Hi everybody, please forgive the lateness of this post. I am very sorry.
Lola was buried in her phone as she tweeted about the recent elections that had just been conducted in the country. She had taken a long leave off the internet ever since she got married. She was ‘back and better’…well, she consoled herself with that. She had missed the social media buzz. It did give a sense of relevance to her world back then before she knew Alex and now that he was gone, maybe it was time to return to what she once found solace in. She was one of the brightest persons online, and maybe she even succeeded in her field. But she was never really happy. Alex came and it all changed. As she echoed her views on the new President of the Federation through the harsh tapping of her fingers on her phone’s screen, she cast her mind back to two years ago when she had met Alex in this same bar. Same spot. She missed him. And maybe now that she was pregnant with his baby, she would have many more reasons to want him back, but then…we don’t always get what we want…do we? She stopped for a moment to think about her life, this was not what she wanted. She didn’t want to be the woman who ‘went after another man’. She might not have been depicted as ‘chasing George’, but this was not like her. She knew where her heart did lie…it was with Alex. Not George. And maybe she’d love George someday…or maybe she’d never…maybe she could just try…but what didn’t seem certain to her was the possibility of forgiving Alex again.
She stopped thinking for a moment when she realised she was in the process of tweeting about her personal life amidst her political tweets. These things are not very easy. One moment you are steering in the right direction and before you know it, you are writing something entirely different. That was happening to her.
She turned and smiled at George. “Hi.”
He took a seat beside her. “You came.”
She nodded sheepishly. But he can see me na. “Yes, I came.” She replied with a smile. “Are you ready?”
“Yes, I…I sing in about ten minutes.” He started. “You would really love this one.” He added. “I…I got the inspiration for it from something very interesting and I don’t want to share it with you…at least, not yet.”
She took a moment as she stared at him. A lot of things about George dazed her. Maybe she could just ask. “You wrote “She” for me from first glance. Why?”
“Lola, I fell in love with you that day.” He replied.
She sat up. “How do you just fall in love? How does anyone just fall in love?” She asked. “There were a lot of uncertainties that day. I was rude to you just in case you have forgotten and most importantly, I was married-”
“WAS.” George cut in immediately. He stared at her hand. “You got divorced?”
Lola swallowed. “I…I-”
“You left him?” he asked. “Lola…”
She nodded. “Yes, I did.”
“You said you loved him.” He said.
Lola stared at him. “Everyone is going to hurt you.” She replied and took a deep breath. “Alex is worth suffering for.”
George clenched his teeth. “Err…you got a divorce.”
Lola nodded and smiled faintly. “I guess I regret that.”
“Why are you playing with me?” George asked.
Lola blinked. “Excuse me?
“You came here. It means something, right?” George asked. His phone vibrated and he read the message. “I have to go backstage. I am up now. I’ll be back.” He said, standing up. “You’ll be here, right?”
Lola nodded dumbly. “Yeah.”
George sighed and walked away.
Lola ran her fingers through her hair and then sipped her drink. Maybe she was doing too much by coming around George too… and maybe she wasn’t wrong to want to try loving again. ‘Damn! What am I doing here?’
She managed a smile as George took the applause of the crowd and set his guitar and microphone.
“This song is dedicated to a special lady… Actually, she has been the only lady I have been able to write about since I met her.” He said with a soft chuckle which got the crowd giggling too. He fixed his gaze on Lola. “Every woman is beautiful and colourful…but only one woman can actually give bright colours to your life. I badly want this woman to be mine.” He said with a smile.
Lola tried to look away as everyone seemed to be looking in her direction all of a sudden. She felt as though she should creep into the ground.
“…and maybe she would never be mine.” George added. “I’ll just sing.” He concluded as he struck the Guitar strings.
Lola’s heart raced fast to George’s melancholic tune. He sang with so much sorrow and optimism at the same time. He managed a smile amidst his obvious pain and the looks from the other people in the room made Lola more uncomfortable.
