Olaaaa. So if you missed part 1 you can click here. Otherwise I hope you enjoy part 2.
I hate weddings. I hate weddings because you meet people you don’t want to meet especially people you have been avoiding for months because well they had your heart in the mess and you managed to walk away but somehow you left your heart with them while you use a mechanical heart. I should have sat on the other side of the ball room. Maybe he didn’t see me and I can live my life in peace. I pray he didn’t see me. Besides the wedding will be done soon and I can leave.
“Hello Thandiwe.” I hear and voice and I freeze. He saw me.
“It’s been a long time. You look beautiful. Is this seat taken?” He asks.
I look up, shake my head and watch him move the chair back and sit. I hate weddings. I hate this wedding. It has brought him back in my life. Weddings have a thing of bringing people together or just making them feel lonely because singlehood sucks to be honest. For me, this wedding will do a little of both. Just seeing his face brings back memories of things long dead and forgotten with no hope of resurrection because there was nothing to resurrect in the first place. He smiles at me and I smile back. Why the hell did I not tell him the seat was taken? Now I have to deal with his ugly mouth. Harsh am I not? Ugly mouth is harsh when I know deep down it far from that. When deep down I know I missed it. I look away from him.
“How have you been?” He asks
“You look beautiful.”
“Not gonna look at me?”
I turn and face him, my best friend’s face, the face I watched sleeping some nights, the face I laughed with, the face that looked at me with all the passion it could muster and now it’s just the face of a man I had to walk away from because my heart wanted more than his could offer right?
“How long has it been? Two months? Three?”
Three months, two weeks and four days to be exact but who is counting these days.
“Long enough.” I answer slowly.
“Indeed it has. You went off the grid. Your numbers were off. Whatsapp down. No way of getting in touch with you. Never home too. Your girls didn’t want to tell me what happened to you. What happened to you?” He asks
Of course that was exactly how I wanted it. To move on. To get past him I had to disappear or just not be in his circle. After the pregnancy scare I had I needed time off. But I planned it for some months, just for a little while until I got my emotions in check. I blocked his number from calling me; blocked him on whatsapp too but of course I won’t tell him that. Then again did it matter if he found out?
“Work.” I respond slowly.
Nothing more. Nothing less. One word answers or no answer ought to shut him up. I hear people clap and I turn my head and I see the bride and groom feed each other cake and kiss. So beautiful. They found each other while I was still dealing with a blast from the recent past.
“You’ve been so busy that you couldn’t find time to call me or check up on me?” He asks
I turn to face him again and he’s looking at me with his dangerous tell all brown eyes and a smile on hand with his chipped tooth. He’s growing his beard. Do all best friends notice such small details? A change in haircut? A goatee? Or maybe I was so deep into this man that I noticed every little thing about him. I will admit its a perfect catch of a look. But I am not falling for this again. Never. I’m a stronger now. Nothing can move me.
“Yes. Work was just busy.”
“Or maybe you found someone else and figured I’m replaceable.”
“You didn’t miss me?”
I hate him. I shrug and he laughs.
“I missed you. I missed this. Gosh I miss you.” He says
Of course you do. When it comes to me opening my legs wide for your body parts to feel amazing you actually miss me. Why am I thinking about opening legs? I should leave. Why do weddings take so long anyway? Do you seriously need twenty-five dance routines? I hear another clap and women cheering “wiyu wiyu” for the couple on the dance floor dancing with their bridal crew.
“Want to dance?”
I turn to face him.
“Because I’m not interested.”
“In the dance or me?”
“Both.” I answer as I stand up from my seat.
“Where are you going?”
“None of your business.”
“Can I get you a drink?”
“No. No need.”
I should just leave. I attended the wedding because my girl was one of the bridemaids and she thought I’d be bored alone at home in the dark what with ZESCO tripping on a daily basis; but now I wish I didn’t come, because if I hadn’t then I wouldn’t have bumped into him and I wouldn’t be feeling this way right now. Feeling like I can simply tell him to find a venue and I would meet him there for a night of wild passion. But of course what about the morning? When we wake up and go our separate ways again. Won’t I be hurt all over again? After all I was in love with the man. Once.
“Well, it was nice seeing you.” I say quickly as I pick up my coat and clutch.
“Really. Are you leaving? ”
“Before you greet the couple? The night is still young. It’s only twenty-one thirty. Why leave?”
“I came because my friend invited me. Besides I’m tired and I need rest. So I’ll go home.”
Why am I explaining this to him?
“Can I drive you?”
“I have a car.” I respond. “So no need.”
“Can I follow you home?”
“Wait.” He says but I ignore him.
I walk away from the table and towards the exit. Out into the hallway I walk as fast as my heels can take me. I wear my coat as I walk outside Intercontinental hotel heading to the car park.
Don’t follow me. Don’t follow me.
I turn around and see him behind me. He followed me? Is my body that really needed that he followed me. This is new. I stop and wait for him.
