Mofe woke up with a jolt from the dream he’d been having. Her again. Ezinne.
It had been more of a memory than a dream. A memory that racked up guilty feelings within him.
He really shouldn’t have kissed her last night. Now he was having tortured dreams, kissing her and recalling the promises he’d made to her all those years ago. Just when he thought he’d gotten a hold on the dreams of her, they seemed to be back with full force. Was it being away from her that brought them on or was it because of their brief relations last night? He wondered.
“Are you okay sir?” The female flight attendant asked.
“Yeah… er… I’m okay.” He replied sitting up, snapping himself out of it.
“We will be landing shortly. Would you like something to drink just before we do?” She asked with the customary polite smile.
“No, I’m fine.” He said dismissing her with a wave. He needed to get himself together for Eve. He couldn’t have Ezinne in his mind when he went to tell Eve that he finally wanted to tie the knot with her.
This was the wrong time to be dreaming about the promises he’d made to Ezinne when they had been younger. Not now when he had was about to take such a big step in his life. He prided himself on being a man of his word but what sort of man was he really?
He told himself he couldn’t be blamed for what happened between them. What they had was gone thanks to the external factors who had contributed immensely in ruining it. Now all he and Ezinne had was history.
They were history but thoughts of her still plagued his mind? He asked himself. Dreaming about her sent blood gushing to a certain part of his body and he couldn’t be in the same room without meaning to pull her to himself, feel her body against his as he kissed and did other things to her. Clearly what they had wasn’t historic but there was nothing to be done about it. He knew who he wanted to be with.
She was Eve, the woman who always put him ahead of herself. The woman who had clung to him for years now patiently. He had been with her for longer than he and Ezinne ever were. She deserved this. She deserved him.
He sounded like he was doing this out of pity. Pity for Eve, he thought. Sighing, he realised he wasn’t sure about anything anymore.
How could he still want her this much? Just a few weeks back home and she had him in a fix over her like this. He probably should never have gone back to look for her.
‘Then you would have kept being haunted by her and you would have not known about Azora.’ his mind’s voice reminded.
Azora, he smiled as he thought about his beautiful daughter. That was one beautiful thing he’d done with Ezinne, and he still marvelled at how she could have kept her from him all these years.
Thinking about what she’d done got him mad at her all over again. There was nothing more to consider, Eve was the one he should be with. She didn’t get him riled up and angry like Ezinne did.
She would be surprised to see him, he thought recalling how Eve’s face brightened when she was taken unawares or by surprise. He recalled how happy she’d been when he had surprised her with the engagement ring. The custom made rock on it had cost a few million dollars but he knew her real joy was that he’d finally committed to her. He knew she had been sort of insecure, probably fearing he wouldn’t be able to move past his issues and commit to her. He’d really surprised her but when he’d not been forthcoming with a wedding date, she’d begun to worry all over again.
Now they still had a few unsettled issues but he was very positive they would move past it. He recalled their last fight where she hadn’t believed Azora was his and had insisted he did tests. She had ignored him since then and he could only hope she’d calmed down a bit and seeing him back would put her fears abed.
He wasn’t sure why she would feel threatened by him having a kid with Ezinne. It didn’t change anything. He was going to do right by her like he’d promised and not even his tortured dreams or wanting Ezinne would change that. She had shown over the few years they’d been together that she was committed to him and their future. She had nothing to fear.
Suddenly the thought, ‘Ezinne for Mofe’ flashed through his mind and he recalled he’d once made same promises to Ezinne.
“Water under the bridge.” He muttered deciding to do something else other than mope about his complicated life. He needed to send a few messages, let some people know he was back, that would definitely occupy his mind for a while and block all thoughts of Ezinne for now.
It was past the end of day at the centre and Ezinne was tired out but refused to leave until she was done going over the staff lesson notes for the coming week. Thoughts of a quick shower and short nap before dinner plagued her but she purposed to only leave the office when she was through with work.
The centre had employed more staff and that should have eased her work load quite a bit but someone had to supervise the staff. Mofe had employed a new Principal but she had stayed on director of studies. The centre was her project, she had invested so much into it and she was going to directly supervise the staff even if it was tedious.
The new Principal was quite good at his job. He had experience managing previous rehab centres similar to hers. She got along well with him as he was really good with the staff and students. He was a real hard worker and Ezinne could tell he was passionate about what he did.