A cocktail was set before her and she instantly stared at the waiter. “I didn’t order another drink.” She said. With the way people stared at her, it wouldn’t be odd if she had gotten a drink from anyone of them.
“Sorry, it’s mine.” Alex said as he took his seat beside her. The waiter left immediately. “Is the seat taken?” he asked with a trademark smile. He wore such cocky simpers when trying to impress.
Lola’s heart skipped a beat as she stared at him.
“Hi.” He said with a smile.
Lola was speechless.
“It’s okay to be silent. I have that effect on women.” He said as he sipped his drink.
Lola blinked and then returned her focus on George who had not stopped looking at her…or rather, them.
Lola stared at Alex again. He was wearing the same suit he had worn two years ago when they first met. How could she forget? It was their spot too…same seat. Deja vu?
Alex turned to her. “You can’t stop staring at me, ma’am.” He said with a smile. “It’s okay, I’ll let you have a good view.” He added. “You know…I think I was in this same seat two years ago. Two years. Time flies, right?”
Lola remained stupefied. She then refocused on George but her plan to use him as a distraction wasn’t working. She grabbed her purse and hurried out of the bar. Alex adjusted his jacket and cast one glance at George before he hurried after her.
“Lola!” Alex called as he chased her into the parking space.
Lola stopped and stared at him.
“I thought you were the music ardent.” He started as he approached her. “Never thought I’d see you walk out without the musician leaving the stage.” He said with a smile as he got to her.
The distance from your palm to another person’s cheek could be really short depending on your pain. Lola took a deep breath as she shook her wrist.
“I deserve that.” Alex said as he nursed his cheek.
Lola clenched her teeth. “Leave me alone, Alex.”
“Lola, I love you and I have been stupid and I am sorry.” He said as he took her hand. She yanked out of his grip immediately. He smiled faintly. “You are still into me.” He said with a cocky smile.
Lola sighed. “You flatter yourself, Alex. I am never getting back with you.”
“Lola, I miss you.” Alex said.
She tried to avoid his gaze as she rattled her keys. “I have to be on my way.”
“We had plans, you know? We were going to love each other…raise a family, have wonderful kids, be amazing parents and lovers. Lola, we were going to be a team.” Alex started. “What happened to us, Lola?”
Lola forced back her tears. “Stop bringing up the past, Alex. We are history. There is nothing to bring us together. There’s nothing.” She replied.
Alex took a deep breath. “I thought we had more love than this.”
“I thought you loved me enough not to hurt me.”
Alex groaned. “Damn it, Lola! I messed up! I know it! I am sorry! But you can’t keep doing this to us! I miss you! I love you and I want us back and I am fighting with every vein I have got in me! Forgive me! Please, Lola! For the love of God, put your pride aside and forgive me.” he ranted and then caught his breath.
Lola stared at him. She had been dazed by him. She was lost for words and didn’t even know how to attack him back. She blinked and took a deep breath. “Please show up at the notary’s office so we can get this marriage annulled.” She said calmly.
The door opened and George stared at Lola. She caught his gaze but her face held no emotions. He was worried. She was there with her ex-husband. That might mean something. He watched Alex as he stood before Lola. He didn’t look like he was going to give up on his wife anytime soon. You don’t let someone good go. George felt sorry for himself. He was in love with a woman in love with her husband but whose hot head wouldn’t give her the opportunity to let him back. He didn’t know how best to put up a fight against a woman in love…some battles could be really hard to win. Alex had his chance and he blew it, he wouldn’t be totally at fault to try.
“Hey Lola.” George said as he approached them.
Lola turned in his direction. “George.”
“Is everything alright here?” George asked.
Alex stepped forward. “Who are you to ask that question?”
George stared at Lola and then at Alex. “I am her friend.”
“And I am-” Alex replied and held back before he could say another word. “I…I guess I am somebody.” He said silently and then turned to Lola. “This is us, right? Lola? Me? You? Us? Is this it?”
Lola blinked as she looked away.
