Eleven years ago
Mofe couldn’t wait for this damn party he was DJing to be over, he was doing this solely for the money or goodness knew he wouldn’t be there playing music at a pool party.He had better things to do instead of playing music for scantily clad half drunk rich kids.
The celebrant was a friend he played basketball with, Kelvin was an okay guy but Mofe couldn’t stand the rich brats with the uppity attitudes or the bikini clad females flirting with him, checking him out and generally hanging around.
Who was he kidding? The real reason he was pissed was because Ezinne was there also and with none other than her rich thug boyfriend. He should have known she would be there as the rich kids of the estate never missed a chance to converge. He wondered if he would have requested to DJ the party if he’d thought she would be there even if the money was quite good. He probably would have passed on it, seeing her back together with her douche boyfriend was quite painful to watch.
What had he been thinking? Of Course she would have eventually gotten back together with the douche, he couldn’t explain how disappointed that made him feel. He was a fool to have entertained any hopes of being with her even for a second. Had he thought some sort of miracle would bring himself together with her? These rich types liked to stick with their class.
Stealing a glance in her direction, he saw that her boyfriend was half drunk now and acting really lousy and loud while Ezinne had her gaze on him. She’d been doing that since she came into the party and saw him, staring at him as if compelling him to look at her.
Their eyes met briefly now as they had quite a few times already and he wondered what she wanted from him again, she had made it quite clear she didn’t want to have anything to do with him. To say his ego had been bruised was an understatement, it had been deeply wounded and still hurt like hell.
He shook himself mentally, he really shouldn’t be bothered about her, with time he would be fine after all they said time healed all wounds. Instead he should be concerned how he was going to put together money for his airfare out of the country in a few months time.
He’d been accepted into one of the Tech schools he had applied for and was receiving a full scholarship but all he needed was to get himself there. He’d begun work on procuring his visa and had spent most of what he had processing it. The pressing issue now was his airfare, he had a few months to put the money together in time for resumption and was sure he could come up with it in that time but he had to work really hard. He didn’t have time to be thinking about Ezinne and her issues.
But what could a poor red blooded male do when she stared at him with those beautiful amber coloured eyes, looking stunning in a cropped tee shirt and jean cutoff short shorts that clung so closely to her curvy hips, exposing her lovely creamy skin and making him want to run his hands over her the curves of her body. She did things to him he had never experienced before.
She lingered in his mind and he wanted more than anything to be free of those thoughts. She had entwined herself deep into his system and that kiss they had shared the past week had made things for him worse. He couldn’t get it out of his head, how good she had felt against him, it haunted his thoughts even when he slept. How could she have kissed him so thoroughly only to push him away minutes later? He couldn’t get it.
Now she was back with her ex, he shook his head wonderingly. After all the guy had done to her, she’d gotten back with him probably to please her dad. Too bad, it seemed she was prepared to be with a demon just to please her old man.
He looked up again from his PC to see her still staring, he held her gaze this time. The boyfriend was no where in sight and to his surprise she began to make her way over to him as if he had given her permission to approach. He groaned, he didn’t need this. He wanted to be as far away from her as possible.
“Hi Mofe.” She greeted on getting to him.
Pointing at the headset around his ears, he indicated that he couldn’t hear her, fixing his eyes firmly on his computer. It was a lie, he could hear her but he needed her to leave him be.
She rolled her eyes, reaching for the headphones, she tried taking it off but he pulled away from her.
“Seriously?” She asked him.
With a sigh he took them off, the sooner he listened to her, the sooner they could get it over and done with. “What do you want?” He asked, his voice quite terse.
“We need to talk Mofe.”
“Talk about what?”
“About what happened last week in my room.”
“Nothing happened Ezinne, we have both moved on from it, so there’s nothing to talk about. By the way congrats on getting back together with your douche boyfriend”
She shook her head in exasperation obviously fed up with his evasive manoeuvres “Mofe, I might… sort of. ..like you obviously but as a friend okay? We’ve been hanging around a lot and I began getting too personal with you…. I shouldn’t have kissed you, that was a mistake, it couldn’t have led anywhere. …. it was just something spontaneous, I really don’t know what came over me. I’m sorry if I misled you but Ekene is who I really belong with.”
