Wuraola filled Obajuwon’s thoughts as he paced the length of the garden impatiently. He had chosen this hideous spot because he was sure that no one would want to come farther into the royal garden especially at such ungodly hour.
Where the hell is this girl, she is wasting my time! He yelled within. He was clearly not cut out for such impromptu meetings at the wee hours of the morning. But what was he to do after the bitch had threatened him?
If only all the women in the world were like Wura. Wuraola. Oh, how he loved her. But she had refused to return his love. Their relationship had been one-sided right from the start. If only she could at least feel something for him, or just show an atom of care, he would fight the entire universe for her.
All the same, he couldn’t lose two things. If he was going to lose her, then he simply couldn’t lose the other thing which to him, was far more important than Wura. But then, the way his heart constantly betrayed him even at the slight mention of her name, made him think he might simply loose the other thing. His love for her kept waxing stronger every day and he was afraid, that it would shatter him at the end.
Wura would be the death of me if I’m not careful. He thought, then moved to sit on the wooden bench underneath the Cashew tree. The tree was one of two trees that flanked the garden and created shades like umbrellas. It was a nice place to relax as he repeatedly tapped his right foot on the wet grass, a sign his patience was running out.
Few minutes passed before he heard rustling some distance away from his spot. He looked up in time to see her approaching.
Obajuwon sighed as he took in her tall form covered in a grey servant gown she had worn. Ola was a pretty fair lady with curves in all the right places. But he still didn’t understand how he ended up marrying her in the first place. And reminiscing about their past would only make him sadder. If Ola wasn’t the mother of his handsome boy, he would long have divorced her so he could have his peace of mind.
“My love, I’m sorry I kept you waiting,” Olaitan moved to kiss him but he avoided her, and she frowned before dropping heavily on the empty space beside him.
“Say what you called me here for, I don’t have time in my hands to throw away,” He asked, pretending not to see the hurt in her expression.
“I can see how much you hate me,” Ola said instead, already gearing up for a fight, “but I am still your wife, Obajuwon; The mother of your son. You should treat me with respect!” she almost snapped.
He hated women who were desperate, clingy and rude. Olaitan was one of them. If only she could put her head down to learn a few things from Wura, then life would be so much easier.
He had fallen in love with Wura because she was reserved, respectful, and hated all forms of attention even as a princess. But women these days were simply not contented with what they have. Instead, they would simply kill another to get what they want sickening.
“Ex-wife Olaitan, he corrected, “and mind the way you speak to me. I am not one of your boyfriends.”
“Wife, Obajuwon. We are still married just separated. And I don’t have any boyfriend, you are my first and last, that is why I would kill anyone who wants to have you!” she flashed him a wicked smile now.
I would kill you first. Obajuwon wanted to say. But he saw the desperation in her eyes and he knew she was dead serious. How had he ended up marrying a murderer? He cleared his throat to ease the tension that was killing them both.
“What is it you want to tell me this time?” he asked through clenched teeth.
“I want us to hasten up with our plans. It’s beginning to drag for too long, and it’s not easy being a slave in that palace, you know. So why don’t you get Kabiyesi to hasten the wedding?”
“Hasten what? Are you crazy? Getting Wura to agree to the whole set up took almost six months, now what do you think would happen if she decides to cancel the wedding all because i want the wedding done in less than 5 months?” he gave a short laugh, even though he wasn’t finding the talk amusing.
“You think more of her than you think about my comfort,” Ola accused.
“Well, you’re my ex. She’s my wife to be. Isn’t the difference clear enough?”
“Look, Obajuwon. If you don’t find a way to hasten this sham of a marriage, I would be forced to tell the King our little secret, just after I’ve killed that stupid Wura.”
“Don’t you dare!” he flew into a rage, pointing warning fingers in Ola’s face, “Don’t you dare place your filthy fingers on her or else…”
It was her turn to laugh. “Relax lover boy, I won’t kill our little specimen. But you’re in love with her and you need to stop this before you ruin our plans.”
“I’m not in love with her. How many times would I tell you that?” he almost bit his tongue from the obvious lie. He was deeply in love with Wura, and he was afraid he might become obsessed.
