Lola was going to meet Alex and everything was going to be fine. She had assured herself. She had prayed. Her parents backed her…and most importantly, she had a nice dress on. There was something about black gowns. They oozed some level of confidence, beauty and ultimately sexiness. Lola knew this. She was probably needing all the adjectives tonight but the latter would make more meaning to her night. She touched her face with some powder before she decided to use the car horn. She had to look beautiful…this was her moment.
The foot gate opened and the security guard ran over to her with a smile. “Madam, good evening.”
“Good evening.” Lola replied. “Is your Oga in?”
“No, ma.” He replied.
Lola smiled. “Open the gate then.”
“I don’t think he will be back soon. He travelled.” He replied.
Lola gasped. “Travelled?”
“Yes, ma.” He affirmed with a nod.
Lola ran her hand through her hair. She picked her phone and dialled nervously. No response. She dialled Jude’s number. No response.
Lola stared at the guard. “Did…Did he say where he was going?” she asked with wet eyes. She feared she had pushed Alex too far.
The guard shook his head. “He didn’t tell me, but Oga Jude will be back.”
“Okay…just open the gate.” Lola said with a sigh.
Lola dialled Doubra as soon as she walked into the house. “Alex is not here.”
“Oh? Where is he?” Doubra asked from the other end of the line.
Lola took her seat. “Doubra…”
“Hang on…I have to get the door.” Doubra replied.
“I’ll just call you back.” Lola said as she hung up. Lola walked into the kitchen. Alex kept it clean. She ran her fingers through the board and smiled faintly.
She returned to the living room and took a seat. She hated herself for being too mad at Alex. Maybe she had succeeded in pushing him away. What was she even doing in the house? She didn’t want to go back to her parents. She wanted her home back. She wanted Alex back.
She tried calling him again. He wasn’t answering his phone. Maybe she needed to stop trying. Or maybe she was right to keep trying. She dialled again.
“What are you doing here?” Doubra asked as she opened the door.
Jude smiled. “I came to say hi.”
“Oh really? Why?” she asked.
Jude rubbed his palm. “Aren’t you going to let me in? It’s cold out here, you know.”
“You and I have nothing to discuss. So, I can’t let you in.” She replied and tried to shut the door.
Jude stuck his leg in the door. “Doubra…I think something caught me.”
“Cut you?” she asked.
He shook his head. “I mean, like here.” He said, holding his chest.
“What do you want, Jude?” Doubra asked. “I have a lot to do.”
He nodded. “So, I was driving Alex to the airport today because the guy is exhausted. There is so much tension between him and Lola and he needs to breathe and as we drove, he was crying. My guy cried for the first time, like, real tears…do you understand what it is for a guy to actually shed tears? I mean, at first, I was surprised, I…I had to laugh and then later, I couldn’t laugh because I knew he was hurting so much. That guy is hopelessly in love with Lola and I don’t even know what to say or how to even tell him that I am sorry for ever letting him stray.” He said. “Why am I telling you this? I…I think Love is beautiful, I think maybe I haven’t experienced it the right way and maybe that’s why I…I am such a jerk and of all my several conquests, I have never found a reason to stay…but Alex found this in Lola and I wish I could find it, I want to love somebody, I want to be loved.”
Doubra folded her arms. “Jude?”
“Yeah?” he asked.
She took a deep breath. “Where is Alex now?”
“Are you concerned about Alex or about my feelings?” he asked.
She laughed. “Feelings? You have not said a thing about feelings, and quite frankly, I am not bothered. So, where is Alex?”
“He is at the airport.” Jude replied. “I dropped him at the airport to come and see you. Doubra, I think I like you…I mean, like I think I really do like you…and it is taking me a lot to admit it. But, yes, I like you.”
Doubra nodded slowly. “So, if I get you right, Alex is going to board soon…and you are here telling me some revelation you just had when we are meant to stop him?”
“Why stop him? The brother needs a break.” He replied.
Doubra gasped. “If I heard Lola correctly, she is at his house.”
She nodded. “Call Alex. Tell him not to board!”
Jude fetched his phone and dialled immediately. He stared at Doubra. “Alex isn’t answering.”
“I’ll call Lola and tell her we are going to the airport. I’ll go get my keys.” Doubra said.
“Let’s take my car.” Jude offered.
Lola was almost sure that she was in a personal race with every other motorist that occupied the road. Her horns blared louder and she wished she had a siren alarm to help her cause at this stage.
“Alex, pick up!” she yelled as she stepped on the pedal.
She was going to hate herself if she lost Alex. Maybe he was going to come back from his trip someday and return to her…or maybe he would find peace with himself and move on. She wasn’t taking the chance on ‘Maybe’s. She was tired of holding on to her anger, she wanted it to be fine.
She took the next turn sharply, incurring the wrath of other motorists. She couldn’t be bothered. One, she couldn’t listen to them cussing at her. Two, she had her eyes on reaching the airport. With every passing second, she was closer…but then, the time wasn’t standing still for her.
“I know I sound selfish right now, but have you even given me a thought?” Jude asked as he drove.