“Sure.” He said with a careless shrug of his shoulders, eyes back on his computer as he smoothly eased a new track into play. He wanted to tell her what he thought of the bullshit she had just spewed but held himself back. There was no point.
That’s all you have to say?”
He shrugged “Were you expecting something more?”
“You better run along now,” he cut her off.”Your douche is back and is heading this way.”
“What?” She turned just as Ekene got to them.
“Hey Bae, what you doing here? Come let’s dance.” He took Ezinne’s hand tried to pull her off.
“Give me a moment Ekene, I will be with you shortly.” She said.
“Ezinne, seriously you expect me to wait for you to finish your discussion with him? Am I now like what…not important enough for you to end your discussion with your washman?”
Mofe raised a brow at the washman remark but he didn’t look up from his PC as he purposely fiddled around the system searching for another track. This idi’ot seemed to be spoiling for a fight and Mofe wouldn’t give him the satisfaction. He didn’t want to engage in a fight that would disrupt the party and he needed the pay from the job. He would ignore the douche as best as he possibly could even if all he wanted to do was punch some sense into him.
“Ekene please, it’s alright I’m done here anyway.” Ezinne said also trying to avoid a fight but Ekene pulled her back from leaving.
“You know, I suspect something between you two, something that’s more than the project work you say he’s been working on for you.”
“Something tells me you two have something more interesting going on.”
“Thats absurd Ekene, why would you think such?” Ezinne asked.
“Because it’s obvious Ezinne, do you think I haven’t noticed your eyes trailing him since we got here?”
Ezinne shook her head “Seriously I don’t know how you come up with this stuff Ekene. I’m leaving, when you sober up, you can call me.”
“No, no no,” He pulled her back, a little too roughly “You’re not going anywhere until we sort this out.”
Mofe who had ignored him all along, looked at the hand Ekene had clamped around Zinnie’s. ‘Lord help me not to interfere,’ he prayed silently.
“Stop Ekene, you are hurting me.” She protested
He ignored her plea and asked instead with a mocking laugh “Is this what appeals to you, Ezinne? Your washman?”
Mofe cursed silently promising himself he would keep his cool, he thought about how much he needed the money, he thought about his much needed airfare. He surely wouldn’t let this idi’ot get to him.
But Ekene turned to him “and you wash man, have you also become a deaf mute?”
“Ekene!” Ezinne screeched appalled.
“What, he’s not speaking, he’s obviously become mute.” He said to her before turning back to him ” Look, stop entertaining ideas about her, she’s way above your level and it’s best you keep off her, for your own good.”
Mofe couldn’t help the small smile that tugged on his lips. the douche was actually threatening him and it was quite funny to him.
“Did I say something funny?” He asked and Mofe ignored him. ” I asked you a question.”
Mofe would have kept ignoring him but the douche reached out to his laptop and closed it. Mofe looked up then.
“I asked you a question.”
“Take your hand off my computer.” Mofe instructed quietly, too quiet, deceptively quiet. A nerve ticked in his jaw as he struggled with his control and his eyes held the other man’s gaze.
“So you can speak, I said stay away from her, did you get that?”
Mofe was certainly not going to be intimidated by this idi’ot, he didn’t need to back off Ezinne just because the id’iot said so. “Get your hand off my PC.”
“Not until I get your affirmative reply.”
Ezinne tried again “Ekene please, lets not do this here.”
“Shut up Ezinne and let me take care of this.”
Ezinne exchanged an embarrassed look with him and Mofe finally spoke up “No one tells me what to do, who to avoid or who to be with..No one, not my friends and certainly not you. If you have feelings of insecurity, you should deal with it and leave me out of your issues. Now get your damn hand off my PC.”
Mofe had his eyes on the idi’ot and so did not expect what he did next, it all happened so fast. Ekene picked up his laptop and slammed it hard on the brick floor. Mofe heard the sound of its smashing and lost all control.
Reaching across the desk separating them both, he pulled the fool by the collar of his shirt forward. Almost picking him off the the ground, he threw him to the floor beside where his smashed computer lay. Ekene struggled but was no match for Mofe’s strength that was being fuelled by a temporary lack of sanity. His first punch landed smack on his cheek,accompanied by another and another until he was pulled back by a few strong hands which he fiercely struggled against.
