The last time Mofe had worked himself so hard had been when he’d gotten the news of Ezinne’s wedding years ago. On hearing the news, he had buried himself so deeply into his work, that it had been the only thing that had kept him sane. His work, and his drive to become the man she would wish she’d chosen to be with. His heart had been shattered but his purpose had kept him going all those years ago. Work had been his lifeline, and he’d desperately clung to it.
Since he walked out on Eve, from the house they shared a few nights back, he’d been haunted by those once familiar feelings of hurt, anger and disappointment. Once again he’d turned to work, to keep him sane. He’d taken meetings, gotten briefed and updated about what was happening in his company. When he wasn’t taking meetings, he was at research, or working on new projects and ideas till he fell into an exhausted sleep, haunted by dreams of Ezinne. He’d not had a decent night’s rest all through the week, since he’d returned and he knew his business partner, William, was starting to worry. William didn’t say much, but he made comments about him looking like he wasn’t sleeping.
Holed up in the five star hotel suite, his work kept him from losing it and going insane. He refused to let himself think about Eve leaving him. He refused to think about being alone once again. He’d blamed her, he’d blamed Ezinne, but he’d blamed himself mostly for not appreciating the woman who’d stuck by him even though she’d known she didn’t fully have his heart.
He’d blown this! He was the only one to blame for losing Eve. He’d had the gall to accuse her of being with him just because of who he was and telling her to walk if she couldn’t accept his daughter. Eve hadn’t deserved that. He should have probably gone through the DNA test she had advised instead of being such a hard headed jackass.
It was 7pm in the evening and he could see the sun setting over the horizon from the floor to ceiling windows of his hotel room. He was supposed to be going through some work stuff but he was tired of using work to avoid his reality.
Now that he’d gone through things in his mind, he realized he’d been behaving like a jerk all this while. If he kept up with the anger and resentment, he feared he would lose everyone who were closest to him. When had he become this proud man who behaved like the world fell at his feet and every other person had to conform and fit in with what he wanted?
He didn’t blame Eve for leaving. He’d left her in limbo and run off to see his old flame of decade ago on another continent. What had he been thinking? What woman would wait for a man who still harboured thoughts of his ex? Eve had, but not anymore. Maybe he shouldn’t have shut her out…. Maybe he should have agreed to her request to visit him in Nigeria. He definitely should never have forced her to accept Zora’s paternity. He could have considered taking a DNA test just to confirm it to her, after all he could afford it. The worst had been telling her that she was only with him because he was successful. Mofe suspected that had pissed her off more than anything else. Eve was with him because she wanted to be. Being from a family of money, she could have been with any other rich, successful man but she’d chosen him because she’d wanted him.
Mofe sighed. Getting up from behind his desk, he walked over to the beautiful view sprawled in front of him. He realized he’d messed up monumentally. He’d changed and not even known it, he’d changed into those people he used to detest. Those people who used their money, power and influence to oppress others. He’d become an arrogant jackass, and if he kept it up, he’d be a lonely one.
“What am I doing?” he asked himself staring out the window.
The room phone started to ring and he walked back to the drawer beside the bed. It was from the hotel, the lobby probably.
“Johnson here…..” He said.
“You’ve got someone here to see to you, Sir. Miss Eve Harrington?”
Eve? She was the last person he expected to see and he wasn’t ready to see her just yet. Hr was still trying to process things, he didn’t know what to say to her.
How had she even gotten his hotel details? It had to have been his business partner, William. Mofe hadn’t told Will about his personal issues but he knew William already suspected. His partner didn’t like to intrude in his private affairs, so he’d not delved further when Mofe had told him he was staying at the Marriott. Knowing Eve, she’d most likely badgered Will into revealing his location in her New York attorney style. He smiled slightly recalling how she could be when she needed a vital piece of information, she could be relentless.
Well she was here and he couldn’t send her off, he’d done enough already.
“Send her up, thanks.”
Besides, he was curious to know why she’d come. Something told him it was probably to drop her keys as she’d most likely moved her things already.
He knew she wouldn’t be talking about mending their relationship. Frankly, he didn’t even want them to. If he could have left her for months and not missed her, he doubted he was ready to settle down with her. He had so much he had to figure out before he could begin a normal, healthy relationship. He couldn’t claim to love someone when his mind was unusually occupied by another. He’d thought running from Nigeria, and giving himself distance from her would dampen the attraction he felt for Ezinne, but they hadn’t. It was only stronger now, and she invaded his thoughts whenever he wasn’t working.
The times when sleep overtook him, he had intense sexual dreams, after which he woke up aroused and turned on as hell. He woke up hard in the nether regions of his anatomy because of erotic dreams where he and Ezinne were doing things to each other; and which he knew deep down, that he wanted to do with her.
The elevator doors opened and Eve walked in. She was still dressed in work wear, a tailored pinstripe pantsuit; and he knew she’d come over directly from work. She’d let her blond hair down though, just the way he liked it, flowy.