“Then prove it. Prove that you aren’t in love with her.” She looked him in the eye, not backing down.
“How?” he knew how. He wasn’t just up for it. In fact, he scrunched up his face in disgust. He remembered that one reckless night of drinking had plunged him in this shithole with Olaitan. 5 years ago, He was 22 and drunk. That was the first time he set eyes on Wura. However, all efforts to speak to her proved abortive and that had landed him in bed with the devil, Olaitan. The devil got pregnant for him and blackmailed him into marrying her.
His thoughts were cut short when Ola kissed him and tried to part his lips with hers. Obajuwon pulled back from her. But Ola kept looking at him intensely as if trying to communicate her need to him.
“Obajuwon, you have no choice than to take me here and now or else…”
He didn’t wait for her to complete her statement as he kissed her roughly. Just like he had done through the years, he simply pretends he was making love to Wuraola, as he laid her down on the bench.
The restaurant was busy as hell that Morning, it was almost like everyone left home without having breakfast, only to stop at her restaurant before getting to work.
It was one of the advantages of having a restaurant in a commercial environment; especially one with lots of offices.
Her staff members were on their best behaviour as they went about taking customer orders and serving them. Wuraola pitched her tenth behind the counter, serving orders for her waiters, as well as customers who just wanted to buy take away items.
Most of the male customers who came in didn’t seem to be able to take their eyes off her. But she paid them no attention. Not when there were lots of people to attend to.
Still completely tied up in work, she didn’t know when Tosin stepped in and even approached the counter. It seemed she had forced her way through to the front.
“Hey, good morning manager,” she called out.
Wura looked up and smiled broadly, “Hey! Good morning dearest. I didn’t know you had arrived.”
“Ehn, why will you know when you’re busy making money,” She stuck out her tongue. Wura laughed. Tosin had always been the naughty type and being in the US for months didn’t change that.
“Naughty you,” Wura teased. Oya go to my office nau. I’ll join you shortly.
“Awesome!” Tosin blew her friend a kiss before making her way to the staircase by the side of the counter. Wura saw the figure of a man following her behind. She guessed Tosin came with her boyfriend.
After serving some orders, Wura handed to her assistant before making her way upstairs with some food, snacks and drinks. But she walked into her office to receive a surprise she never expected.
When Tosin informed her that she would be visiting Wura at the restaurant, she didn’t say she would come with her ‘hot-stuff’ brother who happened to be Wura’s ex. The duo had dated for 5 months when they were younger before he joined the Defence headquarters in the United States for a course in strategic studies. Although he retired early at age 32 because his father wanted him home as the first son and the soon to be King of Ile-Ife.
All these years he came back, he had been working with his father and had no time for anything else. Now here he was, sitting comfortably in her office. She had seen him follow Tosin, but she never knew he was the one.
“Hi, Goke. Good morning. I didn’t know you were here too,” she said, trying not to be dumbstruck as she placed the food and drinks on the table.
“Good morning Wuraola,” he smiled, “Tosin and I thought we should make my visit a surprise.”
“Oh. I see,” she flashed warning eyes on Tosin, as she took the opposite couch where Tosin was sitted. They were definitely going to talk about this.
“You look as beautiful as always, how have you been?” Prince Goke asked.
“Good, and you?” Wura answered politely.
She wasn’t sure if she could forgive Tosin for this. She couldn’t even look straight in his eyes. His brown eyes shone brightly as if he had been anticipating her reply. Although he was a good boyfriend and a loyal one, he had left because he saw her as a distraction. He had said he needed to get his head straight.
Goke murmured a reply, but she quickly directed her gaze to Tosin who was staring at them like she had been expecting them to kiss and make-up.
“Tosin, first of all, welcome back. How was your trip?” She squeezed her friend’s hand
“My trip was great! Thank you. Aren’t you going to thank me for the gift I brought?”
Wura smiled. “You bet. I have a lot to discuss with you!” she yelled happily. She had missed her best friend. Tosin had been away in New York for months now and she had only just returned.
