Friday came with its own small demands of house chores and attending a friend’s event. Of course, it was a public holiday, and as much as she would have loved to remain in bed, she had lots of cleaning up to do.
09:00 am met her finishing her chores. But Amanda wasn’t sure she wanted to attend that event, not when Joseph had promised he was coming over. Ella would be pissed, but she’d find a way to appeal to her
It was two weeks already since both of them talked in his car. She had relaxed and opened up to him because, well, she still liked him. Tony, on the other hand, was still on her tail, doing everything he could to get her to accept him.
Amanda mentioned the updates to her friends, and they didn’t hesitate to ask what her problem was. How could she open up to Joseph, after everything she went through in his hands? Besides, why didn’t she accept Tony instead?
Amanda sighed. She was not interested in anything with Tony. As long as she was concerned, he just wasn’t what she wanted. He was a hypocrite who loved to present himself as saintly, but bad mouth others.
Besides, he never approved of her closeness to Joseph, whether it was for selfish reasons or something else, she wasn’t sure. She only knew he had said he was interested in her.
When Brenda insisted that Tony was better, Amanda pointed out the fact that Joseph apologized for his near rape attack, and confessed he did what he did because he had gotten wrong advice from friends. She also pointed out that despite what she did to him in defence, he didn’t fire her, neither did he try to frame her up and get her arrested.
Perhaps, he was sincere and just wanted them to be together. If not, how else would she explain the fact that he had asked her out over and over again? She had asked for some time to give a reply, even when she knew she’d gladly scream a ‘YES’ from the rooftop.
After closing hours the day before, he had given her a ride home, while promising to get her a company car and driver.
Amanda was full of gratitude, but then, she didn’t want history repeating itself. She had asked why he wanted to give her a company car and a driver. And he had said it was long overdue.
For the kind of position she occupied, she should have had one long ago. But funds were low. Thankfully, the company’s finances had improved greatly within the last three months, and so plans were on the way for some company cars.
A company car meant some big relief for her. And she was grateful.
Done with the chores, Amanda took a short stroll to the supermarket at the end of her street. She returned in time to prepare breakfast, before taking a shower.
At exactly 12:05 pm, there was a soft knock on her door. Amanda peeped through the window. It was Joseph. She opened the door to let him in.
“I thought you said you’ll be coming at 2 o’clock. What happened?” She asked.
Joseph, clad in dark blue long sleeve top and blue jeans, sat heavily on the couch.
“Well, I wasn’t doing anything important. So I decided to come early,” he smiled, looking around, as one hand tapped his thighs continuously, “it seems you’ve been very busy here.”
He noticed I cleaned up. She thought. How cute. But then, she also noticed he seemed to be fidgeting. Or was it her imagination. From the short time she’s spent with him, she noticed he was always like that when he had something serious to talk about but didn’t know exactly where to start from.
“Of course I have,” she said, moving to take the opposite seat. “I should offer you something; maybe a drink, or food. But your countenance says there’s something you want to talk about instead,” she stated flatly, keeping her eyes on him.
Joseph smiled. In all his time of dating, there hadn’t been any of his ex-girlfriends who had understood him well in just a few months. Amanda was different. She understood him in ways he never thought possible. She was observant of his every move and expression, even when they weren’t dating. Yet.
Sometimes, she could guess exactly what was wrong with him, or what he so much as smiled about.
However, he truly didn’t know where to start this particular sorry tale from. He had planned to take her out for a fun-filled Friday afternoon. But then, he got a call from a friend who sent him a link to Simi’s blog post. She had gone ahead with her threat.
What’s worse, she announced her pregnancy in the post and ensured to pin it on him.
Some of the comments from readers supported her and threw hateful words at him. Some others asked why she can’t keep her personal affairs to herself. They called her terrible names like olosho, ashawo and so on. A few others asked to know the other side of the story first before dropping any comments.
Joseph felt the floor should open up and swallow him. But that wasn’t going to happen.
He received a series of calls that morning from family and friends who had gotten to read the blog post. So yes, the entire morning was spent defending himself. He had even called Simi to talk some sense into her, but she didn’t pick up.
He sighed, swiped out his phone from his chest pocket and opened the article page before passing his phone to Amanda. “I don’t know where to start explaining from. But I think it’s better you read the article,” he said.
Curious about what was going on, Amanda took the phone and read through. She frowned several times during the not-so-long-read.
“What’s this about?” She looked up finally; confusion was written all over her face.
Joseph sighed. He looked away briefly, before looking at her again. “I …. That night I saw… you with Tony at AY’s comedy event. I was angry, that you chose him over me,” he started and sat back, “I drove to a club afterwards, to unwind and try to forget what I saw. That’s when I ran into Simi.”
“Who is Simi?”
“The person who wrote that post. She’s a popular blogger,” he swallowed.
“Did you impregnate her, or did you not?” Amanda’s’ heart was racing now. She had really begun to think she’d say yes to a relationship with him. Now, she wasn’t so sure.
“We had sex,” he swallowed, “and I regretted it afterwards. But I can vow, I’m not the father of her unborn child,” his voice was hoarse. The whole issue was getting to him.
“And how would you know that? How are you so sure?”
Joseph could tell she was really sad. Or heartbroken. What was he thinking? He’d tried in the past few days to woo Amanda. And she seemed to be giving in to him. Now all he had for her was heartbreak. But then he was satisfied he had brought his situation to her attention. It was way better than letting her hear from someone else, or on her own. After all, internet news had a way of spreading fast.
“I’m very sure about my claims, Amanda. I made a mistake out of anger and frustration. But…”
“Why didn’t you call me that night to find out what was really going on? Why did you assume?” Amanda really felt bad. Why did this Simi girl have to come between her and the man she was starting to really accept.
“I’m sorry, Amanda,” he swallowed. He didn’t think he could bring himself to call her dear. He didn’t think he could. “We weren’t dating then. It’s not like I was cheating on you. But still I know I owe you an apology for this gigantic mess.”
“Your apology isn’t going to change anything, Joseph. And I’m not sure I want to get involved in this sort of scandal,” she handed him his phone and returned to her seat, looking away.
“Does this mean you wouldn’t agree to a relationship with me?”
Minutes passed by. He understood she had nothing else to say to him.
Joseph sighed, grabbed his phone and walked over to her side. “I love you, Amanda. I have loved you since the first day I set eyes on you. And I’ve loved you more since the day you almost destroyed my chances of fatherhood. I can’t tell you how really happy I was that you stopped me from my crazy actions. Now even though I am not the father of Simi’s unborn child, I will try to make things right with her. I only pray you to find it in your heart, someday, to accept me again.”
He bent over and planted a soft kiss on her cheeks, before heading out, leaving her to her thoughts.
To be continued…
A Pelleura Story – Chapter 9. Written by Karo Oforofuo
First published on Business Day Media
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