“NO!” Doubra replied sharply. “Focus on the road.”
Jude nodded as he drove on. “I should have called you after the wedding. I just didn’t want my mumu button activated, but I guess you can’t run from some things.” He continued.
Doubra took a glance at him and then stared outside the window. Was she happy? Maybe…Was she confused? Sure. Did she want this? Oh…yeah!
“Doubra?” Jude called.
She stared at him with a frown. “Just drive!”
Jude grinned. “You do know there are several meanings to that, right?” he asked.
Doubra rolled her eyes.
“Hmm…Doubra, what is going on in your head?” Jude asked as he pulled up.
Doubra screamed. “Jude, we have to be at the airport.”
“But we are here.” He replied.
Doubra pushed the door opened and made for the entrance.
Lola ran through the airport hall. “Alex!” she screamed as she pushed through the crowd.
She stopped to catch her breath and then looked around. Where was his flight headed? She had not asked Doubra when she called. She looked up to the screen to read the flight directions. Doubra had said he had a flight for seven pm. Who was she kidding? She had missed Alex after all.
She couldn’t hold her tears back as they flowed freely. She helped herself to a seat. She wished she could change the past and take it all back – all the anger, the pain, the yelling, the fight, and then maybe they could just have them – just she and Alex. She wanted to take it all back to the first moment she had met him at Clandestine. Every gorgeous moment of their love story was going to make sense to her if she could have it all back. She was going to trust him again, they were going to live through this…they would come out stronger. She was positive…but he wasn’t here.
Lola looked up and stared at Jude and Doubra. “I didn’t make it.” She said.
Jude stared at Doubra and then back at Lola. “We are sorry.”
“Yeah…I am too.” She replied. “This is all my fault. If I…If I had been a little less angry, you know? He said he was sorry…and I was angry. We spoke today, he said maybe we needed time apart and now, he is gone.” She said amidst tears. “I should have told him to stay, I should have told him that we were going to be fine.”
Jude clenched his teeth and knelt before Lola. “He loves you, you know?” he asked as he wiped her tears.
“I’ll be alright.” Lola replied. “I’ve got this.” She said as she wiped tears. “No, I haven’t got this.” Lola said as her tears flowed again.
Doubra hugged her friend tight. “I am here for you.”
“I-want-him-back.” Lola said in tears. “I am not angry anymore.”
Doubra wiped her tears. “It’s okay, Lola.”
“I want it all back. I want Alex. I can’t live without him.” Lola said. “Alex is everything, this is going to be so hard without him.”
Lola’s eyes popped. That was Alex’s voice. She turned and saw Alex with his bag. “A-Alex!” she said as she ran into his arms.
“I am so sorry.” Alex said as he swept her off the floor.
Doubra stared at Jude. “How is he still here?”
“I guess the idiot couldn’t leave after all.” Jude replied as he watched Alex and Lola locked in a kiss some metres ahead of them.
Doubra smiled. “I miss them.”
“Well, they are back.” Jude replied. “What do you think about us writing our own version?”
“Not in this life.” Doubra replied and walked away from him.
Jude smiled as he watched her walk away.
Alex stared at Lola. “I can’t believe you are here.”
“Me too…” Lola replied.
He stroked her hair. “I couldn’t go. I…I just couldn’t go on without you.”
“You were definitely going to come back, loser.” Lola replied with a chuckle.
Alex smiled. “I see…you were the one crying minutes ago.”
Lola nudged him. “Don’t make mockery of my plight.”
Alex dipped his hand into his pocket and fetched Lola’s ring. “I have always had it with me.”
Lola smiled as he slipped the ring onto her finger. “Alex…you are such a lady.”
Alex chuckled. “Let’s go home, Lola. Let’s start over. I’ll always be there for you. I’ll take care of you. I’ll love you with all my heart and everything I am. I’ll-”
Lola raised an eyebrow. “-You mean us?”
“Us?” Alex asked, confused.
Lola nodded with a sheepish grin. “Yeah…us…”
Lola took his hand and placed it on her stomach.
“No way!” Alex exclaimed in joy.
Lola smiled. “We’ve just made our own team.”
“Oh my…I am going to be a Father!” Alex gasped as he pulled Lola close for a hug. “When were you going to tell me?” he asked as he stared at her.
“We are in a happy place. Now is perfect.” Lola said.
Alex smiled. “The gown is lovely.”
“I see my charm worked.” Lola said with a glow as she flipped her hair.
He glanced around and then grinned at her. “Let’s take this home.”
“What? Oh…are you so shy now that we have people staring at us?” Lola said as she took a glance at the onlookers.
He smiled. “Of course not.” He said as he kissed her.
“Forgiveness is the final form of love” – Reinhold Niebuhr
The Blog Awards are here again! Nominations start on Jan 5, 2015. Don’t forget to nominate Tommyslav Island in the best writing category (http://nigerianblogawards.com). It’s been a great year of fiction. #AllFunAndGames #BeautifulStranger and #Clandestine! Thank you all for being a part of it.
Happy 2015 in advance 🙌