“Me too girl. I simply can’t wait! I mean, we have a lot to catch up on especially your betrothal gist!” Tosin purposely chipped in.
Wura would have sworn on her head for mentioning anything concerning Obajuwan. But Tosin’s saving Grace was the confused look on Goke’s smooth, well-shaved face. He didn’t know about her engagement to Obajuwon. She was sure it had taken him by surprise.
“Babe, I’m coming, I have an important call to make!” Tosin excused herself, as she walked out of Wura’s office leaving behind her brother and Wura seated on the couch.
Wura could feel Goke watching her. When she looked up to satisfy her curiosity, her heart skipped a beat. He had been staring right at her and right now she could swear there were fluffy butterflies at the pit of her stomach.
“What?” she asked softly.
“You look even more beautiful,” Goke admitted, he didn’t smile like Obajuwon when he complimented her. His eyes were seriously focused on her as if he was trying to unnerve her. She shuddered under his gaze.
After all these years, who would have thought he still had this effect on her.
“Thanks. And you look even more…” her voice trailed off. She slowly took in his plain white body fitting T-shirt on Jeans trouser with dark shoes. His broad shoulders and taut muscles clearly added more fitting to the shirt as it clung to him like a second skin. “You look, good too. I mean, you grew broader over the years.” she snapped her eyes away from his caramel skin tone.
He chuckled deeply. “Yeah.” He paused. “Is Tosin serious about the betrothal? Have you been betrothed?”
Wura looked at him again. Gone was the playful look on his face, replaced by an intense, determined look. “Uhm. How are your wife and kids?” Wura held his gaze. She heard him draw in a sharp breath. She also drew in a sharp breath, ready to hear the truth that might break her.
“I’m not married. Neither do I have kids. So what about you, betrothed?”
“Yeah, to Obajuwon.” she winced at the mention of the name that gave her nightmares. Goke knew Obajuwon. Although they never got along.
The silence that followed could make her deaf. She only wished that Tosin would come back from her long call.
“I… thought about you all through, when I was in the military and even after I returned. I still can’t get over my feelings for you.”
“Please just stop! You left me, Goke. After all, you said it was just a stupid teenage infatuation that it would go away” Wura felt heartbroken all over again. She still recalled that day, how he had broken her heart without looking back.
She didn’t know if she was seeing things, but she could swear that his eyes looked glassy like there were tears in his eyes only that they didn’t drop.
“I’m sorry. I was just 23. I wasn’t thinking, Wura.” He got up from his seat and moved to sit beside her. One hand moved to hold hers. But she didn’t pull away from him.
“You’ve been back for like, 3 years. I know you’re working closely with your dad, but how come you never took time out to see me?” she questioned.
Goke sighed. And for the first time since she saw him in her office, he looked really remorseful. “I wouldn’t say I have an excuse, Wura. But I was mostly scared of how you’d receive me, after everything.”
“But you’re here now.”
“I have Tosin to thank for my being here,” his hands tightened around hers. The other hand moved to stroke her cheek.
Wura knew she should pull back. She couldn’t let what she was feeling make her forget she was getting married soon. But when his lips, soft and inviting, brushed hers, she threw caution to the wind as she kissed him back, lip to lip and tongue to tongue.
Dear Lord, how could she forget he was the one who taught her how to kiss? How to love a man?
His hands caressed her delicate body as he pulled her closer to him. One hand soon found its way to her hair, roughening it and playing in the roughness. She caressed him too; from his cheeks to his chin, his arm, and his chest, before wrapping her arms around his neck and extending one to caress his head.
Time stopped. Like they were simply the only ones on earth. But then the door flung open to reveal Tosin with a smirk. They tore themselves from each other. Wura couldn’t help but notice her lipstick was smeared on his lips. She felt dazed and embarrassed at the same time.
“Please excuse me.”
She rushed into the restroom to catch her breath and pull herself together. But then, she caught her ragged reflection on the mirror. Her hair was dishevelled and lipstick completely wiped off. She drew in a short breath to stabilize herself.
“What just happened?” She whispered.
To be continued…
This is a Pelleura Story. Idea and write-up by Funmi Akintade. See The first four Chapters here
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