It was two weeks after the one night stand with the stranger. Priscilla sat quietly in the bathtub in the guest room reveling in the privacy, Tunde could be heard moving around, and he was on leave much to her dismay, she so longed to be alone in the big house. Her eyes closed, thoughts drifted off to that night remembering the feel of his hands on her. Her face flushed, somehow there was no remorse for what she did only a wish to could see him one more time and see if she felt the same way again. She thought that she could be could be pregnant, the thought made her frown, the little sizzling feeling in her heart disappeared. She could be pregnant.
Pregnant for a stranger with no money in her pocket because she was sure Tunde would get a divorce, she felt uneasy imagining how the family would get into an uproar. Her mother would never even look at her again and Tunde would have the perfect excuse to throw her out. Would she be sorry then that she slept with this total stranger? Priscilla wondered. Perhaps. The soothing tune played in her head again: God give us Christian homes; somehow it seemed to calm her. ‘God help me, I felt no remorse for what I did’.
Finally, he parked in front of her house; he had never made it beyond the front door. He turned off the engine and silence reigned in the car for a few minutes more. They had an argument.
“I hate it when we fight”
“I do too” he replied gruffly “I just hate the thought of you with someone else Karen”
“But I’m living with the thought of you with someone else” her tone rose in defense and he shrugged
“It can’t be helped I’m married to her Karen and you even brought him to the club” Tunde felt a hot stab of jealousy drive through his chest “What was his name again?”
“Does that matter?” she asked in resignation “He’s not you.”
“Yeah but he’s not married either.”
“And I’m not her.”
“Regardless”, he replied knowing he was being unreasonable.
Karen’s tone was flat “But you aren’t happy… we both aren’t happy” she repeated slowly
Tunde looked at the beautiful woman beside him; there was no stopping her when she made up her mind to do something. Somehow, half of him was filled with scorn for her knowing how much he loved this independent woman beside him.
She chuckled loudly, “Remember four years ago?” Karen’s tone was pregnant with regret “When you asked to marry me” her eyes were downcast hiding her emotions.
Tunde sighed remembering that night and his tone softened “It’s too late for that now isn’t it?” he swallowed painfully and she nodded sniffing.
The car fell silent again. He could tell she was upset and he placed his hand on her thigh giving it a gentle comforting squeeze.
“I don’t know how to explain the way I feel Tunde” Karen uttered frustrated “I don’t know.”
“I understand my dear”
She nodded letting her gentle sobs subside “Should I keep waiting or move on?”, her voice was nearly a whisper and he said nothing for a minute.
“What do you want to do?” he asked slowly and Karen let out a shaky breath.
“You could get a divorce.”
Tunde scoffed and looked away. “You can if you want to Tunde” she continued her voice now demanding, “Her alimony would be fat enough. Isn’t that what she wants? Money?”
Tunde threw a glance her way. The woman could be very selfish at times, “You know I can’t let that happen for now.”
“Why?” Karen almost wailed, “Isn’t that what you want?”
“The company’s stocks aren’t the way they used to be, giving away a quarter of its shares. It’s not a wise decision; a quarter is almost as good as half right now.”
“You’d have your peace of mind, Tunde,” she purred. He was almost convinced but he shook his head vigorously in disapproval “No…It’s not the best choice. I still have to protect all that my father left. Should it go to waste on a divorce that can wait?”
“If they cared about you, you wouldn’t have been in this mess and you know it”
“Don’t you start on that, Karen!”
She opened the car door shaking her head regretfully and got out of the car. Peering at him through the window and her voice staccato she said, “We can’t be together if this is what you choose for us” with that she walked into her gate shutting it loudly behind her. Tunde sat still trying to calm his anger, she was not being reasonable. He started the engine and began to drive down the dark street. After an hour, Tunde walked into the dark parlor and locked the door behind him. The house was silent and he let out a ragged breath. He was tired of living in the house with a stranger he called his wife, it made him want to scream coming home every day to this. Tunde loosened his tie walking languidly into the bedroom where she lay. He could feel her watching him silently in the dark as he moved around the room. She had no idea of the way her eyes sparkled in the dark; strangely, he smiled at the random thought. He sat at the edge of the bed, the room was so dark but in a way it comforted him because so was his heart.
