Tjay sat in his office chatting with his colleagues, a group of four men and two ladies. They argued and discussed the recent events in the country. Each one of them had his or her own idea and solution for solving the national problem. No one noticed when Bina walked in. She watched them with interest and listened to their arguments. It was her first visit to his working place. She had been trying to see him for the past three days, but, she always met his absence at home. Whenever he picked her calls or replied her text messages, he promised to visit, but, he never showed up. She concluded that he was avoiding her. She had made up her mind to fish him out from whatsoever hole he was hiding. Here he was at work; he wouldn’t be able to elude her this time around.
The moment he saw her, he stopped talking. All eyes followed his gaze and focused on her. She greeted them and approached him. His colleagues returned to their separate desks and carried on with their discussion. His surprised dark gaze ran over her. He liked what he saw. The cream v-neck cap sleeve blouse made her dark chocolate skin to glow. The blue jeans outlined her curvaceous frame and made her very desirable. He swallowed hard and dropped his gaze.
“Hi yourself,” she sat on one of the empty seats beside his desk.
“Why didn’t you tell me that you were coming?” he looked at her.
She placed her black hand-bag on the table, “You would have given me one excuse or the other as usual.”
He grinned and laughed quietly.
“Why are you avoiding me?” she directed her concerned gaze at him.
He rested his back on the chair and stared back at her, “What can I offer you?” he tried to change the subject.
“We need to talk,” she searched his face.
“Do we?” he tilted his head.
“Yes, let’s go to my place,” she suggested.
He began to shake his head.
“What about your place?” she added quickly.
He continued to shake his head.
“Fine. We will talk here,” she leaned against the wooden chair.
He folded his arms across his chest.
“When I was fifteen, you were eighteen then… I had a crush on you.”
The new information picked his interest. He remembered that he almost asked her out back then, but, he wasn’t sure she felt the same way.
“I liked you back then, I still do,” she pressed her lips together.
His dark gaze pierced through her coffee brown ones. It was hard to believe that she actually liked him back then and now.
“I grew fond of you over the years and my feelings for you multiplied. You… you didn’t ask me out or show any form of interest, so I… I thought you saw me as a sister and I blocked my feelings for you.”
His eyes widened in shock. He didn’t realize that she felt strongly about him. He thought she didn’t have any feelings for him. He thought she just saw him as a friend and nothing more. How he wished he had conquered his fears and asked her out all those years. Maybe, just maybe things would have been different between them.
“But, recently, I noticed that… times without number, I sensed that… that… is there a possibility that… that you have feelings for me?” she held her breath. Her heart beat raced.
He shook his head, “I don’t have feelings for you.”
She paled. She had thought wrong. Or was he denying it? She eyed him.
“I am in love with you,” he confessed, “I have always loved you,” his dark eyes bored into hers.
She blinked and swallowed hard. Did he just say that he loved her?
“Countless times, I almost told you,” he chimed in let out a loud breath.
She shook her head in surprise, “Why didn’t you?” she whispered.
He shrugged, “Maybe I was scared of rejection.”
“I have been waiting for you to ask me out for the past fifteen years,” she placed a hand on her forehead.
“I almost did,” he grinned.
“When?” she eyed him.
“The day I met Eru at your place.”
“Oh!” she remembered how she treated him and felt a jolt of sadness.
“I gave up and asked Adiza out instead.”
She placed a hand over her mouth.
“While dating her, I couldn’t get you out of my head,” he turned his head and stared at the window.
“We… we have wasted so much time dating other people, whilst our hearts were somewhere else.”
He drummed his fingers on the table and nodded.
“Well, I am single again, and so are you,” she kept looking at him.
A smile crossed his lips.
“What are you waiting for?”
“Marry me,” he turned to look at her.
“Hmm…” she blinked. What did he just say?
“Let’s get married this weekend,” he sounded serious.
“Do you love me?” his eyes twinkled with delight.
She nodded her head.
“I have loved you for a decade and half. I don’t want to waste anymore time,” he reached out for her hand across the table.
“Ah… but, Granny… your parents…” she stuttered.
“It doesn’t matter what anyone says or thinks, all that matters is that we are happy.”
She smiled and reasoned with him. He was right.
“Is that a yes?” he smiled back at her.
“Yes, yes I will marry you this Saturday.”
“Fantastic!” he jumped to his feet, “Let’s go, we need to intimate your grandma and my parents. They have just three days to kick off the wedding preparations.”
She staggered to her feet, “Is it possible?” she felt scared.
“Our families do not need introductions,” he held her hand and pulled her towards the door.
“I have heard of couples who had both their traditional and church wedding on the same day,” she said slowly.
“Now you are thinking straight,” he winked at her.
She chuckled, “This is crazy.”
They both walked out of the office.
“Do you love me?” he glanced at her.
“I love you too. That is all that matters.”
She sighed heavily. Out of the blues, he pulled her into a bear-hug and crushed her lips with his. He released her after a moment.
“I have wanted to do that for the past fifteen years,” he grinned sheepishly.
She started to laugh. She had also been waiting. Now, her wait was definitely over. They held hands and walked out of the building.