She’d had a heated debate with Mofe over retaining the position in the centre and had won. He’d expected her to let go of her heavy work schedule but she hadn’t agreed. Might be foolish but she believed no one would do the job better than she did. Mofe had given in but had gotten her the Principal to help her out. What he didn’t know was that even with the Principal, she chose to have most of the work pass through her desk. She just couldn’t sit back and let someone else make all the decisions concerning her students.
The knock on the door interrupted her.
“Yeah, come in.” She called out, taking a break from the notes she’d been reading with her fingers.
It was the new Principal, Anthony, as he insisted on being called. Since she couldn’t see faces, she’d gotten quite used to recognising people by memorising things about them their voices, their walk and even their scent. She knew Anthony by his voice and when he stood quite close. Sometimes when he arrived before her in the mornings, she could tell by the slight scent of his male musky perfume in the hallway of the office and it was quite nice.
“Hi, Anthony. You’re still around?” She asked. It was about three hours past closing time. Like her, he stayed late most of the time so she wasn’t really surprised.
“Yeah, same thing I was wondering about you. I was just leaving when on a hunch, I decided to check on you. Everyone is gone, even Maureen, you know?”
She nodded. “I do. I just had to finish with these notes before leaving. My driver is still around,so I’m not totally alone.”
“You know I already checked out those notes,right? And I was also very thorough.” He said and she nodded.
“I know, I know Tony, they’re almost perfect and I can tell you looked at it. I just want to go over again,you know? Just to have an idea the topics the students are presently learning, that’s all.”
“Alright ma’am, that’s fine but if you don’t mind my saying so, it’s nearing five pm and it will be getting dark soon.”
“Don’t worry Tony, I’ll be long gone before then. I’m almost done here.” She reassured him with a smile. Flattered that he cared for her safety when he really didn’t have to worry. Mofe’s personal driver was waiting for her, and from the feel of the man’s biceps when he assisted her into the car, she knew he was no mere driver.
“Alright then, I guess I’ll just..,..” His voice trailed off and she heard the other door close. The outer door to the building and footsteps approached.
“Can I help you, Sir?” She heard Tony ask the new comer.
Straining her ears, she heard a very familiar male voice reply him. “Hi, I’m here to see Ezinne Onu, please.”
“You mean Mrs. Ezinne Amah?” Tony asked.
She knew that voice but as the man was quite a distance away and outside her office door,she couldn’t place it. Who could this be that still referred to her by her maiden name. She had kept Ekene’s name even after his death but this person didn’t know that.
“Yes, that’s who I meant.”
“Is she expecting you?” Tony asked back and she almost smiled as she wondered if he’d done receptionist work before.
“No, but it’s really important I see her.” He replied.
Ezinne closed her eyes, trying to recall that voice.
“What’s the name?” Tony asked.
“Eric… Eric Abayomi is my name.”
Ezinne froze on hearing his reply. Eric! Yes, it was him alright. She had probably not recognised it because it was without the usual sneer she had gotten used to whenever he talked to her.
What in the world was he doing here? What did he want? Eric had always hated her for whatever reasons best known to him. Had he come to see for himself how low off the pedestal of greatness she had fallen?
She vividly recalled the role he played in keeping Mofe away from her. He had lied to her all those years ago. Callously, he’d told her Mofe had moved on, didn’t want to hear from her and he wasn’t sure how to reach him even if he wanted to. He had hit the final nail on its head, made her shut down her feelings for his cousin vowing to herself to keep her baby away from her father and his family.
What did he want now? To taunt her some more? To harass her? Did he think she and Mofe were patching things up and now that Mofe had travelled, he had come over to harass her all over again?
No, she was quite sure Mofe would have told him they could barely stand each other’s presence. They had been quite close back then and she knew they would still be.
“Madam….madam!” Tony called, jarring her from her thoughts.
“Yeah….yeah?” She asked snapping out of it.
“Are you alright?” Tony asked. “You look like you’ve just seen a ghost.”
Somehow, she had missed him coming closer to her. His voice was much closer than before and she could sense the concern in it.
“I’ll be good, don’t worry.” She struggled to say as calmly as she could, not at all feeling calm.
“Okay, you have an Eric here to see you, should I let him in here or have him come some other ….”
“Let him in.” Ezinne said suddenly.
“Err… are you sure?” He sounded unsure, her features must have betrayed her. He knew something was wrong.
“Yeah.” She said. She needed to know what he was here for and give him a piece of her mind also. She had to let him know what she thought about his despicable acts all those years ago. This would contribute a great deal to her healing process. She needed this. “Send him in.”