“I would really like to talk to you.” He says
“What really happened. Between us.”
“Total bullshit. You know something happened because you blocked my numbers. Don’t deny it I know you did it.”
“So? You didn’t tell me crap about what I did. You went silent and blocked me. Last time I saw you I know was on a call but I tried to call you after and you let the phone ring and next thing was I got blocked. Did you find someone else?”
And if I did then what? I look at him. Seriously? That’s all he sees. Men only see what they want to see and not reality even if it slaps them in the face. He still doesn’t get it. I did what I had to do because I broke the terms of the contract. I broke a rule, the most important one. I fell in love with him and I know he wouldn’t want to be with me because all I was to him was “the girl he slept with, not some girl he wanted to date ever.” There is no winning in this, I’d lose again.
“I had to end it.” I answer
“Why? You couldn’t even tell me that? Just tell me you couldn’t do it again. Simple. We discussed this. Save our friendship first.”
Idiot. Must I spell it out for you?
I walk away. I don’t have time for this. He follows me.
“I miss you. A lot. I miss talking to you. I miss hanging out with you. I miss….”
“Sleeping with me? Right? Because there is nothing else to miss about me. That’s what you want right? What I’m not giving you at the moment.”
He keeps silent. This is what I call awkward silence.
“Look it was time to end the contract and I did just that. We had rules. End it whenever one wants. Why are you so shocked it ended?”
“Because I wasn’t ready. Come on. Did I do something bad?”
“You are my best friend. We are besties.”
“So you owe me an explanation, I deserve that much. I haven’t seen you in months. You have not been out with any of our friends in months either. Was it really that bad? Did I hurt you that bad?”
I get my car keys from my clutch and click the disarm button and I hear my car beep in front of me.
“Let’s have a drink. We can just hang out. I’ll follow you home and we use my car and go out do a drink. Just you and I. O’Hagans? Nothing more, nothing less. I’m not taking no for an answer.”
“I can drive myself to O’Hagans.”
Why am I thinking about driving myself to O’hagans. I should be heading home alone. To sleep. Or maybe cry!! Why isn’t reality a movie too. A man realizes he loves me and he tell me his feelings and we drive off for a session of true love. Why is love so complicated?
“I’m not letting you drive drunk.” He says
So he cares? But who the hell said I will be taking alcohol? Who said I will be drunk?
“Don’t you say no or I will follow you home. Either way it’s your house or O’Hagans. Decide.”
I look at his dark face and shrug.
I see his smile.
“So I’m following you home.” He says as he walks away excitedly.
I smile to myself. I’m such an idiot. I get in my car and drive. I keep looking in the rear view mirror making sure his car is still behind me as promised and it is. Why am I smiling like a nineteen year old girl who has met her soul mate for the first time. Nothing will come of this period. I will make sure of it. He only misses what my body can give him. I disappeared to give me time to heal and mend myself after I fell hard; I know that meant our friendship had to take a blow but we were the ones that destroyed it by blurring the lines. Never mix friendship and pleasure, it rarely ends well. But who ever listens? The drive home is short or I think it’s short because I have a man following me home. I park my car in my usual spot by the flats, locking it as I walk towards his car. My thoughts stray to walking away from him and to my flat, locking the door and going to sleep but I do no such thing instead I get into his car. He drives off as I secure myself with the seat belt.
“So you wanna tell me what happened now?”
“Come on Thandiwe. Don’t do this now. We are grown ups.”
“You left me hanging. Our friendship was hanging. Our contract was hanging.”
“I don’t want to talk about it.”
“You are a difficult lady. You know that right? You are difficult. Sometimes I wish you weren’t like this.”
“This difficult. Psychotic if not manipulative. You just freak me out sometimes with the way you act. I am glad I went for the stupid wedding because I got to find you.”
I look my clutch as a smile spreads on my face. Why the hell am I smiling? He called me psychotic. I keep silent because I’m afraid I will laugh if I say a word. He drives to woodlands mall and parks. I get out of his car and walk towards O’Hagans leaving him to lock his car and catch up with me. Oh my word its crowded. Not what I had in mind. We walk into the crowded bar, a soccer game is on and I can feel the excitement in the air as the people concentrate on the game. He waves at a few acquaintances and easily finds our friends and free seats for us at their table. This is will be an awkward night. I haven’t seen the guys in weeks because I didn’t want them reporting to him that I avoiding him alone while I still went out with the crew. I stayed away from one and all of them. Guys will be guys; It’s like I never disappeared, the guys hug me one after the other each of them asking me where I disappeared off to. I take off my coat and seat down grateful that I am dressed somewhat appropriate in my knee length strapless green dress and dark maroon heels. I know I look beautiful and the glances I get from the men helps boost my resolve that nothing will happen tonight with this punk of a guy I call my best friend. He sits next to me and has a glass of black label and lemonade delivered to the table before I tell him what I want to have. That’s how well he knows me, I actually missed my friend. I know we can’t talk for now with the noise in this place so he concentrates on the game which I have no care for while I concentrate on the glass in front of me. This will be a long night.
