David: ‘’Cassandra’’ I breathed with great surprise, staring at the girl before me with disbelief. Of course she was the last person i was expecting to see that day. I couldn’t imagine what made her come back.
Cassandra: ‘’Yes I changed my mind. I’m back’’ she said with a smile while studying me with her eyes as she waited for me to let her in.
Cassandra: ‘’so what’s up, seems like you are not happy to see me or what?. You look so tensed?’’ she asked as I made way for her to enter the sitting room. I forced out a smile saying nothing.
Cassandra:‘’hmmmm I don’t understand you’’ she murmured, freezing with surprise as she saw Chinedu who quickly stood up with a smile.
Chinedu: ‘’wow I’m really glad to see you, welcome’’ Chinedu greeted politely, leaving a smile on her face before facing me.
Chinedu: ‘’I have to go brother. We will continue our discussion tomorrow’’ he said, shook hands with me and left, leaving Cassandra and I all alone.
I stared at Cassandra for some seconds, not knowing what to say to her. A part of me wanted me to confront her over the pictures in her phone while another part of me kicked against it. But the surprising thing of it all was that I still felt something for her. The pictures I saw never affected my feelings greatly, all it did was just to create a little doubt in my heart. A doubt which a well made explanation could easily erase .
Cassandra: ‘’what’s up with you?. You are acting so strange. Are you not happy to see me?’’ Cassandra asked again, breaking my thoughts. I silently fetched a glass of water which I drank before sitting beside her.
David: ‘’Cassandra my love. I do love you very much. I’m very willing to do a lot more for you and In return I need your full love, support, respect and faithfulness. I know I’m no saint but my conscience is very clear when it comes to you. I expect the same from you. Tell me, do you love me with all your heart?’’ I asked curiously, expecting an honest answer from her. My heart pounded furiously in expectation and fear. Yes I really needed an honest answer from her but I equally was scared of hearing a negative reply.
She breathed deeply, leaving her eyes on me for some seconds before looking down.
Cassandra: ‘’you want an honest answer?’’ she asked, leaving me very nervous with the question.
Cassandra: ‘’love isn’t a one day thing. It’s a continuous process. Yes I like you. Yes I’m slowly growing fond of you. Yes my feelings for you are developing strongly. Yes I wont do anything to hurt you. Yes I can do unimaginable things for you. I don’t know If all these put together can be termed love. Maybe it Is, Maybe it isn’t. Love is really something I’m still to get a clear definition of.’’ She muttered, taking me aback with her answer. I really wasn’t expecting an answer like that and I must confess, I really was confused and relieved at the same time.
David: ‘’well I’m glad you feel something for me’’ I breathed, fetching out her phone from my pocket. Her eyes instantly fell on it, growing dim with surprise.
David: ‘’I picked your phone and saw pictures I never expected to see’’ I muttered with great pain.
Cassandra: ‘’pictures?. What did you see?’’ she asked, acting surprised. I switched on the phone, opened the picture gallery and showed her the pictures one after the other.
David: ‘’so what do you have to say?’’ I asked when we got to the last picture. She shook her head and laughed coldly.
Cassandra: ‘’I cant believe you acting like a little boy. What’s wrong with the pictures huh?. The first picture was taken in a friend’s birthday party. Yes a guy was carrying me in the picture but that’s students life. It was just a picture pose and nothing more. The second picture where a guy was spoon-feeding me was taken in a hostel party organized for new students. The last four pictures were taken when we did our departmental award night in a hotel. I’m really so annoyed right now. I cant believe you went through my phone just to search for my pictures. You see that’s something I’m scared of in this relationship. I don’t think we are even compatible. Your reasoning and mine is not the same. I guess you have already concluded in your mind that I’m a cheat. So there is no need staying here or explaining anything’’ she fired angrily, grabbed her phone and bag , stood up and headed to the door.
I couldn’t believe my ears, i couldn’t believe the things I just heard her say. In her anger she threw out her mind and said how she really felt about me but instead of taking a clue from it, I blamed myself instead. I felt I was wrong to judge her with mere pictures which never really portrayed anything indecent in respect with our modern day society. My heart was really heavy with regret and I couldn’t afford letting her leave the second time.
David: ‘’’I’m sorry my love. I’m really sorry for judging you wrongly’’ I quickly apologized, stopping her with my words. She turned and faced me, searching my eyes as if she really wasn’t just sure of my words.
There wasn’t any doubt she was scared of losing me and I felt it was a great attribute of love.
David: ”My love’’ I breathed once again as we hugged
Cassandra: ‘’I’m also very sorry for being very harsh on you. I really should cut off my tongue’’ Cassandra apologized quickly, holding me tightly and looking into my eyes as if she wanted to kiss me.
It really was one of the few emotional or should I say romantic moments we ever shared. I felt so happy, so fulfilled, and so accomplished having her melting in my arms. Her actions were very pure and convincing. I had great urge to kiss her deeply. I had great urge to make love to her there and then, but I held myself. I controlled my emotions and simply held her strongly.
Cassandra: ‘’I really felt bad when I left in the morning. I made a very bad judgement call’’ she confessed while I breathed deeply, nodding in agreement.
