Standing at a Distance (3)

Richard

 

He remained in the hospital for another three days and in those three days, Sandra made it a point of duty to always come around and spend some time with him right after work. He couldn’t be more thankful to her for her time and care. Also, he couldn’t get that ‘bump’ picture out of his mind.

Now they were seated in Sandra’s Toyota Corolla, parked at the front of his apartment.

“Thanks for all you’ve done for me this past four days or so,” he started.

His parents had wanted him to stay in the family house until they were sure he was in a perfect condition, and his kidnapper’s had completely forgotten about him. The police were still doing all they could to have the kidnappers found and arrested and so far, their search had not yielded any fruit.

He, on the other hand, had insisted on going back to his apartment. After much bantering, his parents finally let him have his way and Sandra offered to drive him home. An offer which he gladly accepted without a second invitation.

“Thanks for being a friend. I’m so sorry I was rude to you at work. I normally don’t get close to people that much and I hate seeing anybody that’s not my friend in my personal space. I’m sorry.”

She touched the hand he placed on her shoulder. “It’s okay. I have nothing against you. It’s the first time you would ever do work, so I blamed it on anxiousness.”

That sounded like an insult to him, but he let it slide. This wasn’t the time to start arguing if he’s ever worked or not.

“You are right.”

The next few seconds, nothing was said by any of them, they kept staring at each other.

Richard covered the gap between them. “What did I do to deserve your help?”

She smiled but said nothing.

His eyes kept moving from her face to her lips.  “There’s just something about you, something that… Before she knew it, he placed his lips on hers; shocking them both.

 

**********************

“Sandra, I’m sorry,” Richard said, the moment he walked into the office.

“It’s okay,” she carried a file and followed after him. “you have a meeting with some stakeholders by 10 AM and you are scheduled to have lunch with one Senator Freda. The chairman has advised that you stick strictly to business talks.”

He rolled his eyes. This wasn’t what he had in mind and certainly, Sandra reading out his schedule for the day was beginning to sound like noise.

He walked into his office and she followed him, still reading out all he had for the week from a file she was holding.

The moment she was fully in, he quickly went to the door and locked it.

She turned to him with a deep frown that would have scared him to the bones a week ago.

“What?”

He raised the keys to her face. “It’s just the two of us here. And, we are gonna trash this before any one of us leaves this room.”

“Please, let me do my work in peace.”

“Not until we’ve talked about last week,” he walked to his desk and sat. “I’m sorry.”

“Apology accepted.” She dropped the file. “Can I go now?”

“Cool. Thanks for accepting my apology. Now, the explanation. I know I owe you an explanation.”

She ignored him and walked to the window.

He followed her there.

“That was Charity. My girlfriend. My ex-girlfriend, rather.”

“Thanks for not telling me you have a girlfriend,” she muttered. Her voice sounded hoarse like someone who was in tears… or was she? He hated seeing any lady in tears because of him.

“She was my girlfriend, at least until that Friday,” he cleared the air.

“Was it because of the kiss that she broke up with you?” Sandra asked.

He shook his head. “No, long story. But, the thing is, we are not together. I’m also sorry about the kiss. I didn’t mean to kiss you like that?”

“Like how?”

“In the public.”

Sandra sighed. “My problem was making me feel like a whore when your girlfriend walked in on us.”

“Ex-girlfriend.” he corrected.

“That doesn’t change the fact that you couldn’t even defend me and made her believe I was one of your side chicks.”

“I’m sorry about that. I wasn’t expecting to see her there. Heck, I wasn’t even expecting to see her ever again.”

“Apology accepted. I was a fool for allowing that kiss to happen. You’re my boss.”

“If I kissed you again, would that change things?”

She furrowed her brows. “Don’t be silly.”

“I’m just asking,” he looked at the door, “at least, the door is locked.”

“I have work to do,” She turned to walk away but he caught her by the hand.

“I like feisty women,” he placed a kiss on her forehead, “and, once more I am sorry.”

He searched her eyes. He could see disappointment written all over it. He didn’t want that. He also was disappointed at himself. But, that was the best option he had.

He wouldn’t go kissing another woman, at least until he was sure that he has completely gotten over Charity and had sorted out his feelings for Sandra. Right now, he couldn’t put a finger to what he actually felt. Was it pity? Love? He couldn’t tell.

Before she could turn, he embraced her; surprising her even more.

She didn’t respond initially. But when he held onto her, she had no choice.

When she finally left the office, Richard walked to his desk and sat on it. So many things were happening in his life at the same time. Just last week, he had one girl in his life; a girl he’s had for the past five years. He truly believed she was his until the week before.

Charity had come to apologize the day he got back from the hospital. Actually, she walked in on Sandra and him and had flared up immediately, accusing him of cheating.

She had even gone to the extent of slapping Sandra. A slap which Richard regretted not returning. At least, it would have made him feel better.

“You whore. He’s just using you,” Charity had screamed at Sandra’s retreating figure while he stood staring at both of them like a lost cat. He did regret that action. No doubt about that.

When Sandra finally left, Charity started to apologize for her actions.

“I’m sorry, Richard,” she said, and looked like she was actually sorry. But he knew better. “I didn’t mean to do that.”

“And you did,” he screamed at her. Oh, finally, he found his voice again. “Now get your silly stinking cheating self out of my house,” he yelled.

“Richard, I’m sorry.”

He ignored and walked past her.

“I’m sorry for using you all these while,” she called after him.

That statement really got him. He stood rooted to a spot for half a minute, before turning to face her again. “Charity, I was just your puppy. You don’t need to rub that in my face.”

“I’m so…”

“Sorry for your damn self! How could you? For five years? You’re a she-devil.”

She walked closer to him. “It wasn’t really a straight five years. It was on and off. Remember when we first broke up? That was when I met him and we really clicked. Started dating. I did tell him about you but he said he would wait. And, you started being so nice to me and I really became confused. I didn’t know how to break up with you,” she explained.

He hissed. There was no iota of remorse in her.

“And telling me you were doing your masters in London. Was that part of the game? What kind of human being are you?”

She shrugged, “I can’t explain everything to you. But, I can say for sure that I’m sorry for making you believe we were dating all this while.”

“Get your sick self out of my house and tell your lovey-dovey boyfriend to stay off my path.”

“Richard, just say you forgive me,” she begged.

No way, not at all. He won’t give her that satisfaction. She won’t go home smiling that she has cleared her name and now has a clean record.

“Rich…

“Fuck off!” Richard shouted and entered his apartment.

He locked his door and walked straight to his refrigerator. He needed a cold drink. He hadn’t had one since the incident. He desperately needed one to cool his head. Too much was happening at a time. But in all, he was grateful he always recovers really quickly from sagas.

The knock on his door snapped him out of his thoughts and he remembered he was at the office.

“Mtcheew ,” he hissed at the thoughts he was having. It was clearly going to take a while for him to get over Charity.He used to think the girl was his world. His all in all.

Whoever was at the door knocked again.

“Come in.”

Jude walked in and instantly he knew it was time for his meeting with some of the staffs.

“Let’s go,” Richard said, without allowing him to say a word.

 

 

To be continued…

This is a Pelleura story.

Idea and write-up by Judith Uguwoke. Read the other chapters here

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About Judith Uguwoke

Judith Ugwuoke is a student of the University of Nigeria Nsukka. She is passionate about writing and reading. She is currently a Pelleura Team Member. When she's not doing any of the above, she's listening to music.

One thought on “Standing at a Distance (3)

  1. Hmmm… Na wa o. This Charity girl get mind to even show up. Richard too has his own in his body. Lol. Weldone Judith. I love the storyline.

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