Is it necessary that you discuss what happened in the game after its over? The game ends in a draw after twenty-three thirty but the excitement is still evident as the guys around the table discuss and predict the coming week matches play and scores. I am on my fourth or is it fifth glass of my poison, barely listening to them talk because I have no interest; I am really not a soccer/football person so I keep quiet and listen to their arguments. Then again I don’t care because the whiskey has already had its effect on me as I feel light headed and happy for no apparent reason. I feel his hand on my thigh reaching out for my hand. I look at him and he’s looking at me with a smile on his face. Is he as happy as I am or am I’m looking for reasons to do what I know I want to do.
“Wanna go home? Or another glass of that?” He asks loudly. “You look bored.”
“I am bored. You know I don’t like soccer that much. Anyway it’s up to you. Do you want to go home now? Aren’t you still drinking and discussing the game?”
“I am sorry. This wasn’t the plan. The idea was you and I drink together alone. I forgot there was a game today. We should have gone somewhere else.”
“It’s ok. I don’t mind. Besides I got to see the guys too. Been a while.”
No judgment from them. Thank God. But do they know what happened between us? They should know. Men talk as much as females. Pretty sad if you ask me.
“I can drive you home right now if you want. So what’s your pick?”
He looks at me. Home. Which one? I let that hang in the air. I gulp of the last of my drink and nod; he stands up slowly helping me up. I do need the help. We say our goodbyes to our friends while he helps me into my coat and we leave. He holds my hand all the way to the car and he opens the door for me and helps me get on. I wonder why he’s being so nice to me. He drives out of the mall parking lot and he takes the independence avenue lane away from the direction of my flat. Kabulonga it is. His home it is then. I don’t object, I sit back and watch him drive. I keep quiet the entire drive, and so does he; what is there to say anyway.We get to his house and he parks the car, opens the door for me and he takes my hand and we walk to his house, gosh when I was last here I drove off in a hurry because I didn’t want him to see how I felt and here I was with him again. I never learn. And this time I know I will get broken. My poor heart. I ask for these problems.
We walk into his house and he locks the door.
“You want to bath or rest?” He asks.
“Come on.” He says
He leads me to his bedroom, I was on this bed months ago. Did he bring another while I was gone? Did he change his sheets? Do I even want to know the answer? Probably not.
“I have shirts in there and boxers are over there. Take your pick.”
He walks up to me and he wraps his arms around me. He smells nice, brings back amazing memories. Just one more time. This is the last time and I will never do this again. I will tell him why I ended it before.
“I need to bath. I’ll be back soon. You should rest.” He whispers and lets me go.
I watch him take off his loafers and socks, then unbutton his shirt and carry a towel and walk out of the room. I walk to his wardrobe and pick out a dark t-shirt, take off my heels, unzip my dress and fold it carefully to avoid wrinkles since I’ll be doing the walk of shame tomorrow. I smell his scent as I wear the T-shirt. Still the same. I switch off the bedroom lights and lie on the bed covering myself with his beddings. I know he will find me and wake me up when he gets back. I sleep on my back looking at endless darkness, looking for reasons to justify my actions for coming back to this bed, I find none that make sense. I close my eyes.
A power nap will do for now.
You never know how these nights go.
I open my eyes and see light streaming through the windows. It’s morning. I slept through the night? And he didn’t wake me up? That’s a first. I turn on the bed and see his side of the bed is empty. Here we go again. I slowly get off the bed when the door opens and he walks in dressed in blue jeans and T-shirt.
“Morning beautiful.” He says aloud.
I will not ask why he didn’t wake me up. I will simply ignore it.
“Are you leaving soon?” I ask
Gotta take a bath before my walk of shame which is not really a walk of shame because nothing happened. But who ever asks if anything happened?
“Nah. I am staying in today. We can chill. Together. All day. It’s been a while. Besides it’s your birthday and I have to make sure you have an amazing day.”
I smile. Too happy for my liking.
He remembered. And I almost forgot my own birthday.
“Why are you smiling?” He asks
My heart does the yay dance. He actually remembered my birthday.
“No reason. Just smiling.”
He laughs. I can tell he knows I am lying. He knows me too well. This is why he was my best friend. Is my best friend. He walks up to me and hugs me.
“I missed you. Body and all. Bestie.”
This is why I still love the man.
“I missed you too.” I whisper.
What does this mean? Are we back on as bed buddies again? Or is it more? Or maybe I am over thinking things again. Does he love me? I know he does as his best friend. But does he truly love me? Should I tell him how I feel? Or do I wait and see? What do I do?
“I owe you some birthday love.” He says aloud.
He kisses my neck.
“Happy Birthday Thandiwe. I love you.”
Wait is that an answer?