“Lola, do you still love me?” Alex asked. He turned and noticed that they had more company as people from inside the bar had now joined the scene. He took a deep breath and stared at Lola. “Lola, do you still love me? Please.”
She stayed silent.
“Okay, Lola. I still love you and I know I hurt you badly and I hate myself for it. Lola, I am terribly sorry. Maybe I would never be able to repair the hurt and pain you feel inside and maybe we would never be cool again, but I am sorry and I really want you back. Lola, please, forgive me.” Alex pleaded.
Lola gasped as she stared at the crowd and then back at Alex.
“Lola, I am sorry.” Alex said.
George stared at her and at the tension that was slowly mounting. He knew it was time for him to make his move. “Do you want to go home?” he asked.
Lola nodded and led the way as George followed quickly behind her.
Alex’s heart ached as he watched her leave. How do you step outside when everything was going right? Alex thought to himself. If only he had respected and loved his wife as much as she deserved and had not been a fool, he wouldn’t have found himself in this position. Alex couldn’t blame Lola for being mad at him. She had fallen in love and married a man she thought would love her forever, and yes, he was crazy about her too and he did want to love her forever, but he had betrayed her and caused her to resent him so much that she didn’t want to give another thought to what was between them. He was tired of thinking. He had to go back to the house…it stopped being his home the day Lola left.
“Show is over.” He said to the onlookers who had not yet gone back to their businesses and then left for his car.
Jude smiled as Doubra walked into the house. “Doubra…I never thought I’d see the day that you would pay me a visit.” He said.
Doubra hissed. “If I had known that you had moved your leeching ass down here to Alex’s house, I wouldn’t have come.”
“Is that how much you hate me?” Jude asked with a laugh.
She stared at him. “I gave you my number after the wedding and you never called.”
“Doubra, are you kidding me? You are still holding a grudge from about a year ago? We were both busy that day, it was Alex and Lola’s wedding. I didn’t even remember that we exchanged numbers.” Jude replied with a smile.
She nodded. “Exactly my point. You must have forgotten me so soon even though I was the bride’s maid.”
Jude smiled. “If I had known that you held this against me, we would have talked about it and this would have been history.”
“Whatever. I am not here for you.” Doubra said.
“Hmmm….interesting. Then why are you here? It is late and Alex is not home.” Jude replied as he took a seat.
Doubra stared at him. “Where is he?”
“I am not telling you until you tell me why you are here.” He replied and picked up the TV control. “Speak or forever remain silent.” He announced as he started to change the channels.
“I have something important to tell him. This is about Lola.” She replied.
Jude stared at her with a smile. “Really? Let me guess, you are still feeling bad about the role you have played in their separation, right?”
“What role have I played? All I have done is support my friend.” She replied.
He nodded. “We both have our fair share in this drama and you know it.” He said with a smile. “Do you want something to drink?” he asked.
Doubra ignored him as she took her seat. “When do you think Alex would be back?”
“That is dependent on how his meeting with this beautiful lady went.” Jude replied.
Doubra frowned. “He doesn’t learn, right?” she asked, standing up.
“Babe, chill. He went after Lola.” Jude replied with a smile.
Doubra heaved a sigh of relief. “Oh…in that case, my work is done here.”
“Really? But you just got here. Stay a while longer.” Jude said.
She stared at him. “You must think I am one of them, right?”
“No. I don’t see you like the regular girls I kick it with. You are quite different and I really like you.” Jude said.
Doubra hissed. “Good night, Jude.”
Jude smiled as he walked her to the door. “You know what they say about a lady pretending not to like a guy?”
“Nothing. They say nothing about that lady.” She replied, opening the door.
Jude nodded. “Fine. I just think we should have lunch together someday. We don’t work too far from each other on the island. You could just join me for a cup of coffee and some snacks.”
She smiled faintly. “Snacks and coffee. Is that the best you can do?”
“I didn’t know you were interested in having lunch with me.” He said with a smile. “So, is that a date?” he asked.
Doubra shrugged. “Give me time to think about it.”