David: ‘’yes dear you made a very bad judgment call but it’s all in the past. Let’s forget about it. Cassandra my love’’ I said with all my heart. She smiled and nodded with great smile on her face.
Cassandra: ‘’you are a very nice person. Really’’ she muttered, tipping my ego with her words.
David: ‘’so how about we go out for a wonderful dinner?. Let’s go to a quiet place downtown, where we can eat and enjoy the evening weather’’ I offered. Her eyes shone with great delight.
Cassandra: ‘’wow that sounds cool. Who am I to reject such wondrous offer?’’ she breathed , caressing my face with her hands.
David: ‘’we leave by 7pm, so you have enough time to do your thing’’ I added sweetly.
I soon left her smiling and headed to my room to rest and clear my head before the evening outing. There was nothing I wanted more than getting married to Cassandra.
Oh my Cassandra, so gracious, so charming, so beautiful and very educated.
By 7:30pm that fateful evening, we were well settled by the poolside of ‘’All Seasons Hotel’’ . The environment really was so cool and serene. Cassandra was very impressed and happy which equally left a great smile on my face because I love seeing her happy.
David: ‘’being here with you makes me very happy. You are really God sent to me’’ I said sweetly, reaching for her hand across the table. She blushed and looked down. I laughed at her behavior.
David: ‘’’sometimes you act like an experienced adult and sometimes you act like a little child’’ I said playfully, drawing out a curious glance from her.
Cassandra: ‘’so how am I acting now?’’ she asked with a smile, but before I could answer, my eyes fell on a man and a lady making their way to a table. The lady was no other person than Nora and the gentleman with her looked quite healthy, rich and sophisticated. I couldn’t believe my eyes. I couldn’t believe seeing my Nora with another guy. It was something I never expected to see and I hate to admit that I felt my heart shrink.
I really can’t explain that feeling but then it was just as if I wasn’t in control of my mind anymore. I kept staring at her, ignoring Cassandra who quickly noticed what was going on.
Cassandra: ‘’isn’t that lady your neighbor?’’ i heard her ask.
David: ‘’yes yes yes’’ I breathed, forcing out a smile as I desperately tried to suppress my feelings. I couldn’t help but wonder if Nora was really moving on with another man, carrying my baby in her stomach. I wasn’t supposed to be concerned but yes I was concerned.
Cassandra: ‘’there is something I have been wanting to ask. Please don’t misinterpret my question but as a woman there are some things we do see with our inner mind’’ Cassandra said softly, studying me.
Cassandra: ‘’that lady over there is your neighbor right?’’ she asked once again while I nodded in agreement.
Cassandra: ‘’I noticed something the day you introduced me to her but I kept my feelings to myself. Now tell me, have you guys dated before or is she just a neighbor to you?’’ she slowly asked, leaving me a bit speechless with her question.
I drew back and stared pointedly at her, quickly running some calculations in my head. I really needed to tell her the truth about Nora and my baby. It was something I had to do sooner or later but considering the situation at hand, I was very very scared.
And just like one writer, Dnelix, wrote in one of his books, ‘’sometimes a well crafted lie is hundred times better than a well said truth.’’
I considered keeping my relationship with Nora away from her for the time being. I opted giving a not too honest reply to my Cassandra.
David: ‘’no nothing my dear. It’s just that i’m very surprised to see her. She packed out of her apartment yesterday and I thought she left town’’ I answered while Cassandra shrugged, saying nothing else.
The rest of the dinner really was uneventful with me thinking only of Nora. I desperately tried to get her out of my head but couldn’t. It was just by luck that Cassandra failed to notice my absentmindedness and if she did notice never made it look obvious.
David: ‘’can you stay a week with me?’’ I asked Cassandra as we retired to my bed for a good night sleep. She shook her head quickly,.
Cassandra: ‘’no I cant be away from school for so long. Don’t you want me to graduate?’’ she answered softly.
David: ‘’My dear it’s just that I do want to spend much more time with you but you are right, your education comes first’’ I answered with resignation.
Cassandra: ‘’I will stay with you till Tuesday . hope that’s cool with you??’’ she suddenly asked, leaving a smile on my face.
David: ‘’yea that’s cool. Thanks’’ I breathed happily,.
Cassandra: ‘’I hope you still remember that my birthday is coming up in two weeks time?’’ she suddenly asked, touching my chest. I scratched my head as I instantly remembered. Yes she really has been singing it in my ears for the past few weeks and it was something I promised to celebrate for her.
Cassandra: ‘’I have to start on time to make the planning and preparations. I will have to arrange for a good cake, do a little shopping and equally pay for a good venue. You know this is something I haven’t done for the past ten years’’ she pushed on.
Cassandra: ”my budget is within thirty to fifty thousand Naira” she added softly.
David: ‘’ I believe forty thousand Naira will be enough. That’s the amount i mapped out for it’’ I answered, leaving her overwhelmed with joy. I really was ready to do anything for my Cassandra only if she remains loyal, respectful and loving.
However what she did next extremely surprised me. Cassandra climbed over me without a single word, without me even asking for it, bent and kissed me softly. I stared at her with disbelief, seizing my breathe as i waited for her next move.
…. Stay tuned for Episode 25