Link to the First Part of Fate’s Appointment
Work was hectic as usual at Hampton Harvey. When it was time to go home, I picked up my things and got to the entrance of the orthopedic unit. I saw Tola standing there. My heart dropped. It had been two weeks since he sent me the picture and we had not communicated since them. I also got so busy that I was not even seeing Sly often and much to my chagrin he had been busy. It occurred to me that I had never given Sly the opportunity to chase me. Tola on the other hand was after me now. I could see it in his eyes; so expressive.
He was looking really handsome. He wore a pair of jeans and t-shirt but he still looked like he stepped out of a GQ Magazine. He had cut off the mustache that I hated so much.
“You lost your moustache.” I said, breaking the ice.
“A little bird told me that you did not like it.” He smiled. Aww. I was already salivating after another man that wasn’t mine. His smile seemed to cure the tiredness I felt from exhaustion at work.
I smiled back.
“You have a cute smile.” He said, all the while walking towards me until he stopped right in front of me.
I figured that I looked a little disheveled from work. I could see strands of my hair flying about, lipstick was not even visible and my face was oily. I was a little self-conscious as he studied me. The scrutiny was intense.
“You look amazing.” He said.
“You are so drunk.” I threw my words at him and he laughed.
“Just kidding. You look like you put in your best at work today.” He told me. I definitely put in my best at work.
“Why are you here?” I asked, looking at him in the eye.
“I just came to see you. I wasn’t sure that you would pick my call.” He was serious again, looking into my eyes. “And I really want you to pick up my calls.”
He was so close to me I could feel his breathe on my face.
“I’m with Sylvester.” I tucked my hair behind my ears.
“Yes, I know.” He responded. Obviously having some difficulty with the statement I made.
“So, why would I want to pick your calls?” I asked him, getting some confidence to do the right thing.
“Can we at least be good friends?” he said, looking distracted all of a sudden.
“Tola, when we are together sparks fly.” I said as a matter of fact.
He smiled, “We’ve got great chemistry. I am so relieved that you feel it.”
“Yes, I felt it from day one but you see, it means nothing. Chemistry is nothing. I want more than that. I want commitment, I want sensibility, I want responsibility, I want to be fawned over, I want to be loved like crazy, I want a Godly alliance. I want many things.” I blurted out.
He looked sad. “Obviously, you don’t have that with Sly because you have him and yet you say you want these things. You should have them.”
I snickered. “Nobody gets all these things anyway. Pick the one that can give you some of them.”
“So, you are prepared to settle for less. I am disappointed.” Tola eyed me.
“Don’t you judge me. I was with Dola for 3 years. I gave him many of these things and he walked away still. So, at least I protected myself this way when I chose Sly.” I was bearing my soul to this man and the conversation was started to annoy me. Somehow we had moved from the entrance of the orthopedic unit to the car park area.
“Sade, forget about me for now. This is not about me anymore. Let us focus on you. You are exhibiting fear because of your past and it is holding you from finding love again. I know about fear and it is a limiting emotion. If you eliminate it, it does not guarantee you a life without hurt but it gives you room to achieve more in life and be truly successful. I would not want a woman who would settle for me. I want someone who wants me like crazy, who digs me; understanding my idiosyncrasies and loving me just the same. I want it all and by God, I will get it. I will never ever settle for less.”
I sighed. He spoke the truth.
“I have to go now. I just came to see you.”
“Okay.” I said feebly, as he was walking away. He stopped, turned around, came back to me, held my hands and said passionately and slowly, “If I ever get the opportunity to have you as my woman, I would love you with my life, I would do all in my power to not hurt you even though I could. I would give you that commitment that you want, the devotion, the sensibility, responsibility and godly alliance that you seek. I would fawn over you like the diva you are. Just so you know that people like me exist out here in this our world.” He gave me a kiss on my forehead and left.
The following weeks were not easy on me. I decided to evaluate my relationship with Sly. I had been waiting on him to be the kind of man I wanted.
“Sade, I have not seen you for a while, is everything okay?” he asked one day.
“Sure, Sly. I’m fine. I’ve been at home. I’ve been taking my time to think things through.” I told him as a matter of fact.
He looked confused, “Are you thinking about us?”
“I don’t know. I feel as if I carry this relationship. If I didn’t push you to date me, we probably wouldn’t have dated.” I told him. I was tired of all these emotional discussions but they had to be had.
