Chapter 8

It’s been four months since I left home. I got a chance to escape when both my Dad and his precious son had an ugly confrontation at the airport the other day.

My dad was very angry and started poking him in the chest while pvshing him and forcing him to leave me alone.

I saw that as an opportunity and pulled my luggage and left with my kids.

That surely broke the old man’s heart but I wasn’t feeling ready to have a deep conversation with him.

But now I feel harassed really! I get text messages every hour if not thirty minutes.

If it’s not my dad, it’s Thulani! This is tiring, my dad gives me space sometimes but Thulani is really harassing me…

He’s been at my work place twice asking to see me and I refused right in front of his friend who happened to be my boss! He couldn’t believe it, it was the first time I said no to him.

At some point he tried to ask me what’s going on between me and Thulani but failed, I told him that I don’t even know the guy so nothing is going on.

I could tell he wasn’t buying it but I don’t care, he must ask his friend.

Since it’s been months of apologies, I decided to lend him my ear.

He texted me an hour later to apologize, and an hour after that to tell me he’d stop texting me if that’s what I want. I didn’t respond.

Later that week, he texted that he needed to see me. “I need to know how to fix things,” the text read.

I allowed him to come so that we can talk, at some point I will need to put everything that happened behind me and live a little.

Can you guys believe me if I tell you that in my entire 24 years of living, I have never been on a date with a anyone? Not even a friend!

I dressed up in full covering clothes and went to the restaurant we both agreed on.

The reason I was covering my body this much is because I feel uncomfortable around him, he knows parts of my body that no one knows.

While I wait for him to arrive, I frantically went to google and typed “what to do if your rapist apologizes.” But no good results are turning up.

I am completely without a blueprint on how to act and feel. I’m even thinking of changing my mind and leave before he arrives.

The only reason I came early is because I wanted to choose a comfortable place and I don’t think I would have been brave enough to endure his stares, his eyes scares me.

I don’t know how to put this but when my eyes meet his, my heart jumps and I start panicking wanting to hide.

He arrived right in time and sat opposite me, here we go again! The states that scares me the most! I am trying very hard to keep an eye contact.

“Have you ordered?” He ask after greeting. He seems to be a nice, caring guy. I am observing his every move.

“I am not hungry, I will only drink my juice.” I say taking another sip of my fruit cocktail…

“Mmh… I guess I’m not eating too… plus it would have been nice if the chef was you. I am yet to meet a chef who cooks like you.” He jokes and laughs at his joke alone.

“Your mom was a great cook too… she was no chef but her food was always the best! It’s a pity that your dad never wanted her to cook or do any other house chores for that matter!

He loved her wholeheartedly! I was young and knew nothing about love but when I think about them now, I can tell that he loved her dearly.” He shyly look down when he sees that I’m not talking.

I am kind of surprised to hear that he knows my parents this much, it also soothes my heart to hear someone who knows my mother talking about her.

No one, except grandmother, ever said something about her… I was only 11 when she d!ed.

All I can remember is my dad locking himself in his room for days, not wanting to eat.

His businesses nearly collapsed, it took him a long time to be himself again, but soon after that, he got himself a wife.

I was devastated, I had just watched Cinderella story then, I guess you guys understand why I was scared of stepmothers then.

I don’t think I’m this world we have a person as mean as Cinderella’s stepmom. Mine was mean but she wasn’t that bad!

“Are you okay Amy?” He ask. That’s how my mom used to call me when she was in a good mood.

“I’m fine!” I snapped out of my thought. “Sorry you were saying?” He sighs deeply…

“I am really sorry… I don’t know how I can prove to you that I am really really sorry! I have read about so many rappe cases after what I did to you.

I don’t want to keep using an excuse that your mom forced me to do it, I was old enough to say no! I knew the good and bad.

I just want to own up to my mistake and sincerely apologize to you Amanda…”

He paused and I swallow… this is my chance to tell him that I forgive him and walk out of this restaurant.

I try to open my mouth but my heart is beating like a drum. I’m feeling hot flushes on my face and armpits.

I breath in and hold my breath for few seconds trying to control my breathing but nothing happens. I can’t control it… My knees are shaking.

“I know you won’t believe me but I will tell you this anyway, growing up, I always had this dream of having you as my wife.

I would keep fantasizing with us having our big house with a pool and a big yard for kids to play.

I thought I would be a very loving husband that cooks for you and wakes you up with breakfast in bed on Sundays.

I got a chance to know you when your dad started noticing me and taught me how to drive.

He would make me run his errands when busy and even ask me to pick you up from school.

In my mind I would always pretend and imagine myself picking you up from work to our house, not school, I knew that our kids would be so damn cute.

I had all these crazy ideas running in my head. It was awesome… when I finally agreed to your mom’s request, I thought to myself, why not?

I thought that was my only chance to touch you since I was no match to you… I doubt you even noticed me.

You had white and model C friends, and every time when I picked you up there was this boy who would look at you and smile warmly while handing you your bag.

I knew from there that I stood no chance… I was wrong, I am deeply saddened by what I did.”

He apologized to me profusely, he seems sincere. He knows what he did was wrong. He didn’t mean to hurt me. What more could I ask for? I thought.

I start feeling shaky again as he tearily begs for forgiveness, my heart broke. This means he’s different, right? This means it’s OK.

“Will you promise me that you will never bother me with calls and messages if I forgive you now?” I ask and his eyes deepened.

“You can’t do that to me Amanda…” He sounds drained, I am also drained I just want to move on in peace. Next week I’m meeting with dad. I want to set them free.

“Well… it’s best for both of us and I believe that the only way to heal my scars.”

“If that’s what you want then it’s okay.” He says tears threatening to come out.

I finished my juice and grabbed my bag, I left a N100 note and left, my juice is only N545, the waiter will keep the change. He didn’t even try to stop me. I walked out of the door feeling a bit better.

It’s the weekend and I am curl up on the couch for a good read. But instead of opening the book in my hand, I grab my phone and start reading Thulani’s texts from the very first day he started texting me. Why does it feels like reading a r©mance novel.

I start stalking him on Facebook and Instagram, he has removed the picture of himself and his girlfriend. He only has a black dot as his profile picture.

I keep going down reading his posts, his sense of humor is out of this world but very professional at the same time.

He studied law. I go through his pictures, he posted few pictures of himself in court. I try to read again but I can’t seem to stop thinking about Thulani!

A single thought about him sends butterflies in my stomach, I am shaking even though he’s not here.

You know, that feeling that makes your stress hormone work overtime? No! It can’t be what I’m thinking… what’s happening with me?

My heart can’t betray me like that! Never!
I quickly dial Mellisa..

“Hey Mel… tell me, how does it feel to fall in love?” I ask and she makes annoying noises!

“That question is the first step… you just know that you are falling in love but keep denying it! Speak to me Amanda! Who’s the lucky guy?” She ask

“No, there’s no guy, I’m just doing a research.” I say and hung up immediately!

‘Thulani please don’t do this to me!’ I say louder!


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