She managed a small smile as she approached him. He stayed rooted to the spot, arms folded around his chest. She stopped when she stood in front of him, staring up at him as he held her blue eyed gaze.
“Hi Mofe, you look like crap that has been dragged through even worse crap.”
He couldn’t help the smile that touched his own lips, what a way to begin the conversation.
“Thanks Eve, to what do I owe this visit?” He asked.
She sighed, “I came to apologise.. the other night took me by surprise, we didn’t handle things well.”
He raised a brow, “apologise? I would have sworn you came to drop your keys.”
“Yeah, that too.” She said producing the keys to their house. He looked at it, not making a move to touch it.
“So… you’re really leaving me.” He said as it occurred to him once again that what they had was now final.
“It’s for the best, MJ,” she said.
“Whose best?” He had to ask.
“Ours… trust me MJ, you’ll look back on this moment and know…. I was never the one for you, and vise versa.”
“You seem so sure.” He said, even though he knew she was right.
“I am. I lied to myself for years, told myself to give you time to get over her but instead you left me and returned to her…”
“I did not…” He cut her off feeling a need to explain, but she stopped him by putting a hand on his arm.
“You did, MJ. You tried for years to avoid it, but it got so bad, and you eventually returned to her.” Eve said.
“But I came back, I am here, for you.” He told her.
She smiled as she shook her head, “no MJ, you’re only here for your own pride.”
Mofe frowned. “What’s that supposed to mean?”
“Common, you’re a smart guy. I’m sure you’ll put two and two together soon. Here,” She said staring at him as her hand traced up his arm to his cheek. She cradled his face affectionately and Mofe leaned into her palm. Closing his eyes, he inhaled the scent from her palm for the last time.
“I did love you MJ… we had some memorable times that I’ll always cherish,” she told him.
“I was a jerk to you, Eve, and I’m sorry… for every hurtful word and every hurtful thing I did… I’ve had some time to think, and I see how I was wrong, but I do love you, Eve…deeply.”
“I’m sure you do, but it’s not enough to keep her out…. Go back to her, MJ. She is the one you really need to be with.”
Mofe shook his head, “You don’t know what you are saying…. Whatever was between us is long gone… we’re different people now, we are toxic to each other and it can’t work between me and her….”
“Shhhhhh….just shut up MJ,” Eve said cutting him off.
He shut up, quite stunned.
“You need to quit lying to yourself. Just quit it already.” She told him, fixing him with her stern attorney gaze.
“Excuse me?” He had to ask.
“The lies, the anger and all else, MJ! You are still very much in love with her, and you know this! Instead of accepting your feelings, you choose to put up this wall, close yourself off, and lie to yourself.
Funniest part is, you don’t even know you’re doing it. You are so good at it that you rope others into it. I believed your lies for years, I desperately needed to believe them because I loved you, but eventually, I had to see it for what it was. Your heart belongs to someone else. You leaving for Nigeria helped me see, I was competing with someone else and she was winning.”
Mofe heard the hurt in her voice even if she tried not to show it on her features.
“Eve…” He tried to explain but she shook her head vehemently.
“Just stop it MJ. You found her again, you want her, and you still love her, so just have her already and stop telling yourself lies. You’re only hurting yourself, hurting her, and hurting others.”
“Eve…. I don’t love her…” He managed but it was weak. “I was ready to wed you, I even got the ring and everything… it’s a huge rock and if it wasn’t big enough,I was ready to get you the biggest rock on the planet. I was ready to marry you.”
“Good thing I ended it before you proposed, I guess…..I don’t think I could have if I’d seen the huge rock you’d bought.” She said dryly, managing to laugh at her joke.
“I love you, Eva… I know I have issues but I do love you.” He told her truthfully. He did love her but he acknowledged that what he felt for Ezinne was on another level.
“I know,” she nodded and he could see the hint of the tears she was struggling to keep back. “I do love you too but I deserve much more. You know I’m a hopeless romantic. I could do anything for love, I deserve someone who will live and breathe me, MJ…. I envy her in a way, she’s got you locked in to her, that’s exactly what I want.”
“I’m sorry Eve…. I’m sorry I couldn’t…..” He didn’t know what to say but he needed to let her know he’d not intentionally led her on. He’d really thought he could be with her even with the ever plaguing thoughts of Ezinne.
“Hush!” She placed a hand on his lips and he could tell she was doing her best to hold back tears. “There’s nothing to be sorry about. We had something good but it’s time to move on… to better things.”
“I’ll miss you, Eva. you know I will.” He said.
“Here,” She took his hand, opened his palm, and placed the key to his house in it. “I’m grateful for the time we spent together, and I wish you the best, MJ.”
She pulled him down into one last hug, whispering, “go back to where you left your heart.”
Mofe straightened up, about to say something but she stopped him, “sssshhhhh…. Don’t protest, don’t say anything. Just do it. It’s what you need.”
With one last smile, Eva turned and walked out of his life forever, leaving him speechless at her parting words to him.