“Well, I have been thinking about us too. We understand each other. You carry the weight of the relationship because that was what you wanted and I let you.” Sly said.
“I know. I have become dissatisfied with that.” I told him, wondering where this conversation was leading.
“It is Tola right? He is a really passionate fellow. Not all of us can be like that.”
“Sly, I don’t want to hurt you. The truth is that he did make me see what I was missing but this is not about him. I desperately want to make us work. I don’t want practicality all the time, I want to feel my heart flutter, I want all the things I shut my heart from when Dola broke up with me. As far as I am concerned I had a great relationship with him. What we have is practicality.”
I started wondering if this was how Dola felt when he walked away. What Dola did wrong was not finding the courtesy to tell me what went wrong. I did not want to break Sly’s heart. I just wanted myself and him too to find true love, no matter how cheesy that sounded.
Tandi had said to me earlier that marriage was hard enough with all the right trimmings.
“So, we go our separate ways now or what?” he looked pained and I was almost in tears for causing it.
I closed my eyes and prayed. God please I hope this is the right thing. “I guess so.” I said after a while. “I apologize for offering you less than you deserve. You deserved to be loved fiercely. I know I can do better. I have done it before with Dola, I loved him passionately. I did not give you that.”
Sly nodded. As he left, I wondered what would happen with his relationship with Tola. Everything was just so tacky. I hated to be in this kind of drama. I went around carrying a heavy heart.
A few days later, I got an SMS from Sly’s mother saying “My dear, you did the right thing. Thank you for being brave enough to set him free. He truly deserves love and so do you.” For the first time in a while I felt a little relief.
Tandi and her sister-in-law, Gifty sent me a bowl of ice-cream and cake from Tasty Bites; my favorite place to indulge. I loved them to bits; my friends and the treats. We laughed and cried through all the drama in our lives together. It had been a month since I broke up with Sly and Tola just disappeared from my radar. Tandi saw him a couple of times but he was more quiet than usual those times. One day when Tandi and I went to her house together after work. She had resumed from maternity leave and I was super excited. I wanted to play with Jimi before heading home. The young chap was growing and I loved the boy. When I had mine, I wanted him to be as cute as Jimi.
When we got in, Seyi and Tola were discussing. Apparently they had business together.
My heart jumped when I saw him. I expected that he would have been in touch but he just let me be. Where was the man that wanted me and was willing to die for me? Did I enter one chance? These were the questions I asked myself.
“Hey Tola, how are you? It’s been ages.” I said, acting nonchalantly.
“Hey dear, I’ve been so busy with work. And how have you been? “He responded.
I knew that he was in the know of my break up with Sly. Perhaps he was giving me time to sort it all out or he realized that I might probably hold back from loving him the way he wanted.
“I’m fine.” I turned to Seyi and gave him a hug. He patted me on the back with understanding. He understood Tola very well and they would have probably discussed the situation.
When I was leaving, I saw both of them, heads bent over a document and discussing. It was easy for me to leave. I sat in my car for a while. I just couldn’t believe that I was pining away for a man; a very uncomfortable feeling. I turned on my ignition and left.
That night, I got a text from Tandi saying that Tola kept asking questions about how I was doing. ‘He seemed frustrated’ she wrote. I rolled my eyes and didn’t respond back.
Family was very important to me and I tried to visit home as much as I could. My parent’s home was a place of refuge. In fact, I had moved there temporarily just to be close to people who loved me. This translated into a long commute to the Hampton Harvey but I could handle it at the moment.
“Sade, my dear, you have not given me any updates? How far with that Boy that you are seeing?” My mother asked as we lay on the soft rug in the centre of her room.
“Why boy?” I asked, I was confused momentarily until I remembered that she knew Sly quite well.
“What boy ke? Do you have plenty you are seeing ni? A child of God should not have more than one boyfriend.” She said, reprimanding me. I laughed at her.
“Haba! Mummy! Are you not the one that told me when I was fifteen that a child of God should not have boyfriend at all?” Mother laughed and spanked my backside.
“I broke up with Sly.” I said to her. Mother opened her mouth, ajar like a door that couldn’t close. “Mummy, I did not love him.”