“Monday at noon.” Jude replied. “I’ll send the address to you.” He said.
She blinked. “You still have my number?”
Jude smiled. “Doubra…Doubra…Doubra, we used to be friends. Of course, I have your number.”
“We were never friends. You were the best man and I was the bride’s maid.” She replied.
He nodded. “I remember that part too, and I think we really did share a connection. Right?”
She walked out without another word. As she walked over to her car, she processed what just happened. She found herself giving Jude more audience than necessary. Maybe the pressure of being single was getting to her more than she thought.
Jude didn’t fit the part of any of the good men in town. He was the complete opposite of everything called good. She knew she couldn’t be giving herself the opportunity to think on it, else, she might find herself in some love tangle.
George stared at Lola as she downed another shot of whiskey. “I never knew you drank so much.” He said when she had licked her lime.
She stared at him. Her eyes held tears. “I guess you never know what you are capable of until you are faced with it.”
“I take it as you couldn’t win the battle with liquors.” He said as he sipped his juice.
Lola scoffed. “What is it? Are you trying to correct me for drinking or you are trying to justify the fact that you can’t take a bottle of alcohol.”
George took a deep breath. “Lola, you don’t have to run to the bottle when you have nowhere else to go.” He said. “I am not trying to justify myself either, I just think that there are better ways to deal with this.”
“How?! Tell me! What am I supposed to do with myself? Just look at me! I am a mess. I love Alex. He hurt me. I can’t help but feel this way!” she shouted and drank some more. She belched and then turned to George. “Sorry.” She said and gathered herself. “I was perfect. I didn’t want anything to go wrong. I worked so hard to be the right wife, the right lover, the right pal, the right trophy, the right everything.” She added and then smiled faintly. “Maybe my perfection was my undoing. Perfection is fear.”
George blinked. He was wasting his time thinking Lola would love him someday. It was evident. He didn’t understand why he stayed headstrong and didn’t move on with his life. He watched her as she drank on and on. He didn’t want to stop her. He didn’t see the need to help her. She was sorrowful and maybe liquor did help a sad person. Maybe he’d just watch her drink till she could drink no more.
“George?” Lola called.
He stared at her. “Yes?”
“What do you want from me?” she asked.
He took a deep breath. “I am in love with you, Lola.”
Lola shook her head and smiled. She then lifted George’s face. “I can never love you. I am sorry.”
“I am a woman in love with another man.” She replied. “And I think he is sorry and I think I want to be with him but I don’t know if I can’t wake up without been scared that he’ll hurt me again.”
George cleared his throat. “Lola, you love him. He loves you. What’s the problem? He hurt you. Yes, he was wrong, but if you don’t learn to trust love again, you are going to end up sad. No, not sad. You’ll end up bitter…and worse, alone. I don’t think you’ll love anyone again…if it’s not Alex. So, accept his apology, try again, Lola. For your own sake.”
“And my baby.” She added.
George blinked. “Excuse me?”
Lola chuckled. “Yeah…I am pregnant.” She added with a laugh that turned into tears. “Lord, I am so pregnant.” She said and drank from another bottle.
George pulled the bottle from her. “Are you crazy? Do you know what you can do to yourself and the baby?” he asked.
Lola cleaned her tears and sprawled on the table. “I want to go home.”
She yawned. “I am just so tired. Take me home, George. Take me with you.” She said as she fell asleep.
George took a deep breath as he stared at her. She was indeed beautiful. Her hair was all messed up. She now had black tears adorning her face from the mascara in her eyes. She looked a mess, but still very beautiful. Lola would be any man’s gem. He knew he wasn’t wrong to love her. Maybe he’d do better than Alex if she was his. Maybe he’d love her so much he’d wash the floor she threaded upon. Maybe he’d do everything right too. But he knew he had to face the truth, Lola would never be his even if she did end up with him. He knew what home meant. He knew what it meant for him and what it meant for Lola. This was looking like his last shot at anything. Maybe he had the chance of doing what a man would do.
He stared at Lola’s phone and dialled Alex.