Ali was a silent sleeper. V woke up a few minutes before he did and stared at him. He stirred quietly then smiled. She felt happy.
“I am hungry!”
“Me too. I used some great deal of energy last night.” He giggled. “But I’ll get us something to eat. Should I get you a toothbrush while am at it?”
He grabbed a clean t-shirt and threw it on with a pair of house shorts. He did not take long getting those items. They cleaned up. She was reluctant about washing off the previous night, but she had a feeling there would be several other nights like that one. She sighed as she joined him in the bathroom. It was the first time she was going to take a bath with a man, she felt excited yet relaxed at the same time. And she allowed herself to enjoy every bit of it.
The weekend was short. The week was going to be a long one. She wasn’t going to see him that week, not the way she wanted to. Ali had cast a spell on her. He’d become her new drug, her addiction.
They did meet the next weekend and it only got better that the first. V had grown attached to and comfortable around him. For her, this was not something that came simply, so when it happened, she felt intrigued. Ali was a simple guy, with tiny sexy eyes. She’d noticed this, but it had never really sunk till that day he had peered into her soul with those eyes, while making love to her. She had finally started to pay attention. She could barely look him in the eye, especially when he smiled. Ali had a soft dry yet deep smile. He never parted his lips when he did. Sometimes he would laugh with his lips sealed, a deep chuckle from the deep of his throat. Sometimes V couldn’t help smiling when he laughed, or when he smiled. She found his smile irresistible. She could tell him all those things, but then she was scared she would come out as infatuated. V was in love, that was the simple explanation behind it all. It helped that Ali had a way of looking sexy without trying. He was generous too. V never asked for anything from him, but she could feel his generosity everywhere.
“Hey, have you heard of this song before, start of something good by Daughtry?”
“Not really. What is it about?”
“I will get it for you from a friend of mine, Angela.”
“How about I just download it?”
“That would be great.”
They both listened to the emotional song, while V identified with every lyric. He smiled. She knew he was happy. Another memory she would keep.
“This place needs some cleaning up. Mind if I help?” She put it like a request, it was not, it was a mere suggestion. So she got up, did the dishes, cleaned the floor, scrubbed the bathroom floor, cleaned the toilet, and did his laundry. When she was done, she sat back, a little bewildered. She had never been that girl. The most interesting part was that she felt proud of what she had done. She was not scared that he would grow entitled because she knew she could control that. She was not scared that he would lose respect for her, her esteem was in check. She felt proud that she had this side to her. That she could be a womanly woman if she wanted to. The thought was reassuring. His gratitude was the icing on the cake. Earlier that year she had asked God for a man she could take care of. She started to feel like her prayer had been answered, and she felt her faith grow. She was contented.
“You have a text message.”
“Read it out loud for me, will you?”
“Are you sure?”
“Just read the text, please.”
“‘Hey! I hope you are OK. Can I see you?’ Its from one Kelv.” She did not respond quickly. They bothy went quiet for a while. “Shouldn’t you reply to the text?”
“I will. When am done here.”
“Who is Kelv, anyway? Just curious.”
“That’s the guy I told you about, remember?”
“Oh! Sure!” Awkward silence. “Why does he want to meet you?”
“How would I know?”
“Does he know about us?”
“No, not yet.”
“Why haven’t you told him about us?”
V wanted to get upset with this line of questioning, but she could totally understand where he was coming from. So she let it go. “I will, OK? I just haven’t found the right moment yet. I don’t want to upset him.” And she instantly regretted her last statement. Ali was a smart guy, he did not contend she sounded guilty of something. Instead, he downplayed the whole thing and changed the subject. V knew she had to do something about it. She just had no idea how.
She and Kelv had been through some difficult situations. But V had trouble letting go. Yes, she was beginning to feel like she belonged with Ali, and yes she loved him, but she was scared that perhaps it was a dalliance. That maybe she had overlooked some things. That perhaps she and Ali were not on the same page. She knew she was being paranoid, but she had no sure way of telling. I mean, hadn’t he threatened her that if she ever gave herself to another man he would kill her? Hadn’t he been the one with the exclusiveness idea? That could mean he loved her, but it could also mean, he was possessive and didn’t like sharing things he found interesting.
Either way, she knew it was time to let Kelvin go. Whatever was going to happen between her and Ali was not going to change this. It was about time one of them pulled the trigger. Kelvin wasn’t going to do it, so one way or the other, she was going to have to do it.
I am fine. you?
That was how the conversation ensued. It culminated in a brief meeting at her place. They talked about nothing. At the end, they parted like good old friends. She had not mastered the courage to lay it on him. So she decided she would spill some other day, some other way. One thing was for sure, she and Kelv were over. He had been extraordinarily sweet that weekend, yet that had not gotten her back on her knees, it had only gotten her a little confused. She had not been able to counter that with, Hey! Am seeing another guy now and he makes me happy.
She noticed that Ali was distant that week. He barely talked to her. The guilt caught up with her. She was finally relieved when Kelv asked her, “Are you seeing another guy?” He had made it all simpler. She only had to tell the truth, and she did.
“Yes, I am. Though it’s just starting, I cannot define it yet.” Too much of an answer, and completely out of topic. But she had finally done it!
“Well, I wish you happiness. Give it your all. This is me letting you free.”
She needed it, the freedom, the peace of mind, the ease of conscience. She wasn’t so happy when he said that. But she knew she had to take it. It was a weak moment for her. But she thought of Ali and felt like she was making the right decision. She hoped she was making the right move.