Richard sat on the cane chair overlooking the busy road. His flat was a mess as always, full of crumpled paper and can verses’, easels and pastels. He wrinkled his nose up in the stale smell of paint; he was looking a mess in his work clothes. His mind was frazzled thinking of the woman in the club weeks ago, he could not understand what fascinated him about this woman, this mysterious woman called Priscilla. Richard inhaled a rugged breath and dragged in the cigarette in his hand wondering when he would see her again. Should he call her? He thought to himself, would she want to see him, was she thinking of him the way he was thinking of her. What was so special about this woman? She was beautiful and she looked like a painting, every curve and hollow of her body; every movement was like a work of art and the exciting thing was she refused to believe.
He let out a slow breath of the cigarette and stubbed what was left on the windowsill. There was a rapid knock on the door of the flat, he cursed loudly to himself, and he did not want any disturbances. Reluctantly he walked to the door and opened it, it was Karen. Richard groaned inwardly looking at her face, he stepped aside and she entered his apartment. He knew she was angry with him for not calling after calling but the feeling was mutual after all she had left him to go after another man. So much for faithfulness in their relationship, he shut the door behind him.
Karen scanned the untidy apartment disgusted she looked at him “So when were you going to call me?”
He shrugged walking back to the windowsill.
Karen stared at Richard’s handsome profile. A little of her anger chipped away as desire cursed through her veins but she was still angry, he didn’t even bother to look at her or what she wore to please him even his favorite color, red. Karen dropped her bag on the nearby chair, crossing her arms across her chest.
“Come on, let’s stop this. I hate it when we fight.”
He looked at the woman scathingly, he could not remember what attracted him to her even though she was clearly beautiful; but they both knew they were playing a fools game. The feelings were more physical than any other emotion.
“You left me in the club alone, Karen.”
She walked up to him with a pout on her lips “I’m so sorry, something urgent came up.”
“At a party?”, he looked at her full of disbelief.
“Business. Besides,” she lifted up his hand and placed it on her red painted lips “we know the nature of our relationship. I’ll tell you when I’m ready to settle down” he mind was now clouded with thoughts of sex; she wrapped her arms around his shoulder.
Richard looked at her. Was this even a relationship? Somehow, he had begun to doubt what he felt for her. He wanted to pull away from her embrace but his body betrayed him responding to her, as her body pressed closely to his. Karen placed a kiss on his lips.
“Let’s forget that this happened uhn? But you should still have called, I was worried.”
Her word lacked truth in them but he said nothing just blandly staring at her. She only came to him when she wanted her body warmed as though he was only a service provider; anyway, she had made that clear already. They were both free to be with other people, no strings attached. He placed a kiss on her lips wondering the difference between her and Priscilla’s and she expertly responded.
Priscilla was almost inexperienced and it thrilled him about her to know she still had an element of purity in her.
…WHEN they were finished, he sat on the floor in the sitting room looking round at his clothes scattered around him. Karen was already fastening the front zip of her mini gown with a satiated look on her face; he felt nothing anymore when he touched her, no excitement or softness just pure libido. She applied another lipstick on her swollen lips.
“Why are you staring at me like that with a frown?”
He had no idea he was staring at her, lost in his thoughts.
“Didn’t you enjoy it?” Karen asked with a note of worry.
“I did”. His words did not sound convincing in his ears. Richard got up dragging his under wear along with him.
“Are you going to be free on Saturday?”
He nodded “Most likely”
She took her handbag “Good. I’ll come by then” with that, she walked out of the room.
Richard stood for a moment remembering how Priscilla had scrambled to get her things when she was trying to hurry home. He smiled, she was clumsy when she was nervous, and she had rushed away from him as if she was a teenager who was caught red handed with a boy. He laughed out loudly and walked up to his phone placed on the table to dial her number.
