“Let them watch, I don’t care. I am here for just only one person and to me, none of those people exist okay? Waiting for your order dear,” Michael replied Rose.
“Hmmm, a plate of rice and water will be okay,” Rose said.
“No soft drinks?” Michael asked.
“No please, I don’t take much sugar. I have taken ice cream already. I thought you doctors say it’s not good for one’s health.”
“Well, it’s okay, I do take soft drinks once in a while though.”
Michael went over to the service point to take their order while Rose waited at the table. Her phone rang, you can guess who the caller was. Yes, David.
For the first time during the outing, she felt guilty, she glanced round as if to check if her husband was watching. If it was a platonic friendship she had with Michael, why was she feeling guilty? But of course, there was more to it than ordinary likeness, they had both grown feelings for each other and here was her own husband calling her. She decided not to pick the call. She quietly switched off her phone before Michael came back to the table.
They both ate their meal and talked about all sorts of issues. Michael did most of the talking and they both really got along with each other like they’ve been friends for years.
“I feel so lonely these days,” Michael said suddenly after they were done eating. “I have missed Eliz a lot, I feel like having her and Daniella, my daughter around me, I have missed them both.” He looked sober for some minutes. Rose felt for him, she knew what it meant for someone to be lonely. She felt like gathering him into her arms that minute and cuddle him like a baby.
What woman in her right senses would abandon a man like this, such a nice, caring and romantic man? And I am here suffering from being abandoned by my own husband. What a crazy world! she thought.
She held out her hands and took hold of Michael’s hands and said, “I am sorry Michael, I understand how you feel.”
“You do?” Michael interrupted her. You can’t Rose, you have your husband and daughter with you but I stay alone. That house is gradually becoming like a prison. I spend most of my time at work just to reduce the loneliness but it’s all the same. I love Eliz a lot, if not I would have given my heart to someone else.
“If you weren’t married Rose, I would have married you right away. You are the first woman my heart has ever melted for since Eliz left me. The very first day I set my eyes on you at that party, my heart cleaved to you.”
“Party? What party?” Rose cut in confused. She had met him on the roadside on her way to work but now he was talking about a party.
“Don’t mind me Rose, I am beginning to lose my mind,” Michael replied still wearing a sober look.
Rose thought of a way to bring him out of the mood, she felt so much pain seeing him in this state.
“Do you mind if I keep your company like this once in a while, probably on weekends, just to get you out of the loneliness for the time being?”
“Of course, I will love it. I feel like seeing you everyday of my life Roseline. You have stolen my heart, I can’t say how or why but I like you a lot and I wish you are mine.”
Rose began to feel uncomfortable. “But Michael, I can’t be yours you know. I am married, I can only pray that your wife comes back to you on time. I wish I wasn’t married too, I would have given my heart to you.”
“Really?” Michael said opening his eyes wide.
Rose immediately regretted the last statement she made.
That had gone too far, she thought. She sighed and said, “Yes Michael, but as it is now, I am married, my heart belongs to another.” Even though she wasn’t really sure if her heart was still with her husband anymore, she was just loving this new man with each passing minute.
She checked her wristwatch. “I have to go now Michael, it’s 8:35pm already.
“It’s getting late, I need to pick my daughter before going home.”
“Please don’t,” Michael pleaded. “Stay with me some more.”
“I can’t Michael, we both know I can’t,” Rose replied, not able to look into his eyes. She picked up her bag. “Shall we go now, please Michael? I promise to chat you up on WhatsApp tonight till you are ready to go to bed,” she added smiling, knowing the effect that would have on him.
“Okay darling,” Michael said, as he rose to his feet. His countenance brightened up.
Meanwhile, David had become restless, he had lost his peace. The fact that Rose ignored his calls troubled him a lot. He decided to leave Benin that Saturday morning against his former decision to leave on Sunday morning. He didn’t like his schedules being interrupted but he didn’t seem to care this time around. He was eager to know what had gone wrong with his dear wife.
Michael dropped Roseline at the entrance of the estate because she insisted. She thought it not safe for Michael to drive her into the estate, one can never tell, anybody could see her. She said goodbye to Michael and just as she was about to alight from the car, he grabbed her left wrist, and said:
“Roseline, not even a goodnight kiss?”