The following morning, Ade got up, mumbled “good morning” and started getting dressed. His movements were slow and deliberate, he didn’t couldn’t tell how he was feeling, he wasn’t even sure he was feeling anything. Julia simply lay there under the covers, staring at him, an unreadable expression on his face. He studiously avoided her gaze. When he was done dressing, he mumbled a quiet “bye” she still had not said a word to him. As he let himself out, she finally asked “Why?” He paused mid stride and then stepped out the apartment. “Why what?” he wondered. His thoughts were muddled up and he just wanted to get away as quickly as possible.
Over the next couple of weeks, Ade carefully avoided Julia. It was not as if they usually ran into each but he made extra effort to avoid spots where they could run into each other.
One evening about a month later, Ade had just received a letter from Teni, he could not bring himself to respond in his usual manner. It felt as if his guilt dripped off every line of the letter, as if she could tell what he had done from his professions of love and from his complaints about the lecturer who talked in a monotone that made you want to sleep off immediately. Eventually he tore up the long letter he had written and then wrote down what appeared to be the same letter.
That night, he lay in his bed unable to sleep, he couldn’t get his mind of Julia, he kept flashing back to that night with Julia, he wondered what had made her do it. He didn’t question why he went along with it, he couldn’t bring himself to face why he did, couldn’t acknowledge it, he was not just ready. But why did she, was it because of the weather, was she lonely, did she have feelings for him, had she always had feelings for him? He did not know what the answers were but he felt a crushing need to know. He also kept thinking how he had betrayed Teni, how they both had. Eventually he sat up on the edge of the bed and checked the time on his trusty old leather watch, it was eleven forty five P.M so he threw on a shirt, put on a pair of sandals and walked the distance to Julia’s place.
He tapped on her door lightly and when there was no response he said in a really low voice “Julia its Ade” , it was as if he didn’t want her to hear him, didn’t want her to open the door, yet he stood there. She opened the door almost immediately; she stared at him for a few moments and then turned around and walked back into the room. He walked in after her and sat on the edge of the nearest seat to the door. She sat cross-legged and tucked her hands in between her legs, her eyes trained on the hands. After a few moments of awkward silence, she shrugged and then looked at him, a strange smile on her face. In that moment of awkwardness, it crossed Ade’s mind that she both scared and intrigued him. There was also a feeling that he couldn’t just place or name, but it was there.
“So how have you been?” he eventually asked
“It’s been a while”
“I said fine”
He threw her a puzzled look and repeated his earlier statement “I said it’s been a while”
“And I said fine”
His puzzlement deepened and he could not come up with anymore light banter.
“You’ve been avoiding me, that’s why it’s been a while and that’s fine by me so; fine” she eventually broke the silence.
“No it’s not like that”
“Really what is it like? We are adults ok, at least I am, so you really don’t owe me any explanations”
“No. . .”
“Please let me finish, I shouldn’t have thrown myself at you like that but even if I was not going to regret my doing it, your reaction ensured that I did.”
She held up her hand as he opened his mouth to speak. “Not even a word, you just walked out on me like that, how do you think that made me feel? And even when I asked you a question you just acted like I had said nothing, you just walked out like I was a whore and you were done with me” she paused for breath and he plunged in.
“I do not think you are a whore, like you said we are both adults and we are responsible for our actions, at least in equal measure, I was just confused at the time and I did not understand your question, you just said ‘why’? I didn’t know why what, I still don’t know” he said all of this in one long breath.
“So now that you are no longer confused, what do you think?”
“I don’t know, I really don’t”
“I thought you said you were no longer confused”
“No I said I was confused at the time”
“Meaning you no longer are”
“Ok I still am”
“Then let me make it easy for you, do you love her like really, really do?”
“Yes I do” he answered without hesitation
“And you are planning to marry her?”
“Errm we haven’t quite gotten to that point yet”
“Why are you are you here at this time of the night?”
“I couldn’t sleep”
“So what are you doing with me?”
“What?” Ade was now thoroughly confused and at a loss of words.
“Oh I get it, it was just a one night stand right?”
“No, it wasn’t”
“It wasn’t? Meaning you’ll do it again? Or that we are in some sort of relationship?”
When Ade remained silent, she continued, “If you really do love her, I think you should leave now”
She stared at him expectantly and after a few moments he got up to leave.
“Oh wait a minute, I have something for you” she said as he got to the door. This time Ade didn’t walk away, he turned around and looked at her.
“I’ll be just a minute”, she said and walked into the adjoining room, she came back almost immediately, walked right up to him, took his right hand and placed a white strip of plastic in his hand. He looked at her, thoroughly baffled
“What is this?”“I’m sorry, I do not wish to complicate this any further but those two blue lines there mean that I am pregnant” she said tonelessly.
Stay tuned for episode 10 next week Friday. Please, like, comment, share and subscribe.