Pleasure and Pain (Episode 3)

At her house, I met Chidimma, Amaka and Gloria, the remaining two friends I met the other day. I chatted with them, exchanging stories and jokes. As the talks were ongoing, I noticed Chidimma looking at me and making different body gestures. Blimy! Anita saw her too! I don't fancy her, can't she get that it is Anita my heart yearns for. Yeah, I said it. I was officially in love with her. In just two days. Pretty fast huh? At least that's better than those that fall at first sight.

Later, the friends all filed out, each telling me to come around another time. That they enjoyed my company and all what not. But then, Chidimma acted again. She hugged me, completely flattening her boobs on my chest, all with Anita observing everything. What did I do to her please? Why has she decreed to ruin my chances with my goddess? Anyway, she later left, leaving me alone with her. She gave me an album to keep myself busy with whilst she bathed.

Twenty minutes later, she came out and came to my side.

“What is the occupation of your parents?" I inquired. I wanted to know all about her. And thanks to my near perfect memory I would retain everything she told me. “Well, my dad is a lawyer and my mum owns a boutique”, she said adjusting the bedspread. “What of yours?”, she asked finally focusing her sexy brown eyes on me.

“My dad is a retired lecturer and my mom currently is a principal of a secondary school. I come from a family of teachers,” I answered with pride. I'm proud of my parents and any time I spoke about them, it is with love and adoration.

“Wow, Nice. I hope they aren't as strict as many teachers that I know?”

“No, just that they have high standards. They don't suffocate us with rules and at the same time, they are not lax when it comes to discipline. They are my role models”, I enthused.

“Really nice”, she finally commented.

Few seconds in silence. And then she shouted. “Damn it Anita! You're such a bad host. My dear what can I get you?"

“Uhmmmm... I don't know. Anything soft will do,” I answered. I don't take alcohol but I knew that if she brought it, I would take it without looking back.

But as she stood to go and fetch me something, she slipped. And fell on top of me. Out of shock, I held out my hands and caught her. She finally landed on my chest and I looked into her hazel brown eyes and was lost. She seemed baffled too because she made no move to stand up. I was chained by the beauty of her eyes. Of her entire being. Slowly, the heat between us increased. The spark has been ignited and it continued growing till it became palpable.

Then she kissed me! And the explosion inside my head rivaled that of the big bang. She was delicious and so perfect. She tasted of honey and it filled my head, filled me as a whole. Then slowly she pulled away and sat up.

You know there are things you say and wonder if your mouth has developed a brain of its own. Or if your brain has no control over your mouth at all? Such was how I felt when I blurted out:

“Be my girlfriend Anita, I'm in love with you”. As soon as it came out, I just wished that Atlas or anyone holding the Earth should just topple it. Why would I be so flippant?

And her reaction further shamed me. She let out a guffaw. I didn't know what to do and I couldn't take back my words. “Don't mind me dear. I'm just surprised. No other guy has been so forward about his intentions this way. I must say I'm rather flattered by your offer but I am taken. I have a boyfriend and we're cool,” she finally said when she could talk.

So Ben you have finally succeeded in making a fool of yourself. No use crying over a spilt milk they say but I felt like lapping up the milk I just spilt. “It's OK. I understand”, I muttered.

“Please don't feel bad. I hope we can be be friends. I really like you and your company,” she said once again pinning me with her gaze. Did I have a choice? Of course I agreed that we would continue to be friends.

The rest of the evening passed in a haze. I could hardly concentrate. An hour later I left, once again promising to attend her birthday party.

        ***************************      
And so were the days before her birthday. Passing in a blur. I just went through the motions of every day life; eating, sleeping, reading and even breathing were just actions I took without any joy. Such was the magnitude of my feelings for her. My buddies tried their best in helping out (for I had told them everything about her and my feelings towards her) but the problem wouldn't get solved easily. It takes time. Or so I thought.

On the day of her party, I tried my best to maintain a happy mien, smiling at everything and everyone. When it was time to leave, I selected my best suit given to me by my uncle. I made sure I dressed well. Who knows, she might have a change of mind. Silly boy Ben! Get a grip on yourself.

As for the present I was to give her, I bought her a perfume if fifteen thousand naira. Pretty costly right? She merits it.

At the party, she actually came with her boyfriend in tow and gave pecks on both cheeks. Afterwards she introduced me to some of her friends. Then she left. What am I supposed to do in a sea of strangers? I walked about until I saw her. Oh not Anita again but Chidimma. Truth be told she was looking rather resplendent in her black gown with golden ribbon around the waist region. She was wearing heels, six inch, I think. She saw me and came over.

“Hi handsome. You are looking nice,” she complemented as she edged closer to me. “I never thought I would see you this lonely. But of course fate has a way of making things go smoothly”.

“Hi Chidimma. I think...”, I said as Anita came along.

“Oh! Perfect. I was actually thinking of dates for the both of you; but since you guys are together, it's just as well. I don't need to bother again. Treat her well Ben”, she said as she flitted away, my gaze trailing her. She was so magnificent.

“It seems we are stuck together handsome. Let's make the best of it”, said Chidimma as she made an annoying pout at me.

So was how I kept being sad at the party not knowing that a heartbreaking, gut-wrenching moment was to come. It was when I heard Anita's squeal of exquisite pleasure. As I turned, I saw her giving him a rib-crushing hug. He took the microphone and announced.

“My dear Anita, happy birthday to you. As a gift, I present the keys to a KIA Rio car parked outside. The car is yours”. A thunderous ovation followed his little speech and I felt morose. I should be happy for her right? But I wasn't. Rather I felt alone. Sorrowful. Why can't I get this one girl? Anita was busy gushing over him. She ran out to see her car alongside many of her friends.

That was when the devil and frustration combined forces. I left for the restroom to relieve myself and regain myself. Unbeknownst to me, Chidimma followed me. As I went inside, she came in and closed the door.

“Why did you do that?, I inquired. I was in no mood for any of her games.

“Oh my baby. I saw you. I saw how sorrowful your eyes were inside there. I truly understand your pain, your agony. But I am here for you. You see, unlike you, she doesn't understand what you're going through. She doesn't care. But I do Sweetheart. I can soothe your pain. Just let me”, she said softly as she edged closer like a stalking lioness, measuring her pace and matching it with that of her prey.

Is it true? Doesn't Anita care at all? Obviously I'm not the one she loves. She didn't even notice me. Should I accept this offer?

Such were the train of thoughts that were crisscrossing in my head. Before I knew it, I grabbed her by the waist and launched my mouth onto hers; kissing, biting, sucking it. She let out a gasp and kissed me back. It was a hot and demanding kiss, letting me know what she has kept boiled up since. I kissed her more dragging her closer and rubbing my groin against hers. Then she let out a low moan. And my senses returned.

What are you doing Ben? I queried myself? Is this how you are going to prove to Anita you loved her? What if she saw you? You should be ashamed of yourself. I kept on berating myself for losing control.

“What happened dear? Any problem?”, asked Chidimma.

“No. Not at all. It's.... I can't just do this. I'm sorry”, I replied as I arranged my clothes. “Can you help me in giving Anita this gift. Tell her I had to leave in a hurry. Please”, I pleaded as I saw the cold, calculating look she gave me.

“OK. No problem. I will deliver it to her”, she said as she tried to maintain the remnants of her dignity.

Then I left, turning back to see the look of pure hurt and the shame of rejection in her eyes. My heart went out to her. But I couldn't do anything. My heart belonged to Anita, no one else. It was something I was to regret.

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