Efe was so conflicted that she didn’t know where to start. How was she to know how he truly felt about her? Did he have any plans of them being together beyond having sex? Would he truly accept her word over that of his parents after seven years apart? Did he trust her enough? And would his parents accept the relationship this time around?
“Hmm-m,” Kevwe cleared his throat before speaking. Her gaze flashed to his immediately. He wished they would do this some other time. Her defensive vibe had rubbed off on him and it wouldn’t help the coming conversation in any way. “I am willing to enter the future with an open mind, but I can see you’re not.”
She looked at him. “Your parents never liked me, let’s just forget about it.”
He fixed her with an unflinching gaze. “It is because you didn’t go through the torture I did, that’s why you can speak so lightly of it...”
The accusation was more powerful for the quiet tone in which it had been made. Efe also spoke quietly but with no less force. “It took me some good years of my life to get over you too, and they were not easy years either.”
“Are you saying you’re over me?” He closed his eyes and bent his head. He was afraid of what he would see in her reply.
“And what if I am?” Her tone was a challenge. Efe wouldn’t allow him to see her crumbled heart. She wasn’t over him, seven years and counting.
The clock ticked in the loud silence, the only movement in the room.
Kevwe raised his head slowly. “That wasn’t the message I got last night.”
Last night was her mistake and Efe would not allow it to be held over her head. She stood and turned her back to Kevwe. “I don’t want to talk about it.”
He was suddenly standing right behind her, gripping her arms, his voice intense. “But I do. I want to know why you agreed for us to have sex?”
Efe spun away. “Don’t tell me you didn’t want that too? If I recall correctly, you started it all! I just didn’t feel like stopping you.”
“So I was just a warm body in your bed?” Kevwe was stung. She had forgotten everything he said before they ended in bed. He’s bared his heart last night and had thought they were on the same page. To find out now that it was merely physical for her, and also temporary, he shook his head. He looked back at her. “I want you to tell me something before I leave. Are you really dating or engaged to that guy – what’s his name again?”
Efe was completely lost. She didn’t know what he was talking about.
He picked up his jacket and rifled through the pockets, walking towards her. When he got closer, she saw the business card between his fingers. He held it out till she took it.
“Stanley Adetiba, the operations manager at Sheraton Lagos, he called you yesterday.”
“What?!” Efe spluttered, her eyes going wide.
He cut her off before she could find her thoughts. “I was in his office, so don’t deny it. He told you to book a room and that he was coming to see you this weekend…”
Efe shook herself out of the muddle, her hands going to her hips. “What is the meaning of this? Have you been monitoring me?”
“At least he wasn’t going to sleep over here at your place,” Kevwe sneered, “I wonder if I was a replacement for him. Should I read some kind of meaning into that…”
“Read whatever you like into it!” Efe felt hot and cold all over. She couldn’t believe what she was hearing. How did Kevwe know about Stanley and her?
“So which of us are you two-timing here?”
Efe almost slapped him. She took a deep breath and let it out. She stomped to the door and stood, feet tapping against the carpeted floor. “I want you to leave… now!”
Kevwe scowled but stood at the same spot. It was funny how they had gone round in circles and come back to the same point as when he had arrived at her flat, where they couldn’t stand each other and could not find a way forward.
Efe paced in front of the door. So this was what Kevwe’s visit had been all about, some kind of macho competition about who would get her. Had he actually planned to seduce her so he could sleep over and prevent her from meeting Stanley? It just boggled the mind, Kevwe and Stanley in the same mental image.
Efe faced him, arms still akimbo. “You planned all this because of Stanley?”
“I already knew from my brother since last week that you were here in Abuja.” Kevwe replied with a sniff. “So don’t be facetious.”
“And don’t you dare patronize me!” By now, they were almost nose to nose. It dawned on Efe how much they hadn’t talked about. Virtually everything of their lives in the past seven years had been left unsaid. “Where do you live now? Lagos, Benin? Tell me, were you planning to come and confront me since then or just yesterday?”
Kevwe remained silent.
“Answer my question!” Efe demanded. “Were you?”
He moved towards the door but she was closer. She got there first and leaned against it.
“So you hear I may be engaged and as first fiancé, you came to get yours, right? You spoke to Stanley yesterday morning, and by the evening you were here in Abuja. You really had the perfect seduction plan!”
Now he thought about it, it looked bad. He hadn’t set out to come and seduce her because she was engaged. That had just happened. When he had booked the late ticket to Abuja, there had been no solid plan. He had just wanted to talk to his twin, and he also knew he would see her. Now, he also knew that he had not wanted to take the chance that she would get married to someone else if there were any feelings left between them. But he wouldn’t tell her that in the mood she was in.
“Get out of my way, Efe,” he said quietly.
“You want to leave? Then go. Get out!” She turned and fumbled with the keys before pulling the door open. “And it seems you don’t have a life. Get one and stay out of mine!”
Kevwe heard the tears in her voice and his reawakened heart begged to stay and tell her what he truly felt, but he just couldn’t. He slung his jacket over his shoulder and left the room.