baby.” His face suddenly grew solemn.
Staggering back a step Anita gazed at him with glistened eyes. “You didn’t even give me the benefit of the doubt. You don’t trust me. And that hurts so much.” Then a few tear drops cascaded down her cheeks. And before Austin could utter any other word Anita turned swiftly, pulled the door open even wider and stormed out into the scorching midday sun. She heard the door shut behind her as she hastened towards the carport, her face twisted in a grimace of pain.
Hurriedly, she fumbled to fetch her keys from her handbag. Opening the car she slumped behind the wheels and buried her face in her hands.
“How a man would claim to love her and yet not trust her?” she pondered aloud between sobs. “How the love and trust she’d taken time and soul to build could be dented just by a silhouetted image; crumbling in the blink of an eye?”
She began to shiver as the tears spilled from her eyes filling her palms streaming down her arms.
Anita wept! She cried heavily as the pain in her heart shot through her entire being.
“Love and Trust!” She whispered sadly. “Love trusts! And trust is the foundation of love!” Then wiping her face and hands she put the key into the ignition and turned it. Then engaging the gear she zoomed off!
She’d just driven passed his gate when she saw him from her rear-view mirror almost half-clothed and still struggling with a shirt. He managed to wave frantically for her to stop holding up her wet panties but Anita, suddenly realizing she was completely nude under her dress, didn’t give it a thought. She just sped off wearing a menacing scowl.
Some few kilometers later her scowl deepened, “there can’t be love without trust,” she mused. This went on for just a few minutes before the scowl was replaced with a faint grin and a sudden despairing look. Something seemed to have snapped in her as the numerous heartbreaks flashed through her mind.
Fred, Tunde, Enoch, Matt, Andy, Emeka, Kunle, Edet, Kay, and … Austin! Their faces flashed through her thoughts. Anita felt broken but still wore a smile. Not one of these got her heart and soul as Austin did. A wry smile appeared on her lips. “The tenth one that got my heart, my true love, was the only one that didn’t get to taste my juice!” she whispered. She’d prepared a romantic weekend of wild love-making and fun-time but it was never to be.
Yes, it’d started on a wrong note but she wanted to make it up with a bang! Wild sex! She’d gotten some mild-blowing and mouth-gaping lingerie that would make a priest denounce celibacy! It’s no use now. She let out a soft sigh!
“I have loved and lost. Thanks Austin for the wonderful memories!” She heaved decisively as she stepped harder on the accelerator. Her smile widened. Soon, Anita began to laugh. At first it was a soft giggle. Then gradually she burst into a wild laugh as the speedometer went past the 120km per hour mark.
At the 180km per hour mark the car simply glided, floating along the almost un-busy road. Anita was screaming at the top of her voice and didn’t see the heavy duty truck approaching the intersection.
Immediately she caught a glimpse of the speeding truck, she slammed on the brakes. The car went into a long skid.
Suddenly, everything went completely blank.