Somewhere in his blind rage, he had heard Zinnie screaming for him to stop but he had ignored it. Now he saw her at a corner,sobbing quietly while her friends tried to pacify her. Some other guys had pulled Ekene up , he had a split lip, was bleeding from his nose and his eyes would definitely swell but Mofe wasn’t done with him. The id’iot had gotten off too easy.
“I’ll kill you, I swear.” He screamed at him. “I will freaking kill you!”
“Calm down Mofe.” The guys holding him back kept saying.
Some guys began taking the idi’ot away and Mofe screamed after them “I swear if I see you again, you are dead!”
He turned in Ezine’s direction, she was still being consoled by her friends who were now also taking her off.
With a shake of his head he crouched and began picking the pieces of his computer, not sure what could be salvaged.
It had been two days since the fight between Mofe and Ekene. It hadn’t really been a fight, it had been more of a beat up where Ekene had received a really good thrashing from Mofe and Ezinne had been the centre of it all. She had caused it all and she believed she had to make it right but she wasn’t sure if how she planned to do it was right.
There was no telling how Mofe would receive her, he might still be mega pissed about it all but she had to try. She shouldn’t have approached Mofe at that party knowing how unstable Ekene could get but she’d badly needed to talk to him. Smooth things over, she hadn’t liked how he had left her room. For some reason she couldn’t explain his friendship meant something to her, she didn’t want them at odd ends.
If only she hadn’t given in to her lustful urges and kissed him that day in her room then all this would never have happened. She still didn’t understand what had come over her, for some reason it had just seemed right at that moment, she had felt a strong pull of attraction to him and hadn’t been able to hold back.
Well it had all happened, it didn’t help crying over spilt milk instead she would take charge of the situation. That was why she was here at his door, gathering the courage to knock.
She’d been standing there for about five minutes, gathering her courage, but hadn’t seemed able to gather enough.
The decision was taken from her hands when suddenly the door was being unlocked from inside and she stood rooted to the spot in shock as he opened it.
He didn’t see her at first as he was looking back in the room, talking to someone “….that’s exactly what I…. Jeez!”
He exclaimed when he turned and saw her unexpected figure outside his doorway.
“What are you trying to do, Zinnie?”he asked in mild shock “Give me a bloody heart attack?”
“I.. I’m sorry, didnt mean to scare you, I ….I’d meant to talk to you privately b-but seems you have a guest, this is for you..umm..we will talk later when you …when uh, when you’re alone.” She stuttered handing him the rectangular box which contained a new laptop she had gotten him. Why in the world was she so nervous? Probably because she was afraid Mofe was still pissed at her over what went down at the party.
He looked from her to the box but made no move to touch it, looking back up he asked “What’s that?”
“Why don’t you take it and see?” She told him.
Ezinne please I’m not in the mood for games, if you are here to play, please leave.”
“It’s… It’s a brand new laptop I got for you, Same model and specs with your last one.” She saw a frown crease his eyebrows and instantly knew he wouldn’t accept it. “I..I got it for you because…um..it’s a sort of peace offering.”
“I don’t want it, thanks.” He said about closing the door.
“Wait,” she stopped him before he closed it, “why do you have to be so difficult Mofe? You don’t have a computer at the moment….I … I know how much you need one and since I was partly responsible for the loss of your last one, I only felt it right to….”
“Ezinne, I don’t recall telling you I needed a computer, did I? Now leave my house, will you?”
She was about to speak when she heard another voice speak up from the room and the door opened wider for her to see an older woman. “Mofe, since when do you talk rudely to people like this? What’s come over you?”
“Ma mi..I wasn’t talking rudely, I was only telling her to leave.”
“Hush it” She rebuked him and the look on his face was priceless. Ezinne resisted the urge to smile at a chastened Mofe, this must be his aunt she had heard about.
“As if I didn’t hear it all.” The older woman said.
“Good afternoon Ma.” Ezinne chipped still biting at her lip to keep from smiling.
“Afternoon my dear.” She replied her before turning to Mofe “Oya, apologise to this young lady for your rude behaviour, I didn’t train you that way. You should be courteous to everyone, friends, foes and most especially, females…. Do you hear me?”
“Yes Ma,” Mofe replied chastened.
“I’m sorry, I was quite rude, Ezinne.” He said quietly, his eyes meeting hers briefly.