“Sebi, you were the one running after him. I told you to let him come to you. So, now no husband in view abi.” That my mother was sympathetic towards me was apparent. She knew of my break up with Dola and did her best to console me the ways that she could. She was a real gem; my mother.
“There is another guy.”
“Tell me about this one.”
“Mummy, you would love him if you meet him. He reminds me of Daddy sometimes.” I told her and she teased me.
“You see! I have been telling you that your Dad is the best of men out there. So if you have found one like him, gba mu! Don’t let him go.”
“Mummy, that’s the thing o. He came, turned my head and now that I am free to be with him, he has gone hiding. He has been avoiding me.”
“Ehn ehn! My own daughter. Let me tell you what you will do.”
It was time to go back to my little place and Mother volunteered to drop me.
As I dragged my big luggage over the cemented floor, my mother was shouted at me
“Spoil it o, Sisi.” She smirked. I laughed. A child will always be a child to a mother. I lifted up the box and carried it.
“Let me help you,” I heard Tola say behind me. He just showed up out of nowhere. I was surprised to see him.
“Hey!” I said, as he carried the luggage from me and then turned to greet my mother.
“Good evening Ma” he genuflected.
“How are you, my dear. Are you her neighbour?” Mummy asked, her curiosity piqued.
“Yes, Ma. I live there.” Tola pointed to his building.
“Mummy, meet Tola Owoseni. Tola, this is my mother.” I made the introductions.
“Tola! So you are the one turning my daughter’s head and making her cry.” She shouted at him. My mother was dramatic in unimaginable proportions. I was so embarrassed.
“I am sorry Ma. That is why I am here to make it right.” Tola said. I eyed him and rolled my eyes.
“That is what you should do, sho gbo mi. Is this the boy that you said is like your Daddy? O ti o. Your Daddy is in a class of his own.” She went on. I covered my face with my hands. Tola stood laughing at me.
When my mother left and sat on my cushion in the little living room.
“I am so so sorry about that. My Mother is a class act. She can embarrass the queen if she thought it was a good idea.” I told him.
“She is funny. Life with her can never be dull. Now I get some of the gist you gave me about her.” He responded. He dropped himself into the only other cushion available.
“Thanks for helping with my luggage.” I said, in a dismissing tone.
Tola did not take the cue. He sat staring at me. He always stared at me and I was used to it now.
He got up and knelt before me. “I am so sorry that I made you cry. It was unintentional.”
I glared at him, “Fine. Apology accepted. Why are you on your knees?”
“Because I hurt you.” He looked remorseful.
“Why did you? I thought that we understood each other.”
“Sure, we did. This is all my fault. You can put the blame on me.”
“That is a line from from a song.” I smiled and he smiled back.
Tola held my hands and explained why he pulled back from me. “A lot of things happened so fast. My work had a project that the deadline was almost up and as the lead, I was scrambling to get it done. And then the other business started falling through at the same time. I needed to pay attention to both.” He paused then continued “the truth is, I also stepped back to give you some space to breathe. You were just coming out of a relationship with Sly and I wanted us to have a clean start, without any taints.”
I sighed. It all made sense. I saw how lean he looked. He obviously had not been feeding well too.
“Should I get you something to eat?” I asked.
Tola laughed. He got up from his knees and pulled me up to.
“Sade, I want you in my life. You have been in mine since I met you. Looking at that picture we took gives me hope every time I despaired that we would never get a chance but like Seyi said, I also had that gut feeling that we can make it work.” I did not realize that I held my breath all this while. As I released it gradually, I thought about what I wanted to say. I was afraid. Words that he spoke a while back came to me. Fear was a limiting emotion. He had said to me. I had to let the fear go. I had to open myself to love and all that it could bring. I panicked for a moment. I could feel Tola watching the display of emotion on my face.
“So, what you are saying is that you really want to love me with your life.” I asked, using his words to me.
He laughed, “Yes. I want the chance to love you with all of me.” He started singing John Legend’s All of me.
“Oh Sush! Don’t destroy the song please.” I said laughing.
He hugged me. “I cannot believe that you are here in my arms.”
“Believe it. I am here and I’m gonna love you like crazy. Are you ready?”
“Absolutely. This is fate. I am sure somewhere in space, two little universe or stars have collided and merged into one.”
I laughed. “Did you drink palm wine?”
“Hmm. I am definitely drunk on love.” His kiss made my toes curl.
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