As she walked further into the church, she began wondering if it was good idea after all there but she didn’t turn around. Rather, Priscilla walked up to a seat by the entrance. She came here because of the tunes emitted from its organs but the church was beautiful. “God give us Christian homes”, she sang to herself. She had forgotten the feeling of warmth when one was in the house of God. She came because her heart was troubled as always. But this time, it was because of the strange lover whom she could not get out of her head after their sinful night of passion. Priscilla was attached to the tune; it was so soothing; she could feel herself relaxing in the chair.
When last had she felt this unusual peace? She could not even remember. She believed in God at least. She believed in most of the things preachers said but not the part about him wanting the best life for her. No, but she liked to believe God and she respected Him even though she had not been inside of a church for years now.
A sad sigh escaped her lips; maybe this was the place. Just this God, she still wanted to believe in something, anything that would give her hope or an anchor she would hold on to and if this it then she would gladly take all she could.
She sat like that for a while, just staring at the altar with a blank mind. She did not know how long she sat there but she was lost in the beauty of the church and the comforting warmth that welled up inside her.
Someone tapped her from behind making her look up to a slim fair woman who wore a church hat. She smiled at Priscilla.
“Good afternoon” Priscilla replied still staring at her.
“Did you come to see the pastor?”
“No…No” she grimaced “Who are you?”
“I’m a deaconess. You’re not a member of the church are you?”
She flushed feeling a bit flustered “No” her voice sounding tiny.
“So then you’re not here for the married women’s fellowship?” she asked looking at the wedding band on her finger. She shook her head getting up, she had intruded on the warm feeling Priscilla was enjoying alone.
The deacon got her cue and hurriedly touched her hand lightly “Please stay. We don’t mind people coming into the church.”
“I have to go anyway.”
“But you should please come for the married women’s fellowship it would do you a lot of good.” Priscilla stared at her full of irritation; did she know what was good for her? She nearly hissed aloud, the woman gave her goose bumps.
“It’s every Wednesdays by 6. Just an hour”
Priscilla nodded absent-mindedly and walked out of the church. The sunrays hit her face as soon as she left the building, her phone rang in her pocket and she took it out looking at the number, it was an unknown number.
“Hello”, she said
“Hello.” It was a male voice and it sounded so familiar
“Who’s this?” Priscilla asked trying to remember
At that moment she could have slummed full of surprise as her heart began to race “Richard who?” she asked still trying to be sure.
“Is this Priscilla?”
The way he called her name gave her a flutter in her belly and she looked back at the church behind her. God really did answer prayers and fast. “How did you get my number?”
He laughed, his usual full rich laugh that could make a woman melt “You gave me remember? When you were in such a hurry to leave.”
She started walking down the road smiling from ear to ear “Yes, yes. I just remembered. It has been what? Two weeks?”
“Yes” he sounded sober. “I’m sorry I didn’t call earlier”
“You shouldn’t have called”, Priscilla replied as matter of fact, “I’m a married woman.”
There was silence from the other end of the line and she bit her lip half wishing she had not said that.
“I know” after a minute Richard, stated, “Let’s meet.”
“I don’t know” she replied,unsure.
“As friends” he continued hopefully “I’ve longed to see your face.”
It was tempting to tell him the same, to tell how she had no sleep at night thinking of him but she kept quiet, her feelings did not change the fact that she was married to another man.
“Come on! As friends?”
“Alright… but not your apartment”
He laughed, “Okay not my apartment. How does tomorrow sound? I could take you to my gallery.”
“Sounds like fun” Priscilla replied smiling in the sun
“Where can I pick you up?”
“I can meet you at the junction leading to Adeola Odeku road, maybe Silverbird?”
“Alright that’s fine then”; she could tell he was smiling. ‘Ten, right?”
“Thanks a lot” Richard replied heartily. “I can’t wait”. With that, she heard the call disconnect and turned round the bend headed for home, smiling.
Safe Haven Episode 7 continues HERE.
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