“Better.” His aunt clipped, “I am leaving now. You two settle whatever it is between you two, okay?”
Mofe nodded and Ezinne managed a small “Thank you Ma” In awe of the woman who could turn Mofe into such a humble, subdued puppy.
“It’s now funny, right?” Mofe asked her, a small smile appearing on his face also, transforming his dark good looks. She felt her insides turn to mush, gosh he looked so sexy when he smiled like that. His deep set almond shaped eyes crinkled softly and his mouth quirked slightly at its edge. He had a Charles Michael Davis vibe going on and it was surprising that she was just noticing it. It seemed she.realised something new about him every time they were together.
“You certainly enjoyed my aunt chastising me in your presence, didn’t you? I guess it’s funny to you?” He asked, the small smile still on his lip, he must have found it quite funny also.for him to be smiling about it.
“No, it’s not at all.” She lied struggling for a straight face but failing badly.
He rolled his eyes “You are just trouble… come in.” He opened the door for her “I’m Sincerely sorry about how I talked to you earlier, I have been known to act irrationally when upset about something.”
“Its okay, you really don’t have to apologise after all that happened at that party, I should be the one doing the apologising. If I hadn’t approached you, none of that would have happened, if I ……”
“Ezinne it wasn’t your fault, you did nothing wrong, it was all on your boyfriend…. and it surprises me how you could have ever dated that kind of guy, he acts like he’s got a screw loose somewhere in his head.”
Ezinne shrugged where she sat on the sofa “He’s not like that all the time, he’s just scared I will leave him.”
“And he had to take it out on my poor computer?”
Ezinne looked up to see if Mofe was joking about his smashed computer. He wasn’t smiling so she guessed he hadn’t really gotten over it.
“I’m so sorry, he just loses his head sometimes….I don’t know how to explain it.”
“You don’t need to, I saw it all for myself and I really don’t get how you can be with him? He’s going to hurt you physically one of these days if you continue with him.”
“Mofe please, Ekene wouldn’t dare lay a finger on me…. Let’s just get back to why I am really here, shall we?” She wasn’t comfortable with where the discussion was headed and needed to steer it back on the right lane.
“No, before we get to that…let’s talk.” He sat forward on the bed which was opposite the couch she was sitting.
“Yes, at the party you said we needed to and I think its time we did the talking.”
“Okay?” Ezinne agreed a little suspiciously.
“Why did you kiss me?” He suddenly asked throwing her off guard.
Of all questions he had to ask that one.
“It was just a kiss Mofe, nothing special about it.” She said a little too quickly. She wanted to act like it had been nothing but she wasn’t too good at lying, she was sure he could see the truth all over her.
He smiled, “You are such a bad liar….anyway even if it was nothing special, why did you do it? That’s the question.”
“Mofe …I..I, I don’t know.” The stuttering was back, it seemed.
“You do but you don’t want to say it and I won’t help you with it.”
“I don’t know what you expect me to say Mofe, the kiss just happened.”
okay, let’s make a deal, I will…”
She rolled her eyes “A deal again? Mofe you and these your deals.”
He laughed, “hear me out first Ezinne, okay?”
She nodded knowing she wouldn’t like this.
“Okay I’ll accept your laptop if you tell me why you kissed me.”
She sighed not sure she could explain it to him, she almost didn’t understand it herself.”Mofe… I don’t know how to explain it, why do we do what we do? I don’t know..I..I guess I wasn’t thinking straight at the time..it..I..I just ..it just happened.”
He shook his head, he was looking at her like he wasn’t satisfied with her answer.”It just happened? That’s the best you can do?”
“What else do you want me to say, I don’t know why I did it, why is it such a big deal?”
He shrugged “It doesn’t have to be a big deal but you keep lying and that’s what makes it such a big deal.” Getting up from where he sat on the edge of the bed, he made his way over to her.
What are you doing?” She asked suspicious.
Ignoring her question, he crouched in front of her. Moving the package from her lap onto the free space on the couch beside her. He then took her hands in his, he rubbed his palms against hers, lightly and gently caressing her palms.
It felt so wonderful and she didn’t pull away. His palm was warm, hard, slightly rough and that tingly feeling between them felt so good.
“You feel that?” He asked lightly, his voice husky “I know you do.”
“I…I’m not ….”
“Don’t lie, Ezinne….please.” He cajoled.
Ezinne closed her eyes, still enjoying his hands caressing hers so wonderfully. She wondered if it would be like this if he touched her in other places. Places more intimate than her hands, goodness she was losing it but she had to be truthful, even if she wasn’t she knew Mofe could see it on her, he just needed her to say it.
“Yes,” she whispered. “Yes, I Feel it.”
“So why did you really kiss me?” He asked again.
“I..it sort of felt right at the moment…there was a sort of energy…I don’t know how to explain it…. it felt good but but it was a mistake. I like you Mofe but just as a friend.”
He stopped his ministrations on her hands and she wished he didn’t, she’d been enjoying it. “You certainly didn’t kiss me as a friend.” He countered, releasing one of her hands and lightly brushing her hair off her forehead.
“I am sorry, it was a mistake.” She said not able to meet his eyes.
“Well I’m not.” He told her, standing up from his crouching position and going to sit on the bed he’d recently vacated. “Remember when I told you that I had passionate feelings for a girl who didn’t return it or even know I existed?”
“Yeah, I remember….”
“Well guess who I was talking about?”
She frowned, the stare he gave her said it all “Me?”
Wow, to say she was shocked at his revelation was an understatement. “I…um…I don’t know what to say.”
“Dont say anything, I don’t expect anything from you, I just don’t want to lie about it. I can see you are not interested in pursuing anything with me even though you do have feelings for me which you are struggling to deny…but it’s all good. I respect your decision.”
“Mofe, I…I do like you but I’m sort of promised to Ekene. We had a lengthy talk and he promised to quit his philandering… and he’s not so bad, he just has issues with his temper, he…..”
“Ezinne, I really don’t need to know, and you owe me no explanation… I wish you the best with him.”
“You sure? You are sure you are okay being just friends because I do treasure our friendship.”
“Sure,I’ll be fine.” He nodded with a wan smile
“And you’ll accept the computer?”
“Yes, I will. Thanks very much although you didn’t have to go through so much….I would have managed without one.”
“I did Mofe, I still believe I am to blame, …It’s quite sad that you won’t be able to retrieve your files.”
“I should be, the hard disk is still fine although I’ve also got back up stored somewhere. I always keep backup somewhere…..” His voice trailed, but he kept his gaze on her.
She couldn’t handle looking back at him, so she looked at her fingers instead.
He spoke again after a short while of awkward silence. “ So how’s your boyfriend? How is he holding up after the ass kicking I gave him the other day? I am not sorry about that, if he as much as sneezes in my direction, he will get another round of it.”
She sighed not sure what to say. Ekene wasn’t doing too good, his ego had suffered more bruising than his body. He had been really angry at being embarrassed and had been planning a retaliation. He’d planned to pay off some guys to teach Mofe a lesson but Ezinne had intervened when she’d heard the plan. She had promised him that her relationship with him would be over if anything happened to Mofe and not even her father would cajole her into forgiving him.She had ignored him since then, refusing to pick up his call for the past few days or to go visit him. She would eventually pick his calls but she wanted him to stew a bit so he knew how serious she was.
“I guess this means we can’t hang anymore?”
“Errr…I’m not sure….Ekene is quite insecure and I don’t want to fuel his insecurities…let’s just …”
“Keep our friendship on the down low?” He completed for her.
“Is that a bad thing?”
Shrugging, he replied “No, its fine by me , I just hope you know what you’re doing….”
“I do… I think.”
Mofe sighed, he was looking at her again with those alluring eyes of his “But really, why in the world are you back with him when it’s obvious to see you don’t care much for him.”
She shrugged, how did she explain to him that her father had sat her down and explained to her how close their family was with Ekene’s. He had said it was logical, their marriage would bring both families businesses together and strengthen ties. He told her he wanted the best lives for her and his grandkids, and marrying Ekene would do that for them. Since Ekene was willing to make it work, if she also gave it her best, then they would sure make the marriage work.
“He made a mistake, he’s only human but he wants to make this work and I am willing to try also.” She said still not able to meet Mofe’s piercing gaze. She doubted he bought her explanation but he must have seen how uncomfortable she was and decided to let it go because his next words were, “Alright then…, let’s have a look at the PC, shall we?”